Grace Under Pressure
Grace Under Pressure.jpg
Album by Rush
Released April 12, 1984
Recorded November 1983 - March 1984 Le Studio, Morin Heights, Quebec
Genre Prog-Rock
Length 39:23
Label Mercury Records
Producer Rush and Peter Henderson
Professional reviews
Rush chronology
Grace Under Pressure
Power Windows

Grace Under Pressure is the tenth studio album by the Canadian rock band Rush, released in 1984 (see 1984 in music). A symbol for the album is the letter "p" above a line with the letter "g" below (p/g).

Grace Under Pressure reached #10 on The Billboard 200 and went Platinum in the United States upon its 1984 release. On the back cover is a band portrait by the photographer Yousuf Karsh. The original vinyl pressing also featured a photo depicting an egg being held in a C-clamp. Also, the cover art was painted by Hugh Syme, a long-time contributor to Rush's music ever since he performed as a guest musician on the song "Tears" from 2112.


During the tour supporting their previous album, Signals, the members of Rush began by meeting with producer Terry Brown in Miami, calmly informing him that they wanted to move on. They'd become increasingly unhappy with the sound of the Signals album, and they were also keen to see how they would work with someone other than Brown. Despite their decision to part ways with Brown, Rush decided to include a small tribute to him in the liner notes of Grace Under Pressure, which states, "et toujours notre bon vieil ami — Broon." The quote translates to "and always our good old friend." Following Brown's amicable departure, Rush approached producer Steve Lillywhite to record the album. However, Lillywhite withdrew at the last minute, much to the chagrin of the band members. Rush eventually produced the album themselves, with assistance from Peter Henderson, who had previously worked with Supertramp, Frank Zappa and King Crimson.

Rush decided to record the album in the band members' native Canada at Le Studio, deciding on the title "Grace Under Pressure" for the album. The various current events found in the Toronto Globe & Mail newspaper inspired many of the lyrics on the album, particularly those of "Distant Early Warning," "Red Lenses" and "Between the Wheels." After a few months, the mixing stage had begun, and Neil Peart discussed the details of the cover art with Hugh Syme. The band spent up to 14 hours per day in the studio, perfecting the album's dystopian sound.

The album's running theme is pressure and how humans act under different kinds of pressure. In songs like "Between the Wheels" and "The Body Electric", Peart's lyrics explore the pressure put on by life as a whole. In "Afterimage", Peart describes the impressions left by a loved one that dies suddenly. One track, "Red Sector A," is notable for its allusions to The Holocaust, inspired by Geddy Lee's memories of his mother's stories about the liberation of Bergen-Belsen, where she was held prisoner. While the album's opening track "Distant Early Warning" has been interpreted as dealing with the pressure involving the aftermath of nuclear holocaust, Peart demurred in a contemporaneous interview, saying, "It's about a lot of stuff." "The Enemy Within" is part one of the "Fear" series of songs that started with part three, "Witch Hunt," on Rush's 1981 album Moving Pictures,through part two,"The Weapon" on 1982's Signals. The video for "The Enemy Within" was the very first video broadcast on Canada's Much Music station in 1984.

Musically, the album marks yet another departure from Rush's previous album. While maintaining the synth-heavy sound of Signals, Rush also began to experiment more extensively with different musical forms. The album is notable for the radical new influences it displayed, such as ska. This was the first album to be released by Rush to include no program music.

Track listingEdit

All songs by Alex Lifeson, Geddy Lee and Neil Peart.

  1. "Distant Early Warning" – 4:59
  2. "Afterimage" – 5:04
  3. "Red Sector A" – 5:10
  4. "The Enemy Within (Part I of Fear)" – 4:33
  5. "The Body Electric" – 5:00
  6. "Kid Gloves" – 4:18
  7. "Red Lenses" – 4:42
  8. "Between the Wheels" – 5:44


  • Geddy Lee - Bass guitar (Steinberger XL-2), synthesizers (Minimoog, PPG Wave, Oberheim OB-Xa, Roland Jupiter 8), vocals
  • Alex Lifeson - Guitars (Hentor Sportscasters), synthesizers
  • Neil Peart - Drums (Simmons and Tama), percussion



Country Chart Position
U.S. Billboard 200 10


Country Organization Sales Date
U.S. RIAA Platinum (1,000,000) June 26, 1984
Canada CRIA Platinum (100,000)


A remaster was issued in 1997.

  • The tray has a picture of three fingerprints, light blue, pink, and lime green (left to right) with "The Rush Remasters" printed in all capital letters just to the left. All remasters from Moving Pictures through A Show of Hands feature this logo, originally found on the cover art of Retrospective II.
  • The back is a plain, off-white panel with the track titles printed as well as the production and copyright information.
  • The insert displays the cover art. The color of the cover art has been altered: it is of a richer, brown-gray color base, as opposed to the light blue base of the original LP release. The new cover is featured in nearly all of the album's modern representations. When the case is opened, the inside shows the photo of the band from the back of the LP version of the album. The insert unfolds to show the image of the egg in the C-clamp, which has a thin red border around it and credits the image to Deborah Samuel.
  • Also in the insert are the lyrics, similar to those included with the LP. Like the LP, the title and lyrics of "Red Lenses" are printed completely in lowercase.
    • Some consider the title in all lower case ("red lenses") to be the proper and accepted writing.

Compact DiscEdit

Country Label Catalog Year
United States Mercury 818 476-2 1984
United States Mercury P2-18476
United States Mercury P2-34634 1997
United States Mercury 314 534 634-2 1997
United States Mercury D-102057
United States Mercury D-118810 1997
Canada Anthem


Canada Anthem VANK-1045
Canada Anthem ANMD-1045
Canada Anthem ANC-1-1045
Argentina Mercury 534 634-2 1997
Brazil Mercury 818 476-2
Brazil Mercury 534 634-2 1997
Germany Mercury 534 634-2 1997
Germany Mercury 818 476-2 1984
Japan Epic/Sony 35-8P-44 1985
Japan Epic/Sony 25-8P-5077 1988
Japan Atlantic AMCY-292 1991
Japan Atlantic AMCY-2298 1997
Russia RSHCD 04000314
United Kingdom Mercury 534 634-2


Country Label Catalog Year
United States Mercury 818 476-1 1984
Canada Anthem ANR-1-1045 1984
Canada Anthem 533943
Brazil Mercury 818 476-1 1984
Columbia Mercury 818 476-1 1984
Germany Mercury 818 476-1 1984
Netherlands Mercury 818 476-1 1984
South Africa Trutone 5369
Japan Epic/Sony 25-3P-5051 1984
United Kingdom Vertigo VERH 12 1984
United Kingdom Vertigo 818 476-1

Cassette Tape Edit

Country Label Catalog Year
United States Mercury 818 476-4 1984
Canada Anthem 4AN 1-1045
Japan Epic/Sony 25-6P-248
United Kingdom Vertigo VERHC 12 1984


"Distant Early Warning"
  • Released:
  • Written by: Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson & Neil Peart
  • Produced by: Rush and Peter Henderson
  • Chart positions: #3 US Mainstream Rock
"The Body Electric"
  • Released:
  • Written by: Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson & Neil Peart
  • Produced by: Rush and Peter Henderson
  • Chart positions: #23 US Mainstream Rock, #56 UK
"Red Sector A"
  • Released:
  • Written by: Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson & Neil Peart
  • Produced by: Rush and Peter Henderson
  • Chart positions: #21 US Mainstream Rock
  • Released: (Japan)
  • Written by: Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson & Neil Peart
  • Produced by: Rush and Peter Henderson
  • Chart positions: