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Album by Rush
Released September 9, 1982
Recorded April - July 1982 at Le Studio, Morin Heights, Quebec
Genre Prog-Rock
Length 42:18
Label Mercury Records
Producer Rush and Terry Brown
Professional reviews
Rush chronology
Exit...Stage Left
Grace Under Pressure

Cropped Album cover

Signals is the ninth studio album by the Canadian rock band Rush, released September 9, 1982.

Signals was the follow-up to the successful Moving Pictures. Stylistically, the album was a continuation of Rush's foray into the technology-oriented 1980s through increased use of electronic instrumentation such as keyboards, sequencers, and electric violin. Other noticeable changes were decreased average song length and lyrical compression. The album reached #10 on the Billboard album charts and was certified Platinum (1,000,000 copies sold) by the R.I.A.A. in November 1982.


The opening track from Signals is "Subdivisions," which has been a staple of many of the band's tours since its recording.

"The Analog Kid" and "Digital Man" served as the inspiration for writer Troy Hickman to create the comic book heroes of the same name, Digital Man and Analog Kid, in the 2004 comic Common Grounds.

"Digital Man," a slightly reggae-based song, ultimately led to the end of the band's relationship with long-time producer Terry Brown. Brown was reluctant to leave behind the band's progressive-rock past, while band members, especially Lee, wanted to explore new musical directions. The mid-section of the song has been compared with the song "Walking On The Moon" by The Police. A slightly-adapted version of the song was brought back for the 2007 Snakes And Arrows Tour, marking the first time Rush performed it in nearly 23 years.

"The Weapon" (Part II of the 'Fear' trilogy) would be featured in the album's supporting tour and would include a video opening hosted by Count Floyd of SCTV fame.

"New World Man" became a surprise FM radio hit for the band, peaking at #21 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart for three weeks in October and November 1982. It remains the band's highest charting single in the US to date. Written and recorded with the intention of preserving the continuity of the then-popular cassette tape format, this allowed for two roughly 21-minute sides with as little "dead air" between them as possible.

Neil Peart's lyrics for "Losing It" reference, among other things, the latter years of writer Ernest Hemingway: "for you the blind who once could see, the bell tolls for thee...". This song remains the only track from the album never to have been performed in concert.

The lyrics in the final track, "Countdown," describe the launch of the Space Shuttle Columbia in 1981, which the band witnessed. The song features audio clips of some of the radio talk recorded during the maiden flight. It was a minor UK chart hit in early 1983.

Signals represented the band's last collaboration with producer Terry Brown, who had co-produced every Rush album since 1975's Fly by Night, and had engineered the eponymous first album in 1974.

The Lyrics for "Chemistry" were written by all three band members. It is the last time to date that Geddy Lee or Alex Lifeson have contributed lyrics to a Rush song.


The writing of the album began in 1981, during soundchecks on the Moving Pictures Tour, which they taped. Coincidentally, parts of “Chemistry” were written by the band at once while they were separated from each other. Lee wrote the keyboard melody for the bridge section, Lifeson wrote the guitar riff for the verse, and Peart wrote the drum beat for the chorus, and in a move unusual for Rush, Lee and Lifeson came with the concept and title for the song and presented rough lyrics for Peart to polish. In April, in Orlando, Florida, the band attempted to watch a launch of the Space Shuttle Columbia. It was canceled because of a computer malfunction, and they finally observed the launch a few days later for inspiration in writing “Countdown”.

In September, at Le Studio, Quebec, Peart jammed with the road crew on a song, and was joined by Lee and Lifeson. It was recorded later and temporarily titled “Tough Break”. Afterward, Peart wrote lyrics for the song, retitled "Subdivisions", while Lifeson and Lee came up with additional parts. Lee began experimenting with sequencers and drum machines while at home in Toronto, and came up with “The Weapon”.

In January 1982, on a docked schooner in the Virgin Islands, Peart presented his lyrics for “The Analog Kid” to Lee and they both agreed that it would make a great up-tempo rocker, with a soft chorus. At Muskoka Lakes, Ontario in March at the Grange, “Digital Man” was put together and at Le Studio, the ska style bridge was created along with the sequencer pattern with the guitar and bass. Producer Terry Brown was not impressed and initially refused to record it. In May, the band set out to record a song that had a time limit of 3:57 to keep both sides of the record equal. The result, “New World Man”, was written and recorded on the same day. In June, Ben Mink from the band FM was invited to play electric violin on “Losing It”.

Track listingEdit

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

  1. "Subdivisions" - 5:32
  2. "The Analog Kid" - 4:45
  3. "Chemistry" - 4:57
  4. "Digital Man" - 6:22
  5. "The Weapon (Part II of Fear)" - 6:24
  6. "New World Man" - 3:43
  7. "Losing It" - 4:53
  8. "Countdown" - 5:50


  • Geddy Lee – Bass guitars (Rickenbacker 4001 and Fender Jazz Bass), vocals, Keyboards: Minimoog, Oberheim OB-X and OB-Xa, Roland JP-8, Moog Taurus pedals, Oberheim DSX and Roland TR 808 rhythm machine.
  • Alex Lifeson – Fender Stratocaster electric guitars, Moog Taurus pedals
  • Neil Peart – Tama drums, Avedis Zildjian cymbals, percussion


  • Ben Mink – Electric violin on 'Losing It'



Country Chart Position Date
U.S. Top LPs & Tapes (Billboard 200) 11 October 30, 1982
U.S. Rock Albums 1 October 16, 1982
U.K. Albums Top 100 3 September 18, 1982
Canada RPM 100 Albums 1 October 9, 1982
Netherlands GfK Dutch Album Top 100 31 October 9, 1982
Norway VG-lista Topp 40 Album 33 October 2, 1982
Sweden Sverigetopplisten Albums Top 60 19 September 28, 1982


Country Organization Sales Date
U.S. RIAA Gold (500,000) November 10, 1982
U.S. RIAA Platinum (1,000,000) November 10, 1982
U.K. BPI Silver (60,000) November 5, 1982
Canada CRIA Platinum (100,000)


Mobile Fidelity Sound Labs issued a Gold CD remaster in 1994 that is currently out of print.

  • In "The Weapon", one line of lyrics that appears on all other pressings is missing from the MFSL release (at 3:12). MFSL has stated that this was the case on the master delivered to them by the band.
  • The ending of "New World Man" is a few seconds longer than the Mercury Records issues.

A Mercury Records 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.
  • Includes the infrared pictures of the band that were missing from the original CD issue.
  • Includes the lyrics and credits.

Compact DiscEdit

Country Label Catalog Year
United States Mercury 810 002-2
United States Mercury P2-10002
United States Mercury P2-34633 1997
United States Mercury 314 534 633-2 1997
United States Mercury D-102060
United States Mercury D-118808 1997
United States Mercury UDCD 614 1994
Canada Anthem


Canada Anthem VANK-1038
Canada Anthem ANMD-1038 1997
Canada Anthem ANC-1-1038
Canada Anthem P2-34633 1997
Brazil Mercury 810 002-2
Brazil Mercury 534 633-2 1997
Germany Mercury 534 633-2 1997
Germany Mercury 810 002-2 1990
Japan Epic/Sony 25-8P-5169 1998
Japan Atlantic AMCY-219 1997
Japan Atlantic AMCY-2297 1997
Japan Atlantic 810002
Russia RSHCD 07000307
United Kingdom Mercury 534 633-2


Country Label Catalog Year
United States Mercury SRM-1-4063 1982
United States Mercury R-104831 1982
Canada Anthem ANR-1-1038 1982
Canada Capitol ANR-1-1038
Brazil Mercury 6337 243 1982
Columbia Mercury 6337 243 1982
Netherlands Mercury 6337 243 1982
Philippines Mercury 6337 243 1982
Japan Epic/Sony 25-3P-3781 1982
United Kingdom Mercury 6337 243 1982

Cassette Tape Edit

Country Label Catalog Year
United States Mercury 822-550-4
United States Mercury MCR-4-1-4063 1982
Canada Anthem 4AN 1-1038
United Kingdom Mercury 7141 243 1982


"New World Man"
  • Released: August 1982
  • Written by: Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson, & Neil Peart
  • Produced by: Rush and Terry Brown
  • Chart positions: #21 US Hot 100; #1 US Mainstream Rock; #42 UK; #36 UK (Remix)
  • Released: May 1982
  • Written by: Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson & Neil Peart
  • Produced by: Rush and Terry Brown
  • Chart positions: #3 US Mainstream Rock; #27 UK
"The Analog Kid"
  • Released:
  • Written by: Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson & Neil Peart
  • Produced by: Rush and Terry Brown
  • Chart positions: #19 US Mainstream Rock; #72 UK
"The Weapon (Part II of Fear)"
  • Released: (Europe)
  • Written by: Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson & Neil Peart
  • Produced by: Rush and Terry Brown
  • Chart positions: #53 UK
  • Released: February 1983 (Europe)
  • Written by: Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson & Neil Peart
  • Produced by: Rush and Terry Brown
  • Chart positions: #36 UK