Happy Anniversary: Rush, TEST FOR ECHO
22 years ago today, Rush released their 16th studio album, an effort which would – due to events outside of the band’s control – turn out to be the last studio album released by the band for half a dozen years.
Recorded partly at Bearsville Studios in Bearsville, New York and partly at Reaction Studios in Toronto, Ontario, TEST FOR ECHO is an album that’s remembered differently by the band depending on which member you ask.
For instance, in Rush: An Oral History, Uncensored, Geddy Lee says of the album, “Test for Echo was a strange record in a sense. It doesn’t really have a defined direction. I kind of felt like we were a bit burnt creatively. It was a creative low time for us." On the other hand, Alex Lifeson told Guitar World that he felt like Rush had arrived with TEST FOR ECHO. “There’s a particular feel that I don’t think we had before – a nice groove and a lot of really good Rush songs,” said Lifeson. “I feel like we were all really together on this album.”
Clearly, the fans were more in Lifeson’s camp insofar as their opinions went: TEST FOR ECHO hit #5 on the Billboard 200, the title track topped the Mainstream Rock chart, and two additional singles – “Half the World” and “Driven” – both secured considerable airplay.
Unfortunately, Rush wouldn’t return with another new album until 2002: after Neil Peart’s daughter was killed in a car accident and his wife died of cancer a few months later, it’s no wonder that he didn’t feel up to keeping the band first and foremost in his thoughts. Thankfully, TEST FOR ECHO was a strong effort to keep the fans happy in the interim.
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