Rush Signals 40 Picture Disc Review

Album Review: Rush – Signals 40th Anniversary

Blah, blah, blah. Blah blah. Blah, blah, blah, blah blah.

Not much more to say about the Rush Signals 40th Anniversary release, out April 26. The Rush Estate included the usual must-haves with new album art, a hardcover book and of course the remastered (remastered remastered?) version on CD, Blu-ray audio and vinyl. Some interesting lures include unreleased photos from the Signals Tour, lyric sheets and some lithos including one of the original album cover.

(Note: For those wishing to take up being offended on behalf of Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson and Neil Peart to the lede, let not your heart be troubled. The 10-year anniversary of Rush’s Hall of Fame induction just passed and if you click the link you get my review of the evening.)

But as with the Moving Pictures 40th Anniversary release I opted out except for one item. The Signals 40 Picture Disc. It was my hope this beautiful piece was as splendid in person as it looked on screen. A single vinyl of the Signals album and embedded into plastic the new 40th anniversary artwork created by Hugh Syme. In fact, I bought two. One to play and the other to store away. (Considering the so-called limited edition nature of this record still available for purchase, as of today months after it was made available for pre-order, I wonder if the fanbase has grown tired of these anniversary releases.)

This record is stunning. The vibrant and deeply rich colors leap from the plastic. It begs NOT to be played. Leave this fine work of art alone. Indeed, had the original cover of Signals resembled any side of this record, preferably the dalmatian staring up at the towering fire hydrant, the Rush Album Covers Ranked Worst to First list would place this album much higher.

It’s not all cotton candy though. Unfortunately, this record comes cased only in a thick clear plastic sleeve. What!? No jacket? I guess whoever put this together was listening to Phil Collins at the time. A regular record jacket sleeve would have been nice. However, if the idea for the Signals 40 Picture Disc was for a framed conversation piece and/or hanging then maybe a point exists to the thick, plastic clear coat sleeve. As such, I removed the Rush Cygnus Record Store Day release from some years ago out of its 12 x 12 frame and replaced with this gem.

The big sticker showing the credits gets in the way but turning it around helps. The envelop style clasp that secures the record needs rearranging too. Still, despite the “oops we didn’t think about that” oversight, one of the purchased Signals 40 Picture Discs found a home displayed on the shelf in my office, the other met a needle.

Update: My wife, the one who said BUY 2, said picture discs come in clear sleeves so you can see them. (As I noted above.) Like my Michael Jackson one, she said. We couldn’t find it, but the proof showed in a Duran Duran picture disc. As Mike Ness sang “I was wrong….”

Signals 40 Picture Disc Review

The Signals 40 Super Deluxe Version includes a vinyl edition cut for the first time at half-speed via DMM & pressed on 180g. Whatever that means. However, no extra included details whatsoever for the Signals 40 Picture Disc. It weighs heavier with a thicker structure compared to its 40 year old sibling, so I’ll safely guess at the very least, pressed on 180g.

I thought maybe it was in my head but after comparing “Subdivisions” and “The Weapon” off the Signals 40 version and the original vinyl I think, think, the 40th anniversary release cleans the noticeable audio dust that initially puzzled listeners upon its release in 1982. This nebula, as I call it, has since become part of the album’s overall charm but Lee’s voice comes across cleaner (so does the “Subdivisions” call by Peart), his bass pops too but all this only when purposefully tuning in. Play either record during a passive listen and don’t expect to hear a lick of difference.

Grab it for the eye candy not the ear candy as this handsome record looks just as grand spinning in all its colorful splendor as it does stationary.

Grade: A

Signals 40 Picture Disc Songs:

  1. Subdivisions
  2. The Analog Kid
  3. Chemistry
  4. Digital Man
  5. The Weapon
  6. New World Man
  7. Losing It
  8.  Countdown

3 thoughts on “Album Review: Rush – Signals 40th Anniversary

  1. I was hoping for something similar to the M.P box set Andrew. Meaning a live show included from 82. I’m passing on this one as I will stick with my old school vinyl copy of Signals. Cool that you got it and I have seen that Amazon has it but yeah they could have done so much more….
    By the way this is my favourite RUSH record as it was the first studio album of there’s I bought with my own money! Big Money lol
    For Xmas 1981 I received both M.P and Exit Stage as gifts and than went and bought All The Worlds A Stage with my Xmas money …
    Good times as you made me flashback to my teenage days…
    Cheers pal…

  2. I love Signals, one of my favorite 3 Rush albums (with the 2 before it) , but 0 extra material to listen to makes pretty disappointing. Will be one Rush box I pass on, tho I may one day pick up the picture disc.

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