Rush’s ‘A Farewell To Kings’ gets 40th anniversary treatment

On December 1st, UMe/Anthem/ole label group continues its Rush 40th anniversary album celebrations with a lavish new expanded edition of the band’s landmark album A Farewell to Kings, the group’s fifth studio album. Originally released in 1977, the project played a major role in establishing Rush as an internationally popular and respected band. A Farewell to Kings also introduced the trio’s first successful radio hit “Closer To The Heart,” album tracks “A Farewell To Kings,” “Madrigal,” “Cinderella Man,” as well as enduring fan favorites with “Xanadu” and “Cygnus X-1.”

A Farewell to Kings: 40th Anniversary will be available to fans in four distinct configurations including Super Deluxe Edition, 3 CD Deluxe Edition, 4 LP Deluxe Edition and Deluxe Digital Edition.

The Super Deluxe Edition includes three CDs, one Blu-ray Audio disc and four high-quality 180-gram vinyl LPs. The set encompasses the Abbey Road Mastering Studios 2015 remastered edition of the album for the first time on CD; a complete Rush concert recorded in February 1978 at London’s Hammersmith Odeon, newly mixed by longtime Rush engineer and original A Farewell to Kings producer Terry Brown from the multi-track live tapes; four newly-recorded cover versions of songs from the original album by Dream Theater, Big Wreck, The Trews and Alain Johannes; and an instrumental studio outtake of the spacey sound effects the band has creatively titled “Cygnus X-2 Eh.”

The Hammersmith show features, for the first-time ever, over 34 minutes of unreleased performances including a complete “2112” suite, “Lakeside Park,” a drum solo and “Closer To The Heart.” The Super Deluxe Edition’s audio content on its CDs is duplicated on its vinyl discs. Meanwhile, the Blu-ray Audio disc contains a brand new 5.1 surround mix of the album by four-time Grammy nominated surround sound producer Steven Wilson, along with three original 1977 promo videos from a newly found two-inch quad video master significantly improving the video quality for “Closer To The Heart.” The Super Deluxe package also includes an elaborate new 40th anniversary cover treatment by longtime Rush creative director Hugh Syme, who has also created a new piece of artwork for each of the album’s six songs, and an extensive 12,000-word liner notes by Grammy-winning rock historian Rob Bowman.

The Super Deluxe Edition will also include several exclusive items, including a unique King’s Ring, with custom velvet pouch and neck chain; two lithographs with original artwork by Hugh Syme; a special 12-inch turntable mat featuring distinctive artwork by Hugh Syme; and a reproduction of Rush’s original 1978 A Farewell To Kings tour program.

The three CD Deluxe Edition will contain the newly reasserted A Farewell to Kings album, the Hammersmith Odeon show, the four new cover songs, “Cygnus X-2 Eh” outtake, Hugh Syme’s song-specific artwork and Rob Bowman’s liner notes. The audiophile 180-gram four LP Deluxe Edition featuring the same audio content as the three CD edition with double-gatefold packaging, 32-page vinyl-size booklet, the special 12-inch turntable mat, along with Syme’s artwork and Bowman’s liner notes. The fourth configuration, the Deluxe Digital Edition, will feature the original album as disc one, the complete Hammersmith concert unedited as disc two, and the four covers songs plus the “Cygnus X-2 Eh” outtake as disc three.

Additionally, on November 24th, UMe will release a 7″ vinyl single for Record Store Day’s annual Black Friday event, featuring the beloved A Farewell to Kings hit “Closer to the Heart,” with a custom large-hole adapter and new artwork by Hugh Syme.

In his liner notes, Bowman describes A Farewell to Kings as “the beginning of Chapter Two” for Rush. “No longer was the majority of the record dominated by the sound of a power trio. A more mature Rush now embraced a wider sound palette using synthesizers, Taurus bass pedals, classical guitar, tubular bells, temple blocks and orchestral bells to create greater contrast and color within their compositions. Yet, when desired, Rush continued to deploy the intensity, ferocity and power that they were justifiably known for.”

Super Deluxe Edition | 3 CD | 4 LP

CD 1: Original Album – Produced by Rush and Terry Brown

1. A Farewell To Kings
2. Xanadu
3. Closer To The Heart
4. Cinderella Man
5. Madrigal
6. Chgnus X-1

CD 2: Live at Hammersmith Odeon – February 20, 1978

1. Bastille Day
2. Lakeside Park*
3. By-Tor & The Snowdog
4. Xanadu
5. A Farewell To Kings
6. Something For Nothing
7. Cygnus X-1

CD 3: Live at Hammersmith Odeon – February 20, 1978

1. Anthem
2. Closer To The Heart*
3. 2112*
4. Working Man
5. Fly By Night
6. In The Mood
7. Drum Solo*
8. Cinderella Man

9. Xanandu – Dream Theater*
10. Closer To The Heart – Big Wreck*
11. Cinderella Man – The Trews*
12. Madrigal – Alain Johannes*
13. Cygnus X-2 Eh*

Blu-ray Audio
96kHz 24-bit 5.1 Surround Mix by Steven Wilson
96kHz 24-bit Original Stereo Analog 2015 Remaster

1. A Farewell To Kings
2. Xanadu
3. Closer To The Heart
4. Cinderella Man
5. Madrigal
6. Chgnus X-1

1977 Promo Videos:

1. A Farewell To Kings
2. Xanadu
3. Closer To The Heart

Author: Buddy Iahn

Buddy Iahn founded The Music Universe when he decided to juxtapose his love of web design and music. As a lifelong drummer, he decided to take a hiatus from playing music to report it. The website began as a fun project in 2013 to one of the top independent news sites.