On 1977's A Farewell to Kings it quickly becomes apparent that Rush had improved their songwriting and strengthened their focus and musical approach. Synthesizers also mark their first prominent appearance on a Rush album, a direction the band would continue to pursue on future releases. With the popular hit single "Closer to the Heart," the trio showed that they could compose concise and traditionally structured songs, while the 11-minute "Xanadu" remains an outstanding accomplishment all these years later (superb musicianship merged with vivid lyrics help create one of Rush's best all-time tracks). The album-opening title track begins with a tasty classical guitar/synth passage, before erupting into a powerful rocker. The underrated "Madrigal" proves to be a delicately beautiful composition, while "Cinderella Man" is one of Rush's few songs to include lyrics penned entirely by Geddy Lee. The ten-minute tale of a dangerous black hole, "Cygnus X-1," closes the album on an unpredictable note, slightly comparable to the two extended songs on 1975's Caress of Steel. A Farewell to Kings successfully built on the promise of their breakthrough 2112, and helped broaden Rush's audience on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean.
Performance CreditsRush Primary Artist
Geddy Lee Organ,Synthesizer,Bass,Guitar,Bass Guitar,Keyboards,Vocals,12-string Guitar
Alex Lifeson Acoustic Guitar,Electric Guitar,Guitar (12 String Electric)
Neil Peart Chimes,Drums,Triangle,Bells,Vibraslap,cowbell,Tubular Bells,Temple Blocks,Bell-tree
Technical CreditsRush Producer
Terry Brown Producer,Engineer
Geddy Lee Composer
Alex Lifeson Composer,Contributor
Neil Peart Composer,Contributor
Hugh Syme Artwork,Art Direction
John Michael Talbot Composer
Pat Moran Engineer
Bob King Contributor
Terry "Broon" Brown Engineer
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
A Farewell to Kings based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
As a big fan of the band, I have to say that this is my favorite album from them. The 11 minute epic Xanadu is an absolute gem with beautiful guitar and keyboard passages fusing effortlessly with some searing riffs by Lifeson. Closer to the Heart, is Rush's most popular track with a beautiful acoustic guitar intro and a great melodic guitar solo. Farewell to Kings starts with a pastoral classical guitar passage before turning into a very heavy rock track. Cindarella Man is a very cool propulsive rocker that features a band fusing acoustic and electric timbres. Madrigal is a beautiful Renaissance flavored ballad and is one of a few love songs penned by Peart and features some of his most beautiful, poetic lyrics. Cygnus X-1 is a very heavy sci-fi rocker that never lets up with wailing guitar riffs and Geddy's extremely high-pitched vocal delivery.
When I listened to this album for the first time (I was only 11!)I felt it was a great prog rock masterpiece I should recommend to everyone: good lyrics, excellent music, great guitar riffs, and a lot of 70's style synths. I became a stronger Rush fan after enjoying "Cygnus X-1 " and " A Farewell To Kings". No doubt, it's an essential 70's album.