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May 28, 1979 (Offenbach, Frankfurt Germany)
Passage To Bangkok 3:55
Bytor and The Snowdog 5:36
The Trees 5:06
Closer To The Heart 3:21
Something For Nothing 3:58
Total Time 57:56
A Farewell To Kings 5:45
La Villa Strangiato 10:33
Working Man 3:34
Bastille Day 1:42
In The Mood 2:41
Drum Solo 5:08
Cygnus X-1 9:16
Total Time 58:06
Geddy Lee - Lead Vocals, Bass Guitars and Keyboards
Alex Lifeson - Lead Guitars
Neil Peart - Drums and Percussion
Rush Comes To Germany
The May 28th, 1979 soundboard of Rush in Frankfurt, Germany is one of the most famous and coveted early Rush recordings. There are a few
versions of this show available but all suffer from rumors that the sources have been altered and that the recordings do not accurately reflect the show
that night. The well respected Rush internet resource 2112.net addresses the issue this way: "The setlist remained the same throughout this tour until
'Circumstances' was dropped during the European leg of the tour. In addition, 'Something for Nothing' (SFN) and 'Cygnus X-1' (CX1) were dropped from
the setlist during the Germany dates; they definitely were not played during Rush's first ever performance in Germany, May 27, 1979, and although they are
included on recordings from the following night, May 28th, (such as the Black Forest version) a definite splice can be heard before and after those songs
leading many to believe they were sourced from a different recording. The Germany shows were similarly shorted during the Exit...Stage Left tour when
'Hemispheres (Prelude)' and 'Xanadu' were dropped, and during the Signals New World Tour when 'Chemistry' and 'The Camera Eye' were dropped.
Possibly a shorter setlist is required in Germany due to time constraints, but that is unconfirmed".
The source used for this remaster project has recently become available. During the remaster process, the setlist was kept unaltered from the
original source CDs. This version has SFN added to the end of disc 1 and CX1 added to the end of disc 2. This setlist order is clearly different than other
versions of this recording. The owner of the source provides this information along with the source CDs: "I do know that this is NOT the same as DRE's
(Digital Rush Experience) remaster. This (source) is not (previously) eq'd or signal processed. I had this before he (DRE) came out with his in 2001. Although
my setlist slightly differs in order, DRE was probably sourced -from- the same exact discs I was and he made his remaster from it. This CDR set was sourced
from an extremely low generation tape. Possibly the guy who made the original cassettes from the soundboard made this CDR set. The person who sent
us this and the Tucson (1978) show also had other soundboards".
So, why do other versions of this show have SFN and CX1 in the middle of the setlist? Ron's Rush Roio Guide provides an explanation: "The setlist
itself raises some questions. It is common knowledge that Rush dropped 'Something For Nothing' and 'Cygnus X-1' for most of the German shows on this
tour. Yet, they appear here, on the Black Forest version of this May 28th, 1979 recording. Legend has it that this show was leaked by Skip Gildersleeve
himself (Rush's old soundman). Originally, SFN and CX1 were cut so that the show would fit on a 90-minute tape. Later, upon request, Skip sent out the
two missing songs; hence the splice. Decide for yourself whether you believe all of this. Personally, based on the sound alone, I think the songs belong.
If they don't, it raises the question of where they came from. Clearly, they are from a (sound) board, but they are definitely NOT from the 2 other known
boards from this tour 11/20/78 (Tucson) and 12/2/78 (Detroit). So if they aren't from this show, that suggests the existence of yet another soundboard show
from this tour. Perhaps time will tell"?
In a 2007 personal communication, Ron provides some additional information: "Dan Tonya created 'Black Forest' pretty much directly from the
tapes he received. The songs in question (SFN and CX1) were embedded in the set in the same order that Rush did the songs for most of the tour. At the
time, he, Marc Kim and I spent a lot of time debating whether to include CX1 and SFN, based on the audible splice and the clearly different sound. We
decided it would be best to keep them in there, but put an asterisk next to each (which you see in the DRE entry). I've actually changed my stance since
I wrote my original review. I don't think those songs are from this gig. There is simply too much precedent out there for German shows from '79-'81 to
have cut-down set lists, probably due to either municipal laws or union rules. One explanation is that (if the raw source came from a friend of Skip, KW)
SFN and CX1 were added on as bonus filler material to round out sides of a cassette he traded a long time ago, and that they've been mistaken as
'canonical' to that night as the tape has changed hands".
Analyzing the audio from this source finds no splice in the original recording between Xanadu and The Trees or between The Trees and Hemispheres.
These are the locations of SFN and CX1 in the alternative versions of this recording. This suggests that the track listing for this remaster is correct and
Cygnus X-1 and SFN have not been spliced out, but rather were not played that night and that versions of these songs are tacked onto the ends of the
source discs, from another source. There is also a 15,000Hz frequency marker on the SFN and CX1 tracks that is NOT present in the rest of the recording,
again suggesting an alternative source for these two tracks. Further, both Cygnus X-1 and SFN have different tonality and hiss noise profiles than the rest
of the show. Finally, the whole show was slow and needed a major speed correction, except Cygnus X-1 at the end of disc 2. That track was speed
correct, again suggesting that it came from another source and that the whole show probably comes from a 1st generation tape source. Comparing
the audio characteristics of this CX1 to Tucson and Detroit, we agree that they are all different. This CX1 is also NOT from the commercially released
London performance on 2/19/78 which was released as part of the "Different Stages" CD package. So where did the CX1 and SFN come from?
We may never know......
Notes from the Re-Master
Details of the origin of this recording and the controversy surrounding it can be found above. For the remaster, we began with the original FLAC
compressed data files. As noted above, because of the issues relating to Cygnus X-1 and Something for Nothing, those tracks were left in their original
positions, at the end of each disc. After listening to the show it is clear that the whole show is present without cuts or splices.
The most obvious problem with this source was the clear speed error that was present. Fans familiar with Rush would easily recognize that most of
the songs run very slow in this recording. An extensive list of reference recordings were compiled and analyzed to produce a composite standard track
length for each track of this recording. Comparing these references to the tracks of this recording, a clear pattern of speed error was identified and then
corrected. As noted above, with this analysis it was clear that all tracks were slow except Cygnus X-1 suggesting that it was not from the same source.
As a soundboard recording, the noise and hiss found here was a bit too intrusive and so was reduced, particularly during quiet sections of the
music. Tonality required extensive adjustment. The original recording had sections of harsh midrange and generally lacked the amount of bass commonly
heard in Rush recordings. There were also a few sections with excesses that were corrected as well. Both static and dynamic tonality adjustments were
made. Dynamics also needed extensive alteration. In general, Rush music from the 1976-80 era is quite powerful and full of dynamic changes. These
changes were accentuated as much as possible to maximize the dramatic character of the music.
As with all recordings, a few imperfections were found. Dropouts, skips and other minor problems were easily identified and corrected. Tracking
points were reset and then each disc was balanced and normalized.