Anthem Records Inc.
Release date
13 May 2008
Running length
11 tracks
Running time


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    Track     Duration Listeners
1 Show Don't Tell 5:00 36,362
2 Chain Lightning 4:33 22,074
3 The Pass 4:51 29,507
4 War Paint 5:25 20,801
5 Scars 4:07 20,821
6 Presto 5:46 23,599
7 Superconductor 4:48 20,730
8 Anagram (For Mongo) 4:00 16,579
9 Red Tide 4:31 19,535
10 Hand Over Fist 4:11 19,173
11 Available Light 5:03 19,364

About this album

Presto is the thirteenth studio album by the Canadian rock band Rush, released in 1989 (see 1989 in music). The album was recorded at Le Studio in Morin Heights and at McClear Place in Toronto. It was the band’s first album with their new label Atlantic Records which the band signed to in early 1989 after deciding not to renew its contract with Mercury/PolyGram Records. The Atlantic label gave Rush creative control over its future musical direction. Intended to be co-produced with Peter Collins, who had produced the previous two studio albums, Power Windows and Hold Your Fire, he reluctantly declined the offer for personal reasons. An objective ear was found in Rupert Hine, who may have contributed to the record’s relatively dark, reverb-heavy sound.

Musical style and direction
The album is generally held by fans to have marked the beginning of a transition period, wherein the synthesizer-heavy songwriting of the 1980s began to give way to a more guitar-oriented sound in later releases. At the very least, synthesizers and sequencers are generally used in a more discreet fashion compared to previous records. “Chain Lightning”, “Scars”, “Anagram (for Mongo)” and “Red Tide” still feature keyboards as a prominent instrument, but other songs like “Show Don’t Tell” and “Superconductor” are more guitar-motivated. Additionally, “Available Light” and “Red Tide” represent some of the few Rush songs to contain significant piano usage. Bass lines continue to follow the usual Rush style, however, “The Pass” is driven heavily by bass guitar chords.

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  • KeIemvor

    No, it's definitely not pop. If you want pop, listen to HYF or RTB. And this is easily better than any of the 90s albums.

    26 Dec 2014 Reply
  • dr_bun

    this is a pop album, I do not in anyway mean that as derogatory but the tags are stupid this is pop through and through

    17 Jun 2014 Reply
  • dr_bun

    I'm 99.9% sure this is my least favourite rush album

    20 Apr 2014 Reply
  • dr_bun

    and superconductor is a real clanger imo

    20 Apr 2014 Reply
  • dr_bun

    does that make sense?

    20 Apr 2014 Reply
  • JMFG2112

    v Terrible album cover? Seems you're not a real Rush fan at all.

    28 Mar 2014 Reply
  • dr_bun

    such a terrible album cover

    16 Mar 2014 Reply
  • Phyllobius

    Apart from the dated production this is still a fantastic masterpiece.

    21 Aug 2013 Reply
  • lonelyfurrow

    Interesting to read the different views on Presto. Looks like a love/hate album. Personally it never did anything for me and still doesn't. There's a couple of good tracks (Show Don't Tell & Superconductor) but most if it just passes me by and I very rarely listen to it anymore.

    23 May 2013 Reply
  • mikeonet

    Hand Over Fist!!!

    20 Apr 2013 Reply
  • Sanity_Theorist

    Funny tags...tried hard to get into this album, but nothing doing.

    2 Feb 2013 Reply
  • bensommermusic

    I am a freak of a Rush fan, cause this is my favorite album of theirs :)

    25 Aug 2012 Reply
  • mtw900

    When I first heard this album I thought it was their worst album. but after giving it another listen it isn't that bad. It would have probably sounded better if they eliminated all of the synth parts. Of course then it would probably be more boring.

    16 Aug 2012 Reply
  • iron345

    Kelemvor got it right - super thin, sterile and lifeless. Their worst album alongside TfE. Power trio becomes limp trio. The Pass is excellent but apart from that it's pretty dire for a Rush album.

    11 Aug 2012 Reply
  • KeIemvor

    Signals and Grace Under Pressure? Not really. synth =/= pop. Also I wasn't saying that the music sounds like pop, just the production would fit more to a pop album.

    27 Apr 2012 Reply
  • KeIemvor

    It's not about the dynamics. It's about the super thin, sterile, lifeless sound. It sounds so plastic and they just stripped Rush of their balls. It basically has the sound of a pop album.

    5 Apr 2012 Reply
  • nicolasbj

    "good production" lol'd hard. (2)

    1 Apr 2012 Reply
  • wilson_cobain

    This is the most underrated album ever. [2] Never heard of it on any media, never heard of it even in the documentaries. so glad i discovered

    30 Dec 2011 Reply
  • JMFG2112

    Dreamers turn to look at the stars

    26 Sep 2011 Reply
  • B_Hammock

    I've never heard drums been described as plasticky until now, thanks man.

    15 Sep 2011 Reply
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