Released in 1976, the album features an eponymous seven-part suite written by Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson, with lyrics written by Neil Peart telling a dystopianstory set in the year 2112. The album is sometimes described as a concept album although the songs on the second side are unrelated to the plot of the suite. Rush repeated this arrangement on the 1978 album Hemispheres.
2112 is one of two Rush albums listed in 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die (the other being Moving Pictures). In 2006, a poll of Planet Rocklisteners picked 2112 as the definitive Rush album. In 2012, the album came in at #2 on Rolling Stone's list of 'Your Favorite Prog Rock Albums of All Time', as voted for in a reader's poll, being one of three Rush albums included on the list (the others being Moving Pictures and Hemispheres).
The Toronto dates of the 2112 tour were recorded and released as All the World's a Stage in September 1976.
A deluxe edition of the album was released in 2012 as both a CD/DVD and a CD/Blu-ray. The CD featured the entire album remastered, as well as three live bonus tracks from their 1981 concert at Northlands Coliseum. The DVD and Blu-ray included the audio of the album in three different HD formats, as well as on-screen lyrics, liner notes, and a digital comic book depicting the story of the title track.
- 2 Reception
- 3 Track listing
- 4 Personnel
- 5 Production
- 6 Charts
- 7 Sales certifications
- 8 Singles
- 9 Remaster details
- 10 References
- 11 External links
Due to the relative commercial failure of their previous album, Caress of Steel, Mercury (their record label at the time) pressured the band not to do another album with "concept" songs. Caress of Steel contains two multi-part epics: the twelve-minute "The Necromancer" (side one) and the side-long epic "The Fountain of Lamneth" (side two).
By their own recollection, the band ignored this advice and stuck to their principles; the resulting album would become their first major commercial success, and ultimately a signature record. 2112 was released in March 1976 and peaked at #61 on the Billboard Top LPs & Tape chart, becoming their first album to reach the top 100. 2112 would eventually be certified gold on November 16, 1977, along with the band's then current releases A Farewell to Kings and the liveAll the World's a Stage. 2112 reached platinum status on February 25, 1981, shortly after the release of Moving Pictures in 1981, the latter being their highest selling record to date.2112 (song)
In the year 2062, a galaxy-wide war results in the union of all planets under the rule of the Red Star of the Solar Federation. By 2112, the world is controlled by the "Priests of the Temples of Syrinx," who determine the content of all reading matter, songs, pictures - every facet of life.
A man discovers an ancient guitar and learns to play his own music. Thinking he has made a wonderful discovery that will be a boon to humanity, he goes to present the guitar to the priests of the Temples, who angrily destroy it and rebuke him for unearthing one of the "silly whims" that caused the collapse of the previous civilization. He goes into hiding and dreams of a world before the Solar Federation. Upon awakening he becomes distraught and commits suicide. As he dies, another planetary battle begins resulting in the ambiguous ending "Attention all planets of the Solar Federation: We have assumed control." (This spoken section was created by Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson reportedly "messing around with a tape recorder.") In the "VH1 Classic Albums" series about the album, Neil Peart confirmed that he intended the ending to be a happy one as the people of the Solar Federation are liberated.
On the album, Peart credits "the genius of Ayn Rand." Rand, a Russian-born, Jewish-American novelist and creator of the philosophy of Objectivism, wrote a novella titled Anthem (itself adopted as the title of another Rush song, from the album Fly By Night) from which Peart borrowed the broad strokes of the plot. This caused the band significant negative publicity, labelling the band as right-wing extremist, the British NME even making allusions to Nazism.
The other songs on the album stand alone from the title track, with Lee and Lifeson writing lyrics for one song each ("Tears" and "Lessons," respectively). All other lyrics were written by Peart.
"Tears" would be the first Rush song to feature an outside musician. Hugh Syme, who would play keyboards on a number of Rush songs in the future, (e.g., "Different Strings" on Permanent Waves and "Witch Hunt" on Moving Pictures) contributes a multi-tracked Mellotron string and flute part to the track. "A Passage to Bangkok" and "The Twilight Zone" are songs typical of this time period of Rush. "The Twilight Zone" was written and recorded in one day, and is based on the show of the same name. "Something for Nothing" closes out the album, which of the song Peart states: "All those paeans to American restlessness and the American road carried a tinge of wistfulness, an acknowledgment of the hardships of the vagrant life, the notion that wanderlust could be involuntary, exile as much as freedom, and indeed, the understanding that freedom wasn't free. In the mid-'70s, the band was driving to a show in downtown Los Angeles, at the Shrine Auditorium, and I noticed some graffiti splattered across a wall: 'Freedom isn't free,' and I adapted that for a song on 2112, 'Something for Nothing.'"
The Starman emblem (also known as the 'Man in the Star' logo) was adopted by Rush fans as a logo since its first appearance on the back cover of 2112. Peart described the Starman in an interview withCreem magazine:
- "All (the naked man) means is the abstract man against the masses. The red star symbolizes any collectivist mentality."
With regard to the album, the 'collectivist mentality' referred to is depicted as the Red Star of the Solar Federation, which according to the plot is a galaxy-wide confederation that controls all aspects of life during the year 2112. The figure in the emblem is depicted as being the 'Hero' of the album. Hugh Syme, the creator of many of Rush's album covers, commented on the design: "The man is the hero of the story. That he is nude is just a classic tradition...the pureness of his person and creativity without the trappings of other elements such as clothing. The red star is the evil red star of the Federation, which was one of Peart's symbols. We basically based that cover around the red star and that hero."
The logo also appears on six other Rush album covers: on the backdrop behind Peart's drumkit in All the World's a Stage, their first live album released in 1976; in one of the pictures that is being moved inMoving Pictures; on Retrospective 1; on Archives, a compilation album released in 1978; on their 1981 live album Exit...Stage Left, in the background amongst symbols from all their previous work; on their 2003 compilation The Spirit of Radio; and on their 2004 covers album Feedback. It is also featured on the Canada Post stamp honoring Rush issued July 19, 2013.
The Audio-Visual Preservation Trust of Canada, a non-profit Canadian charitable organization dedicated to promoting the preservation of Canada's audio-visual heritage, has sponsored MasterWorks, which annually recognizes twelve culturally significant Canadian classics from the film, radio, TV and music industries. In 2006, 2112 was one of the albums chosen to be preserved.
One of the titles in the Guitar Hero franchise, Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock features the song "2112" in its entirety as seven different tracks. In the Quest mode of the game, the player receives the Legendary Guitar after finishing the 2112 chapter. Some of the venues in the game were inspired by the song. The narration in Quest mode of the game in the 2112 chapter is narrated by the band.
There is an achievement in Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate: Deluxe Edition called "2112". The achievement is obtained by collecting all of Batman's "RUSH Upgrades".
2112's story featured as the central theme in discovering the Third Key in Ernest Cline's novel Ready Player One. Referring to excerpts from the liner notes of the LP, the protagonist was able to solve the riddle.
- 2112 was included in IGN's list "10 Classic Prog Rock Albums".
- In a reader's poll held by Rolling Stone, it placed second on the list of favorite Prog Rock albums.
- Allmusic's Greg Prato (4.5 out of 5): "1976's 2112 proved to be their much sought-after commercial breakthrough and remains one of their most popular albums."
|1.||"2112*I. "Overture" (0:00 - 4:33)
|2.||"A Passage to Bangkok"||3:32|
|3.||"The Twilight Zone"||3:16|
|6.||"Something for Nothing" (music: Lee)||3:59|
|2012 Deluxe Edition bonus tracks|
|7.||"I. Overture (Live at Northlands Coliseum, 1981)"||4:31|
|8.||"II. The Temples of Syrinx (Live at Northlands Coliseum - Edmonton, AB, Canada, June 25, 1981)"||2:19|
|9.||"A Passage to Bangkok (Live at Manchester Apollo - Manchester, England, June 17 1980)"||3:57|
|2012 Deluxe Edition bonus DVD / Blu-ray|
|1.||"2112 audio (PCM Stereo)"||38:44|
|2.||"2112 audio (PCM 5.1 Surround Sound)"||38:44|
|3.||"2112 audio (DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 Surround Sound)"||38:44|
|4.||"Digital Comic Book (Interactive feature)"||N/A|
|5.||"Album lyrics (Interactive feature)"||N/A|
|6.||"Album liner notes (Interactive feature)"||N/A|
|7.||"Photo Gallery (Interactive feature)"||N/A|
- Geddy Lee – lead vocals, bass guitar, keyboards
- Alex Lifeson – electric and acoustic guitar
- Neil Peart – drums, percussion
- Additional musician
- Arranged and produced by Rush and Terry Brown
- Recorded, engineered and mixed by Terry Brown
- Mastered by Brian Lee and Bob Ludwig
|U.S.||RIAA||3x Platinum (3,000,000)|
|Canada||CRIA||2x Platinum (200,000)|
|"The Twilight Zone"|
|"2112: Overture / The Temples of Syrinx"|
|"A Passage to Bangkok"|
A Mercury Records remaster was issued in 1997.
- The tray has a picture of the star with man painting (mirroring the cover art of Retrospective I) with "The Rush Remasters" printed in all capital letters just to the left. All remasters from Rush throughPermanent Waves are like this.
- The remaster album art has all of the elements including the back cover, the story of 2112, lyrics, gatefold shots of the band and the star with man logo which were absent from the original CD.
2112 was remastered again in 2011 by Andy VanDette for the "Sector" box sets, which re-released all of Rush's Mercury-era albums. It is included in the Sector 1 set. 
2112 was remastered yet again, in various formats, including 5.1 for a December 2012 release. (21/12/12)