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A Farewell to Kings

A Farewell to Kings
Studio album by Rush
Released September 1, 1977
Recorded June 1977 at Rockfield Studios in South Wales, UK
Genre Progressive rock
Length 37:13
Label Anthem
Producer Rush, Terry Brown
Rush chronology
All the World's a Stage
A Farewell to Kings
Singles from A Farewell to Kings
  1. "Closer to the Heart"
    Released: October 1977
  2. "Cinderella Man"
    Released: 1978

A Farewell to Kings is the fifth studio album by Canadian rock band Rush, released in 1977. It was recorded at Rockfield Studios in Wales, and mixed at Advision Studios in London.

A Farewell to Kings would become Rush's first US gold-selling album, receiving the certification within two months of its release, and was eventually certified platinum.

Geddy Lee originally wrote his bass lines on his acoustic bass. The birds heard on "A Farewell to Kings" and "Xanadu" were recorded outside near Rockfield Studios.


  • Critical reception 1
  • Track listing 2
  • Personnel 3
    • Additional personnel 3.1
  • Production 4
  • Charts 5
  • Singles 6
  • Remaster details 7
  • References 8

Critical reception

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic [1]
The Daily Vault A-[2]
Robert Christgau D[3]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide [4]

In the Q & Mojo Classic Special Edition Pink Floyd & The Story of Prog Rock, the album came #6 in its list of "40 Cosmic Rock Albums".[5] AllMusic's Greg Prato gave the album 3.5 stars (of 5), saying they "had improved their songwriting and strengthened their focus and musical approach." He took notice of the synthesizers that were creeping into the arrangements, "a direction the band would continue to pursue on future releases."[1] Conversely, Robert Christgau gave the record a D rating, calling Rush "the most obnoxious band currently making a killing on the zonked teen circuit." He compared them to bands such as "Angel. Or Kansas. Or a power-trio Uriah Heap (sic), with vocals revved up an octave. Or two."[3]

Track listing

All lyrics written by Neil Peart, except where noted, all music composed by Alex Lifeson and Geddy Lee, except where noted.

Side one
No. Title Length
1. "A Farewell to Kings" (Music: Lee, Lifeson, Peart) 5:51
2. "Xanadu"   11:05
Side two
No. Title Length
3. "Closer to the Heart" (Lyrics: Peart, Peter Talbot) 2:54
4. "Cinderella Man" (Lyrics: Lee) 4:20
5. "Madrigal"   2:35
6. "Cygnus X-1 Book I: The Voyage" (Music: Lee, Lifeson, Peart)
  • I. Prologue - 0:00
  • II. 1 – 5:01
  • III. 2 – 5:45
  • IV. 3 – 7:13)
  • 5:01
  • 0:44
  • 1:28
  • 3:12


Additional personnel


  • Arranged and produced by Rush and Terry Brown
  • Recorded at Rockfield Studios (Wales) during June 1977 by Terry Brown and Pat Moran
  • Mixed at Advision Studios (London) by Terry Brown, with assistance by Declan O'Doherty and Ken Thomas
  • Originally mastered by George Graves; Remastered by Bob Ludwig and Brian Lee at Gateway Mastering
  • Cover photography by Yosh Inouye
  • Art and graphic direction by Hugh Syme
  • Sleeve photograph by Roger Stowell, with liner photos by Fin Costello


Year Chart Position
1977 Billboard 200 33[6]
UK Albums Chart 22[7]


"Closer to the Heart"
  • Released: 1977
  • Written by: Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson, Neil Peart and Peter Talbot
  • Produced by: Rush and Terry Brown
  • Chart positions: #76 US Hot 100; #36 UK
"Cinderella Man"
  • Released: 1977
  • Written by: Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson
  • Produced by: Rush and Terry Brown
  • Chart positions:

Remaster details

A 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 through Permanent Waves are like this.
  • The remaster has all of the original vinyl packaging, including the back cover (all black with puppet strings) and inner sleeve photos of the band on stage. The star with man logo was reinstated after its absence on the original CD issue.

A Farewell to Kings was remastered again in 2011 by Andy VanDette as part of the three-volume "Sector" box sets, which re-released all of Rush's albums recorded for Mercury. In addition to the standard audio CD, A Farewell to Kings was also included on an audio DVD in the Sector 2 set, remixed into 5.1 surround sound.[8]

A Farewell to Kings was remastered for vinyl in 2015 by Sean Magee at Abbey Road Studios as a part of the official "12 Months of Rush" promotion.[9] The high definition master prepared for this release was also made available for purchase in 24-bit/96kHz and 24-bit/192kHz formats, at several high-resolution audio online music stores. These masters have significantly less compression than the 1997 remasters and the "Sector" remasters by Andy VanDette.[10]


  1. ^ a b "Allmusic review". AllMusic. Retrieved 20 September 2014. 
  2. ^ Thelen, Christopher (1999-04-16). "A Farewell To Kings". The Daily Vault. Retrieved 2012-07-31. 
  3. ^ a b "Robert Christgau Consumer Guide". Retrieved 20 September 2014. 
  4. ^ "Rush: Album Guide".  
  5. ^ Q Classic: Pink Floyd & The Story of Prog Rock, 2005.
  6. ^ chart position in the US"A Farewell to Kings".  
  7. ^ "Rush chart positions in the UK".  
  8. ^ "Andy VanDette On Remastering 15 Rush Albums". Retrieved 20 September 2014. 
  9. ^ "12 MONTHS OF RUSH: 14 ALBUMS FROM MERCURY ERA FOR RELEASE IN 2015". Retrieved 10 July 2015. 
  10. ^ "Rush - new 2015 vinyl and hi-res reissues thread". Steve Hoffman Music Forums. Retrieved 10 July 2015. 
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