TITLE: Caress of Steel
YEAR RELEASED: 1975
CHART ACTION: #148 US (and only #60 in Canada!)
SINGLES: Return of the Prince (part of the Necromancer), Lakeside Park
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Bastille Day
LINEUP: Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson, Neal Perst
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: A prelude to their prog-suite phase, and a record that caused a career crisis due to its failures musically and commercially.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: I was dreading how to put my feelings about this record into words. First there are absolutely two classics here (“Bastille Day” and “Lakeside Park”). There’s an absolute failure of a song where they tried to lighten up.
Then there are the two suites. “The Necromancer” meanders a bit, and has some nice segments and some segments that seem unfocused or pretentious (oh, if they’d get rid of the narration that’d be great). Then the entire second side was “The Fountain of Lamenth”, which really just sounds like a bunch of stuff stuck together even though there’s a story line. There’s no flow between parts, no connection. It’s Part A, then Part B, etc…
That last suite just bums me out, seriously. Record buyers stayed away, too, even in Canada.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: “I Think I’m Going Bald” was written for Kim Mitchell and his band Max Webster.
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: No
GRADE: C: Two classics, one song with some good parts, one absolute BS song, and twenty minutes of unfocused diddlying around. They’d rebound in due time.