2112 (album)

2112 (album)
Studio album by Rush
Released April 1, 1976[1]
May 6, 1997 (remastered CD)
Recorded Toronto Sound Studios in Toronto, February 1976
Genre Progressive rock, hard rock, heavy metal, progressive metal
Length 38:46
Label Anthem
Producer Rush and Terry Brown
Rush chronology
Caress of Steel
All the World's a Stage

2112 (pronounced "twenty-one twelve") is the fourth studio album by Canadian rock band Rush, 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 dystopian story 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 Rock listeners picked 2112 as the definitive Rush album.

The Toronto dates of the 2112 tour were recorded and released as All The World's a Stage in September 1976.


The album


Due to the relative commercial failure of their previous album, Caress of Steel, the record label is said to have pressured the band not to do another album with "concept" songs. Caress of Steel contains two multi-part epics: the 12-minute "The Necromancer" (side one) and the side-long epic "The Fountain of Lamneth" (side two).

By their own recollection, the band stuck to their principles and recorded what would become their first commercial success, and ultimately a signature record. 2112 was released in March 1976 and landed on the Billboard Hot 100 album chart, becoming their first album to reach the Billboard 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 live All 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 biggest selling record to date.


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 a guitar and learns to play different music. When he goes to present this to the priests of the Temples, they destroy the guitar. 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".)

On the album, Neil Peart credits "the genus [sic] of Ayn Rand." Rand, a Russian-born American novelist and creator of the philosophy Objectivism, wrote a novella entitled 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.

Remaining songs

The other songs on the album stand alone from the title track, with Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson writing lyrics for one song each ("Tears" and "Lessons", respectively). All other lyrics were penned 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. "Something for Nothing" closes out the album. Neil 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'".

Starman emblem

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 with Creem 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 Neil'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 in Moving 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.

Cultural significance

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 12 culturally significant Canadian classics from the film, radio, TV and music industries. In 2006, 2112 was one of the albums chosen to be preserved.

Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock

The newest title 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.


Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4.5/5 stars[2]
Sputnikmusic 4.5/5 stars[3]
Music Emissions (favorable)[4]

Track listing

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

  1. "2112" – 20:33
    • I: "Overture" – 4:33 (0:00—4:33)
    • II: "The Temples of Syrinx" – 2:12 (4:33—6:45)
    • III: "Discovery" (music: Lifeson) – 3:29 (6:45—10:14)
    • IV: "Presentation" (music: Lifeson) – 3:42 (10:14—13:56)
    • V: "Oracle: The Dream" – 2:00 (13:56—15:56)
    • VI: "Soliloquy" – 2:21 (15:56—18:17)
    • VII: "Grand Finale" – 2:14 (18:17—20:33)
  2. "A Passage to Bangkok" – 3:34
  3. "The Twilight Zone" – 3:17
  4. "Lessons" (Lifeson) – 3:51
  5. "Tears" (Lee) – 3:33
  6. "Something for Nothing" (music: Lee) – 3:58



Additional musician


  • Arranged & Produced By Rush & Terry Brown
  • Recorded, Engineered & Mixed By Terry Brown
  • Mastered By Brian Lee & Bob Ludwig



Billboard (USA)

Year Chart Position
1976 Pop Albums 61

Sales certifications

Country Organization Sales
U.S. RIAA 3x Multi-Platinum (3,000,000)[5]


"The Twilight Zone"
  • Released:
  • Written by: Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson & Neil Peart
  • Produced by: Rush and Terry Brown
  • Chart positions:
"2112: Overture/The Temples of Syrinx"
  • Released:
  • Written by: Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson & Neil Peart
  • Produced by: Rush and Terry Brown
  • Chart positions:
"A Passage to Bangkok"
  • Released:
  • Written by: Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson & Neil Peart
  • Produced by: Rush and Terry Brown
  • Chart positions:

Remaster details

Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab issued a Gold CD remaster in 1993, currently out of print.[6]

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 through Permanent 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.


External links

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