Sunday, December 6, 2020

December 6th, 2020 - Alt Hemispheres


Good afternoon and happy Sunday my friends!  Your drinking buddy the Meista here today with a pairing of the brilliant "Hemispheres" 40th Anniversary Edition by Canadian rock legends Rush and a delicious Alt Riedel Beer from TF Brewing Company!  This pairing is dedicated to the one and only Utah Beer Blog man himself, Mr. Mikey Riedel!  Cheers brother! 

Album Info:

  • Artist: Rush
  • Title: "Hemispheres" 40th Anniversary Edition
  • Recorded: Disc 1 recorded June and July 1978 at Rockfield Studios in Monmouthshire and Trident Studios in London, UK.  Disc 2 recorded live on June 4th , 1979 at Pinkpop Festival in Landgraaf, Netherlands and November 20th, 1978 at the Tucson Community Center Arena.
  • Release date:  (6th studio album by Rush)
  • Record company: Anthem / Mercury/ Ole 
  • Production: Terry Brown and Rush 
  • Album cover art: Hugh Syme  
  • Personnel: Geddy Lee (lead vocals, bass guitar, Oberheim polyphonic, Mini Moog, and Moog Taurus pedals), Alex Lifeson (guitar, guitar synthesizer, and Moog Taurus pedals), and Neil Peart (drums, orchestra bells, bell tree, timpani, gong, cowbells, temple blocks, wind chimes, and crotales)
  • Musical style: Hard rock, progressive rock 
  • Sound: Characterized by epic and flowing multi-movement song structures, complex rhythms, tempo changes, and time signatures, and amazing lyrics, "Hemispheres" is a breathtaking musical journey of intrigue and depth.  This is most definitely not background music!  As with all Rush outings, "Hemispheres" demands your attention! 
  • Major themes: The album contains a single, epic song broken into chapters as the first side of the album, "Cygnus X-1, Book II: Hemispheres," which is the continuation of the final track ("Cygnus X-1, Book I: The Voyage") from 1977's "A Farewell To Kings."  The song begins with an age-old battle between the god Apollo and the god Dionysus (depicted on the album cover) that is interrupted by the space traveler Cygnus, the bringer of balance.  The second side of the album is made up of 3 classic Rush tracks: the rocking "Circumstances" about disillusionment with a job, the witty "The Trees" about an upheaval in the forest, and the ambitious "La Villa Strangiato," their first instrumental release.
  • Tracks:  
Disc 1: 
  1. "Cygnus X-1, Book I: The Voyage"
  2. "Circumstances"
  3. "The Trees"
  4. "La Villa Strangiato"

Disc 2:

  1. "A Passage To Bangkok" (live at Pinkpop Festival: June 4, 1979)
  2. "Xanadu" (live at Pinkpop Festival: June 4, 1979)
  3. "The Trees" (live at Pinkpop Festival: June 4, 1979)
  4. "Cygnus X-1 Book II: Hemispheres - The Sphere A Kind Of Dream" (live at Pinkpop Festival: June 4, 1979)
  5. "Closer To The Heart" (live at Pinkpop Festival: June 4, 1979)
  6. "La Villa Strangiato" (live at Pinkpop Festival: June 4, 1979)
  7. "In The Mood" (live at Pinkpop Festival: June 4, 1979)
  8. "Drum Solo" (live at Pinkpop Festival: June 4, 1979)
  9. "Something For Nothing" (live at Pinkpop Festival: June 4, 1979)
  10. "2112" (live in Arizona: November 20, 1978)

Brew Info:

  • Brewery: TF Brewing Company (Salt Lake City, Utah)
  • Website:
  • Brew: Alt Riedel Beer 
  • Style: Altbier 
  • Serving: 32 ounce crowler can
  • ABV: 5.0%
  • Pour: The Alt Riedel Beer pours a clear mahogany red with an eggshell white, 1-finger, creamy head with good retention and soapy lacing.
  • Nose: The nose is toasty, nutty, and malty.  There are aromas of toasted multi-grain bread, roasted hazelnuts, roasted walnuts, herbal tea, German hops, and sweet toffee/caramel.
  • Taste: The taste of the Alt Riedel Beer presents a wonderfully balanced blend of bready, nutty, and malty flavors.  There are notes of roasted malts, dark toasted bread, roasted walnuts, black tea, burnt toffee, bitter herbs, and a hint of cocoa. 
  • Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied with moderate carbonation, the mouthfeel is crisp, yet very smooth with a dry, nutty, slightly bitter finish.
  • Note: TF Brewing brewed thAlt Riedel Beer in celebration of Mikey's Utah Beer Blog turning 15 years old recently.  Check out the blog here: Utah Beer
Overall pairing: For a monster prog-rock album with some really biting lyrics and riffs, you need a deliciously crafted beer that also demands your attention!  Those nutty, toasty and malty flavors of TF Brewing's Alt Riedel Beer make it a great companion to the depth, complexity, and sheer brilliance of "Hemispheres" 40th Anniversary Edition!  In other words, a damn fine beer for a damn fine album!  

Rock on my friends!  Cheers!!  

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