Presto is the thirteenth studio album by the Canadian rock band Rush, released in 1989 (see 1989 in music). The album was recorded at Le Studio in Morin Heights and at McClear Place in Toronto. It was the band's first album with their new label Atlantic Records which the band signed to in early 1989 after deciding not to renew its contract with Mercury/PolyGram Records. The Atlantic label gave Rush creative control over its future musical direction. Intended to be co-produced with Peter Collins, who had produced the previous two studio albums, Power Windows and Hold Your Fire, he reluctantly declined the offer for personal reasons. An objective ear was found in Rupert Hine, who may have contributed to the record's relatively dark, reverb-heavy sound. Musical style and direction The album is generally held by fans to have marked the beginning of a transition period, wherein the synthesizer-heavy songwriting of the 1980s began to give way to a more guitar-oriented sound in later releases. At the very least, synthesizers and sequencers are generally used in a more discreet fashion compared to previous records. “Chain Lightning”, "Scars", "Anagram (for Mongo)" and “Red Tide” still feature keyboards as a prominent instrument, but other songs like “Show Don’t Tell” and “Superconductor” are more guitar-motivated. Additionally, "Available Light" and "Red Tide" represent some of the few Rush songs to contain significant piano usage. Bass lines continue to follow the usual Rush style, however, “The Pass” is driven heavily by bass guitar chords. "Scars" features a complex drum pattern in which both acoustic and electronic drums are utilized. The pattern was derived from a tribal rhythm Neil Peart experienced while on a bicycle tour of Africa (later chronicled in his first book, The Masked Rider: Cycling in West Africa). Peart has gone on to incorporate this pattern into his live drum solos. The song also features the use of a sequencer in place of, and often mistaken for, a bass guitar. According to Geddy Lee during the Rush in Rio concert, “The Pass” is one of the band’s favorite songs. Track listing All music written by Alex Lifeson and Geddy Lee and lyrics written by Neil Peart. "Show Don't Tell" – 5:01 "Chain Lightning" – 4:33 "The Pass" – 4:51 "War Paint" – 5:24 "Scars" – 4:07 "Presto" – 5:45 "Superconductor" – 4:47 "Anagram (For Mongo)" – 4:00 "Red Tide" – 4:29 "Hand over Fist" – 4:11 "Available Light" – 5:03 Personnel Geddy Lee - bass guitar, synthesizers, vocals Alex Lifeson - electric and acoustic guitars, backing vocals Neil Peart - drums, percussion Rupert Hine - additional keyboards Miscellanea The subtitle of "Anagram (for Mongo)" is a reference to the line "Candygram for Mongo" from Mel Brooks' Blazing Saddles. The song was originally titled just "Anagram". "Who is Mongo?" is one of the questions most frequently asked to Neil Peart about his song titles along with "What is the 'Gangster Of Boats Trilogy'?" from "Where's My Thing" on Roll The Bones. This was the first Rush album where Neil Peart's lyrics used American, rather than British/Canadian spellings; i.e., "favorite" instead of "favourite", which he still uses. As the album's title alludes to magical themes, some of the album's song titles refer to different magic tricks and associated phrases; "The Pass", for example, is a popular card trick. Charts Album - Billboard (North America) Year Chart Position 1990 The Billboard 200 16 Singles "Show Don't Tell" Released: Written by: Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson & Neil Peart Produced by: Rupert Hine and Rush Chart positions: #1 US Mainstream Rock "The Pass" Released: Written by: Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson & Neil Peart Produced by: Rupert Hine and Rush Chart positions: #15 US Mainstream Rock "Superconductor" Released: Written by: Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson & Neil Peart Produced by: Rupert Hine and Rush Chart positions: #37 US Mainstream Rock User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply.