Nine facts about A Farewell To Kings

Rush's classic A Farewell To Kings album was released this day in 1977. So here's a short reminder of a few related facts, just in case the subject comes up at dinner.

  • This was the first Rush album to sell half-a-million copies in the States. * The birds you can clearly hear on both Xanadu and the title track were recorded outside Rockfield Studios in Wales, where the album was made. * The lyrics for Cinderella Man are based on the classic 1936 screwball comedy Mr. Deeds Goes To Town. * Xanadu was inspired by the poem Kubla Khan by Samuel Coleridge Taylor. * Closer To The Heart was the first Rush song to credit an external writer. This was Peter Talbot, a friend of Neil Peart. * Cygnus X-1 Book I: The Voyage, which closes the album, is the first part of the Cygnus X-1 sci fi story. The second part, Book II: Hemispheres, opens the next album, Hemispheres. * Co-producer Terry Brown does the spoken word intro to Cygnus X-1 Book I: The Voyage. * A Farewell To Kings was the first Rush album to chart in the UK, where it peaked at number 22. * The earliest known live performance of any song from the album was when Xanadu was played on May 10, 1977 in Miiwaukee.
Malcolm Dome

Malcolm Dome had an illustrious and celebrated career which stretched back to working for Record Mirror magazine in the late 70s and Metal Fury in the early 80s before joining Kerrang! at its launch in 1981. His first book, Encyclopedia Metallica (opens in new tab), published in 1981, may have been the inspiration for the name of a certain band formed that same year. Dome is also credited with inventing the term "thrash metal" while writing about the Anthrax song Metal Thrashing Mad in 1984. With the launch of Classic Rock magazine in 1998 he became involved with that title, sister magazine Metal Hammer, and was a contributor to Prog magazine since its inception in 2009.