I didn’t know that it would be my last album with the band. I was a little concerned about the direction they were heading in.
The keyboard-orientated thing was becoming more of a focus for the group, and it was becoming more of a challenge to make the guitars work along with these massive keyboards. But I think it works, and I’m very happy with the end result of that record.
There was a degree of pressure, coming off the back of Moving Pictures [which had proven to be Rush’s biggest selling album to date]. But I always felt very confident with Rush. They always had something new to bring to the table. We’d also done a lot of pre-production with Signals, so we all know where the tunes were going. I certainly didn’t have a problem with it.
Did Alex moan about the lack of guitar on the album? Not at the time. We were working with something we’d established. There were no conversations like that in the studio because we knew what we were doing with the guitars within the framework of the songs. It’s a case of knowing what you’re supposed to be doing and getting on with it. And I never felt there was an issue with the sound while we were recording the album.
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It was very different process to Fly By Night. But then it was seven years down the line – everyone had grown up, we were different people entirely, and we were coming off the back of our biggest hit. With Fly By Night we were breaking new ground. With Signals we needed to come up with a great record.
One of the reasons I didn’t go on to work with them after this album was that I felt their sound was changing so significantly. Also, Neil was getting into the electronic drum kit as well. And I guess I did have a concern that it wasn’t Rush anymore. Although, of course, New World Man gave them their biggest ever hit. And Signals paved the way for the manner in which their career would pan out throughout the rest of the 80s. So I guess I was wrong, ha!
I do believe Signals has held up great. I was a little concerned with the reggae aspect of it. It was a left turn for the band, but hey, you can’t be right all the time.”