ConclusionForty years ago, Rush seized the start of the eighties to follow a new path with "Permanent Waves". Considering the musical progress that the trio has been showing since then, it can be said in retrospect that this modernization of the band's sound is an early indication of the survival instinct of the Canadians.
For that reason it is very unfortunate that the re-release of this crucial album is considerably less appealing than the earlier jubilee editions. The lack of a hi-res surround- and stereo-mix is definitely a great loss. Also the decision not to use a complete concert, but a selection of different concerts, is regrettable. The added value of the pricey 'super deluxe edition' therefore is not to be found in the music, but in the added trinkets. I suspect that this box will only find its way to loyal fans. After all, ordinary Rush fans can easily get along with one of the other versions, depending on their preference for the type of medium.
Live en Surround
In addition to the 2015 remaster of the original album, the bonus material is the main attraction of this re-release. Contrary to the earlier jubilee editions, however, this time we won’t get a registration of a complete concert. Partly due to the presence of both (book) volumes of Cygnus-X1, there is little or nothing to be said about the song selection. Considering a random setlist of a performance during the world tour of 1980, it is however very disappointing that we only hear a concise anthology of several concerts.
Loyal followers of the reissue program on the occasion of the fortieth anniversaries of Rush’ albums will have noticed that the surround mix hasn’t been covered yet. Because the original, multi-track masters since the bankruptcy of Trident Studios, the studio where the album was mixed, have disappeared without a trace (!), this set unfortunately does not contain a 96kHz 24-bit 5.1 surround mix.
The news gets even worse, because the lack of these master tapes probably led to the decision not to add a blu-ray to this set. This means that this ’40th anniversary edition’ also doesn’t have a 96kHz 24-bit stereo mix of the 2015 remaster. The absence of a blu-ray also means that we will have to do without the promotional videos of some tracks of the album.