October 1978 . 6th Studio Recording

A Farewell to Kings 1977 Permanent Waves 1980

About Hemispheres

Hemispheres was recorded at Rockfield Studios in Wales and mixed at Trident Studios in London in 1978. It was the last of two albums the band recorded in the U.K. before returning to Canada. The record explores the political, social economic, and sci-fi themes prevalent on their early work, continuing the saga of “Cygnus” from A Farewell To Kings.

Similar to 2112, Hemispheres features a single, epic song broken into chapters as the first side of the album (“Cygnus X-1, Book II: Hemispheres”). The album also features the instrumental, “La Villa Strangiato.” According to Geddy, the song was based on Alex’s frequent nightmares:

“Alex doesn’t really call them nightmares. They’re just strange dreams. He’s plagued with them and he drives us crazy by calling us up all the time to tell us about them until we just say ‘Stop, you’re giving me a headache.'”

  • Credits
  • Liner Notes
  • Awards/Chart Positions


Produced by

Rush and Terry Brown


Rush and Terry Brown


Pat Moran

Engineer (vocals)

Declan O'Doherty

Engineer (mixing)

Terry Brown
John Brand

Mastered by

Ray Staff at Trident
Later remastered by Bob Ludwig and Brian Lee
Gateway Mastering Studios
Portland Maine


Hugh Syme

Art Direction

Hugh Syme
Bob King

Cover photography

Yosh Inouye

Inner sleeve and poster photography

Fin Costello


Ray Danniels
SRO Productions

Executive Production

Moon Records

Liner Notes

Alex Lifeson – Six and twelve string electric and acoustic guitars, classical guitar, Roland guitar synthesizer, Taurus pedals
Neil Peart – Drums, orchestra bells, bell-tree, tympani, gong, cowbells, temple blocks, wind chimes, crotales
Geddy Lee – Bass guitar, Mini-Moog, Oberheim polyphonic, Taurus pedals, vocals

Recorded at Rockfield Studios
June and July 1978

Vocals recorded at Advision Studios

Mixed at Trident Studios
Soho, London
August 1978
Tape Operators: Simon Hilliard, Mike Donegoni, and Reno Ruocco

This album was processed through the Duffoscope!

Roadmaster and Lighting Director: Howard (Herns) Ungerleider
Concert Sound Engineer and Crew Co-ordinator: Major Ian Grandy
Stage Manager: Michael (Lurch) Hirsh
Stage Right technician: Liam (Leaf) Birt
Stage Left technician: Skip (Slider) Gildersleeve
Centre Stage technician: Larry (Shrav) Allen
Guitar and synthesizer maintenance: Tony (Jack Secret) Geranios

Concert sound: National Sound and Electrosound (U.K.)
Concert Lighting: by See Factor
Concert visuals produced by: Rush and Nick Prince
Projectionist: Harry (keep the change) Dilman
Those daring drivers!: Bruce (The Pin) Aldrich (Howdy howdy!), Jwerg (Ah think Ah see the problem!) Hoadley, Mike (Say Guy!) Morrison, and Tom (Zig-Zag) Whittaker

 The Wonderful Persons List

Austen Fagen, Abe Schon, The UFO’S, the Max Websters, the Pat Travers Band, the Monks, Bert the driver, Fin Costello, Ruke Bernstein, Joe Bombase, Young Ward, Jerry Mickelson, Arny Granat, Bubble and Squeak, all at SRO and all at Rockfield, Advision, and Trident

© 1978 Mercury Records
© 1978 Anthem Entertainment


Billboard Top LPs & Tape
Certified Gold by RIAA
December 14, 1978
Certified Platinum by RIAA
December 1, 1993

Cygnus X-1 Book Two: Hemispheres

Music: Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson
Lyrics: Neil Peart

I. Prelude

When our weary world was young
The struggle of the ancients first began
The gods of Love and Reason
Sought alone to rule the fate of Man

They battled through the ages
But still neither force would yield
The people were divided,
Every soul a battlefield…

II. Apollo Bringer of Wisdom

‘I bring truth and understanding,
I bring wit and wisdom fair,
Precious gifts beyond compare.
We can build a world of wonder,
I can make you all aware’

‘I will find you food and shelter,
Show you fire to keep you warm
Through the endless winter storm.
You can live in grace and comfort
In the world that you transform’

The people were delighted
Coming forth to claim their prize
They ran to build their cities
And converse among the wise

But one day the streets fell silent
Yet they knew not what was wrong
The urge to build these fine things
Seemed not to be so strong

The wise men were consulted
And the Bridge of Death was crossed
In quest of Dionysus
To find out what they had lost…

III. Dionysus Bringer of Love

‘I bring love to give you solace
In the darkness of the night
In the Heart’s eternal light
You need only trust your feelings
Only Love can steer you right’

‘I bring laughter, I bring Music,
I bring joy and I bring Tears
I will soothe your primal fears
Throw off those chains of Reason
And your prison disappears’

The cities were abandoned
And the forests echoed song
They danced and lived as brothers
They knew Love could not be wrong

Food and wine they had aplenty
And they slept beneath the stars
The people were contented
And the Gods watched from afar

But the winter fell upon them
And it caught them unprepared
Bringing wolves and cold starvation
And the hearts of men despaired…

IV. Armageddon The Battle of Heart and Mind

The Universe divided
As the Heart and Mind collided
With the people left unguided
For so many troubled years
In a cloud of doubts and fears
Their world was torn asunder into hollow hemispheres

Some fought themselves, some fought each other
Most just followed one another
Lost and aimless like their brothers
For their hearts were so unclear
And the truth could not appear
Their spirits were divided into blinded hemispheres

Some who did not fight
Brought tales of old to light
My Rocinante sailed by night
On her final flight

To the heart of Cygnus’ fearsome force
We set our course.
Spiralled through that timeless space
To this immortal place

V. Cygnus Bringer of Balance

I have memory and awareness
But I have no shape or form
As a disembodied spirit
I am dead and yet unborn

I have passed into Olympus
As was told in tales of old
To the City of Immortals
Marble white and purest gold

I see the Gods in battle rage on high
Thunderbolts across the sky
I cannot move, I cannot hide
I feel a silent scream begin inside

Then all at once the chaos ceased
A stillness fell, a sudden peace
The Warriors felt my silent cry
And stayed their struggle, mystified

Apollo was astonished
Dionysus thought me mad
But they heard my story further
And they wondered, and were sad

Looking down from Olympus
On a world of doubt and fear
Its surface splintered into
Sorry hemispheres.

They sat a while in silence
Then they turned at last to me
‘We will call you Cygnus
The God of Balance you shall be’

VI. The Sphere A Kind of Dream 

We can walk our road together
If our goals are all the same
We can run alone and free
If we pursue a different aim

Let the truth of Love be lighted
Let the love of truth shine clear
Armed with sense and liberty
With the Heart and Mind united
In a single perfect sphere

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