Permanent Waves is Rush at their most technologically advanced...for the time being. Many Rush fans in 1980 were undoubtedly expecting Hemispheres 2 and what they got was an album nearly as excellent and far more unique. While the synth-sound would not be perfected on this album, it is still an essential release containing some of Rush's finest tunes.
The album was recorded at Le Studio, Morin Heights, Quebec, and was mixed at Trident Studios in London, UK. Permanent Waves became Rush's first US Top 5 album hitting #4 and was the band's fifth Gold (eventually Platinum) selling album. The album also marks a distinct transition from long, conceptual pieces, into a more accessible, radio-friendly style and consequently, a significant expansion in the band's sales with hits such as "The Spirit of Radio" and "Freewill" seeing considerable radio airplay.