The last album produced by the then fourth-member of Rush, Terry Brown, Signals (September 9, 1982) marked yet again a major progression in the music of Rush as well as in the lyrics of Neil Peart. The pressure to produce something similar to the previous year’s Moving Pictures naturally proved immense, as they had never encountered such success. On the Moving Pictures tour alone, fan attendance doubled at concerts, and almost anyone in the American Midwest could hear one of three tracks from the album almost anytime on FM rock radio. But the three main members of Rush decided that a second Moving Pictures would be too easy. They had done that album, accomplished what they had sought to accomplish, and they wanted to take their music in new ways. In particular, Lee had become more and more interested in keyboards and composing on them. He never planned to become a “Keith Emerson,” but he loved the challenge the keyboards brought him.  Not surprisingly, especially given Lee’s interest and the learning curve he needed to understand and overcome regarding synthesizers, the keys employed on the album had either 1) a deep, booming bass sound or 2) an airy, soaring feel. Lee remembers:
I was getting bored writing. I felt like we were falling into a pattern of how we were writing on bass, guitar and drums. Adding the keyboards was fascinating for me and I was learning more about writing music from a different angle.
Further, he claimed, the keyboards allowed Rush to expand beyond the trio without actually adding a new member of the band. With Signals and the following concerts to support it, Lifeson claimed he felt “almost re-born” with the new sound.