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Rush - Fly By Night CD (album) cover




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3.36 | 1182 ratings

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Chris H
Prog Reviewer
3 stars Rush's transition album?

Most people of the general consensus find Rush's late 70's or early 80's albums to be their "transition period" albums, but I like to think of their second release, "Fly By Night", as their transition period. First off, the biggest transition and most obvious is the replacing of original drummer John Rutsey with the powerhouse and major creative mind behind later Rush albums known as Neil Peart. The other reason why this is a transitional album for me is that I noticed they are trying to break free from their "Zeppelin clone" image. Of course this change isn't entirely complete on this album, but songs like "By-Tor And The Snow Dog" certainly help break the ground for their change into progressive rock.

The album opens up with "Anthem", is very reminiscent of their debut album, and by that I mean a straight up, 4 minute, rock n' roll power song. "Best I Can", same thing. More power drumming, heavy bass riffs and guitar solos. "Beneath, Between & Behind" opens up in a similar style, but they manage to transform it halfway through and end up making it somewhat progressive, even though you can still hear the cymbal smashing of a true 60's rocker. Everything from that point on turns into complete progressive rock to the core, starting off with their "epic", "By-Tor And The Snow Dog". Set in four parts, this is as progressive as progressive gets, even if it isn't a favorite Rush song of mine. The progressive party continues to flow into "Fly By Night", one of my favorite Rush songs and one of their most recognizable. That opening intro is just pure brilliance, at least to my ears. The last three songs? Among the last 15 minutes of music I honestly could not find any high points. Sure, "Making Memories" is a nice song but it is incredibly out of place no the album, and none of the last 15 minutes is somewhat progressive.

This is one of those albums that you can listen to and think to yourself, "I'm glad I own this and I'm glad I didn't pay 15 bucks for it". By that I mean don't break the bank trying to find it, but if it's cheap or on sale you should make an effort to snatch it up. Not only is it the transitional phase for Rush, it is also Neil Peart's debut with the band.

Good, but could be better. 3 stars.

Chris H | 3/5 |


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