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Rush - Retrospective II (1981-1987) CD (album) cover




Heavy Prog

3.20 | 69 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

4 stars In my opinion Rush peaked with Permanent Waves and Moving Pictures, and although they pursued a more accessible approach in the 80s (as many did), they still managed to keep their musical and critical integrity. Being a Rush fan I was still curious about the material that was produced during this period (I wasn't for a long time). So what better way than get hold of Retrospective Volume 2 which covers the years 1981 - 1987. OK it contains three tracks from Moving Pictures but there are still 12 tracks from the four other albums to get to grips with.

We have Tom sawyer, Red Barchetta and Limelight from Moving Pictures. Subdivisions, The Analog Kid and New World Man from Signals. Distant Early Warning, The Body Electric and Red Sector A from Grace Under Pressure. The Big Money, Mystic Rhythms and Marathon from Power Windows. Time Stand Still, Mission and Force Ten from Hold Your Fire.

The Moving Pictures selections play it safe but these are still superb tracks. I am not familiar with the other four albums so I can't comment on the inclusion of one track instead of another, I suspect they play it safe also. However the collection still sounds pretty good and some of the tracks are not that short with several over 5 minutes. You also still need to listen to them a few times to become familiar.

Some unexpected highlights are Marathon with a powerful symphonic keyboard motif and some superb bass work from Lee. The Mission also achieves a satisfying symphonic sweep with the keyboards and has an inspired solo from Lifeson at the end its all too short though.

I also especially like The Body Electric which has a catchy bass riff and Red Sector A with some insightful lyrics and an urgent synth rhythm underpinning the need to stay alive.

The only song I didn't care for was New World Man. It starts of with a comedic synth riff and never recovers from this. The reggae rhythm is usual but still not enough

For Rush fans wanting to check out the 80s albums and don't want to splash out on the individual albums this is definitely a good choice. I enjoyed most of the songs but ultimately I found they were just not as compelling as their prog material. This collection is still worth four stars though.

jimpetrie2000 | 4/5 |


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