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Rush - Fly By Night CD (album) cover




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3.36 | 1178 ratings

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Easy Livin
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars An owl? . . . or a mutant Budgie?

After what for many Rush fans was a false start, the classic line up of Lifeson, Lee and Peart (that sounds a bit like Emerson Lake and Palmer surely?) came together for this their second album. Neil Peart immediately gets his sleeves rolled up, contributing to the writing of all but two of the tracks.

By and large though, this is simply a natural follow on from the band's debut. The vast majority of the 8 tracks are simplistic heavy rock songs. The three tracks which open the album for example are straightforward toe tappers, with the familiar hints of Led Zeppelin, but little else to define them.

Only the nine minute "By-Tor and the snow dog" stands apart as something more substantial. The track retains the heavy, driving rhythm but the story telling lyrics and three part structure offer the reassuring proposal that the band are looking to move out of their comfort zone and to experiment with more complex themes. We also have in "Across the Styx" the first real indication that the band can be delicate. For me, the appeal of the song is largely confined to the potential it offers, rather than to the music itself.

The title track, which kicks off side two, is an early "Spirit of radio" type pop rock song. It is perhaps "Rivendell" though which is the most interesting track on the side. Once again, not because of the music per se, this is a pretty conventional acoustic soft ballad, but because it introduces another string to the bow. The closing "In the end" surprisingly continues the reflective acoustic mood until Alex Lifeson's lead guitar increases the volume if not the pace. Future albums would successfully bring together these new strands, merging them with the heavy rock roots of the band.

In all, a decent if unremarkable heavy rock album, which is notable more for the potential which flows from it, rather than the music itself.

I have seen Welsh band BUDGIE mentioned as a reference point for this album, and overall that is a useful comparison. It is though a mutant budgie which flies by night.

Easy Livin | 3/5 |


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