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Rush - Caress Of Steel CD (album) cover




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3.54 | 1205 ratings

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3 stars "Caress of Steel" is the 3rd full-length studio album by Canadian progressive rock act Rush. The album was released through Mercury Records in September 1975, only 7 months after the release of "Fly By Night (1975)". "Caress of Steel" initially didnīt fare too well and sold less copies than "Fly By Night (1975)", and the tour supporting the album had low attendance. Rush considered calling it quits at this point (or at least feared that they would be forced to), but they soldiered on and subsequently found commercial and artistic success with their next album "2112 (1976)".

Although "Fly By Night (1975)" certainly wasnīt a stylistic consistent album, "Caress of Steel" is even more diverse, and not exactly loaded with radio friendly material either. The inclusion of "The Necromancer" and "The Fountain of Lamneth", which are both 10 minutes plus epics (the latter is just short of 20 minutes long) probably didnīt help gain the band more fans. Not that there werenīt progressive rock fans who enjoyed these types of tracks, but Rush was at this point still more known as a hard rock act rather than a progressive rock act, and their fans probably needed a bit more time to adjust to their new direction.

In addition to the two epics, "Caress of Steel" also features three "regular" length (3 to 5 minutes long) tracks in "Bastille Day", "I Think I'm Going Bald", and "Lakeside Park". The latter is not the most interesting Rush track, and while itīs not bad as such, it just seems to go nowhere and Iīll be a bit harsh and call it a filler track. "Bastille Day" on the other hand is a heavy energetic rocker with metal leanings, and "I Think I'm Going Bald" is a humorous hard rocking track with a charming rockīnīroll swagger. "I Think I'm Going Bald" is the only track on "Caress of Steel" which points backwards to their Led Zeppelin influenced early recordings. So stylistically "Caress of Steel" is a bit all over the place and therefore very much a transition album, where the arrow is pointing in a progressive rock direction rather than a hard rock direction, where the scale tipped the other way on "Fly By Night (1975)".

The musicianship is high class on all posts. Geddy Lee is a brilliant bassist and a skilled and distinct sounding vocalist too. Alex Lifesonīs guitar playing has improved too and his performance here is both convincing and diverse. Drummer Neil Peart puts on a strong performance on the album too. His fusion influenced playing style suits the bandīs music perfectly. "Caress of Steel" is a well produced album too, featuring a warm, powerful, and organic sound. The production is handled by Rush and Terry Brown, just as it was on the predecessor.

So upon conclusion there are many positive things to say about "Caress of Steel", and although itīs not a perfect album in terms of featuring a consistent style and quality, itīs a bit of a shame it wasnīt received better by fans and media upon itīs initial release. But as mentioned above they probably just werenīt ready for Rush to be a progressive rock band yet, and had a hard time handling the transition the band were going through. To my ears the highlights of the album are "The Necromancer", "Bastille Day", and "I Think I'm Going Bald", while "Lakeside Park" and "The Fountain of Lamneth" are slightly less interesting, but a 3.5 star (70%) rating is still deserved.

UMUR | 3/5 |


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