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Rush - A Farewell to Kings CD (album) cover




Heavy Prog

4.33 | 2289 ratings

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5 stars Rush's A Farewell to Kings showed a significant improvement in composition, performance, and production skills for the band. Inspired by their success with the 2112 epic suite, Rush continued in their progressive roots with science fiction themes and two more tracks timing in at over 10 minutes. Again, to keep record executives happy, they provided four shorter numbers, two of them (Closer to the Heart and Cinderella Man) receiving much radio play on the AOR stations of the time (and still often heard on my car radio today!).

Many considered Caress of Steel or 2112 as the breakthrough for Rush and although both albums really showed a band with much potential achieve much progress, A Farewell to Kings in my opinion granted them with their first masterpiece with some wonderfully dynamic musicianship and an increasing use of synthesizers increasing the depth to their developing progressive sound.

The key songs on this album are Xanadu and Cygnus X-1. The former is about the search for Xanadu, apparently a mythical place that grants immortality. It was inspired by Samuel Taylor Coleridge's poem Kubla Khan. Cygnus X-1 is actually the first part (Book I) of a duology which continues on their next album with Book II. The song leaves the listener hanging in that the explorer on his ship the Rocinante gets drawn into the overwhelming gravity of the mysterious Cygnus X-1 black hole.

A stunning album released around the time many prog rockers were streamlining their music into more popular territories. The first of several masterpieces, a must-have for Rush fans, and a great starter for those of you who have yet to hear the music of this great Canadian band. Five stars.

progaardvark | 5/5 |


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