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Rush - All The World's A Stage CD (album) cover




Heavy Prog

3.85 | 468 ratings

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3 stars Loud, live, raw RUSH! (Rejoice.) "All The World's A Stage" completes the first stage of RUSH's development, or as the band notes on the sleeve: "the end of the beginning, a milestone to mark the close of chapter one." And in time, the band's generous live documents would serve as signposts through their career ("Exit. Stage Left", "A Show of Hands", "Different Stages"). "All The World's A Stage" captures the essence of RUSH in the beginning, not the meticulously crafted sound of later live shows but a trio carried by the energy of the moment. In other words, what most bands sound like when they play live (since few had RUSH's uncanny ability, or desire, to faithfully re-create the studio arrangements as they did later on). The selections may sound a little rough around the edges (even on the digital remasters), but RUSH does shine on an inspired 12-minute version of "By-Tor and The Snow Dog" and a slightly edited version of the ""2112"" suite. What's nice about "All The World's A Stage" is the opportunity to hear the band cut through live versions of their earliest material like it really mattered (and it did): Four cuts from their first album, album tracks like "Lakeside Park" and "Something For Nothing", even "By-Tor." would have fallen by the wayside by the time most bands had released a live album. Issuing one early in their careers like this gives RUSH fans the opportunity to enjoy their first-phase music in its original context rather than as some posthumous archival release, and the difference is significant.

Still, as equitable an overview as it is, listeners would be better served by picking up the studio albums first, or at least "Fly By Night" and "2112". That way, you can appreciate the similarities and the differences between the originals and the live versions presented on "All The World's A Stage".

daveconn | 3/5 |


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