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Rush - A Show Of Hands CD (album) cover

A SHOW OF HANDS

Rush

 

Heavy Prog

3.46 | 305 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

UMUR
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars A Show of Hands is a live album release by Canadian progressive rock act Rush. The song selection on the album pre-dominantly represent the four studio albums released in the years 1982 - 1987: Signals (1982), Grace Under Pressure (1984), Power Windows (1985) and Hold Your Fire (1987) with only few excursions into the earlier part of the bandīs discography.

In addition to the power trio rock instrumentation of guitar, bass and drums, the album features extensive use of eighties keyboard and synth sounds which might not fall into everyoneīs taste. Personally I enjoy the very clinical sound of this period of Rush career. It suits the almost futuristic music that Rush played in those days well. The performance and the sound quality are simply fantastic. Rush are incredible musicians and they are able to 100% reproduce their music in a live environment. Not a wrong note or out of tune vocal part is heard on this album. Actually the songs at times sound a bit too much like their studio counterparts IMO. The production does have the effect that songs like Subdivisions, Turn the Page and Mission really come to live compared to their studio counterparts. Or in other words the songs from Signals and Hold Your Fire come to live. I have slight issues with the production on both studio albums and itīs really great to hear those songs with a powerful sound. The song selection is overall excellent making A Show of Hands a kind of best of eighties Rush album ( excluding the two early eighties albums which both had a very different sound when compared to the four albums predominantly represented here). The only track I miss here is Prime Mover from Hold Your Fire ( one of my alltime favorite Rush tracks), but I guess we all have our favorites and itīs hard to satisfy everyone.

The drum solo track The Rhythm Method doesnīt do much for me though. Itīs always impressive to hear great musicians play solo on their instrument but the experience is best enjoyed if youīre actually there and not on an album IMO. Actually itīs seldom I even enjoy it when Iīm present. Itīs usually when I go to the bar for more beer. Iīve never been much of a fan of Closer to the Heart which is one of the two songs on the album that represents the earlier part of Rush discography, the other being Witch hunt (part III of Fear) from Moving Pictures (1981). The first I could have done without while the latter appear here in a pretty great version that makes its studio counterpart sound somewhat pale in comparison. I could have wished for a better song selection from the early part of Rush discography but I guess most of the songs from that period are covered fine on the two previous live album releases by the band All the World's a Stage (1976) and Exit.....Stage Left (1981).

Rush arenīt the most daring live act out there and on A Show of Hands they seem more or less content with reproducing the sound of their studio albums. I could have wished for a more experimental or playful approach ( the many programmed synth parts make this impossible) but on the other hand the album does have some great qualities that earns it a 3.5 - 4 star rating ( just feast on that bass playing for an example of the high quality playing or the above mentioned powerful versions of songs from Signals and Hold Your Fire). The album makes a good entrance point to the eighties synth heavy part of Rush discography as it is as much a best of compilation for that period as it is a live album.

UMUR | 4/5 |

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