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Rush - Moving Pictures CD (album) cover

MOVING PICTURES

Rush

 

Heavy Prog

4.41 | 1982 ratings

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UndercoverBoy
4 stars Rush is very notable in both the world of Progressive Rock and Hard Rock, as they merged both of these genres together quite well. They made music that you could bang your head and air-guitar to, but was still very complex and intelligent. Probably the greatest display of this merging was their 1981 album Moving Pictures (as well as Permanent Waves, which I view as its sister album.) This album Rush's biggest seller, and it's not hard to see why.

The album starts off with a hit with "Tom Sawyer." Anyone who has ever listened to Classic Rock radio is probably familiar with this popular song. The lyrics describe the titular anarchic boy, or anyone who resembles him in the modern day world. This is a very hard- rockin' song and it's a lot of fun, but like most of Rush's hits, it still has some complexity. Starting off an album with the hit isn't unusual, but unlike most other times this is done, there is still more the album has to offer after it.

"Red Barchetta" is a very positive and upbeat song. If you need a good pick-me-up song, look here. Very feel-good, and even a little progressive. Like many Rush songs, the opening is straight-forward, and then it goes to an instrumental interlude. The guitar and bass are very bouncy, and I particularly like Lifeson's solo in the middle of the song. Then, it returns to the main theme and ends.

"YYZ" is an instrumental, and a very good one at that. It opens with the ringing of some bells, and then it goes straight to an agressive riff. Then it goes onto the main theme, which is very memorable and catchy. A lot of changes happen throughout this song, and even though it's only 4.5 minutes long, it still manages to still feel very cohesive. This is a great instrumental, and a concert staple for good reason.

"Limelight" was also quite a big hit. Like Tom Sawyer, it's radio-friendly, but still superior to 99% of what you'll hear from popular bands from the 80's. This song has a very nice chorus, as well as a good solo section from Lifeson. Not terribly progressive, but a good Hard Rock song nevertheless.

"The Camera's Eye" is an 11-minute track, and as you would expect, it's the most progressive. It starts us off with some synths, and like many epics, it builds into something bigger. Then we go into a hard-rocking section, and Geddy Lee's vocals come in soon after. After that, the synths return, and then we go back to a hard-rocking section. Geddy Lee says it's his least favorite Rush track, but I consider it the best off the album. Probably because it's a mini-epic (longer song that's not an epic), and like many proggers, I've always had a soft spot for those.

"Witch Hunt" opens up with some percussion and a sneering audience (probably a reference to the Salem Witch Trials.) Then we get to the song, which isn't bad. It just isn't as memorable as the rest of the album. The synths are a little cheesy, the guitar is certainly better, making this probably the weakest off the album. Still decent, though.

"Vital Signs" closes the album. In the chorus, Geddy Lee has a stagnant voice, which make him sound like a robot, and I think that's kind of cool. His voice in this track is very nice, and it's a good song overall. A great way to end the album.

Overall, Moving Pictures was a great achievement by Rush. This album is recommended to Proggers and Hard Rock fans alike, as it has something for both. Personally, I don't think this is their masterpiece. I prefer A Farewell to Kings and Hemispheres, probably because they were their proggiest. Still, this album is a landmark in Rush's discography and gets an easy recommendation from me.

Four Stars.

UndercoverBoy | 4/5 |

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