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Rush - Hemispheres CD (album) cover




Heavy Prog

4.37 | 2483 ratings

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4 stars This is Rush's finest hour! Well, their finest 37 minutes to be exact, but who's counting?

Was there ever a longer year than the one from 1977 to 1978? A year I spent in eager anticipation of the conclusion to Cygnus X-1. For all I knew, this Canadian trio would make me wait more than 1 album before finally concluding the saga. (Yes, I led a very sheltered life I'm afraid!)

Anyway, Hemispheres did not disappoint me in any way, shape or form. It spun Part One's sci- fi tale in a direction I never anticipated, transforming it into a fable of cosmic proportions!

Another rock fable "The Trees" was the shorter (translated 'radio-friendly') AOR *hit* song from this album along with the beloved instrumental romp "La Villa Strangiato".

But it is Cygnus X-1's "Book II" that reached a height of stylistically diverse, yet still guitar dominated progrock achievement from which Lifeson himself would later retreat. It is almost as if he asked himself "How can I possibly top this?" Later albums would reveal a gradual increase in passion for timbral texture accompanied by a subtle subordination of lead lines and melodies.

Musically, each song is a gem. "Hemispheres" makes a convincing case for the potency that can be achieved by releasing only the most compelling material on a new album. Had this album been released today, I'm afraid the band would have felt compelled to provide 60+ minutes of music. I have little doubt that 23 of filler would dilute this album's impact.

progpositivity | 4/5 |


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