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Rush - A Farewell To Kings CD (album) cover

A FAREWELL TO KINGS

Rush

 

Heavy Prog

4.35 | 1548 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

lazland
Prog Reviewer
4 stars Rush, with the success of 2112, had become a huge band. Certainly in 1977 they were about the biggest live draw in classic rock in the UK, and I still have fond memories of the numbers of correspondents to Sounds music paper calling themselves By Tor.

A Farewell To Kings is, in every way possible, the natural follow up to the record that broke them, and it was also recorded in my home country of Wales. It starts off in fine bombastic fettle with the title track.

Full of fantastical lyrics, nods to poetry greats, mythical references, and commentaries on society, this is an incredibly good album, one that sounds as fresh now as it did when I first bought it. It's one of those towering works that never ages, and, unlike 2112, there is barely a weak link on it. Listening to the first of the two great epic tracks, Xanadu, you are very much struck at how good the synths utilised are, most definitely giving us all a glimpse of the future direction the band would take.

For now, though, this was, essentially, carrying the torch for epic classic rock at the time since the demise of Deep Purple and the sad decline of Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin.

Closer To The Heart remains, to this day, a huge live favourite and is a wonderful piece of music. I love the way that Neal Talbot (the band's first external collaborator) brings us his lyrics with a tale of how we can all pull together to forge a greater and brighter future. The other radio friendly track, Cinderella Man, is also an enjoyable track, and showed us at the time how a heavy rock band could forge together commercial success without jeopardising their artistic integrity. Madrigal is a pleasant, acoustic, interlude prior to the second major epic track on the album.

This is the album closer, Cygnus X-1, and is the type of track which the band did so well, full of sci fi and mysticism and heavy rock, prior to the eventual time when Peart realised he had had enough and that the band could not prosper in a new decade continuing to produce this type of music. It pulsates throughout. Witness the extremely good Lee bassline after the alien announcement at the start, through to guitar riffs and synth backing which clearly carry on where 2112 left off.

I've owned this album for over 30 years now, and I still get as much pleasure listening to it now as I did when I took it home as an excited teenager for the first time.

I will award this album 4 stars, although it is 4.5 in reality. Very close to being an essential masterpiece of progressive rock, this was the start of a sequence of excellent releases by this Canadian trio.

lazland | 4/5 |

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