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Rush - Fly By Night CD (album) cover




Heavy Prog

3.36 | 1179 ratings

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3 stars Big changes all over this one. There is a huge jump in style and musicianship from their debut to this sophomore album.

Only a year had passed since the debut, so what changed? Well for starters, Neil Peart comes on board, and brings with him ridiculously sick drumming and a penchant for writing lyrics based in mythology, science fiction, and Ayn Rand. Once the 70's ended, Neil's lyrics shifted much more toward human nature, and subtle social commentary, but we get 5 years of great paperback style fantasy before that happens.

Now, Neil can't be given all the credit here. Rush would have developed as a band anyways. You have Ged and Alex who were already fans of Yes and King Crimson, so the progressive seeds had already been planted. Neil just came along and watered them with drumming and lyrics.

So what about the songs? You have the Rand inspired "Anthem," which rules and is one is one of the best short rockers they ever penned. You also have "Fly by Night," where you take mid-tempo pace + lyrics about travel = text book mid-1970's hard rock song. It could easily be formulaic, but it's not, and Geddy adds his shriek to make it a Rush special and remove any banality.

"Beneath, Between, and Behind" is a chanting anthem, and the chorus is sung while Neil matches each syllable with drum beats. It's impossible not to sing along to? "Beneath the noble bird, Between the proudest words, Behind the beauty, cracks appear, Once with heads held high, They sang out to the sky, Why do their shadows bow in fear". Great stuff.

This leads right into Rush's first multi-part suite, "By-Tor and the Snow Dog". This song absolutely kills it, and it introduces the crescendo into Rush's song writing, which they perfect later in songs like "2112," "Cygnus X-1," and "Cygnus X-1 Book 2". The Crescendo builds up, climaxes with drum beats, and then explodes at 7:33 into the song.

The other four songs are great as well, and I prefer them over anything on the debut; a great listen all the way through.

Not even close to their best, but awesome nonetheless. More at

RMR | 3/5 |


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