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Rush - A Farewell To Kings CD (album) cover

A FAREWELL TO KINGS

Rush

 

Heavy Prog

4.35 | 1525 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

RMR
4 stars So when you hit it big with an album like Rush did with " 2112," you come into some money and fame.

As a band, you have few options here. One option is to spend your money on girls, drugs, and other Rock and Roll staples, a la Motley Crue and Cinderella for instance. Word of warning though, if you do this, just make sure you can keep selling enough albums to maintain your lifestyle? supposedly Michael Smith (Cinderella guitarist) was a multi- millionaire in 1988, and he now lives at home with this mom, supporting himself on nostalgia tours and eating Kraft macaroni and cheese (for the record, I love Kraft mac and cheese, so no real knock there).

If you're Rush, go you go a different route. You spend most of your money on new instruments and travel to Wales to record your follow up album. Case in Point. On the "2112" album sleeve Alex is credited with "guitars," Neil with "percussion," and Geddy with "bass and vocals". Pretty simple, right?

On the "Kings" album sleeve? it's a little different:

?Alex: Six and twelve string electric guitar, six and twelve string acoustic guitar, classical guitar, bass pedal synthesizer

? Neil: Drums, orchestra bells, tubular bells, temples blocks, cowbells, wind chimes, bell tree, triangle, vibra-slap

?Geddy: Bass guitar, twelve string guitar, Mini Moog, bass pedal synthesizer, vocals

Question is, was it money well spent? The answer is an astounding yes. Nothing quite exceeds the "2112" song from the previous album, but the album as a whole is much better and the new instrumentation is fantastic. It sounds much more layered, textured, and mature than anything else they had released to that point. It's their first truly progressive album, and they nailed it.

On to the songs. You have three epics "A Farewell to Kings," "Xanadu," and "Cygnus X-1". Some may not consider "Farewell" an epic in that it's under 6 minutes, but I do because of its multi-part structure and epic feel. These three songs are perfect 10's, and they are three of the best songs Rush ever did.

Some critics knock "Cygnus," but I'm not sure why. It's my favorite track from the album, and it's really a scaled down version of "2112"? and almost as good. It's structured like a musical staircase that just keeps climbing until it climaxes with Geddy signing the "X-ray is her siren song" section. The arrangement is very similar to the crescendo in "2112".

Everyone loves "Closer to the Heart,". It's a classic and still a staple in the live set. "Cinderella Man" is also great. They perfected this type of song on the next album with "Circumstances," but it's very enjoyable here.

The only weak song is "Madrigal". I get that it's slower and provides some diversity, but the music and lyrics just make think of "Puff the Magic Dragon". It's complete filler and drops the album down a point.

Best Rush album so far, but the best is still to come.

Oh, and the album cover is extraordinary and is one of their best, as is the Hemingway derivative title.

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RMR | 4/5 |

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