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Rush - All The World's A Stage CD (album) cover




Heavy Prog

3.85 | 468 ratings

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Cygnus X-2
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars This is Rush's first outing is recorded live performances, and it is an impressive one at that. The band played with energy and finesse that you don't see on any of the later albums. Geddy had the earth shaking Rickenbacker, Alex used his array of guitar effects and his precision playing, and Neil was playing his heart out. Who could ask for more?

This album was recorded during two shows on the 2112 tour, and it sounds utterly amazing. They open in classic fashion with Bastille Day, their most rocking tune from Caress of Steel. Lifeson really shines here with precision playing, and a killer solo. This album really is a collection of all the good tunes from their first three albums, for the next four tracks are among my favorite Rush songs. Anthem is played with the same ferocity and precision bass playing that no one can't help but feel in a state of awe as Lifeson uses the wah pedal with precision. Fly By Night/In the Mood is a great medley that combines the two tracks, while not the best medley they ever did, it was still pretty good. Something for Nothing is played exactly like it is on the album, nothing special there, same with Lakeside Park.

Once 2112 is up, you know you're in for a long ride. Not the 20 studio album ride, but the 15 minute live ride. That's right, they cut out two sections of the song, Discovery and Oracle. While it would have been nice if those sections stayed, the song still flows really well when they skip the parts.

By-Tor and the Snow Dog is the highlight track off of Fly By Night, and the extended version here is nice. During the quiet part in the song, Lifeson uses his volume pedal and creates an eerie sound. After the 11 minute opus, my personal favorite song off of Fly by Night is played. In the End starts off quietly, with Lifeson playing a clean guitar. Then after the introduction, the distortion/modulations kick in. During the introduction of the distorted guitar on the album, Lifeson overdubbed some high notes. Since he couldn't do the two at the same time, Geddy took the forefront with that, and it is a welcome addition. The Working Man/Drum Solo/Finding My Way is Rush also at their improvising best. Nothing much to say on that track. The finale, What You're Doing, is the most Zeppelin-esque track on the debut album, and here it sounds exactly the same. But they play the song with such feeling, that you forget about the Zeppelinisms.

Overall, Rush's first outing in recorded live material was a welcome one. It was not until Exit...Stage Left that they perfected they're live form, and it wasn't until Different Stages that they made a perfect live album. 4/5.

Cygnus X-2 | 4/5 |


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