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Rush - Moving Pictures CD (album) cover




Heavy Prog

4.39 | 2934 ratings

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5 stars Go up to the average Joe-on-the-street. Mention the name Rush. One of two things will occur:

1/The person will look at you as if they have no clue what you're talking about,


2/The person will smile at you and say "Moving Pictures".


It's not the sales of the record, first off (although it has sold several million copies in North America alone). It's not even the fact that Rush, by then, were already legends and masters of their craft.

What makes this record is the fact that, unlike so much other prog that was starting to open its eyes to the harsh light of the 80's, Rush seemed ready to accept new influences such as reggae and new wave. While others (Genesis, Yes) seemed to drop prog in favor of pop, Rush carefully and skillfully balanced the two genres, and in doing so, they created a masterwork; one that has overshadowed their more recent records.

When taken as a whole, "Moving Pictures" is nothing more than a collection of seven songs. Dig a bit deeper, and those songs tell a story; not through lyrics or playing, but through melody, atmosphere and texture. While "Tom Sawyer", "Limelight" and "Red Barchetta" are the ones EVERYONE knows (and thus the ones to play for any budding Rush acolyte), I'm going to talk about a few other, less well-known songs from the disc.

Let's look at "YYZ", shall we? A simple (for Neil, anyway) cymbal bell melody paves the way for guitars, bass and drums to come barrelling through the door. Alex's guitars do a crazy tango, weaving melody and texture around the bass and drums, and all in a fairly straightforward tune. Then you get the solo, wherein he meshes tightly with his own rhythm track (Um, playing with himself...I guess), while keeping an autistic focus on the main riff which, by this time, has become so convoluted it's a wonder that the three of them didn't shake their heads and say to each other "What the hell are we doing?"

The longest track on the disc ("The Camera Eye", clocking in at nearly 11 minutes) is the one that the old guard cling to when they want to relive the days of Rush writing suites like "2112" and "Hemispheres". But even this tune, long as it may be, is (relatively) more concise and streamlined, telling the tale of someone who "feels the sense of possibilities; the wrench of hard realities...". The main riff snakes along so sexy, while the bass, drums and keyboards circle around it; it's a constant push-pull of sounds, rhythm, melody, texture and atmosphere.

Much like the record itself. Which is why it was a classic disc then, and will continue to be one. They have come close to it several times, but even Rush themselves will readily admit that they haven't been able to top themselves with one.

nahnite | 5/5 |


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