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Rush - Sector 1 CD (album) cover




Heavy Prog

4.15 | 48 ratings

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Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Sector 1 contains the long overdue remasters of the first four studio albums and first live album from Rush.

Touching briefly on the music which is well documented in reviews elsewhere, the eponymous Rush captures the band in heavy rock mode before any prog influences began to creep through. It's a good if unspectacular effort highlights being Finding My Way for its killer riff and likewise Working Man. Fly By Night was a more diverse effort. It also marked the arrival of drummer Neil Peart. The likes of Anthem continue the heavy rock of their debut but the first signs of prog appear with By-Tor And The Snow Dog. Despite some weaker moments such as the laid back Rivendell it marked an improvement with the afore mentioned By-Tor and In The End being particular highlights. Caress Of Steel saw the prog quotient upped considerably further with two tracks in particular, The Necromancer and The Fountain Of Lamneth capturing them in full prog mode. Caress Of Steel has its fans and while there's some good ideas going on in the longer pieces they are a little fragmented. Bastille Day is an excellent heavy rocker and the more reflective Lakeside Park is another welcome addition. Any deficiencies in Caress of Steel were clearly laid to rest on follow up 2112, their first album deserving of a full 5 stars. Alongside the excellent and sprawling full side title track the quality doesn't let up for the more basic second half with A Passage To Bangkok and Something For Nothing being the pick of the bunch. Rounding off this box set is All The World's A Stage which despite being somewhat raw in comparison to later live releases is still my favourite with a truly energetic and exciting performance of most of the best so far.

There can't be many Rush fans who don't have all these albums already (it's the third time I've bought most of these) but there's a marked improvement over the nineties remasters, the songs packing much more punch and having a livelier and brighter sound. If you're a fan it's worth the additional financial layout to buy again and the albums come nicely packaged inside the box in vinyl replica sleeves. Additionally we get a 5.1 mix of Fly By Night. I find the choice to do one album per box a little hard to understand and if only one then surely 2112 would be a more obvious choice? However that aside I remain as yet unconvinced about the benefits of 5.1 mixes and am likely to remain so at least until I have a 5.1 system to match my Hi-fi separates.

If you don't already own these albums then there's no better time to get hold of them, if you do and already enjoy them then the improvement in sound quality makes it worth buying again, after you have bought the superior Sector 2 of course!

Nightfly | 4/5 |


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