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Rush - Sector 2 CD (album) cover




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4.56 | 46 ratings

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5 stars Of the three Sector box sets, though others will no doubt disagree, this is the most essential one, containing the most exciting period in Rush's history. The sound quality has been significantly improved over the previous CD releases with a sharper and punchier sound breathing new life into these excellent albums. Alongside the five albums from A Farewell To Kings to their second live album Exit...Stage Left there's the addition of a 5.1 mix of A Farewell To Kings which I have to be honest, prefer the stereo version. This may however be in part down to the quality of my hi-fi far exceeding my surround system.

I've already reviewed most of these albums for PA already so briefly on the music A Farewell To Kings and Hemispheres are the highlights of Rush's exceptional recording career when they were in their most progressive phase, by now honed to perfection with essential longer pieces such as Xanadu, Cyxnus X-1 on AFTK and the side long title track Hemispheres on the latter. They even had a minor hit single on their hands with Closer To The Heart! The instrumental La Villa Strangiato demonstrates perfectly, if proof were needed, what virtuoso musicians they had become as it twist and turns through a series of complex changes.

By Permanent Waves it was clear that a change was in the air. Despite containing longer pieces such as Jacob's Ladder and Natural Science it was a much leaner affair. Nevertheless with tracks of the quality of The Spirit Of Radio and Freewill and the two previously mentioned it remains almost as essential as AFTK and Hemispheres. Moving Pictures can be seen as the companion album to Permanent Waves and regarded by many as the bands finest work. For me despite containing essential tracks such as Tom Sawyer, Limelight, YYZ and Witch Hunt it's the weakest of the four but only because of being in such illustrious company. It also features the dismal Vital Signs which saw the start of the change into the bands next phase with its Police influenced mock reggae.

Finally live album Exit...Stage Left lacks the raw aggression of All The Worlds A Stage but is a fine live document of the second phase of the bands career and loses some of the muddiness I always felt my vinyl copy had. Housed in attractive vinyl replica sleeves there's no better time to get these albums if you don't have them already. If like me you do the improvements in sound quality make it well worth getting them again.

Nightfly | 5/5 |


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