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Rush - Moving Pictures CD (album) cover

MOVING PICTURES

Rush

 

Heavy Prog

4.41 | 1916 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Raff
Prog Reviewer
5 stars Rush's finest hour indeed - from the intriguing, red-and-black cover (nice pun on the title, too) to the magnificent music within, an essential piece of that rare phenomenon, high-quality '80s prog. With "Moving Pictures" the mighty Canadians manage to produce a record which is at the same time complex and accessible, richly textured and never predictable. The more metallic leanings of its predecessor, the excellent "Permanent Waves", are here replaced by a more typically prog feel, with rich layers of keyboards, intricate rythms and a guitar sound that is more atmospheric than biting.

The seven tracks on the album are so well-known that it would almost seem pointless to mention any of them. Anyway, MP can boasts one of the best opening tracks ever, the intense, multilayered "Tom Sawyer". Introduced by simple but elegant synth playing courtesy of the incomparable Geddy Lee (very busy on this album in his triple role as singer, bassist and keyboardist), the song is bolstered by Lee and Peart's stellar interplay. The following "Red Barchetta", though an excellent track with intriguing, sci-fi lyrics set in a world where cars have been banned, has never been a favourite of mine. Then the first part gets to a close with the double whammy of the magnificent (if a trifle overplayed) instrumental "YYZ" and Rush's take on the joys and pains of fame, the deceptively catchy "Limelight".

The remaining three tracks do not feature in live albums and collections as often as the others, which is a pity, as they are every bit as good and even (strictly speaking) more typically 'progressive' . The 10-minute-plus "The Camera Eye" is a streamlined prog epic about city life which showcases Lifeson's brilliant guitar work and Lee's vastly improved vocal abilities. In fact, this is probably the first Rush album in which Geddy shows unbelievers he can actually SING. The following song, "Witch Hunt", starts off with a brooding atmosphere punctuated by angry voices and ominous tolling of bells. Its lyrics are among my all-time favourites from the band, with its marvellous, all too true closing lines: "Quick to judge, quick to anger/ Slow to understand/ Ignorance and prejudice and fear/ Walk hand in hand". Here keyboards, drums and guitar complement each other perfectly, and Geddy's lower-register vocals add to the sense of menace. Finally, in the closing track, "Vital Signs", we see the shape of things to come - that is, the reggae influence that would come to the fore in the two following Rush albums, "Signals" and "Grace Under Pressure". Even though some people may turn up their noses at finding reggae rythms in a prog album, The Police were without a doubt one of the best and most influential bands of the '80s, and Rush proved their skill and intelligence when they chose to integrate those rythms in their sound.

MP definitely deserves its place as one of the top prog albums. It also stands to prove that the Eighties were a far better decade for music than they are given credit for. Highly recommended.

Raff | 5/5 |

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