Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
Rush - Rush CD (album) cover




Heavy Prog

2.93 | 991 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars A Rush of Page, Plant, Bonham and Jones to the head?

The opening bars will make you wonder where all of the Led Zep comparisons come from. On this, their debut, Rush show a mature and above all energetic style from the get-go, with good if inconsistent attention to detail and generally crisp execution - but a shortage of real progressive material and the continually emerging evidence of their main influence is what keeps this album from gaining the "Essential" mark and maintains it in the "Very Good 1970s Rock album" stable. The "copycat" label is not entirely unjustified, as some of those riffs sound amazingly familiar - but then the same could be said about the original source...

An almost saccharine-sweet flange and reverb drenched guitar passage from Lifeson is soon joined by Geddy Lee's fat bass, which lends a slight touch of aggression to the sound to take it into the bittersweet. The material develops and builds slowly and, to these ears at least sounds so far ahead of its time that I wonder why its prog nature is questioned at all.

When the big riff kicks in, the Led Zep comparisons suddely become apparent - but this is no mere clone, and there are also strong Deep Purple touches in here.

It's true that "Before and After" carries a standard song structure - but Rush play about with the format so wonderfully that we feel more open to anything they care to throw at us as the album progresses.

"Finding My Way" begins with a Zep-style riff, but quickly picks up into Rush's more unique style - and I'm suddenly put in mind of the later power-metal band Riot. This feels like a more standard rock song, but the drama is sustained and driven through texture and key changes that move surprisingly slowly, given the tempo of the song. Again, Rush play with the format, and develop a new idea in a surprisingly subtle way.

The tempo drops for "Here Again", showing a good consideration for presenting the material here as a complete album. An underlying blues feel is belied by the slightly awkward feeling in the arrangement. You can hear what Rush are trying to achieve, but the timing is mainly what kills it, and it comes across as under-rehearsed. Geddy Lee's emotive performance alas cannot save this low point - although I'd imagine that a die-hard Rush fan would forgive everything and just hear the great song underneath, which is understandable - unlike Lifeson's decidedly dodgy, aimless and in places, painful solo.

"In The Mood" is where the non-Rush fan might start to give up - if the previous song hasn't already done it. A standard little rocker on the surface, Rush nevertheless attempt to make it different to the run-of-the-mill, which is applaudable, but sadly doesn't really work. At least Lifeson's solo here has some direction, even if it's lacking in invention. The lyrics "I just wanna rock an' roll you woman, Until the night is done" indicate clearly where this song is coming from - emphatically non-prog.

"Need Some Love" is another simple rocker - but with a riff from hell around 1:30. A must hear for fans of 1970s rock (and why wouldn't you be, if you like Prog ;0).

"Take a Friend" is musically derivative, but Rush show attention to detail that was to become a hallmark of their developing style, with some interesting vocal harmonies and a commendably structured guitar solo. Rutsey does a passable Bonham impression to complete this Zep-fest.

You can pratically pinpoint the influence to the second album of that famous band in "What You're Doing" - an almost flawlessly executed piece of boogie that is enormously satisfying.

"Working Man", clocking in at 7 minutes closes as we began - a strong and original feeling piece that's almost in Prog territory, as interesting interspersions chop up the continuity of the riffs.

On the subject of riffs, it is the ubiquity of riffs on this album which place it firmly into proto- metal territory - in "Working Man", there is a Sabbath-like persistence and development that becomes a jam, in the traditions of hard rock bands such as Bakerloo and Cream with satisfyingly sustained build-ups and rhythm changes.

The burn-out is interesting too, as it carries a real flavour of spontaneity and everything that a great rock band does live about it - I could swear that some Motorhead songs end like this.

In summary, there are (probably) worse introductions to Rush, and if, like me, you like to examine a band's full history, this enjoyable debut will not entirely disappoint - but while it certainly enters Prog territory, it's not a Prog Rock album.

I suggest that if you're into Prog and not familiar with Rush (is there really anyone who isn't? ;o), then 2112 is a better starting place.

Certif1ed | 3/5 |


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Share this RUSH review

Social review comments () BETA

Review related links

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives