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Rush - Replay x 3 CD (album) cover




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4.08 | 138 ratings

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Cygnus X-2
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Rush always know how to please their fans, and this collection is definitely no exception to that rule. This collection, a compilation of three of their tour videos never released on dvd before comprises all the major 80s eras of Rush. You have the Moving Pictures era Exit... Stage Left, the Grace Under Pressure era Tour Video and you have the Hold Your Fire era A Show of Hands on top of all that. What you have in total is three plus hours of classic Rush material played at the height of their career. I'll describe the video and audio quality for each three as well as the strengths and weaknesses of it because I can't do that as an overall whole.

Exit... Stage Left is the tour video that spawned the live album of the same name (though the sets have many differences) and the promo video for Red Barchetta. The video quality is very raw but it only adds to the nostalgic value of the video. The audio is also crisp and was nicely balanced and remastered for this collection. The set itself is comprised of the first half of Moving Pictures (Tom Sawyer, Red Barchetta, YYZ, Limelight) and a nice mix of previous albums. The real treat here is Xanadu, in which you get the only official video performance of Geddy Lee playing his double neck Rickenbacker. The spoken interludes also give a little insight into the group's feelings towards touring and all walks of life.

Grace Under Pressure Tour 1984 is the second video of the set, filmed at the height of their GUP tour. This set features the entire Fear trilogy played in sequence (The Enemy Within/The Weapon/Witch Hunt), each piece being performed perfectly and the intro to The Weapon (courtesy of Count Floyd) offers a little humor to the crowd. The video as Menswear wrote above me has a bit of a greasy look to it, but once again the quality is very good, and the audio is once again well balanced and the remaster gives it a meatier sound. Tracks worth mentioning are the Fear Trilogy and the final two medleys. The first combines YYZ with Temples of Syrinx and Tom Sawyer and the group flow seamlessly through the songs, and Lifeson really gets into it. The second combines Vital Signs with Finding My Way and In the Mood (the classic Rush concert closer). Once again, they flow really well together and Geddy and Alex seem to have a blast during this one.

The final video for this collection is the tour video for A Show of Hands. This presentation here visually and aurally is also top quality, with lush video presentation (plenty of shots of everybody) and crisp audio. This being the longest video has the most to offer. Despite Hold Your Fire being the weakest album Rush has done (in my opinion of course) they chose to play the good songs off of it, and the Power Windows stuff is also high energy. My complaint about this set is that they didn't get songs like Subdivisions or Mystic Rhythms, which would have been perfect for a video collection like this. My favorite piece of the set is the medley at the end (Rush are very good with their medleys I must say), which combines the Overture of 2112 with the middle section of La Villa Strangiato (in which Lifeson speaks but a disclaimer on the screen says that what he's saying is obscene), and rounded off with the closer In the Mood. Lifeson really gets into the show the entire time, doing his usual off the wall antics on stage and you can see the enjoyment of that on Geddy and Neil's faces.

But that's not all! As an added bonus, the group decided to release a cd format of the Grace Under Pressure video. What would have been great here would have been the entire show, but you can't always get what you want. Now, the videos and the cd aren't the only cool things. The set also comes with replications of the tour books for each of the videos. They are sleek, they are informative, and they are fun to read. The packaging, though, is a bit underwhelming with the layout of the discs being in such a way that you have to take out one disc to get another one.

In the end, Rush's most recent video release is amongst their best. It's not a masterpiece, though, there are some minor things here and there that I fault this set with. Despite the sleek and intuitive presentation, the packaging is a bit underwhelming, and the sets on each of the videos feel a bit samey with a few songs actually played on all three of them. Despite those minor faults, this video collection is a must have for any Rush fan and it gets a strong recommendation from me. 4.5/5.

Cygnus X-2 | 4/5 |


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