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4 stars Great tribute, plenty of well put together songs and artist combinations. You get plenty of people playing their tributes to Rush such as Slaughter, Dream Theter, Devin Townsend, Fates Warning, Steve Morse, Stuart Hamm, James Murphey, Billy Sheehan, Shadow Gallery. The play several selection of Rush's greatest times and songs. YYZ, Red Barchetta, and many many more great songs. Odd not hearing Geddy sing when the music is played so well I almost thought it was Rush. The Song selction isn't bad, not okay, but good. Deep down inside I wish they played a bit of 2112 and Xanadu, but Closer to the Heart and and The Trees will do in place. Now to say how the music played, all in all, this larg selection of artists played very well. They were tight and didn't make me angry, Rush wasn't slaughtered, but the statement came out as a well organized compliment. This is an excellent adidition to your collection, to hear where these great artist got their insperation from. 4/5 to a good tribute, I didn't put 5 because that not just because of selection. But though good the masterpiece doesn't go to these guys, but to the actual people that made the music (Known as Rush). Therefore, good, and well worth the look into!
Report this review (#101608)
Posted Monday, December 4, 2006 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Since this is basically a compilation of songs by RUSH performed by many musicians, it depends on what do you personally expect from this kind of thing. If you do expect that the musicians who cover RUSH would play very similar with what RUSH has played in their studio or live albums, this compilation is for you. It's a good one to represent RUSH for this purpose. In my case, I expect something like what MAGELLAN did for covering YES' "Don't Kill The Whale" in "Tales From Yesterday" compilation. They rearranged the song in completely different style than the original version so that I cannot first recognize. Of course there are parts similar with the original version. The best example of tribute song - so far - for me is KEVIN GILBERT covering GENESIS' "Back in NYC" in the "Supper's Ready" compilation. Oh man . that is the BEST tribute that I have ever heard!!!

For this compilation, there is no such song that reaches what MAGELLAN or KEVIN GILBERT have achieved but it does not mean this is a bad one. The opening and title track "Working Man" is actually better than the original version. The other track that I love is track 5 "La Villa Strangiato" where I can enjoy Steve Morse and Mike Portnoy work together, nicely. The other great performances are: "Jacob's Ladder", "Natural Science" and "YYZ". It's a good tribute to Rush. Keep on proggin' ..!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

Report this review (#105624)
Posted Thursday, January 4, 2007 | Review Permalink
3 stars I'm not normally a fan of tribute albums, but occasionally one impresses me. Working Man is an all star tribute to prog metal pioneers (and art rock stalwarts) Rush. A good selection of the band's influential non-epics (La Villa Strangiato and Natural Science bieng the longest cuts), it manages in places to catpure the spirit of that highly spirited band. Billy Sheehan is the man most present on this disc, and his highly technical bass playing retains the complexity of Geddy's performances, but I belive they lack the personality of the originals. Still, I've been a fan of Sheehan for a while and was glad to see him here so often (also playing the bass a lot is fellow technical bass god Stu Hamm; Geddy got the royal treatment when it came to bass tributes).

The best covers are a shortened Working Man, the Steve Morse and Billy Sheehan driven version of La Villa Strangiato, and Devin Townsend's masterful take on Natural Science. Devin's version actually sounds better than the original in my opinion, and, had they played the full song, Sebastian Bach and co.'s Working Man would have eclipsed Rush's.

However, the rest of the tracks are only pretty good, and only fans wishing for interesting renditions of their favorite Rush tunes should give this a go. Worth it just for Villa, WM, and Natural Science, but the rest of the album is surpirsingly enjoyable. By no means essential, but I'd recommend this to open minded fans.

Grade: C

Report this review (#130871)
Posted Monday, July 30, 2007 | Review Permalink
2 stars Big mistake.

There's no point in stretching a review here: this is simply some 'metal gods' (Sebastian Bach, Labrie, Baker, Portnoy, Allman and Sheenan) doing a carbon copy of the canadian trio we all know and love. So you can hear the same song as the album in a heavier version, with a metal attitude that doesn't really suit the core of Rush.

Giving more cajones to Rush' songs sounds tacky (leather pants, big hair and vocal exagerations) and loses the intelligence and credibility of the original version. It's always decieving when you pay for something and what you get is...the exact same thing. On thing althought, is the 'new' version of the Analog Kid that really, really shakes your soda (thank you Russell and Pinella).

Honestly, look somewhere else.

Report this review (#134646)
Posted Thursday, August 23, 2007 | Review Permalink
erik neuteboom
3 stars Rush (1974/1986 era) is one of my favorite bands and perhaps the band I have seen most frequently on stage. So I was very curious to this tribute CD, one of the many after tribute CD's to Classic Prog bands like Jethro Tull, Yes, Pink Floyd and Genesis. I am impressed by the musical company featuring Steve Morse, Stuart Hamm and band members from Shadow Gallery, Cairo and Dream Theater. Not every track is good but in general they have not only succeeded to capture the very disctinctive Rush spirit but also often added an extra musical dimension, especially the versions of the songs Working Man, The Trees, La Villa Strangiato, Jacob's Ladder and Natural Science sound captivating and dynamic to me. So in general I am pleased with this tribute CD, it's a powerful tribute to one of the most original and creative progrock bands since The Fall Of The Classic Prog Empire, a big hand for these musicians and .. to Rush who can be proud on this tribute CD! My rating: 3,5 stars.
Report this review (#155295)
Posted Thursday, December 13, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars This was my first TRIBUTE album that I got in the year if it's release!I was really curious from the beginning to discover how it sounds the famous songs of the Canadiaan trio performed by top class musicians!I always sayed thet Geddy Lee with his annoying voice is the only weak- but major minus-of the sensational RUSH band!And I was really happy to discover that sometimes the cover sound better then the original!MAGNA CARTA and their bosses MORTICELLI and VARNEY had the idea to start a sensational serie of tribute albums,mainly performed by the labe's artists and not only!This WORKING MEN is ,maybee the best of them,together with the ELP tribute!It's very well done,the songs are well choosed and the performances are stellar!The best track is NATURAL SCIENCE because Devin Townsend 's voice literally humiliates Lee's hilarious vocal organ!In fact,in the beginning,if I think well,Lee was completelly out of the vocal chapter in Rush,fortunatelly he was and still is an awesome bass player!In my humble opinion,.being a RUSH fan since the superbe 2112 album,I think that Lee's voice became mature and better trained on the PERMANENT WAVES album,tha's what I think!And,with the age GEDDY LEE'S voice became more mature and accessible!This tribute album is,in fact,the perfect oportunity to see how good sound major RUSH songs performed by real great vocalists!Other excellent idea fact about this album is the bunch of sensational guitar players,ther are really fabulous and the solos are atomic!Just check the list of them and you'll be shocked-ROMEO,MURPHY,PETRUCCI,LYNCHCOENEN,but the other instrumentists are top class!The famous instrumentals YYZ and LA VILLA STRANGIATO are at least as good as the originall,really magnificent!!!Overall a very good TRIBUTE album,and I repeat,some tracks sound better than original!DIXIT! 4 STARS for an excellent tribute album to the masters of prog rock!
Report this review (#259757)
Posted Thursday, January 7, 2010 | Review Permalink
3 stars With a lot of great musicians in it, this is by far the best Rush tribute album (in my humble opinion). It has a great quality sound, and cool rearranges of Rush classic songs, with a good selection of essentials songs in Rush' history. All covers are quite more "metallic" sounding, so, it lacks that Rush flair, but this album still has no waste, any Rush fan should listen to it, even once. The highlights in this album are: Natural Science, Closer To The Heart and La Villa Strangiato, this last being the most enjoyable because of Steve Morse incredible guitar work, just mind blowing, redefining La Villa classic riffs. Also, the songs that Billy Sheehan was involved (almost all) have a powerful bass sound (obviously, coming from the expertise of Sheehan).

This is a really good tribute album, though not essential. But if you are a Rush fan (as i am), you should listen to this rendition to one of the greatest prog bands.

Report this review (#295677)
Posted Saturday, August 21, 2010 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
4 stars Tribute albums ? Who needs them right. Well i've owned this baby for many years and even to this day I like to give it the odd spin. I'll be the first to say that tribute albums are a waste of time and money. Why listen to covers when you can hear the real thing right ? Well there's something different about this particular album of cover songs. First of all it's a tribute to my favourite band so I love all these tracks. Second these songs are performed by the Metal community most of who are huge fans of RUSH, so we're getting some hero worship here. It was mixed by Terry Brown, and Mike Portnoy was the creative consultant, which if you know anything about Portnoy means everything was done as close to perfection as possible.This album "sounds" really good and the bass and drumming in particular are deep and in your face.These guys play their hearts out, and there are some spine tingling moments on this recording. Jeremy from "All Music Guide" says that this record is "Arguably the best tribute album ever made". We get 13 songs over almost 73 minutes. Remember this was released in 1996 and they decided to focus on RUSH's earlier albums right up to "Signals". Oh they also do "Mission" from "Hold Your Fire" which is my least favourite. Apparently these guys aren't into RUSH's "synth" years either. So many highlights here but i'll touch on each track briefly.

"Working Man" with Toronto's own Sebastian Bach on vocals is mean and heavy. Check out Portnoy and Billy Sheehan's groundshaking work. Jack E. Lee lights it up on the guitar. It blends into "By-Tor And The Snow Dog" where we get the same lineup except James LaBrie takes over the vocal duties.The first half of this song kills instrumentally. "Analog Kid" is so freaking impressive with the two SYMPHONY X guys on lead guitar and keyboards.This is without a doubt one of my favourite covers. GREAT WHITE's Jack Russell is so good here. Ripping guitar from Pinnella before 3 1/2 minutes to the end. Amazing ! "The Trees" features the late Mike Baker on vocals and his band-mate from SHADOW GALLERY Gary Wehrkamp on keys. Love the rhythm section of Portnoy and Sheehan before 3 minutes. "La Villa Strangiato" is a ride with Steve Morse on classical guitar and the main solo. James Murphy does the closing solo. Some incredible moments on this one.

"Anthem" absolutely hits us in the face right away with Geddy-like vocals from Mark Slaughter (he puts on a show) and ripping guitar from the great George Lynch. Stuart Hamm provides the bass. "Jacob's Ladder" has some killer drum work early from Portnoy while bandmate Pertucci takes the lead after 2 minutes on guitar. Sheehan is again huge on bass. Nice job by Bach on vocals. "Closer To The Heart" is done by the whole FATES WARNING band. Nice. Matheos, Zonder, Vera and Adler do it justice. "Natural Science" is where Devin Townsend gets his turn on vocals and he doen't disappoint. What a theatrical performance ! He screams, growls and sings. One of my favourites on here. "YYZ" has James Murphy on lead guitar and Stuart Hamm on bass putting on a show. Powerful cover. "Red Barchetta" has the CYNIC rhythm section of Malone and Reinert. Nice. LaBrie on vocals and Steve Morse on lead guitar all shine. "Freewill" is different with LEMUR VOICE's singer Gregoor Van der Loo doing the vocals. He puts on an impessive performance, especially 4 1/2 minutes in.

I still prefer the originals on all these tracks but this is just such a blast to hear all these amazing players give it their all for the greatest band ever.The energy, passion and lights out performances are all so uplifting. This simply reminds me why I love RUSH so much.

Report this review (#301704)
Posted Saturday, October 2, 2010 | Review Permalink
3 stars Tribute albums to great bands, always so difficult to judge, if the covers are too close to the originals they are meaningless, but when the homaged material are true classics and they try to make different versions it's often so difficult to come up with better renditions than the originals.

More than 20 great musicians coming mostly from the heavy and metal scene play in this tribute to Rush: Petrucci, Portnoy, LaBrie, Sebastian Bach, Devin Townsend, Fates Warning, Michael Romeo, Billy Sheehan, George Lynch, Steve Morse or Stuart Hamm to name just a few. With such a line-up it's clear that this is not an amateur project and that the performances will be technically outstanding. And the song selection is of course full of classics: The Trees, La Villa Strangiato, Jacob's Ladder, Closer To The Heart, Natural Science, YYZ, Red Barchetta, Freewill, Mission, Analog Kid, By-Tor?, so nothing can go wrong, can it?

Well what we have here are metallized versions which otherwise are quite faithfull to the original songs. Basically all songs follow the original versions but with a pumped up, "on steroids" attitude, faster and more metal-oriented guitar solos, more aggressive vocals, heavier drumming. Is it good? For sure, how could it be otherwise? Is it better than the original songs? not for my taste, although those who do not like Geddy Lee's vocals or like a a more metal edge might find these renditions better than the original versions, as long as you do not give too much value to the credit of Rush having created them in the first place.

The only cover which gives a further turn to the knob is Analog Kid, the much heavier treatment making it sound quite different from the original in Signals, all the others are good but too close to the originals and the changing aspect is always the same, just a more metal-oriented treatment, technically faultless from a cold, clinical point of view. As for me, give me the genuine brilliance of the original Rush tracks.

Report this review (#870921)
Posted Monday, December 3, 2012 | Review Permalink

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