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3 stars This album is great if you can get past Geddy's screaming. In my opinion, the best tracks are Finding My Way, Here Again (a bit hippie-ish, but good), What You're Doing, In The Mood and Before & After. Blue collar hard rockers who are having a hot, sweaty, dirty day will like Working Man, but a lot of folks would find this track too hard core. Don't worry, it picks up later in the song -- especially around Alex's guitar solo. The solo is the reason we listen - it's a defining moment for him. You wonder why you don't hear this guitar in their later stuff.
Report this review (#20222)
Posted Saturday, January 17, 2004 | Review Permalink
4 stars I'm going against the popular grade on this record and giving it 4 stars instead of 3. I dismissed this album for years for being "Peartless" but soon realized that, even though his unbelievable drumming is missed, the songs are still worth a listen. Look at it this way: if Rush had only made this record, it would now be a "collector's item," 1 of those sought after lost treasures (think Sir Lord Baltimore) that demonstrates a hungry band firing on all sixes and ready to conquer the world. And I love trying to imagine what your typical rock fan would have thought of "that voice" back in 1974. Sure, the lyrics are typical 70's-party rock (another area where Peart's absence is glaring), but they also seem heartfelt and personal at times, like Rush's later stuff. Hints of greatness to come in "Before And After."
Report this review (#20207)
Posted Sunday, January 18, 2004 | Review Permalink
3 stars You'd think, after listening to this album, that Rush was nothing more than a talented cover band with a fair amount of potential. However, we know from other Rush albums what the stellar pair of Lee and Lifeson will grow into when Peart joins the group. Rutsey, the original drummer, is still a good drummer, yet he is in no way comparable to the changes that Neil brought to the band. At this point in their career, Rush draws heavily on influences such as Zeppelin and Cream, as evident in the anthemic Finding My Way or the bluesy Here Again. Working Man is arguably one of the greatest songs on the album; a foreshadow to the progressive turn the band would take on their subsequent albums, it became a concert staple for years to come (Even appearing on Rush in Rio!) Other notable songs include In The Mood and Before And After. While this album is a must have for any Rush fans, any newcomers to the band would be wise to stick with the classics, namely 2112 and Moving Pictures.
Report this review (#20208)
Posted Monday, January 19, 2004 | Review Permalink
1 stars Who said Led Zep clone?? With the exception of the (almost unbearable vocal trimmings- of Geddy Lee)this is ordinairy heavy rock with a dash of Led Zep..only not as good !! Hey...i love Rush...but this is...ahem...wasted money...sorry guys!! If you want Rush in their prime go for: " a farewel to kings" or "Moving pictures"... ......"grace under pressure" are another example of soveriegn Rush!!
Report this review (#20211)
Posted Friday, February 20, 2004 | Review Permalink
3 stars I remember when this album first came out and my friend played it to me. I thought it was interesting, and, simply as a rock album, very good and listenable. The first Rush album I bought was Caress Of Steel, and then I bought this debut after that. It is a very good first album and doesn't have any bad tracks on it. The standouts are, of course, Finding My Way, and Working Man. Also, Here Again is very underrated. There was much promise on show here, even with Neil, and I recommend this to any rock fan, Rush fan or not. Admittedly, non-Rush fans may be put off by the stratospheric vocals of Mr Lee! But the music is excellent. Worth buying!
Report this review (#20214)
Posted Friday, March 26, 2004 | Review Permalink
5 stars This album is a great representation of the band for that time period. To me the album is raw and has a charm to it. I've heard in the past people not liking the production of this album, but i tend to like the tone and underproduced vibe it has. Comparing them to Zep is too quick to judge. They sound nothing like Zep exept for Alex's guitar tone and a few riffs that sound like zep. Big deal, everybody plays blues licks. Working Man and Finding my Way are the gems of this album. I would rank Working Man as their "Stairway to Heaven" Overall its a great Rock and Roll album for its time.
Report this review (#20216)
Posted Tuesday, April 27, 2004 | Review Permalink
3 stars If you're in the mood for a little time travel, back when the heavy shadows of a certain ZEPPELIN crept over the earth into the cold North, this is the RUSH you're looking for. Mind you, I initially resisted the comparison -- it smacked of lazy criticism -- but ALEX LIFESON's guitar work sounds just like a PAGE ripped from ZEP's history, and GEDDY LEE's impassioned vocals are rooted (PLANTED?) in the same idolatry. (An exception is the monumental "Working Man", from which the sulfuric pall of SABBATH emerges.) In other words, despite showing signs of the musical elasticity that would become a RUSH hallmark, the band's debut doesn't step lightly. The trio instead takes their place in the first line of soldiers behind Ares himself, prepared to live and die by the hammer and the axe. Some fans (myself included) place their debut on the periphery because NEIL PEART and his fantasickal imagery had yet to arrive. Original drummer JOHN RUTSEY is no shirker, though, generating his share of mayhem in the final assault. The album doesn't lack for standout songs either: "Working Man" and "In The Mood" hold their ground, "Finding My Way" and "What You're Doing" rock out respectably. RUSH even steps back from the battle to reflect on "Before And After" before flying back into the fray, the first glimpse of an approach they would refine for "In The End." RUSH the artful assassins would come with time; here, the analogy might be a band of youthful beserkers with big designs in store. I'd stop short of calling this debut a diamond in the rough, but even the PEARTless RUSH proves capable of producing a few pearls.
Report this review (#20223)
Posted Monday, May 3, 2004 | Review Permalink
5 stars The album that started it all, and what a start. I know...some may call it pedestrian, others may call it a Zep rip off, others may say it just doesn't cut it without Mr. Peart. To all that I say...whadda ya an idiot? This album rocks...flat out! John Rutsey may be no professor, however, for this material, he does more thana fine job. The songs are simple, but fantastic. Side two (yeah I know, a vinyl man I still am) is flawless with "What You're Doing", "In The Mood" and , of course, "Working Man" being three of the all time greatest hard rock songs. The sound of the guitars on here are simply amazing. Only AC/DC's "Let There Be Rock" tops it for sheer balls out, loud as f*ck wall of raw guitar. Funny to think that lyrically they went from "when I get home at 5 o'clock, get myself out an ice cold beer" to "tobes of hades lit by flickering torch light" in a one album bound, but tell the truth now...which lyric is actually more dated at this point?! I still love this album and to be honest....I wish they'd make another one like it...just for old time's sake. Put away the bass pedals, synths and frills and just let it rock. I know they can do it!
Report this review (#20228)
Posted Tuesday, June 29, 2004 | Review Permalink
3 stars Rush´s first album has nothing to do with prog, but it´s a great rocker. I´ve got to say it includes some great songs like Working Man, In The Mood and Finding My Way, that make worth buying this album, that can be easily called Pre-Rush. A year later Peart would make his appearance and show us all what Rush about to become.
Report this review (#20229)
Posted Friday, July 9, 2004 | Review Permalink
2 stars This album shows just how young these guys were when they got in to the music business. Most of the tracks are fild with cheesy guitar riffs and even more cheesy vocal parts and lyrics.Only two good songs here, finding my way and working man. Both have terrible lyrics but the music works and the solo in working man is a killer. It´s hard to believe this band did so well and is still making terrific music.Thanks to Neil Peart. THIS ALBUM IS FOR DIE HARD FANS AND COLLECTORS ONLY!
Report this review (#20230)
Posted Wednesday, July 21, 2004 | Review Permalink
3 stars Ok. I realize that the drumming on this album is kind of weak, and that the lyrics are a little lame. But what can you expect? It's the first album. I think they did pretty damn for their very first. You at least have to give them a little credit. Although, I prefer Neil's versions of this album's songs. He spices them up a bit. But overall, It was a good start. Obviously, look where they are now. One of the greatest rock bands in rock history.
Report this review (#20231)
Posted Sunday, August 22, 2004 | Review Permalink
3 stars As most Rush fans will have backtracked to their debut work after discovering the band through later, more lauded albums, this opening offering may sound a little raw and unpolished. True enough without Neil Peart's input most tracks are lyrically lacking yet John Rutsey was no mean drummer. Finding My Way is a fittingly titled classy opener, with other highlights being Here Again, and the stand out track Working Man giving Alex Lifeson carte blanche to strum his stuff to great effect. All in all a decent 70's rock album.
Report this review (#20232)
Posted Saturday, December 11, 2004 | Review Permalink
1 stars Rush is among my favorite bands on this blue Earth. Of all the 20-some disks they've released, there's one I never bother to listen to and would like to pretend doesn't exist. This is that album. Unlike the later, technically challenging Rush, this is Rush's attempt at a blues record. With uninspired tunes like Working Man and Finding My Way, this record isn't progressive in the least. It's a boring generic rock release. Had I been alive in 1974, I would have passed Rush off as another commercial rock trio with no originality. Luckily, Fly By Night was good, and Caress Of Steel was in my opinion the greatest album ever made. You know what really annoys me? Working Man is concidered their best song by some.
Report this review (#20233)
Posted Thursday, January 13, 2005 | Review Permalink
3 stars This Rush album is not progressive per se, but a path in the right way. I heard so much about this album being a Led Zeppelin clone, and I have to mostly agree. But hey, you have to take your roots somewhere. Human beings need to look up to something and let's not blame Rush for being young and looking for a sound. Because for a first album, this one rocks and rolls from A to Z. Just good headbanging songs just waiting to be popped in a car stereo.

I really get a great kick at listening this record. It's just songs like you don't hear anymore. And Geddy's voice is clear, strong as usual and has that spark that only youth provides. But also the bass/guitar techniques are surprinsingly high, proving that Geddy and Alex always knew what they were doing and where they're going. These guys were barely 21 years old and believe me, I surely wasn't able to create such cool rock songs at that age.

Anyway, a somewhat mature start, pedal to the floor and throats burning by furious singing.

This is why I love Rush...always fresh.

Report this review (#20234)
Posted Thursday, January 13, 2005 | Review Permalink
3 stars Rush has been my favorite band since almost the fisrt time I heard it. I think this album is a good one. With a lot of influence of Led Zeppelin, but I like the power in Geddy Lee's voice and the guitar solos a lot. Of course you will miss Neal Peart's drums when you hear it. I see this album as the begining of one of the greatest bands the humanity had ever had.

I don't give it more than 3 stars because I think other rush albums are quite better than this one because the songs are more polished, with more work and more maturity but it's a good one to any rush fan. I think the album is more hard rock than prog rock so I don't think it fits to be a 4 stars.

Report this review (#20235)
Posted Wednesday, January 26, 2005 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Many people say that this album is a clone of the early LED ZEPPELIN stuff. I do not like the term "clone". Yes, it sounds like LED ZEPPELIN, but RUSH already have their own sound and style here. It is a brilliant debut, VERY "high inertia" & powerful rhythmic hard rock oriented, not prog at all. Neil Peart is not the drummer here: it is rather John Rutsey, who is later replaced on the next "Fly by Night" album. Rutsey does a great job, and he does not sound as technical as Peart: he is rather slow, very heavy and loud: perfect for the ZEPPELIN style here. Geddy Lee's Rickenbaker bass is very loud and sophisticated: one can notice he really works hard to produce an impeccable sound here. His lead & backing vocals are absolutely hysterical: he screams more than ever here, and it is very entertaining and pleasant to hear. Alex Lifeson's electric guitar sound is absolutely wonderful: razor, VERY heavy, loud and sustained! He only made this particular extreme hard rock sound on this record: very unique. On "Here Again", one can hear one of the HEAVIEST echoed guitar solo ever made in the whole hard rock history!! Imagine: this guitar solo is so heavy that you can hear some lower frequencies through its sound!!! Absolutely unbelievable! Lifeson also uses some outstanding Flanger effects, like on the intro of "Before & After": it is combined with a VERY present & bottom Rickenbacker bass to produce an unforgettable intro; he mostly uses a pronounced echo on the many excellent guitar solos of the album. ALL the tracks are at least excellent, very catchy and addictive! For any LED ZEPPELIN fan who likes straightforward powerful rhythmic hard rock, please, get this record ASAP!

Rating: 4.5/5

Report this review (#20236)
Posted Wednesday, February 2, 2005 | Review Permalink
3 stars Despite this album being the first, It is not up their as a classic, However, On a Raw Rock level, it isn't that bad. The Drumming from original drummr John Rutsey isn't bad but it was kismet that he left because it was Neil Peart who reshaped the group. I bet if JR never left the band would have sunk. Probably the best track on the album is Working Man. The album isn't horrible but not a masterpiece. A Farewell To KIngs, Hemispheres and Signals are some of the albums that represent Rush the most!!
Report this review (#20239)
Posted Saturday, February 26, 2005 | Review Permalink
Eetu Pellonpaa
Honorary Collaborator
2 stars Decent 70's hard-rock can be found from this debut album of the Canadian power trio. Neil Peart hasn't yet been crowned behind their drum kit, and there are no progressive elements in their music, but this might be an interesting collectible if you are a big fan of the band, or if you like more this kind of music (ZEPPELIN, BUDGIE etc.). "Working Man" is my favorite track from this album.
Report this review (#36417)
Posted Monday, June 13, 2005 | Review Permalink
Cygnus X-2
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Rush's roots were always blues based. Their idols were Cream, The Who, The Yardbirds, etc. This album is a prime example of these influences. This album is very bluesy, and has no connection with prog in any sense. Then drummer John Rutsey, while no Neil Peart, still did a fantastic job with the music they did. Some complain that this album sounds too much like everything Led Zeppelin had ever done, sure there are example of similar sounding stuff, and I only find it to be a minor inconvenience. The mentionable tracks here are Finding My Way, In the Mood, What You're Doing, and the ever popular Working Man. Lifeson's guitar work was not as complex or intricate as it would come to, and Geddy's bass and vocal work was good but not as good as it would become. If you can get past the Zeppelinisms, then you can find an enjoyable album. That said, it's really just for Rush fans and fans of this style of music, you won't find anything progressive about this album. For me, I give it a 3/5.
Report this review (#37166)
Posted Tuesday, June 21, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars As others have said, this is really not all that progressive. But, there are so many great songs, I have to give it 4 stars. If you like Zeppelin, or other guitar based rock. This is a very good album. Working Man is my favorite tune but they are all strong. No question, Rush got more progressive a few years later, and definitely their music became more complex and simply better than the music on this album, but this still ranks as one of my favorite albums.
Report this review (#38985)
Posted Saturday, July 9, 2005 | Review Permalink
3 stars Rush's first album, an enjoyable blues based hard rock album, with Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple influences. On this debut Rush already proofs they are a good band, with great guitar works from Alex Lifeson, fabulous bass play from Geddy Lee, and a good drummer with the name of John Rutsey, he left after this album to pursue other interest, to be replaced by Neil Peart. Geddy's voice is an acquired taste, but I like it, he always makes me smile and remember a cartoon called Alvin's Chipmunks (if you know the show, you know what I'm talking about).

The songs are rather simple in structure, but if you like early 70's hard rock, i'm sure you'll find some nice moments on here. with a little imagination you might even find some progressive elements on it aswell, but at that time it wasn't more than hints of a future direction.

Throughout the album Led Zeppelin influences are heard, both in the bass/drum interplay, as in the vocal lines as in the guitar sound, but for me that's quite a plus, since I like Led Zeppelin. Some moments they are even more Led Zeppelin than Led Zeppelin where ;)

No bad songs on this album, very well excecuted songs, production isn't top-notch, but they had to produce it themselves with limited funds, so considering that, they still did a marvelous job, with a well-balanced sound.

Best songs on the album: Working Man, Finding My Way, What You're Doing, all fairly heavy rock songs, with great rhythm and fabulous guitar play. Here Again is a bit slower, but really very good blues, totaly love the slow guitar development. fabulous. The other songs are not bad also. Just don't mind the lyrics, remember Neil Peart is not on board yet.

A very good blues based heavy rock album, and I like it very much. Hardly progressive, and too much copying the Led Zeppelin style too be considered very original, but most of their quality of writing emotive great pieces of music is already apparent. I rate it 3 stars, because of their lack of progressiveness on this album, but I'm going to listen it again now.

Recommended to all Rush fans who haven't got it yet, also fans of heavy blues rock will probably dig it.

Report this review (#40088)
Posted Saturday, July 23, 2005 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Having listened to Queensryche albums recently, it then triggered me to spin albums with heavy metal nuance and I grabbed this album. It's good to trace back on old albums of legendary band like Rush where specifically with this album the drummer was still John Rutsey - before Neil Peart joined the band. I only knew this album after I listened to my first experience with the band through "A Farewell to A King" - an excellent album. Musically, this album is a good hard rock band where the influences from Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple are very obvious. However, there is no single track that indicates the band's music is a rip-off at all. Some tracks with blues-rock style indicates obvious influence from Led Zeppelin. My all-time favorite is of course "Working Man" - the last track. Keep on rockin' ..!

Report this review (#41566)
Posted Thursday, August 4, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars Frankly, I don't get it. No; it's not prog. Well, why is it here? Because this is Rush's 1st disc, and Rush are considered the "creme de la creme" of all prog bands. No; Peart hadn't come on the scene yet, so the songs are derivative, and the drum work COULD be called pedestrian. However, there's no feasible way for Neil to have made the disc any better. If he had been there from the 1-count, the presentation might have gone over people's heads. This is a minor point, and the tunes are still fun to listen to. "Finding My Way" is the fastest song on the disc, a 5-minute adrenaline rush that only knows one emotion...aggressive. Lee is screaming his head off for the duration and he screams so loudly (like the last note of the last chorus) that for a second there you feel like he might blow his own head off. The lead is pure adrenaline, a rush of melody so incandescent that it feels like your cranium is being bathed in color. "In The Mood" is the most LZ-derivative, with Lee singing in a rough, raspy tenor reminiscent of Plant's singing on "Rock And Roll". Here, the lyrics take a turn toward sex, with a driving, stomp groove that makes ya wanna get up and dance! I know I felt that way. The whole album is like that...the perfect balance between aggression and melody, like they would bring to fruition later on. IMO...recommended. Geddy Lee didn't touch a synth or keyboard on this disc, and actually wouldn't til "A Farewell To Kings".
Report this review (#41756)
Posted Friday, August 5, 2005 | Review Permalink
3 stars Rush's debut album! I'm a huge fan of both prog and classic rock. I personally love this album because it's rockin' but it's not very prog, so I'm giving it 3 stars from a prog standpoint. Another note is that Neil Peart had not yet joined the band so while the drumming certainly isn't BAD, it is fairly plain.

"Finding My Way" - When I first heard this song I thought to myself, "I thought this was Rush, not Zeppelin!?" It's a great tune, however, but is pretty straightforward. A great rock song but not a great prog rock song. --- 6/10

"Need Some Love" - A great rocker but clocking in at only 2:19. A very straightforward, more commercial song. Certainly not prog but that doesn't mean it's bad. --- 6/10

"Take a Friend" - The non-stop rockin' energy continues! This song is great but, again, it is another song that certainly doesn't show any prog signs. --- 6.5/10

"Here Again" - This song slows the tempo down a bit from the previous songs. Clocking in at 7:34, this is the longest song on the album. --- 6.5/10

"What You're Doing" - This picks up where Need Some Love left off - more high adrenaline rock. Nice echo effect on Lee's voice although a bit annoying at times. I haven't been listening to prog for a very long time but I know that this isn't it. --- 5.5/10

"In the Mood" - More high adrenaline music. Yet again, no prog to be found. --- 6/10

"Before and After" - This is probably the closest to prog that Rush comes on this album. It starts as a slower song which gives way to some high adrenaline rock. The second best song on the album IMO. --- 7.5/10

"Working Man" - The one song on the album that sounds like the Rush we all know and love. A great solo by Lifeson. Probably the most recognized song on the album, as well. The single best song on the album IMO. --- 8/10

Report this review (#42651)
Posted Friday, August 12, 2005 | Review Permalink
3 stars The first RUSH studio albun is pretty different from the others. Part of that dramatical change might be the influence of Peart. When I heard this record I thought about the bands they were listening at that time: Led Zepelin. This album is pretty good but it's not representative of the band's sound. I would say that the best song in this album is Working man, a RUSH's masterpiece. Essencial for any RUSH fan and 70's music lovers.
Report this review (#43663)
Posted Sunday, August 21, 2005 | Review Permalink
erik neuteboom
3 stars This album is pure energy and showcases the talents of guitarplayer Alex Lifeson and bass player/singer Geddy Lee. Of course the music has strong echoes from LED ZEPPELIN and CREAM but Rush did their best to find their own sound, on this album you can notice that the songs are powerful and melodic. After the departure of drummer John Rutsey, soon a certain 'professor on the drumkit' would push the band to their limits within a few years. The best track is "Here again" with that mindblwing, bluesy inspired guitar solo, GREAT!
Report this review (#43725)
Posted Sunday, August 21, 2005 | Review Permalink
Tony R
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
2 stars Two of Rush's biggest early-influences were Led Zep and Cream.This pre-Peart line-up (John Rutsey on drums) had very little ambition outside of making heavy rock music at this time and Zep and Cream are the two bands I can hear when I listen to this debut album. This is not a Progressive Rock album, I must stress this. Caveat emptor.

Recorded during the night to reduce expenses and self-financed by the band,this record really had to struggle into existence.Saved by the patch up job done by future-mainstay, Terry Brown and the band's dogged determination to have an LP "out" and thus gain kudos amongst Toronto's thriving bar-band scene,there is a raw energy and urgency in the 8 cuts presented here.

Personally only Working Man,Before And After and Here Again are worth listening to-all the other tracks are OK,but if I want to listen to Zep-style rock,I'd rather it was Led Zep II-the real thing.

As I have stated-anyone looking for Progressive Rock will be disappointed. Yet there are seeds of progressiveness and the direction they would take in the future to be found here. For fans,completists and heavy rockers only though. Probably a 4 star heavy rock album.

Report this review (#44273)
Posted Thursday, August 25, 2005 | Review Permalink
2 stars Apparently Rush used to be balls-to-the-wall screamin' rock and rollers! Yayeh! They utilize lots of Led Zeppelin ripoffery on here, but not as blatantly so as Whitesnake or Kingdom Come would a decade later (which is a shame because Whitesnake and Kingdom Come are two of the most intelligent and creative rock and roll outfits making music). At the very least, they don't sound like fantasy/sci-fi nerds yet. Here they're blues-influenced white boy long hair guitar rockers. With some drummer named John Rutsey, of all incredible fantasies! "Finding My Way" is one hell of an enthusiastic opener, "Working Man" is a totally killer closer, and the six songs in the middle are... well... good enough. I don't love it, but it's certainly more fun and less pretentious than their '80s output.

Report this review (#45278)
Posted Friday, September 2, 2005 | Review Permalink
3 stars Humble beginnings for a band that would go on to progress at a staggering rate. 'Rush' is the culmination of the band's years as a club act in their Canadian homeland, mirroring their influences quite clearly. 8 songs with a distinct Led Zeppelin, Blue Cheer and Cream flavor, emphasis on the Zeppelin! If you judge it against the band's future output, it won't hold up. If you judge it as an early '70s hard rock album, which is exactly what it is, it still comes up as somewhat average. It is certainly toppled by prime albums from Dust, Bang, Kiss, Black Sabbath, Sir Lord Baltimore and others of that ilk.

"What You're Doing" and "Working Man" kick huge amounts of ass, while "Here Again" and "Before And After" foreshadow the more textured elements the band would use more of in the future. "Take A Friend" is just a really nice song with great momentum that I find hard to dislike. "In The Mood" is the only glaringly bad spot, there's just no reason for boogiefied bar-rock like this to exist.

'Rush' was the world's introduction to Geddy Lee's otherworldly screech and Alex Lifeson's expert guitar work, and with some pretty big grooves on offer, it provides some good listening occasionally.

Report this review (#46405)
Posted Monday, September 12, 2005 | Review Permalink
The Crow
2 stars This Rush's debut it's only a correct 70's rock album, but almost nothing progressive here...

Here we can find songs in a very Led Zeppelin's style, like the first track Finding My Way, where Geddy Lee tries to sing like Robert Plant, like in the whole album. Songs like Take A Friend, Need Some Love and In The Mood are in this same way. Others like Here Again, are more bluesy, but never more original... Obviously, Rush were still trying to find their own sound in this work... And I miss a lot the Neil Peart drumming and lyrics in this album too...

Best songs for me: Finding My Way (good rocking songs, with great singing but not too original...), Before and After (with a beautiful guitar introduction...) and Working Man (with a riff that remembers me a little to Black Sabbath...)

It's not a bad album, but it's almost nothing original or surprising here and it's not indicate to prog lovers. Only for Rush's fans!!!

Report this review (#47589)
Posted Tuesday, September 20, 2005 | Review Permalink
2 stars Well, the first and most important thing to be said about this album is that it's Rush's first album, and was recorded considerably late, in 1974. So, don't expect to find anything 100% original or pioneer sound. At that time, Rush was still covering their influences in their sound style, and this record is completely under the shadow of Led Zeppelin. It's not progressive at any sort, it's more like seventies hard rock. It is a weak album as a progressive band's record, and it's ALSO a weak album as a seventies hard rock band's record due to the hack of originality and musical spirit. I give it 2 stars because of good moments at working man.
Report this review (#70780)
Posted Tuesday, February 28, 2006 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
2 stars As has been said many times, Rush's debut finds them struggling to find an identity, with much of the tracks obviously Zeppelin inspired. Indeed, if I recall, Zeppelin's debut in 1969 had an enormous impact on Geddy and Alex, apart from Cream and the usual heavy blues suspects. In any case, those seeking progressive Rush will not find it here; instead, fun flat-out hard rocking tracks like "Finding My Way", "What You're Doing", "In The Mood", and of course the playground for live extended soloing, "Working Man", a radio favorite in parts of the US which helped launch their career. Even here, however, the talent of Geddy and Alex are unmistakable. Those who are new to the band should hold off on this, I view it as a passable record but really for Rush completionists. The introduction of Neil Peart makes their next album perhaps the "true" debut.
Report this review (#76652)
Posted Saturday, April 29, 2006 | Review Permalink
Marc Baum
3 stars The best selling Canadian debut of all time! With this release, the world first got a taste of the now-famous Canadian prog-rock trio. However, the man behind the drums on this is not Neil Peart; this was right before they picked up Neil. Even so, this is still a good listen.

We begin to hear the molding of the all-so-familiar "Rush Sound" on this album. Alex's hard, 60's rock influenced riffs and solos, Geddy's smooth bass playing and even experimental drumming. This isn't the feel you'd get from Neil behind the set, but it gets the job done. Most of the songs on here aren't what we'd consider to be Rush classics, though; the only hit this album generated was "Working Man". But that's not to say the others aren't good: check out "What You're Doing", "Finding My Way" and "In The Mood" for some highlights.

After this, Rush became the trio we all know and love: Alex, Geddy and Neil. Even with the absence of Neil on this album, they still managed to make great music. Even it is all in all the least magnificant Rush album of the classic 70's. Check this out of you're a fan of classic rock and/or Rush.

album rating: 6.5/10 points = 67 % on MPV scale = 3/5 stars

point-system: 0 - 3 points = 1 star / 3.5 - 5.5 points = 2 stars / 6 - 7 points = 3 stars / 7.5 - 8.5 points = 4 stars / 9 - 10 points = 5 stars

Report this review (#77215)
Posted Friday, May 5, 2006 | Review Permalink
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.

Report this review (#81693)
Posted Thursday, June 22, 2006 | Review Permalink
2 stars This is definitely a good hard rock album, but hardly an essential or even good album when viewed in the light of prog. Working Man rocks, but that's about the most interesting thing on here. At this point, Rush were just Zeppelin minus the drumming, singing, and song writing. I usually skip songs from this album when they come up on live albums or DVDs. They just arn't interesting at all when compared to the rest of the Rush catalog.

This is one of the last albums I recommend you buy when trying to get the whole Rush discography. It has its moments, but overall, it's just a mainstream piece of mid-70's hard rock.

Collectors/fans only.

Report this review (#87392)
Posted Wednesday, August 16, 2006 | Review Permalink
3 stars You can tell that this is a young band. The music is good and very well played for all that it is fairly straightforward. There is a hint of Led Zeppelin to this album which is no bad thing but the influences that later made the Feedback album are here too.

Finding My Way, Here Again, In The Mood, and Working Man are all classic Rush tracks. All are favourites of mine but a I particulary love the massive riffery that is Working Man. That is one of the all time great heavy guitar parts. And Here Again is such a laid back track that it just makes life seem so mellow.

This is not really a prog album though but some of the musical seeds are there to see, though at this point they were still awaiting germination with the arrival of Neil Peart. So, this album would have to fall into the good category. Which is still not bad for a debut album.

Report this review (#94800)
Posted Tuesday, October 17, 2006 | Review Permalink
2 stars Not a prog album but a fairly reasonable rock album.

Hindsight is a wonderful thing and it is perhaps possible to see a suggestion of where the band may go, but for me this album stands way out on its own: fairly straight forward early-mid 70s rock: no less no more. I can't really detect any prog in this album at all.

Working Man remains one of my favourite Rush tracks but perhaps that's because I'm working all the time and look forward to a cold beer when I eventually get home.

Report this review (#99125)
Posted Thursday, November 16, 2006 | Review Permalink
2 stars When I first listened to this album I remember thinking that it was good, but there is nothing at all progressive about it. I still believe this, I fail to see any strong progressive music in this album but then again this is the first album by the band. "Rush" is without a doubt a hard-rock album and it is really quite un-unique work in terms of progressive rock. The band has taken obvious influences from hard rock acts from around the same period. Another very obvious feature of the album is that legendary drummer/percussionist Neil Peart was not in the band at this time, instead John Rutsey takes up the role. He is by no means a bad drummer, he is actually quite good but Rush isn't all that innovative without Neil Peart who is in many respects the backbone of this band.

This album just to me says Led Zeppelin, I can't listen to "Rush" without thinking of Zeppelin. The band always had a Led Zeppelin Esq sound but here, in the early days of the band these influences are at their peak. These influences, how ever strong did not restrict the band from forging their own unique style which shows up on this album is some places. Most notably these moments occur in "Finding my Way", and "Working Man", the rest of the album is really, to say it plainly un-unique. In terms of progressiveness mind you. As a hard rock album "Rush" isn't half bad and most, if not all the songs are good in that sense. Alex Lifeson's guitar is the main stand-point of the music and he really just takes over in places, not dissimilar to later Rush though.

1.Finding My Way (3/5) 2.Need Some Love (2/5) 3.Take A Friend (2/5) 4.Here Again (2.5/5) 5.What You're Doing (2.5/5) 6.In The Mood (2/5) 7.Before And After (2.5/5) 8.Working Man (3/5) Total = 19.5 divided by 8 = 2.437 2 stars Collectors/fans only

Despite the two star rating, "Rush" is quite a good album but due to the fact that it has almost nothing to do with prog, apart from the fact that is was a base from the band, I can't rate too high. This album certainly influenced later albums by Rush and really this set the band up for later fame and fortune which can only a few years later. I'd recommend this album to any Rush fan looking to see the start of this great and wonderful band, if not it's probably best that you do not spend too much money on this. To close, if you are going to get this album I highly recommend getting the re- mastered version!

Report this review (#99371)
Posted Friday, November 17, 2006 | Review Permalink
2 stars Wutu Banale on "Rush".

First. This is NOT Prog, this is Hard Rock, much in the vain of Led Zeppelin and Cream. Rush hadn't yet created their own unique sound, despite the fact that we can hear some great instrumentation from Alex Lifeson and Geddy Lee. Many people don't care about Geddy Lee's "Jon Anderson+Robert Plant times three" vocals, but those who do (That's including me) can't really say he is at his best here. Those "Dog-calling shrieks" can really scrape your ears. (And i mean no harm to Geddy Lee who is truly my favourite voacalist of all time along with Peter Hammill). The negativity continues, Neil Peart (Greatest drummer of all time) isn't yet behind the drum kit, John Rutsey does the "Battering" on this one and he... Well... He does what he has to, he's really nothing compared to Neil Peart and his universal drumming skills. And more, the songs are too long, music like this can't really hold songs that are longer than 4 minutes. Well maybe Working man can bear the 7 minute length but the others fail.

After all the negative bashing (Did i mention that the cover is lame?) there are a few positive elements. Working Man, Finding My Way, Need Some Love and In The Mood are all nice rockers, but the other songs fail to deliver. Alex Lifeson pulls few nice guitar solos on few tracks.

And what do we have here? Weak album from the greatest band of all time, altrough it has some nice playing by Alex and Geddy and few good songs, the album falls in to the category "For collectors and Rush fanatics who has to have all Rush albums". The Next album "Fly By Night" is just ten times better version of this album with Neil Peart on drums.

Report this review (#101476)
Posted Sunday, December 3, 2006 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
3 stars 3.5 stars. There is definetly a ZEPPELIN feel at times due to Alex Lifesons guitar playing. It's no secret that Mr.Page is his hero and it shows in his playing. It's hard to believe this straight ahead rocker came out when prog was so popular in 1974 but then ZEPPELIN was their prime source of inspiration at this point.

. "Finding My Way" is a great way to start the record with the guitar building in the intro and Geddy screaming, RUSH had arrived ! This is so raw sounding. "Need Some Love" has some good drum work and guitar too, but the lyrics...ouch ! They would really steer clear of these kinds of lyrics for the rest of their careers. "Take A Friend" is all about Mr.Lifeson putting on a show ! Amazing guitar on this one.

"Here Again" is a really good song, sounding kind of bluesy with an incredible vocal performance from Geddy. A fantastic extended guitar solo too. "What Your Doing" is ok, with some catchy guitar melodies. "In The Mood' still gets a lot of air play on FM radio up here. This was their first radio friendly tune and the lyrics are pretty funny. "Before And After" is another one that's just ok, with Alex shining again. "Working Man" is one of my favourite RUSH songs period. The lyrics are meaningful and the intro with the SABBATH-like guitars are great ! A nice little bass solo from Geddy and John Rutsey does a really good job on the kit for this one. When I saw them play this song in Toronto I would have sworn they turned up the volume a few decibels, it was amazing.

Good debut with some memorable songs.

Report this review (#107678)
Posted Tuesday, January 16, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars A hard-rock album,yes..A prog-rock album..NOT! My favorite track on the album is ''Working Man'',which starts off with a killer guitar riff before turning into a rock jam, and ends with a short guitar solo. ''Here Again'' is more a rock ballad,while ''Before and After'' starts off mellow and eventually rocks out.The other songs sound like typical hard rock songs.So what if this sounds like a lot of 70's hard-rock albums you may have heard before? These guys were not about to get creative for another few albums.
Report this review (#108414)
Posted Monday, January 22, 2007 | Review Permalink
3 stars This is the first album that Rush came out with. Rush is also the first progressive rock band that I got into. This album is more hard rock but the few progressive elements are great. The Led Zeppelin influence is easily heard on this album. Geddy's bass lines have always been strong, and this album proves it. This album also shows Alex's great guitar skill as he is free to play anything that fits, whether it is hard rock or prog. The only thing that is missing is Neil Peart's great lyrics and drumming. I must say that John Rutsey's drumming is great, but lucky for us Rush fans he left to allow Neil Peart to be in the spotlight. The lyrics, mostly by Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson, are good, but sometimes are a little lacking.

The highlights of the album have the distinctive Rush sound. "Finding My Way" starts the album off with a great tone. Geddy's voice is good for this song and shouldn't scare off too many listeners. The next few songs (Need Some Love, Take A Friend, Here Again) are very hard rock. Alex shows his guitar ability while Geddy sadly doesn't get to play his bass in the spotlight. The lyrics are lacking on these songs. "What You're Doing" is another one of the proggy songs on this album. The lyrics are better on this song than the previous ones. The guitar solo from Alex shows his skill. "In The Mood" and "Working Man" are also some proggy songs on Rush's debut. "Before And After" is a good song and is closer to prog-related than prog. "Working Man", "In The Mood", and "Finding My Way" are the highlights for any progressive rock fan, "Working Man" being the most proggy and the best song of the album with its great bass and guitar playing. The other songs are good but are hard rock.

I highly recommend this album (as any obsessive Rush fanatic like me should), I will give it 3/5 stars. This album has the potential to coax people to listen to prog. It certainly did it for me. I listened to this album a lot after borrowing it from a friend. It was the second Rush album I listened to. It is good but not essential. 3/5 stars.

Report this review (#108568)
Posted Tuesday, January 23, 2007 | Review Permalink
Chris H
4 stars Ok, Ok, we all know that Neal Peart must be drumming for Rush to make a PROGRESSIVE masterpiece blah, blah, blah. I think people fail to realize that Rush's self-titled debut album was one of their best in terms of musical agreement. Rush was and should have stayed a harder, Zeppelin-styled group, as their first album shows that this kind of music is their strong point. "Finding My Way" starts off the album with a flurry of riffs and some very underrated drumming, and Geddy's voice is at it's peak on this whole album. Mostly every other song on this album is in the hard rock vein, which means Alex is slashing like a maniac the whole entire time, and producing some excellent results. "In The Mood" and "Need Some Love" are some of the most intriguing riffs to come out of the era.

Now don't get me wrong, this isn't a straight hard-rock album. "Here Again" and the beginning of "Before And After" feature some excellent progressive tones, but as expected, in the middle of "Before And After" a bomb drops and the rocking starts up again at some of its finest points. Geddy's bass lines might not be in the spotlight here, as Alex's playing was at the most exhilarating of his career, but they are still impeccable. "Working Man" is the album closer, and it is one of Rush's most accessible songs for progressive fans, because of its awesome ending. Plus, you cant beat Geddy's bass work at around 2- 3 minutes into the song. Every progger in the world may hate this fact, but I'm 100% sure they know that John Rutsey worked his butt off on this album and would have made some fine music with Rush had he stayed on board.

This album was a hard one to pick a rating for, because of it's peculiar song arrangement. Three hard rock songs are split up by a progressive song, and then two hard rock songs get split by a progressive opening and a hard rock ending. I would have much preferred to see "Working Man" and "Before And After" switched around. I feel that the starting and stopping breaks up the groove of the album, therefore I like to think of this not as a masterpiece of an album, but as a compilation of 8 individual masterpieces. It does not flow well enough to be a masterpiece, therefore it can only get 4 stars from me. Rush's best work!

Report this review (#109236)
Posted Sunday, January 28, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars So...Rush without Neil. Is it still as good as Rush WITH Neil? Well, in many ways...yes. Much of this record is QUITE good. Alex (the guitar god that he is) relies on crunch rather than the myriad effects he'd use later on. The drumming works quite well for what the songs call for, and Geddy is a total jam-meister on his beloved Rickenbacker. Also of note is the clean, yet organic sounding production. It lets each note of each song come through clearly, yet with force and presence. Also of note are the tracks "Finding My Way", "Need Some Love" and the pseudo-epic closer, "Working Man". The first two are frantic adrenaline rushes (no pun intended), fueled by sceaming vocals, pounding bass and clattering drums. "Working Man", a slow, plodding 7 minute monster-with its huge riff- qualifies as a major air guitar moment.

Even though it sounds a bit dated by today's standards, and we all know that Rush have done better, I still give this a 4. All it took was Neil to fire Geddy and Alex's imagination(s), and everyone knows what happened next...

Report this review (#111045)
Posted Thursday, February 8, 2007 | Review Permalink
Prog Leviathan
3 stars A fun debut album from one of my all-time favorite bands. Rush's first release smacks of bluesy Led Zepplitude, and is a far cry from where they'd end up in future releases. Still, despite the fact that their legendary drummer hadn't yet joined ranks, "Rush" still cranks out some great songs-- and even some concert favorites. As a whole, Alex's guitar smokes, while Geddy's bass is equally impressive, but neither are as experimental as they will come to be down the road.

"Finding My Way" is impossible not to sing-along to, while "Working Man" remains powerful enough (despite the group's gigantic output through the past 3 decades!) to have closed their last two tours. While Geddy's libido drives the third big song which everyone remembers, "In the Mood", I prefer the often forgotten "Here Again" and "Before and After", both of which show off the band's early dynamics and songwriting which foreshadows the coolness to come once Peart joins.

All in all a great album for fans of the band, but a poor introduction for neophytes (those from outside the progressive world, anyway).

Songwriting: 2 Instrumental Performances: 3 Lyrics/Vocals: 2 Style/Emotion/Replay: 4

Report this review (#116478)
Posted Tuesday, March 27, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars A fun album. This thing is high-energy 70's style hard rock throughout, never flagging.

A decent rock album, but could definetely much a Zeppelin clone. Geddy Lee adopts many of Robert Plant's vocal mannerisms - such as the cliched "ohh, yeahs" - and Alex Lifeson does gives many songs the Jimmy Page solo treatment (albiet much less sloppily and with much more direction than most of Pages' solos.) John Rutsey's drumming is decent enough, but he's no Neil Peart. The lyrics are standard rock 'n' roll fare, nothing like the thoughtful subject matter and (pseudo?) intellectualism that Mr Peart would later bring to the table. This isn't a prog album, it just happens to be by Rush. The tunes are rocking, and have a ton of youthful enthusiasm - which is something that some of Rush's later output definitely lacks. I'd take this album over Test For Echo any day - this music is vibrant and full of life.

One particularly precious attribute this album has that few others do is that it can be listened to all the way through without any loss of interest or momentum. Very enjoyable music! A great way for Rush's illustrious career to begin, and a quality album in itself.

Report this review (#118328)
Posted Friday, April 13, 2007 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Might be hard rock's greatest debut album

I played this album a lot back in the day and still think its a great sample of bluesy and arse kickin fun. I think the best songs on this debut are Finding My Way, Here Again, and What You're Doing, because of the tasty big riffs that Alex is throwing around. It's fun to hear Geddy with vocal cords in full youthful glory and crank this album way up. The speed and power of Lifeson is something to behold here.

While I thought this album was sub-par *for Rush* for many years I have since seen the error of prog snobbery tendencies and left them at the curb. The first three Rush albums are among their best. Absolutely killer hard rock shelled out with the benefit of youthful endurance and power. They got more sophisticated, more measured, and more refined over time, but they never got any "better" than their first three album, if rawk listening pleasure is important to you.

Report this review (#120848)
Posted Saturday, May 5, 2007 | Review Permalink
Easy Livin
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars The end of a wonderful friendship!

The above is intended to relate primarily to drummer John Rutsey's brief time with the band which, in album terms, is covered by this their debut release. It also however refers to the fact that I will be turning my attention to some of the albums of Rush in my forthcoming reviews!

"Rush" is first and foremost a hard rocking, blues driven album. There is little here which could by any stretch of imagination be called complex or challenging. What there is however is a collection of high quality performances and the sound of a band playing well within themselves.

Geddy Lee's vocals are something of an acquired taste, the high pitched John Anderson range keys making the band sound like Led Zeppelin on helium. Indeed, we may as well get those Zep similarities out of the way now, as there is no doubt about their presence here. To be fair, they are more apparent on some tracks such as "What you're doing" (which reminds me of "Heartbreaker" from LZ's second album) than others. Alex Lifeson's guitar riffs can be very reminiscent of those of Jimmy Page, as can his lead guitar solos.

Each side has a 7 minute feature track. "Here again" is a slower reflective number, the guitar inflections and melancholy vocal emphasising the blues side of the band. "Working man" also starts out as a slower piece of heavy rock before Lifeson lifts the pace with a storming guitar solo reminiscent of one of Alvin Lee's finer (Woodstock) moments. Those who enjoy unadulterated, straightforward guitar soloing should give this one a try.

As debut albums go, "Rush" has a lot going for it. OK, it's not exactly prog, but it is a high quality heavy rock album.

Report this review (#123036)
Posted Tuesday, May 22, 2007 | Review Permalink
3 stars This is a high-energy, simple debut that does not even hint at what Rush would do down the road. The band pays obvious homage to their heroes The Who, Cream, and Zeppelin with this firmly blues-based hard rock. It may not be progressive, but it's rather enjoyable. Lee and Lifeson are already displaying some impressive chops, and Rutsey's no slouch; he just has the incredible misfortune of being the guy who warmed the seat for Neil Peart.

Lyrically, this album shows why Geddy and Alex let neil do all the writing once he joined. The only track with any good lyrics at all is "Working Man," a bona fide Rush classic that usually makes an appearance at live shows. "Finding My Way" and "In the Mood" are equally enjoyable, but their lyrics are like those on teh rest of the album. "Here Again" is some of the heaviest stuff you'll hear, especially for that time period, when only Sabbath had heavier licks.

Overall, this is a strong debut musically. The lyrics, however, are bland at best (with teh exception of Working Man). From this stage, nobody could have guessed that when Rutsey left, his unknown replacement would drastically alter the band's path.

Grade: C

Report this review (#127023)
Posted Thursday, June 28, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars It's Rush!!!

This is a good start for a good band who was trying to show the world what they could do at the moment.

When I listened to this record for the first time, I was in my teens and I wanted the music to be so heavy all the time. And all the energy you might want as a hard rock teenager fan is here: powerful guitar riffs, strength, speed, good drumming (although Peart is now a Rush trademark) and loud vocals. The lyrics...well, you must consider it was the beginning and the band members were too young.

No prog at all; but for a band that became a great icon of the genre, this albums deserves a good respect.

Report this review (#129095)
Posted Tuesday, July 17, 2007 | Review Permalink
3 stars The debut album of Ruch have a weak point, is John Rustey. Is a good drummer, but is much better Neil Peart. My first album of Rush was 2112 "The eminence". This album is the second version of Led Zeppelin, was released in the fall of Zeppelin. Have a good rockin' songs, one ballad and a song if you prefer you can call it "progressive": "Working man" it's soberb, and the version of Rush in Rio with Neil Peart is pride. The album is good and strong if you like the hard rock style. This album are much more heavy then Zeppelin but is not progressive like Styx. Is a good start, is one of my favourites albums but is not the best of Rush. they must make a reedición of this album with Neil Peart. But I believe that already they are adult to do it. But i'm waiting the reedition
Report this review (#135205)
Posted Tuesday, August 28, 2007 | Review Permalink
2 stars The debut album of what would end op as the greatest band ever is actually more of curiosity than a really good album. Partly this is due to Neil Peart not yet being in the band, but I think this 'part' is a bit overestimated when just looking at why this album sounds the way it sounds. From a lyrics point of view, it's still fair enough (Peart just would not come up with lyrics like "hey baby, it's a quarter to eight, I feel I'm in the mood"), but from a musical point of view, this album is not that much different from most non-epic tracks on Fly By Night, Caress Of Steel and 2112. Even though John Rutsey is not the tasteful virtuoso drummer Neil Peart is, this at most makes difference in form, not that much in substance.

Even though the album contains quite some mediocre hard rock, some tracks stand out. This goes for the opener Finding My Way, the blues ballad Here Again, the closer Working Man and, to a lesser extent, Before And After. While not on par with the later classics, these tracks are interesting enough for Rush fans (out of curiosity) and for late 60's / early 70's hard rock fans in general. By casual listeners, this record is best avoided.

Report this review (#137395)
Posted Sunday, September 9, 2007 | Review Permalink
2 stars Sorry, but I really don't like this album.

As a huge Rush fan, this is the only album of their's that I don't own. Oh, I've heard it many times before, and I've often told myself I should get it if nothing more than to have a complete collection. But I really don't like it. They really needed Neil Peart at this point. It sounds like some other band instead of Rush. Yes, the bass we know and love is there, and Alex plays well here and there, but the drums and songwriting are just not Rush.

It's ok, with the next album started the greatness. I realize most other fans will have this album, I just cannot.

Report this review (#137504)
Posted Monday, September 10, 2007 | Review Permalink
2 stars Probably actually a 2.5.

The rating for this album really says it all: It's good.... but not necessarily essential. Working Man is a great song of classic rock. Where this album really fails is the lack of Neil Peart. The science fiction and philosophy heavy lyrics are really missing here. I enjoy this album maybe twice a year, it doesn't make it in the rotation too often. This one is considered a Led Zeppelin ripoff. I disagree in that there is no Zeppelin album of lower quality than "RUSH." In that case, if I'm in the mood for some hard classic rock, I'd choose Zeppelin over this any day.

Report this review (#140903)
Posted Saturday, September 29, 2007 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Rush have never been a band to rest on their laurels and have been through many different styles throughout their thirty plus years career. On this, their 1974 debut they were pretty much a straight Heavy Rock band with no sign of the Progressive elements they would soon be displaying in their music. There's no doubt and the band would readily admit that they were heavily influenced by Led Zeppelin at this point. But that's no bad thing; after all, if you're going to be influenced by someone it may as well be the best. The album is notable as their only one to feature original Drummer John Rutsey who would be replaced of course by Neil Peart for Fly By Night.

The album features a few early favourites that would stay in the live set for the next few years at least. Namely Finding My Way, In the Mood, What You're Doing and Working Man and they're all great examples of seventies Heavy Rock. I was really reminded when I saw Rush on the R-30 tour a few years back what a great riff Finding My Way has as it was used as the intro to the R-30 medley that they opened the show with. Brilliant stuff!

The rest of the album is pretty good too though, especially the more laid back, seven and a half minute Here Again which has a fine solo from Guitarist Alex Liefson. The album is well produced with a nice bottom end and the band play well throughout and although Rutsey could never match the chops of Peart he shows that he's a good solid player.

Not an essential Rush album then but it's an impressive debut many lesser bands would have killed to have made.

Report this review (#152511)
Posted Saturday, November 24, 2007 | Review Permalink
3 stars It's funny that the carreer of the great Rush started off with this album. Because this debut wasn't anythink like the next 6 or 7 albums they made after this. It's almost as if it's some sort of mistake, like they were heading for the wrong direction and recovered that with their next albums.

What's this debut like ? It's a simple hardrock album, it's almost funny as if you shouldn't take this too seriously. But of course I do because it's probably meant as a serious release. If you listen to the second, fifth or sixth song of this album you'll understand what I mean. I can't suppress a smile when I hear these songs. There are some more serious tracks, like my personal fav: Here Again or Before and after or Working man. I think these are really good songs. All in all this is not bad at all but far from a classic or excellent album. So I can only give it 3 stars.

Report this review (#155190)
Posted Wednesday, December 12, 2007 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars "Rush" is the eponymously titled debut full-length studio album by Canadian, Toronto based progressive rock act Rush. The album was released through Moon Records in March 1974. Rush was formed in 1968 when the members were still in high school, but the trio lineup of Geddy Lee (lead vocals, bass), Alex Lifeson (guitars, backing vocals), and John Rutsey (drums, backing vocals), who recorded this album, wasn´t fully established until May 1971. After honing their playing and songwriting skills on the local Toronto scene, Rush recorded the material for the album at Eastern Sound Studios, Toronto in early 1973 - November 1973. As no label showed interest in releasing the album, the band and their management opted to release the album themselves through their own label Moon Records. The original Moon Records vinyl version was only pressed in 3.500 copies. After the track "Working Man" achieved some radio airplay and the Moon Records vinyl copies sold out, Mercury Records picked the album up for a re-release.

Stylistically the music on the album is power trio hard rock. Guitar, bass, drums, and vocals...1, 2, 3, 4 straight ahead blues based rock´n´roll with an attitude. Led Zeppelin´s most hard edged material is a valid reference point. It´s pretty basic vers/chorus structured music, and most listeners into that type of music should be able to appreciate the unpolished rawness and authenticity of the material. Rush were already at this point, a very well playing act. The instrumental part of the music is tight, hard rocking, and organic, and Geddy Lee delivers his high pitched vocals with a convincing snarling attitude.

The album is a self-produced affair and the band have created a raw and organic sound for their hard rocking music, which suits the material well. The songwriting is relatively consistent in quality although not all tracks stand out equally much, but overall it´s a decent and somewhat promising debut album (I´d mention "Finding My Way", "What You´re Doing", and "Working Man" as some of the standout tracks). In retrospect it´s also one of a kind in the band´s discography, as they would already start incorporating progressive rock ideas on "Fly by Night (1975)", which this album is completely devoid of. A 3 star (60%) rating is warranted.

Report this review (#158498)
Posted Sunday, January 13, 2008 | Review Permalink
3 stars Another album which I listened to a very long time ago, in mid 1983. By that time I was in my last year in Prep School. The amateur-semi-professional band on which I was playing the drums then , a "Power Trio" with a cousin and one of my brothers, was then put temporary "out of action" due to school obligations and the fact that my cousin was tired of playing the bass and wanted to buy a guitar and become another guitarist in the band (in 1984 a bassist was found and our band became a quartet which mainly played original songs!). So, by that time my brother met two musicians which were more or less of my age and also were in the same school I was studying (to be honest, at that time I wasn`t a dedicated student, but I managed to finish my Prep School studies in the three years official period!). These two musicians (who also are brothers) were great fans of RUSH and they had all the albums of the band. My brother, five years older than me, went to play with professional bands which played covers in bars, for a time, and I went to "Jam" with these two teenager musicians for several months with the original aim to form a band which could play gigs, but it never came a reality (most of the time was spent on parties or in talking about some "philosophical and existential themes", lke many teenagers do!). The only RUSH album which I have listened until then was "Permanent Waves" which my cousin had in his LP collection. These musicians some months later found another (very good, by the way) drummer and called their band "Rasbora", a name taken from a kind of fish, I think. They composed their own songs, with lyrics written and sung in English (both were English language teachers) but their music was very similar to RUSH`s music, so among friends they were called Rushbora as a joke! (They weren`t very happy with that joke, but they weren`t very angry instead!). So, with these RUSH`s fans I had the chance to borrow from them and listen to several RUSH`s albums. This album was one of them.

After this brief autobiographical note ("Who cares?" "Is he really a "Prog Reviewer"?"), now I`m going to write a brief review about this album.

There was and maybe still is some people who criticizes a lot the early albums recorded by RUSH. Some people consider them as an imitation of the Heavy Metal style which bands like LED ZEPPELIN had in those days. I think that the comparison with LED ZEPPELIN is very apparent, but RUSH still had some originalty in their music, which since their fist album also had some Prog Rock influences. Geddy Lee`s vocals were not very liked by many people, me included, but with the passing of time this band developed their own style and became an even more original band. The thing that makes this album belong more to the Heavy Metal style was that their then drummer, John Rutsey, as a more Heavy metal oriented drummer than Neil Peart, who, in my opinion, still was heavy drummer, but his ifnluence as a more oriented Prog Rock drummer was very important, and his lyrics and conceptual ideas for their albums became even more important with the passing of time. So, in this first album, the band was more a Heavy Metal band very similar to other bands of that time.

The songs of this album are good, but some of them sounded even better when they were included in their 1976 live album with Peart called "All the World`s a Stage". There, these songs became Heavier and more Prog-influenced, particularly "Finding My Way", "What You're Doing" and "Working Man". Rutsey was also a good drummer, but like other bands, RUSH had to find another musician who complemented their style very well and to develop it more. With Peart, RUSH defined their identity better and became a better band, in my opinion.

Report this review (#158515)
Posted Sunday, January 13, 2008 | Review Permalink
Queen By-Tor
Honorary Collaborator
2 stars Humble beginnings from the progressive monsters.

Before Moving Pictures, before Permanent Waves, before A Farewell to Kings, Hemispheres and even before Caress of Steel, Rush was a hard rock band trying to break into the music scene. Often compared to Led Zeppelin in terms of sound and rockiness it's been rumored that the first time many heard Working man on the radio they called the station wondering when the next Zep album would be out. The comparisons aren't without reason, however, as this outing is actually very much like those Zeppelin boys. Geddy shrieks and Alex whips out heavy riffs while Rutsey bangs on the drums and the band makes some good hard rock. Progressive? No, not yet. It's experimented with and generally danced around, but there's nothing truly progressive here.

The album opens up with the usual Geddy scream of ''Yeah! Ho yeah!'' as Finding My Way starts quite fast. This is a good hard rock song that's a pretty good indicator of what's to come on the next album, but for now it's just a good rocker. Need Some Love is a fairly basic song with a pretty cool little drum thing going at the chorus, thankfully it's short and we're quickly onto the next song. Take A Friend is another very basic hard rocker. Good song, but nothing to be overly excited about and certainly not progressive. What You're Doing is a stab at some past record executives as is Queen's Death On Two Legs. Regardless, it's another rock song that is good at best.

So we have a lot of rock moments here. Anything progressive or poor? Let's dig deeper...

Poor moments? Well no, but there is a song that likely won't appeal to prog heads. In The Mood is a very radio friendly song that actually gets a lot of airtime in Canada. Is it a good progressive single like Tom Sawyer? Certainly not. It's likely the most basic song on the album, ''hey baby it's a quarter to 8, I fell I'm in the mood.'' Definitely not the high-brow stuff that we Rush fans are by now used to. This can likely be attributed to the lack of Mr. Lyrics, Neil Peart, but he won't be around until the next album.

Onto the finer moments of the album. While there may not be any true progressive moments on this album (indeed, not until By-Tor and the Snow Dog), there are some starts. Here Again and Before And After are a pair of songs that show the band taking a minute to slow down, write some longer compositions and just experiment. They still sound like some of the slower Zep stuff, but they're getting there. Is is the stuff that would likely push them into progressive grounds later on. It's not until the end, however, where the beacon of hope really shines. Working Man is what could be considered proto-heavy prog. A heavy song with hints of progressive-ness and with some great, not too self indulgent soloing right in there. This really was the start of the band, and it's kind of the precursor for the sound that they would eventually create on their second, third and even fourth albums.

Really, it's a shame that Peart couldn't be around right from the start, but that's okay, since not too long after this album he'll show up for an audition on a bike with his drums in garbage bags and blow away his competitors. Besides, Rutsey does a fantastic job for what they were trying to accomplish on this effort and he's quite often a very overlooked force in the early days of the band. So, in the end this album gets a 2. Rush fans will certainly enjoy this, as will Zeppelin-ers. Prog fans should skip this one and look more for the band's classic era albums. Fun stuff none the less and an interesting start to one of Canada's greatest bands.

Report this review (#159876)
Posted Saturday, January 26, 2008 | Review Permalink
Italian Prog Specialist
3 stars With Rush being the second progressive band I came to knew, it feels natural to start by reviewing their nice to excellent albums. And that's an honest opinion. Sure. They aren't all Moving Picture, and some aren't even prog. What IS for sure is that every album deserves an honest listening, which many here at PA won't give them for reasons mentioned above.

Well, onto the album!

In 1974 the Canadian trio Rush releases their self-titled first album.

Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson and John Rutsey presents a Zeppelinesque effort, but less blues-drenched and way more energetic. There's a lot of power in the music and Geddy sings aggressively throughout the album, which make the album a burst of energy more than anything else. Only Here Again and about half of Before and After with it's soothing guitar harmonics offers some well-needed rest.

The absence of Neil Peart is most notable when it comes to the lyrics. What can be heard on Rush is nothing more than what is typically heard on the random '70s hard rock effort. The drumming itself isn't at all bad, it matches the music just fine, and I can't even say I miss Neil.

To sum it up: Good ROCK album coloured by it's time topped with good musicians and a lot of intensity. A listening experience best described as some good fun!


Report this review (#161112)
Posted Wednesday, February 6, 2008 | Review Permalink
2 stars More or less, this is the pure hard rock side of Rush for those who care very much about Rush. This fan holds some solace in RUSH since it was the first of their albums I've listened to. Even as relatively new band, the drumming and guitar work is impeccable.

However, Rush aren't really forging new ground yet. This type of hard rock is only a teensy bit different than stuff coming from Led Zeppelin, the Who or Free. Everything is ''correct'' in the hard rock sense including the lyrics, the feel, the macho-ness, the blues influences, etc.

It tires easily on any non-rocker. Most progsters like to discover new things each time they listen to an album repeatedly, but RUSH offers nothing of that sort. Rush would eventually take a more complex, cerebral approach (likely with the addition of Peart), but for now, they're just a rock band having fun. Not horrible by any means, but only Rush fans should have an interest in this.

Report this review (#171136)
Posted Thursday, May 15, 2008 | Review Permalink
3 stars Well, this review is a kind of tribute to the late John Rutsey. I must confess that initially I didn't care for Rush's first kick just because the drummer wasn't Peart. But when I listened "All the world's a stage" for the first time the medley "Finding my way/ What you're doing" got my attention immediately. Then a friend from the language school knew that I appreciate Rush and give me two cds: Test for Echo and the eponymous album. I'm really grate to her. I love the hard rock attitude of this album. Geddy's voice is over the top, but I like it (just love the live versions of Bastille day). This album really kicks ass and it is good and loud rock'n'roll, 70's style. Tis is not progressive rock anyway, but the world is far larger than the progressive rock-diehard can imagine. Rush is an album that could be put in the same league as any of the Grand Funk first five albums, and this is a great thing to be (at least to my ears). Just because it isn't progressive I give it 3 stars, but the album on its own is a wonderful 5 star rock'n'roll album.

RIP, Mr. Rutsey. Peace for you and all your family.

Report this review (#171138)
Posted Thursday, May 15, 2008 | Review Permalink
4 stars Firstly, I want to say this may be Rush's most underrated album. It's a crime to give such low ratings to a record like this. It's a great hard rock dose, with plenty of great riffs, rocking, raw moments, and incredibly well done choruses. And they are not that reminiscent of Zeppelin, as the majority says, except for that great Geddy's uuuhhh yeeah! 's, which remain no other than the great Plant. And In The Mood has a great zeppelinesque riff. Geddy is actually greater than in many of the other albums, the drumming is decent (though it's not Neil), and Alex delivers great solos (love the tone of his guitar).

As I already said, all tracks are incredibly catchy, with amazing choruses. Working Man is magic, a total classic. You get that feeling from the beginning of the song. Fans of rocker, heavy music will feel very high during all the album (there are no low points, though it's not a complete masterpiece). After listening to this album I wonder how could it be if Rush kept that hard rock roots during all the next albums. I wish they didn't got as prog as on Hemispheres, for example. IMO, Rush does the greatest job when they mix a little bit (and I said little bit) of prog with hard rock, guitar driven songs. They're at their best when they 'rock it' out. That's why 2112 has that perfect balance, and it's their best album.

Overall, their debut is an excellent record, criminally underrated and recommended to everyone, specially for fans of heavy music.

Rating: 4.2/5

Report this review (#171312)
Posted Saturday, May 17, 2008 | Review Permalink
Symphonic Team
2 stars The beginning of Rush

In Britain, progressive Rock was already in its absolute prime in 1974. Rush (being from Canada), however, seem to be wholly oblivious of the progressive Rock movement on this their debut album from that year. What we find here is rather strongly derivative, Led Zeppelin-influenced Blues Rock/Hard Rock that could easily have come out of Britain in late 60's. It would take Rush several years and several albums to gradually transform into a Prog Rock act, but not a single trace of that future development could be foretold on the basis of what can be found on this debut album. This is a clearly premature effort that sounds outdated and irrelevant today in relation to the albums Rush released afterwards and also in relation to progressive Rock in general or even Rock in general. Had this debut been their only album or if they had continued in this style forever, Rush would barely be a footnote in the history of Rock music. Thankfully, they developed considerably with future releases. Only for Rush fans and collectors this one

Report this review (#178727)
Posted Sunday, August 3, 2008 | Review Permalink
3 stars Well, here we are at the very beginning of the band we all know as RUSH. This debut album starts off a period of what I call "Early RUSH". These albums are: Rush I (1974), Fly By Night (1975), Caress of Steel (1975), 2112 (1976), and All the World's a Stage "Live" (1976).

RUSH's debut album was a pretty good effort. The first thing is that all the songs were originals, even if some were weaker than others, especially the lyrics. Most bands have a few "covers" on their debut release, but not RUSH. Just about any Rush fan would probably say this is not the place to start if you're just getting into Rush. Not that it's that bad, it's just not the best. I'm giving this album an honest 3 stars, but that is based on an over-all comparison of the early Rush albums. This album is not Progressive music as we will come to think of RUSH in later years. More Proto-Prog than anything else.

I've been buying and listening to Rush albums since the late '70's, and the Rush debut is just one that I don't listen to very much. Some people just love it, they think it's the greatest thing they have ever done. That's fine. Those individuals are probably big fans of Led Zeppelin and other 70's Blues-Rock acts. Alex Lifeson does play some of his heaviest and most direct, in-your-face guitar licks they ever recorded. This album also contains some of Rush's most popular early songs that they have consistently played for the fans over the decades. These include Working Man and Finding My Way. In fact, Working Man and Here Again, both clocking in at over seven minutes, begins to hint at Rush's direction towards longer, epic length progressive rock that starts to show up in their follow-up albums. The RUSH album is the first and last album to feature drummer John Rutsey, who split with the band due to "differences in musical direction".

Best Tracks: Finding My Way and Working Man

Report this review (#182733)
Posted Wednesday, September 17, 2008 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars The debut album by my all-time favorite band in the world. This album is the only Rush album to not have Neil Peart on drums, but John Rutsey does an admirable job in the drum seat. As the story goes, when a Cleveland, Ohio radio station first played Working Man, the radio station and local records stores were inundated for requests for the new Led Zeppelin song and record. Which is quite a compliment given the greatness of Led Zeppelin. My initial feelings on this CD were that it was quite different from the Rush that I had gotten to know and love. It is more straight ahead rock and roll or hard rock in the vein of classic bands such as Cream and Led Zeppelin. Funny enough it didn't really grow on me until years later when they dusted off tracks like Working Man and played them live. I pretty much enjoy all of the songs on the album with my favorites being Finding My Way, In The Mood, What You're Doing, and Working Man. Tracks such as Before and After start off with a nice instrumental which foreshadows a direction that Rush would head towards musically in the future. And even with this debut you can see that Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson knew how to play their bass guitar and lead guitar with skill.

Being that Rush are my favorite band, I have listened to this debut album far more often than a non-fan or casual listener might want to listen to it. With all of these listens I have developed a familiarity and comfort with all of these songs and they are somewhat special to me as they are the beginnings of the greatness that is Rush.

Read my review as you will, and take it with a grain of salt knowing that it comes from a Rush fanboy. This album could rate anywhere from 2 to 4 stars depending on your point of view. For most, it probably is only a 2 star album that only Rush fans would like. Quite frankly, it also could be a 4 star album, as I feel that it is an essential addition to my collection and to any Rush fans collection. But this review is for what I think of as the traditional prog rock fan and for that I think this album is better than a fan only release. Therefore, I am giving it 3 stars because I find it to be quite good, but for the traditional prog fan, it isn't essential.

Report this review (#187900)
Posted Tuesday, November 4, 2008 | Review Permalink
3 stars This is the beginning for one of the most influential classic prog and rock acts, with some blues-focused plain hard rock. This is a good album! However, it's far from what Rush would develop over the next 30 years of their existence.

1. Finding My Way- Great song! I really like the guitar on this one and Rutsey and Lee keep up quite well. If this is Rush copying Led Zeppelin, then I think Rush did a better job! That accusation always gets me; they're not copying Led Zeppelin. The only similarity is that this song and this album is blues and hard rock-based. Nonetheless, this is a great rocker most notably featuring outstanding guitar work. 8/10

2. Need Some Love- This song is shorter and simpler than the album's opener, but it's still a really enjoyable song. If you're in the mood for some hard rock, this song is perfectly crafted. Not prog, but a great track. 6/10

3. Take a Friend- The intro is interesting here, building up and then exploding into a style that is similar to the previous song. Lifeson's guitar shines once again; Lee and Rutsey are also definitely up to their game as well, despite this not being prog. It still features some good musicianship! Good track and I feel similarly about this track as I do the previous one. 6/10

4. Here Again- The same feel is continued here, though in a much slower form. This is my least favorite on the album, but it's still a decent song with some good blues/rock-based compositional skills and musicianship. Doesn't strike me as much and doesn't really explore anything groundbreaking, but a decent start for this ambitious trio. 5/10

5. What You're Doing- This is better than the song that preceded it. Early Rush were better generally when they simply rocked out and this song proves that. Powerful guitar riffs from Lifeson drive this song along with Lee's somewhat-echo vocals. Another solid rock song. 6/10

6. In the Mood- It is so interesting to see how Rush started out before Peart and this song is no exception. The lyrics here are definitely not later Rush! Nonetheless, this song is more in the vein of another shorter more blues-based track like Need Some Love, whereas the previous one was more rock-based. 6/10

7. Before and After- Another slower song! This time it's better than Here Again though, but I'm not quite sure how to explain it other than the fact that it strikes me personally with more efficiency. The band is still up to par and the structure of this song proves to continue the somewhat atypical elements to make this interesting and enjoyable, even if it isn't prog. 6/10

8. Working Man- This is more along the lines of Rush that we're accustomed to hearing. This is easily the best track on here and shows the potential that Rush really had in becoming what they did throughout the next couple albums. The guitar is fabulous here and this is early Rush at their best. Working Man is a perfect rocker. 9/10

This may not be prog but it is still one hell of an album that shows the very beginnings of a band that were going to go on to accomplish many things in the realm of music. There is definitely loads of potential here! If you want to rock out, check this out. For the casual Rush fan or someone who isn't into hard rock as much, you can skip this and still be fine.

The low point of Rush's career. and that's quite impressive!

Good, but not essential.

Report this review (#191392)
Posted Monday, December 1, 2008 | Review Permalink
2 stars I definatly cannot say that this is Rush's strongest album, because, in reality, its really not. Many people though, at first, back in 1974-1975, that this was fresh, new Led Zeppelin music, but it was an unknown band, and that unknown band was Rush. The album had hits, but it was not until Neil Peart joined the band that they really got succesful. The album had hits, but was never a real memoriable CD, and it won't win any music awards any time soon. The few good songs that exist are never played live anymore, and are never played on the radio, but still, they hold their own spark, and what not. I will grade each song on a scale from 1-10, 10 being the highest, and, of course, 1 being the lowest of the scores. Here are the reveiws:

Finding my Way- This is, in some sense, a classic opener, an interesting riff, punching basslines and riffs, but suffers from below average drumming, as Neil was not in the band at that time. The lyrics are less than interesting, but they fit the song perfectly. 8/10

Need Some Love- A listenable track, mostly about sex, and love, as was everything else on every rock 'n from album from the 60s-70s. Geddy sounds very nice on this record, show his vocal ability, while playing the bass at a fast time. The chorus is alot more melow than the rest of the song, as the verse's sound very hard rock, metal kind of this. The guitar is distortion based, and the drumming is a very melodic beat to it. 7.5/10

Take a Friend- A track that really dosen't stand out in the group, nothing is very special about it. The bass is a little sloppy sound, even for Geddy. The riff sounds more like a part of a solo, more than a riff, and a little more is desired. 6/10

Here Again- The more boring track on the record. The riff is a little too slow for a song this long, clocking in at about 8 minutes. The lyrics are very uninteresting, symbolizing that you have seen someone too many times around the block. This song will really only appeal to people who like boring songs, hence what I have said above. 4.5/10

What Your Doin'- Probably one of the strongest tracks on the record. The riff is catchy, more interesting than most of the other ones. The solo is a little sloppy, more or so just put together, but still a very interesting listen. The lyrics show that a person only thinks of himself, which is a very interesting concept, in my eyes. 8.5/10

In the Mood- Most of the side after Here Again is great. In the Mood is no exception. The riff is, in my words, very sexy, and it really does get you In the Mood (no pun intended). The lyrics are about sexy women and wanting the have sex with them, what else is new. But its still an interesting, blusey, boogie rocker. 8/10

Before and After- The first few minutes of the song are really great, very acoustic guitar heavy, while Geddy is flowing great basslines, thats the only good part. The few munites after that become very hard rock, and it completely goes away from the original story, I guess. The lyrics are way to rock 'n roll for a ballad. 6.5/10

Working Man- The strongest track of the whole record. There bass solos, guitar solos, mini drum solos, and its just a very interesting song. The riff is so powerful, distorted, and catchy, you don't want to stop listening. Geddy shows that he can wail on this record, and he can also do pretty good bass solos on the persicusion bass that he is playing. The only real classic from the album. 9/10

This is a pretty good album, but Rush has very many better albums than this, this is only really the beginning of the bands long, and hard journey. The debut album has strong tracks, and very weak tracks, so thats why I gave it a 2 star rating.

Report this review (#195103)
Posted Friday, December 26, 2008 | Review Permalink
3 stars This is the first Rush album I have heard. It's far from being a bad release , just happens that when we put Rush's career in perspective , their debut does not have the characteristics of their progressive period. There are no sci fi epics , no thought provoking lyrics , no premiere drumming and no synthetizers. This is a typical hard rock album from the 70's.

However , since Led Zeppelin is my favourite non prog band and being this debut really zeppelinesque , I happen to enjoy this record quite a lot. Even more than the ones in their post Power Windows period. Here the instrumentation is simple and the lyrics deal with typical issues such as love , frienship and broken hearts. Much like some LZ releases. That being said , from the first time you heard the opening riff of Finding my way you can tell this guys had great potential , this songs are addictive and energetic enough to give you a good time. Some songs on this record will become permanent part of the band's live acts such as the blues based Working Man or the rocker In the Mood.

Even if it's a little unoriginal for 1974 and it pales in comparaison to their prog milestones , Rush debut is a very well crafted hard rock album that fullfills it's purpose.

Report this review (#200739)
Posted Monday, January 26, 2009 | Review Permalink
2 stars Rush haven't had many low points, but I'd say this is near the bottom of the list of their albums in terms of quality.

Two tracks stand out as being good: Working Man and Finding My Way are two Rush classics. However, the other tracks are rather generic blues-rock numbers in the vein of Led Zeppelin. Geddy's vocal style hasn't developed its uniqueness yet: it's virtually all Robert Plant-esque screeching. The lyrics are largely cheesy and bland (Oo-ooh, I need some love is hardly an original line). Otherwise, the band plays well, particularly on the aforementioend Working Man and Finding My Way, but they haven't found the genre they work best in yet.

The tracks aren't BAD, but hard rock has been done much better by numerous other classic bands from this era. If you own some Led Zeppelin, there is little reason to buy this album. If you don't own any Led Zeppelin... then go get some Led Zeppelin instead of this.

Report this review (#204591)
Posted Friday, February 27, 2009 | Review Permalink
Conor Fynes
3 stars 'Rush' - Rush (64/100)

There seems to be majority agreement that Rush's self-titled started their career off on one of its weaker notes. I wouldn't contest that notion either; compared to the heady intellectualism of their peak era, the bluesy, Led Zeppelin-influenced hard rock on this one can barely compete. Be that as it may, I think it is unduly overlooked by a lot of fans- myself included. Back in high school, I bought every album of theirs I could lay my adolescent hands on. 2112 and Caress of Steel blew me away, Moving Pictures even moreso. Even Counterparts (which I'll stand beside as one of the most underrated rock albums ever, let alone of Rush's career) struck a lasting note with me. After giving the debut a few listens however, I dismissed it, and the CD ended up at the back and bottom of my shelf where the U2 and Aerosmith best-of compilations dwelled.

While my music taste has only grown more perverse and alienating in the years since, I actually find myself enjoying Rush far more than I did at the height of my fandom. There's not a lot of depth to their songwriting. The lyrics are probably best described as pedestrian at best. But couldn't the same be said for Led Zeppelin's early masterpieces? Decades later, and there's still a primal charm to unpretentious, no-frills rock music. The problem is that so many of the bands (both then and now) that go that route failed to say anything memorable with such a limited palette. Even if they would quickly abandon it for bolder pastures, Rush had no problem expressing their personality with a basic rock set-up.

Love or hate the album, Rush stands out from many of its amorphous hard rock contemporaries. While their influences are active in colouring the band's performance, Rush's sound on the self-titled was already distinctive, thanks in no small part to the voice of Geddy Lee. His singing is unique to the point of being an acquired taste; that's virtually unheard of in hard rock. His high-pitched wail has always been the potential dealbreaker with new listeners, and none moreso than here. I think the impish shriek Geddy's vocals lean on works for the music they were making here, but it would be a couple of albums still before he learned to make the most of his voice. As it happens, there are moments where it sounds like he pushes himself further than he should; some of the inflections on "Take a Friend" and "Here Again" have always rubbed my ears the wrong way. Regardless, the fact that you could already pick his voice out of a crowd of a thousand this early on only works to be the benefit of the music.

The easy highlight on the self-titled is Alex Lifeson. The thoughtful restraint and feeling he put into his playing on albums like Hemispheres has long since made him one of my favourite guitarists (not to mention a major reason why I decided to pick up the instrument for myself.) He doesn't offer the same laid-back sense on Rush. With the debut, he's all about pure riffmaking. "Finding My Way" offers one of the best opening riffs to an album in hard rock history. And, of course, it would be nuts to go without mentioning "Working Man", Rush's first de facto 'hit.' Call me crazy, but I hear echoes of Black Sabbath in "Working Man"- just replace Geddy with Ozzy and it might have fit on Paranoid or Sabbath's own self-titled debut.

Even when the songwriting isn't always that great, Lifeson's riffs (and leads) are a joy to hear. This segues me to the biggest issue Rush faced at this early stage. When the song writing is good, it's really good. The rest of the time, they don't seem all that phased by mediocre writing. "Finding My Way" is a great opener. "In the Mood" is a memorable pop track. "Working Man" is a heavy beast of a closer. The rest of the tracks help me remember why I wasn't a fan of the album in the first place. None of it is bad songwriting per se; just audibly uninspired. Keeping in mind that they would be writing epics about [&*!#] like space and necromancers a few years later, listening to Geddy unironically wailing about 'needing some love' is pretty lame. Ditto that for singing songs about how great it feels to 'take'(?) a friend. Do these guys know they would be doing full-blown prog rock a couple of years later? Jesus Christ...

I also promised myself I'd bring up Geddy Lee as a bassist. The most common wasted opportunity in rock music is a bassist who sounds content to mindlessly follow the chords of the guitarist. Unfortunately, that's the case more often than not in this sort of hard rock. Not only does Geddy pave his own way independent of Lifeson's thunder, the aggressive tone of his bass is perfectly suited to the music they're playing here. Unsurprisingly, the would-be weakest link is the drummer John Rutsey. He had to leave after an album due to touring complications related to diabetes. Although he holds up a decent beat here, he lacked the presence to keep up with the already-distinctive personalities of Lifeson and Lee. Running into Neil Peart was the best-possible thing to happen to them; a drummer that could not only keep up, but take charge of any aspects Rush lacked in somewhat- namely, the lyrics.

But what if that had never happened? Think of it this way: imagine a parallel universe where the Rush we knew never existed. Instead, three guys from Toronto had decided to make a bluesy, Zeppelin-influenced hard rock album before calling it quits, to start families and become high school teachers (or something.) If Rush was all we had to judge from what would become one of the strongest legacies in rock music, its qualities would undoubtedly be more apparent. Geddy's distinctive (if not always pleasant) voice and aggressive bass playing, Alex's energy and tone, and the riffs- by Gött- THE RIFFS! "Finding My Way", "In the Mood" and the almighty "Working Man" are great examples of mid-70s hard rock, and while it would take Neil Peart to elevate them to the next level, Rush's debut still stands as a pretty solid affair in its own right.

Report this review (#205524)
Posted Thursday, March 5, 2009 | Review Permalink
3 stars I would rate this as a "four" star album, except for the fact that the criterian for rating an album as four star states that this album is "essential to any prog rock collection. I can't say that about this album. However, I do think that the album is worthy of a four star rating.

This album shows off an ambitious young band who were basically, for all intents and purposes, metaphorically "recording in their garage." Heavy rock like Zeppelin and Black Sabbath were the order of the day. Lifeson and Lee are EXCELLENT hard rock instrumentalists, and John Rustey is a strong hard rock drummer. I doubt the band had written much material before this album came out. So what is a young, ambitious, but inexperienced band going to do in the early days of heavy rock? Why, they'll bash out their own heavy rock album.

"Finding My Way" is a strong way to start the album. A distant sounding riff opens the song. It shows off an unusually talented guitarist. The riff is rooted in blues and rock, but there is a flavor to the riff that is still distinctly Rush. The song builds, and Geddy shouts "ooooooh yeah!" This is when the Rush flavor comes in heaviest. Some people hate Geddy's vocals. I can understand. I know people who, not knowing better, asked me who this "chick band" was, and a friend of mine has called Geddy a "great female vocalist." His vocals don't bother me. They're distinct and he's actually a really good singer, in my opinion.

Without going song by song, I'll just say that the band bashes and crashes through the album and seems to be having the time of their lives. The album closes with "Working Man" the one song that every review mentions, and a song they still play. It's an eight minute monster, but not of the epic prog type. No, this song is long because Lifeson and Geddy take time to solo, and they do it in a more upbeat and hard rocking fashion then they would later. It's a head spinning moment, after all these years later, through the synth period, through the 90's rock period, to go back to the first album and hear these moments of rock and roll fun.

It's important to remember that about this album. It's fun. It's the only Rush album that I can call "fun." The lyrics here were written mostly by Geddy and Lifeson (if I'm not mistaken) and they are very down to Earth. "I get up by seven, yeah, and I go to work by nine..." "I've been here, I've been there..." Very prosaic. Very working class Canadian. If Rutsey had stayed in the band, who knows what would have happened. Would they have went progressive any ways, and tried to write their own "deep philosophical lyrics" or would they have stayed in this hard rock direction? We'll never know, because by the next album, Neil Peart entered, and helped transform Rush into one of the most infamous progressive rock bands in history through his exceptional drumming and his controversial lyrics. Onward and upward!

Report this review (#212395)
Posted Saturday, April 25, 2009 | Review Permalink
2 stars The RUSH saga starts here.

.......And a charming one it is. But this albums stands out in several ways. First of all, the late John Rutsey sat behind the drum kit. The other thing is that music is heavy-blues. This album, and the Feedback EP, is the two oddities in the Rush catalogue. The music has been compared to LED ZEPPELIN. I agree with that. But this album is a more primitive basic version of LED ZEPPELIN. In other words; this is not the sophisticated band we know as RUSH.

The album kicks off with one of the two only good songs on this album. Finding My Way has an infectious groove and melody. Then we get some tracks of mediocrity before Working Man closes the album. Working Man is the only other good track on this album and still a live favourite. That is all what I can exctract from this album, I am afraid. It is a charming album hard-blues/hard rock album, but nothing more. Enter Neil Peart.

2.25 stars

Report this review (#219110)
Posted Sunday, May 31, 2009 | Review Permalink
3 stars I have to admit, being a die-hard Rush fan, I bought Rush the second I saw the vinyl in a record shop. I was expecting some Rush-like riffs, like we all know from the classics, but this is Rush's first album, and not having Peart as an amazing drummer and lyricist sort of makes you regret buying this album. Rutsy is great, but he just wasn't Peart. He couldn't write like Peart, he couldn't drum like Peart, he just wasn't him, even if we didn't know who the hell Neil Peart was when Rush's debut came out.

All the songs are short, around the single length for songs, which is around 3:40, and they really have no feel to them like the songs after Caress of Steel, in which Rush plays tighter than previous albums. Working Man isn't too much of a masterpiece, but it is the masterpiece of this album. 7 minutes in length, and heavy Rush riffs as we know them. The song is good, but not good enough for me to give the album a 4.

Report this review (#225362)
Posted Thursday, July 9, 2009 | Review Permalink
The Sleepwalker
2 stars Rush's debut has a pretty nice cover. Unfortunately it doesn't get much better than the cover. This really must be one of the worst albums I own. The reason I bought this was because I knew one track that is on this album: "Working Man". Not knowing any other songs from this album I decided to buy it, and I was very dissapointed when I listened it. The album features some bluesy rock songs, clearly inspired by bands like Led Zeppelin. Most of the songs sound immature and unambitious though.

Songs like "In The Mood", "What You're Doing", "Take A Friend" and "Need Some Love" aren't interesting to my ears by any means and have nearly nothing in common with songs Rush would make during different eras in their career. The album also features several songs that are better, like "Before And After" and the longest track from the album "Here Again". Also the opener "Finding My Way" is one of the few tracks that I enjoy on this album. The only great moment on this album is the heavy album closer "Working Man". Though not as excellent as many songs Rush would later release, this is a very fine song. It has some pretty simple but good riffs in it, and also a lot of soloing.

Apart from "Working Man" and perhaps "Finding My Way" this album doesn't have much to offer. Also, "Working Man" can be found on live albums by Rush, and I would recommend getting those over this album, as this album contains a lot of uninteresting songs. I definitely think this album deserves only two stars, as I enjoy very few of the music on it.

Report this review (#246001)
Posted Saturday, October 24, 2009 | Review Permalink
Prog Metal Team
3 stars This isn't the real Rush yet and there's not a second of prog in sight for miles, but this is just a very enjoyable hard rock album in its own right. Unlike later Rush albums, the influences from other bands is still very prominent in their sound. In my ears that would be from Led Zeppelin and Budgie.

On the next album, Neil Peart would kick Rush really into action. His creative drumming style is really missed here. John Rutsey doesn't do a bad job but it's all pretty straightforward rock drumming, none of the vintage counter- and poly-rhythms, no surprising time signatures, no fills nor frills that would be the groundwork for Rush's take on progressive rock that would start on their next album.

That not withstanding, the fury and energy here is only matched by the 1976 live album All The World's A Stage. Except for Before And After, that shows a first glimpse of more dynamic song writing in its intro, all the best tunes of this one ended up on that live album. Judging from my love for this I would easily rate this 4 stars but since it isn't up to the same level of later Rush albums 3 will have to do.

Report this review (#253812)
Posted Tuesday, December 1, 2009 | Review Permalink
3 stars In the beginning, before Neil Peart joined the band (the original drummer was one John Rutsey, who never really tries to make himself sound like a "drum god" on this album but at least sounds good enough), Rush was basically just another hard rock power trio, with one distinguishing feature; they could play the absolute living hell out of their instruments (well, they also had a singer who sounded like Robert Plant with his nuts in a vice, but we'll ignore that; Geddy's voice has never bothered me). They wore their influences on their sleeve, and none of the songs betray much in the way of stylistic originality (other than playing their instruments with greater ferocity than others did), so it's hard to rate this album as one of the band's best. Still, it's an interesting curiousity, and there are some parts here that rate with the best material the band did during the 70's.

The best tracks are the ones that bookend the album. "Finding My Way," if nothing else, displays an incredible sense of showmanship as an opener in the incredibly energetic guitar lines, and the way Geddy's screeching vocals play off of the solid main riff is very impressive. "Working Man," which closes the album, has an absolutely gargantuan slower riff in the verses, and an equally great faster riff which the band uses as the foundation of what's arguably the best pure jam the band ever did. I quite regret that Alex and Geddy didn't engage in these kinds of battles more often, honestly. This is one of the few Rush songs that I actively look forward to hearing on the radio; few things compare to the thrill of pumping the bass up to its highest level on my car stereo and blasting out my eardrums with that jam. And the extended ending, well, I like it just fine. After all, if Jethro Tull could have awesome extended codas, why couldn't Rush?

A third moderate highlight is "What You're Doing," with a riff closely modeled off of that to "Heartbreaker" and a great heavy guitar sound, as well as an amusing Geddy vocal delivery. Unfortunately, the album doesn't have any other tracks that I find very good, and some actively annoy me. "Need Some Love" and "In the Mood" are short and novel for Rush, but they're kinda dumb and average to my ears ("In the Mood" at least has some goofy joviality, though). "Before and After" has a fairly pretty acoustic introduction, with a nice build into the electric parts, but eventually it's overcome by a fairly pedestrian rocker. "Take a Friend" has a moderately catchy chorus, but its opening and closing, as intricate and tricky as it might be, just seems pointlessly messy to me (an ill harbinger of Rush to come). And finally, "Here Again" is about as close to a clone of "Since I've Been Loving You" as could exist without actually copying the melody, and it really betrays Rush's status as a second class hard rock band.

Still, this is reasonable for a debut album. It's extremely unpolished, but it betrays a good amount of talent on the part of the band members. There's no concept or real ambition, but that's where part of the enjoyment comes from.

Report this review (#279746)
Posted Wednesday, April 28, 2010 | Review Permalink
2 stars Rush's 1974 debut was a quality hard rock album, influenced in no small part by the vocals of Robert Plant, the heavy blues guitar style of Jimmy Page and by the wide-reaching hard rock influence of Led Zeppelin in general. Depending upon my mood, I enjoy listening to this album more than to many of Led Zeppelin's albums but that is a matter of personal taste.

The highlight is the 7:10 closer and fan favorite "Working Man", a song that still remains a staple of the band's live performances. As such, more definitive performances are available on live Rush albums.

If you are a classic rock fan with a penchant for Rush, this album clearly is for you. Otherwise, I don't see this as an item of interest to general prog-rockers. For this reason, I'll designate it as a high quality "for collectors/fans only" album. 2 stars.

Report this review (#280723)
Posted Thursday, May 6, 2010 | Review Permalink
Symphonic Team
3 stars Every great band has a beginning...

The first Rush album is nowhere near their virtuoso best as that would develop on subsequent albums such as "2112", "Moving Pictures" or "Hemispheres". However as a debut this is quite an achievement with some of the best heavy prog you will hear. It begins with the blistering heavy riffing 'Finding My Way' that shimmers with strong energy and Lee belts out the words with conviction and power. He had a higher voice in these early days and at times is metal screechy but still a great singer. The guitars on the album of Lifeson are raw but I like that, more like Led Zeppelin but they would develop their own sound and become Rush.

The drums are not Peart of course in this incarnation but John Rutsey is competent. There is little in the way of progressive in this early Rush album but the potential is there and oozes through on gems such as 'Finding My way', 'In The Mood', 'What You're Doing' and the quintessential treasure, 'Working Man'. There are Led Zeppelinesque riffs on this latter track and some cool time sig changes. I love the verses and the riff in the chorus that has haunted me for years.

There are some moments of mediocrity such as the saccharine 'Here Again' and the dull 'Take a Friend'. But there is some heavy blues and boogie wrapped up in 'What You're Doing' which really feels like 'Whole Lotta Love' from the Zeps but it is still original to put a new spin on that classic riff.

'Working Man' is in my top 5 Rush songs and I never tire of it's structure, crazy riffing and innovative rhythmic time sig changes. This one is the only true prog song on the album but it paved the way for greater prog to come. It reminds me of the closing track on Genesis' "Trespass" as this too was the most progressive track, the heaviest and best for Genesis, as 'Working Man' is to this album.

Overall it is worth getting hold of this debut, as long as you are not expecting a prog masterpiece, as any Rushaholic will contest this is simply not the case.

Report this review (#286601)
Posted Tuesday, June 15, 2010 | Review Permalink
2 stars The best track here is probably Working Man but it has nothing to do with progressive rock. It is a typical hard rock song. The other ones are in the same vein, pretty simple and straight forward hard rock songs. The first song is annoyingly resemble Led Zeppelin and is simply hard to ignore this because this is too evident and not masked in any way, almost like saying:"Look we can sing like Led Zeppeling too".

Albums like this one are a problem for me on this site because even if Rush did some great albums later their beginning is blues hard rock rooted but this is a long story almost exhausted in the forum discussions. There is for sure a specific Rush style already here(Geddy Lee's way of singing and Alex Lifeson way of playing guitar) but we don't have yet those sparks presented in the later albums.Not recommended for progressive rock fans but only for hard rock/Rush fans.

There are a few bands around which were able to create something interesting from the right beginning but Rush is not one of them. Adding Neil Peart later was for sure a big step forward because his passion for SF and his lyrics made Rush one of the most influential band of progressive rock scene especially for progressive metal bands.

Report this review (#288399)
Posted Saturday, June 26, 2010 | Review Permalink
3 stars i actually heard the album. i liked some of it, im not gonna lie t00 yuhh. i know it doesn't feature Neil Peart but its still a great album. the songs i could get into were Finding My Way, Take a Friend, Here Again, What You're Doing, Before and After, and Working Man. it isn't a bad album but some things stand out on this album. its a Rush album with great solos. some great solos on this Rush album are Here Again, What You're Doing, Before and After, and Working Man. and there's actually some songs that have some great choruses. in my opinion, the songs with great choruses would be the chorus to Take a Friend, and What You're Doing. on a scale from 1-10, i would rate the album 8/10.
Report this review (#289021)
Posted Saturday, July 3, 2010 | Review Permalink

This debut album clearly has not many hints of the epic history the band would build for itself. It has no Neil Peart, for a start, so that means neither brilliant lyrics, nor great drumming. The band was yet to find an identity of its own, so heavy influences of Cream, Led Zeppelin and even Black Sabbath are clear for all to hear, to the point that you could mistake this tracks for an obscure song from those bands catalogue. Even the unmistakable voice of Geddy Lee sounds like Robert Plant sometimes.

Yet, the album is not bad at all. At worst, the songs relate to good moments of the bands that inspire them. The opening track, Finding My Way, perfectly summarizes all the qualities of the album: powerful, heavy, distinctive guitar riffs, great guitar solos. A dark, gloomy, bluesy slow track, Here Again, with a phenomenal guitar solo, comparable to any other from great blues-rock bands of that time - probably my personal favorite. Another hightlight might be Before and After, that starts slowly and then builds up in a straight-forward hard rock.

The lyrics themselves sound a bit adolescent and ordinary, but are not inadequate or embarassing either. The best one is certainly Working Man, that summarizes in few words what is the life of the working class - which spoke directly to the industrial cities of North America. Some great guitar work helped too, of course, making the song a stage favorite to this date - and an excellent vehicle for the band to improvise a little.

In sum, a good starter and an interesting find to those already familiar to the pillars of Rush catalogue. I actually find it more enjoyable than the next two albums, where their shift towards progressive rock starts. But then, I am a huge Rush fan so, maybe, all my opinions of the band might as well be biased. Still, if you enjoy the likes of Cream, Led Zeppelin and so on, you'll probably enjoy this album as much as me - or more. As far as hard rock is concerned, this album would get a fully deserved 4-star rating. It has not much of a progressive sound, though, and so I give this one a 3-star rating, but a very strong and confident one.

[Disclaimer: the quotations at the start of my Rush reviews are not intended to provide a short discription of the albums. They are just some of my favourite lines from a band that had so many great lyrics]

Report this review (#294262)
Posted Thursday, August 12, 2010 | Review Permalink
Marty McFly
Errors and Omissions Team
5 stars Let me paraphrase Scott's last review a little bit and say: Every great band has a beginning (and now it will differ equally as my opinion differs from virtually everyone here), but this kind of beginning is something I admire, enjoy and find extremely (yet I'm not extremist) interesting. Not just that, there's of course more.

Indeed, this is basically Hard Rock, but the most elaborate H-R I've ever heard. And believe me, despite I wasn't even alive when this was released and has no playcount of thousands of Rock albums, yet I feel (from limited number of hundred "similar" [same genre] albums I've heard) that this is top notch, this is great. Maybe it's good because it's Rush and may it's Rush that's the reason why it's good. They started like that, almost instantly kicking into heights of great Prog music (rating average from all of their albums is very big, considering that dark 80s aren't as dark as for many other 70s bands). For me, their started instantly, right from first album.

At first, the sound of this album is very clear, production is as good as remasters are (some will disagree though). Great bass work, especially bass work that's normally not that in front of attention (maybe it's because Geddy is frontman, but anyway, I welcome this idea of putting bass in front, because everyone can hear electric guitar anyway, but bass ? it's often well hidden). Guitar solos are everywhere, that's fine (they're quite clever ones, nothing cheap - after all, this is 1974, this is maybe another reason why it's so mature Rock) and also note that drumming isn't just banging on some CANs (capital letters are unintentional, it's typing mistake I don't want to fix, really), but more like pre-Rush "the greatest" era. This album is of course in the shadow of what will came in next years, but if this would be in let's say Prog-related category, this would shine. It's by Rush, so I don't feel this should affect my rating that much. Given atmosphere of this, raw energy pouring from it, while still being intelligent man's music, reasons I stated earlier and also because I have great memories about this album (which also affects not my judgement, but how I perceive this album, how I accept and feel it, so in nutshell - I like it more, I appreciate it more, I find minor reasons that forms together my Masterpiece rating). The most "normally" Prog would probably be the beginning of the songBefore and After. There's Geddy's voice also, it helps to feel familiar (like at home).

5(-), if you like Hard Rock (and I believe you do), you'll like this album. If you don't, this album won't attract you probably. But I suppose that most of us like this kind of music (and many of us started with this). I just see "more" in this and that's it.

I like Prog a lot, but this is by far my most played Rush album. Despite my efforts to listen mostly Prog. Yet another reason why to love this album. It's catchy and irresistible.

A little bit controversial review, I agree, but reasonable one. I dare to rate it like that though.

Report this review (#298793)
Posted Saturday, September 11, 2010 | Review Permalink
3 stars Rush's debut album as many have already noted is not a progressive rock album. But then again, when one really analyzes Rush's discography, one realizes that Rush has never been a firmly rooted progressive act either (despite being one of the best). They simply had too many influences to stick to one particular style. A key element of Rush's sound has been their hard rock influences and these influences were clearly demonstrated on their first album. There is nothing remotely progressive about this: it's your standard 70s blues rock album. BUT, in spite of its somewhat different sound from future releases, it's a pretty good album. Upon approaching this album, I was hesitant to listen to it: I worried it would be mediocre, and only able to yield a few hits (like working man etc.). I was actually very pleasantly surprised. The album, though hard rock, does have a certain unique feel to it, and Lifeson's guitar solos are somewhat atypical for blues solos. I was glad to find hidden gems throughout the album. The best song is definitely Here Again, a nice slow and agonizingly powerful blues ballad, rooted in a much more rootsy type of blues that I've always preferred. Rush could have easily adopted the boring, stale Clapton-esque type of blues rock that so plagued the 1970s, but no, they opted for something much more raw.

It's not their best album but it's definitely a rewarding listen, and it's surprisingly very good. I would argue actually that it's not a "completionist's" album because many of these songs were actually played on Rush's set lists for a long time. There are plenty of future albums that have long been forgotten from Rush's set list (like Caress of Steel etc.) but this one seems to have endured despite being often considered a sub-par album. If you're getting into Rush, this is definitely NOT the place to start as it does not accurately capture their definitive sound, but if you picked this one, it wouldn't have been a terrible choice.

Report this review (#300790)
Posted Tuesday, September 28, 2010 | Review Permalink
3 stars The first record released by the canadian prog act by excelence, and probably one of the most oustanding ones in the whole genre is purely an execution of the band influences, like it is usual in many debut efforts. In this case, the references are obvious: Led Zeppelin and other bads of the so called "White Blues", many of them contemporaries of Rush themselves.

This record finds Geddy Lee's trademark high-pitched voice at the submit of its splendor, although I have personal preference of the style provided in later years. The first moments of "Finding my Way" prevent the listener from any kind of doubt.

Alex Lifeson, like in almost every single record until "Signals" (and from the mid 90s until now), is really big here, with his trademark consistent, Jimmy Page influenced soloing and elegantly sustained chorus sound. No wonder why "Working man" has one of the so considered best solos in rock history.

As for John Rutsey, he obviously is no Neil Peart, but I think he was a quite competent drummer with an edge on his own.

This record, in overall terms is quite below the level of complexity and elaboration the band would achieve from "2112" onwards, but I think it is a good listen for any Rush fan and if you like classic rock in general. Some tracks are just plain blues oriented rock and roll, but I guess this could be expected from a young band developing on this era.

Report this review (#303504)
Posted Monday, October 11, 2010 | Review Permalink
3 stars You know how Journey replaced Steve Perry with the new young guy. They still sound almost as good as Journey with Steve Perry, but they're not nearly as cool and they don't get nearly as much press. This analogy applies to the Rush debut as well, but replace Steve Perry with Robert Plant and the new young guy with Geddy Lee. In 1974, Rush sounded almost as good as Zeppelin did, but they weren't nearly as cool, and they certainly weren't getting as much press.

Lucky for us, the album is still good in places and great in others and showed enough potential for Rush to keep recording. It's also important to note that this is the only Rush album sans Neil Peart, and it's noticeable in terms of drumming and lyrics. The lyrics lack any meaning beyond what they say on the surface, which is fine; it's just not typical of later Rush.

"Finding My Way" and "Working Man" get most of the attention, and they are great, but my favorite here is "Before and After," which has a great acoustic intro and build up. "Here Again" is also underrated. The other four are pretty average rockers, and could be b-sides on any early Zeppelin album, which is a compliment in itself.

All in all, the debut showed that they could certainly handle their instruments and write great songs, and more importantly, it set the stage for things to come. More at

Report this review (#344324)
Posted Sunday, December 5, 2010 | Review Permalink
Chris S
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars OK, let's analyse quickly debut albums at this time period, 1974.......not many due to the fact most prog acts had already delivered debuts and follow up albums. Still our Canadian cousins introduced themselves formerly in 1974 as.... Rush. If I had to make comparisons, let me say this a Budgie debut x 3, a good par with Wishbone Ash albeit from 69' or Gravy Train from Manchester. Regardless this is a stunning debut and kind of in retrospect gave the two fingers to all the critics who wrote them off so adeptly so early on. John Rutsey does a fine job on the drums and can always claim his heroics based on paving the way for a certain Neil Peart.

Alex Lifeson is simply superb on " Working Man" and generally the bluesy, rockabilly feel to Rush's debut makes them contenders for best debut ever. This is a serious album, not to be taken too lightly and smacks of endeavor and passion which has not desolved almost 40 years on. These guys were vintage then and are vintage now, I wish i could just trap this album in a time capsule. Grossly underrated.

Report this review (#350121)
Posted Saturday, December 11, 2010 | Review Permalink
2 stars Though prog monsters Rush hadn't hit their stride yet, the band did a fairly average cult band status album. The band had gotten considerable notice in Cleveland due to the last track, and it's understandable why; the instrumentation. Prog-heads Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson were going to try new things in future releases, while drummer John Rutsey delt with what was coming; replacement. Awkard production, Zeppelin-esque songwriting, unsure playing abilities...are you sure this is Rush?

1.Finding My Way - Though not a prog epic of some sorts, it's one of the strongest tracks on the album. The blues based riff is what is likely of Rush, but the "oh baby, baby" lyrics are totally an odd listen to any experienced prog head who is familiar with Rush. Lee's vocals are still high and dry, his bass playing prominate (yet sloppy). Lifeson's guitar sound is much more bottom-end, which might be due to mixing, but dosen't really sound signature or interesting at all. Rutsey's drumming is average, to say the least. It has no real flare or even a bit of emotion behind it. An odd song from Rush, but it's good from a rocker's standpoint. (7.5/10)

2.Need Some Love - The song is about the same as the first track, but much more straight- forward and fast. The lyrics, again, are a total shock, as the music is. The band plays with every bit of energy they have, which makes this song totally groovy and interesting. Soaring vocals from Lee are the high point, and augmented by guitar solos and heavy basslines, makes for a killer track. (7/10)

3.Take a Friend - There is one thing you can't knock down Rush on; consistence. The songs are fairly varied blues jams that oddly far at least. The grooving riff is some typical of 1970 -1972; about 2 or 4 years late are the Rush boys. The lyrics aren't as loving, but they talk about love and peace, dropping acid not bombs and that stuff, but thats not too important. Lifeson's guitar flourishes are excellent during the verses and chorus', with his Gibson being rocked to it's hardest extent. (7.5/10)

4.Here Again - The worst track from any Rush album can be found here. The song, while musically speaking, isn't horrible, but it lasts a lifetime. The terrible bluesy and western lyrics don't work and make for a totally boring jam that dosen't gel with the listener and sounds awkward when being played by the band. The lyrics, as said before, are more like a western movie script and dosen't really have any meaning. All in all, just a mess of absolute wierd. (1.5/10)

5.What Your Doing - Possibly the most grooving of the tracks, the heavy metal guitar riff is a look into the future. Trippy delayed vocals and heavy guitar riffs and bass lines make the song a signature for the album, even if the lyrics leave quite a bit to be desired (as with most things on this album). (7.5/10)

6.In the Mood - Cowbell...we need more cowbell. The band plays a rocking number that could have easily fit on Led Zeppelin's debut album. The lyrics are totally nonsense loving and everything, but the music is blues rock at it's best. Lifeson's riffs are in total unison with Lee's interestingly sloppy bassline and the unsure drumming of Rutsey. Not skip worthy, but it's a bit weak for a song that gets some airplay to this day. (7/10)

7.Before and After - Another low blow from the album. The track is basically a ballad like track, but it just dosen't seem to go that way during the rest of the song. The way the ballad could have been is awesome, but the track looses it's power with the intense chords, and looses interested really soon after. Terrible lyrics and a very uncertain band at their worst are here. (2/10)

8.Working Man - The band had saved the best for last. Working Man is an anthem of pure beauty and still gets airplay and live play to this day. The heavy metal riffs and awesome cleveland - inspired lyrics mixed with that potential and Led Zeppelin influence make for the best of listening. Lifeson's guitar solo on this track is on of his best, as it is a total blues workout from head to toe; scales and pre-shred can be found on this track within the space of 4 minutes. A captivating moment for the band and their listeners. (9.5/10)

Though the album has some very, very awful tracks, there are enough good moments to make it at least note-worthy. A 2 stars for the effort that the three young musicians put into this record, even though one would be replaced by possibly the greatest drummer that has ever lived. Still, the only reason to get this is if you are interested into getting more Rush CD's and expanding your incomplete collection.

Report this review (#363858)
Posted Sunday, December 26, 2010 | Review Permalink
2 stars As reviewers, our job is not just to chime in with our learned opinions on various pieces of music, but also to push things that people might not know, either to warn them away or encourage them to check it out. We don't do any good offering opinions on things that are rather established except to further dialogue of previously decided musical stances. That having been said, I have a day off from writing, and I intend on spending it reviewing every RUSH album in order because, well, I own them, love them, and I can.

This album is easily the weakest album of Rush's career. It doesn't have the worst songs (that would go to TEST FOR ECHO in my book), it is just that the songs offer nothing new. There are moves pinched from THE WHO, LED ZEPPELIN, and BLACK SABBATH, as well as bits and pieces from more progressive hard rock bands like DEEP PURPLE or URIAH HEEP. The closest we get to the Rush sound is on "Working Man," with its insist groove and inventive take on progressive hard rock. All in all, though, I wouldn't recommend this over any of Rush's other albums, even Test for Echo.

This is the perfect two-star album: It offers good songs, but really should only be picked up if you either like their early period or just want to check out how they started. Not a bad purchase, so not one-star quality, but not necessary.

Report this review (#409487)
Posted Monday, February 28, 2011 | Review Permalink
4 stars This is one of my favorite Rush albums mainly because I like great hard rock as much as I like progressive rock. If I'm in my car driving this is the CD I will pull out from my Rush collection, followed closely by Fly By Night. For me this is a like a poor mans version of Led Zeppelin II and even a poor mans version from talented musicians like Rush doing their best attempt at copying Led Zeppelin comes out pretty darn good. There is no point doing a track by track rating of this album if based upon the criteria of a progressive rock review, because if that is the only criteria this album would fail miserably other than perhaps Working Man which to this day remains one of my top 10 Rush tracks. What is more interesting here is to wonder how great Rush would have been had they continued down this track and gone from a poor man's version of Led Zeppelin to a hard/blues rock band of equal caliber once they perfected this hard rock blues sound. Of course, since they chose to go down a more progressive direction we will never no if they could have been the next Led Zeppelin, a thought very appealing to myself. Rush is one of my favorite bands right up there with King Crimson, Led Zeppelin, and Black Sabbath so in the end I am able to appreciate them in all phases and paths of their career and can appreciate this first Rush album as much as any other album in their history. For that reason alone I can not give this album anything less than the four stars that it deserves.
Report this review (#410522)
Posted Thursday, March 3, 2011 | Review Permalink
2 stars Finding their way...

The début release from one of the most prolific rock bands of all time, and their only to feature John Rutsey on the drums.

The Good: Working Man stands out here like a shiny pebble amongst a sea of sand, and is the only track that shows signs of great things to come.

The Bad: The rest of the songs, whilst not particularly bad, are nowhere near progressive enough to merit a higher rating, and just end up sounding like a poor man's Led Zeppelin. Of these, the album opener is the strongest of a weak bunch.

The Verdict: Modest beginnings.

Report this review (#435628)
Posted Tuesday, April 19, 2011 | Review Permalink
2 stars A basic mid 70's hard rock album ala' Led Zepplin with John Rutsey on drums instead of Neil Peart that has little to offer as a real Rush progressive album. As a debut album by a band it is pretty good, but there are not any songs that interest me much. I guess "Working Man" is my favorite if I must select one. Compared to what was to come this is pretty weak. I feel Rush never hit their true prog-form until after FLY BY NIGHT and CARESS OF STEEL. 2112 was their first prog album, really, in my opinion. As a relic of 70's hard power rock it's ok, but for my taste it fails to measure up. And I think some guy they knew from high school designed the cover...ugh. 2 stars for UnProgRush.
Report this review (#444979)
Posted Monday, May 9, 2011 | Review Permalink
3 stars A real hard and heavy rocking debut for Rush. Yes they were influenced by Zeppelin and Deep Purple but honestly who wasn't? They showed that they could rock with the best and jam with the best and they delivered. They also had two "ballad" songs with Here Again and Before and After which are average to me but still shows they can slow down time to time. This is a really good album with superb musicianship from all 3 of the guys. To me this gets 3 and a half stars because comparing this with their later work, it doesn't hold up well. Highlights: Finding My Way, What You're Doing, In the Mood, and Working Man.
Report this review (#463207)
Posted Thursday, June 16, 2011 | Review Permalink
2 stars Rush's sole album with founding drummer John Rutsey is an object lesson in how much a change in lineup of a tight three-man unit like Rush can change the character of a band. More or less everyone with an interest in progressive metal knows Rush as a technically proficient band who are constantly experimenting with different directions to take their sound in, are blessed with one of the scene's most technically proficient drummers in the form of Neil Peart, and feature the instantly recognisable high-pitched vocals of Geddy Lee. Aside from Geddy's vocals, none of these qualities are in evidence on their debut.

Steeped in Led Zeppelin worship, the album showcases a band which clearly have potential but just aren't pushing themselves to realise it. The point of interest for most Rush fans will be how Rutsey compares to Peart. The answer: not well. It's impossible to tell whether he was simply a less talented drummer who was holding the band back due to his inability to play more technically complex material, or whether the band as a whole were simply not making use of their talent at this point in time, but the overall effect is the same: Rutsey snoozes through all the usual hard rock cliches (complete with cowbell) and does nothing particularly spectacular.

Alex Lifeson turns in the most distinguished instrumental performance here - particularly his solos on the extended numbers Here Again and Working Man - but again he's simply running through the hard rock playbook rather than making any new contribution on here. As for the vocals, whilst Geddy's distinctive voice is in place it is jarring to hear him try an unconvincing impersonation of Robert Plant, and he's hampered by the lack of the witty and articulate lyrics Rush are usually known for (except on Working Man). Again, this is probably a consequence of the different lineup, since Neil Peart would take on primary lyrical responsibility once he joined the band.

Overall, the album's a bit of a disappointment, and the only genuinely memorable song on here is Working Man - which has been given superior live renditions by the current lineup, particularly on All The World's a Stage and Different Stages. Quite simply, unless you are burning with curiosity over Rush's origins, there's no compelling reason to own this album.

Report this review (#517169)
Posted Thursday, September 8, 2011 | Review Permalink
3 stars I say 3 stars for it as a rock album.

...or 1 star in the eyes of obstinate Prog puritans.

I don't have myself that far up myself's unmentionables when I refer to this album. I'm also not going to mention the obvious differences because it is beyond apparent. Much in the vain of other's who were (pardon the pun) finding their way, that is exactly what happened. The starting point. Everyone has them.

With the elementary lyrics, percussive "too loud" bass, bottomless vocals that Claudio Sanchez, Roger Hodgson, and Robert Plant are glad they don't have, I'm sure to think that The Guess Who, Mashmakan, BTO, and other sister acts are glad that they didn't have an ounce of influence on them. But all that belies what Rush really was with 1974's debut, a great rock band to slam beers to. Or bears... if they aren't listening to female country music or dance. Ouch.

With the prevalent cringe factors aside, and my personal fave "Take A Friend" treated as a separate entity, the album drips of the the post psychedelic/new hard rock avenues that were awaken with bands like Cream, Zep, Hendrix, Sabbath, and their "evolved" offspring like Budgie (brilliant), Fred Nuggant (sic), and other countless "merda" bands. This is how the album should be seen. Typical powerful guitars, driving rhythms, long, enjoyable and "featured" jams, boobs and beer lyrics, a ballad, and some very limited complexity thrown in. This is "No brainer" jam rock. I played in too many of these bands.

Does it stand up to Zep's "IV", Sabbath's "Master", or Uriah Heep's "Demons And Wizards? Yes!

How about Alphataurus' debut, Metamorfosi's "Inferno" or Gentle Giant's "Octopus"? Hell no.

I'm not afraid to "rock out".

Report this review (#603908)
Posted Friday, January 6, 2012 | Review Permalink
3 stars Not as serious as their subsequent albums, but it does seriously rock. If you're accustomed to Moving Pictures, Permanent Waves, or even 2112, you may be shocked by this one, but not because the playing is bad - more that the style of music is so different. Yes, they continued to rock this hard after they employed the progressive elements, but their debut is more of a straight-ahead hard rock album, with the exception of a few proto-prog moments in the Deep Purple vein, like the jam in "Working Man." They're not all great songs, but they are all at least good songs, and there are a few standouts - the aforementioned "Working Man", "In the Mood" is some good driving boogie-rock, and "What You're Doing" could have easily been on Led Zeppelin II. John Rutsey is actually not a bad drummer, doing a fine job on the closing track, and Alex Lifeson and Geddy Lee already exhibit great technical ability that is noticably above average for a band playing this type of rock, as is instantly apparent on the album's best track, the opening, "Finding My Way", with a greatly memorable rocking riff from Lifeson that fades in and Geddy Lee's punch-a-hole-through-the-sky vocals being some of the most powerful in the genre.
Report this review (#617303)
Posted Monday, January 23, 2012 | Review Permalink
3 stars In my ongoing, better-late-than-never investigation of the prog phenomenon known as Rush I've finally gotten my mitts on a copy of their first outing and, relatively speaking, it ain't bad. Obviously, this is the album with the significant asterisk stuck next to it, indicating that their infamous and highly touted drummer Neil Peart had yet to join the trio and, therefore, expectations should be lowered accordingly. With few exceptions, a band's debut is rarely a stunner and this definitely won't stun anybody I know. Yet a record doesn't have to be mind-blowing to be categorized as impressive and this one assuredly is. For a trio of young musicians barely in their 20s and still mere neophytes in the recording studio environment they acclimated themselves admirably to the task at hand and learned quickly. What they lacked in experience they more than made up for in enthusiasm and naive confidence so it's no wonder this disc got them the attention they needed to be allowed to make another and better record a year later.

They open with the aggressive rocker, "Finding My Way." Alex Lifeson's supercharged guitar riff and bassist Geddy Lee's in-your-face vocal approach reveal their unbridled energy and the hard rock influences they were raised on. Even though it's their first LP one can tell they were a talented bunch and the fact that they didn't seem concerned about manufacturing the standard 3-minute long, Top 40 single established their credentials as being worthy of later competing in the progressive rock category. Considering that only a miniscule fraction of North American bands were brave enough to go in that frowned-upon direction they deserve our respect and gratitude no matter what you may think of their music. "Need Some Love" is next and it's a straight-forward rocker molded in the tradition of Deep Purple and Trapeze (not bad company to keep, really). In light of the legend who replaced him, John Rutsey does a damned decent job on the drums and is unquestionably on an equal footing with both Lifeson and Lee as demonstrated on "Take A Friend." In the track Alex in particular displays a bullish attack on his fretboard well beyond his tender years but the tune as a whole belies their still-developing, somewhat amateurish songwriting skills. "Here Again" follows and, while I admire their effort to do something different with the traditional blues/rock format, it's crystal clear that the genre wasn't going to be their forte. Special note must be paid to Lifeson, however, due to him making the most of his extended solo, summoning in the process his finest Jimmy Page-channeled techniques.

"What You're Doing" is a riff-based rocker with a strong James Gang flavor. Once again their musicianship isn't in doubt but on this number they lack a distinguishing spark of originality, something that will change in short order when Peart enters the picture. "In the Mood" is the nadir of the album. A machismo-filled rock & roll ditty, it sounds like any of a thousand other wannabe groups of the mid-70s era but for Geddy's inimitable vocal timbre. It may well have benefited from more cowbell. "Before and After" offers the first sign of a trait in their creativity that proggers would come to appreciate and delight in more and more. In the early going of the tune they show they weren't afraid to shine a light on the softer, more sensitive side of themselves by developing an airy, emotional mood instrumentally. It would've been much more engaging had they held on to that aura and expanded the initial feel but they chose to get "heavy" with it and it's at that juncture I lose interest in the number. I detect a whiff of Black Sabbath wafting around in "Working Man," proving their metal mettle in dramatic fashion but to my ears it's no more than an average "rawk" dirge. I do like how Alex tears it up properly during the instrumental section, playing with passion and fire and the colossal concert-styled ending was perfect for making a memorable grand exit when they went out to tour the record. They were wise to think ahead like that.

If you're a die-hard Rush fanatic then it makes sense to have this in your collection but if you aren't then it isn't essential. First albums are a curious breed, though. It never ceases to amaze me that a few kids with shared interests can find each other, put together a fledgling garage band and end up a worldwide sensation. The odds of that happening are astronomical, yet some of the greatest groups came together in just that serendipitous way. At some point, if they were lucky, they got an opportunity to go into the studio and tape some of their stuff but the vast majority never went beyond that stage. But when you listen to this album you can hear that these determined boys had something intangible going for them that most didn't have and it's always a remarkable thing to notice how some seeds take root and thrive while others that seemed similarly promising wither away. Kudos to Rush for making the most of their big chance. 2.7 stars.

Report this review (#705368)
Posted Monday, April 2, 2012 | Review Permalink
2 stars For years this album is easy to understand the influence caused by Led Zeppelin. "Finding My Way" do not let me lie. "Need Some Love" continues with the theme so common to the period, women etc. A nice guitar solo, though simple and short song. "Take A Friend" change the theme over the first two songs, say that here we have a positive message about friendship... male or female. The often-repeated refrain a bit tired: "Take yourself a friend. Keep 'em till the end." The longest track disc starts off with a footprint so dragged more Blues..."Here Again" and right now we are already half of the disc. The soil of this music is a separate story, the beginning of something reminiscent of "Tony Iommi" but then follows the vein more Blues. "What You're Doing" music becomes more rhythmic variation while not necessarily considered Prog. "In The Mood" recalls a song lyrically speaking "AC / DC". The beginning of "Before and After" is very good, beautiful melody that will almost halfway down the track, when an accelerated happens and Geddy Lee / Alex Lifeson send do with their instruments. This from the perspective of this album ... A sensaçăo Tony Iommi retorna na última faixa do disco. "Working Man" is "Alex Lifeson" solo instrumental quality and a moment on this album that stands out for a grip rock and roll. I do not know the intent of the letter but we can observe that there is a critical working conditions imposed by big business, but as I said, I do not know if that was the idea of the band. "John Rutsey" was not significant and did not hurt, did it by the book.
Report this review (#759318)
Posted Sunday, May 27, 2012 | Review Permalink
2 stars Though this isn't prog (and probably not even prog-related), I'm still compelled to review this as this was the first album that birthed me into the Rush world. This is the early Rush sound at its finest; the guitars are the prominent instrument, Geddy's vocals are at their best, and the music doesn't stray away from the heaviness that makes this period so great. The only missing piece is Neil's drumming, but Rutsey does a fine job given that the music isn't terribly complex in the first place. The songs are nothing special. Most of them have a heavy Sabbath and Zeppelin sound with plenty of blues and metal mixed in.

I wouldn't recommend the album on this site, but it is decent if you want to hear early Rush, or if you just want a good plain Rock album.


Report this review (#771340)
Posted Friday, June 15, 2012 | Review Permalink
4 stars Curious how ratings are made completely in perspective. This first album is obviously far better than the most recent one Clockwork Angels and, nonetheless, received a far worst rating. I think the ratings are gennerally made looking forward (fabulous releases), in the case of this album, and looking backwards, in the case of the last (frightening releases). Still it`s a great rock album, though not progressive, but it`s very good music, very good to listen. It clones Led Zeppelin ? Clearly yes ! But that's a virtue, not a problem. They could have cloned, let`s say, Bee Gees, Jacksons Five, Abba, and so on... An extra star for Here Again, my favourite bluesy song ever, together with LZ`s Tea for One.
Report this review (#795672)
Posted Friday, July 27, 2012 | Review Permalink
3 stars 3,5 stars really. I'm a suspect to write any review about RUSH, because side to side with YES, GENTLE GIANT and GENESIS etc... they compound the mainstream of my favorite bands. Mainly if the album was released between 1974 ( obviously this album) until 1985 (Power Windows). The album in question isn't really a progressive album. However, I can't write any review about some RUSH album without write a few words about this first album.. Although, the music in this first album ( how I said before ) isn't really progressive, you can find some elements that clearly already demonstrate the natural way to posterior Rush music development. The track 1 "Fiding my Way" open the album with hard-rock with some interesting rhythmic variations The "riff " in track 5 "What You're Doing" are very well worked and send the audience to LED ZEPPELIN sound ( in my opinion, a band with a sonority very complex in some moments such as "The Song Remains The Same", "Achilles Last Stand", "Dazed and Cofused"...". The track 8 "Working Man" is the most progressive theme in the album, and the middle section shows a tendency to explore something close to a "jam session" and electric guitar / bass duets.. If you possess the first live album "All The Worlds Stage", you don't need this first album, because the above mentioned tracks are also presents in the live album with Neil Peart on the drums, which make that tracks much more attractive. Due this considerations my rate is 3 stars !!!
Report this review (#905487)
Posted Sunday, February 3, 2013 | Review Permalink
2 stars With this, their first album, Rush introduced themselves to the world as a Canadian threesome who made hard rockin music. The drum stool on this album was occupied by John Rutsey who would soon be replaced (health reasons) by one of the, arguably, best drummers in the prog rock world (Peart). The Led Zeppelin influence is easily heard however I pick up very strongly on a Who sound as well on this album. Although there are indications of what would come later this is not a prog album. 1. Finding my way - I pick up a strong Who influence on this track - kind of a cross between the Who and Led Zeppelin. I hear "Won't get fooled again" very clearly here. 2, Need some love - straight forward straight ahead rocker which doesn't do much for me. 3. Take a friend - In 1973 Budgie released "Never turn your back on a friend" and I pick up a Budgie influence through this track. 4, Here again - Bluesy kind of track which I find pretty standard. 5. What you're doing - Standard Rock fare for back in the 70's 6. In the mood - Again a standard rocker. 7. Before and after - I like the way this track starts, very toned down in comparrison to the rest of the album before it rocks out in a very Budgie-esq fashion. 8. Working Man - My favorite track from the album with a nice rock jam in the middle between the instruments.

Looking at the early 70's I can't rate this album highly when I compare it for what it is to what Deep Purple, Budgie, Zep etc were doing at the time and I have to vector in on a 2 star rating. This album was pleasant to listen to but doesn't and won't get much play time from me.

Report this review (#934106)
Posted Saturday, March 23, 2013 | Review Permalink
3 stars This is a solid, if generally unspectacular, debut from a band that would eventually achieve legendary status. I'll be honest: they're my favorite band, but I try to keep things in perspective. If something's not perfect, I won't hesitate to say so.

"Working Man," "Finding My Way," and "Need Some Love" are classic Rush hard rock tracks; they effortlessly combine heavy riffs with a steady-yet-churning rhythm section courtesy of Geddy Lee and John Rutsey. The rest of the tracks are fairly solid, though I'm not a big fan of "What You're Doing" and "In the Mood." That latter track has some embarrassingly sexual lyrics: it's clear that Neil Peart's thoughtful pieces - the likes of which the band would not see until the next album - were a major missing link at this stage.

Thankfully, Lifeson and Lee were already proficient at their instruments at this point: the basslines dance nicely for a hard rock record and the solos are blistering. The music is simple but well performed and technical enough to please most prog fans. It probably helps that they had been touring for several years by this point, honing their chops and tightening their chemistry as they went. Rutsey's drumming is underrated: his is a loose yet style, much like the late John Bonham. He gets a bad rap simply because he's "that guy who was in the band before Peart," one of the greatest drummers and lyricists of all time. In any other band he would have been an anchor.

This album is basically Rush does Zeppelin in '74: even the perennial classic "Working Man" is focused on high-pitched singing, Plantian riffs, and tightly performed ensemble jamming. The prog side of Rush wouldn't come out until the arrival of Peart later that year. It's not prog; therefore, it's non-essential as far as this site goes. It's still a good buy, though - especially if you want to see the humble roots of one of prog's icons.

Essential Track Picks:

+ "Working Man"

+ "Finding My Way"

+ "Before and After"

Weakest Links:

- "In the Mood"

- "What You're Doing"

Rating: 7/10 (3 stars for ProgArchives: good but non-essential)

Report this review (#990649)
Posted Monday, July 1, 2013 | Review Permalink
2 stars Rush without soul: In the beggining, Rush were just like a very gorgeous and hot chick in a strip club. When you look at her, you desire her, you know she is not only beautiful, she does an awesome job. She knows how to turn you on. So you spend your money with her. But she is dumb, an empty person. And oh, here's a lot of "good" girls doing exactly the same thing. So you will have fun with her. And forget about her after all. There's no love chemistry, or something catchy about her personality to you.

This is a debut album. Being a debut album do not justifies the facts. I know a lot of bands with awsome debuts, and bands which the only good album was the first one. Without Neil Peart on drums, Rush hadn't that Rush kick. This album is good, but just a good rock and roll album. A hard rock debut, just like many other bands, and here you still can find influences from other bands. The lack of personality is the bad point. They know how to play and write entertainment to your ears, like the first track, Finding My Way. I do not consider it a progressive album. And even if I want some great standard hard rock/heavy metal Rush track, I can find better tracks in other albums. Neil is the soul of rush, and this is ridiculously clear listening to their second album, Fly By Night. There you will find the same hard rockers playing catchy and brilliant music, with that progressive Rush touch growing.

Lee and Lifeson are doing fine here, but nothing special. I think the highligh of this album is Geddy Lee, with his unique voice and funny bass lines. He makes the album catchy. But this is not the kind of stuff that I'm proud to have purchased. It's the kind of album that I will leave in my car. Their last important album from the 70s.

Report this review (#1027485)
Posted Monday, September 2, 2013 | Review Permalink
4 stars Here my friends, is the birth and debut of one of the best bands in the history of Rock music and probably the best known Rock band to come out of Canada. I am of course talking about the "Holy Trinity" Rush. The band's eponymous debut is a little rough around the edges when compared to future albums but it is still a really fun listen. I would not really consider this album "Prog" though however it does offer moments of Prog mastery in my opinion. Rush's debut album shows the band's Hard Rock, Heavy Metal and Blues Rock roots which of course might be criticized around Prog circles. To me Rush are not just a Prog band they are way more than that(I can't stress that enough). They are like an extension of bands like The Who, Yes, Genesis, Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, King Crimson, The Talking Heads, The Police. Rush are in a class of their own. They can pull of all of that off but also make it their own. On their 1974 debut, Rush showed its Led Zeppelin influence but to me its sounds more vibrant and more original than Led Zeppelin(they ripped off other bands and artists, cough!!). Rush's lineup consisted of Geddy Lee on Bass and Vocals, Alex Lifeson on Guitars and John Rutsey on Drums(the original Drummer). The playing of Lee and Lifeson are top notch while Rutsey was able to keep time(he was decent) This is the debut of Rush and here is me reviewing the mother out of it!

Here is the track listing for the album:

1. Finding My Way-This one starts of with a great guitar riff and immediately the band starts rocking. Geddy Lee shows vigor and enthusiasm with the vocals. Alex Lifeson's playing is top notch and so is Geddy's. Not so much Proggy as it is Rock and Metal but it cooks. Great song 10/10

2. Need Some Love- This is driving but lyrics are weak which deducts a few points. Good song 8/10

3. Take A Friend- I like the lyrics on this song they are introspective and the music behind it isn't bad either. It starts of rather spacey and it ends that way as well. Again none of the songs up to this point are that Proggy but they are good and this is no exception. Alex Lifeson drives this song in my opinion. 8/10

4. Here Again- This one is great. Alex plays a really soulful guitar solo very reminiscent of David Gilmour. Geddy again drives this song with the vigor in his voice and of course his playing. I think this song is the best one on the album up to this point. 10/10

5. What You're Doing- This one cooks on Hard Rocking terms. It has a guitar riff that sounds a little like Heartbreaker by Zeppelin but it just has much more in my opinion. 10/10

6. In The Mood- I know I shouldn't like this song because it's lyrics are flat stupid and it sounds like a cheap Commercial Rock song but I like it and I don't know why. It's a fun song( we need to stop being so serious about our music every once in a while and just relax and enjoy it). 9/10

7. Before And After- This again is a Zeppelin influnced song(they would soon stop this) and just like the previous songs it cooks. It starts off rather proggy and ethereal at the same time but soons gets you and your rocking. 10/10

8. Working Man- This song is probably the Proggiest song on the album. It is also probably the best song on it too. Rush still plays this song live(that shows its power and longevity) 10/10

I just reviewed you Rush's debut album. It is not really a "Prog" album but it still cooks(Rush is more than a Prog band as I already told you) on so many levels. Geddy Lee's vocals, bass playing and Lerxst's playing really drive this album(They would soon get better, Uh- oh). Because of the Heavy Metal nature of this album I tend to have a soft spot because I am a Metalhead who also loves Prog

It is a 75/80 album which constitutes to a really high rating(5 stars) but because it isn't really Proggy I will deduct a few points from. 4 stars! Highly recommended if you like Metal or Hard Rock otherwise I think you should probably stay away from it. Peace Out!!

Report this review (#1074258)
Posted Friday, November 8, 2013 | Review Permalink
siLLy puPPy
PSIKE & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
4 stars Now this an album I have a long history with and one of the first albums I owned. It's the first RUSH album that doesn't seem to get a lot of love simply for the fact that it's not progressive and not in the same league with the masterpieces they would churn out just a few years down the road. All I can say is --- SO WHAT!

I find this a splendid specimen of enthusiastic hard rock with well written catchy songs where all three members are playing their hearts out. I simply categorize this first rendition of RUSH as a totally different entitiy than with what they would become just one album later. I put this album in the same category as Foghat, Boston, UFO or any other high energy melodic hard rock act of the 70s. Geddy Lee's vocals are on fire, the guitar and bass play extremely well with other and although he's no Neil Peart, John Rutsley more than gets the job done on this one.

Zeppelin inspired? Yes, but definitely no clone. I actually prefer this to FLY BY NIGHT simply because this is really good at what it is while the next album feels a little weak for what it wants to be. Am I glad Neil Peart joined and took RUSH to a new level of musicianship? Of course. Do I recognize a great sounding hard rock album when I hear it? I do and this is one of them. Not a masterpiece but a great album that I wish would get a little more recognition as such.

Report this review (#1085859)
Posted Wednesday, December 4, 2013 | Review Permalink
3 stars Many Rush fans criticize this one because it is neither progressive, intellectual, nor graced by Neil Peart's talents. Don't write it off though! Many of the elements that made early Rush great are still here. Geddy Lee howling like a pre-pubescent Robert Plant (in a good way) and supplying tasty bass fills, Alex Lifeson's guitar work already rivaling Jimmy Page in lead and Pete Townsend rhythm, et cetera. Already the band is experimenting with changing tempos, multipart jams as bridges, and acoustic intros to otherwise heavy songs.

What is lacking from from this album is the Neil Peart touch that makes Rush a unique band. The playing could certainly be tighter. Geddy's lyrics, though they suit the music well, are decent at best. No playful stop-and-go action with the rhythm, no giant tom-fills, no Tolkein allegories. But even though here they are not the powerhouse they would become in years to come, they were already a solid hard rock band with their own following. With the right pair of ears, you can hear hints of great works to come.

Standout Tracks: - Finding My Way - Here Again - Before and After - Working Man


Report this review (#1166997)
Posted Tuesday, April 29, 2014 | Review Permalink
2 stars Rush, raw and rocking. While the band's self-titled debut album sounds like a mishmash of some of their biggest influences (The Who, Cream, and Led Zeppelin), the end result sounds closer to a synthesis of Kiss' classic 1974 debut and the early pre-synth Black Sabbath with a fast and furious 70's blues-rock style that compensated with energy and passion what it lacked in distinction. Standout stompers are "Finding My Way", What You're Doing", "In The Mood", and "Working Man", the blue collar anthem that first got them recognition via considerable airplay.

Drummer John Rutsey does an admirable job on his first and last Rush release despite indifference and illness. Guitarist Alex Lifeson's hot licks and riffs is the reason this album (and Rush) is not just simply a clone of the aforementioned bands as critics of the band's style have claimed. Geddy Lee's booming bass not only contributes significant rhythmic propulsion but also lays a rock solid foundation for Lifeson as well.

I rate this album no higher than two stars because, as fun as it may be, much of it sounds same-y over the long haul. Then there's the typically cliched but seemingly sincere '70's hard-rock lyrics and songwriting, and the love it or loathe it Robert Plant at 78 RPM voice of Geddy Lee.

Note: I try not to mistake opinions for facts. Reality is perception, hence personal taste is very subjective.

Report this review (#1175280)
Posted Thursday, May 15, 2014 | Review Permalink
3 stars Canadian rock trio Rush have become a household name in the music world, garnering an exceptionally faithful fanbase and boasting more platinum-certified records than most bands could even dream of having. However, while the better part of their career has been spent making universally-celebrated progressive rock records, the beginning of their musical journey was a bit different. Since drummer Neil Peart wasn't in the band yet and thus didn't influence the band in a more sophisticated direction yet, this line-up of the trio happened to be more influenced by their blues-rock roots. In this debut record by them, you'll hear plenty of Led Zeppelin in Cream riffage throughout their compositions. So how does this record hold up? Surprisingly, it's pretty damn solid.

Okay, it's not even close to the band's best work, but there are a few glimpses into the band's future. The biggest praise would have to go to the band members' individual instrumental talents. Even drummer John Rutsey does a really above-average job on the record and pulls off some great fills in the album's more complex (or fast) songs. Even before their prime, Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson were rife with talent, especially on the closing highlight "Working Man." The extensive solo section of this piece is wonderful, showcasing a mix of blues, 70s hard rock/metal, and a few hints at the band's future prog-rock suites. Speaking of which, that whole song completely blows most of the album out of the water. The verses are extremely heavy for 1974, and the alternately ascending and descending guitar/bass work going on in the chorus is infectious. But fear not, there are other great moments on here. "Need Some Love," despite being only about two-and-a-half minutes, packs quite the speedy hard rock punch in that amount of time; meanwhile, the song "What You're Doing" has a bluesy riff that would make the aforementioned Led Zeppelin proud, while containing punchy drum work from Rutsey and a nice meaty guitar sound from Lifeson. There are a few interesting experiments on this record too; the biggest one is the intro to "Before and After." The song starts out in a very serene way, almost as if you're entering a garden or a forest of sorts. The clean guitar work from Lifeson really highlights this tune, and once the bass and drums enter the picture, they only further illustrate this image of peace and quiet joy. However, all of this is halted once the song erupts into one of the best rockers of the record. Geddy Lee's vocals sound especially loud and dominant, and the syncopated rhythm adds to an already-solid hard rock song.

Unfortunately, the problem with all of this is that, by the fifth or sixth song on the album, it gets a little boring. Most songs sound very similar after a while, and there's not much variation on the blues rock sound. On top of this, there's no extra instrumentation on top of the normal guitar/bass/drums line-up, so there's not much to speak of in terms of additional ornamentation throughout the record. Especially around the middle, a few throwaway tracks like "In the Mood" and the aggravatingly long power ballad "Here Again" pop up. Also, I hate to say this, but Neil Peart's absence on this record is truly felt after some time listening to it; after about the second or third time hearing the record, you start to think about how much Peart's future inclusion into the band benefited them in the end. That's not to say John Rutsey's a bad drummer by any means, but he does lack the charisma and technical ability of Rush's future bandmate.

However, I'd still consider this a great album because the songs that work do really, really work. This is the sort of record you spin when you want to just have a good time and not worry about super-technical progressive rock anthems. If you enjoy Cream, Led Zeppelin, or early Queen, then you'll really enjoy a lot of the material on this album. However, with Rush's next effort Fly by Night, Neil Peart would enter the picture and the rest would be rock history.

Report this review (#1445866)
Posted Tuesday, July 28, 2015 | Review Permalink
3 stars Earnest & humble beginnings.

The hard rock or heavy metal (considered at the time) debut of Rush. It's definitely not a prog record. Maybe a couple of minuscule hints at prog like maybe the beginning of Before & After and uh maybe thats it! On this record, Rush's influences are front and center. A lot of Zep, some Humble Pie, some Cream and some Who in there as well. Definitely a step up in terms of musicianship from other typical hard rock bands at the time but still a ways to go in terms of originality. Already you can hear Geddy's bass stepping out to the fore and Alex's guitar sounding comparable to some of his influences, the solo in Working Man shows that he is already on the road to virtuosity even though he soon abandoned this style not too long after this record. John Rutsey, not exactly a powerhouse drummer, keeps time with aplomb without much authority but with precision and simplicity. A fun album nonetheless, worth a listen especially since we all know what they have become.

Report this review (#1509071)
Posted Friday, January 8, 2016 | Review Permalink
4 stars Not really progressive yet, but already rocks!

RUSH was a trio formed in 1968, but it was not until 6 years that the band released its first studio album. Therefore this self-titled debut already displays Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson's talents at vocals, bass and guitars. However, this record is a bit of an exception as it doesn't feature Neil Peart yet, but instead original drummer John Rutsey, and lyrics written by Geddy Lee.

Highly influenced by the British rock scene of the early 70's, especially LED ZEPPELIN, the Canadians borrow the hard rock elements for their compositions: direct, punchy and fast. RUSH carries well its name here. The result is neither very personal, original nor progressive, but the songs are energetic, efficient and quite nice.

The hard bluesy rock "Finding My Way" is a powerful opener that immediately sets the tone. Although rather basic, the short dynamic "Need Some Love" is enjoyable, whereas the average "Take A Friend" is anecdotal. Discrete progressive elements can be heard on the soft "Here Again", a pretty and touching ballad with long melancholic guitar soli.

Back to life with the riffing "What You're Doing", which can remind DEEP PURPLE at times. More conventional, "In The Mood" is just a hard rock'n'roll song, while "Before And After" stands for the other slightly prog composition of the disc. Alternating sweet, aggressive and instrumental passages, this track is very good. However, the best track is the heavy and catchy "Working Man", whose style is comparable to BLACK SABBATH.

Despite its lack of originality and personality, "Rush" still remains a promising and rocking debut by talented musicians. The songs have an overall constant quality, the music is energetic, direct and efficient. Although it has not earn success and is rather an exception in the band's career, this a solid and punchy hard rock album. Not revolutionary, nonetheless recommended to early 70's British rock fans!

After this first effort, John Rutsey will leave the trio and be replaced by a man who will inflect RUSH's musical direction and lyrics forever...

Report this review (#1578744)
Posted Wednesday, June 15, 2016 | Review Permalink
2 stars "Rush" is the self titled debut album of this incredible band. It's a good taste from what Rush is, but its just the beginning of it. This album features many pure rock catchy songs but what I like about this album is that you can already tell what Rush will be in the near future. Sure this album has a lot of influences on many hardrock bands (and thats what this album is), its a difficult album to listen to without Led Zeppelin coming into your mind... I would say impossible, but this is not a bad thing, this is still a fantastic album to play on your car and enjoy the nice rock music, but its not really more than just that. I like the tracks "Finding my way" because its a very good rock track and "Working man" because gives slight approach for what Rush is going to turn in the future. I am giving 2 stars on this album because it doesn't contain any progressive music on it, its just a pure hardrock album, but a good hardrock album if you take it to its consideration.
Report this review (#1598402)
Posted Wednesday, August 17, 2016 | Review Permalink
3 stars Arguably one of the most influential and beloved bands of all time, Canada's Rush came from humble beginnings, with this 1974 self-titled debut, which sees the Canadian three-piece as not much more than a standard hard rock outfit, long before they adopted a more progressive sound that would garner them worldwide fame.

Although it's not really the sort of thing I'd normally listen to, and certainly not the first Rush album I'd reach for, 'Rush' is still a nice little record. It's 40-minute duration makes it an easy listen, and although none of the tracks are notably memorable compared to their later material (with the possible exception of 'Working Man', which was an early hit for the band), they're still fairly catchy and certainly won't cause any harm.

Forming six years prior to the release of this record, it's evident in the music that this is a band that have had time to gel and really develop their own identity with their music. Geddy Lee's powerful voice bellows with a high-pitched passion that has yet to be tarnished by age or years of touring, and Alex Lifeson's guitar work, though not quite as instantly recognizable as it would become in later years, is still confident and impressive.

'Finding My Way', 'Here Again', 'Before and After', 'Working Man' and my personal favourite, 'What You're Doing' are all highlights of this album, though as I've mentioned before, most of them will be overshadowed by the bands later output, and that's not a slight on 'Rush', but a testament to how great this band will become.

Report this review (#1778896)
Posted Sunday, September 3, 2017 | Review Permalink

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