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Marc Baum
5 stars Ahh, yes, this was the album that got me seriously listening to the loveable Canuckleheads known as Rush. Every aspect of this album is perfect, and critics be damned for calling them pretentious, less discriminating fans can blow me for calling them humorless and boring.

Terry Brown's production was sterling for the time, every instrument laid out nice and clean for all to hear, yet rich, full, and possessed of the depth that analog recording can give best. And it shows that Rush had really hit their stride as musicians and songwriters, streamlining their approach from the sometimes unwieldy epics of their beginnings to more accessible songs that still maintained their superior musicianship. While the songs here are more radio-friendly, the playing still is as good as it gets in rock or metal without becoming self-indulgent masturbation. The songs are perfect in their construction too, always catchy, always involving, always mesmerizing.

Neil Peart's brilliant wordsmithing and death defying drum work are top notch as always, and it bears mentioning that Alex Lifeson is a criminally underrated guitarist too. He shreds, crunches, and lays down all manner of textures all over this album, complimenting always the other players while he's at it. Geddy Lee is one of the all time rock bass gods, and it always amazes me how me manages to pull off sometimes doing three things at once onstage (singing, bass guitar or bass pedals, and keyboards!). His tone is thick, gritty and growling, a constant punchy undercurrent beneath the guitars and riffing right along with delicious complexity--no droning pedal tones for Mr. Lee, never. Those eldritch wails of his are unique, to say the least, too. "Moving Pictures" delivers the goods and how.

My favorite songs on here...well, OK, I do like "Tom Sawyer", great album opener, but I really dig "The Camera Eye" for its relentless driving feel and its slow buildup to that uptempo verse. I also really like "Witch Hunt" for its eerie intro and timely lyrics that remain true today, and chalk up another brilliant instrumental victory for "YYZ"--that main riff after the intro is bloody impossible! "Limelight" is a great song with intelligent (of course) lyrics about fame and its price, and the drumming is superhuman from start to finish. And "Red Barchetta" really shines too. Aw, hell, I love the whole album, but those are my personal picks, the best of a beautiful lot.

They grew steadily more ambient and textural, not to mention more accessible after this album, during the 80s, but I'm glad that they seem to have gone back more to the sound they had on albums like this in their current direction. And can it be ever said that Rush have ever released a crappy album? I think not, myself. "Moving Pictures" is a flawless meisterwerk, a product of a band confident and assured in and of their writing and playing.

album rating: 10/10 points = 100 % on MPV scale = 5/5 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 (#20679)
Posted Wednesday, December 24, 2003 | Review Permalink
5 stars This is the album by which all other Rush albums are judged. This is by far their best work ever. Non-Rush fans should own this one. Even the album title is right on target because the music gives us so many images and pictures. Rush's sound comes from the ability of the bass and lead guitar and drums to complement each other -- while going off on various tangents without unraveling the melody. What sets this band apart is they toil endlessly, play with emotion, have awesome lyrics and provide striking mental images from the music they play. This one is a "must have."
Report this review (#20660)
Posted Saturday, January 17, 2004 | Review Permalink
5 stars This is as essential and life-altering as rock can be. A perfect album, period. The musicianship and songwriting is otherworldly. I hate to sound corny, but I was close to tears when I saw Rush performing "Red Barchetta" live about 6 (?) years ago. I couldn't believe I was watching THESE GUYS playing THIS SONG. So yeah, I guess this is their best album! Underrated gem: "Camera Eye." Again, who else can pull off a 10+ minute song and make it seem like nothing?
Report this review (#20647)
Posted Sunday, January 18, 2004 | Review Permalink
5 stars Rush, wishing to build un the musical sounds they created in Permanent Waves, decided to go back into the studio and record another album. A wise choice, as they recorded what is indisputably their musical epoch, and a classic for all rock fans, not just those in the prog rock circle. The first four songs are indubitably classics, still played repeatedly on classic rock stations worldwide. Tom Sawyer, the band's most popular song, has one of rock's most memorable riffs ever. Red Barchetta has a more progressive flavour to it; it tells a story about a boy and his car in an age where cars are outlawed. YYZ is perhaps one of the greatest instrumentals of all time. The song was written for the city of Toronto, as YYZ is the flight code for Pearson International airport in Toronto.(Another interesting reference to the city is the cover, the bulding the movers are standing in front of is Queen's Park in downtown Toronto) Limelight is another prog rock masterpiece by the band. Dealing with the problems of being a star, the song boasts one of Rush's most memorable riffs. The Camera Eye is another gem on this album, as it is Rush's last epic song. Witch Hunt is a brilliant composition about hypocrisy, the 'witch hunt' being a metaphor for racism and slander in the modern world. Vital Signs is another underrated song on the album, and definitely worth a few listens. For anyone who has an interest in Rush, or progressive music in general, buy this album. I guarantee your life will change... for the better!
Report this review (#20658)
Posted Tuesday, January 20, 2004 | Review Permalink
Sean Trane
Prog Folk
3 stars 3,5 stars really!!

The newer fans gave more reason to go in the direction they did but I (and most of my friends) was quickly losing interest. This is the last real album I bought with my eyes closed not even hearing it before buying it. With retrospect , this is one of the more accomplished new Rush of the 80's. But it was hard to swallow for early fans , but as this was the logical successor of Waves: there was even less emphasis on suite-style prog music than before and the shorter song format was settling in, Both of these elements were making us anxious at what lay ahead.

Tracks like Tom Sawyer, Limelight are clearly the tracks that got more airplay but not all that representative of the album. Red Barchetta also got attention and was about red coloured Italian sport cars. YYZ is the only instrumental track (clearly a highlight on this album) and is named after the Toronto International Airport code.

Side 2 start with the major track Camera Eye . I was wondering at the time what all this stuff about Camera as Yes's Drama album had a track called that and Renaissance's Camera, Camera album was also from those early 80's soon to be dominated by video-clips with regular rotation of then-new MTV and Canadian-equivalent MuchMusic - image was to take over music as the message for teen-agers. Witch Hunt is another worthy track very much in the mould of the album, but Vital Signs ends it in a relatively poor fashion.

As this is the pivotal album for a band destined to a long second career, to me , fan of the first hour , this album pretty spelled the end of my absolute fanhood. Of course I would go on listening to futuire albums, but I was unconditional anymore.

Report this review (#20662)
Posted Tuesday, February 3, 2004 | Review Permalink
5 stars Oh you lucky ones who may still dive into Tom Sawyer for the first time in your life. This just made the world explode for a moment. Repeat: There is no better rock song. Except for Red Sector A, of course ... The rest is breathtakingly brilliant as well. I'm particularly fond of Vital Signs. Thanks for including it on the Rush in Rio CD, anyway!
Report this review (#20663)
Posted Friday, February 6, 2004 | Review Permalink
3 stars I have never, ever, had any use for the song "Tom Sawyer." Blecch. But I once walked into a Ford dealer and bought a brand new red Mustang which I named the Red Barchetta, in honor of the wonderful song of the same name. The playing and singing is as great as ever, but this is the point where Rush started to lose its fascination for me.
Report this review (#20666)
Posted Friday, February 6, 2004 | Review Permalink
5 stars At this time, Rush were moving towards a simpler, shorter songs. This album is simply magnificent, with no weak tracks at all. Sadly, this was the last of the truly great Rush albums. An essential purchase.
Report this review (#20650)
Posted Friday, February 6, 2004 | Review Permalink
5 stars this album shows even better than previous ones how great drummer is Neil. He just plays more intensive than before. You can hear it especially in Tom Sawyer but the best part of the album is Limelight, I can even say that's my favorite Rush song. Emotions take control, what more can I say?
Report this review (#20671)
Posted Thursday, February 26, 2004 | Review Permalink
5 stars "Moving Pictures" remains one of my all time favorite prog rock albums. In contrast to "Signals", RUSH rely very little on synths here, only to help paste the introductions and conclusions of the songs, not lead them. Instead guitar and bass dominate each song and the album has a very strong sonic innocence to it and does not feel over produced at all.
Report this review (#20659)
Posted Saturday, March 13, 2004 | Review Permalink
5 stars Rush ia a real credit to Canadian Prog.They are heavier than alot of other prog bands which is probably due to the fact that their original influence was mostly Led Zepplin.You can vividly hear this influence on their first self titled album. Alex Lifeson is a talented energetic guitarist that creates or counter fills the melodies.Neil Peart is regarded by many to be one of the top drummers in Prog.He is definetly an excellent power / technical master and the backbone of all songs. He also writes most of the lyrics on the albums.Geddy Lee is a musical phenomenom : a creative artist who masters the Bass and rightfully so acknowledged, as one of the best bass players in Prog.He not only supports the rythm with his exceptional bass lines but also uses the bass as a melody maker and definetly as a solo instrument which is rarely heard elsewhere.You either likes his voice or you don't because its special ,high and nasal.To add to all of this he is also quite a good keyboard player.One keyboard sound which he is famous for using is that analog lushious descending string used in Tom Sawyer.Like many , this is probably my favorite RUSH album.In general its probably the most well liked of all their albums.The melodies have a dark shade and heavy weight to them.Interesting trival fact : YYZ is actually the call letters of the Toronto airport where RUSH left from to tour. More interesting is the ping sound you hear at the begining of YYZ :It is actually the morse code of YYZ.All songs are good and the musicians are some of the best pros in the prog buisness.If you haven't heard this album yet your missing something.
Report this review (#20664)
Posted Friday, March 19, 2004 | Review Permalink
5 stars Okay, I admit that I'm doing like everybody else, I'm reviewing this killer album. What do you want? Okay it's not true progressive rock, but it's still too prog to be rock. I dare anybody not to like Limelight. This song is one of the best I've heard in my whole life. It's almost an anthem. There's something so positive and rejoycing about that song. But, to be honest, I think it's the feel of the whole album that's really gripping. It's not too dark, but it feels like the little gap between heavy, black clouds and the time it's actually raining. You know the time when the air is warm and the wind is getting stronger. It's an album for cloudy days and it makes those days so rewarding.
Report this review (#20665)
Posted Friday, March 19, 2004 | Review Permalink
5 stars Just when you thought they were running out of ideas with the previous album...This is the next contender for greatest Rush album. From the opener, with its thunderous power chords, through the flowing Red Barchetta, past the interesting and intelligent YYZ instrumental, on to the next gem, Limelight. (Pause for breath) Then on to the epic Camera Eye, gasp at the amazing Witch Hunt, (maybe my favourite song on the album, but hard to be sure!) and finally on to Vital Signs, with its tremendous ending, this album has everything. The definitive Rush and the one I would recommend anyone interested in the band to buy first. A brilliant album.
Report this review (#20661)
Posted Friday, March 26, 2004 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars With "Hemispheres", this is the best record from RUSH. The bass reaches its peak here, no doubt: its exaggerated Rickenbaker sound, its complexity and its technical performance are speechless. The electric guitar is slightly different from "Permanent Waves": the guitar sound here is much more mature, a bit cleaner, more refined, modern and not always sounding conventional hard rock. Neil Peart really masters his drums here: the miscellaneous complex, fast and rhythm changing parts reach a never attained level here, even higher than on "Hemispheres"! The keyboards are, like on the preceding albums, not very elaborated, but there are some very good parts, like on "Witch Hunt" and "YYZ". Side one is ABSOLUTELY OUTSTANDING: "Tom Sawyer", with its killer bass, guitars and drums; "Red Barchetta", a very catchy song, will amaze you by the perfect synchronization of the instruments. YYZ is a pure technical performance track, VERY addictive. Finally, "Limelight", the most accessible one, will just move you with its outstanding finale. Side 2 has one bad point: the last 2 tracks "Witch Hunt" and "Vital Signs". Well, it is not that those tracks are bad, but the other tracks are so good that these ones sound almost irrelevant, especially the last one. "Witch Hunt" is quite better than "Vital Signs". "Camera Eye" is a very pleasant progressive rhythmic track, among the best tracks by RUSH.


Report this review (#20709)
Posted Wednesday, April 14, 2004 | Review Permalink
5 stars The teenage science fantasies of "2112" came full circle on "Moving Pictures". "Tom Sawyer", "Red Barchetta", "Limelight" and "Vital Signs" resonated with the band's core audience (young people listening on headphones and elevating from the norm) even more than the philosophical "Permanent Waves". Both albums contain great music, both vie for the upper hand in any discussion of the band's best work, and both are must-owns for progressive rock fans. GEDDY LEE was slowly introducing synthesizers into the mix, usually to ease listeners into the song and underscore spacier passages, but "Moving Pictures" is still analog RUSH: the superlative rhythms and fiery guitar work are in full force. A sign of things to come appears on the closing "Vital Signs", where ALEX LIFESON's guitar favors ANDY SUMMERS-like textures (in fact, THE POLICE's "Synchronicity" and "Tom Sawyer" are more than a little similar) and the concept of "signals" is introduced. But more typical of the album is the instrumental "YYZ", a three-man workout so full of chops that it sounds like FRANK ZAPPA (without FZ's wandering noodle of an eye, of course). Like "Permanent Waves", "Moving Pictures" puts its best features up front; as good as the first side of music is (with "Limelight" providing the knockout punch this time), the second side falters slightly. "The Camera Eye" never seizes on a compelling melody but just sort of plugs along, "Witch Hunt" starts out promising and then seems to hold something back.

They're not rough patches, only average songs on an inspired album. And when the band is at the height of their inspiration, as they are here, their music is a wonderful thing to behold. "Tom Sawyer" and "Limelight" were so powerful, they permeated the collective consciousness of teenagers around the world. Not bad for a little piece of plastic.

Report this review (#20649)
Posted Monday, May 3, 2004 | Review Permalink
4 stars Rush never sounded better than they did here. Not only with the actual music, but the recording quality is excellent-all the instruments can be heard crystal clear, and they're mixed so powerfully. The first side of this album is one of the best first sides of all time because each track is so good yet so DIFFERENT than the others. The opener, Tom Sawyer, isn't my favorite track off this effort, but it's so undeniably 'in your face' and perfect for an opener. I also found TS it to be such an mix of musical styles, with the head- bobbing funky beat, the screaming guitars, and the dare I say psychadelic sounds of the keyboard and Geddys vocals when singing 'The world is the world is love and life are deep'. This album was so many people's introduction to Rush, including mine, and one the greatest albums in rock history.
Report this review (#20669)
Posted Thursday, May 13, 2004 | Review Permalink
James Lee
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Here's an idea: take the first side of both "Moving Pictures" and "Permanent Waves" and make the single best AOR album ever released, and then put the two second sides together to make a good, conceptually interesting and thoroughly up-to-date (for 1981) heavy progressive album. While it may seem that they are sticking to a format that works, RUSH has found their perfect niche with these two recordings and nothing like them will ever be done again. The bands that started the progressive genre have either died out or gone soft on us, but this upstart trio of Canadians make the necessary strides to keep prog interesting- and fun. The presence of "Tom Sawyer" and "Limelight" guarantees any real hard rock fan's vote, and "YYZ" demonstrates indisputably that the band has reached new heights of musical skill. Only the most extreme anti-rock (or anti-synth) fanatics will have any real difficulty enjoying "Moving Pictures"; for my part, "Red Barchetta" is my favorite RUSH song of all time- and achieves in six minutes what it used to take them an entire album side to do. A whole new crop of progressive fans will emerge from the wake of these albums, forming the core fanbase for DREAM THEATER, MARILLION, and so on; however, those who stuck with the band for the last several years can still proudly claim that RUSH has neither 'sold out' nor 'moved on'. You (and I) may have a personal attachment to other (most likely earlier) albums, but objectively it is all but impossible to deny that this is the band's culmination. I wish I could give it 4 1/2 stars, as the second side does lose some focus- but not enough to sacrifice its masterpiece status.
Report this review (#20683)
Posted Wednesday, June 9, 2004 | Review Permalink
5 stars I first heard Tom Sawyer in 1981. Since then I have heard it over one thousand times. I am 42 years of age. I actually played it in the car to my 5 year old son yesterday. I can't believe that I pick-up new things in the song every time I hear it. It has become very spiritual to me in some way. The whole album is a feast of deep thought entwined in inspirational music. These guys are masters at their chosen activity. The music is profound, and the lyrics are emotional and imaginative. Each track on the album has, after all these years, the ability to dis-engage me from the normal day to day and place me somewhere better emotionally. My only dread in life is that there is another Moving Pictures out there and I missed it when I was 19.
Report this review (#20684)
Posted Monday, June 28, 2004 | Review Permalink
5 stars "Moving Pictures" is THE Rush album to own, period. It is the most significant album of the 80's for 2 reasons: First - Tom Sawyer, Red Barchetta, YYZ, and Limelight comprise the most perfect album side of all time. Second - The aforementioned album side contains the best rock drumming of all time. Neil Peart is absolutely incredible! This is Rush's best album, recorded at the pinnacle of their career. It is one of those albums that comes along every twenty years or so. People who never even heard of Rush flocked to record stores to grab this one. Magnificent, breathtaking, amazing, emotional, there are not enough words to describe the "rush" you get while listening to this masterpiece. While we're talking about Rush, you should see them this summer if you get the chance; you WON'T regret it!
Report this review (#20686)
Posted Wednesday, June 30, 2004 | Review Permalink
4 stars By many called the best Rush´s album, but I disagree; though there are memorable moments in here. "YYZ", "Limelight", "Tom Sawyer" and "Red Barchetta", maden this the most famous album, because they were all hits, but we have to realise that there are other great tacks like "Vital Signs" and "The Camera Eye". Excellent but not a prog masterpiece.
Report this review (#20687)
Posted Sunday, July 11, 2004 | Review Permalink
5 stars After the likes of ELP,Yes and Genesis left town Canadians Rush 'moved' in.(The album cover couldn't be more perfect!).Prog died in the late seventies and eighties right? No wrong! While ELP were donning their designer beachwear,Yes were being 'Buggled' and Genesis were widening their appeal to teenage girls thankfully there was still one band that kept their eye on the ball.

Here Rush adopted a more techno approach than before with keyboards taking a much more prominent role in the music.'Tom Sawyer' to this day is still my all time favourite Rush track with Neil Peart majestic on the drums.I love the 'switched on' lyrics as Rush tackle modern issues intellegently.In truth this band were so far ahead of anything going on at the time.

Report this review (#20688)
Posted Friday, July 16, 2004 | Review Permalink
5 stars I do not think you could ask for more.

Tom Sawyer - Brilliant song with the tightest band chemistry one could ask for. Very cool solo and amazing transitions!

Red Barchetta - A classic tune with an awesome solo. Really cool harmonic intro. Extremely good song to drive to!

YYZ - Spectaculor instrumental. Fantasitic intro (the opening cymbal pattern is actually morse code for YYZ). Awesome bass/drum call backs. Excellent guitar progressions and a great ending. On another note "YYZ" is the airport code for Toranto.

Limelight - Tremendously insightful lyrics. Cool intro, melodic chorus, a magnificent solo, and spine chilling ending. Overall a fantastic message for any person listening.

The Camera Eye - This song takes a little bit to warm up, but once it does it is totally worth it. The transition out of the intro is really awesome. Incredibly interesting lyrics. Many awesome riffs within this song.

Witch Hunt - Creepy but very cool intro! Foot-tapping chorus riff. Smooth transitions and changes! Wonderful message lyrically. Part one of a four part series entitled "Fear". Interesting fact about "Fear" is the first three parts were released in reverse order on different albums (meaning part three came out first, then part two, and then part three). The forth part of "Fear" was released on Rush's latest album "Vapor Trails". Check bottom of review to find all four albums the four parts of Fear can be located on.

Vital Signs - Terrific and interesting intro. Good beat and singing in verses. Great pre- chorus. Rockin' chorus. Awesome drum fills to shift the song from pre-chorus to chorus. Again, very interesting lyrics.

Moving Pictures is essential for every Rush fan and is essential for every prog rock fan. If you buy it you will more than likely not be dissapointed. Check this out and rock out to it for years to come.

"Fear" Part III - Released on moving pictures Part II - Released on Signals Part I - Released on Grace Under Pressure Part IV - Released on Vapor Trails

Report this review (#20689)
Posted Thursday, July 22, 2004 | Review Permalink
5 stars Excellent album. With hit songs like "Tom Sawyer" and "Limelight", along with the great "Red Barchetta", how can you go wrong? To add even more awesome stuff, the disc also includes the excellent insturmental "YYZ" and the 11 minute "Camera Eye" Everything on here is a gem, if you own one Rush album, make it this one.
Report this review (#20690)
Posted Thursday, August 12, 2004 | Review Permalink
5 stars This was the peak of Rush perfection for me. As songwriters and musicians, they had matured and evolved to such a degree, that I can not actually find any fault with this album. Ok, so if you dont like Rush, you're not likely to get on with any of their work, but for those who do recognise the positive Rush trademarks, MP should strike a resounding chord. Many prog bands who survived punk, went on to evolve their sound in ways that sometimes worked and sometimes didn't. Genesis, for example decided to turn their back on rock and go all out pop by 1983. In the case of Rush the evolution from Hemisperes to the present has been a smooth one, and not an evolution that has led to them comprimising their art, in other words 'selling out'!

Moving Pictures combines the tradtional Rush elements, the Rickenbecker bass guitar, Neil Pearts click perfect drumming, and Alex Lifesons unique guitar playing, with brighter, crisper production than on previous albums. Their producer Terry Brown had always been rather erratic, but clearly hit the jackpot with MP, as he did with Hemispheres. The songs are more concise than on the previous three albums. Infact MP only has one 'epic' 'The camera eye' clocking up 10 minutes, quite modest by prog standards. The driving force behind MP is the positivity and confidence that oozes from the music. The philosophies of self confidence and empowerent present in songs like 'Tom Sawyer' and 'Red Barchetta' and pleasantly offset by 'Witch Hunt' which deals with the perils of prejudice, and 'Limelight' where Peart writes, eleoquently as ever of the surreal nature of being a performer forever in the 'camera eye'

This is Rush at their most powerful and consistent best, and for those who could not get on with their synth soaked albums of the mid to late 80's, or the Zeppy sounding early albums, Moving Pictures rests perfectly somewhere in the middle of their brilliant catalogue, combining everything that was good about Rush in one excellent work. Highly reccomended!

Report this review (#20691)
Posted Thursday, August 19, 2004 | Review Permalink
5 stars Rush's most popular album. Although it isn't my favorite, I still love all the songs on the album, Making it up close to the top. Tom sawyer being rush's most popular song automatically gives the album 3 stars. The other 2 were added for camera eye, yyz, limelight and red barchetta. Excellent songs. Vital signs and witch hunt arent bad either. As said above, If you at all interested in rush, I suggest getting this album first. Truly another Rush masterpiece.
Report this review (#20692)
Posted Sunday, August 22, 2004 | Review Permalink
Chris S
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Incredible the majority of opinions do not lie! This is without question the best album put out by Rush. Most reviewers have said everything but one thing I will say is that you will never hear them play this tightly on any other Rush album. From the brilliant ' Tom Sawyer', ' Red Barchetta'......oh what the heck the whole album is essential.
Report this review (#20694)
Posted Tuesday, September 7, 2004 | Review Permalink
2 stars This is not a very good album - but then, I'm not a huge Rush fan. I LOVE "2112," and bits from their albums before this one (especially "Hemispheres"), but "Moving Pictures" honestly bores me.

"Tom Sawyer" is a good song - a good condensed "prog rock lite" hard-rock number. It's impossible not to dig the 7/8 midsection.

"Red Barchetta" is just plain boring.

"YYZ" is a cool instrumental track that gets more attention than it really deserves. Nice bass licks, but it mostly leaves me cold.

"Limelight." I used to really dig the lyrics, but now they seem pretty hackneyed. Nifty 7/4 riffs though.

"The Camera Eye" crawls along in an uninteresting fashion - it's quite overlong & synth-heavy.

I honestly can't recall most of "Witch Hunt" and "Vital Signs" - they're pretty bland. The whole album reeks a little bit of corpo-rock. I know I liked it a lot more when I was a kid, but that's no excuse - albums like "The Wall" stand up well even now. "Moving Pictures" simply doesn't stand up. The few tracks that are worthwhile - "Tom Sawyer", "YYZ", "Limelight" - you will hear anyway from Guitar Hero, radio, or friends. There's no need to buy this album unless you just really like Rush.

Report this review (#20695)
Posted Friday, September 10, 2004 | Review Permalink
Cesar Inca
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Following in the footsteps of the predecessor "Permanent Waves", "Moving Pictures" contains a more solid and varied repertoire, as well as a more aggressive sound in the rockier moments. So what Rush delivers here is yet another prog master opus from their golden era. The opener 'Tom Sawyer' starts in a somewhat AOR-ish pompous manner (not unlike their Toronto neighbors Saga, who by then were starting to achieve some worldwide fame), mostly on a 7/8 pattern, which gives the rhythm section a chance to display a touch of funky under the song's rocky surface, while the synth parts play a starring role: somewhere in the middle, Lifeson states an amazing solo full of attitude and some effective dissonance. This catchy opening track is followed by one of the gems of this album: 'Red Barchetta' is a magical rocky number that conveys a mesmerized air of contemplation in both the lyrics and the melodic lines, with a well adjusted instrumentation that flows between the harsh and the subtle. The neckbreaking instrumental 'YYZ' couldn't be a more proper follow up, with its unmerciful fire fed by the fuel of heavy metal and the flame of jazz rock, not unlike 'La Villa Strangiato' - another showstopper in Rush's repertoire -, but with less epic proportions. From the first time I ever heard 'YYZ' I had the feeling that this was one of the most explosive instrumentals in rock history, and now, many years later, I've come to turn that initial feeling into a matured conviction. No wonder this one and 'Tom Sawyer' are the most recurrent pieces from this album in concert tracklists. The fire doesn't decree in 'Limelight', the ode that Rush sing to themselves as "performers and portrayers", caught in a limbo between the joy of giving their art to the audience and the need of keeping apart from that same audience in order to preserve their intimacy and integrity. While the lyrics reflect that dilemma with genuine concern, the music written is pure exultation designed to catch the listener's eye: what a clever way to combine reservations and interconnection in one single song. The only epic in this album is 'The Camera Eye', a 10-minute suite lyrically focused on the dialectic tension between human emotion and the structure of modern cities. The grandiosity of this number is based on the alternation of synth-dominant orchestrated sections and the sung parts, in which the rock aspect prevails in order to allow Lifeson display his tight riffs and occasional electrifying solos - together with 'YYZ' and 'Red Barchetta', here are the highlights of Lee's bass playing in this album. 'Witch Hunt' is a chilling, almost-Gothic number that exposes the dangers and potential destructiveness of intolerance: being much shorter than 'The Camera Eye', 'Witch Hunt' conveys a more pronounced epic colorfulness, so dramatic and with such an amount of intensity, that all you have left to do is drown yourself into the doom of the oppressed and ignored, underthe ultra-somber synth layers that are poured all over the guitar riffs. Awesome! It almost makes you forget the powerful excitement of the previous tracks: by now you are simply overwhelmed by the darkest of human scenarios. 'Vital Signs' ends the album with the poppiest attitude in this album, anticipating what would be to come in their next two studio efforts ("Signals" and "Grace Under Pressure" - something like The Police meets Saga): Lee's voice reminds us that sometimes "everybody has to deviate from the norm". In this track, Rush retakes the energy of 'Tom Sawyer' and draws it closer to average early 80s new wave. That's a nice way to end an album after such an oppressive number as 'Witch Hunt'.
Report this review (#20699)
Posted Monday, October 25, 2004 | Review Permalink
5 stars "Moving Pictures" is one of my favorite Rush albums. It is a solid release from the muscular, pounding drums that open the album with "Tom Sawyer" to the complex instrumental interplay that closes "Vital Signs." There isn't a moment of filler here at all, making "Moving Pictures" a tight album.
Report this review (#20701)
Posted Tuesday, November 2, 2004 | Review Permalink
5 stars This album would be my perfect choice if I had to choose which album to take an a desert island. It has all the energy I ever wanted from an album and the quality of the music is outstanding. Obviously the band nailed it with this one and I still cannot believe that this music was really written 25 years ago.

I always like to hear them play Tom Sawyer but I only once heard Vital Signs being played that song is incredible, I still think that they should have put it on the set list more often.

In case there is anyone who has not yet heard this album, where have you been???

Report this review (#20702)
Posted Sunday, November 7, 2004 | Review Permalink
5 stars This was the first RUSH album I have heard as a 16-year old boy and the only one for long long time. I liked it very much because it was strong and hard, full of energy. And I still like it now, as a 32-year young guy, because it it still strong and hard, full of energy, and, as I can recognise today, full of wits and musical wisdom. Although I have not heard all the albums of RUSH yet, I think that this one was the beginning of their strongest period with the tops in Hold your fire and Presto. Music of Rush is an elemental crystal. You can love it or not, but you hardly can smash it or find a weak point in it.
Report this review (#20703)
Posted Monday, November 8, 2004 | Review Permalink
5 stars Do I have to say anything else about this record???...Well let's make history, I live in Ecuador and when this album hit the racks all around the world, I was 4 years. Well a few weeks ago, a truly rock fan told me a curious and somehow funny fact about this classic in my country. This was the first album in create some havoc among rock fans here. The strangest thing was that this plastic didn't appear in record stores until a DJ (I don't remember his name) that constantly put songs like "Tom Sawyer", "YYZ", "Limelight" and "Vital Signs" on the radio and made a sort of request to record stores to include this one on their regular sales. This record appeared (without its original artwork) and it was something like a cult album and a revelation to many, many fans that didn't know about the force of the Canadian Power Trio...(others already knew but in little numbers).

This one has everything is more like the things we did and the things that were aboutto come, along with PW its best album of the decade.

Report this review (#20706)
Posted Friday, December 10, 2004 | Review Permalink
3 stars A good album but yet not a prog masterpiece, Now I am not bashing it in anyway,shape or form but if you want a good prog-rock album, Hemispheres is the album to get. Ditto, A Farewell to Kings. Tom Sawyer is that one song that some people have first heard of them (Like myself)but it does not mean that because of that 1 song it makes this album a prog- rock classic. True, you got YYZ and Red Barchetta and Wich hunt, However, The Camera Eye is a tad bit boring and Repitiious. Overall, MP is not the album that sums Rush up.
Report this review (#20710)
Posted Wednesday, February 2, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars Although earlier Rush fans probably seemed disappointed that Rush itself had started sounding a little more mainstream than their earlier albums, this work nonetheless is a masterpiece. The punch at the beginning from "Tom Sawyer" already gives the impression that Rush is coming along strong and will stay that way throughout the album. Other themes such as "Red Barchetta" and "Limelight" reveal a more passive side. "YYZ" and "The Camera Eye" make clever use of instrumentation and reap the fruits of songs that have taken careful time and effort to create something phenomenal.

Any progressive rock fan that's looking deeper into the genre should definitely download/buy songs from this album if they can't find the CD itself on shelves. This is a true testament to what Rush is all about and what they would be in the future.

Report this review (#20711)
Posted Wednesday, February 9, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars I just happened upon this site looking for ringtones, and couldn't resist writing a review for THE greatest album of all time. Every song is a masterpiece, and what is really amazing is the album is the best sounding album I own, 24 years after its release. True, you do have to turn it up a little louder that the newer cd's of today,but so what. Once you do crank this bad boy the adrenaline supplied by the most powerful drumming ever committed to vinyl will leave you in heaven. For the younger prog fans, go check this out. For the older prog fans, put MP on one more time and admit that Rush is the greatest prog band ever. What really makes this album great is the fact that rock fans in general like this album, not just prog fans. This is not a bad thing, just evidence that one of the most perfect albums ever is MP. My ears have heard Tom Sawyer over 1000 times and I never tire of it. I'll be listening to this album when I'm in a nursing home some day!
Report this review (#20712)
Posted Thursday, February 10, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars What a fantastic album! one of the RUSH best if not the best. Great tunes like Red Barchetta, classics like Tom Sawyer, and their best instrumental song, YYZ. Just different from any Rush album but it is really special. If you want to discover this stunning band (never it´s too late), get this album and you won´t be dissapointed. Highly reccomended.
Report this review (#20714)
Posted Saturday, February 12, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars Considered being the last 'classic' Rush album. A very influential record, on the strength of these seven compelling songs. The drumming on opener 'Tom Sawyer' is rich of detail, the lyrics turn him into an eighties icon: a healthy individual attitude, a scepticism towards mass consumption. The memorable 'Limelight' unveils the hardship of public stardom "for those who wish to seem". 'YYZ' (referring to Toronto airport) is an instrumental tour de force with jazz rock leanings. The poetic imagery in 'Red Barchetta' highlights the precious sentiment of melancholy. The epic 'The Camera Eye' is the city's grand opus, drawing on the narrative influence of John Dos Passos. 'Witch Hunt' is their production piece, evoking dark moods of lynching mobs, with a todays' political relevance concerning the issue of racism and prejudice. The closing 'Vital Signs' already announces the stylistic changes from 'Signals' on. Essential.
Report this review (#20716)
Posted Friday, February 25, 2005 | Review Permalink
Tony R
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
5 stars The greatest Heavy-Progressive album of all time.

Picture the scene:

Prog has died,Genesis are stumbling into the 80's like someone's brain-addled grandad,Yes are changing personel more times than Rainbow, and ELP have pomped themselves into an early grave.So what do you do? You reinvent Prog Rock and stick two drumsticks up at the nay-sayers,that's what! Moving Pictures? Moving mountains to Mohammed more like.All over North America the kids were forsaking Prog Rock for Heavy metal, yet Rush managed to bring them all back,with a Top 3 Multi-Platinum best-seller.

Tom Sawyer has been plundered many times for charting Hip-Hop acts,its catchy rhythm section,imaginative lyrics and 7/8 beat giving a two-fingered salute to the Tolkien- esque imagery of yore.Red Barchetta,briefly returns to the SciFi roots of earlier albums, but manages to be both an engaging tale and a musical tour-de-force.Particularly effective is the way the band magically evoke the movements of pistons and air and the beautiful guitar solo.YYZ-wow!Can three human beings really play like this together? Sure it is flash, but is such a show-stealer that dozens of bands have tried and failed to match its magnificence,indeed Jazz Rock never sounded this much fun.Limelight follows, it is another catchy song,poignant lyrics about the problems of fame and an absolutely amazing gutar solo.

Rush's last true epic,The Camera Eye is next up and brings to mind the portentious opening minutes of "Xanadu" fused with the thick guitar brushstrokes of "Jacob's Ladder".Using Dos Passos's epic "USA" as a starting point we meander through modern landscapes,then the piece throbs with the passage of people along city streets. Certainly the most obviously "progressive" track on the album and a testament to the trios ensemble playing.Witch Hunt follows-what a scary song! Alluding to the ever-present bible-bashing fraternity in modern America and back to the McCarthy Witch-Hunt days it is a plee for more tolerance of different ideas.Wonderfully evocative crowd intro and portentious guitar lead into a crushing riff,crashing drums and lush synths.I never grow tired of this track.Final track,Vital Signs is a strange hard rock,white reggae hybrid (ok - The Police!) very catchy and not too serious methinks.

I have no doubts about awarding the full 5 star masterpiece status to this album.Best Album Ever? Maybe....

Report this review (#20719)
Posted Thursday, March 3, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars Moving Pictures was the one single album that convinced me to become a fan of what I understood to be "prog" rock. Are Rush true goliaths of authentic "prog?" No. However, one cannot deny their place in the pantheon of superlative players and writers in the often misinterpreted genre called "prog."

Tom Sawyer is a terrific opener matching lyric and music better than any other track on the album. It combines melodic elements of guitar, synth and vocal that are complex yet easier to comprehend than most Rush songs are (read: you can always tell where "1" is).

Red Barchetta features searing guitar and the great foundation of Geddy Lee and Neil Peart. Musically it seems to simulate what the narration is about which makes this song extremely appealing.

YYZ is, in my opinion, the most accesible instrumental in the Rush library. Alex Lifeson really shines on this track with the Hispanic sounding guitar solo and what I think is the best "feel" playing on the album. An instrumental gem.

Limelight is the most often heard song radio-wise (at least where I live) on the record and for many reasons - it ought to be. First, it's solidly played and sonically accesible. Secondly, it introduces uninformed listeners to timings other that 4/4 almost without them knowing it. That's the true genius of Rush. Finally, it proves Rush could be successful as a radio entity if they chose to be.

The Camera Eye tells us about Londoners and New Yorkers being too busy to be concerned with the little things in life. It's appropriate even more so today. Sonically I find this song a little dull and the synth part I loved so much in my youth has waning interest for me. Still there are some neat moments and I think the solo interplay between Lifeson and Lee is the finest on the album.

Witch Hunt is a dark, brooding song which really features Lifeson. The yelling heard in the intro is actually Neil Peart out in the snow. (See: Visions by Bill Banasiewicz) I truly like the mood set in this piece and it's got a timeless message.

The closer is Vital Signs, a very 80's driven song with an Andy Summers-style guitar. It's got a unique flavor all its own and is a nice diversion to close the album.

Overall the mixing is terrific but the mastering (on the original) is not very gratifying. The remasters do as best as can be done with what was recorded to tape. I only wish more could've been done as the library before 1986 is simply not as good sonically. Regardless this album is a "must" for any fan of progressive rock even if one doesn't consider Rush true "prog."

Report this review (#20721)
Posted Monday, March 21, 2005 | Review Permalink
Eetu Pellonpaa
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars A really fine album! Only the two last songs are bit poorer, and the restrain me from giving this the five stars it nearly deserves. I think that the new kind of approach to music which was started in their previous album has matured here very well. Though some of the tracks are radio friendly, they are still interesting, unique and done with good style in my opinion. "The Camera Eye" is the best song of the album, a good mini epic with fine instrumental passages and composition. It's fun to find out that there were also good music done at the 80's too! Recommended warmly!
Report this review (#20722)
Posted Friday, April 1, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars A great record gets alot of attention as is the case here. What can be said about MP? This is Rush at it's glorifying peak..way ahead of it's time. Almost 25 years later and this record is still pure and genuine. The lyrics are as outstanding as the tightness of the band. Other than the possibility of Signals, nothing Rush has done since touches the soul like MP. There is good reason why 'Tom Sawyer" has become one of the top classic rock staples of all time with the likes of 'Stairway to Heaven', Baba O'Reilly, Born to be Wild, Satisfaction, is a tremendous song!! The drum track alone is mesmorizing. 'Limelight' follows close behind and is such a well written piece. You would have been hard pressed not to have heard these two outstanding songs at a live Rush concert ever since their inception. They are nicely represented on their latest two live recordings Rush has released. Personally, 'Red Barchetta' is my favorite Rush song and it is still inspiring to listen to after the first nine million times I've heard it. Not too many songs out there that can absolutly move a person like that. YYZ is so over the top of rock musical wizardry, it leaves me wondering... how did they come up with that?! Side two is a great endeavor into experimentation and you can hear hints of things to come. This record is best played on a dreary day in it's entirety. When this takes place, the day is no longer as dreary as it is memorable. Absolutely a must have for any Rush fan... or rock music fan for that matter.
Report this review (#20723)
Posted Wednesday, April 20, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars I don't think that i have the musical knowledge to judge this masterpiece. I am so small in front of this monster which is called Rush! Moving Pictures is the greatest album, in my opinion, of all times in progressive rock and not only. The stars on the rating scale are not enough to cover the priceless value of that album. In 100 years from now people will still bay this album, but not realizing the price of it. And something last: diamonds are forever, make a favor to you re self and have this album. You re mind will open.
Report this review (#20725)
Posted Monday, May 9, 2005 | Review Permalink
1 stars I'm very unhappy to say that this albums keeps me cold and lost. I tried and tried to listen to many times. But I cannot find anything that gets me involved into that compositions. It's weird. I like all the other prog albums of the century like "Close to the edge", "Selling England ...", "U.K.", "Red", "Discipline" etc. But I cannot eat that music. The singer makes me nervous with his high pitched voice. And the songs have no development, most of them have no end. Just faded out. That is not music of the seventh galaxy. In my opinion. Sorry , sorry.
Report this review (#20727)
Posted Sunday, May 22, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars This Album should need no introduction.If you like Rush or have ever heard them chances are this album is the one youve heard.This is rush in their second phase finest! This is darn near perfect in everyway! That my friends is why I gave it four not five stars.This album is so perfect it ALMOST doesnt feel like a rock record! Even the hard edges sound smooth and glossy! This is a great record and a must have but for me at least it is what I always feared the perfect sounding album.Thankfully Rush is able to overcome it's perfection and continues to make great slightly flawed albums just the way I like them!
Report this review (#20730)
Posted Wednesday, May 25, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars This is my Co-favorite Rush album tied with Signals (1982). They are my favorite progressive rock albums of the (relatively weak) 80's. This CD is not as heavy yet on the synth as Signals is and Lifeson's guitars here are arguably his most ferocious of any Rush album. The songs on this album are more radio friendly than previous albums but I think that Rush mixed their more intricate musicianship with popular hooks better here than on any other album. Some may not approve of the move toward a more radio friendly sound but to me it was the perfect mix of fantastic musicianship, great hooks, riffs and lyrics. Each song is different as well with Red Barchetta being my favorite Rush ROCK song (Cygnus X-1 Book II being my favorite Rush PROG rock song). For it's time, It was an amazing achievement and still blows me away though it's sound may be too dated for todays neo-progressive rock fans. still, it rates as a music masterpiece.
Report this review (#20732)
Posted Monday, May 30, 2005 | Review Permalink
erik neuteboom
5 stars I was 18 when I witnessed my first Rush gig, it was at the known Dutch Pinkpop Festival in '79. I was not only impressed by the great music from Rush but also the amount of Rush die-hards that joined Rush during their first European tour. Soon I became a Rush die- hard, my favorite Rush album (painful choice, like you have to say who's your favorite child .. or does this sound too emotional?!) is "Moving Pictures" because it contains seven excellent songs, so varied and alternating, in my opinion this was Rush at their creative peak. "Tom Sawyer" and " Red Barchetta" are powerful and catchy 'power-sympho' songs with the touch of class of a timeless rock classic like "Black Night" from Deep Purple. "YYZ" is an incredible composition, perhaps the best Rush ever composed, what an exciting and virtuosic climate, the interplay between the three musicians is breathtaking. "Limelight" has one of the most moving soli from Alex Lifeson, "The Camera Eye" shows the great ideas from Rush to sound symphonic, "Witch Hunt" is a mindblowing effort to create an ominous sound that evokes a real witch hunt and "Vital Signs" prooves that Neil Peart is one of the best drummers. For me this was the last 'true-progressive' studio-album from Rush, from "Signals" they mixed every album more trendy elements. This unsatisfying visiont led to my desision to stop buying Rush records from the album "Presto" but I still visit the concerts because Rush wants to please all their fans, mr. Collins!
Report this review (#20733)
Posted Monday, May 30, 2005 | Review Permalink
Cygnus X-2
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars One half masterpiece, the other half above average work. This is Rush's highlight album, their crowning achievement in music. With such a strong first side, one would like to believe that the 2nd is just as strong. The 2nd side, while very good, is not up to par with the 1st. At this point, the band were on the borderline between Prog and Synth rock, the line being very blurred at times. The riffs, the drums, the bass, the album is full of untouchable moments that take you to another place.

The album opens with Tom Sawyer, the quintessential Rush song. A very strong riff carries the track throughout, Lifeson giving an incredible performance. The keyboard solo, while very simple, is very enjoyable in its own right. Finally, the drumming is superb. Peart plays with incredible precision in and out of fills. This is a great Rush track, the one they will always be remembered for.

The second track is my personal favorite on the album, Red Barchetta. Inspired by the short story, "A Nice Morning Drive" by Richard S. Foster, the music takes the forefront during this track. The harmonics in the beginning, the impeccable riff structure, the incredible guitar solo, this track is flat out perfect. Add a small bass solo in the end, and you have a masterpiece of a track.

The next song, the instrumental YYZ, is another very memorable Rush track. Beginning with Peart on percussion, the exquisitely evil sounding intro is superb. Add incredible playing by Lifeson, top-notch playing by Peart, and a stand out performance from Geddy, whose creative runs and fills are so superbly difficult to play, and yet he plays with perfect acurracy.

The final song on the first side, Limelight, is another Rush masterpiece, with an incredible riff, an awesome structure, and a great solo, this song rocks with the best of them. The lyrics on this song are also superb.

The 2nd half of the album is good as well, just not as good as the tracks above. The opening for the second half, The Camera Eye, is the last 10 minute epic Rush would do. I particulary don't care for the lyrics, it's the music that is great, again with incredible riffs by Lifeson. Witch Hunt and Vital Signs are both very good, but still aren't up to par with the first half.

Overall, this album is a very good one. It's one of the best Rush albums. If only the 2nd half was as good as the first, it would have gotten 5 stars if it had. 4.5/5

Report this review (#37239)
Posted Wednesday, June 22, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars This album is really great. Not a bad song. In fact, every song is amazing. This is pretty much the album that got me into Rush. Tom Sawyer is the perfect opening to this album, what with its hard rocking- progressiveness. Kudos to Geddy for his synth playing. In fact, kudos to every one because they are all fantastic. Red barchetta is also great, more great lyrics from Peart, and the music is great, going from mellow to heavy to just straight- forward hard prog rocking. YYZ is great too, every one really shines on this song, especially Alex Lifeson. Limelight, of course, is amazing, what with its psoitive-sounding verses, and its slightly darker chorus, and just about the best solo ever from Mr. Lifeson.

A lot of people say that the second half of the album isn't exactly to up to snuff compared to the first half, but I think it is. The Camera Eye, although it is possibly the weakest song on the album, is great, although I don't care for the lyrics too much. Still good though. Witch Hunt is so underrated it isn't funny. Everything about is great, from the ominous intro with the roaring of the mob, to the hard-rocking, grim Verse, to the spacy synth- driven chorus. Seriously, that Chorus riff is one of the best. Vital Signs is a great closer, very mellow at times, with very subtle keyboards played by Geddy. It is almost reggae-like during the chorus, and Rush is always good at mixing other genres in with their own brand of hard-prog rock. All in all, a very good album, a good starting point for Rush, seeing as how every song is dynamite. Highlights include: all songs!

Report this review (#37266)
Posted Wednesday, June 22, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars Moving Pictures is one of the most classic albums of all time. Exquisite production kudos go out to long-time producer Terry Brown for helping the band reach this height. Here we have Rush giving us the shorter gems which would become their m.o. for further tunes. Outstanding cuts include Limelight and YYZ which will make even the most snooty jazz listener perk up and nod approvingly. The short of it is that MP is Rush's masterwork. It all comes together on this album. If you don't have it, get it.
Report this review (#38244)
Posted Friday, July 1, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars This is in many ways the quintessential Rush album. It utilizes each member's skills without limiting any one of them, and the music, while being consistently complex and challenging, is very streamlined and polished. It seems that here they manage to really transcend their individual parts, playing in their own styles but really playing together as a unit and in a more concise and more traditional song-based format. All of the elements of this album were present in Permanent Waves, a prog rock meets new wave kind of quirky hard rock, but what the band has done here is matured a little and formed a cohesive whole out of all their elements to form a more refined sound that was truly their own. Neil Peart was quoted as saying that, given his druthers, he would make Moving Pictures Rush's first album. I think that would be terrible, because almost all of the music that preceeded it was friggin awesome, like Hemispheres, A Farewell to Kings, Permanent Waves, and 2112. But all previous albums, while providing so many awesome moments, were just growing room that the band needed before becoming completely realized, and Moving Pictures sounds truly like the complete realization of a vision. They outdid themselves on this one. And if nothing else, you got to give this band props for finding their way (pardon the pun) and adapting their prog sensibilities to a more concise and polished format without losing much of what made them good, and writing better SONGS in the process (as their goal was to shorten songs and put more emphasis on the songwriting part). This was Rush realized, after seven years growth. After this album of mastery, they continued to evolve, drawing upon many, many different influences, and creating many, many good songs over the years, songs that weren't prog but continued to challenge and showcase each member's abilities, and at the same time worked as melodic, good songs. That, in my book, is just as good as anything that what some might call "true" progressive rock ever created.
Report this review (#39872)
Posted Wednesday, July 20, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars Hmmm...why do I like this disc so much? That's like asking people why they like chocolate ice-cream. It's not something you think about; merely something you acknowledge. By that logic, "MP" could be compared to ice cream, but MP doesn't melt in your mouth; it melts in your brain.

"Tom Sawyer" is truly the most well-known song on the disc, aside from "Limelight", and I think that's at the expense of the other 5 songs. "The Camera Eye", although the intro is rather tedious and lengthy, is a fun ride and takes you elsewhere for 10 minutes. And face it-wouldn't we all like to take a 10-minute vacation away from the drabbiness of everyday life? That's what the best music does; ergo, that's what this disc does.

"Vital Signs" is a catchy, up-tempo reggae-rocker that takes their experimentation on "The Spirit Of Radio" and spices things up a bit with a warm synth playing in tandem to Alex's insistent guitar.

"YYZ" is one of those tunes that seems to come from out of nowhere, with a head-spinning display of chops by everyone aboard. Alex's guitar sounds especially good, weaving and ducking around the basslines and synth rffs til the bass clashes with the guitar just before the solo...then; THE SOLO. BLAST OFF! It's amazing how much instrumental brilliance he packs into 30 seconds.

"Witch Hunt" is simply eerie, mysterious, scary, but not sickeningly so. Instead, it's the kind of feeling that leaves you with wet undies and the nagging idea that someone's behind you. Hugh Syme's synth performance is top-notch, and does nothing if not build more and more tension. Yes...I'm more than able to give it 5 stars. I'd give it six stars, if I could. This is pure, unadulterated prog-rock with a pop bent, and foreshadows things to come.

Report this review (#41761)
Posted Friday, August 5, 2005 | Review Permalink
Zac M
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars What can be said about this album that has not been said before; it is an essential masterpiece. This was my first introduction to Rush, as it was for many people. I remember hearing tracks like Limelight, Red Barchetta, and, of course, the album's biggest hit, Tom Sawyer on classic radio. The album has much more to offer than just these hits however. YYZ, an instrumental, is quite possibly one of the best loved prog instrumentals; it is not too long or pretentious, which IMO leads to its likeability.

The second half of the album includes the mini-epic, The Camera Eye, which is good, although it starts out a little slow. Next is the mystical Witchhunt; it is one of my favorite tracks on the album. The last song, Vital Signs,although it is good, is probably my least favorite on this album.

When I first purchased this disk, I was still just learning what progressive rock really was, so it holds a special place in my journey through this incredible genre of music. This album is highly recommended because it is very easy to listen to. Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson, and Neil Peart create a album that is great for prog neophytes or people interested in the perdect mix of prog and hard rock. After this album, Rush started using more synths, and their music became less interesting, although Signals is still quite good. I really enjoyed taking the time to enjoy this album again. If you love Rush, you probably already have it, if you wanna get into Rush, this is definitely the perfect album to start out with.

Report this review (#42157)
Posted Monday, August 8, 2005 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars JRENG! - dhug dhug thak .."A modern day warrior mean mean stride, today's Tom Sawyer mean mean pride!" JRENG .!

Well well well . I guess many of you have ever heard that energetic and dazzling opening part especially for those of you who were there when punk and new wave movements wept out music industry in the early eighties? Rush came out with a ground breaking album "Moving Picture" that cast the light of hard rock music. Yeah, I thought the music was straight forward like any hard rock music but when you try play the chords, it's not that easy. But again, Rush was one of very few bands that carry the torch of the seventies music amidst new wave and punk attack. The release of the album of course made any rocker and proghead happy as this album has demonstrated their musical maturity.

I don't think that I need to write a novel-long review about this masterpiece as I am sure that most of you have already known the album and owned a copy of the CD. What I need to share is how this album is so energetic and so motivating; which really helps me to cheer up my day anytime I find any problems or woke me up in the morning. It makes my pulse is racing rapidly and my adrenalin is exploding. I like the riffs, the guitar solo, the dynamic drum work as well as solid bass lines. All tracks are excellent. "Red Barchetta" (6:08) has a very neat composition and powerful riffs. "YYZ" (4:24) is really a masterpiece rock instrumental with all musicians contribute wonderfully: great guitar augmented with inventive bass lines and machine gun drumming. WOW! Bravo Peart, Lee and Lifeson! It's really greaaaattttt ..!!!! I always repeat this track - including this time while I'm writing this review (uhm . it's not a review actually, it's a sharing.).

I have a specific memorable event which always clicks me whenever I listen to "Vital Sign". Yup, you might say it's a simple arrangement - but look at the combination of lyrics and a sort of reggae rhythm the band has composed! It's a terrific composition which I especially enjoy when the long sustain keyboard sound enters in the middle of the track - augmented wonderfully with bass guitar solo and firm drumbeats. "Everybody got mixed feelings 2x. Everybody got to deviate from the norm ." oh man . what a memorable ending part, I tell you!

Highly recommended! Not only for progheads but for those who love rock music, this one is a masterpiece!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

Report this review (#46477)
Posted Monday, September 12, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars Very best from the very best! This is ablum was a milestone in music to me and I'm sure many others. Basically one of the very first prog albums I ever owned and still on the frequent/heavy rotation list for me.

Tom Sawyer- Best "basic" drum beat pattern of all time... you can recognize the sone from just a few beats. Everyone else is stellar. The sound production on this album is stellar too The lows are astounding...

Red Barchetta- Coolest thing ever done with harmonics yes I am aware that Steve Howe did something cool too , but not as cool as this! Bass line is memorable and complex when it needs to be.

YYZ-- The instrumental that slayed all other instrumentals! Every member of the band shows off their chops in ways that others still can't imitate! But yet it's not overly "showy" It has a wonderful groove to it, and kept them dancing in RIO throughout the entire song. That must have been coo for them. Anyway I digress....

Limelight-- A coo off time riff combined with stops in the right place and a great chorus, plus the guitar solo note that goes on FOREVER AND A DAY!

The Camera Eye-- The epic of the album. Very Ethereal at times but gets loud about the time you think it will get boring. Lyrics are my favorites on the album. Neil paints the word picture well with them. Cool guitar solo on this one too. Alex does a very good job over some weird changes/chords

Witch Hunt- Quite a mood evoking piece, to me it does the best jobe of "fear" of any of the other members of the Fear suite? I guess you would call it now. Teh lyrics again are very well done, and has one of my favorite Rush lines---"Those who know what's best for us. Must rise up and save us from ourselves..." masterful Vital Signs-- Police inspired ska feel done right, and tastefully....

Report this review (#47724)
Posted Thursday, September 22, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars The best album by Rush by far.Tom Sawyer and Red Barchetta set the early pace and are classics.Its impossible to pick a weak track on this album,even the quieter,moody moments like The Camera Eye and Witchhunt are superb.If you decide to give this band a hearing then this is the album for you.Three musicians at the peak of their playing and creativity.Make a note,give it a listen soon,you won't regret it.And if you already have it,dust it off and play it loud.Now.
Report this review (#48152)
Posted Saturday, September 24, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars "Tom Sawyer" Totally on of the best songs of Rush, this isn't only a song... this is ART! Drum recording has seen light, awesome!

"Red Barchetta" Alex's harmonic- starting feels good and gives summer- feelings, this has many parts musically, you'll love that genius music in this!

"YYZ" God damned! Little bit of bass solos and drum solos and lot of guitar solos! Very tasteful instrumental song and you cannot skip this when you listen Moving Pictures!

"Limelight" Hmmmh... this has awesome riff, but I have listened it SO much and I'm not so big Limelight fan like in start.

"The Camera Eye" This doesn't open in first time. But when you hear it's light, you will LOVE this song! 11 minutes long, every minute is strange and funny, nothing is bored. The ending feels very good, thanks to Geddy's high voice and Alex's harmonics!

"Witch Hunt" Very mystic and strange song, this makes you think everything what you fear, but very brilliant! Without the moon, stick and still, you will love this.

"Vital Signs" Oh gosh how beautiful and full of remembering... this songs drives you in good times and when fade-ending happens, smile is in ears and eyes are wide. This song is beautiful.

Report this review (#49691)
Posted Saturday, October 1, 2005 | Review Permalink
3 stars I don't mind this album but I think it is overrated. The album does not have the range of so many prog albums. The musicians of Rush quickly lose ideas which is a pity but just proves how hard it is to develop themes. The lyrics of each song are average which again is a pity. I want so much for this album to be great but sadly it is not.
Report this review (#51774)
Posted Friday, October 14, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars One of Rush's best albums as well as one of prog's best albums, YYZ is probably the greatest instrumental of prog-rock. This album shows us what art rock is all about, definitely some o f the best of art rock is on this album. The only negative is "witch hunt" which I find boring but goes well with the album. Obvious 5 star album, if you don't have it buy it, your missing out on a big piece of prog right here.
Report this review (#55132)
Posted Tuesday, November 8, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars It's about time i reviewed a Rush album, so i thought i would do a more popular and synth influenced album, Moving Pictures.

Moving Pictures is a Rush with more vocals. Of course there are still some insturmental favorites like YYZ, but this is much more vocal than the old Rush so many fans knew from the '70s. This album also exhibits a more metal edge. The guitar playing from Alex Lifeson is top class, his work on the insturmental YYZ is nothing short of brilliant. Lifeson's tone is really a big part of this album, his tone is not overdistorted, not overpowering, and clear. Lifeson is a guitarist who does not get in the way of the rest of the band. The other musicans do a fantastic job as well. Geddy Lee has his hands full doing bass, vocals, and synths. I wouldn't be reviewing Rush without giving not to Neil Peart. Peart's drumming is absolutely incredible. The trades of solos with bassist Geddy Lee in YYZ is so intense and so musical. Peart's drumming is also phoenomenal in the opening track Tom Sawyer and the epic of this album, The Camera eye. My one complaint about this album is that there is quite a bit of cheese, mostly from very lyrical songs like Limelight.

The production is excellent. Pearts drums cut through as always with exceptional tone. Lifeson's guitar is amazing as i noted earlier. The synths though not virtuosic add a nice touch of resolution to the album following solos. I do have a problem with Lee's bass. The tone is just too distorted and lacks punch. Lee's tone sounds more like something from a dead pre-amp than a studio album.

Report this review (#56095)
Posted Saturday, November 12, 2005 | Review Permalink
3 stars I'm torn on my feelings towards this album. In the end I think of this album as being the precursor to incredibly bland 80s rock that turned proggers away from rock music. Rush held onto just enough prog to make this album respectable, but I cannot forgive them for abandoning the edge they had for 2112 or the brilliance they had for A Farewell to Kings.

Song specific I think 'Tom Sawyer' is a great song with a great bass riff and that once this song came out the rest of 80s rock had already been ecplised. (aside from some good metal from Maiden and Metallica and such). Afterwards we hear Red Barchetta. This is precisely what I'm talking about! It's kind of long but incredibly bland. XYZ is quality, no doubt - a redeeming track. Limelight is another 80s pop-rock hit in the same vein as Tom Sawyer. Good, but spelling the doom of Rush prog. Camera eye is good at times, but not consistent. Witch hunt I plain dislike. Luckily 'Vital Signs' salvages much of the album. Had the album gotten consistently worse following XYZ I'd be an unhappy Rush fan. That isn't the case as 'Vital Signs' brings sincerity to Rush reportoire.

Moving Pictures is a little too agreeable and hence often turns out bland.

Report this review (#56108)
Posted Saturday, November 12, 2005 | Review Permalink
Andrea Cortese
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars "A modern warrior mean mean stride, today's Tom Sawyer mean mean pride."

Moving Pictures is one of my favourite 80s' albums! All it's been already said about it. There's nothing I could originally add: I can only express now the pleasure to listen to such a pure and precise performance, all the instrument being played by master hands! I remember the day I went to my town's cds- store and bought it.I was "trembling" with excitement for without such an album my personal prog-rock cd archive seemed to be uncomplete!

After a couple of years and many listenings I'm still not sure it's a masterpiece, yet! An excellent effort, especially for the instrumental YYZ and the opener track Tom Sawyer: two classics!

A must have and a good one to introduce yourselves into the Rush' fantastic repertoire! Vocals are good, in my opinion, even if I personally prefer deeper and warmer voices: a right combining with the catching strong and polite arrengements!

Report this review (#58667)
Posted Wednesday, November 30, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars More than the amazing playing, more than the career-topping production by Terry Brown, more than the strength of character each song holds, 'Moving Pictures' is my favorite album of all time due to its overall atmosphere. There's a pervading comfort in each moment of the experience. It is dark and warm and welcoming. It achieves perfect balance between the technical and emotional. It does not have a weak moment. 'Moving Pictures' is arguably Rush's apex as a songwriting and performing entity, bridging the shores of their complex and adventurous early material and the refinement that would take place on successive albums.

I find this to be the most natural-sounding Rush album. It doesn't seem they were self-consciously trying to write multi-faceted epics, nor were they snipping off all but the most bare essentials in a less-is-more effort. Yet it achives both aims to some degree, and meets in the middle more often. Everything flows wonderfully, each instrument, including the gorgeous synths, captured absolutely PERFECTLY. If prog purists call this one "the beginning of the end", I suggest giving another listen to the immaculate intricacy of "YYZ", the absorbing storytelling of "Red Barchetta" (words AND music), the dread of "Witch Hunt", the peculiar ideas and engaging aura of "Tom Sawyer", the unique elongation of themes and moods in "The Camera Eye". If they don't, I will for them. Again. For the 1027th time. A great piece of music can be gone back to a million times with something to offer each time. Each listen can offer something new and/or take you back to a place of familiarity and peace. This one still does all that for me. 7 perfect songs making 1 perfect album. A masterpiece of the often at-odds approaches of streamlined focus and technical complexity.

Report this review (#62170)
Posted Thursday, December 29, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars This album is the centre point at which to start and get into this band for any newcommer, start with 'Moving Pictures' and work forwards and backwards an album at a time, most new fans may never get into Rush if 'Grace Under Pressure' or even 'A Farewell to kings' was their first taste of the band. 'Moving Pictures' captures a then still young band in their prime, all be it they had matured in music terms like no other band in such a short time (7 years after 'Rush' was released).

Hard to catagorize Rush at the best of times and definately hard to put 'Moving Pictures' in a genre, I think the closest would be to class this album as all of the best bits of their past albums on one record, the best of prog, (The Camera Eye), art rock (Tom Sawyer) and hard rock, (Limelight) and also new wave (Vital Signs) simply Rush at their best, this album had always been my favouritre Rush album, I had to wait for 'Presto' in 1989 for any competition.

Rush were by this stage well known for how great musicians they were, they only got better as the grammy nominated 'YYZ' proves, the songwriting was improving too, my only criticisim I have for Rush is the direction they took after this album to 'Signals' and 'Grace Under Pressure' in my opinion their 2 weakest albums, I understand the progression was partly natural but as Rush said we all have 'Freewill' and the band (mostly Geddy) choose this direction, I only wish we had a real successor to 'Moving Pictures'. But thankfully we were spoiled again with every album from 'Power Windows' onwards, but these albums were a notch below this album with Presto as the only exception.

Report this review (#64170)
Posted Wednesday, January 11, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars Hands down, the most progressive before it's time work ever done by the band. I can remember the day this was released, alot of hype as it was just coming after Permanent Waves, and everyone in high school was wired for Rush. From the opening track of Tom Sawyer, I was hooked. The bass on Red Barchetta hits so hard it to this day it sends shivers down my spine. When we saw the concert at Joe Louis it was mind boggling! The strong work of Lifeson, the drumming work and song writing of Peart, along with the vocals of Lee are a combo of classic Rush that come togeather like in no other album. This album is their break out, and a big step for progressive rock as a whole. These guys were and still are in a leauge of their own! There will never be a release like this again. Perhaps alot of it is best described as the way Alex described music in an old interview I heard of his in about 1982 when he was speaking of people always wanting to hear their old materal. He said that it may not always be the music per se' that one is always attraced to, but the time one was is in when they heard the music. Meaning you often relate music to your personal feelings, the moment and good things that you remember going on around you when the music becomes a part of it. He was right. I was in 12 grade having the time of my life with the best friends anywhere, it was a time of hope and carefreeness that, like Moving Pictures will never be repeated!
Report this review (#66063)
Posted Sunday, January 22, 2006 | Review Permalink
3 stars 3,4/5.0

This is really not a bad album, far from it. This is still Rush, with great guitar and keyboards, however I just don't enjoy that much the 80s sound. "XYZ" is probably the best sound on the album, but somehow I would rather consider this album as one of the first neo-progressive album as opposed to a 'late-bloomer' real prog disc. I think the right description could in fact be 'neo-rock-prog'. All that said, this is still a good (but not essential) album, very enjoyable and imaginative.

Report this review (#67339)
Posted Sunday, January 29, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars Rush's most popular and probably greatest album. The third Rush album I bought, what I remember. An album which contains almost everything Rush is capable of, minus the 80's synth sounds. A rock classic, which should be in every rocker's/progger's CD-shelf.

It begins with their greatest hit, Tom Sawyer. What an interesting song. The keyboards and the synthetic effects make this a catchy, yet pretty weird song. Then follows an another really nice song, Red Barchetta, which is much more "easier" than Tom Sawyer. Alex' harmonics in the beginning and end sound cool and so does his solo. Geddy's bass sounds also great. The third song, YYZ is one of the most legendary rock instrumentals of all time, along with ZAPPAs Peaches en Regalia, for example. It is not as good as La Villa Strangiato, but still an astounding piece of music. And the bass. What can I say - WOW. Then follows Limelight, and what a great song it is. Everything works well in this song, which makes it one of my favourite Rush songs. And the great songs just keep on coming, when the traffic noises of The Camera Eye begin. 11 minutes of brilliant music. The lyrics and the atmosphere in this song can actually make you imagine yourself in New York or in London. Another one of my favourite Rush songs. Witch Hunt is the darkest song on the album. It somehow reminds me of Jacob's Ladder, which also has a dark feeling in it. Something I could call "dark prog". The album closer, a reggae-influenced Vital Signs, is a really interesting song. Reminds a bit of The Spirit of Radio's reggae-part. A great album closer, and yet another of my favourite Rush songs.

This album hit me hard from the first riffs of Tom Sawyer to the fade-out of Vital Signs. The sounds are just great, and the band works together really well - as always. Definately an essential masterpiece of prog music.

Report this review (#68394)
Posted Sunday, February 5, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars This was my first old Rush CD and to me is one of my favorites here we have Rush at their prime in the early 80s before they kinda started to slack off and become more poppy and keyboardy lol. To many people this was the CD that kinda started the prog metal movement and in some ways it does with awesome heavy riffs in the likes of TOM SAWYER and YYZ (two of my most favorite RUSH songs) but even those songs have it all with geddy lee's high pitched vocals and awesome multi-tasking of keyboards and bass, and Alex Lifesons awesome guitar skills and must i say anything about NEIL PEART i mean what hasn't been said about him HE'S UNBELIVABLE in this CD especially in YYZ GAAAAAAH i wish i was that good but i ain't far from it lol. The other songs are definitely worth it here in this album with RED BARCHETTA MAN a very cool track that builds up as the song continues, LIMELIGHT well its VERY 80s lol but i love it so much and i don't know why lol. THE CAMERA EYE shows us that rush still have their epic juices still flowing within them. WITCH HUNT GAH this song is so dark and so cool the way Lee sings in this haunting vocal style and the way peart plays the toms is just so mysterious. and of course you got VITAL SIGNS which to me is like making a trip to Jamaica but its good. DEFINITELY a masterpiece to me since i'm a huge RUSH fan oh i wish they could make another album like this but that's something that we can only hope in our dreams. 5 STARS BABY!!!
Report this review (#70801)
Posted Tuesday, February 28, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars With the release of Moving Pictures in 1981, Rush had finally hit superstardom. Now having sold well over four million copies, it remains the band's best-selling album and is still heralded today as one of their greatest efforts. The band manages to find the ideal blend of its Progressive Rock tenedencies(Hemispheres) with a more concise and accessible approach to song structure. In this way it can be seen as the third effort in a pivotal string of albums: the height of their Progressive Rock phase culminated in the impressive and bombastic Hemispheres(1978); before giving way to the more accessible Progressive Rock of Permanent Waves(1980) most evident in the commercial success of 'The Spirit of Radio'. In Moving Pictures the band can be understood as having learned from both of these aforementioned predecessors. The album contains all the complexity of Hemispheres, but manages to condense it into five to six minute epics. This is evident in the famous lead cut off the album, Tom Sawyer, with its varied time signatures, intricate arangements and extended solo section. The same can be said for Red Barchetta; a song that starts slowly, builds to a steady rocking pace before hitting several climaxes -- the highlight being Lifeson's fleeting solo -- and then easing out as it began. YYZ is a monster riff intrumental that manages to be impressively complex while also remaining completely accessible. Perhaps one of the best intances of instrumental Progressive Rock song-writing in the history of the genre. YYZ really moves, Geddy's kinetic basework particularly shines! Limelight is perhaps the albums most radio-friendly song; with Lifeson's crunchy opening riffs and the highly singable, propulsive chorus. A masterpiece of a rock song, Limelight also contains one of Lifeson's most hauntingly ethereal and beautiful solos.

The second half of Moving Pictures is noticeably different than the first; more Progressive in the traditional sense. It begins with an eleven minute epic that begins slowly but builds into a huge, ringing riff from Lifeson. Then the song plays out a musical dialectic between urban and rural settings; the music switching back-and-forth effortlessly in tune with the personality of the landscapes. There's a great buoyancy in parts of this song that really emphasizes the impressive rhythmic approach of all three members. Witch Hunt begins with a brooding section evocative of a witch burning ceremony; with ominous drums and bells over a roaring mob. It then moves into a simple riff from Lifeson that gains momentum with Peart's monsterous drum fills and Lee's warm blanket of keyboards and emotive vocal work. Vital Signs, the closing song on the album, is an extremely kinetic -- if not somewhat quirky -- reggae-influenced piece(in the sense that The Police are reggae!) which also contains a nice bass solo by Lee before building to a thunderous climax that fades out with Geddy singing, on the verge of screaming. A great closer for an even greater album as a whole! On top of it all, the album contains excellent production values; a polished and crisp mix of extremely well-written, challenging and yet accessible music. An absolute essential for open-minded Progressive Rock fans that appreciate good-songwriting as well as intricate arrangements.

Report this review (#71986)
Posted Wednesday, March 15, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars I already possessed Fly by Night and Vapor Trails when yesterday I bought Moving Pictures. These two first acquisitions were very disappointing and I wondered why there were so many good reviews for Rush. Moving Pictures is the answer for all of this. All the songs are great, some fabulous. It sounds very 80s (synths of course) but it sounds good like Saga managed to do. Well the comparison with Saga doesn't stop here, some of the lyrics, especially Tom Sawyer, are very close to the mind and vision of some Saga songs. Very typical of the way of thinking in the 80s, great analysis of work, money, ambition, values. Moreover, bass and drums are excellent, guitar more average for me but not bad of course. To conclude, an excellent album for sure, it deserves 5 stars and to be in every rock collection, whatever you're a prog fan or not.
Report this review (#72285)
Posted Sunday, March 19, 2006 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars I feel every band has their masterpiece. Their "Sgt. Pepper" or "Dark Side Of The Moon". Moving Pictures is Rush's masterpiece. It's not only the quintessential Rush album, but the quintessential album. Period. Moving Pictures has such a wide variety of moods and textures that play upon your emotions. I'm not sure if Alex, Neil, and Geddy knew that when they waltzed into the studio they were creating music for the ages.

Moving Pictures charges right out of the gate with "Tom Sawyer", which has almost become bigger than the band themselves. Low, growling synthesizers mingling with Peart's rapid hi-hat work, and Alex's steady guitar gives it an almost sinister sound.

Song #2 is "Red Barchetta", which begins very innocently with Lifeson chiming on the guitar, until the onslaught is underway with the band simply explodes. One of Rush's most brilliant songs, it changes time effortlessly and flows from beginning to it's subtle and gentle end. Brilliant!

Strap yourself in and experience the instrumental "YYZ". Here the band loosens up, and cuts loose all at the same time. It really showcases how in sync this band is from the beginning with the powerful first half minute or so. It's almost too much for the senses; yet, so pleasant and astonishing. Of course it wouldn't be right not to mention the drum/bass duel in the middle. It's pure musiciaship that should be added to school music curriculum all over the world.

"Limelight" should have been a hit for the band, if they were overly concerned with making it. That unmistakeable beginning riff by Lifeson is one of the best openers I've ever heard. Geddy's vocals are crystal clear, but still cuts you like a razor. "Limelight", however, is pure Lifeson at his finest. Peart gathers so much of the spotlight that we tend to forget how gifted the other 2/3 of Rush are. Arguably one of Lifeson's best solos, he simply punishes the Stratocaster, but is professional enough to overdo it. I once read that this solo is one of his personal favorites....and it should be.

Probably my favorite track that never seems to get mentioned is "The Camera Eye". I really wish they'd work this back into their setlist because it really is brilliant. It starts off very innocently with various and sundry city noise until the band comes together and the journey begins. Peart paints a picture of modern day life in both Manhattan and London, but one wonders if it's a lament more than anything. The song is fast paced like the subject matter, which ends with another classic Lifeson solo. Clocking in a shade under 11 minutes, it's one of their proggiest tunes. Love it!!

Another favorite is "Witch Hunt". This song just digs it's way in and makes you feel uncomfortable with haunting lyrics with this low tone throughout. Even Peart's drums sound differently...which may explain why he opted to play his electronic kit for this song during their concerts. A very different Rush song altogether, but it still works.

"Vital Signs" brings Moving Pictures to a close. This song is very stripped and raw, but still carries a lot of weight. Some parts even have a choppy, reggae sound to it. Not my favorite song on the disc, but it's not enough to assign anything less than 5 stars to Moving Pictures.

It's almost odd to think there are CD towers out there without Moving Pictures in them. It's THE album that that propelled them to superstardom, and in all reality should be even higher on the top 100 (But, when bands like Riverside are included, while Kansas doesn't have any mention makes my eyebrows raise a little bit regarding the list). Moving Pictures is Rush at their greatest, and although many, many albums have been released since, nothing has captured it's magic. As great as they are, they haven't even come close.

Report this review (#72329)
Posted Sunday, March 19, 2006 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Rush's finest hour indeed - from the intriguing, red-and-black cover (nice pun on the title, too) to the magnificent music within, an essential piece of that rare phenomenon, high-quality '80s prog. With "Moving Pictures" the mighty Canadians manage to produce a record which is at the same time complex and accessible, richly textured and never predictable. The more metallic leanings of its predecessor, the excellent "Permanent Waves", are here replaced by a more typically prog feel, with rich layers of keyboards, intricate rythms and a guitar sound that is more atmospheric than biting.

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

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

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

Report this review (#72472)
Posted Tuesday, March 21, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars There are very few bands that have done what Rush has in their 30 year spand. They really show off how talented they are with Moving Pictures. Their odd and yet stimulating sounds in this albem really shows that they can be prog/rock/and some metal all wraped into one. The song that really stands out on this albem is YYZ. Its one of the greatest instrumental works ever done only somehow 2nd to "Behind my Camal" (still have no idea how that happened) YYZ is rated as one of Gheddy Lee's best works and maybe one of the best guitar playing in history. I would gladly give up all my talent in drumming (and learn them again) if I could play YYZ just like he did. Neil Peart also stands out with his fills and great beats in the background. Great band with their Greatest Albem.
Report this review (#73982)
Posted Monday, April 3, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars While this is not my favorite Rush album, it certainly deserves the overall rating of masterpiece that it has recieved on this site. When I started working through the top 25 reviews on this site, this album was barely in the top 20. Now, it has jumped to number 8. Well deserved. Besides the radio hits (Tom Sawyer and Limelight) this album has no bad songs. In fact, the only one I don't like is Tom Sawyer, and that is mostly due to having heard it WAY too many times. Side 2 is where the really interesting material is, that most people are not really familiar with. The Camera Eye is one of the best Rush songs ever, and Witch Hunt and Vital Signs are well worth hearing. A great album, though I don't consider it a true masterpiece (a matter of taste really). A solid 4.5, but I'll have to round to 4.
Report this review (#74717)
Posted Wednesday, April 12, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars Anyone can write a song in an odd time signature.

(What's an odd time signature? In classical music, 3/4, 4/4, and 6/8 are all very normal time signatures. In rock, though, anything other than 4/4 is damn strange.)

And most of the time, the odd time signature is a stunt. It's a way for the band to say "see how cool we are, we can write a piece in 9/8." (OK, that was a cheap shot. Sorry.)

It is much harder to write a popular song in an odd time signature and not have the audience notice. It is even harder to keep changing time signatures and have the changes be an integral part of the song, and still the audience just sits back and rocks out.

Recently I found myself (and my younger daughter who occassionally has dreams of being a drummer) counting our way through the album. There's a lot going on in the album that I hadn't noticed before. Very cool.

Just one example - in the first song, the ever-present "Tom Sawyer," wait for the move from 4 to 7. If you can keep a steady beat (and an amazing number of people can't), it's when your foot tapping is no longer on the beat.

Tom Sawyer is also the song I use to demonstrate to my children (currently being polluted by Brittney and her clones) that drums aren't meant to be heard, they are meant to be felt. Crank it up (and try not to blow out your speakers).

Another favorite of mine is "Witch Hunt," both for the textures that Rush invoke as well as the political message. Unfortunately, the Vigilantes never think of themselves as evil, but as doing Gods/Natures/the Peoples will.

I don't have all of Rush's albums, so I can't say for sure that this is their best. But it's a damn good album, and I'm glad I finally picked it up.

Report this review (#76053)
Posted Sunday, April 23, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars Considered by most to be the pinnacle of Rush's career, Moving Pictures perhaps marked the best balance between their progressive and streamlined synthesizer sound. By this time they had moved far past their Zeppelin clone days and have forged their own sound out of their influence, and they had begun their experimentation with synthesizers but did not over saturate their music with it as would be the common complain of later albums.

From an instrumental standpoint, Moving Pictures marks Rush's finest hour, except perhaps for Hemispheres. From the opening of "Tom Sawyer" this can be seen clearly. Each member of the band, though especially Neil Peart, delivers one of the finest performances of their careers. Little needs to be said of the technical prowess of these three men so I will say little of it. The songs are very much in the same vein as Permanent Waves, except more synthesizer heavy and with a more notable influence from the growing New Wave movement, especially The Police. The only song which comes out of left field (sounding drastically different from Permanent Waves material) is "Vital Signs" which draws a strong reggae influence to great effect. The band's compositions are top notch, but for really the first time in their career, despite having a natural sound progression between each album, the band sounds slightly lifeless. The great vigor and energy that's always expressed in their music seems to be duller on Moving Pictures than ever before. This is reflected in two good songs "The Camera Eye" and "Witch Hunt" which remove themselves from being called great because of a certain deadness in the tracks.

I think Moving Pictures falls considerably short of being Rush's greatest. I think the same is the case for many who enjoy a wide range of their catalogue. Nothing is wrong with any songs per se, but in delivery the band sometimes sounds tired paving the way for the change that would come on their follow-up album.

Report this review (#76138)
Posted Monday, April 24, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars After releasing the album "Permanent Waves" back in 1980, Rush has reached new heights in terms of songwriting and musical virtuosity on "Moving Pictures".

The album contains tons of Rush's classics, played live on any tour, such as "Tom Sawyer", "Red Barchetta", "YYZ", and "Limelight".

Other great songs are the epic "The Camera Eye", "Witch Hunt", and "Vital Signs", taking advantage of the digital sound technology available at the time it was recorded.

Definitely Rush's best album, and their most accessible.

Report this review (#77573)
Posted Tuesday, May 9, 2006 | Review Permalink

This album is one of the best by the band. When I first heard it, I could not believe the time signatures within it. The production is top notch (actually ALL Rush albums are well produced, with the exception of their first two, perhaps) and the choice of songs is overall good.

It contains live classics like 'Tom Sawyer' and 'YYZ' which has got to be one of the finest instrumentals ever released by ANY band: Neil Peart's drumming on this track is absolutely out of this world and quite shocking, it's that good! And the band on the whole are as tight as the alliance of a Yorkshireman and a Scotsman!

There's no point in saying that the band sound very tight, as they always did, anyway, but 'Moving Pictures' was the catalist of all their qualities: all songs vary from each other and what's more there is the song 'Witch Hunt' which should silence those who accused the band for being neo-nazis. I mean, the words on 'Witch Hunt' are NOT right wing whatsoever and, are pro-liberalism and for the freedom of speech.

Another positive attribute about this album is that Geddy Lee decided to stop singing high pitch and started singing with a more..baritonal tone and Peart's lyrics had achieved a more mature approach.

I know that this album was, at the time of its release, included among 'New Wave Of British Heavy Metal' kind of style of genre; however, as we all know, that was not the case. Rush were always a step apart from other contemporary peers.

'Moving Pictures' is an excellent addition to any rock collection, not just progressive. I have rated this album only four stars as, in my opinion, previous more 'gothic' releases by the band (see 'A Farewell to Kings' and 'Permanent Waves') are better.

Report this review (#79352)
Posted Thursday, May 25, 2006 | Review Permalink
PSIKE Team & Band Submissions
5 stars Tom Sawyer is still alive ...

I sometimes heard 'Tom Sawyer' on the radio. First of all I was very impressed by the powerful drum playing of Neil Peart. So I couldn't sleep until I found out that a band named RUSH was responsible for this.

'Tom Sawyer' is until today one of my personal RUSH highlights. 'Limelight' is nearly in the same vein - the songs don't have a simple structure and are also interesting for more mainstream orientated rock fans. Maybe you can say this are the most commercial songs of this production. 'Red Barchetta' convinces with an excellent guitar work by Alex Lifeson. 'YYZ' is a furious fusion/jazz rock trip - excellently arranged. 'The camera eye' is another highlight - 'Witch Hunt' and 'Vital Signs' are a little bit weaker.

'Moving pictures' is a masterpiece and after more than 20 years already alive ...

Report this review (#79746)
Posted Monday, May 29, 2006 | Review Permalink
1 stars I really like 2112, Hemispheres, and even A Farewell to Kings. However, unlike those albums which include some amazingly unique and progressive tunes such as 2112, La Villa Strangiato, and The Trees, Moving Pictures is nothing more than a collection of tedious pop songs with some rather boring prog-like songs thrown in. In my opinion, it is the most overated album reviewed on this site. And Tom Sawyer could rank among the most annoying songs ever recorded. Maybe this is due to having been overplayed to death on the radio, or maybe it is because it is just a bad song. But I simply cannot listen to it. As much as I like Rush, I just cannot see why this album is so popular.

Report this review (#79851)
Posted Wednesday, May 31, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars This was my first Rush record. Buy this, my friend said. It has this amazing drummer, Neil Peart, he told. Well, I ordered it and I was not disappointed. Well produced album with good tune. Though I love the album, it is little overrated, if I was to decide, I would say it does not belong to the top 20 of the best prog music.

This album has great songs throughout it. It starts off with Tom Sawyer, which is a hell of a song. It catched my ears at the first moment I heard the song. Then kicks off the Red Barchetta, very good and catchy song. Good verse. But after that comes the favourite of mine and the first Rush song I heard. I'm talking about YYZ, very good package of top music and musicianship from the boys. Awesome drumming, unbealiveable bass playing, and very strong guitar mastering. Extremely good track. Limelight is my second favourite, it is pure Rock with progressive edge. The starting riff is neat and the drumming is decent and strong. Fine chorus and nice solo and tempo slowdown. The Camera Eye is pretty ok, but not much more. It is catchy and good track, but when comparing the length and the quality of the song I could say that the song is just ok. Nothing exceptionally great or just great either in this song. The last songs are both good tracks with no doubt. Witch Hunt with very good start and good dynamic feel through the song, but the last song Vital Signs leave me little bored when finishing to listening the album. That is why I cannot give this album a 5 out of 5.

Very good album, which everybody should at least give a try, but I prefer Hemispeheres to this one. This album is not essential: a masterpiece of progressive music, but it is excellent addition to any prog music collection. Recommended.

Report this review (#80018)
Posted Thursday, June 1, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars This is the most accessible album in the Rush catalog, and it deserves all the praise it gets. I put it second behind Hemispheres, for it is a very convincing album with some of Peart's best lyrics and Lee and Lifeson's most riveting musical scores. Besides, the album has aged quite well on most counts.

"Tom Sawyer" is an amazing introduction to the album, as it progresses over the textures given to us on Permanent Waves the previous year; it really doesn't surprise me that it became the signature song of the band. "Red Barchetta" is a great story based upon a poem, a strength of Neil Peart in his lyrics. Then "YYZ" is a freakin' amazing instrumental; I don't know what else to say about that one. Side one ends with my favorite track here, the very complete (lyrically and musically) "Limelight," with its strong chorus and introspective lyrics.

Side two opens with the two-part, 11-minute "The Camera Eye," where Geddy Lee continues to show off on the synthesizers; Peart is on lyrically; the beat is also quite bouncy. I really like "Witch Hunt" and the finale "Vital Signs." The former has excellent sonic textures for the lead sections, and the latter paid a bit of a toll with age, but still remains a solid number from the group, especially with the strong message. All the songs here seem to go along with a mood, which helps Moving Pictures to stand out among other hard rock/prog rock albums of the time. The new wave influence and prog roots definitely can't hurt Rush. It's all about symbolism this album, and Moving Pictures is a symbol of excellence.

Report this review (#80620)
Posted Wednesday, June 7, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars A perfect album, if there is such a thing. Came out at the right time. Rush reoriented themselves with the other magnum opus that is Permanent Waves. They still had that great prog rock thing going on from outputs like A Farewell to Kings and Hemispheres, but with a more arena rock radio friendly vibe. Geddy Lee stated in Martin Popoff's book "Contents Under Pressure - 30 years of Rush" that Moving Pictures was this close to never see the light of day, as Rush almost came out with what would have been Exit... Stage Left right after Permanent Waves. At almost the last moment, however, they decided they were not through exploiting the new direction they found with Permanent Waves, and decided to go back in the studio to write new material in the same vein. Looking back, Mr. Lee feels it was probably THE best move of their entire career, and I agree with him a 100 %.

Every song here is fabulous, and I cannot think of a single weak moment in this album. You just have to think about all the classics this album gave us, like Tom Sawyer, Red Barchetta, Limelight, and, of course, their classic exercice in self-indulgence that is YYZ. The production was top notch for the era, the musical execution of every member of the greatest power trio ever is flawless, the lyrics are, as always, masterfully written by drummer Neil Peart, and Geddy's voice reached its perfect range, abandoning the sometimes annoying shrieks from past albums.

This album is not only a classic in prog rock music, it is a cornerstone of music, period. The testimony of three dedicated and talented individuals forming the living, breathing entity that is Rush.

Mandatory purchase for everyone...

Report this review (#80772)
Posted Friday, June 9, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars Rush. Being from Canada, I hear a lot of Canadian bands and I must say that most of them, past or present, don't really impress me. I always knew Rush existed but I never really paid much attention to them until I started liking the genre that is Progressive Rock. Now, they're my favourite Canadian band. One day I decided to add some Rush to my collection. This was one of the three albums I chose.

"Tom Sawyer" is an absolutely brilliand track. The synthesizers and the guitars and the bass and the drums (THE DRUMS!!!) are perfect. The song is so tight that I still wonder how they were ever able to play it so perfectly in concert.

I know everyone says this, but "YYZ" reminds me of King Crimson instrumentals, mostly "Red". Only Rush can pull this off and not be ccused of ripping off KC.

"Witch Hunt" has got to be my favourite Rush song. The synth is perfect, vocals great, the song just SOUNDS amazing. The first time I heard it I got chills.

Overall, this album is probably THE best prog album of the 1980s, except for perhaps 'Misplaced Childhood' by Marillion.

Report this review (#80797)
Posted Friday, June 9, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars I don't think there has ever been an album with a stronger first side than Rush's "Moving Pictures". Before I get to analyzing the album, I'd like to point out how remarkable this band is. It seems that as prog was in a decline, these guys only got better, and by 1981 they were on the top of the heap. This album is the perfect balance between Rush's synth and hard rock/prog eras. Incredibly complex music that is still rather accessible. How that can be a negative, as some have said, is beyond my comprehension.

Well, back to the first side. It begins with Tom Sawyer. An intoxicating blend of moog, Rickenbacker, a highly processed guitar tone, and Neil Peart knock you in the face with the quintessential Rush song. Incredible musicianship, great production, and a sharp focus make this song a tru favorite of mine. It is followed by the equally stunning Red Barchetta. Some gentle harmonics and a distorted bass solo begin the song, followed by some nice riffing by Lifeson. Lifeson's solo is awesome, and he utilizes some other-worldly tone. One of my favorite Rush songs.

Following is one of the greatest instrumentals of all time. YYZ kicks off with a devilish riff in 5/4, set to the rhythm of the morse code for Toronto Pearson Intl airport. The bass and drum fills towards the middle are classic, as is Lifeson's solo. YYZ is never boring, even for those of us who arn't musicians. Classic Rush.

Next is Limelight. Probably the second most popular song ever in 7/4, this is yet another awesome Rush song. Limelight is slightly "poppier" than the first three songs, but is just as strong in my opinion. The guitar solo is very atmospheric and very on one string. Some cool drum fills/soloing towards the end too.

After Limelight comes The Camera Eye. This song is based upon impressions of a photograph of London and a photo of New York City. There are some heavy synths towards the beginning, but also a lot of great riffing from Alex and some really awesome drum fills at the beginning of each vocal section. Neil literally closed his eyes and went all out when he did these in the studio, then had to go back and relearn them so he could play them live. The ten minutes are truly worth it for the guitar work at the end, bringing the song to a stunning climax and close.

The next two songs are the weakest on the album. Witch Hunt was the "production number" for Moving Pictures, and contines multpile drum tracks, as well as synth work from Hugh Syme. A very atmospheric song with a message that is especially true today. The next song is the most "electronic" sounding on the album, with a constant synth track. This song is rather reggae influenced, and sounds a little like The Police. The bass solo is cool and the drumming works well with the song.

This is one of the best albums of the 80's and you should definitely give it a shot, especially if you didn't like Rush's 70's material.

Classic Art Rock. Essential.

Report this review (#81442)
Posted Sunday, June 18, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars "Jump to the ground as the Tirbo slows to ccross the borderline. Run like the wind, as excitement shivers up and down my spine!!"

"Moving Pictures" is a Rock and Prog Rock classic, that maybe isn't at a compositional level Rush's best, but it's still an excellent album, with some classic songs that will be reminded forever like "YYZ", "Tom Sawyer" and "Red Barchetta", and are a nice introduction to the band. The sound here is excellent (almost like a CD) and the production is top notch, as every song is played perfectly, with the clean, innovating and transparent drumming of master Neil Peart, the cool Geddy's bass lines, something that makes me fun to play Rush on my bass, and the fantastic guitar playing of Alex Lifeson, and his correct use of effects, as well as the guest appearence of Hugh Syme again on synthesizers on the song "Witch hunt (Part III of Fear)". Not a masterpiece, but one of those classics any (Prog) Rock fan must have. I think I'll not add to much information to what was said by the enormous number of reviews have said before, but I really want to review this album Here goes a description track by track:

"Tom Sawyer" is an all time classic and definitely Rush most known song. This is one of those tracks you'd show to a person who has never tried prog. The beggining is unconfusing: stmospherical synths, characteristic thythm given by the drums and the kind of 'rap' Geddy's vocals, that give a personal feeling to this classic. Also, here is featured a killer riff used on the pre-chorus ("And what you say about this company is what you say about society"), and a crazy guitar solo. Great opener. A total classic.

Then goes another classic, "Red Barchetta". At the start, I can hear some hypnotic synths and a bass solo that's very nice and creative. The song goes through different transitions like the one on the beggining ("My father owns a contry place that no one knows about"), and the rocker parts with Lee screaming "Run like tha wind, as excitement shivers up and down my spine!!", oh, this ROCKS !! Excellent and very original song. Another classic.

Then goes, without a doubt, one of the best instrumentals ever written: "YYZ". This is the first song I've ever heard from Rush and I'm still amazed by it. "YYZ" is incredibly unique, mainly because of that incredible and unconfusing riff and the use of odd time signatures. Also, it has some pauses with bass solos (and the bass lines along the song are really cool). I love the part in the middle after the main guitar solo, with the drums osed like a bridge to the solo, and then the fantastic solo Lifeson provides (and I can hear come drum 'craches' during it. This another one of those tracks you'd show to a person who has never tried prog. Instrumental classic and masterpiece, excellent !!

"Limelight" is more like a conventional song. It starts with a nice guitar riff, followed by nice vocal melodies, and some rhythms with a rushed drum. Catchy vocals on the chorus and nice slow guitar solo. Well, this song is far of being as good as the first 3 ones, but it's still a good song.

The 10 minute epic on the album is "The Camera Eye", very dark song. It starts with some synths sounds and effects and a kind of atmospherical (?) guitar. THE riff that is repeated along the song is KILLER. They did very good on repeating the riff several times during the track, because it's ingenious, simple and beautiful !! The song has two parts that are very similar, I think the only difference is the obscure and very overdistorted guitar solo on the second part (around 10 minutes). Up to this song, I could say "Moving Pictures" is a masterpiece. Nice epic.

The following song is "Witch Hunt, Part III of 'Fear'", that is used as the third part of the previous song and has, as expected, a constant feeling of suspense. Hugh Syme is the featured guest performer once again, playing synthesizers. Unfortunately, I think that with the last two songs the album starts to decay, because these last two tracks are far of having the quality of the frist five tracks, so I can not call this a masterpiece.

"Vital Signs" is the most common and commercial song on "Moving Pictures", with very catchy vocals (specially on the chorus) and a pop (?) drum on the pre-chorus. The album fades away with Geddy repeating once and again: "Everybody got to elevate from the norm ...".

Overall, this is a classic and an excellent addition to any prog music collection. It may be too much to call this a masterpiece because of the last two songs.

Rating: 4.2/5

Report this review (#84389)
Posted Friday, July 21, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars One of the most overrated albums on this site. I love Rush, but this album, like DSOTM, has bit off more than it could chew, substance wise.

We have the classics, Tom Sawyer and YYZ. Two incredible songs unfortunately, especially as short as they are, does not make the entire album a masterpiece. Red Barchetta is a good song as well, but the rest of the album is shrouded in mediocrity.

Add some other impressive songs and no doubt this album would deserve the praise it receives.

Unfortunately for me, the first 3 songs can't justify this being a masterpiece, although those first 3 songs are masterpieces in themselves.

Report this review (#85446)
Posted Wednesday, August 2, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars Rush's Moving Pictures is truly a five star effort. There is not a subpar song on this album, the artists are technically brilliant, and most importantly every song makes the point it is intended to make. The opener, Tom Sawyer, is an anthem to the intelligent youth of the world in an open, expressive style. Red Barchetta is perhaps one of my favorite Rush tracks from any album. It mixes lyrics of the joy of speed and the open road with a driving, joyful tune. YYZ is a smiply brilliant instrumental, showcasing the intense drumming of Neal Peart. The Camera Eye is more moody, more "progressive", and Witch Hunt is appropriately suspicion-evoking and dark. Vital Signs ends the album with a slightly reggae- influenced flair, and so ends one of the best albums in progressive rock. Even those of you, and know there are many, who hate Geddy Lee's voice and the whole Rush sound shold get this album. It is simply too good to pass up.
Report this review (#87623)
Posted Friday, August 18, 2006 | Review Permalink
Queen By-Tor
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Living in the limelight

Being my favorite band this review may seem a bit one sided or biased. However, it is this bands amazing music that puts them in this position, and this album being likely their best to date deserves a good review. Actually, it deserves all the great reviews it has. The band evolved it sound over the course of the 70s and seemed to be perfect with 1980's "permanent Waves", of course they just had to top it off with this one. Better commercially as well as with the fans.

This album opens with the always amazing Tom Sawyer, which starts off with a nice little bit of synth until the rest of the band explodes in with the sound. This is, in every sense, a perfect song. It's topic is universal as with may other Rush songs, dealing with the "Everyman". This song is everywhere, so if you haven't heard it I think you've been living in a hole.

Next is the calm Red Barchetta, which is a nice little story piece about a boy and his car. Set, I guess, semi-in the future kind of thing, but not as scary as their epic 2112. All in all I don't think this is the high point of the album, but it certainly is a good song and nice to zone out to.

YYZ, the Rush instrumental tribute to the Toronto Airport. (YYZ being the code number for the luggage, I'm proud to say I have a baggage tag with YYZ printed on it.) This is a fast, awesome instrumental, and it honestly doesn't get much better than this. Not even King Crimson could do better than this, in my mind anyways. Every member of the band plays his part to the fullest, showcasing their talents, even though the song doesn't even sound self obsessed! However, I must admit, this song is at it's best live.

One of the band's biggest anthem's, Limelight, is the next song up on the list. The opening riff to this one is again very familiar, as Spirit Of Radio is. This particular song is about the bands feelings towards commercial success, ironically being one of their biggest radio hits. I like this song a lot, but am currently suffering from an overdose from it.

The Camera Eye, the "mini-epic" of the album, and their last longer outing (spare their 80s epic Fear) for a long time. Of course, entering the 80s it starts with a nice little synthesized overture, until it gets into the soothing guitar piece that leads into the main riff and into the song. This song is one of the main focuses of this album, and it deserves it. It may not be 2112, Cygnus X-1 or The Fountain Of Lamneth, but that's only because we're in the 80s now. However, musically, it's just as strong.

The third, but first recorded, part of the eventually 4-song-long epic Fear (spanning from 1981-2002) is the eerie Witch Hunt. This song is basically about how fear and prejudice cause hate, but the lyrics are much deeper than that because Neal Peart is a genius. This song caught on with me really quickly, and stays with me just because it is a great piece of music, and likely the most overlooked of this album. Now that I think of it, most of side 2 is overlooked.

Coda for this album comes in the form of the quirky, almost reggae, beatarific Vital Signs. This is almost a combination of Limelight and Witch Hunt, because it creeps you out but you can dance to it kind of thing. I'm really lost for words on this one, all I can say is that it rocks.

All in all this is an amazing album, and if you don't have it you should go to the store right now and buy it. Even if you're one of those Geddy-voice haters, just the sheer musical geneous of this album should entice you enough to purchase it.

Report this review (#90574)
Posted Wednesday, September 20, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars it's amazing. i'm a musician (a guitar player) and 1st time i listened YYZ i've understood that rush are one of the mor technical and good band of the enteire prog music. i've proposed it to my band and my bassman becomed a fan of geddy lee, and my drummer now consider neil peart a model of inspiration (is the best drummer for him). the rest of the album is amazing too (it's enough listen tom sawyer or the camera eye to understend it)'s a master piece, but is MY opinion...rush need to be loved to be understended and listened...try to listen this LP...
Report this review (#91476)
Posted Saturday, September 23, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars Ahh "The Camera's Eye", the last GREAT epic by RUSH. I can listen to this song ad neaseum, especially in the car with the speakers blasting. When the song hits the 3 minute mark, or so, Lifeson's guitar hits that spine chilling wail that is pure art rock heaven which then segways into the main beat of the song. This song alone, for me, garners this album it's 5 stars, but of course there's more. All one needs to read is the numerous reviews written before mine. I really just wanted to gush about The Camera's Eye, but if you're a fan I'm sure this one is already in your collection. If you are thinking about buying something by RUSH, you can't go wrong with one of the most important album prog-wise from the 80's. An all out classic of the highest order.
Report this review (#92003)
Posted Monday, September 25, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars To me, this is Rush's shining moment and the pinnacle of their careers. The fact that it is also their most commercially successful album is probably no coincidence. The writing on this album was first rate from start to finish, the production was stellar, and Geddy Lee had learned to use his voice in an effective way. If you own ONE Rush album, this should be the one.
Report this review (#92082)
Posted Tuesday, September 26, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars "Moving Pictures" represents Rush at their very best in the eyes of many fans and along with '2112' remains one of the most popular and time enduring hard rock albums ever. Moving Pictures is a more radio friendly album than usual from Rush and it features many songs around the four-minute mark. There is still a Rush mini-epic to be found here though in "The Camera Eye." Rush is as popular now as they have ever been as people are beginning to miss quality music and look back to the 70's and early 80's for real music. By 1981 punk music was at an all-time high as was pop/rock music, there were few bands who dared to be different. For this very reason Rush have turned out to be one of the most ensuring bands from the period.

"Moving Pictures" goes down as one of the greatest hard rock albums ever and it has an undeniable progressive rock flavour. The band of Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson and Neil Pert is undoubtedly one of the most influential prog bands, the quality and driving intensity of the music is hard to over look. Several classics emerged from this album such as "Tom Sawyer", "Red Barchetta" and "Limelight" which remain among the best in the Rush repertoire. The remaster of the album comes with amazing clarity and sound quality which is most evident on "Red Barchetta." "Red Barchetta" is about a guy who burrows his uncle's Ferrari 166 MM Barchetta for a Sunday drive, the song was inspired by a short story called "A Nice Morning Drive."

Like most Rush albums the musicianship is extraordinary and the band seems to be able to work together as if they had been playing together their entire lives. Some of the instrumentation in "Red Barchetta" and "The Camera Eye" is stunning and leaves one wondering. The best stuff for me on this album is "Limelight", "Tom Sawyer" and "Red Barchetta" while others have memorable moments but are unable to equal the others. Also, due to the ability to make a song "flow", that is writing a song in a manner which everything melds into each other, makes "Moving Pictures" easy and accessible. The instrumental "YYZ" was nominated for a Grammy and is a very technically difficult song to play.

The album was a great success and like all Rush studio albums achieved gold status (except 'Vapour Trails.') The album then went on to become Quadruple- platinum and has sold over 4 million copies which makes it the most successful Rush album. It was also the highest US charting album reaching number 3 and similar positions round the world. This success was in many ways due mostly to the singles "Tom Sawyer" and "Limelight" which are now trade mark Rush songs.

1. Tom Sawyer (4/4) 2. Red Barchetta (5/5) 3. YYZ (4/5) 4. Limelight (5/5) 5. The camera eye (4/5) 6. Witch hunt (Part III of Fear) (4/5) 7. Vital signs (4/5) Total = 30 divided by 7 (number of songs) = 4.28 = 4 stars Excellent addition to any prog music collection

"Moving Pictures" is a progressive hard rock standard now a days and many modern progressive bands carry heavy influences from Rush. "Moving Pictures" is one of the best progressive rock albums, though in my opinion it falls slightly short of "Hemispheres" and a five star rating. I'd recommend "Moving Pictures" to all prog- metal fans to see where all the popularity started. Great album (bad review)!

Report this review (#93189)
Posted Tuesday, October 3, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars The first 30 minutes of the album are among the best pieces of music ever. They have everything: complexity, intensity, technicality, creativity, diversity and feeling. The last two tracks are enough good but somewhat weaker comparatively with the rest of the album. A masterpiece in any sense from the masters Peart, Lee and Lifeson.
Report this review (#95048)
Posted Thursday, October 19, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars With Permanent waves, Rush with Moving pictures was at the top of their career musically.

Of course, the choice of shortening the pieces makes everything more accessible, but by condensing, they only kept the best. Their manager was right to push them into the studio to record them at that time.

Despite Tom Sawyer (too often heard, very "catchy" and formulated for the radio ...), MP is a real success. I can see myself trying to follow Neil Peart in YYZ: all the talent of the percussionist is there!

Red Barchetta and The camera eye are the 2 other compositions which are worth an attentive hearing.

MP, an album marking the 80s.

Report this review (#95464)
Posted Sunday, October 22, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars Ahhhh, Rush, I love Rush. And Moving Pictures, goodness I'd have to say that this album makes my insides quiver. Now, everysong on this album is incredlibe. Best song, Red Barchetta. The rest, I'll just be frank and say that they're all incredible! One of my favorite albums, among the great A farewell to Kings, 2112, and Permanent Waves this era of Rush is by far the best before the went soft and preduced good CDs, entertaining, but not their top quality! Come on, if you've heard of Rush, but never bothered to listen to them, then give 'em a listen. If this is the first time you've heard of them then jump right in! Moving pictures displays the best musical quality of Geddy Lee (Bass) Alex Lifeson (Guitars) and the great drummer Neil Peart! These guys are one of the most influencial bands, and Moving Pictures is one of their top quality ones! Rush is my favorite band next to Dream Theater, Ayreon, and Kamelot! These guys are as good live as they are in the studio. They can't disapoint live! That's one of their best qualities. Moving Pictures is the foundation of what Rush is known for. This album contains the great song Tom Sawyer, Lime Light, The Camera Eye, Witch Hunt, Vital signs and the oh so popular instrumental YYZ. The song that is their airports canadian code or something like that. 5/5 to comemorate this great and ground breaking album. Rush's Moving pictures isn't only vocally masterful, but also lyrically and instrumetnally. instrumentally marked to make these guys honored citizens of Canada! yeah-eh!
Report this review (#96026)
Posted Friday, October 27, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars This is a bit of a dark album for me in terms of the mood conjured by many of the songs. This isn't really surprising given the subjects tackled. That said, it has all the trademarks of a Rush recording: expert musicianship, well crafted music, thought-provoking lyrics (you can tell Neil Peart puts as much time into crafting these as he does his drum parts), wicked time signatures and codas, and a stirring vocal performance. This is certainly one of the bands most complex recordings but it is also one of their most rewarding.

"Tom Sawyer" is one of the outstanding album and show openers of all time with its pounding, mesmeric riff. "Red Barchetta" is wonderfully upliftingand makes you wish you owned a car like that. "YYZ" is one of the finest instrumentals ever recorded and very significant for the band, being the identifier of Pearson International airport in Toronto and one they looked forward to seeing on tickets following a long hard tour.

"Limelight" is one of my favourite songs and one of their most complex ever. When in a band some years ago, I suggested it as a possible cover to play as I was trying to learn the guitar part and not doing to badly (or so I thought). The rest of the band just laughed as we listened to the Rush version.

Anyway, "The Camera Eye" is another flawless epic which builds nicely up to and between "choruses". It is another of those songs that lifts you up by evoking the very different, yet hauntingly similar, landscapes of New York and London. It's followed by the menacing beat of "Witch Hunt" and the edginess of "Vital Signs", which evokes for me a desire to rise above the ordinary and make something more of life.

Simply another classic.

Report this review (#96236)
Posted Monday, October 30, 2006 | Review Permalink
The T
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars 4.75 STARS

Rush's most appreciated album, this 1981 release is without a doubt one of their best, if not their best, but I still believe it's not the flawless album these canadians could've given us with the enormous talent they had.

Again, this album continues to drift away from 70's Rush sound, with more direct, shorter pieces, much more song-oriented compositions, and more synths. Gone are the 10+ epics of past records like 2112 or CygnusX-1, their place being occupied by 4-5 minute pieces.

On thing that needs to be pointed out is in relation to the production department: this album sounds terrific, AMAZING. The production is really top-notch here, and you can hear each instrument with absolute crystalline clarity, and the balance between all of them is perfect. Another detail: Lifeson's guitar at last starts to sound like a good guitar and not the poor chainsaw (not because of his playing, which was every bit as great, but because of the recordings) of the 70's. Geddy Lee's voice continues to develop into a more listenable, melodic style while Peart's drumming stays the same: spectacular, precise, to the point, flashy yet elegant, difficult yet understandable....OUTSTANDING.....And his lyrics were great, too.

Tom Sawyer (9/10), an amazing song, one of Rush's most famous tracks, and one vilified by some purists because of its popularity, but don't let that keep you away from this incredible song! The synth sounds resonate strongly here, and they start to become a prominent part in Rush's music. The drum playing is just as perfect as drumming gets: it's not overly impossible (you actually can distinguish every hit of every head and cymbal), yet it's so, so precise, it has a sort of mathematic quality to it, for every accent, every beat gets the exact percussive effect it deserves....I love his hi- hat and ride-cymbal playing patterns...this song is great. Why not 10? Well.... it could be one minute longer, it ends too quickly.

Red Barchetta (8/10), a very good song with just regular lyrics, a rock track in full form... halfway down the track there is a section which I'm sure Dream Theater had in mind before writing the end of their track Innocence Faded....

XYZ (9/10), a great instrumental but not as marvelous as LA Villa Strangiato from Hemispheres... there's ome excellent playing going around here, but I think the piece lacks's too straightforward, same tempo and rhythm.

Limelight (8/10), another radio-hit, this one is not as good as Tom Sawyer but it works and it makes for a pleasurable listen. The chorus is very catchy...the solo by Lifeson is good if a little short....

The Camera Eye (8/10), a very good long track, but in no way near the level of the best of Rush's 10+ minute songs like Cygnus or their best, Xanadu. The slow, quiet introduction makes for a compelling start, but it grows into a rather common rock beat with not much in terms of variety. Let's face it, Rush's best days for long tracks were past history at this point in time.

Witch Hunt (8/10), another good-but-not-great track, it's kinda dark, a rather obscure, haunting theme . It's very good, actually, but it just doesn't click for me....I don't know, maybe dark Rush is not what I have in mind.....

Vital Signs (8/10), a poppy track with unusual electronic drumming by Peart and a bass- line and synth part in the vein of groups like The Police....but the song is very good!

In a few words, a good, great, almost flawless album that stands the test of time with its great songs and unique sound.... for me, it's not perfect because it's not a every- song-is-10/10 kind of cd. But it's a classic, and surely, up to that point in time, Rush's best ever.

4.75 STARS (man we need some decimals in here!!!)

Report this review (#96703)
Posted Wednesday, November 1, 2006 | Review Permalink
2 stars Supposedly one of the masterpieces of prog. To me however, it's just a once so great band going to a more commercial direction. Is it really all bad? Well that no, I'll admit YYZ is pretty good and limelight has a nice ending. This album is not a recommendation though!

Only for fans and collectors.

Report this review (#97138)
Posted Sunday, November 5, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars Rush at their peak.

Following a string of great albums in the late Seventies, Rush reached new hights with 1981's Moving Pictures. Although the twenty minute epics may be gone, the songwriting skills hadn't lessened.

Instead of the more science fiction inspired lyrics which had featured prominantly on the last few albums, Peart began to concentrate on other subject matter, such as the pressures of fame in "Limelight" and individualism in "Tom Sawyer".

Instrumentally, the album is a fantastic display of talent. Lee's intricate basslines drive the songs forward along with Peart's virtuoso drumming. Lee's synth work cannot be forgotten either. Lifeson too contributes much more greatly to this album than on their next one ("Signals") adding lush textures to the songs. The instrumental "YYZ" is a phenomenal track with masterful performances by all three members.

The prog influences remain however, with multiple time signatures and complex structures throughout the album. At over ten minutes, "The Camera Eye" continues the trend of longer songs.

Even the last two songs considered by many to be slightly weaker, are still excellent inclusions. "Witch Hunt" and "Vital Signs" should not be missed.

Report this review (#100876)
Posted Tuesday, November 28, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars Wow, I must say that I'm suprised by the amount of five-star ratings for this album. I don't think that this is even Rushs' best progressive album (Hemispheres or A Farewell To Kings are the two best).

This IS a great rock record, and a good progressive rock album. The drumming was standard-setting, and remains impressive to this day. The use of synthesizers gave the standard power-trio a unique twist, and the individual talents of Lifeson and Lee made the level of musicality very high.

Side One of the original album would be in the running for a five star rating--the side rating is 80%, which would translate to a 4 or 5 star rating.

Tom Sawyer: A true classic. Every drummer--in any genre--should learn to play this song on the drumkit! This is a great song to play for anyone who says that all prog songs have to be long to be great. 9/10.

Red Barchetta: A good song, but it never struck me as the classic that many think it is. I do tend to skip this track when I play the CD or the "Chronicles" set. 5/10.

YYZ: The best song on the album and the best live song that Rush performs. Three virtuosos play off of each other to create one of the greatest rock instrumental compositions ever recorded. 10/10

Limelight: Rock-prog, and very, very good rock-prog. A top-notch track from top to bottom. 8/10.

Side two fell off of a cliff for me. Two of the three songs are good songs, but not classics by any stretch of the imagination. 50%

The Camera Eye: This is where the album starts to loose me. The synth part is nice, and the rock parts are nice, but this track feels forced it me. It's almost as if they felt that they had to make this track 10 minutes long either to appease the prog-rush fans of their previous albums or to fill out the album time. The good moments in this song don't make up for the excess length. I think that this could be an absolutely killer 5-7 minute track, if anyone has the requisite editing software! 7/10

Witch Hunt: This track alone demonstrates why this album cannot be a progressive rock masterpiece. This is essentially a throwaway track, though it does have enough interesting musical changes to keep this above the drivel that many albums have. 3/10

Vital Signs: Another nice rock track, like Red Barchetta, that doesn't do anything special for me. The drum machine at the beginning is really annoying, but it does show how great Peart is when he comes in and plays his rear end off for the rest of the song. The song as a whole feels like a nice solid rock song played by far above- average rock musicians. 5/10

The album as a whole is a classic in the Rush library, and will appeal to most fans of rock and progressive music. My overall rating comes in at around 65%, which is just enough to give it the "excellent addition" rating that this album deserves. Close To The Edge, Selling England, Court this is not . . . not even close . . . but it is a good album.

Report this review (#102227)
Posted Saturday, December 9, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars Ahhhh, Moving Pictures... this is the album that got me into Rush along with Signals - both of which were my introduction to progressive music. I don't really see how this could be given any less than 5 stars. It's probably the most solid album Rush produced, with a balanced fusion of prog and all out rock. The opener, Tom Sawyer, is easily their most recognizable song, but it never gets old for me. Red Barchetta is a good up-beat song that has excellent lyrics. YYZ is without a doubt one of the best instrumentals - Geddy really gets to show of his talents here. Limelight is the rock staple of the album, with great guitar work from Alex. The Camera Eye is an amazing track, probably my favorite 10+ minute track next to Cygnus X-1. The next two songs, Witch Hunt and Vital Signs, are considered to be the "throw away" tracks on the album... uhhhh.... how? This is when Rush really show their ability to "progress" and it showed the direction that they wanted to take after "pictures"... truly a progressive masterpiece
Report this review (#102234)
Posted Saturday, December 9, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars Moving Pictures was a watershed moment for Rush. It stands as the band's highest selling album, though the period that followed it would result in many fans leaving the group. This album is the perfect balance of the heavier albums of the 70s and the synth driven albums that would follow. As always, Lee, Lifeson, and Peart are in top form. This album single-handedly revitalized prog for the 80s and, in my opinion, kept the genre alive long enough for neo-prog to truly cement prog's rebirth.

The album opens with "Tom Sawyer" the band's most well-known tune. Peart starts strong with this great performance. The beat is insanely catchy with some great lyrics, though I can't link them to the character of Tom Sawyer that well.

"Red Barchetta" is a good song, though it's not very memorable and after a few spins I started to skip this track. The lyrics are the closest to the sci-fi trips of the last few albums adn the composition is great, it just doesn't stick with me for some reason.

"YYZ" is Rush's second greatest instrumental (next to La Villa Strangiato). Geddy's bass is arguably the greatest bass performance in rock. Peart's contribution is equally as impressive.

"Limelight" is where Alex begins to exert his skill with a great riff and break. Geddy continues his top-notch bass work with his catchy bassline. The lyrics are top-notch, dealing with the downside of fame.

"The Camera Eye" is where things begin to take a turn. The song is too long, and if sounds like parts were added just to increase the length. If those elements were removed, this would be a killer song. EDIT: After a few more listens, this song grew on me, though I still think it's a bit too long.

I thought "Witch Hunt" was the token Rush filler track until I heard it live when I saw Rush on the Snakes and Arrows tour. This song is haunting and it has very thoughtful lyrics, my second favorite of the album (first being Limelight).

"Vital Signs" is like Red Barchetta in that you stop listening after a few spins.

Moving Pictures is to Rush what In Absentia is to Porcupine Tree: the perfect blend of the sound of old with the new sound that was to come. MP mixes the heavy prog of yore with the catchy synth beats that would define their 80s output. Moving Pictures isn't quite as progressive as Hemispheres, but it's more accessible and more immediately enjoyable. This is where newcomers should start and it stands as the band's second greatest album, next to Hemispheres.

Grade: A-

Report this review (#102653)
Posted Monday, December 11, 2006 | Review Permalink
3 stars Although an outsanding effort, Moving Pictures to me just is a good compliation of songs (and i mean good, i really like it). I think Yyz and Limelight are highlitghts here.

Moving Pictures re-introduces the 'Rock' esscence which was somehow lost in Permanent Waves, but in a more 80's-like way.

Report this review (#102862)
Posted Tuesday, December 12, 2006 | Review Permalink
3 stars A hugely commercially successful album that still has artistic integrity is not often come by. Rush accomplished something rarely done here. Headbanging, play-along-to rockers, sing along classics, and, of course, the amazing musicianship of the legendary power trio. These three were at the top of their game technically. My only complaint about this album is that it lacks a certain epic feel that Rush had been known for with Hemispheres, A Farewell to Kings and 2112.
Report this review (#105086)
Posted Sunday, December 31, 2006 | Review Permalink
2 stars I bougth this CD three months ago because of the advice of the collaborators of this page. It was the only "Top ten" album of Progarchives ranking that I didn't know, and I must confess that I haven't previously listened to Rush. To my surprise, I found it absolutely boring. There is a kind of "synthesizer abuse" that I find unnecessary and I don't like the voice of the lead singer. Maybe is a matter of age, and people younger than me love Rush. Maybe Moving Pictures is not the best record to introduce somebody to the music of Rush. I like the bands of the seventies but this record appears to me as something so different!! After listen twice to the CD, I decided to consult the reviews of "Moving Pictures" and I found that is not anymore in the "Top ten". Well, let the people vote!!

Report this review (#105364)
Posted Wednesday, January 3, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars This is Rush's best album and obviously much has already been said about it. This is their most diverse sound. Although it doesn't have any of their long epics that appear on other albums, it still has some wonderful long compositions. Although I don't like Geddy's voice to much, it's a defining sound and it wouldn't be rush without it. The great musicianship and great lyrics kind of makes Geddy's voice a minor impedement. All in all, one of the best prog albums.
Report this review (#105454)
Posted Wednesday, January 3, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars This is a monster album and the one in which brought me into the world of Rush. Ever since I was 10 I have been listening to my local Classic Rock Station Q107 in Toronto, Canada. Being a Canadian band, they get a lot of airtime. I must admit, I am not a huge fan of Geddy Lee's voice. Although, he does hit the right notes and adds depth and feeling to the music.

Moving Pictures includes many of my favourite Rush songs ever and is my personal favourite album. YYZ, Toronto's area code, is a great song with a King Crimson type intro that pulsates and breaks down into a fast paced chorus. Vital Signs is a good song with an almost reggae style. Geddy's voice shines on this song. Tom Sawyer is an amazing song with a synthesized intro and complicated song structure.

Right now I'm just repeating what 200 others have said so I'll shut up. Moving pictures is Rush's best album, one of the most complex albums, and one of the best progressive albums ever.

Report this review (#106300)
Posted Saturday, January 6, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars The peak, the apex, the top of the pop charts' album that would solidify Rush's status as a top rank band. No big changes from Permanent Waves, but Alex's guitar sound added a bit more of a warm bottom end, & Geddy Lee's vocals came down to a range that didn't sound out of place with mainstream music. Limelight was, & is, as thoughtful & melodic as hard progressive rock ever could be. It is probably the best insight as to why fans shouldn't always judge their idols on public persona. Camera Eye would be their last "long" song, and while some may say it is a bit disjointed, if you refer to the subject matter, could it be that this was intentional. And to end it all, Rush would begin the Fear trilogy with the part III - "Witch Hunt", a topic of its' time, that has remained relevant through the years, especially if you've followed the issues brought about by immigration to western countries; then one of the left turns that Rush would start taking - Vital Signs. A bit if a Reggae feel, with the guitar not being "double tracked". After you were done digesting the rest of this meisterwork, a refreshing change in pace. Ah well, maybe everybody got to deviate from the norm, eh .....
Report this review (#115748)
Posted Tuesday, March 20, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars Moving Pictures is actually my favourite Rush album. When i first listened it seriously i got very angry, because i was waiting for typical art rokish work with synthesizers and so on. and what do i get ? :) three guys, virtuosos actually playing some metal.........but then later when i already got known what Rush really was i finally got into it.........The Playing skills of the musicians are simply brilliant and as for the vocals i think that a special site is needed only to disquss Jeddy Lee's singing abilities. Actually i' m not a great fan of this band and i think it's a bit over-rated, but this album is really brilliant and worth to listen for hundreds of times :)
Report this review (#115844)
Posted Wednesday, March 21, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars What can I say about this album that hasn't already been said? It's Rush at their best. The pinnacle of Rush's career, and has the record sales to prove it. Since I'm sure it wont help to just talk about the album in general, I'll break down all the songs and give a rating on each of them.

1. Tom Sawyer

Rush's best and most successful hit ever. One of their only songs that gets constant airtime on the radio, and rightfully so. This song is, IMO, one of the top songs in rock history. It's got a great beat to it, and from start to finish, it's just plain awesome. 10/10

2. Red Barchetta

This song I belive is one of the more under-rated songs on this album, but I just love it. The beginning is great, and it tells a great story about the Red Barchetta that he gets and has great imagery. You can really see the "Tires spitting gravel" as an image for just how much he loves this car. 9/10

3. YYZ

What is there to say really? This is easily Rush's best instrumental piece. It's a shame that it didn't win the grammy for Best Rock Instrumental, it really is. This is just an amazing piece of work, and when it's done live, it's the most amazing thing when Peart gets into his solo. 10/10 for sure.

4. Limelight

Another under-rated and under appreciated song from this album. It too, like Red Barchetta, tells a great story, this time about the Rush being in the "limelight", and their discomfort about it, specifically Neil Peart, the lyricist for the song. Also, the use of some shakespearian phrases is a fun part of it aswell. 9/10

5. The Camera Eye

Wow. That's all I need to say really. This is one of Rush's better "Epics" If you want to call it that. It is simply an amazing piece of music, which captures the energies and moods of New York and London. It is a great send-off to what would seem like the end of the epics played by Rush. 10/10

6. Witch Hunt (Part III of the "Fear" series)

This is where the album drops off for me. Drastically. I find this song to be a bit too dark for this album, which up until this point is very fast paced and "fun". I don't really have much to say about this song, other than I don't like it much, but I know that many fans do infact love this song. 7/10

7. Vital Signs

This song, while not my favourite, is far better than Witch Hunt. The sound of it, while a little odd, is slightly more appealing, and almost opens us up to Rush's next phase of musical styles, which is decidedly more electronic sounding than their past music. 8/10

All in all, this album is great. I see no other choice than to give it 5/5, and it's not even my favourite Rush album. This is definately the album I would suggest to anyone looking to get into Rush, and if you're already a Rush fan and don't have it... Why not???? Definately pick this one up, its a great album indeed.

Report this review (#116011)
Posted Thursday, March 22, 2007 | Review Permalink
Prog Leviathan
5 stars In my opinion the only thing cooler than "Permanent Waves".

"Moving Pictures" synthesizes the masterful playing of the trio, the brainy lyrics of Peart, and the group's collective songwriting talents into a artistic tour de force that completely rocks while retaining a sort of intellectual conscience; listening to it makes you feel smarter.

Very few albums are this good, start to finish, and every track on "Moving Pictures" has something to fall in love with. "Tom Sawyer" and "Limelight" steal the spotlight, but I find "Red Barchetta" to one of the most energetic and virtuosic songs Rush has ever written, while "Camera Eye" (the oft forgotten Rush epic) is a terrific capstone to the band's extended output-- while also showing the band dabbling with synthesizers more than every before; a precursor of things to come.

This is the one-- I can't imagine anyone who claims to like rock music (progressive or otherwise) not finding something exciting here!

Songwriting: 5 Instrumental Performances: 5 Lyrics/Vocals: 5 Style/Emotion/Replay: 5

Report this review (#116605)
Posted Wednesday, March 28, 2007 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
5 stars This is the record that made RUSH famous. I heard Geddy once say he felt this was their best work and it's pretty hard to disagree with that statement even if it's not my favourite RUSH album.

The record starts with "Tom Sawyer" a song that has been played to death, yet i'm still not tired of it. What an intro though ! Slowly pounding drums and some great synth work from Geddy. Alex follows with a scorching guitar solo, and check out the drumming throughout this song ! "Red Barchetta" is simply a great sci-fi story told through a song. It's such an uplifting tune and the chase section is classic. This song flows so well, and like "Witch Hunt" and "The Camera Eye" RUSH has the ability to bring the story to life, you can visualise what you hear like reading a good book. "YYZ" is only second to "La Villa Strangiata" as my favourite RUSH instrumental. This is so complex with background synths. Y-Y-Z is a transmitter code for the Toronto International Airport and they open it with a 10/8 rhythm which is actually morse code for those initials. "Limelight" is one of their best songs ever and it's about being thrust into the public eye and trying to deal with it. The guitar throughout sort of grinds away until a mournful "Permanent Waves"-like solo arrives. Lifeson recently said in an interview that this solo is still his favourite to play live after all these years. "The Camera Eye" is about the people of New York and London and how they rush around their cities oblivious to their surroundings. I can't get enough of this amazing song. The drumming is incredible and check out Alex after 9 minutes. "Witch Hunt (Fear part III)" has such vivid imagery to open with the sounds of a mob on the hunt. Dark and ominous with lots of synths played by Hugh Syme. "Vital Signs" as others have noted has a POLICE flavour to it as the bass and drums lead the way. Great tune. And RUSH were certainly fans of THE POLICE back then. In my opinion this is the last of five straight masterpieces.This period of RUSH is unequaled in prog history. Ok, I guess you could say i'm a fanboy.

Report this review (#116806)
Posted Thursday, March 29, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars This album was the last released during Rush's "perfect years" ranging from 1978's 'Hemispheres' until this album's release in 1981. One of the very few perfect rock albums ever recorded. This is one of those rare times in rock history where every aspect of the recording comes together in all the right ways. Not one note is overplayed or out of place, the songs are wonderfully composed and the songs manage to hold up even more than 25 years after its release.

I must say I am surprised to see that there are not more 5-star ratings for this album. I suspect that anyone who would rate it at less than 4 stars has some kind of personal axe to grind with Rush.

The entire album can be considered its own highlight, although I suppose if you have to choose standouts.....then "Limelight", "Red Barchetta", and "YYZ" would be the choices.

Peart's playing, as always, is monumental throughout. Lifeson's tone on this recording is quite possibly the most perfect and pure tone he has ever achieved in his 30+ year career. And on this album we finally see Geddy Lee eschewing the 'screechiness' of his earlier vocal work, finding that balance between melody and emotion. His bass work has never been more organic.

Not just a perfect prog album, but one of the most perfect rock albums of all time that managed to transcend that barrier between prog and "mainstream" without selling out.

If I could give this record 10 stars, I would.

Report this review (#118111)
Posted Thursday, April 12, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars This album has been very influential for me. This was the first prog rock album that I ever heard, and I was instantly hooked. Naturally, this is also my first prog review. I now primarily listen to prog music and I've never looked back.

The most prominent feature of this album is the fantastic drumming. However, I am a drummer, so I may be biased. While may not be as technical as say Portnoy, he puts the perfect beats and fills in just the right places, which is even more important than speed fills. Peart only adds to the music. He never distracts the listener or detract from the music.

IMHO, the best song on the album is Witch Hunt. The lyrics speak very strongly to me. I live in a very Lutheran environment. Not all, but some Missouri Synod Lutherans tend to be "Quick to judge, Quick to anger, Slow to understand." I especially like the part at about 2:16 when geddy lets out a passionate wail. The wail combined with Peart's fill equals a magical musical moment.

Tom Sawyer, Red Barchetta, Limelight, and YYZ are classics and I will not add to what others have written about these great songs.

I enjoy the underrated Vital Signs. Very interesting drums. The lyrics are sort of ridiculous, but they are still cool. This song also has two very nice drum fills at 1:15 and 2:39.

The only weak point on this album is Camera Eye. Some people love it, but it doesn't do that much for me. However, it is still better than most songs by other artists. But compared to Red Barchetta and YYZ, its kind of a let down.

This musicianship on this album is very deep. I took piano lessons for a decade, so I like to think I have a good appreciation for "higher" music. I always find new nuances and details in these songs every time I listen to them.

All in all, this album is great, but it now!!

Report this review (#119388)
Posted Sunday, April 22, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars This album is the album that got me into prog. It is simply a masterpiece from beginning to end. There really isn't a bad song to be found here. Tom Saywer, Red Barchetta, YYZ, and Limelight are classics, but Side Two is just as good. Every prog fan deserves to give this one a chance.
Report this review (#120307)
Posted Monday, April 30, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars A masterpiece for sure!!!

It was the first RUSH album that I heard and I have to say that songs like Limelight, Tom Sawyer, YYZ and Vital Signs are simply unforgettable!!!Once more this talented and intelligent trio managed to continue their series of progressive masterpieces!Surely this album follows different paths unlike previous albums(Hemispheres, permanent Waves) but could an artist carry on with the same formula?Not really!RUSH here manages to captivate their unique style in a more modern and mainstream way and match great tunes with virtuosity! Impressive and inspiring guitar work by Alex Lifeson, magnificent bass lines and keyboard playing by Geddy Lee and the Professor at his best, great musicianship generally as well as thoughtful and poetic lyrics by Neil Peart! An album that should't be missed!!A 'moving' album once and for all!!:-)

Report this review (#125301)
Posted Sunday, June 10, 2007 | Review Permalink
Easy Livin
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars Coherect, considered, carefully constructed and competent

Resisting the opportunity to exploit the singles chart success of "The spirit of radio", with "Moving Pictures" Rush produced what is arguably their most coherent and considered album. With Lifeson and Lee providing the music for Peart's lyrics throughout, there is a continuity to the music with each track being carefully constructed and fully developed.

The synthesisers are once again present to fill out the sound, but it is Lifeson's guitar work which differentiates the album. On the opening "Tom Sawyer", the guitars positively chime, while on the following "Red Barchetta" it is the riffs which catch the ear.

The instrumental "YYZ" offers a welcome relief from the sometimes difficult vocals of Geddy Lee, the jam like feel of the track being at odds with the rest of the album. "Limelight", which closes side one of the LP is one of Rush's most melodic tracks, the chiming guitars once again providing a tasteful background.

Side two opens with a 10+ minute epic "The camera eye". This is a truly heavy number with guitar and bass combining to drive the track forward. Lee's surprisingly sensitive vocals therefore provide an interesting counterpoint especially on part one of the two part track.

"Witch hunt" is interesting as it is sub-titled Part 3 of "Fear". The only minor issue is that parts one and two of "Fear" had not yet appeared, but would follow on later albums. Peart's lyrics here are among his most poignant, "Quick to judge, quick to anger, slow to understand. Ignorance and prejudice and fear walk hand in hand" (Now why did I think of our forum there?!)

Only the closing "Vital signs" comes across as superfluous, a decent enough song, but rather anonymous in the company of its peers.

In all, probably Rush's strongest offering (of those I have come across). The album succeeds in balancing thoughtful track structures with accessible melodies and competent performances.

Report this review (#125835)
Posted Friday, June 15, 2007 | Review Permalink
2 stars this is by a country mile the most polished album to date. very well mixed and produced.

but IMHO nothing can save this album from the trappings of commericalism: the profits are now written on the concert walls, to borrow from PW.

the end result is for me the least progressive of all rush albums.

but, on another vein, would you, dear reader, like this album? almost certainly. to that extent this album is a great success.

As some sotr of milestone of prog rock ... get right out of town

Report this review (#126570)
Posted Friday, June 22, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars "Moving Pictures" is THE Rush album to own, period. It is the most significant album of the 80's for 2 reasons: First - Tom Sawyer, Red Barchetta, YYZ, and Limelight comprise the most perfect album side of all time. Second - The aforementioned album side contains the best rock drumming of all time. Neil Peart is absolutely incredible! This is Rush's best album, recorded at the pinnacle of their career. It is one of those albums that comes along every twenty years or so. People who never even heard of Rush flocked to record stores to grab this one. Magnificent, breathtaking, amazing, emotional, there are not enough words to describe the "rush" you get while listening to this masterpiece. While we're talking about Rush, you should see them this summer if you get the chance; you WON'T regret it!
Report this review (#126773)
Posted Monday, June 25, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars Living in the limelight....the show and an unforgettable night at wembley began..

i´ve never sang each single song of a complete album entirely, with such energy and soul..i just memorised them all from the first second..a strong pattern of sounds in this record, and not a weak track. an exceptional production and technical work; this one reaches the boundaries of commercialism, as said. but, who cares? this is rush at his best.

Report this review (#128937)
Posted Monday, July 16, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars This is definitely one of the best albums by RUSH, which I nowadays consider as my favorite progressive band. To give you the right picture of this masterpiece of prog, I'll review every song on this album separately:

"Tom Sawyer" What could I possibly say about this brilliant opener, that hasn't been said before? This song has always been one of my favorites, even though it's not very complex or "progressive". After the nice chorus Geddy Lee begins to play one of the most memorable keyboard-patterns in prog, followed by a cool guitar solo by Alex Lifeson. Neil Peart's stunning drum fills makes this song even better. Even though I'm not a big fan of fade-out endings, it sounds good enough in this song.

"Red Barchetta" A nice, energetic tune with very impressive verses. I wouldn't say this is one of my favorite songs, but it's pretty good and I like it a lot.

"YYZ" Wow! How can such a short instrumental be such a great song? The fast & furious riff after the morse-code-intro is excellent, not to mention all the other riffs in this brilliant song. This song proves that Rush is probably the most talented band ever. Neil Peart beats his drums like an animal while Geddy Lee plays the most awesome basslines. After another nice solo by Lifeson comes the emotional synth-part, followed by a couple of riffs from the beginning. Definitely one of the best songs in this album.

"Limelight" Another nice rock song with beautiful melodies. This song does includes one of the best solos by Alex Lifeson, and also one of the best lyrics by Neil Peart. Geddy Lee's voice is at it's finest as well. Once again, I have to say that this is one of my favorite songs on this album.

"The Camera Eye" After a bunch of short prog songs comes the highlight of this album. Even though the intro is a bit too long, this is still the best song on this album besides Tom Sawyer. I don't consider this song as an "epic", because it's only a quite normal song with two almost identical parts added together.

"Witch Hunt" This very underrated song begins with a spooky intro followed by a simple riff and mysterious vocals by Geddy Lee. The song itself is quite simple, but I still like it very much. I'll never get tired of the scary atmosphere and brilliant vocal melodies of this song. In my opinion the song is too short, it should have been longer. Maybe even epic? Well, it's still good enough.

"Vital Signs" The reggae-influenced song that ends this album is clearly weaker than the other tracks, but that's only because all the other tracks are nearly perfect, and this one is "only" good. In my opinion Witch Hunt should have been the last track on this album, but it doesn't matter that much.

What can I say? A masterpiece of progressive music, definitely. The album is full of classic Rush songs and underrated songs as well. Sadly this album was the end of "The Golden Era", and even though Rush has done fine albums after this one, they have never reached the level of this album.

Report this review (#129141)
Posted Wednesday, July 18, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars Rush's MOVING PICTURES is a brief trip but an amazing one. The band for the most part broke free of the big epic pieces with this album's prequel PERMANENT WAVES and this one, but songcraft is king on the album. Synthesizers work their way in, but not as many as on the band's other 80s albums like SIGNALS. The overall sound is one of pure musicianship and technical skill, but one that still captures the ear with catchiness. This album also spawned three hit radio singles, which is incredible, since there are only seven total songs.

1. Tom Sawyer- The band's biggest hit starts off the album. Drum god Neil Peart steps it back a notch to give Geddy Lee's bass, keyboard, and vocals the spotlight, while Lifeson plays a convincingly enough classic rock guitar, even when he isn't programmed for such a categorization. The lyric is the tale of a character who is every bit a rebel as the true Tom Sawyer, hence the title.

2. Red Barchetta- This song is quite the interesting one. The soundtrack is light, airy, Blind Guardian-inspiring, and downright poppy, but the lyrics are a surreal, government-stabbing horror story of how in the future we will be so programmed by the powers that be that the car will be outlawed, and simply driving one will be a terrible crime. There may be no monsters, ghouls, or witches, but make no mistake: this is modern-day horror. Neil proves how he can explore the human mind and discover what worries us most, and this is some of his best work this side of 2112.

3. YYZ- The band's quintessential instrumental takes its spot as a daring track three. It starts as a bit of a scale exercise aided by the precision drumming of Peart, but we see that the twisted minds behind Rush have made is something so much more. The guitarwork is insane, and the miniature bass solos throughout are enough to send Steve Harris and Geezer Butler into the fetal position. The listener soon discovers that the overall purpose of this bustling four-and-a-half minuter is Rush proving that they are the most tight-knit and technically skilled unit ever to grace our headphones, speakers, and music collections.

4. Limelight- This hit song takes its place as my favorite on the album (though it is just about impossible to truly choose just one). The intro guitar riff is Alex in full-on rock star mode, legs spread into a power stance and eyes intent on his destiny. What makes this song so cool is that all this rock starriness is abandoned come solo time, which combines elements of progressive rock, classic rock, metal, progressive metal (his forte), reggae, and jazz. This sort of uncategorizability is what truly categorizes Rush, not just Lifeson. The lyric is Neil being artsy again, suggesting that all the world is a stage and we are merely each another's audience. He also writes a classic rock staple: the tale of a band who just has it too damn good. So good, in fact, that living in the limelight becomes a burden. All these things melt together to create the greatest hit the band has recorded, and certainly this album's best song.

5. The Camera Eye- While the band may have sworn off epics, this ten minute song begs to differ. The synthesizers that would appear more throughout the first half of the 80s Rush records appear in the most abundance here of anywhere on the album. The band also reuse an element from the great big conceptual pieces of their 70s work, that being dividing a long song into parts. The song may be long, but it has purpose. It won't go down as one of their great epics, but don't write it off as bad. That would be wrong of you.

6. Witch Hunt- Alex Lifeson again displays his versatility and variety by playing some of the most doomy and sinister guitar ever to fall from a 1981 guitar, and pretty damn convincing too. This song is the first in a reverse order series called "Fear". The lyrics showcase political and humane horror as does track two, this time in a more understandable, mainstream, and less deep way: the witch hunts of Salem in the colonial times. The lyrics point out just how horrible mankind can be if he puts his mind to it. 'Tis a theme that ne'er fails, and helps us all feel a little better about ourselves, if not giving us a long hard look in the mirror.

7. Vital Signs- This was the band's "last minute" song for this album, something they had on every album, said they in Martin Popoff's CONTENTS UNDER PRESSURE: 30 YEARS OF RUSH AT HOME AND AWAY, a book that I would strongly recommend to absolutely any Rush fan. But as with most all of these last-minute Rush songs, it sounds anything but rushed. The lyrical artfulness of Neil is too high for even me to decode, save for the fairly universal line: "Everybody got to elevate from the norm.", one that Geddy repeats extremely well throughout the song's winding down. Keyboards reappear in nearly the abundance of The Camera Eye, but never are turned away due to Geddy's masterful and modest use of them. No one should complain about this as a closer, either. It fits where they put it.

Report this review (#130105)
Posted Tuesday, July 24, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars Rush's finest hour (or a bit under). My early enjoyment of Rush was spoiled by some slightly silly lyrics and screechy vocals, but here the writing is more mature and Lee sings far more tunefully. The musicianship is astonishing, especially on the instrumental YYZ; few bands could attempt this with its complex rhythms and dynamic interplay. Every track is thoroughly enjoyable but my favourite is the complex The Camera Eye, comparing life in New York and London. Witch Hunt, with its echoes of Salem, is sinister and dark, whilst Vital Signs is lighter and almost poppy. Not quite a masterpiece overall but a very strong album which frequently features on my playlist and is highly recommended.
Report this review (#130220)
Posted Wednesday, July 25, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars edited: 6/13/07... AAAH! Friday the 13th!... oh well ive been fine all day...

After carefully considering this albums influence on metal, and rock in general. (Dream Theater, The Mars Volta, Porcupine Tree, Tool, Opeth... yah you all know what im talking about). I've decided this is an essential album, not just the essential RUSH album.

I consider this RUSH's last best album, after this one it just wasn't the same. However if your going to go out of one phase and on to another THIS is how you end it. Ill just go ahead and give a quick description and rating of each song.

Tom Sawyer- Never one of my favorites, but considering how many people know RUSH just because of this song i suppose i must give it credit. Any fan of Hard Rock will love this one, its slow and strong. The lyrics can be confusing yet they have a charm that you wont soon forget

Red Barchetta- A great song, no matter the occasion. Fast and calm, clean and focused. The lyrics work perfectly and have a fun meaning. Very good song.

YYZ- You'll never get tired of it. Well maybe...but only after you've memorized it, hummed it a hundred times, and looked up the meaning of its name. Geddy really shines here, not held back by his keyboard or voice, he goes full out on his bass. Alex sounds great as always. Neil is tight as ever, hitting each beat with absolute precision. Fantastic.

Limelight- One of my favorite RUSH songs of all time. The lyrics are great, and really give insight to the life Neil must bear. One of Alex Lifeson's most memorable songs, he plays with real beauty.

The Camera Eye- A great song. The one ''epic'' in this album, just long enough not to take away from the shorter and sweeter style they were going for in this album.

Witch Hunt- A very haunting and dark song. Actually quite an above average Rush song as well.

Vital Signs- I actually kind of like this song. A middle groud RUSH song, not the best but not worst. You can find enjoyment out of it once in a while, i do.

Report this review (#130460)
Posted Friday, July 27, 2007 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars "So light, yet endless, from a leaden sky."

A long time ago, in a classroom far far away I was sitting there bored as usual waiting for class to begin. This older kid Matt walks in and takes his seat in front of me and turns around to talk music. The conversation goes something like this: [Matt]> I'm really bummed out. [Me] Why, what's up? [Matt] I got the new Rush album and it just totally sucks, total sell-out radio crap. [Me] Really? (Playing dumb because I also just got the album and loved it but Matt was a huge Rush devotee and I was a newbie.)

The subject of Matt's venomous wrath was indeed Moving Pictures. He explained that Permanent Waves had started the collapse and that Moving Pics proved the band was just another lame FM radio band. Eventually I got up the nerve to defend the cassette tape that took so much of my hard earned cash from washing dishes at the Mall pizza place. That was sometime around '81 and all these years later I still like Moving Pictures a whole lot. It has a certain wholeness and personality that some of the others lack.

I think it's Rush at the peak of their artistic integrity and creativity, melding together the excitement of the exploration of previous years with the more succinct songwriting of the future. But unlike some of the boring albums that would follow, Moving Pictures is still Rush as a kickass rock band. They are firing on all cylinders here, from songwriting to exectution, lyrics to even the album cover. Geddy sounds natural and relaxed vocally, Neil's playing is reaching new heights, and Alex has not yet been neutered.

I still feel this batch of songs are some of the best Rush ever did, the difference between then and now for me is that I used to prefer side 1, and now I think side 2 is even better and more interesting. I used to think Tom Sawyer was the best song, now I think it may be the weakest on the album (though still good.) "The Camera Eye" is the masterpiece for me here with its very satisfying development and mood. "Witch Hunt" would work perfectly as a Sabbath tune, imagine Ozzy singing these lyrics with Bill Ward on the drums and more ominous Tony guitar sound. And then "Vital Signs" which sounds like it could have been on Signals and in fact the word Signals pops up in the song. It sounded like Rush was prepping the fan base for what was coming: "everybody got mixed feelings about the function and the form, everybody got to deviate from the norm." Goodbye to 2112 and Hemispheres, hello Signals, Grace, and Power Windows. Rush had every right to shake things up of course but eventually by PW they ended up boring lots of fans, myself included. Change is good? Sometimes. Frankly it's an overstated euphemism. Change for the sake of change, or for being hip or commercial, can be dreadful just as often. That's a lesson we would learn over and over in the 80s. Being true to yourself and your art should eclipse commercial concerns and mugging for MTV, lessons lost on 80s Yes and Genesis. Rush would have their own difficulties keeping older fans pumped.

But not here. Moving Pictures is an essential Rush album and belongs in any respectable rock collection, sorry Matt. Arguably, they would never make another album this fine. 4.6 stars.

Report this review (#135523)
Posted Thursday, August 30, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars The peak of RUSH with this albun, They menage to acomplish a great balance in this album, a 80´s sound that souds very time less and, powerfull, definitive one of the 80´s must to have prog albums. ando one of the three RUSH top albums.
Report this review (#139198)
Posted Wednesday, September 19, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars Possibly Rush's most relevant album today.

"Moving Pictures" has stood the test of time very well. I still hear "Tom Sawyer", "YYZ" and "Limelight" in numerous places and radio stations. To me, it goes with and has a connection with "Permanent Waves", much like "Farewell" and "Hemispheres" do. It is very similar, musically and thematically. The first side is extremely popular and holds the songs for which the album is known for. Someone above called it the "perfect side". I actually feel that the second side is what makes it great. They are the three best tracks on the album and holds their last "epic" (eleven minutes) in "The Camera Eye". This is my favorite song here. The other two are magnificent as well. The second half is pure genius.

Report this review (#140176)
Posted Sunday, September 23, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars This album has a good and sad mood to it. It is good in that this is the best music that Rush has ever created. It's sad in that after this album, Rush's quality of music would begin to fade into mediocrity. Before Rush (and The Who), I never really looked to listen to the drums. In this album, I needed not even try to listen to the drums, they were at the forefront of the music. I remember watching one of their concerts and being very impressed with the fact that they only use the three of them to perform their songs. When Lee isn't playing bass, he's usually on the synthesizer. I recall in one case, he had to play the bass and the synthesizer, so he sat on the keyboard to get both at once. Not many bands can, or are willing to do that. Rush is simply filled with talent and passion, one of the reasons I love them so.

Tom Sawyer is a radio song, It's nice in that everyone in their right mind knows this song when it comes on at a party or something. Seeing this song live was hilarious. When the synth riff came, I looked down the aisle, and there were 200 people playing the air keyboards. Special moment there. Again, there are excellent lyrics in Tom Sawyer. Pseudo political, and 100% kick ass. YYZ is Rush's second best instrumental (behind La Villa). In true Rush fashion, this song is complex in every area. Limelight has good drums, and for the first time in Rush history, I remember thinking "Wow, Lee's voice is actually soothing on this track." No shrieking, on falsetto, when he takes it down a notch, Lee actually has a pleasant voice. The Camera Eye took me a little while to appreciate. I'd actually go so far to call it one of their weaker mini epics (compared to Xanadu, Jacob's Ladder, Natural Science, La Villa... ect.). It is still good, definitely not a skipper. The two tracks some label as weaker, I do not see it this way. I truly enjoy the final parts.

This album almost unfairly started out the 80s so well that nobody could hope to top it (which Marillion eventually did, twice). Easily a top 25 album. 5 stars, Rush's final progressive masterpiece.

Report this review (#141002)
Posted Saturday, September 29, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars Great Album,! Not my favorite, but I do consider it to be a masterpiece in it's own right! It starts off with Tom Sawyer 8.5/10, one of their most popular songs. While it isn't the best song on the album, it is a great start! Next up is Red Barchetta 9.5/10! One of the best on the album in my opinion! It just draws you in and leaves you wanting more...Which you get with YYZ 10/10! A great instrumental! Second only to La Villa Strangiato in my opinion. It sounds even better live though! Next up is Limelight 8.5/10, another single off the album. Lifeson's Guitar work is awesome on this song, and it is definately a fan favorite live! After that you have The Camera Eye 9/10, one of my favorites . It's a 11 minute mini-epic about the contrasts of New York and London. Next up on this album is Witch Hunt 9/10, part of their "fear saga". This song is great! I was happy to see it in their snake and arrows set tour set list! Finally you have Vital Signs 9/10 to end it very strongly.

If you are new to Rush you should probally start here. It includes everything we love about Rush with great balance. Alex's creative guitar work, Geddy's greast basslines, and Neil's Perfect drumming, Also they don't go too heavy on the synthesizers like they do on later 80's albums (which I personally don't mind too much.).

Overall a definate 5 star album.

Report this review (#141816)
Posted Wednesday, October 3, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars Moving Pictures is probolby Rush's most popular album, and reasonably so!!

Each song is well written and performed, and more than half of them get stuck in your head for days!!

Tom Sawyer is an excellent track, and probobly the first Rush song i had ever heard. Very epic sounding, the keyboard is glorious and makes me smile every time i hear this track.

Red Barchetta is such a good song. The lyrics are great, they follow a young man driving a motor car, which is illegal in the time they sing about, and being chanced by aloe hover cars. On top of the fun story, the song is upbeat and catchy, one of my favorite tracks on Moving Pictures

YYZ is an immortal classic. Its short and sweet. Listen for Geddy Lee's phenomenal performance, but don't forget about Alex or Neil's parts. YYZ is a standard live song.... which is good :)

When i saw Rush in September Limelight was the song they opened with, and ever since than i've become one with the song. Fame being almost like being in another world is the lyrical content. Much like Red Berchetta, its catchy and upbeat.

The Camera Eye has my favorite keyboard intro of all time. Its so epic and powerful, i get in the "Rush Zone" every time i listen to it. One of Rush's better epic songs, all though it doesn't seem as epic as tracks like Cygnus X-2 or By-Tor and the Snow Dog. Still a great song.

Witch Hunt is a good song, but after 5 perfect tracks i think it lacks a little bit. It slows down the immaculate pacing set by the previous tracks. It was really good live, however.

Vital Signs is one of my favorite Rush songs, lyrically, but just like Witch Hunt, i don't think it leaves as big an impression as the first 5 tracks.

overall Moving Pictures is a great album. Witch Hunt and Vital Signs, while both good songs, slow it down a bit and barely stop it from being a perfect album. However, its an undisputeable classic which everyone should listen to at least once!!

Report this review (#142315)
Posted Friday, October 5, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars At the meeting points of the cheesy 80's synth-rock RUSH and the heavy progressive 70's RUSH lies this masterful album.

What more can be said about RUSH's most well known album?, in my personal opinion it is a tad overrated, there is a lot of great material here but it just fizzles out at the end.

The Alubm starts off with the bands best known work 'Tom Sawyer' a great pop song (Peart is in fine form here playing complicated and fast fills that never detract from the music). 'Red Barchetta' is a great slow paced mellow song and Geddy's bass really shines here taking the lead. 'YYZ' is probably the band's best instrumental aside from 'La Villa strangiato' with a great middle-eastern tinged theme, everyone is working in harmony here. Limelight is a pretty cheesy pop song and lacks a lot of the power that Tom Sawyer possesses. 'The camera eye' is the best track on the album, it's a 10 minute epic about life in the city being watched by cameras and has some of the bands best use of synth in their career.

From this point on the album is pretty much finished, the last 2 songs really let things down and don't really contain any substance at all which is the one factor swaying my decision to award this album 4 stars. A very worthwhile album, and absolute must for RUSH fans.

Report this review (#143365)
Posted Wednesday, October 10, 2007 | Review Permalink
3 stars Very Good Rock Album (but nothing more)

Nobody thinking seriously of progressive music can call this LP a masterpiece of progressive music. It's not that I don't like this album - on the contrary: I like it very much and I consider it a really good rock and roll album. But good people, please open your eyes (and ears) and just try to be objective: this is all that it is - very decent rock (or hard rock to be more precise) music, but in no way progressive! This is not only my opinion, but the one officially presented in Rush's "Chronicles" booklet, where you can read: having gone through heavy metal and art rock, the band emerged as an arena and FM radio-oriented band. No further comments needed.

Let us also try to keep the scale: if Moving Pictures gets five stars, than how would you rate the best albums of such progressive groups like Genesis, Yes, Pink Floyd, Jethro Tull, Marillion, and so on? From the same reason (of not being progressive), this Rush album is not to be called excellent addition to any prog music collection. Only their truly progressive albums are! Just listen to "2112", "A Farewell to Kings" and "Hemispheres" and you will know what I mean.

That is why I consider it a jolly good album but certainly not an essential one.

Finally goes my personal recommendation: this is not the best you can get from Rush!

Report this review (#144444)
Posted Sunday, October 14, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars A brilliant album from start to finish.

The band plays so consistently on each track. Each member experienced at what they do. Above all it is a very "rockin" album. YYZ is perhaps one of the best prog instrumentals. This album was my introduction to Rush and it did take many listens to grasp the fullness of them. At first I thought it was lacking and unfurfilling, but after a few listens I begun to appreciate the solid musicianship and top notch song writing on this album. After a handful of listens I fully appreciated this masterpiece. From Neil Pert's amazing drumming, to Alex Lifesons exotic, grandoise guitar solos, to Geddy Lee's high pitched, but brilliant, vocals and bass and synthesizer playing, this album deliveres an impressive, original, and brilliant sound. On top of everything it's just an enjoyable album that one can really rock to.

Report this review (#149045)
Posted Monday, November 5, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars From the opening chord of 'Tom Sawyer' to the end of 'Witch Hunt', this is a wonderful album. It is a shame about 'Vital Signs', a vital sign of what was to come!

'Red Barchetta' ( from the opening harmonics through the synth/guitar 'race' section to the end harmonics), 'YYZ' (the best short instrumental - should have been a single!), 'Limelight' (great guitar solo), 'The Camera Eye' (my favourite Rush track - it sadly has not appeared in concert) and the menacing 'Witch Hunt' ( how many limbs has Neil Peart got?)

I give it 4 stars.

Report this review (#149128)
Posted Monday, November 5, 2007 | Review Permalink
3 stars This must be one of the most overrated albums on this site. I'm kind of a Rush fan but this is by far not one of my favourite albums. I think it's quite mediocre with two very nice songs (Red Barchetta and Camera Eye) but these two score just about 4 stars in my book. The rest is far less, just Tom Sawyer and YYZ are ok too, the rest is poor.

So I can't go any further than 3 stars. (3,25)

Report this review (#149407)
Posted Wednesday, November 7, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars Moving Pictures is truly one of the great masterpieces of rock from the catchy tunes of Tom Sawyer and Vital Signs to the haunting Red Barchetta and The Camera Eye this album never fails to impress. Starting off with a slightly raw sound and then getting more refined as you go deeper into the album it provides a perfect background for Geddy Lee's vocals.

The lyrical themes throughout fit perfectly to the respective songs and define the album as a whole. Highlights include the instrumental YYZ, Tom Sawyer and the albums epic The Camera Eye.

Most certainly a masterpiece.

Report this review (#149438)
Posted Wednesday, November 7, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars I admit that I find most of Rush's albums a little bit boring at the second listening. For example, in "2112" I like only the first track, and in "Hemispheres" I like all the album only sometimes (a part from "La villa strangiato", one of their best tracks ever).

Well, "Moving Pictures" is the only Rush work that I love to listen always completely, and without boring me. Why? 1) It has SHORT tracks, except for Camera Eye (that is not too long, luckily, because it could have ruined the whole album if it had been more than its time); 2) They're not heavily prog, but more rock n' roll; 3) It has tracks like Tom Sawyer, Red Barchetta and the amazing YYZ (wow, I simply love that track, almost perfect!); 4) The riffs are studied and intelligent, and the lineup is really ok.

In the end, this is my fav Rush ever, because it's not pompous like the others, but more sincere and essential.

Report this review (#149447)
Posted Wednesday, November 7, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars This is the Rush ultimate Rush album to get. Yes there are other are great album like Hemispheres,2112, AFTK and so on. But this is musically and lyrically their best. Song are shorter but the sound is so crisp. This album displays some of the greatest musicianship i have ever hared on a rock album. I'm not going to go through every song you need to listen to it for yourself if haven't already. This was the last of the 5 masterpieces they created, they would make more good albums but nothing would compare to the Moving Pictures. A must have for any Prog fan or a fan of great music. 5 stars
Report this review (#151746)
Posted Monday, November 19, 2007 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Moving Pictures means a lot to me as it was one of the first prog rock albums I bought. I bought it second hand along with Genesis And then there were three. Both LP´s had had the same owner, and this was visible as both had been through a fire and smelled really bad ( Actually my Pink Floyd Animals must have had the same owner too, as it smells really bad too).

Moving Pictures is somewhat odd in the discography of Rush, as it really doesn´t sound like anything else they have made. Well Permanent waves has some of the same things but not quite. The album is very stripped down. Guitar, bas, drums and of course Geddy Lee´s vocal are the most prominent sounds on Moving Pictures. The sometimes excessive use of keyboards on many of Rush´s albums is stripped to a minimum on Moving Pictures. The keyboards are there, but they are pretty subtle, which really helps set this album apart from any other Rush album. Keyboards can be very nice, but I generally think Rush uses them too much in their music. Thankfully not on this one though.

The sound quality/ Production on Moving Pictures is on a higher plain. This is one of my favorite productions of all time. Especially the sound on the drums. It´s really impressive and powerful. I like to call it dry, but I´m not sure people understand what I mean. It suits the album perfect anyway.

Tom Sawyer starts the album. And what a start it is. Geddy sings with so much power in this song, and Neil Peart´s drums are very commanding. The guitar from Lifeson is also really cool in this song.

Neil Peart shows his lyrical talents in Red Barchetta. I just love the nostalgic story about the uncle and his car. Again the music is very powerful and beautiful.

YYZ is a genre defining instrumental song. It´s one of the best instrumental songs ever written. The instrumentation is so stripped, that you can clearly hear what everyone is doing and it helps emphasize what a powerful song this is. Lifeson´s solo is amazing and Neil Peart and Geddy Lee plays so well on this track. I can´t praise this song enough. But you get the point, right ?

Limelight is really a winner too. Tight instrumentation and a Geddy Lee in good vocal form ( He always is. He has never let me down). The lyrics are clever too.

When listening to The camera eye I always get an urban feeling. It´s really a great epic song. Of course it´s pretty stripped down like the rest of the album, but there is still an epic feel about it. This is a great song.

Witch hunt (Part III of Fear) is a live favorite and in my eyes probably the weakest track on Moving Pictures. It´s not bad at all though, just the song I like the least. A pretty slow track.

Vital signs is a great closer to Moving Pictures. There are some keyboards here that points toward the next album Signals, but they are not as excessive as on that album. The song has got some kind of Ska/ Reggae rythm which sets it apart. Nice move.

This is a classic Prog rock album, and a personal favorite of mine. I think this is a masterpiece ( The sole masterpiece they have ever made) and I can give no less than 5 stars. Unfortunately as mentioned, Rush didn´t continue in this style, and already on the next album, their beautiful music drowned in oceans of keyboard and synth. Too bad, I´m sure if they had pursued this path, they would have made more masterpieces.

Report this review (#153004)
Posted Wednesday, November 28, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars Every once in a while I feel like reviewing a classic album, and while many would say "I really have nothing more to add" I say "so what" and write it anyway. Now I am not a Rush fan by any means, I had heard 2112 and could not get into it at all. So when my friend said "oh, you like prog, you need to hear Moving Pictures" I was a little sceptical. Long story short I bought it anyway (used) and have loved it.

The music on this album is great, although far from perfect and is probably one of the best recordings for prog noobs. Evry moment is hard hitting, every riff is memorable and evry melody is catchy. Honestly for me this is the perfect blend of traditional prog and hard rock.

Now for the review.

Tom Sawyer: Great opening, great riff any one can see why this has become the hard rock staple that it is. This song can ither be enjoyed as prog or listened to as hard rock and its perfect both ways. The keys in this song work great with the guitars and are never overbearing. The guitar solo is great and has a good blend of jazzy blues elements and straight rock n' roll. I cant see any rock collection being complete without this song, and a prog collection even more so, its just that good.

Red Barchetta: Mellow synth opening with fun rythmic timbre, and the guitars come in perfectly with interesting harmonics. Then the real song starts with melodic guitars and cool drum fills. The riffage is good and has a verry 80's sound but they make the 80's riff sound good, somthing few other bands can do for me. The soring rifs in this song and the great high pich vocals make me shiver. The solo in this song is great and highlights the perfect use of harmonics. The song ends with the same synth sound it started with and finishes off perfectly.

YYZ: This is the song that sells Rush for me. Opening with innocent tinging noise and then going straight for the juggular with an odd rythm and killer guitar. And then another odd rythim with killerer guitar. Then another somewhat less odd rythm with great guitar. Followed quickly by a jazzy sounding drum partand amazing guitar. The breaks with the bass in this song are some of the best bass work around. The way the insturments interplay reminds me of jazz, the guitar solo really reminds me of jazz, but of course with plenty of hard hitting rock. This is a great drum song, any drummer would love to be able to play like thi

Limelight: The most straitfoward song on the disc, but great none the less, a good old fasioned rock ballad about the danger of fame and fortune. Great lyrics and a verry fun listen, nothing spectacular but nothing bad. A good solo, what you would expect from Rush and one of the best vocal preformances, but in the end it just sounds like a warm up for...

The Camera Eye: The epic, oh yea. starts slowly with a synth part, and then it starts. Great proggy synth and guitar melody, the drums give a bit of a marching feel to it and it builds up into a rocker. Then it goes into another synth lead and guitar bit, only to pick up again stronger than before with a catchy riff and spectacular drumming. The riff changes and the singing begins "they chase through the sreats of Manhattan" its just so beautiful. Eventually you get into a slower part with more insturment interplay and less catchyness, and then back to the synth lead and incredible drumming. When we get to the solo it is incredible and verry jazz oriented. This song has so many possible radio hits inside of it, if the sections wern't connected Rush would have had two or three more hits on their hands, but I'm glad they whent for the epic instead because its so much better for me and my progness.

Witch Hunt: Creepy song, really dark. Starts with the sound of the hunt starting out and the people are marching into the forest. Rush creates a dark sonic texture. Then the music starts, with a dark riff. The song continues to grow in an epic way. I could really see this song played by more metal bands, as good as it is I think Rush plays to light and airy to bring this song to its full potential, great anyway.

Vital Signs: By far the worst here, it has a reggae sound that really isn't flattering, and is way poppy and just not hard hitting at all, It just fails to strike a chord. Bad way to end an album, that's all I got to say.

Not a perfect album by any means, but it's a masterpiece anyway. I feel this is Rush's best, and I think Rush is the best hard prog band, and so this is the essential hard prog record: 5 stars

Report this review (#153977)
Posted Monday, December 3, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars By far the most overrated Rush album in the band's history. Yet it is still an excellent album that is a must for any Rush fan. The first half of the album is among the most incredible music the band has ever made, and that is saying a lot considering the overall awesomeness of their three or four previous albums. All four songs, Tom Sawyer, Red Barchetta (one of my favorite Rush songs of all time), YYZ, and Limelight are well written and balanced enough to catch the ears of just about anyone in both camps of hard rock and progressive rock listeners, let alone heavy prog. The second half of the album is just good, Camera Eye being the last Rush song to top ten minutes with great use of synth keyboard and a gradual feel to it. The two following songs are somewhat mediocre, not really anything that special and are what keep me from rating this a perfect masterpiece. I'd almost say they are somewhat reflective of what I call the "post Moving Pictures" Rush era, where overall the song writing was still good but the intellectual flare of their music declined to be just a level above much mainstream music. An excellent album that I feel deserves no more or less than four stars.
Report this review (#155849)
Posted Tuesday, December 18, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars A lot of Rush's popularity is hard for me to understand. Albums like 2112 and A Farewell to Kings have completely failed to hold me for longer than a minute before finding something else to listen to.

But, in a moment of weakness, I decided to give "Moving Pictures" a chance. And I surprised myself by finding my opinion the same as the ranks of PA as well as the rest of the world: this album is a masterpiece.

The album works like this: amazing musicianship from everybody combining into something shockingly accessible. Of course, it helps that the production is fantastic; every element is perfectly in place on Moving Pictures. Every track is a standout, balancing guitars and synths in perfect tandem.

This is a brilliant album, which links together the proggy spirit of the seventies with the synthy soul of the eighties. And while it's not enough to redeem the rest of Rush's catalogue, I heartily recommend it.

Report this review (#158298)
Posted Thursday, January 10, 2008 | Review Permalink
4 stars I feel that both the biggest strength and the biggest weakness of MOVING PICTURES is that it's a classic album. What do I mean?

Well, some of the most famous and most beloved songs of Rush's repertoire like ''Tom Sawyer'' and ''Limelight''. Many of the songs have that instant enjoyability to them, meaning despite the underlying complexities of tunes like ''YYZ'', there's that accessibility factor in them that doesn't require months of persistence. This seems to be a trait carried over from their previous effort, PERMANENT WAVES.

However, if you're musical styles/interests constantly change as mine do, the old-reliable hits get too old, too fast to the point where the enjoyability factor erodes. I'll be honest, I've only had maybe a mutual like for many of the songs from the first half, but never an overzealous lust (maybe excluding ''YYZ'').

I tend to gravitate toward the second half despite its ''new-wave-y'' keyboard soundscapes. Progheads will likely rejoice in the glories of ''The Camera Eye'' with all of it's tricky guitar lines and futuristic keyboard sounds. It basically continues the pace set by ''Natural Science'' from the previous album, just not as strong as ''Science''. The other two bits on the second half are more a sign of what albums like SIGNALS represent.

This is ideal for any Rush beginner, essential for any Rush fan, recommended for any prog lover. Just be careful of the wear that MOVING PICTURES may cause.

Report this review (#159781)
Posted Friday, January 25, 2008 | Review Permalink
4 stars This seems to be rush most popular album on PA and its not hard to see why this one got everything that made rush great all thiere earlier experimnets redifined and made radiofriendly, and there is one of the problems for me with this one it sounds a bit slick and slimed they have draged down on the heavy factor and started to use more keyboards insted of guitars. Well the thing the album got going for it is that it got the tunes atleast probobly some of the best rush ever made, like the opening Tom Sawyer, Red Barchetta, YYZ and Limelight its simply one great song after the other and great variation. the 10min long The camera eye is no doubt the most prog song and without it the album whuld be more of a classic rock album then a prog rock album too be honest. the 2 ending songs after the mini epic are allso very good but a bit les known then the rest, The witch hunt is a hunting and a bit creepy sounding and very good song and the ending Vital signs is another great rocker with amazing riffs. I still prefer Hemispheres over this becaus its simply heavier and rawer and les polished sounding then this one. This was rush trying to make a greatest hits album and succeding pretty well. 4,5 stars
Report this review (#161003)
Posted Wednesday, February 6, 2008 | Review Permalink
5 stars Its about the bass on this album. Geddy Lee is of course a bass legend. Guitar player polls, best rock bassist numerous times. He just gives this album a joyous dose of his classic melodicism. It sort of follows the melody at times in certain tracks, but differs in rhythmic ways as it doubles Pearts hits. This is of course one of the defining features of Rush; that interplay of unison drum and bass. Here it hits its finest balance of doubling everything and letting it flow.

Red Barchetta is the classic Rush song. It embodies Peart's adolescent view of wonder, supplies Lifeson with harmonics and a classic melodic bass line and the then seemingly obligatory 7/4 section. It is for me one of the most perfect songs ever recorded.

But then we also have the synco drum fest that is Tom Sawyer, the poignant and not over indulgent take on fame that is Limelight. YYZ has that ridiculously more than tricky pentatonic riff that is its main theme.

I must admit I have rarely listened to the other half of the album. I mean I have listened many times but compared with the onslaught of the first few tracks I am sure I am not alone.

They give this haunting complete feel to the album. Its like two sides of the band are on display.

It is a sound and a feeling that makes Rush the epitome of prog metal. It was their time, the 80's and they were incredibly brilliant at plying their craft.

While Hemispheres still makes me just go wow, this album is their finest moment when it all came together in Peart's angst and Lee's and Lifesons musical vision. It contains some of Lee's most brilliant playing (outside of the underrated Signals) and is a landmark of prog metal/rock.

Report this review (#163198)
Posted Wednesday, March 5, 2008 | Review Permalink
5 stars RUSH grow an arm and a leg here and finally produce a seamless album of the highest quality.

They do this by discarding their unfortunate progressive excesses of the late 70s and embracing the brevity - and some of the sounds and values - of the 80s. This ought to produce a horrible shiny New Wave record, but the strictures of shorter songs actually focus RUSH's limited compositional talents and, for once, the songs work.

Straight into 'Tom Sawyer' and that memorable bass. On earlier albums they would have added an intro of bee-like synths to this song, and stretched it out to nine or twelve minutes. Not here. This track should shout loud and clear to all prog heads that prog is a child of popular music, and that good composition makes a song as long as it needs to be, not automatically twenty minutes.

'Red Barchetta' is hardly any less impressive, with a sequence of memorable riffs. Finally GEDDY LEE's voice makes sense, given the context this excellent music provides. Then his voice is gone and we roar through the shining gem of 'YYZ'. This song is the meeting place of compositional genius, virtuoso playing and 80s production values, and justifies the band's existence. Four and a half minutes of perfection, often imitated, never bettered. 'Limelight' continues the fine songwriting, an art rock song with the usual crunchy guitars but compositionally much tighter than similar tracks on previous albums. Ample room here for each member of the band to deliver powerful performances.

'The Camera Eye' starts with those dreadful buzzing-bee synths. What a pity they paid no attention to the fine synth work coming from the UK in 1980: this sound was so dated even then. The song is a mini-epic, a pastiche similar to '2112' in form, but far superior in execution. The changes in tempo remind me a little of LED ZEPPELIN's 'Carouselambra'. The final two songs are very good, but perhaps overshadowed by the company they keep on this album. Nevertheless they come into their own after a few listens. I'm personally very fond of 'Witch Hunt', finding it one of the few times RUSH raises my neck hairs.

I don't personally see this as one of the very best albums in the history of prog rock. I can think of at least fifty prog albums I prefer. Nevertheless, the value of this album lies in its release date, at a time when the critics had buried prog rock and danced about on its grave. With 'Moving Pictures' RUSH did the seemingly impossible: filled the airwaves with hard rock of the highest quality at a time when rock itself seemed to be on the way out. We all ought to be grateful that, with this album, RUSH helped keep high quality rock alive.

Report this review (#166133)
Posted Wednesday, April 9, 2008 | Review Permalink
5 stars Opinions that Rush's Moving Pictures LP was a sellout hold little water. While songs like Tom Sawyer and Limelight are undisputably lighter and more welcoming than those included on A Farewell To Kings or Hemispheres they certainly keep a firm grip on Rush's status as a Progressive Rock act of the highest order. The attention to detail and mindblowing songwriting never ceases from the instantly recognisable synth chord opening of Tom Sawyer to the dying seconds of the technical Reggae-Prog number Vital Signs. Geddy Lee's lush keyboard sounds are certainly a major contribution to the huge progress from Permanent Waves, never expressed better than on the moody slither of Witch Hunt or the emotionally moving urban perspective given in The Camera Eye. For a band with such a sprawling and varied catalogue Moving Pictures is an album embraced by the majority of Rush's demanding fanbase, and as if further evidence of the quality herein was required the likes of Tom Sawyer, YYZ, Limelight and Red Barchetta are all well-established concert staples.
Report this review (#170224)
Posted Thursday, May 8, 2008 | Review Permalink
5 stars I would imagine everyone has heard this album by now. It's a pivotal Rush album, likely their masterpiece, rivaled only by A Farewell to Kings. Obviously, you should hear it if you haven't because it has the best Rush can offer. Here we find Rush firmly reaching out to a more popular audience, but they do so very eloquantly, which, perhaps, gives their music more of a feeling of a unified whole.
Report this review (#170343)
Posted Friday, May 9, 2008 | Review Permalink
TGM: Orb
3 stars Review 32, Moving Pictures, Rush


Everybody got to deviate from the norm...

Even me. Whenever I put on this album, it's for one reason: I want to listen to Vital Signs, and I feel I should endure the pilgrimage to see my painfully metaphorical Mecca. The lyrics and music feel rather separated, which is fine for the more rocking songs (Tom Sawyer, Limelight) but leaves Red Barchetta and The Camera eye feeling horrifically pretentious and half-hearted. The playing throughout is fine, even if we get a few rather unnecessary-feeling sections (with the pop convention of 'repeat a bar before adding vocals because the audience don't have a big attention span'). The exception to this is some of Lifeson's solos, which feel rather sterile and nonthreatening to me. Geddy Lee's voice has lost a lot of its drama, and is more suited to the rock or quieter numbers than to more narrative or darker things on Red Barchetta and Witch Hunt. Not an incredibly fun or enjoyable Rush album, but a fair effort.

From its first Oberheim synth and accompanying blunt drum sound from Peart, Tom Sawyer gives us a very song start to the album. The song moves through a couple of variations on one song part, with comfortably enough variety in the music, vocals and lyrics [which, though not stunning, have a welcome dark resonance and mystique] to survive. We get a very potent gritty bass-driven chorus with a dark vocal from Lee. The instrumental section begins with an excellent combination of synths which are followed with a rather rockless solo from Lifeson. The return to the vocal sections, however, has Peart on top form, with a crashing array of drums and cymbals. A great rock song, with an individual atmosphere and an impressive complexity and mobility for such a successful hit. Memorable as an opener, and an excellent use of the synths.

Red Barchetta is a prime example of the problems with the album as a whole. The music holds no relation to the lyrics. The lyrics are poorly phrased, the idea illogical (anything with 'I've got a desperate plan' can't be that great, and I can't understand the exact rationality of the slightly sci-fi concept, which seems another rather weak attempt to revive the freedom against control themes of 2112). The story, desperation and emotions included, bears no relation to the music, which is just repeats of earlier sections with some mostly insignificant variation.

On the plus side, a pretty good performance from Lee on vocals, and a decent, grainy solo from Lifeson. A rather wallowing bass-driven section with disastrously blunt guitar is repeated a few times, as are a couple of much improved rocking ones led by Lifeson's guitar. The repeats seem a little blunt, and, especially towards the end, have very little relation to the story or development other than Peart adding a couple more sounds ('I've got a desperate plan' does not even feel remotely desperate'). The concluding part is pretty good with some good bass soloing from Lee, and a gradually descending mix. Basically, it would have been nice to have a song where the lyrics genuinely related to the music, rather than simply telling a story at the same time as the music is playing, with the words tortured to fit the metre.

YYZ is a fair instrumental with an excellent bass part from Lee (solos included), even if it drags a little. Peart throws out all sorts of drum parts into the mix, and Lifeson's guitar is used calmly as a controlled rocking factor the background, even if it doesn't impress much when contributing a more solid riff. A good idea, but it goes on longer than it had to to get the point across and I'm not particularly keen on the ending, for some reason.

Limelight is another solid rocker, unfortunately dragged down by an occasionally irritating set of lyrics (I've seen it called a full song of lyrical hooks, but I could really have done without the cheap Shakespeare reference). Great Lifeson guitar throughout, with an interesting Peart performance as well, which manages to emphasise the vocals by its absence. Great chorus (especially with regards to the vocals and a rock power not often achieved on the album). The return to a verse is unconvincing, but the song remains powerful and excellent, and manages to decelerate to provide a background for an effective quiet Lifeson solo.

The Camera Eye begins with some city sounds, because it can, and then gradually builds up from a synth background, which I like, and a lead synth, which I don't, to a massively overdone element of pompous development with boring drumming, before moving to an almost-completely unrelated rolling drums and guitars to a bit of more conventional, if rather less interesting musically section. Geddy Lee's vocal highlights the extension of musical meh, with some repeats of earlier sections and some plainly bland, rather drum-dominated sections with very tiny variations. The first part of the lyrics ends with little ado and gives way to a desirable instrumental break, even if the repeats of themes from the earlier music simply seem to be repeats rather than proper developments.

The second part also features the terrible drumming choices, but has a redeeming bass part from Lee, who manages to stir things up a little. The trio's hideous attempt to add an English feel with an 'alright guv' quietly added is hilarious for all the wrong reasons. Lifeson and Lee give us a suitably impressive example of bass and guitar interplay before the song fades out on a synth rhythm and a Big Ben clanging. I really don't like Peart's drumming on this song, and the piece as a whole feels a bit forced and almost a chore to listen to.

Witch Hunt is where the album begins to pick up a gain. A rather blunt example of chimes, inquisitorial voices and rather cliché witch-hunt feel with a couple of wonderfully grainy synths lead us into the superbly rocking main guitar riff. Geddy contributes a dark vocal, which doesn't quite click with me, and confident synths. Peart makes some slightly amusing use of the tin bucket that he's apparently hidden under his orphan-shelter drumkit. Geddy (I swear he's the only musician I think of my the first name. Who knows why?) provides some clever bass additions, including some high playing that rather escapes the mould. Maybe the boys were trying a bit too hard to bring in the atmosphere, but I appreciate the effort, and it's overall a good song.

Vital Signs is, in my mind, completely transcendental over the rest of the album. Wonderful atmosphere-developing synths without the effort of The Camera Eye, a quirkiness, constantly-shifting, and a mechanical, yet organic feel. Peart provides some wonderfully bizarre percussion choices, and Lee manages the vocals without feeling strained or drowned out by any of the instruments. Absolutely classic effort, with a perfectly handled atmosphere, great rock moments, an uplifting message, superb playing on all fronts, interesting and effective lyrical choices more reminiscent of Natural Science than The Camera Eye. Finally, a great fade, ending the album on the highest note it has. This is one of my favourite Rush songs, certainly, from those I've heard.

For me, this album wasn't a must-have. It doesn't rock as hard as 2112, the lyrics are mixed in quality, and the atmospheres are often forgotten. I think it is, overall, a good album, even if The Camera Eye doesn't convince me and tempts the evil next button. Worth getting for Vital Signs alone, but I think that A Farewell To Kings is a better Rush introduction, by and large.

Rating: Three Stars Favourite Track: Vital Signs

Report this review (#171618)
Posted Monday, May 19, 2008 | Review Permalink
4 stars Permanent Waves (in my humble opinion, Rush's masterpiece) was definitely a transitional album. The progressive excesses of the past were discarded, tasteful synths were given prominence, and everything was focused more towards the mainstream while still retaining the trademark Rush sound.

With the album under discussion now, Moving Pictures, the transition is complete. This is the template that Rush will be following for the next two decades, and it is a very appealing template indeed, despite omitting some aspect of their music that we prog fans really loved. Rush has found a way to appeal to fans of heavy metal and arena rock without alienating us.

Truly, the production on this album is amazing. Strong songs backed up with a high quality production made this one of the must have albums for extremely diverse fan bases. While this is not one of the masterpieces of prog, this is one of those albums that bring in listeners from across the entire spectrum of music lovers.

4 stars. It's an excellent addition to anybody's musical collection, whether they are prog fans or not, but it's not quite a materpiece. This is one of those albums that you share with your friends to bring them into progdom.

Report this review (#172696)
Posted Saturday, May 31, 2008 | Review Permalink
5 stars The final release in an almost uninterrupted string of masterful releases from Rush. Moving Pictures represent the popular high-water mark for the band and is rightfully considered a prog-rock masterpiece.

Interestingly, though, it is the least proggy of their albums up to this point. You get 7 songs here, with only one reaching as many as 8 minutes in length. There isn't a hint of a concept and there are several legitimate poppy songs.

But as usual Rush makes it all work by bringing honesty, amazing musical chops, thoughful lyrics and just general musical creativity. An underrated aspect of MPictures is the band's pop sensibilities (if you doubt this, think how the melody from YYZ rings in your ears incessantly, unlike any of their songs released over the past 10 years) which shine throughout the more popular songs (Tom Sawyer, Limelight, Vital Signs).

The standout song is the least known / popular, the 10-minute The Camera Eye which I rank among Rush's top five songs (with Xanadu, 2212 and Caress of Steel). Witchhunt is another winner, with an unusual arrangement and biting commentary on censorship. Vital Signs was, at the time, an experimental song for Rush but also signaled some of the future direction.

All the songs are great individually, and combined they make up another must-have effort for prog fans.

Report this review (#174600)
Posted Friday, June 20, 2008 | Review Permalink
3 stars I love a good pun, and this album delivers one with that cover art. With such a laugh-out-loud pun for cover art, you know this album is going to be a masterpiece. [But why do I get the feeling that 6/7 of this record was given less thought than the cover art? That's not even possible and I still get the feeling!]

Rush sure know how to create [the illusion of] a masterpiece. Take a look at "Tom Sawyer." It's got a catchy lead, a reference to a familiar story character that we all love, and heck, and it's topped off with a synth riff in 7/8. Brilliant! And look at Neil Peart's drumming. I can see why he's often cited as one of the greatest drummers of all time. No one keeps a 4/4 beat like this guy. And his 7/8 beats! How cleanly he stresses each beat! And check out that fill 43 seconds into "Red Barchetta"! Wow! Amazing! And I just can't get over the man's deft use of high-pitched drums. Mike Portnoy should just throw away his octobans because he can't play like Neil. Oh yea, and only Neil justifies using a drum kit that surrounds him. Go back to a standard 5-6 piece kit Portnoy! Next we have [the only really good track on the record] "YYZ," which spells out those letters with morse code! That is definitely a fun one! I would go as far as to say that it's Rush's best song ever [I really think so]. Ah yes, "Limelight," the original rock hit about being a rock star [I'm not doing any research; that statement stands]. It's my favorite song about fame other than Good Charlotte's "Lifestyles of the Rich an Famous" with it's quick-witted paradoxical bashing of their own fortune. Hey! They made a reference to "The Camera Eye" in the last song! Brilliant! What an exciting 11-minute song [consisting basically of the same themes over and over!]. Rush surprise us all with the last two tracks; they are quite different from typical Rush songs. First, "Witch Hunt," is a very eerie song [the lyric "faces are twisted and grotesque" perfectly describes my reaction to this song (I grow a second face to show my disgust)]. And they finish [poorly] with a reggae-tinged "Vital Signs" [there is an easy joke to make here]. Quite different [bad move].

Buy this album! [it's a better idea to just get yourself a high-quality mp3 of "YYZ;" the first 5 tracks really aren't bad, and are generally even good, but not great by any stretch].

Report this review (#175430)
Posted Thursday, June 26, 2008 | Review Permalink
4 stars This is really a terrific album in it's time. They were one of the few progrockbands that still progs very well in the eighties, and this album show's. They could have give a bit more attention to their closing song, 'Vital Signs' Which turns out really bad. Witch Hunt would've been a far more better closing piece of the album. The other critic that i'm going to make is that Geddy Lee's voice is getting a little weaker. In 'Red Barchetta' this is noticeable, but fortunately the rest all suits me quite well. The drumming is great and typically Peart. Those are all really great songs to play along with your drum kit. YYZ is a magnificent instrumental piece. I really like the switches between three and four counts in 'limelight.' Into the Camera Eye' is a somewhat longer piece. I love the part in wich they switch between five and six counts

I love this album, but i don't think it's perfect or very close to perfection. It's a great album to start if you want to buy your first Rush record.

Report this review (#179340)
Posted Sunday, August 10, 2008 | Review Permalink
5 stars RUSH's Moving Pictures is the fourth installment in what I call the bands "Mid-Era Progressive" phase. These albums include: A Farewell to Kings (1977), Hemispheres (1978), Permanent Waves (1980), Moving Pictures (1981) and Exit Stage Left "Live" (1981)

Moving Pictures is Rush's most popular album among members of Prog Archives, most Rush fans, and even the general music listening public. Almost everybody knows this album. It contains some of the band's most well known songs that actually got air-play back in the day! It contains such classic songs as Tom Sawyer, Red Barchetta, and Limelight. But, don't make the mistake of thinking this album is just a bunch of radio-friendly pop tunes, quite the contrary. Moving Pictures is a very approachable modern progressive rock album disguised as an Adult Oriented Rock (AOR) album. It's got Rush's second, and probably most popular instrumental, YYZ, and the last of the long, extended-length rock tracks, The Camera Eye, coming in at almost 11 minutes. Most peoples criticism of the album is that it's too polished and overly commercialized. Is it commercial because it sold well? Maybe it sold so well because its just really good music. I put it right up in my personal top 5 of Rush albums, just behind A Farewell to Kings.

Report this review (#181422)
Posted Tuesday, September 2, 2008 | Review Permalink
5 stars This it is without no doubt the best album of Rush, in this album marks the maximum point in the progressive race of Rush, the album begins with the masterpiece of Rush "Tom sawyer", this is a completely progressive song and perfectly balanced, with this song only already the album becomes one of the best albums of the progressive rock, but the continuous album with "Red barchetta" that is another excellent song, begins quite different from first, with rate a little but slow but immediately it is increasing, soon comes "YYX" that has a beginning we say that "Strange", but equal that "Red barchetta" immediately becomes faster, later is "Limelight" that has a change with respect to the other songs because this has a beginning in the wave of Rush, the following one is "The camera eye" around 13 min, is next to all the other songs of this disc an excellent piece, later we have "Witch hunt" and in the end Vital signs", this disc is altogether the masterpiece of Rush, has other excellent discs like "A farewell to kings", "2112" and "Permanent waves" but no one is better than "Moving pictures"
Report this review (#182702)
Posted Wednesday, September 17, 2008 | Review Permalink
5 stars This is the album that made me discovered Rush last year! My cousin, when I told him to make me listen to something about Rush he indicated just this Moving Pictures. He talked to me about this as their masterpiece. And Moving pictures has been the beginning of my passion for Rush. I don't know exactly if it is their absolute masterpiece, but I love this album and I love all its 7 songs. It is the album of the transition from seventies prog-rock and eighties classic rock with strong electronic influences. We could define this album as a halfway between these genres. It's still influenced by the structures of progressive rock but it contains a lot of elements coming from British new wave, with a wider use of keyboards and synthesizers (that will be protagonists in the next period, starting from the next album Signals, another masterpiece).

It's very hard for me tell what's the best song in this album. I think all songs are little masterpieces that unite and form a masterpiece.

Tom Sawyer is a good rock song with excellent elettronic sounds and synth riffs. Red Barchetta is a very happy song, somebody talks about it as a good on the road song and maybe it's true, thanks to the good Neil Peart's drumming. But we have really to spend more words about the instrumental YYZ: based on the morse code translation of the title, it shows all the technical abilities of this three Canadian musicians, it's still considered one of the best instrumental songs in the history of rock (but we have to give the highest place on the throne to La Villa Strangiato, included in Hemispheres) and will be an important source of inspiration for the musicians of tomorrow, progressive or not. For example Dream Theater were surely inspirated by YYZ when they were writing their Ytse Jam on their first album When Dream And Day Unite and, inspirating themselves by Neil Peart they used the morse translation to pronunce the expression Eat my ass and balls in In The Name Of Dog, contained in Train Of Thought. Lime Light is a easy rock song, with a good Lifeson's solo when The Camera Eye confirms their progressive vein with its 11 minutes duration. The intro with hard synthesizers is maybe one of the best introductions in their carreer but the song doesn't forget the 80s rock influence present on this album. Witch Hunt is another song where synthesizers play an important role and Vital Signs is considered a prelude to the next period of Rush discography. In fact, the song has got strong reggae influences, typical of 80s rock, and powerful electronic sounds.

Report this review (#183840)
Posted Saturday, September 27, 2008 | Review Permalink
3 stars Probably one of the best Rush works, but I have little problems even with such a critically acclaimed album. Good album indeed, but obviously the level of depth of the songwriting doesn't please me enought. The flaws can be heard almost at the beginning of the album - in the second song, called Red Barchetta. It's full of static ideas and repetitions. In fact that attends all over the album, except the opening song - Tom Saywer. I think Moving Pictures is so technical example for the fact that the technique is not everything. You need more - the ability to catch the listener. And they definitely miss it with me. This album makes it, very hard! The vocals by Geddy Lee are the other weak section, in my opinion. The mixture between guitar riffs and electro keyboard sound is another motif I have a problem with here. And yet good album.

Final conclusion: an overrated album by an overrated band! 3- stars

Report this review (#184845)
Posted Monday, October 6, 2008 | Review Permalink
5 stars Not surprised at the 5 star review? Yeah, I'm not either. However, let me explain to you why this is such a masterpiece.

1. Tom Sawyer- If you don't know this song, then you must be living under a rock or aren't really familiar with classic rock in any way. This is an extremely well-crafted song and is Rush's most well-known song for a reason. It manages to balance a more accessible rock base with odd time signatures and purposeful artistic structure, and it manages it perfectly. The synthesizers here are wonderful and the band is instrumentally very good. Great track! Try not to sing to it, even if your vocals suck. Flawless. 10+/10

2. Red Barchetta- This song holds so many memories to me because it is the song that has bonded my father and me several times over the years. The atmosphere set up in this song is ideal, the instrumentation again is wonderful, and Lifeson's solo almost midway through the song is magic. The trio really manage to create a perfect song here. Flawless. 10+/10

3. YYZ- Now THIS is an instrumental! This song is absurdly amazing with all three musicians really tight and still keeping everything in balance to maintain a relatively shorter song. The emotions bottled in this song so perfectly are kept in check and the interplay among the three of them is superb. If you think that Moving Pictures is a step away from Rush's virtuosity and more prog influences, listen to this. Flawless. 10+/10

4. Limelight- Lyrics are spot on here, illustrating Peart's views about being in the limelight. They're incredibly intelligent and fitting, as his lyrics are throughout the album, these are just of extremely particular note. Instrumentation is great here as usual, and Lifeson's guitar really makes this a wonderful track. Rush played this track as the opener to the Snakes and Arrows tour and they could not have picked a better track to begin with. This really is a great culmination of a soulful track by the Canadian trio. Flawless. 10+/10

5. The Camera Eye- Rush's last track that lasts over 10 minutes, and what a last entry it is. The band is once again in top instrumental form here, creating a song that is infinitely expressive, always interesting, and full of plenty of rock and prog elements. Flawless. 10+/10

6. Witch Hunt- Why is this track so overlooked? Lifeson's crunching, haunting riffs really drive this song once it gets started after an extremely fitting, spoken vocal mob intro that sets the tone for a witch hunt. Peart's drums and Lee's synth/vocal/bass work also complement this song perfectly, climaxing in a burst of emotional rush along with Peart's lyrics. Those who know what's best for us/Must rise and save us from ourselves! Fantastic. Flawless. 10+/10

7. Vital Signs- Least best track of the album, but I still can't find any fault with it whatsoever! Great experimental track here with interesting vocals by Lee and the sequencer-esque sound throughout. Rush doing what they do best once more and a pretty good closer. 10/10

A masterpiece of music.

Report this review (#189547)
Posted Sunday, November 16, 2008 | Review Permalink
5 stars This is my first review on ProgArchives but I'll try to make it short. Without a doubt this is the greatest album from one of the world's most talented rock bands. I own almost every single Rush studio album (with the exception of their first two and Vapor Trails) and--after listening to each album at least once over the years--I've found that MP is Rush's musical watershed--a culmination of everything that came before, and, to some extent, after MP. There are the synthesizers (who can't forget that Moog riff from Tom Sawyer?) that are a staple of their '80s albums and there are the time signature shifts and long songs (there is only one LONG song on MP: The Camera Eye) of their early '70s albums like Farewell to Kings and Hemispheres. I am a Rush fan who enjoys every era of Rush's three-decade-long career, but I--as well as many, MANY other Rush fans--believe that Rush was at the height of their musical and lyrical powers on Moving Pictures.

P.S. Frankly, I am at a great loss for words of how great (again an understatement) Moving Pictures is. And yes, I'm sure much of what I've said here has been said millions of times in previous reviews, for that I apologize.

Report this review (#189840)
Posted Tuesday, November 18, 2008 | Review Permalink
4 stars This is another tough hard album to review. This Rush's most successful and critically praised album, but I can't but think that after Permanant Waves the transition of losing their progressiveness was complete, and this album came as a result. Sure there are progressive songs (THE CAMERA EYE), but for the most part songs like TOM SAWYER and RED BARCHETTA are just rock songs with not a ton of things that make it progressive. That's why it's tough to rate this. Everything's great, but is so much different then CARESS OF STEEL or 2112. I love both styles of Rush, but this era is much less progressive and more commercial. For a rock album 5/5 but for a prog album, 4/5.
Report this review (#192052)
Posted Saturday, December 6, 2008 | Review Permalink
4 stars The only reason I gave it a 4 star insteed of a 5 star is because this is way to overrated. I really like the songs on this album, its just way to overrated to enjoy, now. Rush really brought out their A game, and it really shows. One thing I really don't like about this album, still, is that Geddy sounds like a completely different singer, and not in a good way. I particularly like side 2 of the album, great rock songs, and it shows the underrated side of the album. I will rate each song on a scale from 1-10, 10 being the best it can be, and 1 being the worst it can be.

Tom Sawyer- The song everyone knows, even if you hate Rush. Some people saw Rush in the 80's because of this song, and when they got there, they probably said What the hell is this song when Geddy starts to sing Xanadu, or something unknown like that. It really shows the first prominate use of keyboards, and thats probably why this song is really overrated. I will say something before giving my complete grade, I am very sick of this song. I hear it way to much on the radio, so I really can't go higher than an 8 or 9. A solid opener, though. 7/10

Red Barchetta- A sweet 6 moments, one of the stronger points on the album. The song isn't as popular as Tom Sawyer or Limelight, but it got a lot of air-play, even now it gets some radio. One reason I like this song is that it has pretty little bass parts, they sound like god, probably one of the best basslines on the album. I don't really care for the lyrics, but when Geddy starts to sing, it really sounds pretty nice. The song, as you can probably guess, is about a car. The car was band from life, but a young mans uncle has save a Red Barchetta for him for 50 odd years, and someone else has a car when the young man starts to drive. An interesting song, definatly one of the stronger, but not the most direct, song on the album. 9.5/10

YYZ- This is an okay song, but definatly not as good as La Villa Strangiato. The guitar solo sounds like taping, but its really actually hammer-ons and pull-offs, which actually save the song from being a 7 or 6. This is a song that really introduces keyboards, but not as much as a different song on the album. The song is about an airport morse code thing, which is repeated a few times as the main riff/opening riff kind of thing. Overall, its not a bad intsremental, but definatly not the best. 7.5/10

Limelight- Another popular song, and its much better than Tom Sawyer, in my opininon. The song is much more upfront, and it sounds much more like old Rush. It has very hard rock parts, but it has those really nice little soft parts, or bridges, that lead into darkness. The guitar riff is a bit simple, in my humble opinion, but it really fits the song. The guitar solo really shows the name of the song is really true. The guitar solo feels lonely, like you on a deserted island, just all by yourself, which is what the lyrics really represent in their own little way. 10/10

The Camera Eye- The very last epic that Rush has made in their days. The song uses great keyboard lines, with some very strong guitar riffs, and its really a great mixture of both. The lyrics are about 2 different popular large cities in the world. One is Manhatten, New York, and one is London. The lyrics definatly don't fascinate me as much as the music. 9.5/10

Witch Hunt- I really can't say this is the best from the album, because its not. Its a really large turn in lyrics, and in music. Its much more dark, and very mysterious, and Rush pulls it off really great. I feel that there should have been more interesting lyrics, though, in my thoughts. One of the best things about this song, though, is that it has no guitar solo. Rush learned that they don't really need a guitar solo in every song to make it a good song. 8.5/10

Vital Signs- Definatly the best from the second side of the album. The song is just incredible, its very hard rock, but heavily influeced by reggea music, and it really shows, and in a good way. The bassline is near perfection, as with the little bass solo near the end of the song. The lyrics, I don't know what they symbolize, but they are sure interesting. 10/10

Its a really good album, very overrated, but good.

Report this review (#195358)
Posted Sunday, December 28, 2008 | Review Permalink
Symphonic Team
4 stars Great, but not very moving

Rush made many good and even excellent albums in the 70's and early 80's, but only Hemispheres reaches masterpiece status in my eyes. Moving Pictures was the band's last great album and is, in my opinion, better than Permanent Waves. This album is very strong and features some really amazing instrumental work outs as well as several absolute Rush classics. The material is melodically very strong and all the songs are memorable. In some ways this album shows a more mature Rush and it is one of the best albums of their long career along with Hemispheres, A Farewell To Kings and 2112.

However, I feel that something is missing. The acoustic side of Rush is absent on Moving Pictures. There are no songs like The Trees, Closer To The Heart, Cinderella Man, Different Strings, Rivendell etc. - they never slow down the tempo. This is a loss that makes Moving Pictures a bit less varied and less appealing than it otherwise might have been. Still a great album though and definitely an excellent addition to your Prog collection.

Highly recommended!

Report this review (#199700)
Posted Sunday, January 18, 2009 | Review Permalink
Crossover Team
5 stars Rush's Moving Pictures continues where Permanent Waves left off, extending the trend of more radio-friendly material. But this isn't like the radio-friendly material one would hear from groups like Genesis, Yes, Camel, and others at this time. No, this was some killer stuff that was catchy and accessible, but at the same time fine-tuned prog rock masterpieces.

Considered by most Rush fans to be the pinnacle of Rush's career; I am inclined to agree. This is the perfect marriage of the Rush of old and the symphonic progressive rock-inspired keyboards that Geddy Lee incorporated into their new sound. Every detail of their compositional and musicianship skills are at their finest on Moving Pictures, right from the initial punch of Tom Sawyer through the last fading notes of Vital Signs.

Not only was Moving Pictures their musical peak, but it became Rush's most popular album, with nearly every song receiving radio time on AOR and classic rock stations of the era. To this day, Tom Sawyer and Limelight still receive heavy rotation on these stations, attracting ever newer generations to their music. Besides their popular songs from this album, Rush also made two of the best songs in their entire catalogue: The Camera Eye and Witch Hunt; the former being the last 10+ minute song the group would compose.

One of the best progressive rock albums of all-time and probably the second greatest album of the 1980s (behind Marillion's Script for a Jester's Tear). A must-have masterpiece!

Report this review (#199924)
Posted Tuesday, January 20, 2009 | Review Permalink
4 stars According to Neill Peart, this is the album that Rush should have started with, and all the other albums before Moving Pictures..should be forgotton...Its true that this is a album with a couple of great tunes, but its ulitmatly also an album that is containing some really catchy songs, that however still are live favorites untill this Tom Sawyer, Red Barchetta, YYZ and Limelight. The in my opinion best song of the album was only played during the tour of this album, and after that never again.....The Camera Eye gives us with that one last swan song.....of the progressive side of Rush........How unfortunate....

Catchy or not, they still stand out as great tunes and there really is no real bad song on this album....One after the oother are of great quality and show Rush's great capability in playing such good music. I think....ultimatly Moving Pictures is really the turningpoint and the album from where Rush tends to over heal to the more song bases orientation. After Moving Pictures songs were rarely clocking over de 7 minutes. And with that the time of 2112, A Farewell To Kings and Hemispheres were lying far behind us.

Having said this, it must be said that Moving Pictures containes alot very recognisable Rush sound songs. Over and over it are indeed Niel's awasome drumming, Geddy's amazing baseplaying and Alex's awsome Guitarwork that are shinging all together here...All in all it must be said that the album is having a quite relative the same sound / style....and in a song as YYZ Alex shows that he can solo as we'll........What I in general really like it the add of quite dominant keyboards here and there. Again in YYZ thats very good to hear...Rush should do that more often........

In the various livereleases over the years it must be said that....alot of the versions have been released also and sound much much better than here (although the remaster sounds good) and much more powerfull......a song as Limelight for example is much much better on Different Stages.......perhaps because its more dynamical....and because it has much more dominant keys....especially towards the end....The same can be said of Tom Sawyer on Different Stages, which is a very powerfull performance (or perhaps its the way Different Stages is recorded cos all sound so powerfull and have that pumping bass of Geddy....) and YYZ on Exit, stages left which is a more extended version of the song. Hopefully one day we will get a live version of The Camera Eye........

Report this review (#200287)
Posted Friday, January 23, 2009 | Review Permalink
5 stars 99% of all prog albums only scratch the surface of how epic this album becomes. The best album form the best band ever, Moving Pictures is utterly amazing. No track is bad, all are excellent. Punchy bass, amazing guitar, the best drummer ever, soaring keyboards, epic vocals - yeah, everything.

1. Tom Sawyer (4:34) - Their best known song. Some of the best drumming you'll ever hear, with an awesome solo from both guitar and keyboard. Used to end and begin many Rush concerts - and rightly so. From the opening synth sound to the closing fade out (which I can forgive here), we have an amazing song.

2. Red Barchetta (6:08) - Fading slowly in, a punch bass intro pulls this song into the spotlight. Nicely going up and down in tempo, there is never a dull moment, with the middle being the peak. Drumming is immaculate. Vocals are spot on.

3. YYZ (4:24) - One of the best instrumentals ever. The best part is where the bass and drums are given their own little solos in the middle. I live to hear Geddy Lee play his parts to this song. Godlike.

4. Limelight (4:21) - Perfect. Perfect opening riff, perfect bass line, perfect drumming, perfect vocals, perfect arrangement, beyond perfect solo, and beyond perfect finale. The best song under 5 minutes.

5. The camera eye (10:57) - An epic - in more ways than one. The structure appears to repeat twice (which is no bad thing, since it's amazing). The finale solo blows this sound away. The ending is also utterly amazing.

6. Witch hunt (Part III of Fear) (4:44) - Best-keyboard-riff-ever. The end sections are beyond this world, vocals to match, and bass quietly underpinning the whole song. Great lyrics, too.

7. Vital signs (4:47) - Probably the weakest song but by no means weak. Still excellent.

Yeah. Buy it, fool.

Report this review (#201833)
Posted Thursday, February 5, 2009 | Review Permalink
Eclectic Prog Team
4 stars Rush stepped into the 1980s with no small measure of grace. Where the band had failed commercially in the 1970s, they achieved superstardom and managed to reach audiences well beyond the horizons of their established fan base. No less than two of the eight tracks here remain present-day radio hits; with few exceptions, I find all of the music here completely satisfying.

"Tom Sawyer" A powerful opener if there ever was one (and even more so live), this song is perhaps Rush's most commercially recognizable tracks. The lyrics are well-written and catchy at the same time, describing a "modern-day warrior," that of a determined individualist. It introduces that iconic synthesizer lead (a melody Lee made up to test his synthesizers) before Lee takes over on bass, paving the way for one of Alex Lifeson's greatest guitar solos. The synthesizer reappears in the end of the song, which features Neil Peart in one of his best moments.

"Red Barchetta" An energetic track about a young man and his uncle's well-preserved Italian sports car, it was inspired by the fictional short story, "A Nice Morning Drive" by Richard Foster. As is the case with most Rush, the music is accessibly progressive- it maintains a respectable and more complex structure but is charismatic and widely appealing. Lifeson again displays his creativity with six strings, both in his role as a rhythm and lead guitarist. Perhaps the only flaw in the entire song is Geddy Lee's mispronunciation of the second word of the title (which, by the way, means "little boat" in Italian). The song remains exciting even as it fades out.

"YYZ" By far Rush's greatest instrumental, it spells out the title (which is the airport identification code for Toronto Pearson International Airport) in Morse code. The main section of the song is impossibly electrifying. It features Lee at his absolute best, pumping out dozens of notes and indulging in spurts of insanely taut solos, trading moments in the spotlight with Peart, who is always exceptional. After that call-and-response workout from the rhythm section, Lifeson plays a fantastic solo, driving the piece back to the main riff.

"Limelight" Another of Rush's radio successes, "Limelight" stands as one of my favorites from the Canadian trio, featuring some well-written lyrics and a thrilling introductory riff. Structurally, it is probably the simplest thing on the record. As usual for this album, Lifeson is stellar in the driver seat as lead guitarist.

"The Camera Eye" By this point, Rush was giving up on the extended pieces of yesteryear, focusing instead on shorter, more radio-accessible tracks. Electronic noises dominate this track, which has a steady buildup. An upbeat song, the main riff maintains long notes relative to the tempo. The vocals don't come in until over three-and-a-half minutes have expired. Far more reliant on synthetic sound than any other track here, this song gives a good idea of the direction Rush would be taking on future albums, particularly during the acoustic-based sections. This track really doesn't deserve the length it consumes, since mostly it rehashes the same musical movements (especially the main riff). It would have been stronger if it had been cut down in length.

"Witch Hunt" Utilizing more electronic sounds before moving into the vocal section with a distant guitar and accents from the bass and drums, this is one song that admittedly takes time to appreciate. Thick pads of synthesizer dominate the last moments of the song.

"Vital Signs" With a spurts of clean guitar and a spunky bass riff, the slight reggae approach makes this song sound incredibly out of place; take away Lee's vocals, and I would be fooled into believing The Police wrote and recorded this. Along with "The Camera Eye," the last song on the album gives the listener an idea of the style Rush would adopt later on in the decade.

Report this review (#202199)
Posted Monday, February 9, 2009 | Review Permalink
4 stars Moving Pictures is a great rock album, but in my opinion it is not nearly one of the greatest progressive albums of all time. No songs on this album are particularly weak, and Rush gives us a consistent album of quality hard rock with many progressive elements, but nothing on this album blows me away or keeps me coming back. With this album the band was very successful in appealing to a wide range of listeners while still maintaining progressive elements and I would definitely call it a masterpiece of rock.

Most people have heard Tom Sawyer and Limelight before on the radio, and these are good songs which appeal to mainstream audiences while still being pretty good prog songs. YYZ is a great instrumental with all three members of the band going all out and one of the highlights of the album. The Camera Eye is the longest song on the album, and while not a bad song, it is not nearly as good as rush's epics from previous albums.

To me, Rush's most progressive albums were A Farewell to Kings and Hemsipheres and this is just a heavy rock album with progressive qualities. This was a very successful and influential album, but not a masterpiece of progressive music. I am not giving a very good endorsement of this album simply because of the high ratings it has received from other reviewers on this site, but in all it is an excellent album that any prog fan will enjoy to some extent and which would make an excellent addition to any prog music collection. I like Moving Pictures, I just don't see how it could be considered one of the top 10 prog albums of all time.

Report this review (#203454)
Posted Wednesday, February 18, 2009 | Review Permalink
Conor Fynes
5 stars 'Moving Pictures' - Rush (10/10)

I can still remember years ago, going to the record store, buying Rush's 'Moving Pictures' and listening to 'Red Barchetta' on the car ride home. Little did I know at the time that the album would open up an entire category of music to me that I would soon adopt as my preferred type of music. This album, regardless of my opinion is one of the greatest albums of all time. I am in no discordance with this at all. Each time I listen to 'Moving Pictures,' I'm reminded of why Rush is one of my favourite bands in the world, and why this album had such a profound personal impact on me.

From the powerful opening chord of 'Tom Sawyer' to the reggae-influenced vibe of the album closer 'Vital Signs,' there are no filler moments that 'Moving Pictures' has to offer. All the way through, there is demonstration of rock at it's most intelligent, while maintaining some shred of mainstream appeal. For those expecting non stop technical 354/265 time signature shredding and 20 minute solos, this album will certainly dissapoint. The use of actual songwriting is in full swing in this album. Even the epic of the album; 'The Camera Eye' is a tight composition and uses it's extended time with the utmost moderation.

There is a fantastic flow on the album. After 'Tom Sawyers' relatively power driven nature, there is the up-tempo, optimistic sounding rocker 'Red Barchetta,' leading into the famous instrumental 'YYZ.'

'YYZ' might as well be the most loosely composed song on the album. That isn't to say at all it's not brilliant, and 'loose' is not meant in a negative context at all. It essentially functions as a jam for the members of the band to basically strut their stuff and show off their talent. The intense flood of unabided talent shown on this song makes it a joy to listen to time and time again.

After 'YYZ,' the listener is introduced to what was meant to be the single on the album, 'Limelight.' This is arguably the lowest point in the album, but it's a beautiful song nontheless. It's a great song to listen to if you need cheering up.

'The Camera Eye' is a fantastic composition, but it took me a little while to warm up to it. The contrast of New York to London in the lyrics is a really interesting topic to write about, and there's a really good atmosphere about the song.

Next comes 'Witch Hunt.' This is one of the most atmospheric songs Rush ever composed. There is a very precise feeling evoked, and a very 'evil' mood to it. Most black metal bands can't even recreate the feeling of eerieness as well as 'Witch Hunt' does. Very creepy, and possibly the darkest Rush song ever produced.

Lastly comes the album closer, 'Vital Signs.' The usage of reggae rhythms melded in with the typical Rush rock comes off as being really cool. It's a fitting end to an amazing album.

This is Rush's greatest album, and an everlasting testament to their great cohesion and talent as a band. A must-have for any fan of progressive music.

Report this review (#205306)
Posted Tuesday, March 3, 2009 | Review Permalink
4 stars His name's Tom Sawyer, he gets high on you...

Rush's finest hour, or so some would have you believe. I for one enjoy it quite a bit, but doubt some of the overall prog of this album.

Tom Sawyer - The first track on the album and quite a solid opening. Progressive, rocking, and lyrically strong. 9/10.

Red Barchetta - Leading into Red Barchetta, we have a bit restrained sound compared to the previous song, but with solid progressive leanings. The lyrics tell a good story, and don't bore me. 8/10

YYZ - The instrumental, and one of the most complex tracks on the record. With it's highyl technical playing, various time signatures, and an eastern twinged solo that shreds face, possibly my favorite song on the album. 10/10.

Limelight - The anthem, and a more simplistic track. It has good lyrics, and decent enough pacng, but seems to lack a bit. Strong solo, though. 8/10.

Camera Eye - The longest track on the album, and I don't see why it needed to be so long. There are some interesting parts, here, but it never seems to do what it could have done in the time it takes up. For this reason, I'd cite it as my least favorite song, here. Still not bad, though. 7/10.

Witch Hunt - Coming back powerfully from Camera Eye, Witch hunt has skillful playing, exquisite lyrics, and an overall enjoyable sound. Nothing outstanding, but certainly a fine song. 8/10.

Vital Signs - The final track is one of the best on the album, with inquisitive lyrics and rocking tone in places. It closes the album nicely. 9/10.

In all, the album is quite good, and I can easily award four stars to it.

Report this review (#211411)
Posted Wednesday, April 15, 2009 | Review Permalink
4 stars Geddy's Giddy Heights

I was put off Rush in my formative years by a school buddy who used to play All the World's a Stage at every available opportunity just because he knew I loathed the singing. Ever since that trauma, I have approached the vocal entreaties of Geddy with some trepidation, listening appreciatively but all the while steeling myself for the moment my 'helium warbling early warning' system would be tripped by the castrato via falsetto exertions of By-Tor & the Snow Dog and the like. It begs the question, what did Geddy sound like before his balls dropped ?

Tom Sawyer - it's hard to reconcile the mean mean stride of this incarnation of Mark Twain's famous character with that depicted in the many novels in which this carefree, playful and immature lad appeared? I think for Dubois and Rush, he may simply be representative of a free spirit immune to external conditioning. Regardless, the swept filter Oberheim synth burrowing its way beneath Peart's punning and swaggering kit pattern makes for a very impressive opening and even Mr Lee appeases me with a vocal from his lower register. Way to go boys!. Lifeson punctuates the narrative with fat ringing chords but sparingly, so as not to intrude on the verse melody and thereafter we get to hear some of those lovely cascading and chorused trademark arpeggios of his that imply rather than state the harmony directly. The synth dominated central instrumental section reins in the urgency temporarily and must be one of the band's finest moments on record. It appears to be in 7/4 meter but Rush had by now garnered sufficient nous so that you cannot even see the join. For reasons probably of lazy association I always seem to catch a whiff of Genesis in my nostrils here. (Dunno)

Red Barchetta - a.k.a the world post hydrocarbons, where a gasoline powered vintage sports car would have to sit rusting in the garage. Rush swapped the counter-culture for the shop counter-culture as the 80's progressed and quietly pursued a conservative right wing methodology in the composition, recording and presentation of their music (which they would have likened in all probability to that of the Rush 'brand') In short, European proggers sank by remaining 'reactive' while this trio of ambidextrous left wing libertarians survived the shifting marketplace by being 'adaptive'. This track negotiates a wide variety of diversions, tangents and detours, but is expertly handled by your three co-drivers who ensure a safe but disorienting journey. Even stripped of the virtuosity, a fine core melodic song would endure.

YYZ - Probably my favourite Rush track ever and it can't be just a happy accident that this utilises a thrilling morse-code tritone in the main theme ? (and was a Grammy nominated instrumental which lost out to erm...the Police. Is there no justice?). Listen to the many sly and subtle embellishments and accents Peart provides here and despite a bar line balancing audit nightmare, he never lets the pulse or his pocket calculator drop once. A breathtaking performance that also exploits a delicious metallic shimmering 'thingy' struck at regular intervals to telling effect. It's worth noting that in a heavy rock trio with the main chordal instrument being a distorted guitar, Rush are restricted in their choice of harmonic flavours such a timbre can carry. We might call this the 'compromise of crunch' which necessitates Lifeson employing open voicings of mainly 4ths, 5ths and occasionally 9ths. Vertical constructs of 3rds, 7ths and 13ths would result in the chords simply disintegrating into a frazzled mush. During his horizontal playing however, Lifeson is under no such constraints and is a guitarist who utilises an adventurous choice of scales and tone colours. He also cleverly exploits the tonal ambiguity afforded him by the accompaniment being shorn of a dominating harmonic instrument. Sort of like Red era Crimson but with less roomy pants worn by all concerned.

Limelight - Robert Smith of the Cure once remarked that he thought his creativity would be given the kiss of death if ever he started writing songs about 'writing songs' Although there is a vestige of truth in this, the reverse side of the coin's adage is equally true i.e only write about what you know. For a band with such a conspicuously low profile as Rush, Peart's discomfort with the pitfalls of celebrity are clearly sincere and couched in disarming honesty:

- Living in a fisheye lens, caught in the camera's eye, I have no heart to lie, I can't pretend a stranger is a long-waited friend -

On first listen, this seems a much more straightforward 'rawker' than its predecessors, but on closer inspection it has a very smooth and deceptive 7 beat phrase length, which in other less capable hands could sound disjointed and jerky ('scuse the pun Tool fans) Rush certainly love their synth pedal point and I think this is another clever trick forced on them to overcome the aforementioned 'Compromise of Crunch' i.e. by this means they can imply harmonic territory denied them by the distorted guitar alone.

Witch Hunt - the gradually swelling intro to this sounds almost akin to eastern European classical music a la Mussorgsky or Janacek. Is it sampled or was it composed and performed by the band? It certainly conjures up images of rabid and bloodthirsty villagers with torches marching upon some outcast who has incurred their wrath. As a broad metaphor for the victimisation of minorities, it is very apt and subtly implies that manipulation of our basest instincts has been exploited by the Church, state, media and politicians for their own shameful ends since primordial soup was a menu choice. There is an arresting and unnerving lurch in tonality during the verses here which always causes my fur to bristle agreeably. A much gloomier song than we are used to from the three Canadians, which in places almost approaches the crucible of Black Sabbath.

Camera's Eye - Reportedly inspired by author John Dos Passos, it centres around the juxtaposition of two cities (New York and London) and features a Musique concrète intro incorporating urban sounds of car horns, sirens and distant shouting etc. Geddy dispenses with his bass chores for much of the first half and instead dials up a haunting array of synth textures on a plaintive and resilient theme. Subsequent to the verse sections we are assailed by a hybrid 6/8 3/4 meter redolent and possibly punningly alluding to Bernstein's America. Certainly a shoo-in for the Rush gold medal collection but at 11 minutes with an unwavering cyclic design, they could have dispensed with the victory lap. PS Alex laddie, you might want to take your foot off that bloody chorus pedal once in a while. As huge as this makes the guitar sound, it does get a tad 'samey' if used without relief for 40 minutes.

Vital Signs - If there is one thing guaranteed to set a Lemming's teeth on edge it's white guys with dreadlocks, no I really mean 'drainpipe' reggae (i.e. no flair). This being 1981 it was almost compulsory (on the orders of the Police) to attempt a skanking beat via some wretched staccato chorused guitar and inappropriate timbale accents. However stripped of these horribly dated garments, this is still a strong song that I am sure Rush wish they could re-record in a rather more flattering guise. They might also want to clarify if "evelate" (sic) is a freshly minted word from Mr Lee? In its present form the creature that traipses down the catwalk is wearing a duffel coat under a balaclava but we can still tell she is a real 'looker' with a 'rawkin bod'

At this point Mrs L has demanded I apologise for what she sees in the last sentence as a 'crass, vulgar and sexist attack on feminine sensibilities'.

"There... happy now?

"Mm....and do you think you might be able to get through a whole review without using the word bowel for once?"

No, not now thanks.

The music press generally gave prog in any of its manifestations a rough ride, and particularly so in Rush's case, where they often inferred a covert and sinister right wing ideology in much of their output. Why this should be so is certainly not revealed by even a casual glance at their lyrics, which apart from a brief flirtation with the libertarian ideas of Ayn Rand (restricted to Anthem) and the ambiguous 'starman' graphic that adorned their sleeves, there is really no case to answer. I suspect that this antipathy was that ingrained 'lefty' opposition to any band embracing the entrepreneurial opportunities afforded by their immersion in what is any capitalist's wet dream (the music industry)

This album was certainly a pivotal point for Rush's career representing their highest level of popularity and also a departure place for many of their older fans who grew disenchanted with the band's subsequent forays into more mainstream pop areas.

"Why are the pictures moving Exit?

"Relax hun, it's just Atlas shrugging."

Report this review (#211737)
Posted Sunday, April 19, 2009 | Review Permalink
5 stars I remember somewhere in late 90's I heard Xanadu in Exit Stage Left version. I couldn't believe it was Rush cos I knew only Roll The Bones before and back then it wasn't heavy enough for me (I was heavy metal fan). But in late 90's when I heard Xanadu I was bought. Week or two weeks later on the same radio guy played Limelight of Moving Pictures saying it's the best Rush album. I recorded that song and listened to over and over again. It was something totally new for me. In one hand raw ascetic sound in the other so much vitality and passion. So I could play it after Saxon or Iron Maiden and it still stood the pace. So I went to store to buy copy of Moving Pictures. I was pretty excited but when I listened to the whole record I was a bit disappointed. I mean, Limelight was the only song like that and the rest of the material was dark and syntetic. Maybe with exeption of Red Barchetta which was happier. Anyway I wasn't sure if it's the best Rush album and I said to myself, well if it's the best Rush album they are not so good as I thought. Then I heard Power Windows and I was simply amazed. But that's the other story. Moving Pictures was growing on me. At first I enjoyed Limelight and Red Barchetta. Later I started to enjoy Tom Sawyer which is very energetic prog rock tune and Vital Signs which is very original and showing direction for the next Rush album Signals. Now I like the whole album and I think Rush did something unique as for progressive rock of early 80's. Maybe in 70's they were not the best prog band on earth but in early 80's they were simply the best. Because they tried something new still doing it in old way. So Alex still cracks his amazing solos, Neil still plays lot of sounds on his drums and Geddy still creates the same mood with his voice. That's why we don't have to say "oh it's a typical record of early 80's" cos it's timeless. I still enjoy Power Windows but you can easily place that music in time. Moving Pictures is timeless and true masterpiece of rock.
Report this review (#211956)
Posted Tuesday, April 21, 2009 | Review Permalink
3 stars An essential album with boring music inside

I have always heard people saying good things about Moving Pictures: that it is Rush's magnum opus, that it was their best-selling album, that it has their best songs, and so on and so on. After knowing most os Rush's discography I must say that i simply can't agree with that and, unlike the common opinion about this album, I actually think that Moving Pictures is one of Rush's worst albums. It could only be saved from an even worst rating essentially because of Tom Sawyer and YYZ, though The Camera Eye and Red Barchetta are not completely worthless also.

Indeed, it is hard fot me to understand why this album is so loved among Rush fans and admirers (at least in ProgArchives), when far superior albums, like Fly by Night, Caress of Steel, 2112 and even their debut are so underrated. One possible reason for that is that, in Moving Pictures, Rush starts to make their music more accessible to broader audiences, as we can see in songs like Limelight, Witch Hunt, The Camera Eye and Vital Signs, though still retaining some progressive rock characteristics, as we can see in YYZ, Red Bachetta and Tom Sawyer.

However, I do not have any problem with simpler, more accessible or mainstream music. The problem here is that some songs have that irritating, dated and limited signature sound of the dull 80's pop, which sound dangerously close to Asia or worse, being the biddest example of that the song Vital Signs.

Despite disliking a considerable part of the album, it is impossible not to notice its influence in progressive rock, progressive metal, popular culture and music in general. Thus, Moving Pictures is an essential album, due to its importance, with boring music inside.

The highlights go to: Tom Sawyer and YYZ. Saddest Moments: Limelight, Witch Hunt and Vital Signs.

Grade and Final Thoughts

Despite having a couple of pretty good songs, the whole album is somehow a mixed bag, due to some dull songs. Because of that, 3 stars.

Report this review (#212034)
Posted Tuesday, April 21, 2009 | Review Permalink
The Sleepwalker
4 stars Moving Pictures is one of Rush's best known albums. The album combines the heavy rockof Rush with synthesizers, just like they did on Permanent Waves, their previous album. The combination of distorted guitar and synth is very balanced and I really love it.

The album starts out with "Tom Sawyer", one of Rush's most popular songs. The song has some powerful riffs, great synths and of course amazing drumming of Neil Peart. The song is more accesible than Rush's earlier work, just like most of the songs of Moving Pictures. "Tom Sawyer" is a very good song, though not really a prog song.

Next is "Red Barchetta", a song about a red sports car. The songs starts out with a nice harmonics intro and turns into a song that's just as Tom Sawyer, pretty accesible. "Red Barchetta" is faster and more exciting than Tom Sawyer, it is however, even less a prog track than Tom Sawyer. The song is a fairly simple one, but a very enjoyable one.

The third track is "YYZ", a fantastic instrumental, really, it's amazing. The song starts out with a heavy guitar riff with mysterious sounding synthesizer on the background. After the intro the song goes crazy, a very fast and powerful riff comes in, and all instruments are amazing. Geddy Lee's bass jumps out the most of all, really fast and terribly complicated bass playing, amazing! The song has a very nice guitar solo and some great drum and bass fills, one of the best songs Rush has ever made.

"Limelight" is next, a song about being famous and being recognized on the streets, something Neil Peart really doesn't enjoy. The song is pretty accesible and is just as Red Barchetta a pretty fast and pretty simple song (for prog rock), it is not bad though. One of the great things about this song is the great guitar solo, a solo that's not about technique, but a solo that show's that Alex is really able to do a very emotional guitar solo like David Gilmour. "Limelight" is not the best song of the album, but it's pretty good.

The longest and most proggy song is "The Camera Eye". The song starts out with a lengthy intro, with some guitar licks and a synth riff. The intro is one of those great synth moments, the synth is very balanced with the other instruments, something I really like. After the intro a powerful riff will be heard and soon after that the singing begins. The song is pretty complicated and has a couple of changes is rythms and tempo, some pretty rocking and some very mellow. Near the end of the song Alex plays a lengthy and very good guitar solo and after a couple more seconds of singing the song ends. This song is very good, one of the most memorable moments of the album.

Next is "Witch Hunt", a song about judging people. The song starts out with a soft and pretty creepy sounding intro, but after a while it turns into a rocking song, still in a creepy mood though. The song goes on in the same way till the end, actually the song knows only little diversity, which makes it one of my least favorite of the album.

"Vital Signs" is the last song on the album, and probably the least enjoyable song. The song seems to be pretty reggae influenced, though still having the synths and still being a true Rush song. Apart from the chords that are played, the song has a pretty uninteresting riff. This song is really not the best ending, I can't really enjoy the song.

Moving Pictures has some fantastic songs like "YYZ" and "The Camera Eye", but most songs are not fatastic, though they are good, the album even has some flaws, like "Vital Signs". I don't think the album is a masterpiece, just because several songs prevent it from being that, I do like the album very much though, so I give Moving Pictures a four star rating.

Report this review (#214849)
Posted Monday, May 11, 2009 | Review Permalink
4 stars Moving picture from 1981 - the famous Rush album that made them cross from heavy prog band with long and chalenging compositions to a giant prog rock band with catchy tunes and mindbowing arrangements, and all because of this album. They already were a known band in the '70's with some classics album and very good musicianship, but with the first album of entering in the '80 Permanent waves something was happening in their career. With Moving pictures is same story somthing tells them that they gonna be giants and nobody stands in their way with this album. To tell you the truth I'm a moderate Rush fan, I like almost all the albums they release over the years, some of them appeal more than others, in this case Moving pictures is one of the album that I'de like to be classified as excellent progressive rock work but not a masterpiece. And another thing I will mention, no matter how great the '70's Rush albums are I can't see any masterpice there, really, the '80's Rush is much better and more intristing, with all that albums like Hemispheres or 2112 are classic Rush albums. Now, this album is a good example of an overrated album in my opinion, the music is great, the musicianship is great, but overall I can't see why people treat this album as one of the best ever done by a prog rock band. Some pieces are real killer like Tom Sawyer, red Barchetta or Yzz, but the rest is just ok, even Witch hunt (Part III of Fear) is totaly unintristing to my ears. An excellent addition to any prog rock music collection is for sure, but a masterpiece not, and is not my fav Rush album. 4 stars for this overrated and in same time great album by this famous band.

Report this review (#218540)
Posted Wednesday, May 27, 2009 | Review Permalink
2 stars One of Prog Archives' highest rated "masterpieces" of all time is actually a collection of unremarkable stadium rock songs with pop flavor. The only reasons I can think why one would like this album so much are the technical skills of the band and the catchiness of the music. Now then, I'm not a big fan of catchy songs and I tend to find the experimental side of music much more rewarding, which is probably why I wasn't very impressed by the album. Although the tracks are all neat little packages, and some of them even quite cute, I don't think there's a lot of creativity or even ambition behind them.

I love the way Rush constantly creates these really challenging parts for the rhythm section to spice the songs up. They actually do it brilliantly, and manage to give each of the pieces a much needed extra punch without making them too rigid or unnatural. I could also give them a better rating for the genuinely lovely melodies presented throughout side A (check out Red Barchetta or the fiery YYZ) and The Camera Eye, but it just wouldn't feel right with the two terrible closing numbers.

Moving Pictures is a perfectly mediocre album. Right in the middle of the road, 50/50, nothing is obnoxious nor spectacular. This means it's a 2.5 stars affair for me! Normally I would squeeze out a third star, which it almost deserves, but in PA where the album is currently in top10... two it is.

Report this review (#220133)
Posted Sunday, June 7, 2009 | Review Permalink
The Quiet One
2 stars Moving Towards a Softer Band?

Sorry if this review will provoke some shock for fellow Prog fans, but I still don't get how this is Rush's most acclaimed effort on the Prog realms. A Farewell to Kings was for me Rush's peak on the creative side of music as well as instrumentally, showing very well-constructed compositions and a fantastic bunch of musicians playing Heavy Prog in the truest sense, while Moving Pictures just seems Rush moving towards a softer sound, somewhat AOR-ish, and by no means progressive.

Don't get me wrong, Moving Pictures is by no means a bad album, it's production is top-notch and the songs, while not Prog, are clever and addictive semi-hard rock tunes with some synths here and there adding that 80's vibe we all know about, on the contrary of how they have been doing some records before, which they used the synths for a proggier sound. There is one notable exception, this is the well-known instrumental YYZ, with Alex's now well-defined guitar tone shining everywhere in a quite complex composition I must admit, also having Neil and Geddy doing a tremendous job. Definitely an instrumental that inspired future Prog Metal classics. But really that's the only tune I can found that Rush is still on it's peak like they were in A Farewell to Kings. OK, The Camera Eye does go through ''Prog borders'' but the verses are un-deniably cheesy and AOR-like, that you, well at least I, can't possibly consider it a Prog song, neither really a good rock song even if it does feature good musicianship.

On the other hand Tom Sawyer, Red Barchetta, Witch Hunt and Limelight are also pretty well-known tunes from Rush, these are very simple on composition and in musicianship, but simple is not really bad, but I do find bad when they mix hard rock with soft and cheesy 80's stuff. This is definitely not the case of Tom Sawyer nor Witch Hunt, these two are definitely great rockers with an effective use of synths, something Moving Pictures lacks overall. But the other two, even if being heavy every now and then just like The Camera Eye, they delve through bland and soft 80's stuff which is unbearable for me.

As a conclusion, not truly a hard rock album neither a prog one, yet it's catchy melodies and grandiose production can make it a pretty fine 80's rock album, but I'm not that fond of 80's rock, so for me it's pretty much the same with the already stated exceptions of Tom Sawyer and YYZ. I really prefer the more raw and rockin' Rush of the mid-70's up to A Farewell to Kings with Geddy's voice being by far more powerful, Neil's drumming more dynamic and Alex's guitar definitely rockin' harder.

Really can't say anything else, 2 stars, if you are looking where to start with this highly acclaimed rock band go for 2112, that'll blow up your ears unlike this one.

Report this review (#222059)
Posted Sunday, June 21, 2009 | Review Permalink
4 stars All the worlds indeed a stage, and we are merely players, performers and portrayers.

Moving Pictures was the album that saw Rush change their 70s style to a more 80s style. This album is a real rollercoaster, to say the least. The prog elements are there, but the pop mainstream elements are also there. So what can i say about the album?

The album is great and mediocre depending on what you search in a prog album. If you search for non-stop prog passages with hardcore modulations, then this album probably isn't for you. But why is this album good?

Few of my friends have sometimes asked me what makes Rush prog, and i often point out Neal Pearts drumming, this in particular is a highlight of Moving Pictures, which should be seen as an unreached milestone, just listen to the track YYZ.

To me this album represents a very good work by Rush, tracks like Limelight and Tom Sawyer are really catchy, and the Camera Eye and Witch Hunt are really good too. The things is that this album lacks the masterstroke feel of the 70s, which of course the band can do nothing about, but nor can i. That's why i'm giving it 4 stars, extremly good album, but not in the same league with the great masterpieces.

Report this review (#229215)
Posted Friday, July 31, 2009 | Review Permalink
2 stars I have owned this lp since I started looking for progressive rock. At first I didn't like at and now, four years later, I still don't. The sound of the guitars is great, the drums are nice and the additional senthizisers seem to survived the test of time, but... The vocals are still totally disgusting, as if it is powermetal. The composition skill are quite low here. While Tom Sawyer has it's moment (though I greatly dislike the vocals on the 'what you say... ' part) other songs don't seem to have any progressive elements, exept for the progressive sound of the recording. Red Barchetta is one of these horrible metalisized popsongs I mention here.

Now I do understand that a lot of people are going to be insulted if I give this just two stars, but they will apriciate me being honest (I surely hope so). I can't state that there is just one thing I do find interesting about this record. Maybe the riff of Limelight could be called nice.

Two stars.

Report this review (#229248)
Posted Friday, July 31, 2009 | Review Permalink
4 stars Moving Pictures was the first Rush album I heard, and it is still one of my favourites. It continued the transition which started with Permanent Waves. That transition from the prog rock to the more synth based era was finished with Signals, but that's a different story. Movin Pictures acts as a kind of a watershed between the two distinctive eras of Rush, containing elements from the past, as well as signs of what tomorrow would bring.

Moving Pictures is usually being held in high esteem, and lauded as their masterpiece. While I think that it is a great album, I'm in disagreement over its masterpiece status. Admittedly, it does contain some of the very best songs they have ever made, both in the pop and prog sense. Tom Sawyer, Red Barchetta, YYZ, Limelight, they are all classics. But then comes the second side with The Camera Eye, Witch Hunt and Vital Signs. While those three songs are good, maybe even great, they lack something which I can't put my finger on. For example The Camera Eye, which tries to be an epic too much, but drags on a bit.

So for me, Moving Pictures is a great album, but not a masterpiece. 4 stars.

Report this review (#231326)
Posted Thursday, August 13, 2009 | Review Permalink
The Crow
4 stars I allways have the same problem every time I listen this album... The first five tracks are just awesome, undoubtly among the best Rush's compositions... But the last two are obviously under the quality of the other songs!

Following the more commercial and radio-friendly direction of "Permanent Waves", Rush made their most widely known album, and one of their most appreciated ones. They achieved a great balance between progressive and commercial sounds, improving the yet excellent results of their previous album, and forgetting a little the more intrincated ways of albums like "Hemispheres", and the long suites of "2112" and "Caress of Steel".

So "Moving Pictures" is a funny, catchy, interesting and wonderful trip...

Till we get into Witch Hunt. It's not a bad song, and its creepy mood gives even more variety to a yet variated album (I think that every song is one of the pictures of the title...), but It's not so good like the incredible Red Barchetta and the epic The Camera Eye. It's not a real problem... But then, Vital Sings comes.

It's a song that I've heard many many times, and every time I'm more convinced that it was a mistake. This reggea oriented flick really don't adds any interest to the album. It could have been a cool B-Side song, or something like that... But after the outstanding quality of the other tracks, adding this mediocre tune at the end is something like a joke. Maybe it's just my personal taste, but I think that Vital Signs one of the little problems that "Moving Pictures" has.

Best songs: the five first tracks are all awesome... Rush's classics!

Conclusion: although Witch Hunt, and specially the average Vital Signs, they leave a bitter taste at the end, "Moving Pictures" is a wonderful album... It's one of the peaks of the Rush's long career, and it shows the band polishing the "Permanent Waves" formula to build a really catchy and friendly album, althouhg it's still very progressive, and instrumentally incredible. So if you don't want to miss one of the 80's progressive peaks, give "Moving Pictures" a listening... And if you are new to this band, this album is maybe the best point of entry!

My rating: ****1/2

Report this review (#235834)
Posted Sunday, August 30, 2009 | Review Permalink
3 stars Progarchives seems to be home to a large amount of Rush fans, and I can see why- Rush utilizes a unique blend of hard rock and progressive rock that is sure to appeal to many fans of said genres. However, I am not the biggest fan of Rush, and this album, Rush's highest-rated, is not exactly a personal favorite.

It starts with Rush's best known song, Tom Sawyer, which is charmingly rebellious and enjoyable listen. Then comes Red Barchetta, an energetic song that continues in a similar vein to the previous song- also a fun listen, though six minutes may be ever so slightly too long. After that is YYZ, an awesome display of Rush's formidable talents- it is somewhat unique in that it (in my mind) conjures an eighties feel, but not a cheesy, outdated one. Then comes another one of Rush's better-known songs, Limelight- another song along the lines of Tom Sawyer and Red Barchetta, though it is somewhat slower and more focused on the lyrics, which deal with fame and its pressures. Then is The Camera Eye, a relatively long (eleven minute) song, not too much different from what we've heard before, but that's not a bad thing- it contains the the great instrumentation (especially the infectious guitar riffs, which seem to be a Rush specialty), nice vocals, and feel of freedom that make Rush fun to listen to. Then is Witch Hunt, an ominous, creepy song, concerning how fear can make people ignorant and mindless killers- this song can get somewhat close to traditional metal. The album closes with Vital Signs, another energetic song, though it's somewhat less dense than the previous ones. The reason I give this album 3 stars- rounded down from approximately 3.5- is that the first half of the album seems to lack variety, making it somewhat tiring to listen to, the Camera Eye does not appeal to me much, and though the last two tracks are pretty great, they never made much of an impact on me- so, the two stars deducted are because of the fact that the music does not connect all to well with this humble reviewer. In conclusion, this is a solid album, recommended to fans of the Heavy Prog subgenre.

Report this review (#247739)
Posted Sunday, November 1, 2009 | Review Permalink
Prog Metal Team
5 stars Moving Pictures is a fan favourite and at the same time Rush's most critically acclaimed album. I have a personal preference for the following album Signals but I can't disagree that Moving Pictures is the best possible entry point into the wonderful world of Rush.

Since the preceding Permanent Waves Rush had gone through numerous changes. First of all Geddy Lee had adopted a more melodic way of singing which would increase Rush's potential to reach wider audiences. Secondly Geddy must have realized that, even though he was already simultaneously singing and banging away on his bass during concerts, he hadn't been using the full potential of his feet yet! So in came more synths and multiple synth pedals that gradually led to a more prominent presence of keyboards in Rush's sound.

By consequence Alex Lifeson's role got less important, or should we say less eye-catching? His guitar playing became less flashy and the sound dryer, almost pushed to the background, and his attention shifted from riffs to more textured guitar work. This versatile nature of his playing, together with his openness to adapt new styles, and his willingness to take up a more modest role as a group member are the main reasons why he is my favourite musician. Next to his amazing solos of course.

Neill Peart's drumming is better then it ever was and his lyrics changed from science fiction to more contemporary, personal and psychological matters.

Most of the songs, especially the first four, are widely known. I can only stress that the other three are even better in my ears. The Camera Eye is the last epic track Rush would commit to tape and I think it is only surpassed by Xanadu in Rush's catalogue.

Actually, the two last songs is where magic really happens for me, and both list among my Rush favourites. Which Hunt gets to me for its dark atmosphere and emotionality. Its finale is one of the best moments of the album next to YYZ. Vital Signs announces the next album, even in its title. This song is the high point of Rush's flirt with new wave and reggae that had started on Permanent Waves. With this track they take a huge leap into the next stage of their career.

The album offers a huge variety of music, showcasing every reason why Rush is so outstanding: great song writing, excellent musicianship, originality, and most of all, their unstoppable urge to evolve and grow. Yes, while most fans hoped Rush would continue churning out carbon copies of this album, they choose not to look back but forward and went on doing things in the 80's that would alienate many fans. But not this one!

Report this review (#254253)
Posted Friday, December 4, 2009 | Review Permalink
4 stars A TRUE MUST HAVE FOR ANY RUSH FAN, AS WELL AS ANY PROG FAN.......But, and thats a big BUT, it is at the end of their first wave of music, which indefintely was the best time for the band's music. after 1981, just like most other high caliber prog bands (yes, genesis), a new feel entered into their music, and that feel is "corny". These guys always rocked, but nothing beats their raw, heavy prog of the 1970's, they are heavy prog right? well they were in this period, and made some of the most memorable music in the history of rock and roll, progressive rock, and hard core trio's. Greatest trio ever lived???? this one I will debate til the day I die between them and e.l.p......I will never be able to pick, even though rush rips better than most bands to this very day in their older age. Unfortunately I was never able to see them in those days, but did manage to catch recent shows, 3 of them in the early 2000's....and they were fantastic. I have to admit, when they delved into music of the 80's is when I went on my beer run to the stands, but highlights are always songs off this album. YYZ I tried learning on drums when I was 10 years old. I have had a passion for this tune my whole life. Tom sawyer is a classic and surpasses any criticism of being played too much on the radio because good music will never get old and this song is a classic heavy prog song that encompasses all aspects of good well-rounded musicianship. Limelight? red barchetta? also classics, and also part of one of my favorite live albums of all time 'exit stage left' For anyone who loves guitar heavy music, with bass leading alot of the time, and a flawless drummer who's regarded as one of the best in history, this band is for you and you can start out with this album. But venture earlier as 'hemispheres' is a wonderful example of a lengthy prog-epic....'fairwell to kings' is a must well as 'fly by night'

p.s. want an opinion of one of the greatest heavier prog songs ever done? cygnus well as second part to it, hemispheres. neither are on this particular album I know, but to me are considered high points in a very, very stable 70's decade into early eighties with 'moving pictures' and 'exit stage left' all albums are must-listens....and if you like one of them, you'll like any others between 1971-1981

Report this review (#259756)
Posted Thursday, January 7, 2010 | Review Permalink
5 stars Wow.....what can I say about this wonderful collection that hasn't already been said? All I know is, that when this then 15 year old boy heard 'Tom Sawyer' for the first time, his whole musical landscape changed forever! After buying and then listening (repeatedly) to the rest of the record, it was all over.....a prog-head was born!!!!!! (altho, I didn't know what to categorize it as, except kick-ass) it did open my mind to other bands that I hadn't yet discovered such as Yes, Genesis, E.L.P. , and others. Then I started working backwards from here on the Rush catalog.....and since forward...(and seeing them in concert now 6 times and counting)....still, I can put this record on and be transported back to when I first heard it, every track holds a special memory and of course this record gets a 5-star rating!!! The greatest from the greatest!!!
Report this review (#261043)
Posted Saturday, January 16, 2010 | Review Permalink
5 stars The perfect album to a non prog fan... just ideal!

One of the most beloved progressive albums of all time. To help new fans to start discovering what prog is all about, this the perfect album I can suggest. Moving Pictures is a cohesive group of songs in which these talented musicians brings out all their technical skills, interesting melodies, long arrangements, appealing rhythms and creative songwriting. Everything is well balanced to be complex and simple at the same time. Everyone can "get it" right from the start.

It's the only album I have hear entirely from Rush so I can't compare to other albums but this is one of the best balanced albums I have heard in all my time as a prog fan. The 80's vibe is there, the 70's moody parts are there, the instrumental twist and turns are all there, the complex arrangement and the groove are all together and the appealing taste to some kind of mainstream access is there as well.

Tom Swayer is a great tune to start, entertaining and short. YYZ is a instrumental track very dynamic an accessible as well, with great arrangements, not acrobatic but a composition with a lot of taste. Great. Limelight has a strange vibe in the overall and sounds a little 80's to me, moody and the melody is quite beautiful. I think the sound of the keyboards is what makes a plus, bringing the song to something a lot more fresh. The same to The Camera Eye, in which the keyboards set the mood to the becoming track that maintains an interesting work through it's 11 minutes of great vibe.

There are not highlights in the album, because it's quite complete. Every song seems to be in the right position and all the musicians works are for the songs, you know, like every instrument develops just the right things without been self indulgent or trying overshadow the rest of the band. Maybe the only thing that is not brilliant is the singers voice, he is great, but sometimes when he gets too high I don't enjoy it that much, but that's a personal claiming and it's not a fault for the album? is just that I could preferred a different voice but it doesn't hurt the songs in anyway. The album is short, really, but remember it was the time of the Vynil and maybe after hearing this album you will wish more of this band. I know I am and I'm still searching for more music from them.

Heavy prog it is and is the best you can get from start. Go, take a look? with 454 reviews already and you still don't give them the shot...? come on!!! 5 stars!

Report this review (#263524)
Posted Saturday, January 30, 2010 | Review Permalink
5 stars A hard rock classic in very sense of the word, this 5-star classic still features some of the prog leanings that Rush featured on a lot of their early records. In fact, many call this the last prog effort the band ever did, but that is sort of limited thinking, as progressive to Rush has always been more about the vibe and the approach, rather than the length of the songs.

Side 1 of this record has four songs that every Rush diehard fan has probably heard a million times, but time has not been unkind to any of those songs at all; they all still sound terrific, and are all genuine Rush classics, if not hard rock classics, too.

Side 2 is full of major win, too. "The Camera Eye" is a very nice extended piece, "Witch Hunt" is a dark, ominous tune, the first of three in the original "Fear" trilogy (a fourth was done earlier last decade), and "Vital Signs" is the first sign of Rush going full-fledged synthy/electronic, while still managing to rock.

It is hard to believe that this record is almost 30 years old now.

Report this review (#267374)
Posted Sunday, February 21, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars Moving Pictures was my second Rush album. It's really tough for me to grade this one, since so many Rush releases are great, but I would say this one is certainly among the very best.

''Tom Sawyer'' Is a very cool tune full of complex Lifeson guitar, the signature killer percussion from Neil Peart, and of course the keyboards, bass guitar and singing of multi-talented frontman Geddy Lee. This is not a very long track (only one song on Moving Pictures really is), and it is one of the best songs the record has to offer.

''Red Barchetta'' starts off with some great, dreamy guitar parts courtesy of Lifeson, and the song itself has an awesome rocker of a beat all the way through. A guitar solo at 3:21 starts out very reminiscent of Steve Howe, but soon leads into signature Lifeson. That section is followed by the mighty recurring main riff. As standalone song as well as a smaller piece of the big picture, ''Red Barchetta'' is amazing.

''YYZ''. This is an amazing instrumental full of crazy beats and highly technical playing that was surely an influence on pioneering Prog Metal bands such as Dream Theater and Queensrych.The odd, pounding guitar riffing during the track's opening is obviously a lot of what Tech Metal band Meshuggah are all about. Martin Hagstrom has cited Alex Lifeson as an influence before, and it is at moments like these in Ruch music when I can clearly hear the connection. An all-around great track.

''Limelight''. Whenever a non-prog fan talks about Rush music, this song almost always comes up first. It is certainly among the most well-known Rush tunes, and for very good reason. It's beautiful, complex, catchy and heartfelt. I can't see anybody not enjoying this song unless they simply don't have a grasp on what good music actually is. No, this isn't their most progressive or technical song, but it IS a very enjoyable listen, and one of my personal all-time favorite Lifeson solos is featured, here. This song just rocks, without being so pretentious that it alienates certain people. In short, if a person likes music at all, they will enjoy this song, prog rock fan or not.

''The Camera Eye'' is the one epic track the Moving Pictures album features, and boy, does it deliver! Well . . . sort of. Alright, while I think for the most part, the song is great, it just doesn't feel a tight and together as the other pieces found on the album. That's just my opinion, of course, but it does keep this album from getting a full five from me. There are moments of the vocal melody that sound recycled from ''Limelight'', and the instrumentation itself repeats itself a little too frequently here and there, although Neil Peart's drumming always keeps the song fresh despite that. And there ARE moments within this track that are truly magical, but I just think they could have tightened things up a bit in places. Still a slod track, but my personal least favorite.

''Witch Hunt'' may divide some listeners' opinions, as well. Mainly because a lot more purely electronic effects are used for a good portion of this song's opening, which causes it to take a little longer to really kick in. And even when the song proper DOES get going, it's a much chuggier, slow-moving heavy rocker than the others, and possibly the most simple-sounding song. I personally like this kind of stuff, but I can see why it may seem a little too simple and/or repetitive for some. Luckily it isn't all that long (like all the tracks except for the last one reviewed), so you won't be missing much music if you decide to skip over it.

''Vital Signs''. I love the opening. More electronic stuff, but the instruments and vocals come in very quickly (about thirty seconds in, actually), and the main chorus is very accessible. It's about the same caliber as the last one, in my view. Not the best on the album, but still better than ''The Camera Eye''. A nice gradual fadeout brings this song (and record) to its end. It serves as a good album closer, anyway, but I wholeheartedly feel like the last exceptional track on Moving Pictures is ''Limelight'', and the final three tracks fall a bit short after that.

However, as a complete album, this absolutely cannot be bypassed. I would say this is one of the top Rush records that shouldn't be missing from your collection. Really good. Also, many people do seem to consider this one as the band's pinnacle, so you may just find that you disagree with me on the few criticisms I do have, and unconditionally love the whole thing. But one thing is for certain: it's an album worth owning.

Very happy listening.

Report this review (#269289)
Posted Tuesday, March 2, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars Rush is very notable in both the world of Progressive Rock and Hard Rock, as they merged both of these genres together quite well. They made music that you could bang your head and air-guitar to, but was still very complex and intelligent. Probably the greatest display of this merging was their 1981 album Moving Pictures (as well as Permanent Waves, which I view as its sister album.) This album Rush's biggest seller, and it's not hard to see why.

The album starts off with a hit with "Tom Sawyer." Anyone who has ever listened to Classic Rock radio is probably familiar with this popular song. The lyrics describe the titular anarchic boy, or anyone who resembles him in the modern day world. This is a very hard- rockin' song and it's a lot of fun, but like most of Rush's hits, it still has some complexity. Starting off an album with the hit isn't unusual, but unlike most other times this is done, there is still more the album has to offer after it.

"Red Barchetta" is a very positive and upbeat song. If you need a good pick-me-up song, look here. Very feel-good, and even a little progressive. Like many Rush songs, the opening is straight-forward, and then it goes to an instrumental interlude. The guitar and bass are very bouncy, and I particularly like Lifeson's solo in the middle of the song. Then, it returns to the main theme and ends.

"YYZ" is an instrumental, and a very good one at that. It opens with the ringing of some bells, and then it goes straight to an agressive riff. Then it goes onto the main theme, which is very memorable and catchy. A lot of changes happen throughout this song, and even though it's only 4.5 minutes long, it still manages to still feel very cohesive. This is a great instrumental, and a concert staple for good reason.

"Limelight" was also quite a big hit. Like Tom Sawyer, it's radio-friendly, but still superior to 99% of what you'll hear from popular bands from the 80's. This song has a very nice chorus, as well as a good solo section from Lifeson. Not terribly progressive, but a good Hard Rock song nevertheless.

"The Camera's Eye" is an 11-minute track, and as you would expect, it's the most progressive. It starts us off with some synths, and like many epics, it builds into something bigger. Then we go into a hard-rocking section, and Geddy Lee's vocals come in soon after. After that, the synths return, and then we go back to a hard-rocking section. Geddy Lee says it's his least favorite Rush track, but I consider it the best off the album. Probably because it's a mini-epic (longer song that's not an epic), and like many proggers, I've always had a soft spot for those.

"Witch Hunt" opens up with some percussion and a sneering audience (probably a reference to the Salem Witch Trials.) Then we get to the song, which isn't bad. It just isn't as memorable as the rest of the album. The synths are a little cheesy, the guitar is certainly better, making this probably the weakest off the album. Still decent, though.

"Vital Signs" closes the album. In the chorus, Geddy Lee has a stagnant voice, which make him sound like a robot, and I think that's kind of cool. His voice in this track is very nice, and it's a good song overall. A great way to end the album.

Overall, Moving Pictures was a great achievement by Rush. This album is recommended to Proggers and Hard Rock fans alike, as it has something for both. Personally, I don't think this is their masterpiece. I prefer A Farewell to Kings and Hemispheres, probably because they were their proggiest. Still, this album is a landmark in Rush's discography and gets an easy recommendation from me.

Four Stars.

Report this review (#272210)
Posted Monday, March 15, 2010 | Review Permalink
5 stars This music gives me such an incredible RUSH of adrenaline! =D

I don't think there is much more to say about RUSH's brilliant music that hasn't already been said on this website, except to say that I am only 21 years of age and LOVE this stuff, my point being this: let it be known that this music will certainly extend its influence over many generations!!

DREAM THEATER, got me into prog (I was a metal-head, but am now converted). Then having found PROG-ARCHIVES, the world of prog was opened to me - GENESIS, KING CRIMSON, and finally RUSH, were revealed to my ears and their best albums have quickly been added to my collection of music!

This album is very fast paced. The creative rhythms and excellent song-writing make for a very enjoyable listen! Being a fan of the bass, I want to say that Geddy Lee is a legend.

Report this review (#273065)
Posted Saturday, March 20, 2010 | Review Permalink
Prog Metal Team
3 stars Moving Pictures is generally considered the pinnacle of this band's career, but is it really everything that the general public make it out to be? I certainly happen to disagree with that opinion since this is a transitional album which we all know aren't usually all that consistent.

It seems that most people consider hits like Tom Sawyer and Limelight enough to be mesmerized by an album that is actually filled with very few ups and a lot of downs. From an technical instrumental point of view we do indeed get a few minutes of bliss with YYZ but that's basically all the excellent material featured here, which is just not enough to make me believe in the reputation that this album has maintained for over 30 years!

It's true that every time Rush is mentioned in the mainstream media the only material that we get to hear are the tracks Tom Sawyer and Limelight. The most prominent example of this are two recent Hollywood comedies called Fanboys (2008) and I Love You, Man (2009) that both feature leading characters that are huge fans of Rush, still we only get to hear these songs as the only example for their love for the band. I would think that there isn't really a single Rush fan that only listens to Moving Pictures and the reason for this inconsistency has more to do with the expensive music rights that film studios have to pay in order to feature any more of this band's repertoire in their movies.

The lesser material for me begins with the first sounds of Red Barchetta which might not be terrible but instead becomes quite boring after the 3-minute mark. The 11 minute long The Camera Eye might give the impression of another progressive rock compositions but that's really not the case with this track. Instead it can be described as a prolonged rocker without any noteworthy moments from a technical point of reference. Finally Vital Signs features an almost reggae-like sounding chorus which I can't help but cringe at whenever it comes around.

Rush had a good 5-year run of progressive rock releases throughout the second part of the '70s and, wisely enough, decided to progress with their transition into the new decade. Unfortunately this transition also meant that quite a few fans would be left behind wishing for the old Rush to come back and eventually giving up on the band all together. Luckily I discovered the band long after their prime years had passed them giving me the opportunity to be a lot more critical in my discovery of their work. Moving Pictures just wasn't the album I was hoping for and so my rating is good, but non-essential.

***** star songs: YYZ (4:26)

**** star songs: Tom Sawyer (4:34) Limelight (4:20) The Camera Eye (11:01) Witch Hunt (4:46)

*** star songs: Red Barchetta (6:10) Vital Signs (4:46)

Report this review (#279862)
Posted Thursday, April 29, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars The format is streamlined yet again as the band skyrockets up the rock charts with "Moving Pictures". Even so, no amount of catchiness and popularity from tracks like Tom Sawyer and Limelight can detract from the fact that 7/8 time signatures simply can't be viewed as anything less than progressive in the rock context. We are prog-nuts, so we sometimes forget how radically different these drum fills and odd beats are in mainstream popular rock music. The fact that Rush could make this challenging music so popular attests to their ever-increasing ability to make the progrock form potent, urgent and short (as well as imaginative and virtuosic). Peart's pithy lyrics also deserve credit for providing perfect touches of vicarious thrill in Limelight and exultant tone in Tom Sawyer.

Witch Hunt is Peart's first excursion into using the studio as an instrument. This is the first song in which he plays percussion parts that would be impossible for him to recreate by himself in concert.

More thrills are to be had as the band takes us on an illegal car ride (Red Barchetta), and an exciting instrumental fly-by (YYZ), "YYZ" enjoys rock radio airplay even to this day. Surely Rush could "do no wrong" at this moment in time!

The seeds of Lifeson's shift in approach to the guitar can be heard on the album's closing track "Vital Signs". The emphasis is on rhythms and textures, timbres and tone. Overall, the song points toward a rock-reggae dimension not entirely unlike The Police's "Ghost in the Machine", one which the band would explore much further on their next studio album.

Report this review (#280749)
Posted Thursday, May 6, 2010 | Review Permalink
5 stars Apparently this is the end of the prog era of Rush & the start of synth Rush (according to the remasters, because that nude mans arse is gone and replaced with finger prints, and, to be honest I miss the guys buttox).

Yes, this is the last Rush prog album, and maybe the end of me giving their albums 5 starts (who knows, I only have 3 Rush synth era albums, maybe one of them could actually be an amazing album, not prog but pop definetly.)

Yes, this album for some reason is heralded as their best, but out of all the 5's I've given to Rush albums, this is the only one that I was doubting a little.

My brother believes this to be the best album, but I still disagree, and think that even though it is an amazing album, compared to the one's before it (from Caress Of Steel to Permanent Waves), this is the weakest, maybe it's just a little over rated, but still, it does live up to it's masterpiece limits.

1. Tom Sawyer - Classic Rush song, with an amazing off beat drum line that has become a favourite among drummers, having known alot of them. Yes, this song is amazing, very cathcy and some amazing lyrics.

2. Red Barchetta - A nice wee song about a car. This is probably the weakest song on the album, but it still is a great song.

3. YYZ - I have heard this song and played this song so many times, on every known instrument, including cups, plates, bins, everything. It is a wee bit addictive, and for those who don't know, the drum pattern is morse code for YYZ, ooh smart.

4. Limelight - One of Rush's greaest chorus' and one of their best lyrical achievements. Amazing song with amazing instrumental work throughout.

5. The Camera Eye - What an amazing epic. I love the melody in the verse sections, it really shows how much of a great singer Geddy Lee was (he's still great, just not as good as he was). Amazing instrumental sections and an amazing build up throughout the song.

6. Witch Hunt - Ok, this song is the 2rd part to Fear, but where are the other 2 parts. Oh yea, very eerie and quite dark for a Rush song, but brilliant nontheless.

7. Vital Signs - Want to know why I love this song so much? Because it sounds like my new favourite band, Supertramp. For some reason their is also a reggae UB40 and Police vibe to this song. I also think the lyrics are amazing.

CONCLUSION: It's a classic Rush album, so you have to buy it, and if you don't then the economy in Canada will decrease, do you really want that, do you?

Report this review (#282074)
Posted Saturday, May 15, 2010 | Review Permalink
Symphonic Team
5 stars Rush has created some of the best classics of heavy prog; here is a prime example

"Moving Pictures" album by Canada's darlings, the power trio Rush, finds itself on number 15 in the top 100 albums on the progarchives, and for good reason. Every track, every instrumental, every vocal is pure Rush; making this a definitive masterpiece in the treasury of prog classics. The album was released at the beginning of the 80s where prog was on the decline after a glorious decade had culminated in the best prog albums such as Pink Floyd's "Dark Side of the Moon", Genesis' "Selling England by the Pound" and Yes' "Relayer". Rush created a triumphant progressive master work with some of their most popular songs; all killer and no filler. It receives quadruple-platinum status and, along with "2112" ended up in the bizarre collection of "1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die".

It begins with an incredible opening track, the number 1 US chartbuster 'Tom Sawyer' that all Rush fans adore, and it is great when Rush open their concerts with this and the crowd are able to sing along; "A modern day warrior, Mean, mean stride, Today's Tom Sawyer, Mean, mean pride." The guitars crank out a mean, mean riff after this and there is a persistent synth drone that works well in the musical framework. The heavy dissonance or discord of time sigs and vocals is impressive, played in 7/8 for the most part. The chorus is one of the best especially lyrically, it is perhaps one of the more memorable Rush moments; "What you say about his company, Is what you say about society, Catch the mist, catch the myth, Catch the mystery, catch the drift, The world is, the world is, Love and life are deep, Maybe as his skies are wide." The ensuing lead break is incredible full of fret melting shredding, huge drum fills and power synth motifs. The Rickenbacker bass guitar is also wondrous that compliments the bright crisp guitar splashes. When the band were at their best they were totally irresistible.

'Red Barchetta' is longer at 6 minutes, and is another solid track. A mid tempo that is captivating locks in and quieter verses are sung until the chorus with new time sig locks in with captivating lyrics; "Jump to the ground, As the Turbo slows to cross the borderline, Run like the wind As excitement shivers up and down my spine, Down in his barn, My uncle preserved for me an old machine, For fifty odd years To keep it as new has been his dearest dream..." The instrumental break features echo on guitar chord crashes. The lead solo is subdued but effective.

Rush have some amazing instrumentals and one of them is 'YYZ', which gives each member a chance to really shine. The title is taken from the morse code used at Toronto Pearson International Airport. The main riff is memorable and heard in many concert performances. It has a progressive feel with unusual time sig and layered instrumentation. The riff is killer and well known in prog circles. On the "Live in Rio" DVD the audience know it so well they actually sing notes along to it. Lifeson is great on this as is Peart with his drumming metrical patterns that keep a consistent rhythm. Lee's bass is wonderful also playing fractured mini bass solos. The band really take off on this complete with glass shattering effects and all manner of solos form each member. It settles at 3 minutes in with a half time feel and an ambience is created before the main riff returns again. There is fire and ice; the explosive fire of Peart's flaming drums , the chilling ice of Lifeson's pickaxe, making this a bonafide classic on this album.

'Limelight' hit number 4 on the US mainstream charts. It has a prog time sig that is unusual and captivating. The structure of the track is spellbinding with beautiful verse sections, tension and release, shades of light and dark textures and one of the most spine chilling melodies that hooks into your system. I have never forgotten this and often the melody comes back to me without even wanting it to. The lyrics are dynamic and unforgettable once it grips your conscious; "Living in the limelight, The universal dream, For those who wish to seem, Those who wish to be, Must put aside the alienation, Get on with the fascination, The real relation, The underlying theme ..." The theme is simple, fame and fortune is not all it is cracked up to be and there is a need to keep a wall between the performer and the audience and this comes across beautifully with sparkling vocals and emotional riffing elegance. It is based on the real life dissatisfaction Peart felt about the intrusion into his private life. The lead solo is sensational with huge upsweeping picking and glorious string bends. This is my all time favourite Rush track and it sends chills through me every time; I don't know exactly why but there is a powerful element that refuses to let go when I hear it. I love the verse; "All the world's indeed a stage, And we are merely players, Performers and portrayers, Each another's audience, Outside the gilded cage." It seems to reference the live 1976 album "All The World's A Stage", and prophecy the release of their next album, that year "Exit Stage Left" which features 4 tracks from this album. The melodies are so full of life and vibrant energy, it truly uplifts my spirit every time. So ends side 1 of the vinyl, surely one of the greatest side 1's in rock history.

Side 1 begins with 'The camera eye' an 11 minute mini epic, the last for Rush, with a ton of synth at the opening section. There is a lengthy instrumental section and then at 3:40 Lee's high falsetto vocals chime in; "Grim faced and forbidding, Their faces closed tight, An angular mass of New Yorkers, Pacing in rhythm, Race the oncoming night, They chase through the streets of Manhattan, Head first humanity, Pause at a light, Then flow through the streets of the city...." The riffs on this are killer and at 6:06 the time sig slows and the track changes into some very proggy passages of music. The time sig is very intricate in the section at 7:50. The main motif returns after this showcasing Lifeson's inimitable style. The track is unusual on the album for its length and plethora of time changes, but this is what makes it such an endearing addition.

'Witch hunt (Part III of Fear)' follows; another section of the 'Fear' tracks and a great addition at that. It begins with an off kilter ethereal sound made with synthesizers and bells. This builds slowly to pitch, and sounds rather creepy in a sense, but the melody drowns out the Gothic gloom. The guitar crunches in and Lee tells the story of the hunt; "The night is black, Without a moon, The air is thick and still, The vigilantes gather on, The lonely torch lit hill..." the dark lyrics are accompanied by a dark riff and very strong synthesizers, effective and enchanting. This track is highly unusual as the whole atmosphere is intensely grim and has startling dark textures. Also Hugh Syme features on keyboards, the artist responsible for a plethora of Rush album covers. The theme reflects the Salem hunts where paranoia set in about a nonexistent threat, the uprising of so called witches, the Spectral evidence that was manufactured to accuse those who were different than others; a theme that has still an impact for modern society.

'Vital signs' is the closing track with a riff created by a sequencer made by Lee's OB-X synthesizer and well executed guitar flourishes. This is a slow paced track with a mediocre instrumental break but the vocal performance really drives this along with such enigmatic lyrics as; "A tired mind become a shape-shifter, Everybody need a soft filter, Everybody need reverse polarity, Everybody got mixed feelings, About the function and the form, Everybody got to elevate from the norm..." This is the weaker track on the album but still not a bad track after a few listens. The sequencer adds a nuance of 80s techno pop but there is still a proggy feel to this, especially the stylish bassline.

So overall this album is a dynamic flawed masterpiece. Side 2 does not measure up to the first side there is no doubt, but the mini epic more than makes up for this. Three tracks on this have become unsurpassed Rush classics, 'Tom Sawyer', 'YYZ' and 'Limelight'. The other tracks are still great but this album as a whole is a very pleasant listening experience. I have no hesitation but to count this as yet another masterpiece for my favourite heavy prog band. Rush never returned to masterpiece status after this. "Moving Pictures" was the last time the magic was captured and it ushered in a new approach in progressive rock music that works on every level. The album is the biggest seller for Rush and hit number 3 on US mainstream charts at the time of release, and it still makes an impact as one of the most influential, innovative albums of prog rock history.

Report this review (#283945)
Posted Saturday, May 29, 2010 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars One of the greatest albums, but not one of MY greatest at all!

There are albums that no one can deny are some of the most successful or representative in history of progressive rock, that you can't deny are good albums with great music on it, wonderful compositions and excellent musicians, but sometimes for one as listener that is not enough, because those albums or bands are not really the ones that excite you, so in the end the album for you is not that successful.

This has happened to me with "Moving Pictures", an extraordinary album from this Canadian monster band called Rush. Before writing this review, I read at least 10 reviews that some of our excellent members have written, it is not that often when one can see such an impressive amount of five-star reviews dedicated to one album; I loved the way some of those members described their feelings towards the album or how they show their excitement with the music composed here. However, I also read a couple of three and two-star reviews that contrast with the previous ones, sharing a different point of view, but a point of view in which I feel identified.

Despite I've listened to Moving Pictures (and enjoyed at times) hundreds of times, I, firstly can say that this is not my favorite Rush album at all (that would be Hemispheres), and secondly I can say that it is not what I would really consider as a reference or highlight in prog, because I find a couple of tracks pretty boring and lacking of soul. Again, I cannot deny that the compositions here are great, this power trio have always managed to create memorable tunes such as "YYZ" or "Tom Saywer" which can be listened on this album, but there are moments where I simply want to skip because it does not do anything to me, this happens with songs like "Limelight" or "Witch Hunt". I must say that "The Camera Eye" is an extraordinary track but in the end I would say I enjoy half of this record, while the other half is actually forgettable.

For that, my final grade will be 3 stars, yeah this could be a masterpiece of progressive rock, but not for me.

Enjoy it!

Report this review (#284276)
Posted Sunday, May 30, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars This is Rush´s highlight here in Progarchives. But, unfortunately, I do not agree with this view. Moving Pictures lacks uniformity, a problem that does not occur in Hemispheres, Permanent Waves or Grace Under Pressure, for instance.

It is not a problem that Tom Sawyer played a lot in FM, because it is as fantastic as The Spirit Of The Radio. On the other hand, this song presents some instrumental challenges to its players that yields a progressive taste not allowed to be missed by listeners. Other flawless song is Red Barchetta; guys it really rocks !! This song goes forward growing stronger and stronger until a climax followed by a relaxing passage in its end which sounds so much proggy !!

Now let´s see some problems. The Camera Eye used to be one of my favorite songs, but didn´t age well. It is too long only because in a certain way it repeats itself. If we think about epics (or something close to it as a ten minutes song is), to be repetitive is like a sin. Sorry Lee&Lifeson, there should be something different in the second part of The Camera Eye, not only Peart´s poetry. Limelight, Witch Hunt and Vital Signs are good songs, but not exceptional. They can be compared to Circunstances, but not to The Trees; both from Hemispheres. Ok, there is a good guitar solo in Limelight, but that song is in a model verse-chorus-verse that does not make me enthusiastic about it. Finally, YYZ is very strong? but pardon me, not as nice as La Villa Strangiato.

In the end, Moving Pictures is decent and a strong four stars album. No way of five stars, because it is easy to identify its weak points. Tom Sawyer is the best song and is close to radio stations. In Permanent Waves, the strictly proggy Natural Science is the highlight, not The Spirit Of The Radio with this commercial approach (ok, in both case just a slight commercial approach). And, dear friends, this is why I rated them differently.

Report this review (#296640)
Posted Sunday, August 29, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars When I saw the cover of this album, the word that came to mind was "uninspired". It looks like a motivational poster, only much lamer. And then it hit me. The men on it were "moving pictures". A subtle pun, which makes me appreciate it all the more.

Would the music live up to the cover's ingenuity though? Well, yes and no. On Moving Pictures, Rush change considerably their sound, making it more commercial. One could argue it's as prog rock as it is prog pop. So, when I first heard it, it didn't meet my expectations. What I realized, though, was that the album was different, so I had to adjust my expectations accordingly. I tried to stop comparing it to the older Rush albums. With that in mind, I could appreciate the wonderful "Limelight" and "Tom Sawyer". I've always been a fan of Neil Peart and his lyrics. Even though the lyrics (especially in "Limelight") can come off as cheesy and cliche, one can not deny they are well written. Lifeson's guitar in Moving Pictures isn't given as much room to develop, which is a shame. "YYZ" is a good instrumental. "Vital Signs" is generally the least progressive track on the album and kind of sounds like a contemporary song, as much as an early '80's song can sound like one. "Red Barchetta" has the typical Rush sound and could belong on an earlier album, but it can't compare to the best of them. Finally, the album's weaker tracks (which are still above average) are "The Camera Eye" and "Witch Hunt". I've found myself skipping them at times.

I'd recommend this album to someone wanting to get into Rush but is not a fan of prog. Proggies should definitely begin with 2112, however. I couldn't decide on a rating, because it is better than 3 stars but worse than 4. I gave it 4 stars because it is more of a 4- than a 3+. A great album with some weak tracks.

Report this review (#307597)
Posted Saturday, October 30, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars My original impression of this album was that this was the inferior younger brother of Permanent Waves, with fewer interesting songs and a more synth-based, less interesting sound. I'd have given it the same low **** I gave PeW, but would have done so grudgingly, and a high *** would have been more in line with my true feelings. Now, though, I'd give it a solid ****, and this grade is one I actually believe in for the album. Furthermore, I now better understand the album's place in Rush's evolution; where I had once considered it a step back in quality (done in the name of sounding "modern"), I consider this another strong step forward for the band, and the best album the band had done yet. I'm not overwhelmed by most of the songs, but now I can understand how somebody could be overwhelmed with them, and that makes a big difference.

The giants of the album are "Tom Sawyer" and "Limelight," two tracks that I've always loved and are certainly among the band's best work. I once used to consider the synths in "Tom Sawyer" to be a little overdone, but I wouldn't dream of that now; this is one of the most effective examples of "power synths" I can think of from any band, and it blends in well with the strong work from the other three (I'm really fond of Lifeson's mid-song screwy guitar solo, which kinda reminds me of the atonality from his solo in "A Farewell to Kings," only done a million times better). Plus, I like the vocal melodies a lot, too. As for "Limelight," my enjoyment of the track has just grown and grown over the years, until it's easily become my favorite second Rush song. Lyrically, it's a treatise on alienation from others as one's stardom grows, but while some of the lyrics are quite nice (albeit stiff and pedantic in the standard Peart way), the lyrics aren't the main draw for me. This is just a fantastic rock song, with an amazing bass line, phenomenally tight playing, a great guitar sound, and a terrific vocal melody that does a perfect job of working in and around the instrumental parts. If there's a reason to consider MP an all-time classic, "Limelight"'s gotta be that reason.

So those are the tracks I've always loved, but what about the rest? Well, truth be told, I still don't love any of the other five tracks, but I do at least like most of them without hesitation, and that's an improvement. The tracks bookended by "Tom Sawyer" and "Limelight" on the first side, "Red Barchetta" and "YYZ," are better than I used to think. "Red Barchetta" is an up-tempo rock song about a guy having to play "chicken" in his automobile with a couple of futuristic "air cars," and while it's kinda silly lyrically, it has some nice riffs and a good vocal melody. My problem with this version is that I don't feel the sense of excitement and energy that I think Rush meant to convey (and that I'm sure many fans feel when listening to the song); I can't really shake the feeling that it's a song about excitement more than it's one with excitement. It's still nice, though. "YYZ," then, is a much beloved instrumental, and on paper it should be the greatest instrumental Rush ever did and one of their best tracks. I mean, it has quite a few different riffs, it incorporates a number of styles, it has a ton of power (the ensemble playing is insanely tight), and it has no Peart lyrics! So, um ... why is my ending reaction to the song always along the lines of a mild "Hey, that's kinda neat" and a shoulder shrug? I really don't know; it's not lack of memorability (like I once thought), so I'm gonna have to say it's more that the piece doesn't once evoke a noticable physical or emotional response in me. Still, despite that flaw, there's something to be said for a piece that I think is this neat.

Starting up the second half is an 11-minute epic in "The Camera Eye," which marks the last time Rush would do a piece of this length. I do think it's a pretty good extended number, but, well, pretty good extended numbers aren't that hard to find in the world. It's mildly impressive when it's on, and Lifeson has some cool echo effects in his guitar, but 11 minutes is a bit much for a piece that's basically built around two decent musical themes. I get the feeling the band put a lot of effort into the small details of the song, and it does have a decent build as the piece goes on, but again; how many times can I use the word "decent" to describe this song before I just have to accept that it's not much more than that?

Up next is "Witch Hunt," which is probably my third favorite of the album, behind the two giants. It's rather silly lyrically, but it has a convincing dark atmosphere, and the combination of the grumbling metallic riffage and the slow synthesizer chord sequences makes it totally worthwhile musically. And finally, "Vital Signs" is a mildly disappointing closer, with a decent vocal hook in parts of the chorus, and an amusing tinge of reggae in the verses, but not much in the way of a memorable vocal melody in the verses.

As usually happens with Rush albums, I find this one very inconsistent, but at least it's inconsistent at a higher level than what had come before. I will never find this even close to an all-time classic, but I do think it belongs in any decent rock collection, and that means something.

Report this review (#307980)
Posted Tuesday, November 2, 2010 | Review Permalink
5 stars "Moving Pictures" is the most acclaimed album Rush and most beloved by fans (or most). It may be more commercial than their predecessors, may have sold horrors (by the standards of progressive rock), but it is an album that pleases many, for sure (I think it's the same situation of "Dark Side of the Moon").

The best tracks here for me are the opening track "Tom Sawyer" (why is not it?), the mini-epic "The Camera Eye " (the last song released by the band long) and the sinister "The witch hunt".

If you like heavy prog and Rush,hear this album.If you don´t that you dislike., well ... listen to it the same way!

Report this review (#319944)
Posted Sunday, November 14, 2010 | Review Permalink
5 stars Moving Pictures is the most well-known album by the greatest power-trip of all time - Rush There are seven tracks here, all become Rush classic and fan favorite. Tom Sawyer - The opening track is Rush's greatest "hit", a cult song with amazing riff and drumming(by Alex and Neil). For me all the essence of this album can be found in this album's longest track "The Camera Eye" which clock at 10:00. You can hear on this one all the things that make rush so great. Odd time signature, AMAZING drumming from drumgod Neil Peart, great guitar work from Mr. Alex Lifeson and High-pitch voice with monstrous bass playing by the one and only Geddy Lee.

This album is considered to be Rush's best album, I think all their albums are great in their own way. But they beauty on this one is that it concludes the developments of the band members until this point with one focus and well-written album.

A MUST HAVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Report this review (#321263)
Posted Monday, November 15, 2010 | Review Permalink
5 stars My first review!! I have to review likely my favorite album by my favorite band!

Moving Pictures is Rush's 8th studio album. Their best seller, it is filled with tons of awesome material, from the commercial hits of Tom Sawyer and Limelight, to the epic lengthed Camera Eye. Personally my favorite tracks off the album are Red Barchetta and Limelight, but all tracks all amazing, with no weak tracks. The stronger synth-driven leanings of this album over some of Rush's past efforts like Hemispheres give a foreshadow to the synth rock Rush would display in other 80's albums like Signals and Grace Under Pressure. This album was especially awesome played live in its entirety in Rush's recent and ongoing Time Machine tour. This is truly a star-studded album, worthy of all the accolades it has ever received. It certainly must be good to be my favorite album from my favortie band!

Report this review (#342242)
Posted Friday, December 3, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars First let me say that this is ALMOST the best Rush album. But...I am sorry to say that 1 song brings this down to 4 stars for me and that is "Red Barchetta". I don't know if it is the lyrics or what, but this song is always a skipper for me on CD. It is just annoying. Everything else here is wonderful, classic Rush. Some of their finest work. Along with it's prior partner another classic, PERMANANT WAVES, these are probably the top end of Rush's catalog for me. But..Dang that "Red Barchetta". If have tried many times but failed to like it. Sorry, Rush. 4 stars, which still ain't bad.
Report this review (#354012)
Posted Wednesday, December 15, 2010 | Review Permalink
5 stars Some bands are both lucky and talented enough to release a signature album, a piece of work that not only accords them maestro status, but also sets the benchmark in their field.

I am sure many people on the site would accord 2112, A Farewell To Kings, or Hemispheres with that description, but not to these ears. To me, Moving Pictures is the archetypal Rush album, the body of work which stands apart from all else, and also set the benchmark for what we now call Heavy Prog.

There is not one weak moment on this. Tom Sawyer was a great opening track, successful single (a form of art they were becoming very accomplished at writing and performing), and set the scene for all that followed. All tracks, barring The Camera Eye, are of a similar length, but what a great deal they pack into those tracks.

Red Barchetta tells a moving story about an old uncle's Capri, and this is where I think Peart had, by now, moved on leaps and bounds as a lyricist. He was capable of telling exceptional and moving stories that were rooted in real life, rather than the fantasy world.

And it rocks, by which I mean really rocks. YYZ could possibly be the finest instrumental rock track of all time. The riffs, drum work, lead are all phenomenal, and the moment when it all leads up to THAT synth break is one of those hair standing up at the back of the neck moments.

The album contains also the most astute observation of being a rock or other celebrity superstar ever committed to record in Limelight. It also helps that it is a fine piece of commercial heavy rock, still played endlessly, deservedly, by radio stations the world over. I doubt that Geddy Lee ever sounded so good or committed, and the band as a whole simply synch together in such a way that you really did wonder at the time whether it could ever get any better than this. Four and a half minutes of pure commercial heavy prog delight.

Camera Eye is about the only nod to the epic past, certainly in terms of length, that the band both indulged themselves and us as fans in. They would never issue a track this length again in the studio. It does, however, provide a very strong hint as to the immediate direction the band would take with the heavy emphasis on synths in the opening, delicate, and patient passage. As the track develops, it really is classic Rush in the method of fine, heavy riffs, but also sounding a hell of a lot tighter than they ever did before. It is a very dark track, both lyrically and in the feel of the music itself, with its commentary on societal inequalities. If anything, however, Geddy's vocal performance is even more stunning than on Limelight. It's really a pity that eleven minute singles weren't allowed, because this track really cries out to be heard by a wider audience than traditional Rush fans.

Darker still, however, is Witch Hunt, part three of the Fear sequence, and is just short of five minutes worth of very clever observations about our dark and fearful religious past, full of lilting synths and an incredible drumming performance by Peart.

The album closes with Vital Signs, another synth and simple riff heavy track. It is probably the closest this fine album comes to filler, but great filler it is.

The closest analogy I can give for this album is AC/DC's Back In Black. When they release a new album, hordes of magazine reviewers give praise and inform the waiting public that this is "the best they have done since...." Well, Moving Pictures is this band's Back In Black, and, to be honest, such comparisons are unfair and unhelpful. This is an album which towers above many other works, including by this great band, and whilst they would go on to release some further magnificent music, this is the album which truly defines both them and the music they produce.

Five stars without hesitation. A true masterpiece.

Report this review (#359435)
Posted Tuesday, December 21, 2010 | Review Permalink
3 stars (2.75 stars really) Moving Pictures - an album that makes us pine for the golden era... On the occasion of the 30th anniversary release of Moving Pictures, I decided to take the plunge and throw in my tuppence worth by making this my first review on Prog. Archives. After reading all the excellent reviews of this album, I must say, I'm in awe of you guys! (some of you should be - perhaps you are - professional music journalists!). Somewhat daunted as I embark on my maiden review, I feel, however, that I do have the credentials. I've been a Rush fan since I was 13 years old - that was way back in '77. I was fortunate enough to see the band live on their Moving Pictures world tour in '81. For me Rush constitute just about the most outrageously talented, intelligent and creative trio in rock history. How can three men - no backing musicians on stage - produce such a phenomenal sound? Yes ! I love Rush! Then why am I giving this much-vaunted, highly-critically-acclaimed apparent magnum opus such a low rating? Simple. Compare it with what went before. Rather than talk specifically about the album itself, I'd like to illustrate where it falls short in comparison to its predecessors. A good album, no doubt (Tom Sawyer and YYZ - best played live in concert - being the standout tracks for me) but it is not on the same planet, nor even in the same star system as 2112, A Farewell To Kings and Hemispheres. A personal favourite of mine, the rugged and raw, yet paradoxically creatively-sublime Caress of Steel, the eponymous Rush and Fly By Night, I would also rate more highly. Moving Pictures is a fine transitional album (the transition begun with Permanent Waves) and most enjoyable when played VERY loudly . Unfortunately, I find it, at times, repetitive, unimaginative and in certain parts rather dull and irritating. Other reviewers were spot on in suggesting that listening to parts of this album is something of a "chore" we Rush fans feel obliged to undertake. The best way to truly perceive the gap between what we hear on Moving Pictures and on previous albums in terms of musical and lyrical creativity and originality is to listen to one track from Moving Pictures, for example Limelight, then listen immediately to a track from, let's say, A Farewell To Kings, Xanadu, perhaps, and ask yourself....are these songs really in the same league? Try another about one of the 'fans' favorite', Red Barchetta (with its bizarrely contrived lyrics - "..Drive like the wind, straining the limits of machine and man. Laughing out loud with fear and hope, I've got a desperate plan.") and Closer to the Heart (short, rather simple yet brilliantly-penned - "The blacksmith and the artist reflect it in their art, they forge their creativity... Philosophers and ploughmen, each will know his part, to sow a new mentality, closer to the heart." - now this is Peart at his lyrical best!). Then, how about Tom Sawyer Vs 2112 Overture? Now which of these REALLY rocks? YYZ and La Villa Strangiato anyone? Give me the latter. For sheer complexity, relentless energy and truly creative musicianship La Villa Strangiato wins hands down in my opinion and deserves the accolade of best Rush instrumental. I guess I could go on... Moving Pictures is clearly a metaphor for a change of scenery, a 'new' direction. At the concert back in '81, the band played before a huge screen (rather uncommon at that time) showing removal men replacing the art exhibits in a museum - Rush were moving in an artistically 'new' direction and making it (painfully?) clear to their fans. Most fans were carried along, perhaps even unaware that the band was entering a completely new phase... I, and many more fans perservered in the (forlorn?) hope that the magic would return. I give credit to the band for reinventing themselves, as they have continued to do so until this day, which accounts for their enduring success and longevity. But whenever you go to see the band in concert, it's By-Tor, Cygnus, 2112, Xanadu and the great songs from the golden era that give the fans - and the band members themselves - the greatest joy. Go see them (or watch R-30 ) and just look at their faces if you don't believe me...
Report this review (#369063)
Posted Friday, December 31, 2010 | Review Permalink
Andy Webb
Retired Admin
5 stars Hit after hit after hit after hit...

Here we have Rush at their absolute best. With this, they achieved an even higher critical acclaim and popularity than they had with 2112. The album contains 7 smashing songs full of life and vigor that really set the standard for progressive rock and proto-metal of that era. With the classic Tom Sawyer opening for the album, you can see how much of a classic the album really is. The album truly is a pure masterpiece.

Tom Sawyer is the opening for this album, and it's one heck of an opener indeed! Coming forth with the classic synth-drum duo, and those typical Geddy Lee-style vocals, the song is an instant hit. The whole length of the track is pure amazingness. The song has intense instrumental talent, great melodic value, superior rhythmic support, and just about everything else you could possibly want in a song.

Red Barchetta is the kin of song that needs to mature, for me. The first time I heard I thought it was alright, but nothing special. As I continued to play the album, I began to realize what a spectacular song it truly is. The song has some of the best melodies of the album, and a really great rockability going about it.

YYZ is the essential Rush instrumental. I can talk for days about the technical ability all these guys have, but this one song about sums it all up in 4 minutes. Every savory second is full of great 5/4 fun, with that great triangle-intro to the on-off feel of the guitars and drums, and those solos! Everyone gets a solo, with Lifeson ripping on his guitar, and Lee wacking on his bass, and of course Peart smashing away at the skins.

Limelight is yet another timeless classic, and was actually one of my first exposes into the sound of Rush. That classic verse and chorus makes this song an absolute timeless classic, all about Rush in the Limelight-- or not.

The Camera Eye is the epic of the album, clocking in at around 11 minutes, depending on your version. The song takes a little while to really get started, but you can be tamed by the psychedelic and ambient intro the band threw in, before the song really kicks into action. The song contains some of my absolute favorite Rush moments, with that great guitar melody and the great vocal and drum tracks that back it. The whole song is just an absolute blast to listen to.

Which Hunt is the only real "weak" track on the album, but that's only because it is on the tail end of 5 amazingly spectacular tracks. The song has a much slower and "creepy" feel to it, with some real "supernatural" feeling ambiance about it. The track is good, but nowhere near as good as Tom Sawyer or Camera Eye.

Vital Signs is a great ending to an absolutely fantastic album. The song is a little weak compared to the smashing successes of Tom Sawyer and The Camera Eye, but the great funky dynamics of the song give Rush's music a whole new dimension. The great funky chorus and verses really accent the album with some really cool effects. Geddy shows off his funky bass ability and Lifeson shows off his great jazz chord ability as the whole band meshes into one cohesive and impressive body.

ALBUM OVERALL: This album is the quintessential Rush album. Every single song, from Tom Sawyer to Vital Sings, is a smash hit, a classic, and a model for every band who ever liked Rush (which is most of them). Every single second of the 40 minute long album is intensely enjoyable and never do you wonder "why did they put this on the album?" Overall, the album is just a pure classic and a masterpiece of progressive and proto-metal music! 5 stars.

Report this review (#381091)
Posted Sunday, January 16, 2011 | Review Permalink
5 stars Throughout Rush's progressive rock career, they have mantained a large following in many places, but this album brought the band to the masses while still having complete virtuosity and excellent songwriting and structure. This is a true landmark, considering that most progressive bands at this time were getting more poppy or calling it quits. While Rush did get more mainstream, they never sold themselves out and played their music.

1.Tom Sawyer - The song that defines Rush. Hypnotic rhythms, intense instrumental interplay, haunting moog and amazing lyrics. The band members, particularly Neil Peart and Geddy Lee, make complete gods of themsleves on this track with their incredible timing and beautiful sounds. Lee's vocal in this track is varied, yet it still sounds nature and the way it was meant to be sung. Of course, his bass playing is some of the best on this track as well. Synths as spacey and symphonic at the same time, completing the trip. And one must not forget the talented Alex Lifeson, whose metal riffing and amazing solos make this a Rush tradmark. If you haven't heard it, your not human. (10/10)

2.Red Barchetta - Though not as intense or metal as Tom Sawyer, im willing to call this one more progressive in nature. The story-telling is stellar, as is the music. Lifeson's guitar particularly has beautiful melodies and obviously takes on the role of New Wavers, yet staying original and unique. Pearts lyrics are based on a poem about the loose of being able to drive, and they work well with the stunning music. His percussion is always spot on with the band, giving him the place as one of the best rock drummers ever. A beautiful song that shouldn't be missed. (10/10)

3.YYZ - A break from Lee's ocassionally hard to listen to voice, and it's not missed. This instrumental track is one of the best I have ever heard, even if it dosen't quite beat La Villa Strangiato off their 1978 release Hemispheres, it's in a new dimension. The song is a jam that sounds totally tight from a bass players point of view, drummers point of view and guitarists point of view. They play with such power and intensity, as Peart, Lee and Lifeson play some of their best solos on this song. An amazing song of pure virtuosity. (10/10)

4.Limelight - Another classic rock radio stable, Rush turn to a different subject for this song. They discuss the problems of being in the limelight and how they try to deal with this new fame. The lyrics are amazing and well sung from Lee, whose trouser-thumping bassline is always present and very smooth. Lifeson's guitar playing is at it's best on this song in particular, as his solo (im willing to call it this) on this song is his best solo ever. It's emotional, heart-felt and passionate all in the span of a minute or two. Pearts drumming, of course, is clean and stellar. His beats are too complex for the human ear to truely understand fully. (10/10)

5.The Camera Eye - The last turely epic song that Rush has done on any album. Contrasting cities of New York and London during the lyrics are interesting, yet it's not the most important thing about the song. The music takes the stage as complex yet free form (in the intro, at least). The opening starts with an electronica/new wave synth opening that travels to the outer depths of space, yet when the lyrics come, the song suddenly lands on earth in an interesting and fashionable way. The instrument interplay is at it's highest in this song, with guitar playing loud and heavy, drums pounding and keeping amazing rhythms happening and happening, bass guitar thriving to the high end of the mix, and synths taking on a lead role as technology roles in. The synth riff is classic, and almost haunting in a way. The song is well structured and cannot be missed by your average proghead. (10/10)

6.Witch Hunt - My least favourite track off the album, yet it still large when compared to tracks of a similar vein from other bands. The song is haunting, and evokes an emotion of an actual witch hunt. Synths are always washing along the song, as Lifeson's riffing is loud and clear. Lee's vocal performance is excellent, as are the amazing lyrics from Peart. An oddity among the classic songs on the album. (9/10)

7.Vital Signs - Some people call it the worst song on the album, yet im willing to call it upon the best. Rush experiments with their obvious reggea influences and electronic influences and create this maserpiece. The thing that stands out on this track is the fluid playing of Peart, whose fast and clean playing is always loud and clear. The snare is loud, forefully and willing. Lee's vocal is interesting, as the double tracked performance is very bleak, but it works with the type of song it is. An incredibly underrated track. (9.5/10)

One of the most consistent Rush albums I have ever heard. It has hard rock, heavy metal, new wave, punk, electronica, progressive rock and reggea all into one amazing coherent album. The album undoubtably gets a 5 stars, without hesitation, mostly because of it's influence on many people and how good it sounds to this day. A true masterpiece, much like alot of Rush's last releases.

Report this review (#381294)
Posted Sunday, January 16, 2011 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars There was a law passed in Canada that required every household to have a copy of this album. If anyone tried to destroy or get rid of their copy, the punishment would be death by firing squad. Years ago "YYZ" replaced "O Canada" as the national anthem. School kids have to stand up and air bass to the song. What happens when a kid refuses to air bass? You guessed it...firing squad. "Tom Sawyer", "Limelight" and "Red Barchetta" are played to death on Canadian radio. I think even the country stations are required to play these three songs. The only two songs that get played more are "Spirit Of Radio" and "Closer To The Heart".

Even "YYZ" is now a famous song thanks to that video game. What was it...Guitar Hero? Rock Band? Both? The other three songs on what was Side Two hold up a lot better due to not being overplayed. I think the title 'moving pictures' was what people used to call films or television in their earliest days. But here of course the band uses the term literally. I'm not exactly sure, but I think each painting on the cover corresponds to a song on the album. Maybe not. They continue the process started on the last album of writing shorter, catchier songs and incorporating New Wave and reggae influences.

Lifeson's guitar tone and playing on this album is some of his best work. Geddy's vocals are starting to get less annoying than before. His bass and synth work is still top notch. Peart drums great as always and his lyrics are improving, IMO. "Vital Signs" is probably the weakest song here but it's still good. Inspired by The Police, it has a good chorus. This is probably Rush's most consistent album with no really weak moments that stand out. "Camera Eye" and "Witch Hunt" stand up very well, but "Camera" can be a bit repetative, even if it is one of the better and proggier tracks on the album.

A now classic album. After this the band would write even more concise, catchier songs. The synths start becoming more important and overall their music becomes less interesting. They never made an album better than this, although the previous three come close. 4 stars.

Report this review (#391016)
Posted Monday, January 31, 2011 | Review Permalink
Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
4 stars Rush closed out their most progressive (and to me, their best) period with this, their most consistent album. It's not surprising that most of the songs on "Moving Pictures" have become concert standards for the group.

While most of the tracks have enough of a mainstream feel in them to get radio airplay, there is enough complex interplay between the instruments to please a prog fan as well. Tom Sawyer, Red Barchetta, Limelight and Vital Signs all still in frequent rotation on the local classic rock station in Boston. And all are great songs.

Witch Hunt, with it's dark theme and chord structure, is a highlight at concerts (I'd have to say the live versions are way cooler than the original, which is still a good song). The Camera Eye, the longest song on the album, may be the weakest. Although it does have a prog structure, there tends to be a bit too much repetition in it.

YYZ is the masterpiece in the album. One of Rush's two great instrumentals (along with La Villa Strangiato), this song blend complexity and musical virtuosity to perfection.

As an album, this one easily rates four stars.

Report this review (#409054)
Posted Monday, February 28, 2011 | Review Permalink
5 stars I'm going to keep this review brief comparatively because this album has been analyzed to death. A couple things worth noting is that RUSH here split the album into coherent halves; the first half is more reflective of a fruition of their previous songwriting approach from the solid parts of CARESS OF STEEL up to PERMANENT WAVES, featuring proggy, accessible, hard rocking songs like "Tom Sawyer,", "Red Barchetta" and "Limelight". This album has been covered to death and there's nothing more to really add to it aside from, yes, these are great, great songs and landmarks of their type.

The half that is more interesting to me is the second half. It is here that we get the first hints of the sound they intended to explore for the next four albums (from SIGNALS to HOLD YOUR FIRE), something based in prog rock but incorporating more explicit elements of New Wave, pop rock, reggae, electronic sounds and dance music. We get something like "The Camera Eye", which is one of my favorite epics of theirs as it returns to the kind of textural style of "Jacob's Ladder" from their previous album, Permanent Waves. It is understated and subtle and, I think at least, points towards what MARILLION would do once h joined the band and what PORCUPINE TREE would do for their early albums. We also get "Vital Signs", which has become my favorite song on the album. There is an insistent groove in the drums, a sincerity to the reggae influence that had been missing before and really strong, spare guitar work that shows they had been boning up on their POLICE records. We also get "Witch Hunt", which is another more atmospheric piece, focusing more on mood and timbre than on explicit rockitude. This half of the album is overlooked most often because it is the subtler, more mature twin to the bombastic, youthful verve of the first half, but I find it more exciting for the things it buries in the sound. When listening to this one, don't forget that these songs are here.

Five stars. A prog classic.

Report this review (#409570)
Posted Monday, February 28, 2011 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars I've resisted listening to this album in one sitting. Ever. Remember, I owned their first albums (through the first live album) and, by the time they hit their "prog era" I had moved into serious prog, away from power cords. But today, June 25, 2020, I'm going to give it a go. Wish me luck!

I've never liked the sound engineering of this album, the instruments seem to exist each in their own universe, they aren't well blended. Plus, I have never liked that Oberheim sound. And the songs just aren't ... my cup of tea. Are these drums really that impressive?

1. "Tom Sawyer" (4:34) never did much for me. I always find myself bothered by any lack of cohesion or flow. (8.67/10)

2. "Red Barchetta" (6:08) starts out okay, instrumentally, (though sounding very 80s-ish) before singing and SKA and Jimmy Page guitar licks ensue. Maybe the lyrics are supposed to mean something to me. The shift in the middle shows promise but then never delivers. Interesting violin-sounding guitar solo. (8.67/10)

3. "YYZ" (4:24) the much lauded and revered instrumental. Anticipation. Nice instrumental teamwork but, come on people, have you ever heard of Mahavishnu Orchestra? Return to Forever? (8.5/10)

4. "Limelight" (4:21) one of the more accessible and melodic songs on the album (though sounding a LOT like "Fly by Night"). The drums are more enjoyable when they're singled out. (8.75/10)

5. "The Camera Eye" (10:57) opens like a late-70s jazz-rock fusion song before beefing up and then taking a sharp left in the third minute. Silly synth noises and two-chord strings with unusual power chord progressions. I like the more laid-back vocal style here (like that used in "Limelight"). Nice use of space between power chords. When Geddy's voice becomes more insistent, raising an octave, it works. Then another ninety-degree turn. About half way through I can see that a rotation of themes is becoming apparent. Again, maybe these would be better if I heard the words--if I cared about the verbal message being conveyed. For me, the voice is just another instrument. Okay. I made it through that one. Interesting. But I've heard better. So many better. (17.25/20)

6. "Witch Hunt (Part III of Fear)" (4:44) Blurry power chord progressions dominate the soundscape while Geddy sings and syncopated percussives are randomly thrown in. With fuzzy synth chords, the song congeals and tension builds. Some nice chord shifts here and there. For me, this has been the best musical journey of the album. (9/10)

7. "Vital Signs" (4:47) more POLICE-like SKA with CARS-like synth-bass. Musically, this is a very accessible, engaging song. Depending on what Geddy's singing about, I don't know one didn't get radio play. I especially like that there is an anthemic phrase repeated over and over at the end, "Everybody got deviate/elevate/escalate from the norm." My favorite song on the album. (9.33/10)

Total Time: 39:55

For being such a well-loved and famous album, I'm very surprised that there was so much of it that I had never heard before: pretty much all of Side Two.

B/four stars; a nice contribution to Prog World.

Report this review (#414169)
Posted Thursday, March 10, 2011 | Review Permalink
4 stars If you're new to Rush, you'd do well to buy this album first. Three reasons: 1) It contains the fantastic Tom Sawyer which is the band's biggest hit (even if I prefer The Spirit Of Radio, their lesser pop hit). 2) It contains the fan favourite instrumental YYZ which I believe they play at every single concert. 3) It still manages to be really progressive, despite being released in 1981! Here's an analysis of the songs:

I'm not exaggerating when I say the opening track Tom Sawyer was once the most played track on my computer! In a time when I was wholly obsessed with Dream Theater, I borrowed the CD off my girlfriend's dad, and instantly fell in love with it. Within a few days, the plays counter quickly shot past 30, and became the most played track. This might be to do with it's relative length compared to the normal Dream Theater length of ~8-10 mins. The song is just so cool though. Whilst being a pop hit, the band are uncompromising, playing an extremely technical instrumental! The lyrics are just amazing; they don't make sense, but they are extremely cool. A brilliant opener!

Red Barchetta is not so good. For one thing, I don't particularly like the sound of the guitar in it, and I've never really gotten into it since I first got the album. However, it's still a bit proggy, and in fact if you listen closely, it is more of a ballad about a boy smashing his uncle's car in a getaway chase. If you like cars and you like prog, you'll like this. For me it's 2/5 though.

YYZ is the code for an airport in Toronto, and is also the name of this song. The letters are spelled in morse right at the beginning -.-- / -.--/ --.. This is becomes a fantastic 5/4 opening to this superb instrumental, which is one of the finest in hard rock! There is virtuoso playing going on everywhere! Lots of Alex Lifeson's extreme guitar playing, lots of Neil Peart's awesome drumming, and if you listen closely, you'll hear Geddy Lee is pushing out some awesome bass riffs as well. You'll understand why the fans love it.

Limelight is yet another hit song, and is also of superb quality. I'd give it 4/5.

If you weren't sure whether to buy this album on it's pop merits alone (which you really could do), the extended The Camera Eye should definitely sway you. Split into two parts - one section about New York, one about London, seperated by an ocean of instrumental goodness - this is an exceptional song! It is as good as any of their previous 10 minute hits, eg Xanadu and The Necromancer. Unfortunately, this would be Rush's swan song to extended writing, and since this eleven minute wonder, Rush have not produced any songs over seven minutes in length. The quality of this song makes me feel that it wasn't that they were getting worse at writing long songs, just they gave up interest in it. It is very sad indeed, that yet another true giant of prog was lost to the 80s pop explosion.

Witch Hunt is an eerie song, mainly synth driven, but still quite cool. I've never been a huge fan of it, but it's good nonetheless. To this day, Vital Signs eludes me. It sounds terribly geeky to me, a bit awkward and not hard or cool at all.

I'm afraid I can't give this 5 stars. I was struggling between 4 and 5, and I guess when something is a 5 star, then you will know it, so it has to go down to 4 for me. I think there is just too much filler in it for me. The tracks Tom Sawyer, YYZ, Limelight and of course The Camera Eye are very worth your money, and you might even enjoy those tracks I didn't! 9/10

Report this review (#418245)
Posted Saturday, March 19, 2011 | Review Permalink
5 stars This was my first Rush album and also my first prog rock album! Though, I was still a metalhead at the time. Seeing them perform this album live was truly an experience that I doubt I will ever forget.

The first side is a Classic Rock Radio DJ's dream. It starts off with Tom Sawyer, probably the heaviest song on the record. This is followed by the brilliant and beautiful Red Barchetta, which contains some of Geddy's best vocals of the restrained period. YYZ is truly the greatest bass performance of all-time (don't believe me, just go to The other hit, Limelight, has a very emotional feel, with Alex's favorite guitar solo that he ever did. All in all, the first side is perfect, even if it is a little overplayed.

The second side kicks off with my favorite Rush song and most played song on my ipod: The Camera Eye. I use to just skip the track, but after listening to it a few times, I found its beautiful melody and one of Alex's best guitar solos. Things then slow down a bit with Witch Hunt. Kinda forgettable, but the lyrics provide deep thought about public judging. Vital Signs is a pretty good track, which helped point the way towards Signals, but was probably better than anything on that record.

A true masterpiece, with the first 30 min. or so being absolutely perfect. Even though it slows at the end, it is undeniably one of Rush's masterpieces and a great place to start for new Rush fans.

Report this review (#426956)
Posted Saturday, April 2, 2011 | Review Permalink
5 stars Well guys this it the big one after Rush toured Permanent Waves in 1980 they went back in the studio to record another album and this one was big. When Moving Pictures was released in 1981 they became a whole different band, a commercial popular band. Granted this success would probably never come again but this sent them into a new Stratosphere of popularity. Now lets look at the album itself. Tom Sawyer is a classic song and is their signature song with its growly keyboards straight forward percussion and excellent lyrics from Neil and friend Pye Dubois this song became a big hit. Red Barchetta is another classic song and is everything you would want from a 10+ min track in just 6 mins. Rush really perfected storytelling not just through lyrics but music with song and is still a great song to drive to or just listening to. YYZ, Killer Track. Do i need to say anything about this near perfect instrumental of a song just aw inspiring and jaw dropping as a listener and to this day my favorite Rush song of all. Limelight is a true example of poetry to music to me, this is one of Neil's best lyric he ever wrote and it still holds today for shy people who suddenly become famous fantastic. The Camera Eye, to date the last Rush epic and it is a good one. It has a lot of different things going on it and the lyrics are just as great but it seems like it could be a tad more. Witch Hunt is another great song but to me the lyric stands out more than the music. The lyric of the song discuss's how people will always judge before they question and how ignorance will always persist in this world but the music feels very cold and lifeless which goes with the lyric of the song but i felt they could have done something better with it. Vital Signs is an underrated track in my opinion because it has easily the most reggae influence in a Rush song but it is very open improv and kinda on the spot sounding and i like that. It just goes at a very steady pace and doesn't let up the mood until the 4:46 is up. Overall, a great album that made Rush superstars but to many people the downfall would begin but i feel the next ones are just as worthy. 5 stars. Highlights: Tom Sawyer, Red Barchetta, YYZ, Limelight, The Camera Eye and Vital Signs
Report this review (#463394)
Posted Friday, June 17, 2011 | Review Permalink
5 stars -.-- / -.-- / --.. / -.-- / -.-- / --.. / -.-- / -.-- / --..

The eighth studio album from Rush was not only considered a critical masterpiece, but also achieved quadruple platinum certification in sales.

The Good: This album is absolutely timeless and with a track listing more akin to a "best of" rather than a studio album you really can't go wrong. The sound is quite different their releases of the late 70's, and almost incomparable to the eponymous blues-rock debut, but at the same time all are quintessentially Rush. The songwriting is refined, but still adventurous and pretty much every track is a winner.

Tom Sawyer and Limelight are probably Rush's most recognized pieces and ever-present in live setlists. Red Barchetta is generally not quite a popular but I find it to be the best of the three and a classic in its own right. The equally distinguished instrumental YYZ references the airport code for Toronto International with the signature riff playing out the song title in morse code.

The Camera Eye, clocks in at just over eleven minutes making it not only the longest song on the album, but the last track exceeding ten minutes in length they would ever release. The synth dominance hints at what was to come in Signals and it and has never been played live until the bands recent Time Machine tour. Witch Hunt gives the album a darker twist and is the first in a series of songs which explores Peart's interest in the philosophy that people act out of fear of something bad happening, rather than hope of something good.

The Bad: If Vital Signs decided to go on holiday and never came back I probably wouldn't even notice

The Verdict: Rush's finest, by a whisker.

Report this review (#484401)
Posted Sunday, July 17, 2011 | Review Permalink
5 stars I only started listening to this album recently because it is ranked high on MMA. I also started playing bass recently. I just love listening to Geddy Lee playing bass on this album. On some albums it's difficult to pick out the bass, but on this album it's so clear and he plays it as a solo instrument. And he sings too. On the odd occasion I've tried unsuccessfully to sing at the same time as play bass, so he gets my utmost respect. Alex Lifeson and Neil Peart are great too of course. And I enjoy every one of the tracks.
Report this review (#502879)
Posted Sunday, August 14, 2011 | Review Permalink
4 stars The commercial and critical apex of Rush's four-decade career, the 1980 album 'Moving Pictures' would find the Canadian outfit glazing their metallic prog bombast with a slick, pop-tinged, radio-friendly sheen. The album, which sold over three million units during it's first year of release, pulled off the very difficult trick of appealing to a younger, more- mainstream audience whilst simultaneously retaining the group's long-term fans, and in the process of doing so inadvertently became one of the last truly notable progressive rock albums from the 1970s. Essentially 'Moving Pictures' was an album cunningly split into two distinct sections. The first half features the shorter, more emotive numbers such as the popular single 'Tom Sawyer', the upbeat - and slightly jazzy - instrumental piece 'YYZ', and the fan-favourite 'Limelight', an impressive track that borders on Journey-style soft-rock. Side two on the other hand saw the trio of Geddy Lee(bass, vocals, keyboards), Alex Lifeson(guitar) and Neil Peart(drums) summoning up the spirit of their classic, fantasy-inspired, mid-seventies sound on the ten-minute mini-epic 'The Camera Eye', which saw them adding glitzy new synthesizers to the mix, before finishing off the album on a slightly maudlin tone with the ethereal closer 'Vital Signs'. Understandably then, both sides of 'Moving Pictures' prove immensely satisfying, catering as it does for both sides of the musical coin, the catchy, simplistic pop-rock ingredients inserted into the ambitious progressive frameworks with impressive skill, and the album as a whole flows effortlessly. Rush's career trajectory has been a slightly unusual one in that they started out playing fairly straight power-trio blues-rock before morphing gradually into a hard-rockin' yet highly progressive group inspired by the likes of Pink Floyd and Yes. Rather perversely, the genre of progressive rock was actually on the wane at that time yet somehow they proved immune to both punk and new wave and instead of losing focus they produced some of their best works. 'Moving Pictures' is very much Rush at their apex, yet it is also the last truly great Rush album. Follow-up releases 'Signals', 'Grace Under Pressure' and 'Power Windows' would see the increased use of synthesizers and keyboards, all the while eroding the potent hard- rock edge that gave the group their vitality. Despite still going strong as of 2011, Rush would never again reach the lofty heights of the period that began with '2112' and ended with this consumate progressive album, though they would continue to be one of the world's premier live attractions. If you haven't yet explored the Rush discography then there is probably no better place to start than 'Moving Pictures', a slick, powerful and highly-inventive slice of commercially- tinged progressive power rock. STEFAN TURNER, LONDON, 2011
Report this review (#557209)
Posted Tuesday, October 25, 2011 | Review Permalink
4 stars If I am not mistaken, them most popular Rush album among their fans. So the band toured this album this year and have just released an own live version of Moving Pictures, recorded live this summer. I just spotted this album on ProgArchives new albums list.

This is the original version from 1981 though. An album I have owned for 20 years. I have played it quite regular although it is not my favorite Rush album.

After their long epics period in the 1970s, Rush decided to follow the flow and release album with shorter tracks. The Permanent Waves album was a bridge which lead to this album, Moving Pictures. It opens with one of their signature tracks Tom Sawyer and continues it's triumphant journey through some great songs. All of them are great though. There is no doubts this is one of the great prog albums. My favorite is the intrictate The Camera Eye epic where the old Rush shines through.

This is not one of my favorite Rush albums. I think it is too one dimentional and too much trying to please the 1980s scene. But I am not blind to it's obvious qualities. It is a true great album.

4 stars

Report this review (#566622)
Posted Saturday, November 12, 2011 | Review Permalink
5 stars An excellent refinement and polishing of the approach taken on Permanent Waves, Moving Pictures is a strong candidate for the best album Rush ever made. Rush had begun to incorporate an increasing amount of synthesisers into their music on the preceding album, and this tendency continues this time around. The sole extended track on the album, the ten minute The Camera Eye, makes good use of this by having Geddy Lee primarily play synthesisers for the first part of the song, which is about the ambience of New York, and then switch to bass for the second half, which concerns the ambience of London; just as the modernity of New York and the history of London are contrasted in the song, so too are the future direction of Rush and their recent musical history brilliantly contrasted in the piece.

In terms of structure, the first side consists of catchy and accessible numbers which showcase the band's hard rock and metal chops whilst continuing their project of condensing progressive rock song structures into short, bite-sized chunks. This is perfectly captured on what I consider to be their best song, the haunting Red Barchetta, whose movements capture nostalgia, exhilaration, action, and escapism in an emotional trip that perfectly parallels the narrative of the song; the opening chords of the piece never fail to make hairs rise on the back of my neck. The side also includes YYZ, an instrumental in the tradition of the excellent La Villa Strangiato - the best track from Hemispheres by a long way - which again condenses the sorts of twists and turns and technical musicianship found into the earlier piece into a shorter and very accessible format.

The second side of the song is devoted to more experimental and murkier material, and has taken a while to grow on me - but grow on me it has. As well as the aforementioned The Camera Eye, it includes the spooky Witch Hunt - a rare Rush excursion into horror - and Vital Signs, in which Rush's increasing New Wave influences are manifested in a very Police-like incorporation of reggae rhythms into the song (though I have to say I think Rush succeed rather better than the Police did).

On the whole, this is an album where Rush hit a perfect balance between progging out and rocking out, in which experimentation and accessibility and cool synthesiser pieces and heavy guitar solos all work in perfect harmony. In other words, it attains the balance which Hemispheres spoke of but didn't actually attain itself, and in that sense it can be seen as the culmination all the work Rush had done up to that point. The band would take a radical new direction with their next album, but their early progressive metal period ended on the best possible note.

Report this review (#566745)
Posted Saturday, November 12, 2011 | Review Permalink
5 stars This album is an absolute perfection combination of classic hard rock (because who doesn't like to just jam to good old rock and roll?) and symphonic prog. The album explores many directions, yet it makes a really cohesive effort where every strong stands out as a giant. Every track is an absolute masterpiece, because of the complex drumming, educated lyrics, insane basswork, delicious guitar sounds, and perfect dynamics from all other instruments. There is really no album like this one that is overall so enjoyable by just about any person.

Tom Sawyer begins with a really unique growling synth and continues with some dark touches here and there, and a heavy guitar riff. This song is so much fun to jam to with friends, but that's just the surface. Analyzing this song, one realizes that there is an insane 7/8 section with a drum solo, and the lyrics are abstract and powerful. This song has so much to offer outside of its surface "hard rock." Never gets old.

Red Barchetta is an epic track in six minutes. I could say a lot about it, but this is something you have to listen to on headphones or some awesome radio system. Close your eyes and envision the drive throughout the future countryside. Read the lyrics beforehand and then just let the music carry you away.

YYZ is yet another fun song with a 5/4 heavy metal opening before this synchronized attack...and then bam! Awesome jam-fest. This song is about returning home, and although it is instrumental you can feel that in the music...first, the heavy section with sounds like apprehension, and then the relief comes in with the jam. After the absolutely insane bass/drum solos, there is a really atmospheric guitar solo with virtuoso playing, followed by a calm reflective part with keyboards (which symbolizing the reflection of returning home). The main riffs are replayed before an awesome ending.

Limelight is full of time changes, yet you will never notice it. It has hard-rocking verses but absolutely beautiful (and I mean beautiful) choruses with heartfelt lyrics. "Living in the limelight, the universal dream, for those who wish to seem...those who wish to be...must put aside the alienation, get on with the fascination, the real relation, the underlying theme." This is an autobiographical account on Neil's feelings of being famous. A beautiful song on so many layers...and the guitar solo is out of this world...listen for the screeching ethereal note that continues as he begins playing the riff at the end of the solo...

The Camera Eye is a long track, but it's repetitive. Yet, it's so good, you'd want to hear it all over! It's full of amazing imagery in the lyrics and the music itself is a roller coaster of sound...and then you're treated to a blistering guitar solo, enjoy!

Witch Hunt has some of the darkest lyrics in the Rush discography, and it has a creepy intro before a menacing hard-rock riff. "Ignorance and prejudice and fear walk hand in hand..." This song is really emotional and can hit hard, and is even a tiny bit scary.

Vital Signs ends the album, signaling what Rush would become on the next album. There is a "space-reggae" sound that is very psychedelic and original. The ending is an absolute gem with crazy drum fills, cold synth-lines, marvelous bass-playing and a guitar that sounds like sine-cosine functions if they had a sounds. This is marvelous...and the lyrics make use of technical jargon to compare us to computers, it's so powerful and the music really augments that.

The Mind-blowingly Insane: Call and respond section of YYZ The Mind-blowingly Beautiful: The last note of the guitar solo in Limelight plus the feedback and echo... The Mind-blowingly Unexpected: The second the riff starts in Witch Hunt

Report this review (#574606)
Posted Thursday, November 24, 2011 | Review Permalink
5 stars Go up to the average Joe-on-the-street. Mention the name Rush. One of two things will occur:

1/The person will look at you as if they have no clue what you're talking about,


2/The person will smile at you and say "Moving Pictures".


It's not the sales of the record, first off (although it has sold several million copies in North America alone). It's not even the fact that Rush, by then, were already legends and masters of their craft.

What makes this record is the fact that, unlike so much other prog that was starting to open its eyes to the harsh light of the 80's, Rush seemed ready to accept new influences such as reggae and new wave. While others (Genesis, Yes) seemed to drop prog in favor of pop, Rush carefully and skillfully balanced the two genres, and in doing so, they created a masterwork; one that has overshadowed their more recent records.

When taken as a whole, "Moving Pictures" is nothing more than a collection of seven songs. Dig a bit deeper, and those songs tell a story; not through lyrics or playing, but through melody, atmosphere and texture. While "Tom Sawyer", "Limelight" and "Red Barchetta" are the ones EVERYONE knows (and thus the ones to play for any budding Rush acolyte), I'm going to talk about a few other, less well-known songs from the disc.

Let's look at "YYZ", shall we? A simple (for Neil, anyway) cymbal bell melody paves the way for guitars, bass and drums to come barrelling through the door. Alex's guitars do a crazy tango, weaving melody and texture around the bass and drums, and all in a fairly straightforward tune. Then you get the solo, wherein he meshes tightly with his own rhythm track (Um, playing with himself...I guess), while keeping an autistic focus on the main riff which, by this time, has become so convoluted it's a wonder that the three of them didn't shake their heads and say to each other "What the hell are we doing?"

The longest track on the disc ("The Camera Eye", clocking in at nearly 11 minutes) is the one that the old guard cling to when they want to relive the days of Rush writing suites like "2112" and "Hemispheres". But even this tune, long as it may be, is (relatively) more concise and streamlined, telling the tale of someone who "feels the sense of possibilities; the wrench of hard realities...". The main riff snakes along so sexy, while the bass, drums and keyboards circle around it; it's a constant push-pull of sounds, rhythm, melody, texture and atmosphere.

Much like the record itself. Which is why it was a classic disc then, and will continue to be one. They have come close to it several times, but even Rush themselves will readily admit that they haven't been able to top themselves with one.

Report this review (#603564)
Posted Thursday, January 5, 2012 | Review Permalink
3 stars My expectations to this album were high after I heard 'Farewell to Kings' which I really like, but it fails to live up to it. Generally this album is a Hard Rock album with some prog (and AOR) leanings. There are some guitar-equilibrismo a la Satriani in this album.:

Tom Sawyer: Starts with a AOR-like verse but evolves into more interesting themes. It has good dynamics, and good riffs. And a good recurring theme, and good keyboard

/ bass playing. Ends up in a 7/8 part. Very prog. The best track on the album (4 stars)

Red Barchetta: Starts like a ballad, but evolves into som AOR with heavy chorused guitar riffs. (3. stars).

XYZ: Satriani-like instrumental, starts in a funky way, later a guitar solo in the frygian scale, in the middle part it opens up with keyboard-figures. Nice. (3' star)

Limelight: Plain boring hard-rock. Not interesting (2' star)

The Camera Eye: The epic of the album. It is The biggest dissapointment of the album, but that is because the expectations were so high when I compare it with 'Xanadu' from FTK. Promising start though. but from the point where the singing starts I begin loosing my focus. The theme is not strong enough.And tThough there are interesting parts through the whole song, they are not tied very good together as a piece. Not dynamic, the drumming is rather monotonous (3 stars)

Witch Hunt: A dark hard-rock, almost heavy-metal track with good drumming . Not very proggy (3 stars)

Vital signs: The guitar playing style reminds me of good old POLICE, Poppy. (3. stars)

Conclusion: A good album for the fans of the genre (and especially the band). The fan of prog, searching for new experiences should stick to "Farewell to kings". I feel myself left cold after hearing this album, it is not moving in the samme style like 'Farewell'. Maybe it is because I find the prog influences too low here

3 stars

Report this review (#621938)
Posted Saturday, January 28, 2012 | Review Permalink
5 stars If there's any album that makes me question citing Permanent Waves as my favorite Rush album, 'twould be Moving Pictures. Side One is UNquestionably their best side ever, with "Tom Sawyer" leading things off and anouncing to the listener that we're in for a truly classic album. I won't go into how awesome the bass playing on that song is, or how perfect that analog synth tone is, or how much the guitar rocks, or how powerful and entrancing (strange word for them, probably, but don't they seem to supernaturally command repeated listening?) those definitively virtuoso drum fills right before the outro verse are, but I could! Every song is great on this album, and if you've only heard "Tom Sawyer", "Red Barchetta". and "Limelight" but are into them, it's also very likely you'll love their best instrumental since "La Villa Strangiato", "YYZ", the prog-but-different-kind-of-prog in the tradition of Led Zeppelin's "Carouselambra", "The Camera Eye" (with some very luminous vocals by Lee), the important and insightful lyric-ed and full-synthed "Witch Hunt", as well as the ever changing and panning "Vital Signs." Maybe not, though, because none of those songs sound exactly like any of the other ones, although the production does tie all of the songs together with a completely listenable sound that I never get tired of. In fact, when I think of Rush's sound in general, I think of Moving Pictures. In a related matter, when I think of Neil Peart's drumming in general, I think of Moving Pictures, as it does have some of his best and most defining drum parts. It's just a great album, and if you haven't heard it already, I kind of don't believe you.
Report this review (#624792)
Posted Wednesday, February 1, 2012 | Review Permalink
5 stars It could be a masterpiece.

This album was released after the magnificent Permenant Waves, which I consider the best Rush album along with Hemispheres. Sure Tom Sawyer, Red Barchetta, YYZ and Limelight are all classics and should be played at every Rush concert. These tracks are not just classics and fan favorites. They are Anthems. And that's what the other side of the album misses. Anthems. The Camera Eye is a good song but not as good as the first tracks. It is eleven minutes long but this song is not enough progressive. Wich Hunt is the weakest track of the album. And Vital Signs is great because of the reggae and electronic aspects of the track.

It is a great Rush album but it is flawed by the last three tracks of the album.

Report this review (#749636)
Posted Sunday, May 6, 2012 | Review Permalink
5 stars Moving Pictures is the quintessential Rush album. This is the one most people think of when they talk about Rush, and for good reason. Like the previous album, Moving Pictures sees a slightly more commercial sound mixed with the prog that was so dominant on their previous few albums. For this reason, I consider this album a perfect representation of both their past and future sound, and is easily the climax of Rush's career.

The album starts off with perhaps the band's most well-known song, 'Tom Sawyer.' How can anyone not like this song? It is everything Rush is about up to this point: complex but catchy melodies, lively bass and guitar, and super dynamic drum playing.

'Red Barchetta' is another up-tempo song where everyone offers something truly amazing on each instrument. I especially like the lyrical content with its rich imagery courtesy of Peart.

'YYZ' shows off the instrumental prowess of the band. The guitar is heavy and crunchy and the drums are rhythmically satisfying, but it's truly Geddy who shines here. His bass tone is like no other, and some of the bass lines he plays are simply brain-melting.

If 'YYZ' is Geddy's song, than 'Limelight' is surely Alex's. I see this song as a last homage to Lifeson's fantastic guitar playing which would be less and less impactful as the synth started taking over. The opening riff is one of his greatest, as is the solo.

The 'Camera Eye' is Rush's last attempt at a longer "mini-epic" type song. The song has unquestionable energy throughout, in part due to the flawless rhythm section in Geddy and Neil. And of course Lifeson comes up with some great guitar riffs and solos throughout. What I like especially about this song is how they are able to make so much out of so little yet still make it interesting.

The remaining two songs are a clear sign of the direction the band is headed in. Though they are definitely not bad per say, but they don't have the same energy of the first half of the album. 'Witch Hunt' is probably the biggest antithesis of the core Rush sound. It's dark, slow and slightly haunting. There are a lot of synths on this on this one which is reminiscent of what most post-Moving Pictures albums will sound like. Vital Signs is based around a killer bass riff by Geddy, but the guitar reveals a hint of Reggae as well.

Overall, Moving Pictures is the last great Rush album. After this their sound would become dominated by keyboards, and the songwriting would take a plummet. While the first half of this album is flawless, the second disc doesn't reach the same type of level, and as a result is not as good as Hemispheres or Permanent Waves. Regardless, Moving Pictures is an obvious must have for Rush fans and prog fans alike.


Report this review (#771347)
Posted Friday, June 15, 2012 | Review Permalink
5 stars The distinguished genre of progressive rock may, with good reason, lay claim to having more pivotal, game-changing albums than any other in music. For example, Yes was a relatively small-time entity until the splendor of "Fragile" caused the world at large to turn and take notice of them. Jethro Tull was relegated to cult status until the arresting "Aqualung" made them a household name. Genesis was just an odd, eclectic art band until the grandeur of "Selling England by the Pound" commanded widespread attention. And Metallica was deemed nothing more than a noisy bunch of longhaired ruffians until their eponymous black LP thrust them into the cultural mainstream. I could present more evidence to bolster my theory but you get the point, I'm sure. In the case of Rush, "Moving Pictures" was the disc that established them once and for all as a force to be reckoned with on an international scale and, for that reason alone, it deserves to be revered and considered every bit as special as the aforementioned landmark records. I realize that there are purists who might harbor the opinion that the runaway popularity of said discs only indicates capitulation by the bands involved to the corrosive power of the almighty dollar; "selling out" if you will. I beg to differ. Rarely does a breakout album become a success due to the group trying to be more accessible or trendy. 9 times out of 10 it's the public who've finally caught up with the artists' uniqueness and that's certainly the case with "Moving Pictures."

The fact that it took eight studio albums to gain massive recognition is a testimony to this stubborn trio's determination to do it their way without kowtowing to the suits. They knew they were good, they knew they were unlike any other band and they knew that eventually their belief in each other and what they were creating collectively would pay huge dividends and this record is the culmination of that mindset. Every step they'd taken led them to this moment when all of their lucky stars and planets slipped into alignment and their destiny was not going to be denied this time. In an era when prog was on the skids and its most famous of propagators were being labeled irrelevant dinosaurs (the horrid MTV virus was striving to render them extinct), this hardy triad of Canadians flew their prog flag proudly. The opening of the inimitable "Tom Sawyer" cut through the chaff of tinny New Wave fare (that was saturating the FM airwaves) like a scythe and one couldn't avoid the hard-hitting song if one tried. Rarely has a solitary tune so illuminated a group that's been sneaking around in the shadows for years as this stirring number did. Every aspect of this prog standard is near perfection so I won't attempt to describe its undeniable allure. It has no faults. "Red Barchetta" follows and it doesn't allow the momentum to sag one iota. The song's memorable melody draws even the toughest critic in without a fight, then the band puts on full display their exemplary musicianship and keen sense of dynamics, creating a progressive rock classic. Their sometimes lean years of persistently honing their craft were now bearing sweet, irresistible fruit.

Rock instrumentals were not in vogue circa 1981 but that didn't deter Rush from presenting a superb one, anyway. "YYZ" opens with a Yes-worthy staccato pattern, then they settle into a fortified riff which they proceed to exploit with uncanny tightness. Members Alex Lifeson, Geddy Lee and Neil Peart all get an opportunity to show off their individual prowess and the listener can't help but be duly impressed. These guys take a back seat to no one. "Limelight" is next, sporting another incredibly catchy melody line that further separated Rush from the herd of spandex-clad wannabes while keeping their prog integrity intact. Infectious tunes like this made folks who claimed to not like progressive rock eat their words. A mysterious intro for "The Camera Eye" leads to a monstrous guitar effect from Alex that drenches your senses. Soon the tempo escalates into a driving rock beat for the next movement wherein Geddy's shrill voice resounds, stamping it with their unmistakable personality. They then revisit several of the number's themes and bundle them up in a well-designed package. They construct an ominous, growing malevolence to characterize the onset of "Witch Hunt." I especially like the cavernous depth of field provided by Lifeson's always-astounding guitar enhancements complimented here by tactful, unobtrusive synths. The album ends with "Vital Signs," a surprising change-of-pace piece during which they back away from their usual arena-filling motif and delve into unexpected aural textures and feels. While I consider it to be the nadir of the record, it does demonstrate clearly their admirable fearlessness in taking chances.

"Moving Pictures" steadily climbed in the charts for months, topping out at the #3 position. The single of "Tom Sawyer" hit #44 while "Limelight" rose to #55. Not bad for a trio that nobody in the record biz thought would ever be a viable commodity. From then on Rush didn't have to worry about selling tickets to their concerts and three decades later they're not only still intact but as popular as ever. Prog rock owes a debt to Lee, Lifeson and Peart for keeping the flame lit during the dark days of the 80s decade when cute videos and pouty-puss poses were all the rage. "Moving Pictures" had a lot to do with them being able to do that. Face it, this album has everything required to be dubbed a masterpiece whether you're a fan or not.

Report this review (#784629)
Posted Sunday, July 8, 2012 | Review Permalink
5 stars In celebration of Rush's latest creation, "Clockwork Angels", I decided to pay a well-worn tribute to the band by revisiting, quite frankly, their greatest triumph.

Yes, I'll admit, 2112 is one of the greatest prog tracks ever to be conceived, and it's impossible to forget "A Farewell To Kings", "Permanent Waves" and "Hemispheres" (THE single most underrated prog album ever, by the way), but "Moving Pictures" cemented this Canadian trio as kings of the modern prog world at the dawn of the 1980's, where video games were beginning to melt children's minds, cars were getting square, dull and boring, and every single song in the 80's had cheesy synths and fake drums everywhere you looked. Yet, despite the downfall of the great 1970's, Rush rose above all to deliver this absolutely phenomenal piece of work.

It's surely no surprise for those who listen to classic rock radio stations, especially to the tri- state residents familiar with Q104.3, that "Tom Sawyer" is a common staple on the airwaves, to no surprise. Not only is it accessible to the average audience (and short enough for radio), but it's also catchy, which is odd considering the guitar solo section is in 7/8 time, a time signature completely foreign in the world of 70's, 80's, even today's pop music. Yet it was Rush's first statement on a great album that would amaze even the most timid of rock fans.

"Red Barchetta" may not be as much of a prog staple as "Sawyer", but it's still another fine example of Geddy's subtly, making himself heard without resorting to that frankly deafening falsetto of his. It's not a bad thing, but not something I'd want to listen to everyday. "Barchetta" also showcases Neil Pert's unique drumming style, mixing up the beat while still maintaining 4/4 time, sometimes tricking the listener into thinking the outfit changed time sigs (which they'd do a lot of, not in this particular track alone).

Of course, Pert's true talent's would be resolved in "YYZ", a song that nearly every aspiring drummer... in the world... as attempted to play, including yours truly. This is where the time signature, like various gourmet foods on the cutting board of Bobby Flay, is diced, minced, and blended into something unrecognizable, but something that's absolutely delicious. Yet, while many praise Pert as the god of modern rock drumming, many forget about the trading 4's between Pert and Geddy, and the frankly magnificent solo by Alex Lifeson, backed up by the smashing of glass bottles and a whip, apparently. While Geddy's wonderful voice is absent here, the track benefits from it, because if I could only present one song to a prog foreigner who wanted to know what real prog rock sounded like, I'd present that being with Rush's "YYZ", a truly complete example of what true prog rock is.

"Limelight" also begins in 7/8, then shifts to 6/8 during the second phrase part as well as the chorus, yet in my opinion, it doesn't sound very proggy. It's a very typical mainstream rock song, another staple on the Q, yet listen closely, and you can still hear Pert gently phasing in and out of time sigs with ease, another example of this band's mastery with a classic, and frankly crucial element of prog rock. Of course, another crucial fractor in Rush's music that is often overlooked is Alex Lifeson himself. He displays another great solo on this track, another solo that many overlook, but another one that helps the cause in placing him as one of prog rock's great guitarists.

"The Camera Eye" is this record's epic, beginning with a subtle, yet wonderful synth intro with Lifeson quietly adding some wonderful grace notes and chords in the background. Obviously, due to the length of the piece, it's not as popular or as well known as, say, "Limelight" or "Sawyer", but still another classic example of the constantly changing time sigs, the effortless transitions by Lee, Lifeson and Pert and the astonishing technical ability al three musicians show, without resorting to fanatical showing off and ludicrously blown- out-of-proportions solos.

"The Camera Eye" begins the second half of the disc, which is the lesser known side of Rush's music, and not too many familiar tunes on this side, but none of which should be ignored. Such tracks include "Witch Hunt", the third installment of the outfit's "Fear" suite, a grungy, foreboding song, resembling and image of heretics being sent to their deaths (hence the title). Lee expertly paints the scene, while his synths finish out the picture created by Lifeson's excellent guitar work.

"Vital Signs" closes out the epic record, opening with fanatical synth reverberations, and Lifeson overlaying a "Police-esque" chord every second or two. I'm not a fan of the synth snare for the first twenty seconds or so, but the track overall isn't bad. Obviously, it isn't as well known as the aforementioned "Sawyer" or "Limelight". While the former tracks expertly disguise hardcore progressive rock in catchy, radio-friendly tunes, this song fails to catch me with a poppy lyric or enlightening hook, but that's not technically a bad thing.

Because frankly, it's impossible to knock this album, really. While "2112" contained some fillers that could've been left without ("The Twilight Zone" sounded like it arrived from 5 years in the future where Geddy still shattered glass with his golden pipes every ten seconds, way ahead of it's time), this doesn't seem to have any. If there are any weak tracks on this disc (and every album you come across is going to have some), "Vital Signs" is easily the weakest link, "Barchetta" starts off too slowly for me and "The Camera Eye" seems to be a minute or two longer than I would've liked.

Obviously, this is a much different sound than their latest creation, but that is to be explored for a later time, as I snapped off some drumsticks air-drumming to "YYZ" again, damnit.

That's like the 17th time I've done that.

Report this review (#788180)
Posted Sunday, July 15, 2012 | Review Permalink
4 stars What a seminal record for rock music--progressive rock aside. Just an interesting, well- arranged album full of great sounds and ground-breaking moments. Sure, a bit on the pretentious side, as people will say, but easily my favourite 80's record. Accessible to any listener and just damn entertaining music.

When I first listened to this album, I was really disappointed. I was expecting something that'd blow my mind; something epic and exciting. Which it was... But it didn't really leave me with anything. I gave up on it after a second listen and really didn't listen to it again, UNTIL... A few years later, I'm listening to music on my MP3 on complete shuffle; When a song comes up... It immediately catches my attention and I'm think "What could this be? I don't think I've heard anything like this before. " I was preoccupied and I couldn't check until later. Then I realize that I had heard this before. It was Rush's "Limelight" and that was the moment I immediately started loving this album.

I think I'm at a play count of 10 times per each song on this. Each and every one of them makes you hungry for more, which is why the album as a whole is so great. They're catchy, unusual and rockin'. From monster tracks like "Tom Sawyer" and "The Camera Eye", an elaborate 11- minute piece to simple instrumentals like "YYZ" and driving tracks like "Red Barchetta". "Vital Signs" closes the album with an unsettling bang. This 40-minute masterpiece is just one of those albums that I can't really say much about because everyone's taste varies; I find it easier than most people to look beyond the silly, pretentiousness of Prog Rock and just lie back and enjoy the music.

An album that I will continue to consider an all-time favourite. Really defines an era of music, that I'm not the biggest fan of. Highlights: Neil Peart's drumming, strange electronic noise, catchy hooks, elaborate...ness... and of course Neil Peart's drumming.

Report this review (#856803)
Posted Sunday, November 11, 2012 | Review Permalink
3 stars 2.5 stars

This is sadly one of those albums, that never quite got me. Though Rush's most esteemed album, Moving Pictures is not a bad album, it comes to me simply as average. Lifeson's guitar work here is a bit unimaginitive, Lee's singing is slightly duller than before and percussions, aside from a standard drum kit , are featured very minimalistically in Peart's use. Also the lyrical input is much more inferior to the work before. I will say though, Tom Sawyer and YYZ are both pretty damn good, but those are the only songs that gain self-credibility, because all the other songs are just between decent and borderline boring. Red Barchetta just flows on, occasionally with the riff changing as well as the time signatures without any climatic sense. Limelight and Witch Hunt are much of the same: a four minute song build around a riff without a sense of dynamics or climax. Vital Signs is kinda cool, with the synthesizer leads, but nothing great in a larger-scale. Still, The Camera Eye, to me, is the biggest dissapointment in this whole album. It's basically the same as Red Barchetta, just with an intro and an outro to add in 5 minutes. How can the album's feature-epic be this unpassionate and shallow? Natural Science and Hemispheres were not. Xanadu or 2112 were not. Hell, even The Fountain of Lamneth is more richer in content than this. As i mentioned before, it's not a bad album, but unpassionate, considering that all the other classic Rush albums had a distinctive sound and feel to them, which this is in a lack of. If you can enjoy it more than me, that's good I wish I could too, but Moving Pictures is unfortunately the Rush album i cant appreciate.

Report this review (#893558)
Posted Monday, January 14, 2013 | Review Permalink
4 stars This was my first taste of Rush, and I'm definitely glad I started here. The album itself was a great starting point not only for this group, but getting acquainted with the prog world as a whole at a reasonable pace without feeling overwhelmed or at the same time feeling like there wasn't more out there worth exploring.

The album is a solid mix of songs. None of them are exceptionally dense or require obsessive studying to understand, but they each have enough depth to keep you interested with each repeated listen. Overall it's a very balanced release, and the tracks function very well when listened to by themselves or as a unified album.

Tom Sawyer is a song that, while having a tendency to become tedious if heard too often in a short span of time, is undeniably challenging to perform and guaranteed to grab a new listener's interested right out of the gates. The seamless transitions between 4/4 and 7/8 as well as between each section of the song show strong songwriting talent and group chemistry. It's a track that adequately sums up the strengths of the band and its members.

Red Barchetta has a wider range of moods than the previous track, starting soft and subdued, then ramping up the activity bit by bit with each new drum fill, change in sonic texture, and shift in meter and mood. This is one of the standout tracks on the album for that reason. It's arguably the one that has the most room for discovery and for that reason gives it the most longevity. It's also unique in the sense that there's no song out there that sounds similar to it.

YYZ is the second instrumental composed by the group. Their playing talents are showcased here very well. Unlike other instrumentals, this one contains very memorable themes and solos, demonstrating once again the exemplary sense of balance the group has here. It loses a bit of its magic after many listens though, as the sacrifice sometimes for accessible, similar melodies is a loss of variety and sacrificing the potential for discovering something new upon repeated listens.

Limelight is my least favorite track on the album. It moves along nicely, has good playing, the lyrics are good, and the parts flow into each other seamlessly. It just doesn't reach out and grab you as much as the others and seems to lose its power with more listens faster. It's still worth hearing though because the solo is good and has a nice atmospheric sound that adds nicely to the album as a whole. Again, not my favorite, but the album would be incomplete without it.

The Camera Eye was the last song by the group to exceed 10 minutes. Starting with stripped back performing forces and building through a variety of changes and themes, this diverse track employs a variety of moods and textures sure to pique your interest. It may take a few listens to get a handle on all of them, but they flow into each other so logically and organically you'll never feel the band is without direction or purpose even for a moment.

Witch Hunt stands out as the darkest track on the album with one of Alex Lifeson's most sinister guitar riffs. The lyric and vocal part match the ominous keyboard part that dominates the mix for much of the track after the brooding first verse following the ambient introduction. While it may represent a significant shift in the album's overall atmosphere, it provides a degree of variety that the album really benefits from as a whole I feel.

Vital Signs is a very effective closer to the album. On the surface it may seem much simpler than the other tracks. In a sense, this is true. No shifts in meter, more traditional verse- chorus formal construction, and no virtuosic displays whatsoever, but the song has a lot of drive and focus, which makes it a compelling track in its own right. It has a new-wave sound to it, serving as a precursor to the musical direction the band would adopt on its next few albums. The tune is solid. The intricate, active guitar and bass parts are very catchy and interesting. They never crowd the mix either, allowing the sparse, controlled vocal part to assert itself well when it presents itself, but also keep you captivated in the pauses between the sung phrases. The track fades away with repeated statements and variations on the song's hook (Everybody got to deviate from the norm) while a drone from the keys, moving bass notes, washes of guitar chords, and compelling drum fills summarize the balanced energy and drive demonstrated by the album as a whole.

This album has something for everyone to enjoy. I respect how well it preserved the talent of the group while approaching a more accessible style. I wouldn't say it's a masterpiece though. Overall it works quite well, but not every track is up to the standard of what constitutes in my mind a critical achievement in progressive music. Additionally, because a few of these tracks have a tendency to become tiresome or even annoying if I hear the album too often, I need to listen to it very sparingly. There was a time in my life when I didn't listen to it for years just because I heard it too often and got more burnt out than I care to remember. I've since recovered from that period and am happy to give it a positive review, but am taking this fact into consideration as I assign it a rating I deem most appropriate. A solid 4 stars for an album that will surely have something positive to offer for any progressive music fan. Some may take away more than others, but nonetheless, I definitely feel it's one very worth considering and everyone should hear at least (but preferably more than) once.

Report this review (#903912)
Posted Friday, February 1, 2013 | Review Permalink
5 stars Brilliant and faultless - this is a stunning release that will never leave my player. "Tom Sawyer" is an absolute classic that I have to put near or in the top 10 of my top prog rock favorite tracks. "Red Barchetta" falls damn close to that as well. This is the Rush that I totally adore. The instrumental track "YYZ" does nothing to weaken the strength of the album - man! 3 brilliant album openers after the other. "Limelight" is very strong. "The Camera eye" is a massive track. "Witch hunt" is the weakest track as far as I'm concerned but that doesn't make it weak. Is that a bit of a reggae sound that I hear in parts of "Vital Signs". Not a weak track on the album and three absolute stunners to open. I could not begin to think of awarding this effort less than 5 stars - in fact if there were six stars available I would gladly award a 6th.
Report this review (#940060)
Posted Saturday, April 6, 2013 | Review Permalink
5 stars Moving Pictures is not Rush's best album.

Yes, it's the highest rated here on PA. Song by song, however, it doesn't match up to the heights of say, Hemispheres, Grace Under Pressure, or Vapor Trails. Musically, it's fairly simple, as far as Rush albums go. There's a lot of guitar-bass unison playing, a lot of scalar melodies, a lot of simple chords and riffs. Even thematically, it's not as conceptually unified as any of the albums immediately following it. Emotionally, although the album is far from dry, it doesn't have the immanent passion of many of Rush's other albums; the gut-wrenching soul-searching of Vapor Trails, for instance, the bleak cry of Grace Under Pressure, the suicidal frenzy of 2112, the self-discovery of Caress of Steel, the relationship issues of Counterparts, on and on, et cetera, ad infinitum. Compared with other albums, it's rather tame and unadventurous, actually. They found a style that worked on Permanent Waves, refined it for the next album, and BOOM! - the band has their breakout album. So why in the world is Moving Pictures considered by thousands of fans to be their finest? And why is Moving Pictures, though inferior to other Rush albums in many ways, almost certainly the band's absolute masterpiece?

It is simply because no album, before or since, has captured the sound and the spirit of Rush the way Moving Pictures did. Moving Pictures defines Rush. Moving Pictures is Rush.

It is for good reason that Alex Lifeson claimed that Moving Pictures was the album that "we became us." Think about it - if you want to show some one what Rush sounds like using a single album, you would show them Moving Pictures. Not one of the early albums with the sprawling arrangements that the band later eschewed. Not the 80's albums with all the synths that were discarded as time went on. Not the 90's and 00's albums with the alt-rock influences. Of all of the albums in Rush's prolific and diverse catalog, none can fully embody what it means to be Rush - except for Moving Pictures. It bridges the "proggy" and the accessible, the complex and the simple, the serious and the fun, the cult and the mainstream, the power and the finesse - in short, it is what Rush is, a progressive straightforward thinking man's working man's album for a progressive straightforward thinking man's working man's band. With Moving Pictures, Rush managed to encapsulate everything that made them the multifaceted juggernaut of a band they are.

It helps that Moving Pictures is absolutely flawless. Although other albums may carry their peak songs, Moving Pictures is special in that is has no weak material. At all. Everything from "Tom Sawyer" to "Vital Signs" is essential and perfect. Nothing is dispensable, nothing is excessive; instead it is all critical to the feel and flow of the album. Moving Pictures is a mature album; it contrasts the brilliant, raw enthusiasm of the band's earlier efforts with a concise, refined, and balanced sound, tightly and masterfully composed with not even one unnecessary note. I said earlier that Moving Pictures did not have the same raw emotional appeal as many other Rush albums, and yet this difference is anything but a flaw, for Moving Pictures is not an album that can be listened to for emotional fulfillment alone; it is an album for the attentive listener, the one who appreciates not only the primal, raw scream of passion but also the careful, loving, calm work of a master. By this time, Rush were truly masters of their craft, and appreciation of their mastery necessarily leads to appreciation of the more subtle emotion behind their work.

Peart's lyrics also deserve special mention; in my opinion, Moving Pictures has the finest lyrics Neil has ever written. "Limelight," for instance, is a beautiful piece of work, able to stand on its own as poetry apart from its context in the song. Insightful and profound, it is brilliantly expressive of both the self and of human nature in general. Each lyric perfectly matches its music: the bursting excitement of "The Camera Eye," the scientific imagery of "Vital Signs," and the ominous warning of "Witch Hunt." By leaving behind partisan political rants, objectivist theory, and lofty philosophizing, Peart manages to bring his lyrics closer to human nature, and therefore, "closer to the heart" of his listeners.

As a whole, the album flows beautifully. Though not thematically or conceptually arranged, the songs complement each other perfectly, creating a cohesive unity achieved by musical flow and not merely by the narrative of a concept. Moving Pictures winds through a full and coherent exploration of the essence of Rush, and, finally, with the cryptic, reggae-infused closer "Vital Signs," leads onward into the future of the band - on to the next album and to musical and stylistic adventure, endlessly rocking.

Report this review (#977482)
Posted Friday, June 14, 2013 | Review Permalink
siLLy puPPy
PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams
5 stars RUSH followed up their huge breakthrough "Permanent Waves" with an even more refined and perfected 8th studio album MOVING PICTURES. Like the last album I have been sick of this one for quite some time having heard the classic radio behemoths "Tom Sawyer," "Red Barchetta," "YYZ" and "Limelight" to death! All, of course, are outstanding examples of RUSH focusing the energies of their converging sounds. As a result of the excessive airplay of these tracks, this is another album I have unintentionally eschewed in favor of 70s RUSH albums which to this day I still prefer even to this one. Upon revisiting all the RUSH albums lately as i'm obtaining the remasters, I have been giving this classic album some much needed attention mainly due to the fact that this is by far their highest rated album on virtually every list made. Listen again and again I have and I can only come to the conclusion that i'm in accord with the majority on that this is indeed another masterpiece and a perfect album that I wouldn't change a thing.

"Tom Sawyer" remains one of the band's most popular single tracks and for good reason. It shows excellent powerful songwriting that manages to meld metal and hard rock into one while allowing Geddy Lee to perform some of his best keyboard work ever.

Both "Red Barchetta" and "Limelight" are also brilliantly well written songs.

"YYZ" is an outstanding instrumental that utilizes progressive time signatures with a quirky metal feel to it. Alex Lifeson is the star on this track but all member are equally riveting.

"The Camera Eye" is officially the last song over 10 minutes to appear on a RUSH studio album. The very last hurrah of their progressive era and beautifully done staying true to the style of past while blending in the new. An interesting track that has two distinct parts. The first is synth based capturing the mood of New York City and the second is bass dominated representing the mood of London. Their intents don't really translate to me in the same way, but what the hey! It's still a great song.

The album ends with two excellent tracks "Witch Hunt" and "Vital Signs."

This is an album that may have neglected earlier but after years of avoiding commercial radio and giving some time to miss even the overplayed songs, I am more than making up for lost time with this one and I have to also say that the remasters are well worth acquiring. There are no bonus tracks, just digitally remastered albums that sound so much better. This album moves my pictures in a most amazing way.

Report this review (#1186915)
Posted Friday, June 6, 2014 | Review Permalink
5 stars If you read my review about "A Farewell to Kings" (review #1126496 posted Sunday, February 02, 2014 ) where I write "If you ask for prog rock fans - "What is the best RUSH album ? " The majority of them will answer to you : "Moving Pictures !!!". I respect this opinion, but, I disagree.... my top RUSH album is "A Farewell To Kings"- you can think which I treated "Moving Pictures" with disdain... on the contrary... I think in this album like a final chapter of a perfect cycle of four sequent studio albums.The side 1 of vinyl edition is simply perfect starting by "Tom Sawyer" a progressive/hard/heavy simple melody crowned by an "broken" riff in a way which only this guys can make! The "Red Barcheta"s introduction with guitar harmonics and bass guitar lines are simply "priceless"... YYZ is a instrumental theme where the band can expose again their incredible virtuosity ... broken beats, sinuous bass/guitar melody and guitar solo majestically finished in duo with keyboards. "Limelight" is a wonderful progressive hard/ballad rock . In the side 2 Rush starts their path in direction of a more simple form of progressive ( without leave aside their refined "trade mark"... ) ,"The Camera Eye" bnrings a almost space-prog atmosphere with great vocals moments . "The Witch Hunt" is a hard/symphonic prog with very heavy guitar chord progression. "Vital signs" are the most clear example of a more simple but refined melody and shows the course which Rush' music will follow. My rate is 5 stars !!!
Report this review (#1369089)
Posted Sunday, February 15, 2015 | Review Permalink
4 stars If Rush has a masterpiece, it's Moving Pictures.

The performances are superb. For whatever reason, Moving Pictures strikes me as less self-conscious than any Rush album that came later. The synthesizer-guitar balance seems perfectly natural, and even the most intricate drum and bass parts don't feel overrehearsed until near the end of the album. This is drummer Neil Peart's finest moment, at least on the standard drum kit. It also features the best-sounding synthesizer sounds on any Rush album, as Geddy Lee stuck to tasty-toned Oberheims and Moogs.

The production is also top-shelf. Luckily, the post-processing never gets in the way of the performances. The album has what I'd call "clean" sound (though that's probably not the correct technical term), with good separation between the sonic elements. The songs generally don't have synth or guitar pads filling in the background, which is something that would become more common over the next handful of Rush albums. Of course, there are exceptions; parts of "Witch Hunt" and "The Camera Eye" have more of a "wall of sound."

And then there are the songs. Among Moving Pictures's seven cut are four Rush classics: "Witch Hunt," the first and best of the "Fear trilogy;" the instrumental workout "YYZ;" "Red Barchetta," which balances progressiveness with radio-friendliness and manages to cash in on two male fantasies at once: sports cars and science fiction; and the iconic "Tom Sawyer." Moving Pictures also features "Limelight," a bit of a throwback to Permanent Waves, and their first hit (#4) on Billboard's brand-new rock airplay chart, "Top Tracks," in 1981.

"Vital Signs," the album's closer, would be one of the strongest songs on Permanent Waves or Signals, yet here it's only the fifth- or sixth-best (of seven). My least favorite song on the album is "The Camera Eye." From a compositional standpoint, "The Camera Eye" is relatively unimaginative. Had it been a shorter song, that'd be one thing, but for some reason, this was the song they decided to make their long-form track. In retrospect we can see that Rush no longer needed 10-minute songs, that, especially after "The Spirit of Radio," they were capable of creating multi-faceted, genuine Rush songs in the space of five minutes. My claim, though, is that there just isn't ten minutes and fifty-some seconds of quality material in "The Camera Eye." I should remark, though, that "The Camera Eye" is interesting because it displays several of the band's influences so clearly - - Yes, Genesis, and The Who, by my count.

Everything, and I mean everything, that is good about Rush is here on Moving Pictures, and those idiosyncrasies which I find annoying about Rush are kept to a minimum. Perhaps not a "masterpiece of progressive rock music," it's pretty close, and is definitely an "excellent addition to any prog rock music collection."

Report this review (#1428315)
Posted Thursday, June 18, 2015 | Review Permalink
5 stars If you frequently visit blogs or social networking sites, you might remember numerous online posts about the progression of the common person's interest in 2-D Disney movies. If you don't recall, allow me to give you the rundown: a kid loves Disney movies and watches them religiously; he/she gets into the preteen and teen years, losing interest in the movies and becoming pretty cynical toward them; then later down the line once he/she is older, the person regains interest and starts loving the films again. The reason I bring this up is because it's the exact same relationship I have with Rush's music. I loved them and many other progressive rock bands when I was young (I was never one of those nu-metal kids, despite how popular the genre was), had an anti-Rush phase a bit later, and now they're one of my favorite bands because of both musical quality and nostalgia. In the middle of my Rush recollection, Moving Pictures was one of the albums I remembered most fondly. Listening to it again, I can also conclude that it has aged better than most other Rush albums and remains one of their best.

As with other Rush albums, Moving Pictures is a great example of how technicality, songwriting mastery, and a thoroughly emotional touch combine in an exceptional way. Lyrically, the album continues in the vein of its predecessor Permanent Waves in how it touches more on real-life subjects than the fantasy elements of previous works like Hemispheres or A Farewell to Kings. Due to drummer Neil Peart expanding his range of lyrical themes, we get songs about the price of fame ("Limelight"), the moods and lifestyles of different places ("Camera Eye"), and even automobiles ("Red Barchetta"). Geddy Lee's singing is improved and more varied range-wise on this record, establishing him as a more solid storyteller as he sings the tales that Peart is weaving. The instrumental work is, as usual, absolutely fantastic; the trio play off each others' contributions wonderfully and there's a great sense of unity that prevents anything from sounding like aimless noodling. Even in the sole instrumental "YYZ," the band know what time to devote to soloing and what time to devote to composition. The Morse Code-inspired 5/4 section in the beginning is still an iconic progressive rock moment and luckily the song just keeps on giving, with a trade-off solo segment and a synth-ridden slow portion keeping things interesting.

Even then, what's even more impressive about Moving Pictures is how it's so radio-friendly for Rush and STILL manages to be so damn good. The hard-rockin' radio staple "Tom Sawyer," the dynamically-varied "Red Barchetta," the fame-influenced fan favorite "Limelight" and of course "YYZ," were all big hits when they came out, and yet remain considered some of Rush's most beloved songs even by hardcore fans who love their underrated material. Going back to the "balance" argument, that really does seem to be the reason for this. Radio rock fans will instantly recognize and appreciate that iconic first note played in "Tom Sawyer," while the progressive rock crowd will appreciate the craftsmanship that went into the rhythmically varied guitar solo by Alex Lifeson. "Red Barchetta" will have the casual crowd enjoying the catchy melodies and Geddy's singing performance while musicians and hardcore fans will notice Neil Peart's varied drum fills going on in the meantime. Even lesser-known songs such as "Witch Hunt" and "Vital Signs" carry this sense of balance, the latter even using a combination of the typical Rush sound and Police-like reggae rock influences. While "The Camera Eye" and "Witch Hunt" are perhaps the weakest songs in the grand scheme of things, there's enough atmosphere and variation to let the listener know that they aren't bad tracks by any means, just a bit overpowered by the classics.

This is definitely one of the Rush albums I revisit the most. There's so much quality packed into the arrangements and such a sense of unity (despite complex instrumental work) that everything comes together superbly. In the end, that's what this album is: superb. It's commercial enough for radio audiences and varied enough for the progressive rock crowd, making it most likely the biggest fan-pleaser in the band's catalog. That's probably the reason why it's still the highest-selling Rush album (certified quadruple-platinum in the U.S. alone!); in any case, it definitely deserves that distinction.

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Posted Tuesday, July 28, 2015 | Review Permalink
4 stars Rush's best album of the 80's

Last 20th century RUSH album to really contain progressive compositions, "Moving Pictures" is clearly their most varied and colorful studio opus. Its predecessor, "Permanent Waves", marked a turn towards more radio-friendly material, and so do this eighth offering. However, although the record contains several of the band's best-known songs, the music itself has a rich orchestration and still remains quite adventurous, with complex rhythms structures, while approaching different styles. The tracks can be seen as a link between their long elaborated 70's suites and their short and direct synthesizer-reggae-rock songs of the 80's. As ever since "2112", the keyboards become more and more present, whereas the incursions in the metal territory are rarefying. Another point denoting this evolution: there are no acoustic guitar passage.

Inspired the famous book of American writer Mark Twain, "Tom Sawyer" is RUSH's most successful hit single. A powerful and retro-futuristic rock song, with changing rhythms, setting immediately the tone. Great! Alternating softer passages and raging guitars, "Red Barchetta" is enjoyable. With "La Villa Strangiato", "YYZ" is the best instrumental composition of RUSH, and even one the finest of the hard rock genre! YYZ is the international identity code assigned to Toronto's airport. Transcribed in Morse code, these three letters form the opening rhythmic of the track, at bells and guitars. As Toronto is the town where the members live, "YYZ" has a particular meaning to them, as it means home sweet home. This track possesses all you could expect from the Canadians: uncommon time signatures, different ambiances, epic passages, various soli and even a spacey interlude... Fantastic! Highly influential, this complex jazzy heavy rock is simply breathtaking! On the contrary, I'm not really a big fan of "Limelight". Although also elaborated and evolving, this piece is rather average.

Longest and most progressive song of the disc, "The Camera Eye" features both somber and dreamy atmospheres. These 11 minutes contain nice guitar works and rocking passages. Not the best mini-epic from the band, but still good. The two last tracks are the most surprising for the fan. The dark fantasy "Witch Hunt" is quite particular in RUSH's discography. Cover art designer Hugh Syme's synthesizers' layers create a deep, haunting mystical ambiance, increasing more and more in intensity. Love it! Rather lively, the electronic reggae "Vital Signs" foreshadows the style that the trio will develop in their next two albums. It rocks!

The mixture of genres displayed in "Moving Pictures" was quite unique at the beginning of the eighties, when prog has already declined. Varied, original, risky and refined, the music should even please the seventies' purists. I find this album a bit overrated though, as "Red Barchetta" and "Limelight" tend to bore me. Nevertheless, the other compositions are great and more remarkable than "Permanent Waves"'s. At the beginning of the eighties, Lee, Lifeson and Peart still remain pioneers and adventurers.

One of the best and most eclectic albums from RUSH! Highly recommended!

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Posted Monday, June 27, 2016 | Review Permalink
4 stars What can I say about this album? Every song on it is a masterpiece! I've been listening to Moving Pictures since elementary school and I can safely say I haven't gotten at all sick of it and I don't think I ever will. Moving Pictures is in my humble opinion Rush's most moving (haha) album and the fact that it is their most popular album is no coincidence. My personal attachment aside, Moving Pictures can be the soundtrack to anyone's life because of Neil Peart's larger-than-life lyrics and quite the same for the arrangements that Geddy and Alex made around them. Their teamwork really shows through on this album. My dad had introduced me to Rush when I was in sixth grade. I actually didn't like them at first even though they're my favorite band now. Geddy's vocals are a bit unusual to say the least, but there's nothing wrong with deviating from the norm ;) Rush is an acquired taste as you have to expect the unexpected with them. That's probably one of the reasons why it's hard to get sick of Rush once you do start listening to them. Moving Pictures is the album that finally got me into Rush. On the day October 20 of 2013, I finally gave them a second chance (courtesy of my Dad) and I didn't regret it. I've been hooked ever since. So it opens up with Tom Sawyer. I wasn't sure what to think at the time but this song is awesome, needless to say. It's not Rush's best, even though it's the song that they're known for, but it has its moments. The synth and guitar solos are what sell it to me, and Neil Peart's drumming is particularly flawless on this song. As the song is fading out, the drum fills change pace which is a nice touch. The guitar line on that part is simple but very deep. It was also interesting to learn that those portions of the song are in 7/8 and occasionally 6/8. Rush makes those odd time signatures work seamlessly. 4/5 Red Barchetta is the song that got me hooked. The chorused clean guitar sound is great and signature of 80s Rush (as well as the 80s in general). But when the song changes pace into the part right after the first verse it's just so awesome. And it's fitting for a song about driving around with the wind in your hair... illegally. Such an imaginative plot for a song. The energy of the song is a perfect match. 4/5 YYZ is just crazy. The intro is bizarre to new listeners but context is important. Turns out it's the morse code signal for the Toronto airport, the city where Rush is from, in music form! It's in a 5/4 time signature and reminds me of a more heavy sound that probably inspired bands like Tool, especially with the tritone. And then the main riff that comes in is just impossible not to like (impossible to play too). This song changes pace in a "cinematic" way in the same way that Red Barchetta does. Once again this song features some of Geddy's synth playing, after a very technical solo from Alex Lifeson. Neil Peart's drumming is consistently impressive throughout. The musicianship of all three members shines on this one. 4/5 And if the first 3 tracks didn't leave a good first impression on me, then Limelight hit it home for sure. That opening riff is just so good. The 6 notes that it is comprised of just say something that can't be put into words. Alex's guitar lines in this song are just phenomenal; his solo and the guitar part during the chorus (which goes back to that chorused sound) are dreamy. Of course the accompanying bass, vocal, drum parts are nothing short of what you'd expect from Rush, don't get me wrong; but this song kind of puts the spotlight (or the limelight ;)) on Lifeson. Despite that, this song is about Neil and his struggle with fame. Geddy once again manages to sing his lyrics in a way that captures them perfectly so the musicianship isn't necessarily mismatched per se. But this is definitely an Alex song in my mind. 5/5 Limelight is a satisfying conclusion to the A side of Moving Pictures, and while it feels like it could serve as a good conclusion overall, The Camera Eye and the following tracks prove that Rush had a lot more to say. I would say most people sadly stop listening after Limelight because it feels like such a finish, but I was guilty of doing so on my first few listens as well. This song opens with an ambient, relaxed sort of sound, as does the entire B-side to an extent (Limelight serving as a transition between the energetic A side and the soothing B side). The synth and guitar parts are alluring and tranquil. But that is not to say the pace changes are not present. A brilliant guitar riff then comes in

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Posted Sunday, October 16, 2016 | Review Permalink
4 stars A Classic.

Defining in many ways the Rush sound, Moving Pictures should probably be the first of their albums you pick up. I say this even though it is my second-favourite Rush album (my fav is Farewell to Kings), because this album is the key that links everything that came before with all that came after. It is in a way a microcosm of the Rush spirit, even though one might easily date it to its specific release/recorded year. And of course, it is high quality. Every song here is excellent. By now most if not all will know "Tom Sawyer" (the opener) and "Limelight" (the other single). "Red Barchetta" and the amazing instrumental "YYZ" (so named for the Toronto Pearson Airport code) also still receive widespread airplay. But these are all complex songs, very difficult to play. The second side is also quite good. The song "Witch Hunt" is often overlooked among Rush fans, but it is one of their best (and dare I say even more pertinent to contemporary politics in so many countries?). And the closing tune, "Vital Signs" is a great Rush original. Like previous Rush albums, which often featured a few epics or at least extended songs, there is also one longish tune here, the 10-minute "Camera Eye". This is also quite good, but perhaps not as well realized as the rest of the album. I also find it harkens a bit close in one spot to the "lost in the city" part of Yes' "Heart of the Sunrise". But perhaps that is Rush's way of saluting Yes? At any rate, it is a very minor issue, and the album can only be described as excellent. I give this album 8.7 out of 10 on my 10-point scale, which translates to (high) 4 PA stars.

Report this review (#1695638)
Posted Tuesday, February 21, 2017 | Review Permalink
4 stars I remember back in 2006, at the age of 19, I was playing in a band with a drummer who wanted to do a cover of 'Tom Sawyer'. I'd heard of Rush and was well-aware of how they'd inspired countless others, but I'd yet to actually listen to them. Oddly enough, around the same time, another friend of mine (a bassist... poor fella), was digging the instrumental track 'YYZ'. I was blown away by both songs, and when I found out they appeared on the same album, the decision was made. And so 'Moving Pictures', coincidentally one of Rush's most beloved and renowned releases, also served as my introduction to the Canadian rockers.

Not a bad place to start.

Having started as a traditional hard rock outfit, by the time Rush reached 'Moving Pictures', their eighth studio release, they were firmly established as a progressive rock act, with their music full of the traits associated with the genre. While the band had used keyboards and synthesizers before, this album ushered the trio into the 80's, in which their music would become much more keyboard-driven, adapting to the musical trends of the time, whilst never compromising their own identity.

Containing fan favourites such as 'Tom Sawyer', 'YYZ', 'Limelight', 'Vital Signs' and 'Red Barchetta', 'Moving Pictures' features excellent performances by everyone involved, with no self-indulgent endless musical passages, every note on this record has true meaning behind it, and is wonderfully produced to ensure the band sound as majestic as ever.

Highly regarded amongst fans as Rush's greatest release, 'Moving Pictures' is a classic album that rightfully deserves it's place in every progressive rock collection.

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Posted Monday, September 25, 2017 | Review Permalink
4 stars Never been my favourite Rush album. Why? It has the more commercial tunes such as 'Tom Sawyer' and 'Limelight', which are both equally fine song. I think that overall, this album was definitely an attempt at making a commercial friendly prog album, which is fine, but overall I think there are better Rush albums.

Tom Sawyer as an opener has always been a Rush classic, especially for me, I am canadian after all. The overall commercial tone of the song is different from their usual take on a more prog hit such as Freewill off Permanent Waves. However the overall mood and atmosphere of this song is like their Mama, except for 2 years earlier and frankly better written.

Red Barchetta is a brilliant tune, always liked it, it's still a bit more on the commercial friendly side but it is much less accessible than Tom Sawyer. The intricate drum patterns made Neal Peart (may he rest in peace) are staggering, the guitar and bass patterns on the song just intertwine with the drums and the lyrics are also amazing. Quite the poetic lyrics for a song about a car, and do I enjoy it? Oh yeah I do, it's always been another Rush classic that i can crank on my stereo.

YYZ, Pearson International anyone? No? Ok... sorry. Anyways, this is probably the best on the album. The odd times, the drum patterns, the tone of every single instrument. The only problem is Geddy Lee's inability to play keyboards well, he is the Geoff Downes of Rush, except he makes up for it for being an incredibly talented bassist and amazing vocalist. The beginning is intricate and covered by odd time signatures, and even the subtle chord on the keys are well done, not well played but still it adds layers to the song. The solos eventually come up and all of them are just so well done, Geddy's bass solos, the drum solos and the Guitar playing is just... it makes your mind bend. The slow part reminds me of something... I will probably never be able to think of what it is but it's so familiar to me. It's all well written and well played.

Limelight has never been a song I was a fan of, the lyrics seem offputting, almost like they don't like the spotlight (even though probably doesn't exactly mean that). The alternating odd times are well done, I just find that the song isn't very intriguing. I can enjoy the overall tone of the song but I wouldn't buy the album for this song. I still think this album is great, but I was never a huge fan of this song.

The Camera Eye is a song about Manhattan, the observation of New Yorkers, the overall concept of this song is very interesting and... having been to New York, it's fairly accurate. The music for this bigger piece is very slow at first with cool keyboard sounds done by Geddy and the drumming is just.. well.. Neal Peart. The song eventually picks up speed and then you get the lyrics kicking in and well... Rush greatness. Layering more odd times, more intriguing and well written guitar and bass parts, the flow of the song is brilliant.

Witch Hunt is quite the tune on this album, the weird and darker intro to this song is a different approach and rather interesting from the start. The rest of the track is also very well written, good chords, intricate drum fills, Geddy's vocals are great, etc, etc. This song belongs on this album and frankly I enjoy it myself.

Vital Signs is probably one of my favourite Rush songs of all time, I love this song to death. The intro had that sequencer and then Alex and Neal burst with their parts, the guitar parts are great, the drum fills are of standard to Neal Peart. The rest of the song has that more commercial tone while still maintaining that amazing prog feel. The drum part is irregular but very typical of Neal Peart, never wanting to do a straight beat, and always trying to experiment a bit, a brilliant quality of his indeed. Geddy's vocals are yet again great, I've always loved his voice and his tone. He has the vocal range to sing all of these parts with emotion and this song proves it. Needless for me to say, this is a brilliant song to end off a very good album.

Ok, so why am I not giving it a 5 star review. The weaker songs on the album, Limelight for me has never stood out as a great track, and I have never thought of it as a very well written track, it has it's good drum beat but overall I never thought it was a great song. It has good playing overall, just the song itself is just bland to me.

I do like this album a great deal, but I think they did better albums in the past. If you want a more commercial friendly Rush album, this is it, but I myself prefer Hemisphere's, Permanent Waves, A Farewell To Kings, etc. This album did solidify their fanbase, but I find that they just wrote slightly better material a few years earlier.

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Posted Thursday, May 7, 2020 | Review Permalink
5 stars Rush's most successful album, outstanding as its 3 predecessors, and the last of its most progressive stage, which ended with the double live album Exit ... Stage Left, shows us the state of grace and maturity they had reached for hand us Moving Pictures. Again, the use of a wide variety of musical instruments (6 and 12 string guitars, pedals, synthesizers, and percussion elements) allowed Canadians to display all their virtuosity.

Side A, which begins with the powerful Tom Sawyer and takes Mark Twain's short story adapted to the modern world as a reference, goes through an intense musical path, in which there is space to embark on the song Red Barchetta in a Ferrari 166 MM Barchetta (model 1948), in a career of the future, inspired by the short story A Nice Morning Drive by Richard S. Foster, surprise us with the instrumental YYZ (IATA code of Toronto airport) considered one of the best instrumental songs of rock and piece indispensable that gives way to Neil Peart's percussion solos in his live shows, and conclude the side with the rocker Limelight, a reflection of how difficult it is to keep private life isolated from everything that involves fame.

The Camera Eye, which begins side B, is the last composition of extensive duration (almost 11 minutes) of the group, but already leaving aside the mythical and fantasy theme, and more focused on worldly life, making references to New York and London. It is an excellent song and once again we enjoy the virtuosity of the three musicians, especially Alex Lifeson's guitar. The album is completed by the deep darkness of Witch Hunt, and finally, Vital Signs, influenced by reggae rhythms, which would partly mark the path of Rush for his next work, Signals.

Moving Pictures is undoubtedly one of the cornerstones of Rush's discography and progressive music from the early 1980s.

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Posted Sunday, June 7, 2020 | Review Permalink
4 stars Moving Pictures was the beginning of a new era for Rush, one that included a larger use of synthesizers and lesser use of guitars. However, the great thing about Moving Pictures is that it still included their more traditional hard rock sound, and so is often described as an album of both eras - in very much the same way as Duke by Genesis. Many people believe Rush only truly begun their synth-orientated period with their next album Signals, due to this sustained use of heavy guitars not seen later in Rush's work; it was Moving Pictures, however, where I think the change happened, as many styles of music in Moving Pictures had not been seen in their earlier work, and I believe Alex Lifeson said the album was where "we became us", clearly indicating a change in style.

The album begins with "Tom Sawyer", opening with a really cool synth accompanied by drums, Geddy sings the first lyrics and before you know it the song's in full flow (in Rush's earlier work it usually took a few minutes for the song to begin, much less than a few seconds). I don't think I will be contested when I say "Tom Sawyer" is an excellent song and a classic.

After "Tom Sawyer" fades out, a muted guitar riff fades in. Soon the drums, bass and synth join in and start playing a song about... (wait for it) ...a car. Not a common theme at all for Rush at the time, who seemed to prefer writing songs about astronauts dying in black holes and being reborn in black holes. Anyway, the song in question is "Red Barchetta", another great song and one of my favourite ever Rush songs.

Next up, "YYZ", an instrumental track. It begins with Morse code (why not) that create the rhythm of the track, which then begins with a bang into a 10/8 guitar-dominated riff. This song is one of the most experimental for Rush on Moving Pictures, as not only does it begin with the Morse code "Y-Y-Z" (YYZ being the IATA airport ID code for Toronto Airport) a large section is entirely synth-dominated - and I mean a synth plays the melody rather than just being in the background. Oh, and not to mention being only four minutes long - Rush's only other instrumental at the time, "La Villa Strangiato", was a more than ample nine minutes in length.

With "YYZ" ending dramatically, a heavy guitar riff repeats thrice - on the third time the drums, bass and synth come in and play a great song, the last on side one of the album. The song is called "Limelight". I will say no more on the song to ruin it to readers who have not had the fortune to hear it, apart from the fact it's one of Rush's best ever songs, a fan favourite, and certainly the best song on Moving Pictures in my opinion (though some give that honour to "Tom Sawyer").

Now, before I get on to side two, you will note that all the songs on side one I have described as flawless. On side two... things are a little different. It is much more experimental, and more reminiscent of Rush's 80s era. It also, however, seems as though Rush put the songs with the best tunes on side one and the slightly odder ones on side two. But I'll move on.

The first song of side two, "The Camera Eye", you might expect to be the most traditional song on the album, since it is the last of Rush's multi-part suites, but actually is the most experimental. The entire song is dominated by synthesizers. It opens with the sound of some bustling street in a city, after which some particularly cool synths come in, slowly build up as the guitar and bass join the synth, until the drums come in with bombast. Usually, I'd say this is a great song. The lyrics are great (it's about a city, by the way). The music is great. The problem with it is, is that it's in two five minute parts. And when the first part is over, though the lyrics are different, the music just repeats itself! So, by the end of the ten minutes of the song, you're getting pretty bored!

So, like I said, I'd usually say "The Camera Eye" is a good song, but because it's incredibly repetitive, it's only ok.

After "The Camera Eye" ends, "Witch Hunt" fades in with what sounds like a very unruly crowd chanting something unintelligible - once again, not something common in an album like, for instance, Permanent Waves. Then, a heavy guitar riff comes in and the first lyrics are sung before the drums take over the rhythm. Two more things should be noted here: "Witch Hunt" is part three of Rush's Fear Trilogy - parts two and one would feature on their next albums; Signals and Grace Under Pressure. The second thing to note here is that "Witch Hunt is another example of how Rush had progressed from their previous albums; it's opening I already have noted was experimental for Rush at the time, and the chorus is synth-dominated. All in all, a good song, but not on par with songs like "Tom Sawyer" and "Limelight", in my honest opinion.

As "Witch Hunt" fade out, the final track, "Vital Signs" begins - the only song on side two that compares with songs on side one. It opens with synthesizers, which develop into a reggae-orientated guitar riff. In fact, the entire song is reggae influenced, something never seen before with Rush except from a small part of "The Spirit of the Radio" - however, at the end of the song the reggae ostinatos from earlier in the song are forgotten, and the finale section comes in, with three simple chords, which fades out. An excellent outro; there are no other words for it.

So, in conclusion, Moving Pictures does not quite fit my requirements for a five star review:

1. The songs must all be excellent.

2. It must work brilliantly as an album.

Not all the songs are quite excellent - as I mentioned earlier, "The Camera Eye" is only ok, not brilliant, and "Witch Hunt" is good, but isn't on the level of the other songs. So I've put the album at four stars; it is generally a great album, and includes some brilliant songs (just look at "Tom Sawyer"), but isn't 100% brilliant.

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Posted Sunday, September 6, 2020 | Review Permalink
3 stars Review #87

So, this album is considered one of the most amazing albums in RUSH's discography and in all the Progressive Rock genre; if you go to ProgArchives' top 100 albums right now you'll find this album in the 17th place while "Hemispheres" is in the 20th place, "A farewell to kings" is in the 32nd place and "2112" is not even included in the top, I just can't agree with that.

Just as in "Permanent waves" the first tracks of the album are the most interesting ones while the ones approaching the end of the album got regular and even kind of boring. I've been reading a lot of reviews about this album and I just can't get what is what people find so majestic about this record. "Tom Sawyer", "Red Barchetta" and "YYZ" are brilliant, I don't deny that but (in my humble opinion) after that the songs are played with a huge lack of inspiration and the album doesn't have too many interesting moments; not even the almost 11-minute suite "The camera eye" gives me the vibe of an iconic song but only an average song with nothing amazing to discover in.

I really don't believe that 3 songs out of 7 could give an album the reputation of an indispensable masterpiece of Progressive Rock music. I'm sorry for not being able to appreciate the greatness that everyone seems to catch in this record.

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Posted Friday, January 15, 2021 | Review Permalink
5 stars Moving Pictures is the eighth studio album by the Canadian band Rush, which released on February 12, 1981. Moving Pictures is considered to be one of Rush's best work, and with classic songs such as Tom Sawyer, Limelight, and YYZ its easy to see why. The album contains excellent instrumentation from everyone in the band, heavy production, and fantastic songwriting and lyrics. Honestly I do not think there is a dull song on the album. While not my favorite Rush album, I will still give it a 5/5 because its such a important album in Rush's catalog, and for that, it deserves all the love it gets.
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Posted Tuesday, February 23, 2021 | Review Permalink

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