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5 stars This is the cd that made me fall in love with the band. It is a great introduction to Rush, but there's no reason why old Rush fans won't enjoy this great collection. It covers most of Rush's earlier works and styles and definetely lives up to its name.
Report this review (#21018)
Posted Wednesday, June 23, 2004 | Review Permalink
Eetu Pellonpaa
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars A very good double CD compilation representing this Canadian art rock trio! I admit that the essential epics are missing, as they very often do in this kind of compilations. Anyway the material covers a large part of their production line, and some older tunes sound quite good as remastered. This album would be a good starter for somebody who is interested of the band, but haven't heard their records. As there are one or two songs from each major studio and live album, one can get a good overview from the different production eras of the band. This would also be a handy CD for those who have collected the albums as vinyl, or for listening in a car's stereos. The booklet contains also a small biography of the band. "The Passage to Bangkok" from "Exit...Stage Left" vinyl is also released here, as it lacked from the first CD versions of that album.
Report this review (#21022)
Posted Friday, April 1, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars Salmacis said it best...there's nothing rare here. So don't buy this collection thinking that you'll get an unreleased version of "Fly By Night" or something of that nature. If you do, you'll be in for a huge disappointment.

Collections, by nature, normally number in their ranks an assortment of "hits" or songs heavily played on radio. Rush are not quite that band. Too cerebral for most, too unpolished for others, they've always been in that middle ground; too "classic" for modern radio, yet too "modern" (save a precious few songs) for "classic" radio. So where does that leave this collection?

It's a great starter for the unintitated, much like the "Retrospective" series. This came at a time when Rush fans (such as myself and my boyfriend) weren't inundated with titles like "The Spirit Of Radio", "Gold" and the like. All the records, from 1974's "Rush" to 1989's "Presto" are well-documented and accounted for. So I can't really find a flaw. But I won't give it 5 stars, for a few reasons.

As I mentioned in my review of "Retrospective: 1981-1987", I'm thinking a tracklist change could've helped it out. Mind you, the songs here are flawless (with the general exception of anything off GRACE UNDER PRESSURE, something that does NOT get played in my household), but fans (diehard and otherwise) have heard most of this already, on the songs' respective albums. Instead of "Tom Sawyer", how about, say "Witch Hunt" or "The Camera Eye"? (Hey: they put "La Villa Strangiato" on disc 1...they might as well pad it out a bit more for disc 2.) Guess I'm a bit finicky when it comes to stuff like that. I made a Rush Mix CD a few days ago, and it has NOTHING of the tracks listed here, mainly because every track has already been heard and analyzed into oblivion.

So; four stars.

Report this review (#80015)
Posted Thursday, June 1, 2006 | Review Permalink
3 stars My introduction to Rush came with this album on recomendation from a friend, this collection of songs immediatly clicked with me and I was head over heels madly in love with them, from the chippendale voice of Geddy Lee, the strong bass and drum backbone of the songs, the added synth melodies and alex's guitar skills, often overlooked, but really right up my alley.

The best aspect of the collection is the chronological order of the songs which reveal both the continuity of quality, and the progress and develepment Rush went through over the years. From the early Led Zep type hard rock towards a more progressive rock approach and eventually to the amazing synth laden heavy rock, with pop-credibility that made Rush unique in the eighties. They never forgot to reinvent themselves through naturall development, which also adds to this collection as to prevent it from being repetitive.

The tracklist is as good as can be, naturally personal favourites are always missing, as I sure would have liked YYZ, Xanadu, Cygnus X-1, The Pass or Natural Science(to name just a few) in the list, but that's also a strength of the collection, it leaves something to be desired.

Basically I think this is the ultimate collection for people who like me at the time are unfamilliar with rush's music and want a good taster of what Rush sounds like. For me it was a beginning, if you already are determined to get some Rush, or already have most of the albums you can easily skip it for in the end it's the original albums that hold the purest of ear candy.

Only for novices, but good at that.

Report this review (#122062)
Posted Monday, May 14, 2007 | Review Permalink
3 stars Probably the best Rush compilation album in existence, and for several reasons. First, the selection is, IMO, better than that of Gold. Second, it shows perfectly the evolution of the band's music in chronological order. From their Zeppelin sounding days of birth (like their debut "Rush"), to their figuring out their own definitive sound (like 2112), to their days of very progressive writing and artistic apex (like Hemispheres), to their days of radio play (like Moving Pictures), to their days of 80s new wave-ish-ness (like Grace Under Pressure). It's the compilation my family has listened to for pretty much my whole life as well as what made me a Rush fan, especially of their earlier music, and probably what instilled at a very early age my love for progressive music. If you're interested in buying a compilation that DEFINES Rush as a band, this is the one to get, especially if you thing you're going to pursue buying their albums later on. It's almost sort of a "Best of Rush" rather than what songs of theirs were just popular. If you just like some of the band's songs but don't care for them that much, just get gold or something with their greatest hits. Otherwise, Chronicles is the way to go.
Report this review (#155994)
Posted Thursday, December 20, 2007 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Among other boxset compilation, this one is the best one to pick because it contains many great tracks, even though not all, of their career. You can here the period where their music was heavily influenced by Led Zeppelin through almost half of the first disc. This is typically true for "Finding my way" (5:05), "Working man" (7:09), "Fly by night", "Bastille Day" (4:37) and "Lakeside Park" (4:07). Workin Man is probably the best track from this era. It then continues with their music direction to progressive rock with tracks like "2112: overture / Temples of Syrinx" (6:44), "A farewell to kings" (5:21), "La Villa Strangiato" (9:34) and "The Spirit of Radio" (4:47). First disc in its entirety represents great music by Rush during its early days.

The first half of disc two represents the band's music in transition from progressive rock to something more synthesizer-based. "Tom Sawyer" (4:34) is a great track with excellent melody and relatively complex structure. "Red Barchetta" (6:08) is an excellent riff-driven rock music, followed beautifully by "Lime Light" and live version of "Passage to Bangkok" (3:45). "Subdivisions" (5:32) remarkes the band's move into synthesizer. "Subdivisions" is one of my favorite of Rush music. "Distant early warning" (4:56) is also another great track. After "The Big Money", I don't think the music is worth listening.

Overall, it's a good chronicles even though I'd rather recommend you to buy individual album of Rush than purchase this compilation. Keep on proggin' ..!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW (i-Rock! Music Community)

Report this review (#182395)
Posted Sunday, September 14, 2008 | Review Permalink
3 stars A big deal when it was released

This was the first official Rush compilation album and it was welcomed with open arms by myself who at that time only had Hold Your Fire, A Show Of Hands and Presto on cassette tapes. Accidently, I bought my first CD player the same week as the release of this compilation album. If I am not mistaken, Chronicles is the first double CD album I ever bought. It was hush-hush time when I put the first CD in the CD player. God had arrived. This album opened up a new world to me. Rush in other words. The rest of the albums was quickly purchased.

Eighteen years and an inflation of Rush compilation albums later, this album has somehow lost it's value. Chronicles consist of 2 x tracks from each of the Rush albums from the debut to A Show Of Hands and Presto (one track each). The best Rush albums, many will argue. Passage To Bangkok, which was omitted from the All The World's A Stage CD due to lack of space is also included as the only new track here.

The problem is as usual the choice of tracks. In hindsight, other tracks should be included and others omitted. That's a very long debate. But all their greatest tracks are here and there is nothing wrong about this compilation album, besides of the cover art work which is dull. I just wish this was the only compilation album covering the debut to Hold Your Fire era..... But the record label has lost their head and devalued the Rush brand with countless other compilations. Which is a pity.

3 stars.

Report this review (#200867)
Posted Tuesday, January 27, 2009 | Review Permalink
Crossover/Symphonic Teams
3 stars In my opinion, Rush's Chonicles "greatest hits" album was just an attempt of a record company taking advantage of a group's popularity to make a few extra bucks. As I understand it, this collection was assembled without the participation of the band, and it shows. Some of these I would hardly call "hits," while others are obviously. In the end, the result is a mixed bag. Many songs didn't make the cut, and for the most part, it's the longer tracks that were carelessly discarded so they could fit as much on these 2 discs as possible.

I guess as an introduction to the band, this collection might be acceptable, but it doesn't provide enough insight into the band's earlier progressive years. Xanadu and Cygnus X-1 (at least one of the two parts) would have helped in this manner, instead of many of the shorter pieces they pulled from this period. The 2nd disc seems most representative of the band's 1980s output.

How to rate this? Fans probably already have all their albums, so this isn't for them. Collectors? Maybe, but most likely not. Newcomers to Rush? I would prefer they get the studio albums from their peak period. Completionists? Well... that's what they do, so they'll want this. The music isn't bad, just not the best selection for a "greatest hits" compilation. I guess I'd have to go with three stars. Good stuff, but not really essential for the above reasons. Or am I just overthinking the rating thing?

Report this review (#223233)
Posted Friday, June 26, 2009 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Perfect compilation of one of the best heavy-prog group. This double album is enough representative for wide period of group's activity. This is it's strong side. The weak point comes from the reason above: if you want to prepare representative collection of song covering twenty years, you for sure will put some songs, which are good for some albums, but are below average for the group in common.

I think this compilation is produced having this problem in a head: best period (around 1980) is represented with maximum songs. It's a perfect decision, because these songs are the album's gem.

From other hand, it's not easy to make that kind of compilation at all: Rush's "Moving Pictures" is fully the best possible compilation! So any compilation should consist of "Moving Pictures " plus some tracks? Easy to ask, difficult to answer!

So, we have really strong ( representative in time) compilation there! ( With accent to best albums). As for me, first CD is generally perfect, and the first part of the second. Starting from the group's "new sound " ( read - synth-pop sound) I almost lost my interest to their music at all, so it's always difficult for me to listen CD2 till the end ( boring faceless synth-pop-rock in prog clothes,sorry).

But I understand, that for many listeners even later Rush is kind of prog-idol. So I think ( if I am thinking in democratic way) that in total this double CD is strong enouh and representative.

If you are new for Rush music and want just to start ( or to buy just ONE album), I can recommend just to purchase "Moving Pictures"instead! As I said before, "Moving Pictures"is better than any Rush copmilation!

Report this review (#237766)
Posted Sunday, September 6, 2009 | Review Permalink
3 stars It must be quite difficult to create a great compilation album. You have to keep mostly to album length (We aren't talking anthologies here) and pick out the treasures from what may be a wide body of work. This album was released in September of 1990 according the Rush's website. By that point, Rush had released 13 studio albums, 3 live albums and an anthology containing their first three albums. Needless to say Rush had already generated massive amount of music to select only 28 tracks from.

Chronicles does a fairly good job of choosing entertaining tracks from each of those first thirteen albums and a few selected tracks plucked from their live recordings. I think the live recordings are important to have because they show just how strong Rush is as a live act. The chosen tracks are mostly singles, but you certainly can do no wrong with Closer to the Heart, Spirit of the Radio and the triple headed beast of Tom Sawyer, Red Barchetta and Limelight among several others. For these reasons I think Chronicles makes an excellent introduction to Rush. It does nothing to scare unwary listeners and lays down some serious Rock'n'Roll.

There are however some serious flaws with this album. Firstly, and most notably for veteran Rush fans is the near total lack of epics and instrumentals. There is of course the exception of La Villa Strangiato and the first and arguably best part of 2112. It would make for an overly bloated affair if many more were included; which isn't so much a weakness of the album I suppose as a weakness of compilation albums in general. Still, I started off with Chronicles and was totally blown away when I found out about stuff like Xanadu and Natural Science. One might argue that it's simply incentive to explore the catalogue as I did, but someone anticipating that sort of stuff might get the wrong impression. I'll also say, how do you make a Rush compilation without YYZ?

The second major flaw with Chronicles is its timing. What I mean is that nearly a third of Rush's prodigious career goes unrepresented here. Five albums including the later gems Counterparts and Snakes and Arrows are not present. This also leads to another issue, heavier representation for the 1980s portion of Rush's career. I think it's important to give the full retrospective as it was then in 1990, unfortunately for myself the post Signals period just isn't quite to my tastes.

Well there you have it; Chronicles is chocked full of the mostly harmless tracks from the first decade and a half of Rush. While lacking in some ways and over representative of others I can still point to no alternative to this album as a primer for the music of Rush. I think existing fans can by-pass this one though. You already know what you like. If I were to take Chronicles and review it as if it were a studio album just like any other I think it would probably score off the charts. Imagine if all those songs had been released on the same studio album, it might be the greatest album ever. That's just it, it isn't a studio album, it's a compilation and as a cross section of Rush's work I would say it probably comes in only as a 3/5.

Report this review (#268383)
Posted Friday, February 26, 2010 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars My first Rush purchase but I already knew many of their songs. The first of many compilations to come. The biggest let down would be only having an excerpt of "2112" and the live songs. The live songs are not bad, but I would have preferred studio songs in their place(and not just studio versions of the live songs). The tracklist is decent. I think only "Working Man" should have been used from the first album; "Finding My Way" sounds too much like Zeppelin. It also would have been great if they included "Marathon", one of the band's best '80s songs.

So, you get the classics and the more well known singles along with album tracks like "La Villa Strangiato". Generally most of the longer tracks are not here. So no "Necromancer" or "Xanadu". This set covers 1974-1989. The first disc is pre-Moving Pictures. Because you don't get some of the longer album tracks, you don't quite get an accurate picture of the band's evolving sound. You hear a chronological change but it seems abrupt.

If you have no Rush albums this is a good place to start. Other compilations have generally the same songs as here. You are still better off getting a copy of Hemispheres or Moving Pictures. A good introduction to the band but doesn't show you everything they are capable of. 3 stars.

Report this review (#343626)
Posted Sunday, December 5, 2010 | Review Permalink
Conor Fynes
3 stars 'Chronicles' - Rush (Compilation)

If it means anything, this is Rush's most complete compilation album.

The concept of 'best of' collections and compilations generally get a bad reputation amongst critics, especially Rush compilations. For a band with multiple takes on the 'best-of' of this well-known Canadian trio, it doesn't seem like any have really been able to get the concept down right. Showcasing some of the band's better known work up to the release of 'Presto,' 'Chronicles' seems to do quite a more successful job of showing each side of the band, and the gradual development of the group's sound from the rough and rocking early days, through their progressive years, and into their synth-heavy '80s period.

While the band's prog-minded fans will no doubt be a bit unsatisfied by the lack of the more ambitious material here, there's plenty of great tracks here, even if they may be the sort that listeners could typically find on the radio in any case. While certainly not essential for any fan of the band (who are easily better off buying the actual studio albums over this), 'Chronicles' does understand that it takes more than a single disc to showcase such an expansive career.

Report this review (#351473)
Posted Monday, December 13, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars Chronicles is one of the few compilations by Rush that is not a Retrospective. Being released right before the album "Counterparts", it wasn't able to include many more recent hits, from albums like "Test For Echo" or "Clockwork Angels".

The compilation includes all necessary hits from albums, from "Rush" to "Presto". There are usually two hits per album on the compilation, with the exceptions of the hits from "Moving Pictures", which includes 3, probably due to the fact that "Moving Pictures" was made up entirely of hits, and it wasn't enough to only add two to the compilation. Also, "Presto" only gets one song, most likely due to the album not being as popular as the others. Also, "Rush", their self titled, also includes three tracks, two of which are studio, the other being a live performance. Another 3 track inclusion was "Power Windows", which again included two studio songs and one live song.

Live songs are also included in the place of studio recorded songs, for instance on disk two, 'Mystic Rhythms' from ", which is performed live on the track. Other live tracks include 'A Passage to Bangkok, from "2112", and 'What You're Doing', from "Rush".

This compilation is definitely a great introduction to Rush, from 70's to 80's. I suggest to any person wanting to get involved with Rush to buy this compilation as their first purchase. If it appeals, you have the freedom to get the full albums. Overall, an amazing compilation for any fan of musicianship mastery by Rush.

Report this review (#1261822)
Posted Wednesday, August 27, 2014 | Review Permalink
3 stars Rush is an album band. As far as I know, since their debut LP, their entire recorded studio output has been released on full-length albums with one exception: an EP in 2004. No non-album singles or b-sides, no songs originally from soundtracks, no special fan-club recordings. Especially since many Rush albums are based on a unifying theme or concept, it seems like Rush hopes that their songs are enjoyed in the context of their respective albums. A compilation like Chronicles doesn't seem to make as much sense as it might if it were released by a more singles-oriented band.

So if you're new to Rush and you buy or download music instead of streaming it, I suggest that you first get Moving Pictures, the band's 1981 album. But if you like what you hear on Moving Pictures, get Chronicles next. I say that because this album does a pretty good job of introducing the listener to the band's 1970s and 1980s output.

Each studio album is represented by two songs, except for Moving Pictures (three songs) and Presto (one song). Presto was still pretty new at the time and was released on a different label (Atlantic) from all of the other songs (Mercury, which also released Chronicles). There is also one song from each of the band's three live albums from the 1970s and 1980s. Each of the band's songs that hit the Billboard Hot 100 are here: "Fly by Night," "Closer to the Heart," "Spirit of Radio," "Limelight," "Tom Sawyer," "New World Man," and "The Big Money." Also are included are radio favorites like "The Trees" and "Freewill" and video hits "Distant Early Warning" and "Time Stand Still." The remaining song choices are pretty good considering the constraints.

The sound quality is good. Sure, the remastered versions that I've heard sound even better, but even unremastered Rush CDs cut from the vinyl or cassette masters sound good.

If you already have more than a few Rush albums, there's no point in getting Chronicles. But if you want a sampler of their albums through 1989, or if you just want to have one Rush collection, this is probably it.

(P.S.: Chronicles appears to have been superseded by Gold (2006), a two-CD set covering almost exactly the same time period and containing most of the same songs. (It does, however, skip the live albums and Presto.) On the other hand, Gold presumably uses more recent remastered versions of the tracks.)

Report this review (#2152250)
Posted Tuesday, March 5, 2019 | Review Permalink
4 stars This one is a very good compilation album from Rush. It is perfect for people who wants to listen to Rush for the first time, since it spans their entire career up to that point. It features songs from every album of Rush in the 1974-1991 period, including the live releases (16 albums in total). The songs are arranged chronologically, so you can sense their music evolution. They have chosen two songs per album, except for the live ones, and the recently released presto, wich features only one song each. And from 2112 there is an abridged version of the 2112 suit. Note that this are not the remastered versions of the songs (since the rush remasters were not done yet), but the sound is very good. Keep in mind that a remaster not always sounds better than thenoriginal realese. To complement this compilation I would add a few more songs from albums released after 1991: "animate" and "leave that thing alone" from COUNTERPARTS (1993) and "test for echoes" and "resist" from TEST FOR ECHOES (1996). That would be a perfect collection indeed. [R1]
Report this review (#2592191)
Posted Saturday, September 4, 2021 | Review Permalink

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