Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
Rush - Retrospective II (1981-1987) CD (album) cover



Heavy Prog

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Bookmark and Share
Tony R
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars This is a quite a neat collection presumably aimed at the non-Rush devotee who wants to explore 80's "Rush Music". It covers 6 years and 5 albums, two of which; Moving Pictures and Signals, are amongst the band's very best.

All the tracks are from the Rush Re-Master series and certainly the songs from the mid eighties period GUP through HYF benefit greatly from a beefier more kinetic mix.

So what's good? Depends what floats your boat really! Certainly the 3 from Moving Pictures are classics but after that the compilation stays extremely safe with many of the selections having been released as singles: Time Stand Still, New World Man, The Big Money, Mission and Mystic Rhythms. These are hardly going to convince the doubters on this venerable site! Hidden gems they arent.

So all in all, I'm not sure who this collection will appeal to. Hard-line Proggers need not apply, but still a reasonable collection of songs by anyone's standards. 3 1/2 stars really.

Report this review (#74837)
Posted Thursday, April 13, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars I'm not sure what to make of this compilation. It screams "commerciality"; especially when most of their stuff is on offer at the local record shop. Yet, it IS a good place to start for the uninitiated. Why?

Well, let's look at the facts. Most of their "classic" period is well annotated, with songs like "Limelight", "Red Barchetta" and "Subdivisions". Yet, if you've heard all those before, you might wanna go directly to the songs from other discs, such as "The Big Money" from POWER WINDOWS, "The Body Electric" from GRACE UNDER PRESSURE or "Time Stand Still" from HOLD YOUR FIRE (a fave in my household).

It's a great starter; don't misunderstand, and the reason why I give it such a high rating is simply because Rush have here a body of work that WILL stand the test of time long after other bands have been swept away by the sands of time.

The reason I WON'T give it 5 stars is this: All of the songs are better represented within the context of their respective records. Not only that, but the set could've done well with a bit of a tracklist change. Say: instead of "The Big Money" (something they frequently do in concert), how 'bout "Middletown Dreams" or "Emotion Detector"? In short, no 5 star rating from me. It's good-to-great, mind you, but the listener (casual or otherwise) would be better served by picking up the respective CD's.

Report this review (#80010)
Posted Thursday, June 1, 2006 | Review Permalink
2 stars Though I'm not a large fan of Rush's 80s period, or the 80s in general, but this was a good collection. Besides a few song changes I would have liked, this is perfect for any Rush fan who isn't big on their 80s albums, but would like a taste anyway. As for the music, it's good, except for some tracks that drag on, or just feel too much alike the others. "New World Man" and "Mission" are two I did not particularily enjoy.
Report this review (#96057)
Posted Saturday, October 28, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars In my opinion Rush peaked with Permanent Waves and Moving Pictures, and although they pursued a more accessible approach in the 80s (as many did), they still managed to keep their musical and critical integrity. Being a Rush fan I was still curious about the material that was produced during this period (I wasn't for a long time). So what better way than get hold of Retrospective Volume 2 which covers the years 1981 - 1987. OK it contains three tracks from Moving Pictures but there are still 12 tracks from the four other albums to get to grips with.

We have Tom sawyer, Red Barchetta and Limelight from Moving Pictures. Subdivisions, The Analog Kid and New World Man from Signals. Distant Early Warning, The Body Electric and Red Sector A from Grace Under Pressure. The Big Money, Mystic Rhythms and Marathon from Power Windows. Time Stand Still, Mission and Force Ten from Hold Your Fire.

The Moving Pictures selections play it safe but these are still superb tracks. I am not familiar with the other four albums so I can't comment on the inclusion of one track instead of another, I suspect they play it safe also. However the collection still sounds pretty good and some of the tracks are not that short with several over 5 minutes. You also still need to listen to them a few times to become familiar.

Some unexpected highlights are Marathon with a powerful symphonic keyboard motif and some superb bass work from Lee. The Mission also achieves a satisfying symphonic sweep with the keyboards and has an inspired solo from Lifeson at the end its all too short though.

I also especially like The Body Electric which has a catchy bass riff and Red Sector A with some insightful lyrics and an urgent synth rhythm underpinning the need to stay alive.

The only song I didn't care for was New World Man. It starts of with a comedic synth riff and never recovers from this. The reggae rhythm is usual but still not enough

For Rush fans wanting to check out the 80s albums and don't want to splash out on the individual albums this is definitely a good choice. I enjoyed most of the songs but ultimately I found they were just not as compelling as their prog material. This collection is still worth four stars though.

Report this review (#122057)
Posted Monday, May 14, 2007 | Review Permalink
Queen By-Tor
Honorary Collaborator
2 stars The other half of the story.

Retrospective II represents Rush's music from their highest ranked album, Moving Pictures [1981] through to the end of their 80s period with Hold Your Fire [1987]. Unfortunately it doesn't have any of the better music from their Presto... but that is arguably the beginning of their 90s period, and not of their 80s... even if it's in the 80s... anyways, moving on.

The music contained on this compilation ranges wildly in the progressive scope. Many prog fans may be thrown off by some of the mid 80s material but love the early 80s stuff. Unfortunately, unlike the first Retrospective album, this one doesn't take as many chances. Sure there's some longer tracks on there... but where's ''The Camera Eye''? Really this one sticks more to the hits, and they're well represented. 2 or 3 songs from each album stuck on this one.

Again, the songs here are much better in context, but this is an album for those wanting to test the 80s waters of the music that is Rush. I'd recommend it for those who are hesitant, maybe they'll find something to like. Like the first of it's kind, this album has some nice artwork (definitely more 80s), and again features the year, writer and album as well as album cover for each song.

2 stars, a good place to start... for the 80s anyways.

Really, you'd be better off buying ''Gold'', which has both Retrospective I and II... that is, if you don't have any Rush album so far. If you have all the 70s stuff and want to hear the 80s... this is for you.

Report this review (#163403)
Posted Friday, March 7, 2008 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
2 stars Later Days of Rush. 1982 was the shift of Rush into new era, the digital era, with more synthesizers in their music. The transition album was the album that made them fly, i.e "Moving Pictures" as it contains famous and legendary track "Tom Sawyer". This song has become the icon for Rush. The next album, "Signals" (1982), saw the change in music direction. You may listen to third track in this compilation, "Subdivisons" where the use of keyboard and synthesizers have become pretty dominant. During this period, there were basically not many excellent tracks that Rush produced especially those who knew the band from the beginning. On "Grace Under Pressure" album Rush presented their own interpretation of reggae music in one of the songs. Grace is an excellent album, especially on tracks like "Distant Early warning" and "The Enemy Within". Unfortunately, "The Enemy Within" is not featured here and it disappoints me, really.

My recommendation is to buy an individual album of early years of Rush, either "Permanent Wave", "Hemisphere", "A Farewell to Kings" or "Moving Pictures" . Keep on proggin' ..!

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

Report this review (#182246)
Posted Friday, September 12, 2008 | Review Permalink
3 stars This collection was my first introduction to this Canadian band, listening to familiar topics such as Tom- sawyer-.If you want good Rush songs I recommend you hear the first part of this collection, Rush restrospective 1.For this collection items can be found with a length significant and dynamic, easier to listen, digest and good dyes which this band can give. although I do not like to buy recordings of the bands,This collection gives you a good reference about this tremendous band, so if you're not a fan of rush,and want to have one of their hits, this album and R1 is your best of my favorite songs is Time stand still and The body electric, and come in this collection,So enjoy it.


Report this review (#204291)
Posted Wednesday, February 25, 2009 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Retrospective II (1981-1987) is a compilation album by Canadian progressive rock act Rush. As the title suggests the album covers Rush releases from 1981 to 1987. The album was released in 1997 with its companion album Retrospective I (1974- 1980).

I won´t disguise the fact that this period is my favorite period when it comes to Rush music. Starting with the fantastic Moving Pictures (1981) and ending with the synth heavy and for some people much loathed Hold Your Fire (1987) this is Rush at their best IMO. The music they made in this period got increasingly synth heavy and closer to commercial vers/ chorus structures but at the same time Rush displayed a more futureristic and unique sound than ever. The song selection for this compilation is nearly perfect and the only track that I miss is the instrumental YYZ from Moving Pictures. Other than that minor complaint Retrospective II (1981-1987) is a perfect entry point for the newcommer to Rush and my 4 star ratings is very much warranted.

Report this review (#273830)
Posted Wednesday, March 24, 2010 | Review Permalink
3 stars I love Rush and the 70's. I hate the 80's and their keyboards.

I don't own any Rush album from Signals to Hold your Fire and this collection made me the happy favour of putting together the best from those four albums. After hearing them a couple of times it just made stronger my view of that decade (from where I belong as a child - early teen) as probably the worst for pop music - or at least the music that I like.

All these 4 albums have good tracks worth of the Rush name but they are pale when compared to the work the band created between 1974 and 1981. And from Presto onwards, thanks God, the synths were put on a box (most of times) and we all had a better and stronger Rush back.

These considerations make this compilation a good purchase for those who love Rush but can't get along with New Wave like myself but the albums mixed here - apart MP, of course - probably represent the low point in their career. The commercial tactics of linking the Moving Pictures tracks to this selection makes sense because if Tom Sawier or Limelight were not here the newbies that are the target of this kind of package would run like the devil from Retro-II.

I recognize the excellence of Subdivisions, maybe the only track from the 4 albums I mentioned on pair with their previous work. But things like The Body Electric proves that our comrades are as human as we are and can do a lot of sh... too.

3 stars.

Report this review (#593755)
Posted Wednesday, December 21, 2011 | Review Permalink

RUSH Retrospective II (1981-1987) ratings only

chronological order | showing rating only

Post a review of RUSH Retrospective II (1981-1987)

You must be a forum member to post a review, please register here if you are not.


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives