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Rush - Classic Albums: 2112 - Moving Pictures CD (album) cover



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Symphonic Team
4 stars I picked this DVD up at a generous price recently and enjoyed hearing about these classic albums that have always favoured strongly in my Rush collection. We hear about the influences and inspiration behind 2112 and how the album was put together. We hear how songs were created and can learn about the recording industry, as is always the case in the Classic Albums documentary series. Songs are stripped down so we can hear hidden sections or just bass by itself, vocals, guitar or drums respectively. This gives a real insight into how the Rush sound is formed.

The three members have a lot to say as usual, as do their managers and friends and rock commentators spouting on about what it was like to record these albums. Moving Pictures is of course a masterpiece and we get to indulge in how songs were written and the overall sound was generated. The transformation from prog to commercial sound is discussed and there is a section on the production of the YYZ classic.

The unseen unaired footage is of particular interest including the influences of 2112, footage of performances of Something For Nothing, Neil warming up, Red Barchetta, Tom Sawyer, and YYZ, why they called it such and what it really is about. The band take out the scalpel and dissect each other in a kiss and tell section with humorous anecdotes.

This is a great supplement to the Beyond the Lightest Stage documentary. I recommend this for those who love the CA series and all Rush addicts such as myself. It is a fantastic diagnostic look at two quintessential Rush albums.

Report this review (#500620)
Posted Tuesday, August 9, 2011 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars The real deal

So many "critical analysis" DVDs are low rent, unauthorized works which take some "music experts" and have them offer opinions interspersed with whatever clips of video they could get. While occasionally amusing these DVDs have no band involvement and can be very frustrating for fans. That is NOT the case here, as always the Classic Album series delivers the goods by including the band and by focusing on a given period rather than trying to cover a whole career in an hour. The DVD looks and feels very much like superb "Beyond the Light Stage" documentary made around the same time. The difference is, that DVD covered the whole story while this one looks specifically at the albums "2112" and "Moving Pictures", two of Rush's most beloved classics. Neil, Geddy, and Alex all provide good humored and enthusiastic commentary about their songs, not only serving up some good ole stories but also some insightful facts about individual songs.

Peart and Lee discuss thematic inspiration including the controversial Ayn Rand period. They got an enormous amount of flak for evoking Rand but are unapologetic today. In matter-of-fact terms they say there are important fundamental truths in those books, especially those relating to individual freedom and work ethic, while also stating that doesn't mean they ascribe to everything she wrote. They also have a good laugh about Bangkok being the "let's get high" song and remove the instrument tracks to reveal the track with the big toke. Geddy then comments about how Rush sport one of the most "aromatic" audiences in rock n roll, and that the band can smell the bud when they start Bangkok live. Red Barchetta is discussed in length as the same symbol of defiance that the guitar is to 2112. They talk about some future where individual cars are outlawed and we would be crammed onto mass transit I suppose....the song is about the desire for freedom and more importantly FUN! And of course they cover Tom Sawyer and Limelight but sadly don't have time for side 2.

The flip side of the song inspiration discussion is the soundboard instrumental dissection, one of the cooler features of the Classic Album series. The band join their producer in the studio as individual tracks are isolated, allowing us to hear each musician's part alone, without the other two. This is really interesting as they break the parts down and discuss them. Of course, there's never enough time to appease those of us who could watch hours of such commentary, but it's as good as it gets. Last, they bring in their Mercury Records guy, manager, and various musicians to supply quotes and stories about the myths of Rush and build things up a bit. These are the least interesting moments to me but they do appeal to casual fans, as I've observed when watching these DVDs in groups.

In the bonus features there is significant added commentary by the band which adds to the value of this release. There is also an in-studio "lip(finger?) synch" of YYZ where the guys play along to the studio version. It's actually pretty fun to see them forced to play along to the album cut as opposed to changing it up as they sometimes do with old songs. This is a top notch addition to your Rush collection that will not disappoint you, again, save for the fact that we always want a bit more. But there is a wealth of interesting content here to supplement the Light Stage documentary. Recommended.

Report this review (#755619)
Posted Sunday, May 20, 2012 | Review Permalink

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