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Rush Retrospective I (1974-1980) album cover
3.36 | 83 ratings | 11 reviews | 24% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Boxset/Compilation, released in 1997

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. The spirit of radio (4:56)
2. The trees (4:42)
3. Something for nothing (3:59)
4. Freewill (5:21)
5. Xanadu (11:04)
6. Bastille Day (4:37)
7. By-Tor and the snow dog (8:37)
8. Anthem (4:21)
9. Closer to the heart (2:51)
10. 2112: overture (4:17)
11. temples of Syrinx (2:13)
12. La Villa Strangiato (9:34)
13. Fly by night (3:21)
14. Finding my way (5:06)

Total Time: 74:59

Line-up / Musicians

- Geddy Lee / basses, bass pedals, synthesizers, vocals
- Alex Lifeson / guitars, bass pedals
- Neil Peart / drums, percussion
- John Rutsey / drums, backing vocals (14)

Releases information

CD, Retrospective I, Anthem, ANSSD-1087, 1997

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to UMUR for the last updates
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RUSH Retrospective I (1974-1980) ratings distribution

(83 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(24%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(36%)
Good, but non-essential (36%)
Collectors/fans only (4%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

RUSH Retrospective I (1974-1980) reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Queen By-Tor
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Half of the fun!

Retrospective I, my first experience with the band that would later become my very favorite. This is a great collection of the band's best work from the mid 70s to 1980. Featuring all the hits and some of the more fan based songs, this is actually a rather daring compilation. Including the fantastic XANADU in it's 11:05 entirety as well as BY-TOR AND THE SNOW DOG and LA VILLA STRANGIATO, it's nice to see that many of the band's quintessential material represented, not just their hits or short songs.

1 or 2 songs from each of the albums from Rush through to Permanent Waves are represented, making quite a nice mix. The addition of the split 2112 OVERTURE and THE TEMPLES OF SYRINX is also interesting for the Rush completionist, as the 2112 suite is hardly ever split up into its individual tracks. Featuring some cool artwork and some surprisingly nice liner notes that outline who wrote each song and which album to find it on (with each album cover represented), this is actually one of the better compilations to be put together for a band. It's a shame that none of the band's 80s material is represented, but that's what Retrospective II is for. Not to mention that both albums would later be recycled and put together for the ''Gold'' compilation.

While there are definitely songs that I would've liked to see added, this is a good mix of the tracks that one needs to hear to get into the band. That said... the songs are each better in the context of their respective album anyways.

3 stars, a good place to start.

Review by Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars The Early Days of Rush. For newbie, this might be a good one to start. But if I imagine this box set has never been released and my friend ask me about the band, I would give him "Hemisphere" or "A Farewell To Kings" or "Permanent Waves" or "Moving Picture" as a start, instead of giving him a compilation album. Why? Because some of the band's tracks are epic like "2112" that should not be cut like the one presented here. I think that's the best way to introduce Rush, so that newbie will get the full picture of Rush music in a full set album.

In the case that you have not known the band yet and purchased this CD already, this is not bad at all. The tracks contain here are all great. "The Spirit of Radio" has been considered by Rush maniacs as the band's masterpiece. You will find similar hard driving energy with "Temple of Syrinx" and "Fly By Night". The best track for my taste is of course "La Villa Strangiato" which starts beautifully with classical guitar outfit followed by rockin' music. This is really cool. While you can also find track with good combination of acoustic and heavy stuffs through "The Trees" and "Closer to The Heart".

Overall, it's a good compilation even though it's actually hard to make compilation for Rush. I would recommend you to buy individual album. It's worth collecting. Keep on proggin' ..!

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

Review by Epignosis
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars The first of three compilation albums of Rush music is astounding in its breadth, even though it misses several far superior pieces. For obvious reasons, the lengthier tracks are shunned whenever compilations are made, as a higher number of tracks indicate a better value for the consumers. Yet whoever compiled this bargain had the good sense to maintain a few of the longer works in their complete forms rather than emasculate them, as had happened with "2112," which of course would not have been a good move anyway ( "2112" is not as marvelous as some claim, in my opinion). Rush has an expansive career, and it makes sense to chop down their work into three epochs (in fact, I think there are three epochs of Rush, and the designers of these compilations have them pretty much spot on here). The fact is, when it comes to compilations, there will almost always be complaints (the two words are practically false cognates), but Rush gets a good treatment here, as not only do their major 1970s hits get attention and prime placement in the track listing, but some of their most cherished works are present in full. In short, this is an excellent compilation for a casual Rush fan of almost any stripe.
Review by UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Retrospective I (1974-1980) is a compilation album by Canadian progressive rock act Rush. As the title suggests the album covers Rush releases from 1974 to 1980. The album was released in 1997 with its companion album Retrospective II (1981- 1987).

There are 14 tracks on the album covering all 6 full-length studio albums released in the years 1974 - 1980. The compilation serves as a good entry point to the early part of Rush career but of course the edited version of 2112 doesnīt really do that epic track justice. I could have lived without a few of the tracks from the first three albums but thatīs an aquired taste and itīs hard to deny that Retrospective I (1974-1980) really serves its purpose well. A 3 star rating is warranted if you ask me, but thatīs mostly because Iīm not much of a fan of the early releases by Rush. Songs like Xanadu, La Villa Strangiato and my favorite here Freewill are the highligts for me.

Review by memowakeman
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Not bad, you can start here!

Rush may have been one of the first prog bands I knew, and more probably the first one I did not like, I believe maybe because I found the vocals annoying and maybe the music boring, maybe because I have never been fan of heavier music, compared to the music I like of course, but well, it probably took me 3 years to find in Hemispheres, that Rush album that really caught my attention and made me want to actually listen to their music.

Later, in a bargain I found this compilation, whose songs were at the moment pretty unknown to me, so despite I could say my starting point was Hemispheres, this Retrospective I, was the first album that got me to the band, because I could know songs (mostly their better known songs) from different early Rush albums, so it was in my opinion a nice introduction to the band.

Here, with 14 songs and 75 minutes of music you will have a taste of Rush music, from their early era (1974-80) when they had already released 7 albums such as Hemispheres, Caress of Still and Permanent Waves. So here you will listen to songs gathered from all those albums, for those who are not familiar with them, there are some albums from the same early era that sound really different to each other , so don't take for granted that you will listen to similar songs.

In Retrospective I, you will appreciate some well known songs (and good ones) such as "The Spirit of Radio"; "Xanadu", "By-tor and the Snow Dog"; "Closer to the Heart" or the beautiful "La Villa Strangiato".

It is a very nice compilation album, not a bad place to start if you are new to the band, though as always, I would recommend listening to a studio album first. My final grade, 3 stars.

Enjoy it!

Review by Conor Fynes
3 stars 'Retrospective I (1974-1980)' - Rush (Compilation)

To my knowledge, this is the only compilation of Rush's earlier material that more or less, gets it right. The idea of a 'best-of' playlist isn't to single out the most commercial and easy listening and put it on a new record, it is quite surprisingly, to show over the course of a single disc, what the band can do. Pulling out beautiful pieces like 'La Villa Strangiato' and 'Xanadu' is the right thing to do if a band wants to get new fans.

The first album seems a little under-represented here (where is 'Working Man' or 'In The Mood?') but that doesn't cross me as being a huge issue, due to the fact it wasn't a great album to begin with. From these first five albums are mixed up for the sake of flow, which is also a great thing to have that most compilations disregard entirely.

This is one of the better Rush compilations out there. A perfect thing to check out if you're not sure whether or not you like Rush, or are just a casual fan.

Latest members reviews

4 stars Retrospective I (1974-1980), which was released on May 6, 1997, is a great anthology of Rush's early years, covering - even if not chronologically - the band's evolution from hard rock ā la Led Zeppelin ("Finding My Way") for progressive rock (whose apex are the tracks "2112 Overture / The Temples o ... (read more)

Report this review (#2283405) | Posted by kaiofelipe | Friday, November 22, 2019 | Review Permanlink

2 stars This is a great collection of Canadian power trio's finest hour. Though, no collection can grasp their greatness, as a large amount of their greatness comes from ideals and atmospheres each individual album has. Therefore, this collection is simply a taste of what they're capable of. However, thi ... (read more)

Report this review (#96056) | Posted by Shakespeare | Saturday, October 28, 2006 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Inexplicably, I'm gonna give this one only 3 stars. Why? Parts of it are kinda noisy, and the rating fits since much of the material isn't taken from their "classic" period, as on, say "Chronicles" (by far, the best Rush compilation) or "Retrospective 1981-1987". There's a lot of good stuff ... (read more)

Report this review (#80017) | Posted by sbrushfan | Thursday, June 1, 2006 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Compilation albums for me are the best friends you have when you are travelling...As I said it's no use to buy something when it's more interesting to have the whole collection of records...But you know when I leave my home for some time I take some "The Bests of..." with me. This with its sis ... (read more)

Report this review (#21148) | Posted by Carlos | Friday, February 4, 2005 | Review Permanlink

3 stars I just bought this album, eight years (omg time flies!) since the deliciously organic in spots, but overall Mediocre, Test for Echo. I really enjoyed hearing all the great songs I remembered from collecting Rush albums during high school in the early 90's. This collection of greats made me wa ... (read more)

Report this review (#21147) | Posted by | Monday, July 12, 2004 | Review Permanlink

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