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Rush Retrospective II (1981-1987) album cover
3.20 | 76 ratings | 10 reviews | 25% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Boxset/Compilation, released in 1997

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. The big money (5:34)
2. Red Barchetta (6:08)
3. Subdivisions (5:32)
4. Time stand still (5:08)
5. Mystic rhythms (5:53)
6. The analog kid (4:46)
7. Distant early warning (4:56)
8. Marathon (6:39)
9. The body electric (4:59)
10. Mission (5:46)
11. Limelight (4:21)
12. red sector A (5:09)
13. New world man (3:41)
14. Tom Sawyer (4:34)
15. Force ten (4:31)

Total Time: 77:37

Line-up / Musicians

- Geddy Lee / basses, bass pedals, synthesizers, vocals
- Alex Lifeson / guitars, bass pedals, guitar synthesizer
- Neil Peart / drums, acoustic & electronic percussion

Releases information

CD, Retrospective II, Mercury, 7314 534 910-2, 1997

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to UMUR for the last updates
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RUSH Retrospective II (1981-1987) ratings distribution

(76 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(25%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(33%)
Good, but non-essential (30%)
Collectors/fans only (11%)
Poor. Only for completionists (1%)

RUSH Retrospective II (1981-1987) reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Tony R
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR 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.

Review by Queen By-Tor
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR 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.

Review by Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR 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)

Review by UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR 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.

Review by patrickq
3 stars Of the three periods covered by the releases in the Rush Retrospective, this is my favorite. As I assume you can tell, this album is 100%, wholly and completely, redundant to any fan of this period of the band. Everything here is available on the five albums. So I'm reviewing this as a compilation for a listener who doesn't have a good chunk of this material in their collection already. 

From that point of view, Retrospective II is pretty good. Would I have preferred "Lock and Key" over "Force Ten?" Do I miss the "Fear" trilogy? Could I have lived without "Mystic Rhythms" and "Time Stand Still?" Yes. But does it really make sense to argue about song selection? It's fair to ask whether an album like this contains the kinds of songs that it needs to achieve its goal. Retrospective II achieves the goal of a one-disk review of the second half of the band's Mercury years. 

It doesn't do so perfectly. In addition to excluding some songs the casual AOR fan might have heard on the radio, the running order seems arbitrary. (Sorry, pet peeve. I can see why chronological order isn't always best, but I just don't get random order). But overall, Retrospective II will be a nice addition to the collection of the progressive-rock lover for whom one disk of 1980s Rush will do.

Latest members reviews

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 d ... (read more)

Report this review (#593755) | Posted by moodyxadi | Wednesday, December 21, 2011 | Review Permanlink

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 ... (read more)

Report this review (#204291) | Posted by JgX 5 | Wednesday, February 25, 2009 | Review Permanlink

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 t ... (read more)

Report this review (#122057) | Posted by jimpetrie2000 | Monday, May 14, 2007 | Review Permanlink

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 tr ... (read more)

Report this review (#96057) | Posted by Shakespeare | Saturday, October 28, 2006 | Review Permanlink

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, ... (read more)

Report this review (#80010) | Posted by sbrushfan | Thursday, June 1, 2006 | Review Permanlink

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