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RUSH

Heavy Prog • Canada


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Rush biography
Formed in Toronto, Canada in 1968

RUSH are a pioneering line-up of Seventies Progressive rock, who influenced many Prog, hard-rock and heavy metal bands. This Canadian band is composed of bassist, singer and keyboard player Geddy LEE, guitarist Alex LIFESON and renowned drummer Neil PEART. In 1974 John RUTSEY was replaced by Peart who also assumed the role of the band's primary songwriter. Acclaimed for their instrumental virtuosity, their lyrics and longevity, throughout their 40+ year career they've proved to be the masters of their respective instruments while creating challenging yet popular music. They have the record for the third most consecutive gold or platinum albums for a band on the US album chart behind The Beatles and The Rolling Stones.

Now, a brief summary of the band's career ...
Through the history of RUSH, they have passed through many distinct phases. Every one of these phases represents a triumph in music, allowing the band to move on. As at the end of all of RUSH's phases, a live LP was released. This tradition began with "All The World's A Stage", recorded live at Massey Hall in Toronto, Canada. Since then, the group has released three additional live albums: the best selling "Exit... Stage Left" (1981), "A Show of Hands" (1989), and the three-disc set "Different Stages" (1998), which encompasses three decades of the group's music.

FIRST PHASE (1974-1976):
In the beginning, they started off as hard rock blues outfit with John-boy before he left and Neil came in, bringing his sci-fi mind into the works. The music seems to be a transition between straight-ahead rock tunes and more complex progressive tracks. "Caress of Steel" is a landmark album in the history of RUSH. Lyrically and musically, "2112" was a masterpiece. This multi-platinum release remains one of RUSH's best-selling albums.

SECOND PHASE (1977-1981):
They moved headlong into progressive rock in the later part of the decade, starting with the album previous and right on to their massive breakthrough, 1981's "Moving Pictures". Synthesizers were now employed by the band, played in the studio and on stage by Geddy. This was the end of transition from long epic pieces to shorter, more concise, and intricate songs. "Permanent Waves" is widely considered to be second only to "Moving Pictures" as RUSH's finest achievement.

THIRD PHASE (198...
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Moving Pictures [Remastered]Moving Pictures [Remastered]
Reissued · Remastered
Mercury 1997
$5.43
$2.40 (used)
The Spirit Of Radio: Greatest Hits 1974-1987The Spirit Of Radio: Greatest Hits 1974-1987
Remastered
Mercury 2003
$4.68
$2.65 (used)
2112 [Remastered]2112 [Remastered]
Reissued · Remastered
Mercury 1997
$3.95
$2.75 (used)
Hemispheres [40th Anniversary][2 CD]Hemispheres [40th Anniversary][2 CD]
Mercury 2018
$18.52
$22.38 (used)
The Studio Albums 1989-2007 (7CD)The Studio Albums 1989-2007 (7CD)
Atlantic Catalog Group 2013
$21.29
$39.75 (used)
Rush (Remastered)Rush (Remastered)
Reissued · Remastered
Mercury 1997
$4.58
$4.57 (used)
A Farewell To Kings [3 CD][40th Anniversary Edition]A Farewell To Kings [3 CD][40th Anniversary Edition]
Box set · Remastered
Mercury 2017
$22.13
$23.50 (used)
Permanent WavesPermanent Waves
Mercury 2015
$23.37
$14.11 (used)
Clockwork AngelsClockwork Angels
Roadrunner Records 2012
$10.79
$4.78 (used)
Caress Of Steel [Remastered]Caress Of Steel [Remastered]
Reissued · Remastered
Mercury 1997
$4.81
$4.80 (used)
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RUSH discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

RUSH top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

2.94 | 1013 ratings
Rush
1974
3.36 | 1133 ratings
Fly By Night
1975
3.54 | 1201 ratings
Caress Of Steel
1975
4.11 | 1988 ratings
2112
1976
4.32 | 2099 ratings
A Farewell To Kings
1977
4.36 | 2270 ratings
Hemispheres
1978
4.29 | 1939 ratings
Permanent Waves
1980
4.39 | 2676 ratings
Moving Pictures
1981
3.94 | 1260 ratings
Signals
1982
3.69 | 1090 ratings
Grace Under Pressure
1984
3.54 | 942 ratings
Power Windows
1985
3.27 | 861 ratings
Hold Your Fire
1987
3.16 | 796 ratings
Presto
1989
3.09 | 810 ratings
Roll The Bones
1991
3.76 | 874 ratings
Counterparts
1993
2.86 | 787 ratings
Test For Echo
1996
3.42 | 809 ratings
Vapor Trails
2002
3.57 | 920 ratings
Snakes & Arrows
2007
3.95 | 1032 ratings
Clockwork Angels
2012

RUSH Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.85 | 433 ratings
All The World's A Stage
1976
4.05 | 546 ratings
Exit... Stage Left
1981
3.49 | 393 ratings
A Show Of Hands
1989
4.35 | 376 ratings
Different Stages - Live
1998
3.82 | 340 ratings
Rush - In Rio
2003
4.19 | 195 ratings
R30 - 30th Anniversary World Tour
2005
3.60 | 217 ratings
Snakes & Arrows Live
2008
3.93 | 170 ratings
Grace Under Pressure 1984 Tour
2009
3.57 | 65 ratings
ABC 1974
2011
3.41 | 158 ratings
Time Machine 2011: Live in Cleveland
2011
3.37 | 66 ratings
Moving Pictures: Live 2011
2011
3.99 | 92 ratings
Clockwork Angels Tour
2013
3.93 | 18 ratings
Kiel Auditorium, St Louis, MI, February 14 1980
2015
4.39 | 28 ratings
R40 Live
2015

RUSH Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

3.98 | 131 ratings
Exit... Stage Left (VHS)
1981
3.39 | 38 ratings
Through The Camera Eye
1984
4.00 | 107 ratings
Grace Under Pressure Tour (DVD)
1985
4.04 | 112 ratings
A Show of Hands
1989
3.03 | 83 ratings
Chronicles
1990
4.35 | 268 ratings
Rush in Rio
2003
4.42 | 256 ratings
R30 - 30th Anniversary World Tour
2005
4.06 | 138 ratings
Replay x 3
2006
4.12 | 145 ratings
Snakes & Arrows Live
2008
2.79 | 44 ratings
Working Men
2009
4.67 | 276 ratings
Beyond the Lighted Stage
2010
4.18 | 79 ratings
Classic Albums: 2112 - Moving Pictures
2010
3.92 | 99 ratings
Time Machine 2011: Live in Cleveland
2011
3.93 | 60 ratings
Clockwork Angels Tour
2013
4.92 | 4 ratings
R 40 (DVD Box Set)
2014
4.43 | 42 ratings
R40 Live
2015
4.47 | 15 ratings
Time Stand Still
2016

RUSH Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.40 | 57 ratings
Archives
1978
2.74 | 25 ratings
Through Time
1978
3.00 | 2 ratings
Anthology
1984
3.61 | 108 ratings
Chronicles
1991
3.31 | 74 ratings
Retrospective I (1974-1980)
1997
3.24 | 71 ratings
Retrospective II (1981-1987)
1997
3.13 | 80 ratings
The Spirit Of Radio (Greatest Hits 1974-1987)
2003
3.12 | 54 ratings
Gold
2006
2.92 | 54 ratings
Retrospective III 1989 - 2008
2009
2.78 | 43 ratings
Working Men
2009
1.82 | 29 ratings
Time Stand Still: The Collection
2010
2.32 | 28 ratings
Icon
2010
4.15 | 38 ratings
Sector 1
2011
4.54 | 42 ratings
Sector 2
2011
4.54 | 41 ratings
Sector 3
2011
3.29 | 7 ratings
Icon 2
2011
4.75 | 4 ratings
Moving Pictures 30TH Anniversary Deluxe Edition
2011
4.20 | 27 ratings
The Studio Albums 1989-2007
2013
4.73 | 15 ratings
2112 40th Anniversary edition
2016
4.43 | 7 ratings
A Farewell To Kings (40th Anniversary)
2017

RUSH Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

2.01 | 39 ratings
Not Fade Away
1973
2.82 | 27 ratings
Finding My Way
1974
2.67 | 6 ratings
In The Mood
1974
0.00 | 0 ratings
Bastille Day
1975
3.05 | 28 ratings
Fly by Night
1975
3.04 | 28 ratings
The Twilight Zone
1976
3.56 | 35 ratings
2112: Overture/The Temples of Syrinx
1976
3.66 | 36 ratings
Closer to The Heart
1977
2.27 | 20 ratings
Everything Your Listeners Wanted To Hear By Rush... But Were Afraid To Play
1977
3.37 | 11 ratings
The Trees
1978
4.11 | 47 ratings
The Spirit of Radio
1980
2.80 | 42 ratings
Entre Nous
1980
3.95 | 52 ratings
Tom Sawyer
1981
4.18 | 11 ratings
Tom Sawyer / A Passage To Bangkok / Red Barchetta
1981
3.89 | 9 ratings
Vital Signs / Passage To Bangkok / Circumstances / In The Mood
1981
4.14 | 9 ratings
Subdivisions
1982
3.71 | 7 ratings
Countdown
1982
3.14 | 38 ratings
New World Man
1982
3.67 | 6 ratings
The Body Electric
1984
3.56 | 36 ratings
Distant Early Warning
1984
3.50 | 2 ratings
Afterimage
1984
3.08 | 37 ratings
The Big Money
1986
4.00 | 6 ratings
Prime Mover
1987
4.60 | 5 ratings
Closer To The Heart
1989
4.00 | 8 ratings
The Pass
1989
2.84 | 19 ratings
Ghost of a chance
1992
4.00 | 6 ratings
Roll The Bones
1992
1.89 | 20 ratings
The Story Of Kings
1992
3.05 | 25 ratings
Stick It Out
1993
3.33 | 27 ratings
One Little Victory
2002
2.83 | 195 ratings
Feedback
2004
3.80 | 5 ratings
Summertime Blues
2004
3.51 | 40 ratings
Far Cry
2007
4.09 | 131 ratings
Caravan / BU2B
2010
3.58 | 76 ratings
Headlong Flight
2012
4.57 | 7 ratings
The Garden
2013
3.00 | 3 ratings
7 and 7 is
2014
4.25 | 4 ratings
Roll The Bones
2015

RUSH Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Different Stages - Live by RUSH album cover Live, 1998
4.35 | 376 ratings

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Different Stages - Live
Rush Heavy Prog

Review by patrickq

4 stars This three-disk set is really two albums: a double album with songs recorded from various concerts in 1994 and 1997, and a third disk of live songs recorded at a 1978 show.

Disks 1 and 2

A Show of Hands and Different Stages: Live are Rush's best live albums. Through 1988, the band reliably released one live double album after each four studio albums. Each of these live albums was made up of songs from those four prior albums (with one exception on A Show of Hands).

However, only half of the songs from Different Stages: Live are from the band's four prior albums; the other half are from 1976 through 1987. I guess by the mid-1990s, Rush was playing fewer and fewer new songs in concert. Their record company may have figured that a multi-disk live Rush album might sell a lot more copies if it contained "Tom Sawyer" and "The Spirit of Radio."

But what that means is a less reliance on some of their weaker material, and more room for "The Analog Kid," which wasn't on A Show of Hands, and all twenty-plus minutes of "2112." At the same time, it does contain some good latter-day songs like "Dreamline" and "Show Don't Tell."

It should be no surprise that the performances on these tracks from the 1990s are excellent. To begin with, it's Rush. They're great musicians who design their songs to be played live, then rehearse like mad. Nearly any detail that the three band members can't reproduce live is prerecorded or sequenced. Then they pick the best concerts from among almost three hundred shows across four tours, and even then, they could always re-record any part they wanted to. They mix the album for CD, and it sounds fantastic.

Disk 3

Based on the information on rush.com about the Farewell to Kings tour, the 1978 show is incomplete, excluding a "2112" medley, "Closer to the Heart" (versions of both of which are elsewhere on Different Stages), "Lakeside Park," and the drum solo.

Although it's a "bonus disk," you're paying for it. You can have All the World's a Stage, Exit... Stage Left, and A Show of Hands - - three double albums - - for a total of $11.97 on itunes or $13.97 on Amazon. Different Stages: Live costs $34.99! Unfortunately, you can't buy all of the 1978 songs individually - - to get "Xanadu" and "Cygnus" you have to buy the whole thing. So I disagree that critically examining the third disk is looking the so-called gift horse in the mouth.

As it turns out, the third disk is also well done, though not as polished. Singer/bassist Geddy Lee strains a bit to hit the high notes; but on the other hand, here the band is playing everything (or practically everything) live, and apparently without overdubs.

Summary

On the whole, a good album whose highlight is the 1978 show on the third disk. These recordings add very little to the studio versions, but are very well performed. Different Stages: Live also seems a bit overpriced compared to the band's other live albums.

 Retrospective II (1981-1987) by RUSH album cover Boxset/Compilation, 1997
3.24 | 71 ratings

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Retrospective II (1981-1987)
Rush Heavy Prog

Review by patrickq

4 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 could be a great addition to the progressive-rock lover for whom one disk of 1980s Rush will do.

 Chronicles by RUSH album cover Boxset/Compilation, 1991
3.61 | 108 ratings

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Chronicles
Rush Heavy Prog

Review by patrickq

4 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.)

 Permanent Waves by RUSH album cover Studio Album, 1980
4.29 | 1939 ratings

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Permanent Waves
Rush Heavy Prog

Review by patrickq

2 stars I could almost call this review "A Tale of Two Sides." Side A is vey good, whereas it's hard for me to reconcile the unfocused Side B as part of the same album.

Permanent Waves opens with "The Spirit of Radio," five minutes of focused rock which richly deserves its status as an AOR classic. Another radio staple, "Freewill," follows. Whereas the band would revisit and improve upon "Freewill" on Moving Pictures in the form of "Limelight," there was no need to improve upon "Spirit," and to their credit, they never recorded a "Spirit of Radio part 2."

The first side of the LP ends with "Jacob's Ladder," which, despite some repetitiveness, accomplishes as much in seven and a half minutes as most of their "epics" do in nine or more - - epics including "Natural Science" here and "The Camera Eye" on Moving Pictures. The second section of "Jacob's Ladder," which begins at its geometric center, opens with a synthesizer part reminding me (favorably) of "The Remembering" from Yes's Tales from Topographic Oceans, and at around five minutes, a rhythmic guitar part fades in which sounds Genesis-like, not all that different, say, from "Eleventh Earl of Mar." By 1980, Rush's Led-Zep-fanboy days had been over for at least five years, and they were winding down a period in which their influences were still occasionally apparent. At some point, of course, Rush would establish a sound that would be much more influential than influenced.

Side B begins with "Entre Nous," a cringeworthy song even for Rush. Lyricist/drummer Neil Peart is occasionally saccharine, he really outdoes himself here on this plea for English- and French-speaking Canadians to sit down and try to understand each other because we're all brothers and life's too short and can't we be friends. OK, actually that's always been my interpretation; I don't actually have proof that this is the song's meaning. But the words are embarrassingly corny, and the music doesn't make up for them.

While I think I can see what the band was trying to accomplish with "Entre Nous," the last two tracks on the album are truly baffling to me. "Different Strings" occupies a place on the album suitable for a mellower song, or a softer or slower tune, and it delivers on these counts, but strikes me as uninspired - - it seems like the band had four minutes to fill but no creative raw materials to work with. Perversely, I would've preferred that they recycle higher-quality from elsewhere on the album - - as they appear to have done on Signals by cloning "Subdivisions" to create the album-closing "Countdown."

Permanent Waves closes with "Natural Science," which a considerable number of people consider a classic work by the band. The first two of the three sections, "Natural Science," to my ears, are as unfocused and uninspired as "Different Strings" was. I'll admit that things pick up a bit for the last section of "Natural Science" (entitled "Permanent Waves"). It's hard for me to tell whether these last two songs - - "Different Strings" and "Natural Science" - - represent poor composition or album padding, but either way, along with "Entre Nous," they make up one of the weakest album sides on any Rush album.

Whatever the case, twelve months after finishing Permanent Waves, Rush would enter the same Québec studio with the same producer, and would create the great Moving Pictures album.

As is the case with nearly every Rush album, the production and the performances on Permanent Waves range from very good to excellent. But while the half of the material is strong, the other half is tough to sit through. At three songs and 18 minutes, Side A would've been a four-star EP. Consider getting their 1981 live album Exit...Stage Left, which has all of the songs from the first side of Permanent Waves, and, perhaps tellingly, none from the second.

(P.S.: I wonder if now, forty years later, the guys in Rush cringe a little at the cover of this album. Duh, they have every right to have whatever image they want on the cover, and yeah, it's not pornographic at all - - I get it. But I wonder.)

 Counterparts by RUSH album cover Studio Album, 1993
3.76 | 874 ratings

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Counterparts
Rush Heavy Prog

Review by patrickq

2 stars By 1993, at least in the US, there was very little room for art-rock or art-pop on the Billboard singles chart, which had become a much better barometer of popularity than it had ever been. This wasn't simply the result of the music press pushing Nirvana and Dr. Dre on an unsuspecting audience; the tastes of the general public had changed.

At the same time, an explosion of new bands meant more competition on the album charts, creating an opening for established acts (among those who hit #1 on the Top 200 albums chart were Barbra Streisand, Eric Clapton, Aerosmith, and Billy Joel). So Rush was able to hit #2 with Counterparts without a hit pop single. That said, they had three big rock-airplay songs, with "Stick it Out" hitting #1, "Nobody's Hero" #3, and "Cold Fire" #2. "Animate" hit #35. But accordingly, these songs, and Counterparts in general are of the album-oriented rock or "classic-rock" genre, as opposed to the poppier fare of the albums preceding Roll the Bones. However, while Counterparts rocks harder than Rush's synthesizer-heavy 1980s albums, it is no more progressive than, say, Signals or Grace Under Pressure.

As it turns out, Rush was better at creating the art-pop of Signals and Hold Your Fire than the AOR of the Pearl Jam / Stone Temple Pilots era such as that on Counterparts.

I think that it's technically incorrect to say that Counterparts represents a return to the glory days of Rush. It is a return to the days when Rush used synthesizers sparingly and electric guitars heavily. But before the 1990s, and especially prior to 1993, Rush hadn't specialized in slick, 5-minute hard-rock numbers. Rush, their 1974 debut, came closest to this, but less than a year later, in 1975, Rush released the semi-prog Fly By Night, and in September, Caress of Steel removed any doubts that Rush was a high-concept, progressive band. Although they received airplay, it was mainly for softer numbers on pop radio, or longer pieces on rock radio.

Anyway, as undeniably successful as Counterparts was, in retrospect we see a band playing more to its customers' interests than to its muse - - and in any case not playing to its strengths. Counterparts sounds like Rush playing somebody else's songs. The oddness, risk-taking, and adventure are largely gone. The only real exceptions are in the lyrics. "Nobody's Hero" deals with AIDS, which was unusual at the time (but not so controversial that it wasn't a hit on the notoriously conservative AOR stations of the time - - and by "conservative" I mean resistant to change). More daring, although not audaciously so, is the arguably feminist "Cold Fire." That song, and the instrumental "Leave That Thing Alone" are the highlights here, but unfortunately that's not saying much.

Counterparts is not the dismal failure I originally considered it back in 1993 or 1994. None of the songs are terrible, but that's probably because Rush decided to play it safe. I wonder if the perceived blowback from the rap on the title song of their previous album, Roll the Bones, was enough to convince them of the wisdom of such a move.

 Roll The Bones by RUSH album cover Studio Album, 1991
3.09 | 810 ratings

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Roll The Bones
Rush Heavy Prog

Review by patrickq

2 stars Here Rush seeks to maintain the accessibility of Hold Your Fire and Presto while rocking a little harder. While they succeed in the latter category, their attempts at accessibility fail to preserve the balance between the progressive and commercial elements of their unique brand. Or maybe they just started to run out of catchy ideas.

Roll the Bones stars off strong, with "Dreamline," which was a #1 rock airplay hit. This is a textbook example of a commercially-aware song that is nonetheless unabashedly Rush. "Dreamline" should have been on Presto, where it would've fit nicely. But following this song is "Bravado," a #13 airplay hit and the first of many seemingly interchangeable AOR tunes Rush would crank out on Roll the Bones and Counterparts.

And next we have what I consider the most interesting song on the album, and the last important Rush song of which I'm aware: "Roll the Bones." It's not a great song, but it contains a rap. This caused a minor stir, at least among Rush fans I knew, when it was announced in advance to radio DJs. The rap itself is fine, even a little funny. The inclusion of the rap is brilliant, given that the song is about taking risks. Like "Dreamline," "Roll the Bones" sounds much more like the songs on the previous LP, Presto, than the next (Counterparts). Too bad that isn't true of more songs on Roll the Bones.

Overall, Roll the Bones rates two stars insofar as it's really for Rush fans. For anyone else, I'd say start with Moving Pictures, then one of the band's other higher-rated albums. If you come to like them, you've probably become a Rush fan, and then I'd say Roll the Bones is for you.

 Caress Of Steel by RUSH album cover Studio Album, 1975
3.54 | 1201 ratings

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Caress Of Steel
Rush Heavy Prog

Review by jamesbaldwin
Prog Reviewer

2 stars Here I am finally grappling with Rush, the progenitors of Heavy Prog. Very considered by fans of progressive in America, little considered in Europe (in Italy, at least). But just for this, I take care of Rush: I listened to them very carefully, trying not to be influenced from the evaluations of european critics.

This is the third album by this canadian group. The first that tries an evolution into prog. The first song "Bastille Day" (4:36, vote 7,5) is a good example of hard rock, Black Sabbath debtor. The second track maybe is the worse of the Lp. Not a really bad song but... a confuse song that goes nowhere ("I think I'm Going Bald", 3:35, vote 6). The guitar riffs (Alex Lifeson) are the best sound, in my opinion, produced by the record. The players are all very skilled, but what lacks so far is the musical writing, the composition. The third song is the slowest, almost a ballad, and it is definitely lacking in music ("Lakeside Park, 4:07, vote 6,5). The voice (Geddy Lee) is coarse and I confess that makes me regret Robert Plant. So far the rating would be two stars.

Here comes "The Necromancer", twelve and a half minutes, divided in three movements. A short suite. Maybe this long piece could take higher the rating... but after a recitative, the music starts, with a certain inertia and a good guitar arpeggio. Then the song stops again, in fact it is hard to take off, but here comes an instrumental part heavy rock and roll, rather forced. Finally with the guitar solo the mini suite can melt, and then you can also hear the great work on bass and drums (Neil Peart). Then comes a piece at high speed (speed rock?), with guitar virtuosity and great repetition. The problem in my opinion with heavy metal are precisely the forced and repetitive steps. Then the third movement begins, with another recitative, and with an acoustical passage. This mini suite in the complex is rather blurry. Vote 7+.

Average side A: 6,81. Vote side A: 6,5.

Side B is entirely occupied by "The Fountain of Lamneth" (19:50), suite divided into six movements, which starts slowly with a piece of acoustic guitar, then comes a hard rock part, followed by a tour de force on the drums, which finally takes place, leaving room for a moment of silence. Another movement, another forced hard rock part, another silence. I dont understand suite with a break between a movement and another. Then comes an acoustic ballad, maybe the best piece on the entire album. Then a silent pause again, following by an electric ballad and then by a powerful hard rock. Acoustic tail. What do I think about the suite? Alternates some moments of high quality and few moments of low quality, on the whole does not take of. Vote suite and side B: 7,5

This Lp does not convince me, it did not succeed (in my opinion) despite the great effort and great performance of the three musicians. The quality of the musicians and their high ambitions also allow the album to be more than dignified. It has opened new paths to prog, and is therefore a forerunner of the albums to come, which are definitely better achieved, have a much clearer focus.

Medium quality side A and side B: 7 Vote album: 7. Rating: Two (and a half) Stars.

 Hemispheres by RUSH album cover Studio Album, 1978
4.36 | 2270 ratings

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Hemispheres
Rush Heavy Prog

Review by MagicGALAXY

5 stars This album speaks to me. I had found Rush randomly upon searching more classic rock music to listen to. I started with the greatest hits album, and I ended up being amazed by all the songs. Before that, I had never come across a band that I thoroughly enjoyed. This band appeared out of nowhere. So I decided to spend time researching.

Long story short: Rush became my gateway drug to progressive rock as a genre. Geddy, Lifeson, and Peart are a real treasure to me. The more I looked into prog rock, the more I appreciated Rush's heavy prog ways in the 70s and early 80s. I started to listen to their albums in full, as well as other great bands, and wanted to find the best album, of a band I had concluded was my favorite. 2112, A Farewell to Kings, Moving Pictures, and even Caress of Steel had become big contenders.

However, when I had finally listened through *Hemispheres* all the way through, it changed everything.

1.) Cygnus X-1 Book II: Hemispheres

- Many have critiqued this track the most when comparing it to 2112. That 2112 is a better song. I think that is not completely ill-willed. 2112 is very good, and is probably the best Space Rock Opera. However, Hemispheres is really it's own category. It's much more of a journey of the mind, rather than an observation of a anti-individual society. The song lyrically is a metaphor. Apollo is pure reason, and Dionysus is pure pleasure. Cygnus is the balance found between them. The song carries the listener through this process in a brilliantly crafted way. Peart's lyrism is strong here and throughout this whole album.

The album starts with an exhilarating intro, as if throwing you into the space realm. The guitar riffs, the bass riffs, the drums, the mesmorizing synth wave. It carries you through man's attempted with following Apollo, failing, then going to Dionysus, only to fail again. The guitar riffs becoming ever more panic driven, with Geddy's vocals striking you with bright dismay at the current events. The story then reminds us of the previous book (The Voyage) as if we are drifting weightlessly in space. When we arrive to Cygnus' awakening, it is like an epiphany, and the light of a new born star in the galaxy hits our eyes. The realization that, "perhaps pure reason or oure pleasure is not what is right."

Once the gods acknowledge Cygnus and we blast off into space, we are suddenly greeted with an acoustic guitar, and Geddy's voice more calm and still. The lyrics here are especially important. It is not merely that we walk together with similar goals in mind, but we can all follow our own dreams freely. I personally think that this is to show that, even though we must follow truth and love, it is *our* truth and love. Find *our* balance. Our balance as individuals.

Perhaps the lyrism is a bit odd, I'll admit, but the instrumentation is stellar. 10/10

2.) Circumstances:

- I love this track. Everything is on the nose here, with instruments and lyrics (was that French I heard in the chorus!). While many find this track weak (it is fair to say that it is the weakest of the album), I find that it hits my buttons both lyrically and musically. 10/10

3.) The Trees:

- Lyrically thought provoking, with incredible acoustic work by Lifeson, and the ever talented Peart drums and Geddy bass work as usual. A observation of Maples and Oaks that makes you consider your thoughts on certain poltical ideas with a very evil twist at the end. A libertarian manifesto. The song is still quite pleasent to listen to with Geddy's voice starting soft and then becomes engaged in dialogue. A great song over all. 10/10

4.) La Villa Strangiato:

- This song changed my life. It made me pick up guitar and start playing it. Perhaps that is why I am biased and love this album so much. Sadly, while being my favorite, it is a double edge sword. The song was so difficult to make, as well as other parts of this album, it killed Rush's wants to make more epic style albums. Hence it was the last epic album. It is unfortunate, but Rush should not pressure itself like it did here, even if I loved it. It still blows my mind that three people did this song. This song is out of this world.

This 9 minute instrumental that kicks in is the ultimate Rush track. The power trio really showed it talent and musicianship with this track. From a beautifully breath taking flamenco inspired intro, to synthwave and the ever growing drum fills in the first 2 minutes, slaming into the epic. The guitar solo that Lifeson play is the best guitar solo I have ever heard. It is elevated higher from the amazing drum fills by Peart and the subtle synthwave through out its length. The great Jaco inspired bass riffs by Geddy show his wild side. The transitions between all these events is like watching a rock band doing jazz. Many parts of the song feel like jazz. The way the song ends certainly shows that to me, by ending with a great thud in *A Farewell to Things.* It gets a RUSH/10.

5.) Conclusion:

- The best Rush album hands down for me. Worth every minute. I can't highly recommend it enough for prog users and especially Rush fans that like prog. If you like synthwave and prog rock with heavy and jazz elements, this has a nice mixture. A great masterpiece of Rush, and certainly a great addition to any prog rock collection. I hope you enjoy!

 Vapor Trails by RUSH album cover Studio Album, 2002
3.42 | 809 ratings

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Vapor Trails
Rush Heavy Prog

Review by TCat
Prog Reviewer

3 stars 'Vapor Trails' is an interesting anomaly in Rush's catalog. After a long hiatus during which the members of the band were each suffering personal issues, especially Neal Peart, the band got back together with Geddy and Alex jamming out ideas while Neal worked separately writing lyrics. This was a fairly typical way for Rush to work, and once everyone had enough ideas, they would all get together to work them out. It was decided that the band would not use keyboards in this album, which is actually the first time they did this since 'Caress of Steel' which was the band's 3rd studio album. This was not such a bad thing, and even Alex's decision not to do any guitar solos was not a bad thing, because the music that they ended up with was good. The problem was that production is terrible on the album because of the recording.

Rush was not happy with the sound on this album, even though they did love the songs. As Peart said, the recording, which concentrated on making everything louder, took away all dynamics and nuances of the music. What you end up with is a very clinical sounding album with a lack of much emotion.

I agree that the songs themselves are great, at least for the most part, but they sound tinny and too much alike. I also miss the occasional keyboard and Alex's usual solos. The lyrics are also amazing, some of Neal's most personal lyrics. Song structure is good, musicianship is great as always, but one of the most important things is missing from the original recording, and that is any variety and any emotion. I completely agree that the fault lies mostly with the bad production, it is quite obvious when compared with other Rush releases.

I never bothered to listen to the remixed version of this album so I can't say for certain that it made things better, but I can imagine it did. Some day, I will listen, but it's difficult to return to an album where you have had bad listening experiences previously. There are, of course decent songs here like 'Peaceable Kingdom' and 'Ghost Rider' but the cheap sounding recording, which was recorded way too loud creating distortion and destroying dynamics, make the overall experience of this album a negative one. Without hearing the remixed album, I would recommend listening to that, because it definitely can't be worse than this, by any means. I wish I would have heard it that way first, because it makes it difficult to want to listen to it again. I can at least give it 3 stars based on everything else though. I'm sure it would have gotten at least 4 stars otherwise.

 Caress Of Steel by RUSH album cover Studio Album, 1975
3.54 | 1201 ratings

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Caress Of Steel
Rush Heavy Prog

Review by PsychicVacuum

5 stars Rush's second album "Fly by Night" had some hints of prog but "Caress of Steel" is where they truly dove headfirst into progressive rock. This is definitely their most underrated release, with a lot of people saying the epic tracks are too long but I've always really enjoyed this album.

"Bastille Day" is the album opener and what an opener it is! The energy in this song is incredible with it's instantly memorable hard rocking guitar riffs and amazingly tight rhythm playing from all 3 of the guys. The intensity lets up a bit for the choruses and the bridge but kicks back in for Alex Lifeson's awesome (as usual) solo. Killer track and one of my favourite short Rush songs.

"I Think I'm Going Bald" continues the hard rock theme with it's meaty guitar lines and lyrics that are sometimes humorous but witty and relatable for probably anyone who's over 20 or so. Another very solid song.

Track 3, "Lakeside Park", is a much more laid back affair with mostly clean guitars and sentimental lyrics about the carefree times of youth. Another theme that's very relatable for almost anyone. Stellar playing on this song too which demonstrates Rush's ability to take it down a few notches when they want to while still retaining great hooks and musicianship.

"The Necromancer" is the final track of side one and the first epic song of the album, clocking in at 12 and a half minutes. I think I've loved this song since the first time I ever the amazingly beautiful and melancholic guitar intro. Probably one of my favourite riffs ever. The narration sets a very bleak and foreboding tone before the drums kick in. After a couple minutes we get to a cool start/stop riff with nice guitar fills, then out of nowhere explodes a completely blistering extended solo from Lifeson. The rhythm underneath then switches to a great fast bass riff with the always superb drumming from Neil Peart to anchor it. The final section of the song is very uplifting with major guitar chords fitting the theme of the triumph of good over evil.

Side 2 is taken up by the band's first side-long track, "The Fountain of Lamneth". Even diehard Rush fans seem to be divided on this track and it is the main point for the controversy about this album in general. I won't go into a lot of detail describing it since there are so many parts to it but in my opinion this song is just about as good as "2112" with a great variety of moods ranging from very gentle, pastoral passages to melancholic and heavy as well. Above all however there are a ton of awesome guitar riffs. My favourite is probably the one that first appears at 5:20 and sounds like it could be taken striaght from an Opeth song (obviously the other way arounf though!). There are a few sections of the song that I'm not crazy about but there are very few prog epics I've heard (and I know quite a few) where I can honestly say I love every part. This one would not be in my top 5 favourites or anything but it's still very good.

Overall, this album gets much more flak than it deserves. It's not my absolute favourite Rush album but I still love it and I think anyone who is into prog should disregard the low rating here on PA and at least give it a chance.

4.5 stars, rounded up to 5.

Thanks to Tony R for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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