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RUSH

Heavy Prog • Canada


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Rush biography
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 (1982-1989):
RUSH embraced the 1980s sound...
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2112 [Remastered]2112 [Remastered]
Remastered
Mercury 1997
Audio CD$2.54
$0.18 (used)
Moving Pictures [Remastered]Moving Pictures [Remastered]
Remastered
Mercury 1997
Audio CD$2.54
$2.24 (used)
A Farewell to KingsA Farewell to Kings
Remastered
Mercury 1997
Audio CD$1.81
$0.44 (used)
Permanent Waves (Remastered)Permanent Waves (Remastered)
Remastered
Mercury 1997
Audio CD$2.99
$0.44 (used)
Hemispheres (Remastered)Hemispheres (Remastered)
Remastered
Mercury 1997
Audio CD$2.99
$0.99 (used)
Fly By Night (Remastered)Fly By Night (Remastered)
Remastered
Mercury 1997
Audio CD$2.75
$0.71 (used)
Caress Of Steel [Remastered]Caress Of Steel [Remastered]
Remastered
Mercury 1997
Audio CD$2.71
$0.24 (used)
The Spirit Of Radio: Greatest Hits 1974-1987The Spirit Of Radio: Greatest Hits 1974-1987
Remastered
Mercury 2003
Audio CD$4.33
$1.61 (used)
R40 Live [3 CD/Blu-ray Combo]R40 Live [3 CD/Blu-ray Combo]
Rounder 2015
Audio CD$21.44
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Signals (Remastered)Signals (Remastered)
Remastered
Mercury 1997
Audio CD$2.49
$1.99 (used)
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RUSH shows & tickets


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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)

2.90 | 897 ratings
Rush
1974
3.34 | 989 ratings
Fly By Night
1975
3.52 | 1065 ratings
Caress of Steel
1975
4.10 | 1732 ratings
2112
1976
4.35 | 1817 ratings
A Farewell To Kings
1977
4.37 | 1956 ratings
Hemispheres
1978
4.30 | 1693 ratings
Permanent Waves
1980
4.40 | 2319 ratings
Moving Pictures
1981
3.95 | 1103 ratings
Signals
1982
3.69 | 960 ratings
Grace Under Pressure
1984
3.54 | 833 ratings
Power Windows
1985
3.27 | 763 ratings
Hold Your Fire
1987
3.14 | 702 ratings
Presto
1989
3.09 | 720 ratings
Roll The Bones
1991
3.77 | 779 ratings
Counterparts
1993
2.86 | 704 ratings
Test For Echo
1996
3.43 | 728 ratings
Vapor Trails
2002
3.58 | 825 ratings
Snakes & Arrows
2007
3.95 | 900 ratings
Clockwork Angels
2012

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

3.85 | 374 ratings
All The World's A Stage
1976
4.04 | 480 ratings
Exit... Stage Left
1981
3.48 | 348 ratings
A Show Of Hands
1989
4.37 | 338 ratings
Different Stages - Live
1998
3.79 | 303 ratings
Rush - In Rio
2003
4.20 | 159 ratings
R30 - 30th Anniversary World Tour
2005
3.58 | 198 ratings
Snakes & Arrows Live
2008
3.94 | 149 ratings
Grace Under Pressure 1984 Tour
2009
3.54 | 51 ratings
ABC 1974
2011
3.33 | 132 ratings
Time Machine 2011: Live in Cleveland
2011
3.29 | 48 ratings
Moving Pictures: Live 2011
2011
3.98 | 64 ratings
Clockwork Angels Tour
2013
3.67 | 3 ratings
Kiel Auditorium, St Louis, MI, February 14 1980
2015

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

3.95 | 115 ratings
Exit... Stage Left (VHS)
1981
3.34 | 35 ratings
Through The Camera Eye
1984
3.98 | 96 ratings
Grace Under Pressure Tour (DVD)
1985
3.99 | 95 ratings
A Show of Hands
1989
2.97 | 72 ratings
Chronicles
1990
4.34 | 240 ratings
Rush in Rio
2003
4.41 | 236 ratings
R30 - 30th Anniversary World Tour
2005
4.04 | 121 ratings
Replay x 3
2006
4.12 | 135 ratings
Snakes & Arrows Live
2008
2.74 | 38 ratings
Working Men
2009
4.66 | 252 ratings
Beyond the Lighted Stage
2010
4.14 | 66 ratings
Classic Albums: 2112 - Moving Pictures
2010
3.90 | 91 ratings
Time Machine 2011: Live in Cleveland
2011
3.84 | 44 ratings
Clockwork Angels Tour
2013
4.25 | 13 ratings
R40 Live
2015

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

3.40 | 53 ratings
Archives
1978
2.72 | 24 ratings
Through Time
1978
0.00 | 0 ratings
Anthology
1984
3.58 | 94 ratings
Chronicles
1991
3.29 | 64 ratings
Retrospective I (1974-1980)
1997
3.17 | 62 ratings
Retrospective II (1981-1987)
1997
3.11 | 73 ratings
The Spirit Of Radio (Greatest Hits 1974-1987)
2003
3.09 | 49 ratings
Gold
2006
2.85 | 46 ratings
Retrospective III 1989 - 2008
2009
2.75 | 39 ratings
Working Men
2009
1.83 | 26 ratings
Time Stand Still: The Collection
2010
2.34 | 26 ratings
Icon
2010
4.20 | 32 ratings
Sector 1
2011
4.58 | 36 ratings
Sector 2
2011
4.62 | 37 ratings
Sector 3
2011
3.50 | 4 ratings
Icon 2
2011
4.11 | 18 ratings
The Studio Albums 1989-2007
2013

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

2.00 | 35 ratings
Not Fade Away
1973
2.78 | 25 ratings
Finding My Way
1974
2.25 | 4 ratings
In The Mood
1974
3.03 | 27 ratings
Fly by Night
1975
3.04 | 27 ratings
The Twilight Zone
1976
3.55 | 34 ratings
2112: Overture/The Temples of Syrinx
1976
3.65 | 35 ratings
Closer to The Heart
1977
2.26 | 18 ratings
Everything Your Listeners Wanted To Hear By Rush... But Were Afraid To Play
1977
3.38 | 10 ratings
The Trees
1978
4.10 | 45 ratings
The Spirit of Radio
1980
2.80 | 41 ratings
Entre Nous
1980
3.94 | 50 ratings
Tom Sawyer
1981
4.00 | 8 ratings
Tom Sawyer / A Passage To Bangkok / Red Barchetta
1981
3.71 | 7 ratings
Vital Signs / Passage To Bangkok / Circumstances / In The Mood
1981
4.12 | 7 ratings
Subdivisions
1982
3.80 | 5 ratings
Countdown
1982
3.14 | 37 ratings
New World Man
1982
3.50 | 4 ratings
The Body Electric
1984
3.57 | 35 ratings
Distant Early Warning
1984
3.06 | 34 ratings
The Big Money
1986
4.00 | 1 ratings
Prime Mover
1987
5.00 | 1 ratings
Closer To The Heart
1989
3.75 | 4 ratings
The Pass
1989
2.71 | 16 ratings
Ghost of a chance
1992
3.50 | 2 ratings
Roll The Bones
1992
1.86 | 18 ratings
The Story Of Kings
1992
2.98 | 22 ratings
Stick It Out
1993
3.32 | 25 ratings
One Little Victory
2002
2.82 | 185 ratings
Feedback
2004
3.00 | 1 ratings
Summertime Blues
2004
3.47 | 38 ratings
Far Cry
2007
4.10 | 125 ratings
Caravan / BU2B
2010
3.59 | 73 ratings
Headlong Flight
2012
5.00 | 1 ratings
The Garden
2013
3.00 | 2 ratings
7 and 7 is
2014
0.00 | 0 ratings
Roll The Bones
2015

RUSH Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 2112 by RUSH album cover Studio Album, 1976
4.10 | 1732 ratings

BUY
2112
Rush Heavy Prog

Review by stainedclass2112

5 stars Infamous prog rock legends Rush never had an easy ride in their early years. They began as a hard rock band with incredible potential, and it did indeed take them a few albums before they struck brilliance. A short ways down the road, after the rather ambitious (but not bad) Caress of Steel, they faced trouble with the record company who wanted them to avoid the complex song structures, unique lyrics, and the like associated with Rush now. The Canadian prodigies didn't heed these warnings, and went all out on their 1976 masterpiece, 2112.

You could say that this was the album in which Rush found their sound, so to speak. Many consider this their magnum opus, while I disagree; this record is pure brilliance. Rush proved that they weren't just some Canadian rock band, they were going to be what is arguably the greatest band of all time. Many praise this as the greatest rock record of all time, others claim it is overrated; all opinions aside, the status that this album still holds to this day is legendary.

The album is split down the middle, with the famous epic 20 minute title track on side A, and five different marvelous tracks on side B. The title track features seven different movements of varying structure and intensity, while the 5 on the B side are rather unique to each other as well. One of the main issues with Caress of Steel was its rather broken and inconsistent structure, which hurt the album as a whole. However, on 2112, the stunning title track transitions seamlessly while keeping each of its seven sections distinct and profound. This would be one of Rush's greatest strengths in their following albums in the 70's and 80's: the ability to construct moving and fantastic epic pieces without compromising continuity, and it began here.

The title track is one of the most profound pieces of rock music ever composed. The narrative of this track combined with the sheer talent unleashed in its movements is mind-blowing. This song is evidence that Neil Peart was the secret weapon that Geddy and Alex needed, not only as a drummer, but as a lyricist. The heavy lyrics of "Soliloquy" are of sharp contrast to that of "In the Mood" or "Finding My Way", and it marked a point in which Rush were maturing into the living legends they are now; but the lyrics are only a compliment to the sheer awesomeness of the music. The song also showcases a seriously profound amount of musical talent with its diverse yet perfectly flowing movements. The aggression and pure power of "Overture" and "Temples of Syrinx" tempered by the awe-inspiring "Discovery", "Presentation", and the lovely "Soliloquy" makes for a song that transcends the boundaries of any ordinary "epic" song.

The B side of 2112 often will get criticized as being "weak" or even "just not very good". I'll tell you straight up that's bull[&*!#]. Granted, when you have a monster like "2112" preceding you, it can be hard to stand out; but these songs are each wonderful tracks. The two in particular that are fantastic would be "Lessons" and "Something for Nothing". "Lessons" remains a favorite of mine with its charming verses and aggressive chorus. "Something for Nothing" is one of my all time favorite Rush songs with a badass bass line and one of the best chorus' that Rush has ever written. "Tears" is one of my favorites when it comes to slow, poignant Rush songs (while "Losing It" takes the cake) with a very nice atmosphere and fantastic vocal performance from Geddy. The weakest song is "The Twilight Zone", but even then it is still a great track, showing that this album follows and keeps a very high standard of greatness.

The musicianship and songwriting on this album is fantastic. Alex Lifeson developed a less gritty and more atmospheric guitar tone that adds a bit of dimension to the music, while Geddy Lee's gritty, driven Rickenbacker tone would first show up here. Not only did their sound evolve into something amazing, but the musicians' true instrumental talents began to show their colors on this record. Alex's guitar playing is rather unique, resorting to lots of thick and heavy open chords to give a thick wall of sound while Ged hammers away with that sexy Ricky. Alex's soloing is, however, still quite dirty and bluesy on this album. This is evident all throughout the album, and while I prefer the entrancing solos he would play on later albums, he adds another level of aggression with solos such as those from the title track, "Lessons", and "Something for Nothing".

Neil's drumming is of the highest level, with fills and rhythms that are quite creative and adept in their nature. This isn't Neil's greatest performance, but it definitely remains one of best to be played. The quick fills and aggressively creative drumming of the overture and "Temples of Syrinx" are not only present there, but on the whole album. While his insane fills and unique patterns are one of the famous traits of Neil's drumming, he also plays delicately crafted rhythms whenever the album slows down to go right along with what the song is doing. A great example of this is on one of my favorite parts, "Presentation", in which Neil plays along wonderfully to match the intensity. Neil's percussive mastery is always one of the most exhilarating additions to Rush's music, and one could argue that his legacy began here.

2112 is generally heralded as Rush's masterpiece, and honestly, it really just might be. Such generalizations, however, don't fit a band of the caliber of Rush, the greatest album to some might be one of the weakest to others. With a career spanning over 40 years of brilliance, releasing only a couple weak albums, any of their many albums can be claimed as a magnum opus; but none of it would've been possible if not for 2112. This album smashed boundaries and it continues to be one of those records that just inspires awe upon the listener. This is essential listening for all prog rock fans, its influence was massive and it still is a hallmark of the entire genre. Truly amazing stuff, definitely one of the greatest albums of all time.

"You don't get something for nothing You can't have freedom for free You won't get wise with the sleep still in your eyes No matter what your dreams might be!"

Originally written for The Metal Archives

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 Caress of Steel by RUSH album cover Studio Album, 1975
3.52 | 1065 ratings

BUY
Caress of Steel
Rush Heavy Prog

Review by stainedclass2112

4 stars When I talk to my friends and family members who grew up listening to heavy metal and hard rock music through the early 70's, I'll always ask them for stories about the heavy music back then. They'll say that among the 70's metalheads, Led Zeppelin were overrated, Deep Purple was the best thing ever, and when I ask them about Caress of Steel, they say it was one of the most awesome albums when it came out (2112 pretty much blew their minds, but let's focus on this one). Apparently something like "Bastille Day" was absolutely insane in 1975, let alone a song like "The Necromancer" or the twenty minute "The Fountain of Lamneth".

Too many people judge Caress of Steel from the standpoint of 2112, and forget to realize that without the pioneering done on this record, 2112 might not have happened. Even if you completely take away all historical importance from this album, it's still a pretty awesome record. 2112 this is not, but this album has a sense of unbridled aggression in tandem with a value of beauty that rarely showed up on other Rush albums. You've got the sheer anger of "Bastille Day", the down-to-earth beauty of "Return of the Prince" and "Lakeside Park", even the carefree rocker that is "I think I'm Going Bald". Even if the songwriting had yet to fully blossom, the musicianship here is top notch.

The A side of this record is the best part, as it has not only "The Necromancer", but it opens with freaking "Bastille Day". "Bastille Day" is one of Rush's most aggressive tracks of the 70's featuring a set of riffs that'll more than destroy your face hole and a rhythm section that still rivaled work from 10 years later. Oh yeah, and not to mention Geddy's wicked vocals! This album is one of the best Geddy's voice has seen, with both a great use of range and an ear splitting aggression that makes you bang your head and grit your teeth. Even the silliest song on the album, "I Think I'm Going Bald", has a gritty, heavy, riff happy feel to it that makes it an enjoyable song. "The Necromancer" is really freaking awesome, it takes a long time for it to grow on you, but just listen to the section called "Return of the Prince"; you can thank me later. "Return of the Prince" is my favorite part of the whole record, this song sings to your soul; just beautiful.

Side B of Caress of Steel is home of one twenty minute epic track entitled "The Fountain of Lamneth". This part of the record is great too, but it does take a while to get going. This song is sort of a blueprint for "2112", it's split into a handful of different movements with different intensities. The song also stretches the legs of Rush's narrative songwriting, which is something I adore about this band. The song is generally strong, but it suffers from a lack of continuity. Each section is separated from its neighboring section by too much silence or interluding. Don't get me wrong, long tracks are always the best when they are written flawlessly, but I can't help but feel as if "The Fountain of Lamneth" would've benefited from being separated into six different songs. All that being said, "The Fountain of Lamneth" is a definite high in Rush's career, and it marked a point in which they were exploring more and more musically.

The strengths of "The Fountain of Lamneth", however, are extremely evident, and naysayers should keep listening, as there is some musical gold found here. The soft, acoustic-led passages are all amazing, and Geddy's soft singing is a perfect conveyance of the narrative lyrics. The most aggressive sections of this song are quite progressive in nature and they show off Rush's early dexterity in handling tight musical situations. The best sections of "The Fountain of Lamneth" are definitely "Panacea" and "Bacchus Plateau" whose upbeat natures are just fantastic; I wish they were longer. As a whole, "The Fountain of Lamneth" pales when compared to "2112", "Hemispheres" or "Natural Science", but one must remember this was accomplished at a relatively early stage in Rush's career, and the song stands on its own as a true work of art.

The musicianship is fantastic, as it is on every Rush album. Neil's drumming began to really take shape on Caress of Steel, as was his lyricism. Neil makes frequent use of outstanding fills and unique rhythms, and they helped prove that Neil would soon be heralded as the greatest drummer of all time. Geddy's bass was also taking shape into the heavy, loud, and gritty tone that would dominate the later 70's Rush records. His tone is still somewhat hollow, but it is much louder than on the previous albums and Ged allows his Ricky to flex its muscles. His playing is also more pronounced, using many more bass fills and quick runs. The furious bass playing of "Bastille Day" rips through your ears with its complex fills and gritty attack. The rest of the album also features this style, and it's quite interesting listening to Geddy's bass tone caught in the middle of the early 70's and late 70's Rush eras.

The star of the show for this album is Alex Lifeson. The gritty, gain-choked guitar tone present on this album is much more suited here than it was on 2112, actually. All of Alex's guitar solos are fantastic, especially those on "Bacchus Plateau" and "Return of the Prince". The riffs Alex plays are all heavy and driving; another thing that makes this album a bit unique. When Alex isn't playing sweet melodies, he's playing heavy, almost metal tinged swinging riffs that propel things along in an awesome fashion. I've always loved Alex's playing on this album, it really is top notch.

Caress of Steel really shouldn't be judged in comparison to 2112. Why so many people do this I know not why, but the album really isn't a mess, it's not annoying, it's not weak; it's just a necessary step Rush had to take. In my opinion, the results are fabulous, the album is home to some brilliant musicianship and lyricism. Sure, "I Think I'm Going Bald" might be Rush's second most ridiculous song lyric-wise, but there's also "The Necromancer", "Bastille Day" and "The Fountain of Lamneth". It's safe to say the good totally overtakes the bad here. I wouldn't recommend this be a newcomer's first Rush listen, but it definitely deserves some attention. In the end, Caress of Steel is a very strong album deserving of more recognition and praise than it gets.

"But they're marching to Bastille Day La guillotine will claim her bloody prize! Free the dungeons of the innocent The king will kneel, and let his kingdom rise!"

Originally written for The Metal Archives

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 Caress of Steel by RUSH album cover Studio Album, 1975
3.52 | 1065 ratings

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Caress of Steel
Rush Heavy Prog

Review by Pastmaster

5 stars Rush - Caress of Steel

"Caress of Steel" is the third studio album from hard rock/progressive rock band Rush. With the addition of drummer Neil Peart on the previous album, Rush's music and lyrics had gotten more complex while still primarily playing bluesy hard rock. "Caress of Steel" takes the complexity to the next level, featuring not one, but two epic tracks exceeding the 10-minute mark. This album shows Rush become the progressive heavy/hard rock behemoth they're known as today.

"Caress of Steel" expands upon what Rush was experimenting with on "Fly By Night", as there are full epic song-structures as heard in the last two songs, folk-rock influences in 'Lakeside Park', while also getting heavier. The opening two songs 'Bastille Day' and 'I Think I'm Going Bald' are pure killer heavy rocking songs, especially the former which opens the album with heavy speeding riffing. 'Lakeside Park' continues with some of the folk sounds from the previous album, but it sounds much more focused then the experimentation with it on its predecessors. It's actually one of my favorites from the album, and it's nice and calm yet rocking at the same time.

The first of the two epics and my favorite song on the album, 'The Necromancer', is actually part two of the story from the song 'By-Tor and the Snow Dog' from the last album. 'The Necromancer' and the following epic really set the standard for future Rush epics, having different parts all having their own distinct sound. The beginning opens up with spoken word and later gets a bluesy Pink Floyd-vibe to it.The second part shows Rush at perhaps one of their heaviest moments. There's some killer Sabbath-esque sludgy guitar, and Lee's menacing vocals and screams sure makes this part sound like proto-doom metal. What better contrast to sludgy guitar can you have but a great blistering guitar solo. The song ends on an uplifting note with some joyful folk guitar and a solo.

The final song on the album is the 20-minute behemoth, 'The Fountain of Lamneth'. This is an six-segment epic full of variation, going from heavy riffing, menacing melodies, beautiful classical/acoustic guitar work, and more. One of the most amazing parts of the song is part two, 'Didacts and Narpets', which is basically a drum solo with chaotic drum rolls and guitar blasts.

Overall, "Caress of Steel" is a perfect combination of different sounds, and really shows Rush doing all that they do best; heavy blistering rock and complex hard rock epics. A true underrated classic, and one of my favorite Rush albums. "Caress of Steel" is not only a fantastic album, but it led to many future Rush albums with it's approach to balancing out hard rock and heavy progressive epic songs. This is a great starting point for someone getting into 70's Rush, and also essential listening for any fans of classic hard rock.

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 R40 Live by RUSH album cover DVD/Video, 2015
4.25 | 13 ratings

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R40 Live
Rush Heavy Prog

Review by rdtprog
Forum & Site Admin Group Heavy Prog Team / Site Admin

4 stars For the celebration of the 40 and plus years of existence of the band, they went on tour in North America. This show was filmed in Toronto, their hometown. The band wanted to make things as usual, different with new visuals. The concept was to get back in time with the technology at first, the presence of the amplifier on stage, to the beginning of the band when they remove those amplifiers to see the band play with a curtain and no light show. Also the use of the screen to illustrate some animated videos on many songs was restricted to the minimum.

The show start with the strait forward hard rock number "The Anarchist" who his a favorite for the Rush fans. This is followed by 2 songs from their last two albums. Then for the first time, "How it Is" is played live, which seems to me like a odd choice considering that "Vapor Trails" contains more interesting songs. But playing "Losing it" for the first time with the original violin player Ben Mink was special, the song is the highlight of this rather disappointing first set list. The second set begin with 3 more favorite tracks before getting to the more progressive and longer tracks. "Natural Science" and for the first time in more than 30 years, "Jacob's Ladder" is played with all the laser effect needed to fit with this atmospheric song. Then the band did medleys of the Cygnus X suite before getting to "Xanadu". The encore brings back another rare song : "Lakeside Park".

The camera work and editing are very pleasant with long shots of each members and there's some nice balance between distant and close camera shots. David Bottrill did a good job compare to the Clockwork Angels DVD with more bass sound and this time Neal's drums are heard a lot more. There's 3 bonus song on the Blu-Ray and 6 on the CD. It's a bit of a of a let down that those 3 extra songs were not available for us to see. Grab this one, could be the last tour for the band and last live recording.

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 Exit... Stage Left by RUSH album cover Live, 1981
4.04 | 480 ratings

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Exit... Stage Left
Rush Heavy Prog

Review by jude111

5 stars My first ever concert was seeing Rush during the Moving Pictures tour, so of course when this album came out soon after in 1981, I picked it up immediately. At the time, I was only slightly disappointed, both due to the sound (a bit muddy - spring for the remastered version if you can), and for an incomplete tracklist. For example, at the concert I went to, they opened with an exciting version of Overture/Temples of Syrinx - a much better version than what's on the earlier, rawer live album All the World's a Stage. They also played Working Man and Fly by Night. I know those appear also on the previous live album, but still... I also wish Limelight would've been included, which was a highlight at the show and a big song on the radio at the time. Finally, the concert ended with the 2112 finale ("We have assumed control, we have assumed control..."). I might be wrong, but I seem to remember Rush introducing a new song - Subdivisions. (I'm not 100% positive about this; maybe my memory has gone a bit soft.) Someday I hope that Rush will release an expanded version of Exit Stage Left, with all those tracks included. As for the album as it is now, I admit it has sentimental value for me, but I also love these versions of Rush's classics.

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 Signals by RUSH album cover Studio Album, 1982
3.95 | 1103 ratings

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Signals
Rush Heavy Prog

Review by Mr. Gone

4 stars Maybe this shouldn't be my first Rush review. But I know this album quite well and enough of the history of the band to understand its somewhat divisive position. So here goes...

I like synthesizers. A lot. Polyphonic synths are a very important part of progressive rock for me. Not everything I own has them, but a lot does. And I came into the "Rush" game late (the live version of "Marathon" from A Show of Hands was the first exposure I had to them), so I had fewer preconceptions coming in than someone would have who cut their teeth on Hemispheres. So, for me, the synths themselves are not a problem. And I find that most of the material here ranges from "very good" to "excellent" from a songwriting standpoint.

All that having been said - the sound of this album is "off" for me. It's murky, muddy, fuzzy...something like that (one description I read said it sounded like you were listening to it underwater). One observation I've heard which makes sense is that they hadn't yet learned to play the synths and guitars in separate octaves, resulting in sounds on here that were "wallish" (is that a word?) but in a gloopy, sludgy morass. In smaller doses it wouldn't have done quite so much to affect my opinion - but the synths are all over the place and the amorphous battle between them and the guitars can get a bit overwhelming sometimes (contrast Grace Under Pressure, which arguably has more and busier synths, but sounds a lot cleaner to my ears).

However, the material here (with the exception of "The Weapon", a song I simply can't get into) is strong enough to overcome that by-in-large. I particularly love the reggae section of "Digital Man", where Neil Peart's drumming really shines (love the off-transition cymbal hits especially). "Analog Kid" features some of Alex Lifeson's best shredding on the solo. "Losing It' features a great violin solo from Ben Mink. And I may be the exception here, but I love "Countdown". It feels like a sunny spring morning watching the apex of technology at work in front of you - before I grew up and life lost its optimism as loss and hard experiences ravaged my idyllic existence.

So, I have to give this four stars (3.75, really). It would be a more solid four if it sounded better. Not sure what could be done to change that now, but it's still a totally worthwhile way to spend three quarters of an hour.

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 A Farewell To Kings by RUSH album cover Studio Album, 1977
4.35 | 1817 ratings

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A Farewell To Kings
Rush Heavy Prog

Review by Progkid

5 stars Rush followed the success of 2112 with A Farewell To Kings in 1977, and man this is one heck of a album, all three musicians are in fine form and it features some of Rush's Signature tracks. Geddy Lee plays awesome bass lines and his vocals are best in this album, Neil Peart or 'the professor' is brilliant as usual with deep philosophical lyrics and brilliant drum playing, with Alex playing some great guitar throughout the album

1. A Farewell To Kings- The intro by Alex is sure to get you hooked , I don't understand why is he so less known. Anyways, After some great guitar playing, Geddy follows with his unique and best vocals screaming and shouting, and then showcases his bass plating talent, this song is about common people were oppressed by kings and knights, and were helpless and showed no resistance, now the place is taken up by politicians but the pain remains the same. A perfect Start 10/10

2. Xanadu- I'll like to point out one thing in here, ALEX IS SO SOOOO TALENTED!!, I bet after hearing those mythical lyrics, and guitar playing along with other great song moments, you'll be forced to search for the Lost Xanudu, I love that part around 5:40 , that when the songs kicks in for me, one of the best rush moments, 10/10

3. Closer To The Heart- At around 3:00. in length and one of Rush's shortest its one of their best, what to say about this song, you gotta feel it by yourself, the lyrics show how everything can be accomplished if we work together and not be power hungry, 10/10

4. Often overlooked for its simplicity, its one of my fav lyrics ever, so I'll discuss it in detail, cause its my life story "A modest man from Mandrake, Traveled rich to the city He had a need to discover A use for his newly-found wealth

Because he was human Because he had goodness Because he was moral They called him insane"

How people like us, innocent, always helping, thinking good, trying to change the world are labelled as ' complex and insane', only because we are good and have moral values? I read somewhere Neil faced similar experience in school

"Delusions of grandeur Visions of splendor A manic-depressive He walks in the rain

Eyes wide open Heart undefended Innocence untarnished

Cinderella Man Doing what you can They can't understand What it means

Cinderella Man Hang on to your plans Try as they might They cannot steal your dreams"

Obviously that leads to depression, heart undefended might mean if someone close to you said all those? it hurts 1000 times more cause you wouldn't care if he was a stranger, Cinderella Man? the title suggest of being in love with someone, being nice, doing everything you could, only to be questioned. But one should not give up and continue with what he's doing, cause whatever may happen they can't take away your dreams

"In the betrayal of his love he awakened To face a world of cold reality And a look in the eyes of the hungry Awakened him to what he could do

He held up his riches To challenge the hungry Purposeful motion For one so insane

They tried to fight him Just couldn't beat him This manic-depressive Who walks in the rain"

How once you are betrayed like that, you only come back more strong, there is someone sarcasm at the person who betrayed him too ' a purposeful motion for one so insane' the last 4 lines? how you can't beat a damaged man because he knows he can live his life, once a person decides something nothing can go wrong

I find it strange that it is overlooked for simplicity, this song signifies that there's simplicity in all and one shouldn't be labeled as an outcast complex just goes he does thing , people don't understand overall 10/10

Madrigal: The simple acoustic piece, serves great for me after the dark Cinderella man, Love the way, you can forget all the pain around you, well said 8.5/10

6.Cygnus X-1 Book one the voyage: Great track, funny to end a philosophical album with a science fiction track, but who's complaining when its so well done, Great bass playing, lovely intro(scary tho) and you keep asking yourself what happens to the ship while it is sucked by the black hole, great way to end the album, I won't say much, there are some qualities review about this song in here, but why not forget it And feel it by yourself.

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 Test For Echo by RUSH album cover Studio Album, 1996
2.86 | 704 ratings

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Test For Echo
Rush Heavy Prog

Review by Necrotica
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Test for Echo marks Rush's last album before the tragedy that had befallen Neil Peart in which his daughter and wife died in a car accident, and at the same time, the album marks the effective end of Rush's era of more straightforward rock music. This specific sound initially emerged when Presto was released, using more traditional rock style to counter their previous synth-based pop elements with albums like Hold Your Fire. But I've gotta say, despite trying to get back to basics, these guys have made some pretty odd decisions in their 90s work. For instance, who honestly expected the rapping in the bridge of "Roll the Bones?" Or how about those funk guitar sections in the instrumental "Where's My Thing?" Well, Test for Echo also sees Rush test the waters of a few new sounds, but also scales things back to a surprising degree.

When you get down to it, this is probably the most conventional album the band have ever crafted. Sure, it certainly has its progressive moments (what Rush album doesn't), but much more emphasis is placed on both accessibility and atmosphere this time around. What definitely adds to its appeal, however, is the balance of moods and sounds displayed. Turn on the album and you're greeted first by the melancholic and textured title track. Take another stab at the record and you find the more upbeat and commercial rock number "Half the World." But as usual, the best songs here are the ones that go for straight-up complexity and focus on the band's instrumental interplay. "Time and Motion" is easily the standout track on Test for Echo as it combines some of Alex Lifeson's heaviest guitar work with Rush's typically unusual time signatures and an almost orchestral and cinematic vibe with the synthesizers. The lyrics, keeping in with this era of Rush's career, often focus on real-world scenarios and concepts; "Virtuality," for instance, addresses how relationships and overall communication are affected by the Internet, while "Driven" is what I can assume is about being in control of your own life during its ups and downs (similar to Incubus' "Drive"). Once again, Peart's lyricism is of a very high quality and still proves that he is just as good at depicting realistic subjects as he was with his more fantasy-based material of the 70s.

Unfortunately, the homogeneity of the album is the price one has to pay for these perks. There are some more experimental tunes on the record, but the overall bland sound of the whole thing makes the experience quite tiring after a while. Geddy Lee's voice doesn't really do much to shake things up either, being unusually one-note compared to his normal style. And therein lies the big problem with Test for Echo: no matter how much seasoning there is on an album, it doesn't do much to help when the core of the record is so uninteresting. Samey mid-tempo numbers like "The Color of Right," "Resist," and multiple other songs lead me to believe that perhaps the band members' hearts weren't fully into it this time. As for the more unusual tunes, "Dog Years" is probably the most notable for being so... odd. Between the punk-esque opening riff and the weird lyrics that relate to the title, I'm not exactly sure what to think of the song. At the very least, though, it helps break up some of the monotony.

Test for Echo is a bit of an oddity in Rush's discography. It's certainly not a bad record, but suffers from a serious lack of standout moments... not even standout tracks, just standout moments. If there were a few more songs like "Time and Motion" or "Driven," then this could have turned out to be one of Rush's finest records. But as it stands Test for Echo is just barely above average and can safely be considered the worst album the band have released. Luckily, 2002's Vapor Trails would see this legendary act reborn with a fresh new style and attitude, so things only went up from here.

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 Vapor Trails by RUSH album cover Studio Album, 2002
3.43 | 728 ratings

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Vapor Trails
Rush Heavy Prog

Review by Necrotica
Prog Reviewer

4 stars To say the mid-to-late 90s were not very kind to Rush is quite the understatement. First there was 1996's Test for Echo, which was widely regarded as one of the band's biggest disappointments with the critics and the fanbase; then there was the infamous car accident that killed Neil Peart's daughter and the battle with cancer that his wife lost. Any of this would have been good reasoning to retire and call it a day... hell, he actually DID tell his bandmates he was retiring around that time. But was this the true end for Rush and Neil Peart's careers? Nope! Instead, Peart decided to take a lengthy sabbatical throughout North and Central America to reflect and mourn what events had transpired. After writing a book about his travels, he decided to remarry and then tell his bandmates that he was finally ready to return to the fold. What came of all this was Vapor Trails, a great comeback album that displays the band in top form again.

Don't get me wrong, however; it's still not the perfect comeback a lot of people were clamoring for. The most common criticism of Vapor Trails is a pretty well-founded one, and that's the record's mix. It's easy to conclude that the record was a victim of the loudness war, which was becoming more frequent around the 2000s; because of this, there's a bit too much loudness and compression permeating the whole thing. Luckily, this doesn't do much to lessen the impact of the songwriting because of how strong these tunes are from the get-go. One listen to the opening number "One Little Victory" can tell you that this isn't synth-era Rush anymore. Instead, we're given some of the beefiest and most metal-oriented guitar lines Alex Lifeson's ever played, highly overdubbed and layered bass lines courtesy of Geddy Lee, and the most inspired lyrics and drum work from Neil Peart in over a decade. It's really great to hear Rush go back to a more traditional sound again, and Vapor Trails represents sort of a mixture of all their eras into one. "One Little Victory" has a more modern progressive rock/metal sound to fit the 2000s, the motifs of "Ghost Rider" and the title track sound like something that could come out of their Roll the Bones days, and the more prominently displayed virtuosity on this album recalls their more complex 70s and early 80s material like A Farewell to Kings or Hemispheres.

But what pushes Vapor Trails over the edge is just how damn inspired the whole thing sounds. This is not only a reinvention of the band, but it feels like one. A lot of this comes from Peart, whose lyrics on this are probably the most personal and hard-hitting the band have ever had in their career (alongside Clockwork Angels, I'd say). Also, as I mentioned, this album can be really hard-hitting and heavy for Rush standards, especially "One Little Victory," "Peaceable Kingdom," and "Secret Touch." The latter is especially notable for its heavy syncopated main riff which is perfect for some headbanging; what I'm saying is that these tend to be some pretty metal songs, which is something that Rush would continue for the next two albums. But the intensity levels are never excessive, and the band usually know when to scale things back and focus on a more layered or subdued musical environment. One of the best traits of Rush has always been how the three musicians blend their instruments together and sound like a cohesive unit despite such complex pieces, and Vapor Trails is no exception to this. It also helps that Geddy Lee's vocals are quite varied on the album, able to fit whichever mood the song has created with ease. In fact, he can still hit some pretty damn high notes despite his age around this time, especially that one note he sustains near the end of "Peaceable Kingdom."

Vapor Trails is no classic, but it's a substantial improvement over Test for Echo and probably the band's best work since Power Windows. Despite the weird production (which has thankfully been improved in the 2013 remix) and being a bit too lengthy (over an hour long), this is a great display of Rush being reborn for the new decade. Musically, it makes enough nods to their past while remaining firmly in the present, with a great variety of lyrical and musical concepts to reflect this. All of this leads to my final words: thank you for rejoining the band, Neil Peart.

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 Snakes & Arrows by RUSH album cover Studio Album, 2007
3.58 | 825 ratings

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Snakes & Arrows
Rush Heavy Prog

Review by Necrotica
Prog Reviewer

4 stars "One day I feel I'm on top of the world And the next it's falling in on me I can get back on, I can get back on"

Whenever I hear the lyrics of the chorus of "Far Cry," I always feel as though it's a metaphor for all the hardships and triumphs that Rush have experienced throughout their illustrious career. Seriously, just think about this for a moment... back in the early 70s, would you have ever believed that a progressive rock trio with complex instrumentation and heavy lyrical themes regarding fantasy and philosophy would become the rock juggernaut they are now? It's quite incredible, especially when considering what tragedies and struggles have befallen the band over the years. And here they still are, over four decades after Neil Peart first joined the band, still maintaining the same lineup after all that time has passed. The fact that Rush continued even after something as tragic as the deaths of Peart's wife and daughter and made an album as good as Vapor Trails is a true testament to how close-knit and committed these guys are. However, where were they going to go after their 2002 effort? Well, Snakes and Arrows strengthens the band's newly modernized sound found on Vapor Trails while managing to be one of their most emotional and sentimental works.

The instrumental "blend" I mentioned in my last review is honed to near-perfection on this album. In fact, the more economic playing styles of each member here are really effective in keeping the album cohesive. Even the primary instrumental "The Main Monkey Business" offers very little in the way of flashy musicianship. Instead, there's a much more warm and inviting sound at work; Alex Lifeson's gorgeous acoustic guitar work is one of the most prominent elements of the record, and there's a lot more subtlety in Geddy's bass playing. But don't think for a second that this is a complete step down in intensity from Vapor Trails; one listen to the opener "Far Cry" will immediately dispel that notion with its heavy riffing and hard-hitting rhythms. However, there's a certain beauty to Snakes and Arrows that's a bit difficult to describe. There are a lot of lush arrangements and beautiful layers that give many of the songs an otherworldly quality, one of the best examples being the chorus "Armor and Sword." After a distorted riff from Lifeson and harmonized vocals from Geddy Lee, the song breaks into a very spacious and dreamlike portion for the chorus, with the guitar work sounding massive and almost cathartic.

Much of the album is based on personal reflection, however, as stated by Peart himself when describing the faith-based aspects of the record. Indeed, there are many intimate moments that really recall classic Rush songs like "Madrigal" or "Different Strings." One of my personal favorites is Alex Lifeson's solo acoustic piece "Hope," combining the typically complex playing he's known for with a very folky and organic vibe that almost sounds like it's being played at a campfire. Also, Geddy Lee's voice is a bit more restrained this time around, which is a much better fit with more subdued pieces like the mid-tempo rocker "Working Them Angels" or the acoustic-based power ballad "The Larger Bowl," the latter benefiting from combining these vocals with more minimalist songwriting and instrumentation during the verses. Of course, the band still engage in a little bit of prog self-indulgence when they want to, like in the short bass-driven rocker "Malignant Narcissism" as the subtle tempo and time signature shifts of "Faithless." As with Vapor Trails, the biggest problem I have with this record is that it's a bit too lengthy. Cutting out some of the fat would have been beneficial to the album, perhaps if the band trimmed it down to about fifty five or so minutes.

Despite that, Snakes and Arrows really is among Rush's finest works. It's hard to believe that the next album also surpasses this one, but it just shows how strong and relevant the band still are, even in today's rock scene. As it stands, though, this is one Rush record that should not be overlooked if you're even remotely interested in the group.

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Thanks to Tony R for the artist addition.

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