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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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Buy RUSH Music


Moving Pictures [LP]Moving Pictures [LP]
Mercury 2015
$19.50
$9.98 (used)
The Spirit Of Radio: Greatest Hits 1974-1987The Spirit Of Radio: Greatest Hits 1974-1987
Remastered
Mercury 2003
$5.19
$2.56 (used)
2112 [Remastered]2112 [Remastered]
Reissued · Remastered
Mercury 1997
$4.39
$2.96 (used)
A Farewell To Kings [3 CD][40th Anniversary Edition]A Farewell To Kings [3 CD][40th Anniversary Edition]
Mercury 2017
$12.26
$12.87 (used)
2112 In Concert (Violet Vinyl/Limited)2112 In Concert (Violet Vinyl/Limited)
STORMBIRD 2016
$19.99
$14.42 (used)
The Studio Albums 1989-2007 (7CD)The Studio Albums 1989-2007 (7CD)
Atlantic Catalog Group 2013
$19.45
$27.59 (used)
Permanent WavesPermanent Waves
Reissued · Remastered
Mercury 1997
$5.04
$3.04 (used)
Rush: A Show of HandsRush: A Show of Hands
Multiple Formats · AC-3 · Dolby · DTS Surround Sound · Remastered
Mercury 2007
$11.59
$6.09 (used)
Right Now on Ebay (logo)
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What Is This (Part 1/Part I and Part II/Rev Singing Sammy Lewis/RUSH/45rpm USD $25.00 [0 bids]
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Rush CD Roll the Bones by Rush Fourteenth Studio Album CD USD $3.99 Buy It Now 56m 27s
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Rush Limbaugh Is a Big Fat Idiot by Al Franken (CD, Mar-1996, Dove Audio) USD $4.29 [0 bids]
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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 | 1028 ratings
Rush
1974
3.36 | 1150 ratings
Fly By Night
1975
3.52 | 1215 ratings
Caress Of Steel
1975
4.11 | 2013 ratings
2112
1976
4.32 | 2137 ratings
A Farewell To Kings
1977
4.36 | 2309 ratings
Hemispheres
1978
4.28 | 1974 ratings
Permanent Waves
1980
4.39 | 2723 ratings
Moving Pictures
1981
3.94 | 1277 ratings
Signals
1982
3.69 | 1104 ratings
Grace Under Pressure
1984
3.53 | 958 ratings
Power Windows
1985
3.26 | 869 ratings
Hold Your Fire
1987
3.16 | 804 ratings
Presto
1989
3.09 | 818 ratings
Roll The Bones
1991
3.75 | 883 ratings
Counterparts
1993
2.86 | 795 ratings
Test For Echo
1996
3.42 | 815 ratings
Vapor Trails
2002
3.57 | 928 ratings
Snakes & Arrows
2007
3.95 | 1044 ratings
Clockwork Angels
2012

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

3.85 | 436 ratings
All The World's A Stage
1976
4.05 | 551 ratings
Exit... Stage Left
1981
3.50 | 397 ratings
A Show Of Hands
1989
4.34 | 379 ratings
Different Stages - Live
1998
3.82 | 340 ratings
Rush - In Rio
2003
4.19 | 196 ratings
R30 - 30th Anniversary World Tour
2005
3.60 | 218 ratings
Snakes & Arrows Live
2008
3.93 | 170 ratings
Grace Under Pressure 1984 Tour
2009
3.57 | 65 ratings
ABC 1974
2011
3.40 | 160 ratings
Time Machine 2011: Live in Cleveland
2011
3.37 | 66 ratings
Moving Pictures: Live 2011
2011
3.98 | 94 ratings
Clockwork Angels Tour
2013
3.93 | 18 ratings
Kiel Auditorium, St Louis, MI, February 14 1980
2015
4.28 | 32 ratings
R40 Live
2015

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

3.99 | 135 ratings
Exit... Stage Left (VHS)
1981
3.40 | 39 ratings
Through The Camera Eye
1984
4.00 | 109 ratings
Grace Under Pressure Tour (DVD)
1985
4.04 | 114 ratings
A Show of Hands
1989
3.03 | 83 ratings
Chronicles
1990
4.35 | 271 ratings
Rush in Rio
2003
4.42 | 259 ratings
R30 - 30th Anniversary World Tour
2005
4.08 | 139 ratings
Replay x 3
2006
4.12 | 148 ratings
Snakes & Arrows Live
2008
2.79 | 44 ratings
Working Men
2009
4.67 | 278 ratings
Beyond the Lighted Stage
2010
4.18 | 79 ratings
Classic Albums: 2112 - Moving Pictures
2010
3.90 | 102 ratings
Time Machine 2011: Live in Cleveland
2011
3.91 | 63 ratings
Clockwork Angels Tour
2013
4.87 | 6 ratings
R 40 (DVD Box Set)
2014
4.38 | 45 ratings
R40 Live
2015
4.35 | 17 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
3.58 | 109 ratings
Chronicles
1991
3.31 | 74 ratings
Retrospective I (1974-1980)
1997
3.19 | 71 ratings
Retrospective II (1981-1987)
1997
3.21 | 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
4.16 | 39 ratings
Sector 1
2011
4.54 | 43 ratings
Sector 2
2011
4.54 | 42 ratings
Sector 3
2011
3.29 | 7 ratings
Icon 2
2011
4.80 | 5 ratings
Moving Pictures 30TH Anniversary Deluxe Edition
2011
4.21 | 28 ratings
The Studio Albums 1989-2007
2013
3.48 | 20 ratings
2112 40th Anniversary edition
2016
4.00 | 9 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 | 197 ratings
Feedback
2004
3.80 | 5 ratings
Summertime Blues
2004
3.51 | 40 ratings
Far Cry
2007
4.09 | 133 ratings
Caravan / BU2B
2010
3.58 | 77 ratings
Headlong Flight
2012
4.63 | 8 ratings
The Garden
2013
3.00 | 3 ratings
7 and 7 is
2014
4.40 | 5 ratings
Roll The Bones
2015

RUSH Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Grace Under Pressure by RUSH album cover Studio Album, 1984
3.69 | 1104 ratings

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Grace Under Pressure
Rush Heavy Prog

Review by SoundsofSeasons
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Unlike many reviewers, i have no issues with this albums' heavy emphasis on synth sounds, i like all eras of RUSH, i wasn't even alive when this was released i hold no bias. This album has a few of RUSH's best songs, but also some of its' most forgettable. I appreciate that this album sounds quite a bit different than any other in their huge discography, aside from Signals, but sorry Signals just has better songs overall. The first half of the album is great material, and the second half are not. I saw RUSH live in 2007, and half the songs on this album didn't make the cut for their 3+ hour set list - i can understand why. I don't have much more to say than that, its' still RUSH which means its' almost always good, just average though for RUSH standards.
 2112 by RUSH album cover Studio Album, 1976
4.11 | 2013 ratings

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2112
Rush Heavy Prog

Review by Kempokid
Collaborator Prog Metal Team

4 stars After an incredibly shaky start, and then a massive commercial flop in the form of Caress of Steel, on the verge of going entirely bankrupt, Rush decided that if they were going to go out, they'd do it with a bang, subsequentally causing them to skyrocket into popularoty and eventually become one of the most iconic progressive rock bands. When looking back on it, it's quite clear to see why 2112 would do that, as it's such a drastic leap forward in their sound, taking the ambition of Caress of Steel, and not only turning it into something actually listenable, but refining it into such an incredible prog epic that fully deserves to be as beloved as it is. The second side is less good, but still overall provides a decent array of hard rock tracks that mostly surpass what came before in the band's discography, bar a few highlights. This second side also stops this album from actually being a concept album, despite what so many people will tell you.

The undoubted highlight of the album is the title track, as the iconic 20+ minute suite that it is, with strong science fiction imagery bleeding through the entire song, in terms of lyricism, grandiose tone, and the use of synths that can be found throughout, but are especially prominent in the intro, sounding as if an intergalactic spaceship has just blasted off. The first 7 minutes of this song, which covers the first 2 sections of it, are definitely some of the greatest music that I think Rush have ever put out, which is saying a lot when looking at the next few albums past this point. Every moment of this has incredible energy and some absolutely incredible riffs, backed up by extremely tight, intricate interplay from both the bass and drums, making this both impresive in terms of composition, and the amazing playing. Overture continues in such a way, never dropping its energy at all and just bombarding the listener with excellent riff after excellent riff, all ending quietly as Geddy finally kicks in. The Temples of Syrinx takes this energy from Overture, and then ups it dramatically, especially with the high energy vocal performance dominating everything else that Geddy had done so far, and definitely still stands as one of his best vocal moments, absolutely belting it out without the abrasive quality that sometimes can come with his higher notes, especially when sung loudly. The chorus in particular is something that will stick in my head for hours after I've given this album a spin, and is definitely nothing short of breathtaking. The next 2 sections play out much slower, with a stronger focus on melody and storytelling, but still adding some flair here and there, especially with Neil Peart's drum fills. I in particular love Presentation, acting as a converation between the protagonist and antagonists, Geddy Lee putting on a more intense voice to represent the antagonists, and a lovely, melodious one for the protag. As the section draws to an end, the pace picks up once again and brings back some power, stopping the song from going on too long without some sort of climactic part. The Oracle serves as this climax, having a grandiose, uplifting tone to it that is once again absolutely incredible, before dying down into Soliloquym which maintains a lot of the passion, while slowing down and upping the intensity dramatically, all culminating in an absolutely stunning guitar solo, before ending with a gradual crescendo as more and more elements are introduced, becoming somewhat chaotic as a robotic voice penetrates the wall of noise that's being created, before the song then dies down and ends.

The second side of the album is a lot more conventional and straighforward, none of the songs going over 4 minutes and all following a very basic structure, just being fun rock tracks. A Passage To Bangkok is a catchy song and another one that I find myself humming at random points in time, mid paced and with a decent riff and hook. The Twilight Zone is what I'd consider the best song on this side other than Something For Nothing, having a bit more variety to it and having a great, galloping rhythm that's nicely broken up by the softer bridges, while Something For Nothing is at the opposite end of the spectrum, and simply works well as a great, fast paced rocker. The two songs, Lessons and Tears are nothing to write home about, although I'd still say that they're passable, despite te fact that they're easily the low point here, being fairly generic and not really carrying anything all too special to justify their existence here.

It's easy to see how this album managed to save Rush from bankruptcy, as it blows all their previous material out of the water, especially the absolute masterpiece of a title track, which singlehandedly provides great merit to the album. The creativity and ambition of the band was pushed extremely far here, this time becoming fully developed and realised, rather than falling flat on its face like the two epics on Caress of Steel did. The second side drags this album down a bit, especially with its two middle tracks being as underwhelming as they are, but even with this, on the whole, the album is extremely good, and deserves its popularity and acclaim.

Best songs: Something For Nothing, 2112 (this one especially)

Weakest songs: Tears, Lessons

Verdict: The first of the great Rush albums that would continue for quite some time, being filled with great energy and amazing technicality being presented from all members of the band, displaying intricate interplay and a lot of instrumental passages that never end up feeling overwrought. While the second side is definitely weaker than the first, both are good, and the first side is amazing enough that it's my first recommendation for people wanting to get into the proggier side of Rush, even if I'll tell them not to bother with the rest.

 Caress Of Steel by RUSH album cover Studio Album, 1975
3.52 | 1215 ratings

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Caress Of Steel
Rush Heavy Prog

Review by Kempokid
Collaborator Prog Metal Team

1 stars Despite being one to praise bands for being ambitious and trying something out, even if it doesn't quite work out, I still feel like there's a limit to how much credit I can give. To make things clearer, let's just say that I completely understand how this album was a flop both critically and commercially. After the slight leaning on prog found on certain songs in Fly By Night, Rush clearly thought that they could go so much further, creating an album in which 2 of the songs are 10 minutes or over, one of them almost 20. The issue with this is that the band seemed to be lacking ideas in the music department, with songs that while capturing more of the sound that Rush was to have, didn't change the fact that the songs sounded very uninspired all thoughout, the biggest offenders being the two epics, which both lack cohesion and sounded heavily padded.

The best song on the album is also the opening song, Bastille Day, and even it doesn't really match up to previous albums in terms of quality. It's a short, energetic song embracing a more metal tinged sound, but I personally find the riffs to be lackluster and everything to just sound kinda flat. The melody for the chorus is quite nice, and the solo is alright, but nothing here stands out to me, it's just an average song. I Think I'm Going Bald somehow manages to miss the one thing that has made Rush consistently great, even during weaker releases, incredible instrumentation, with the majority of the song sounding extremely bland, with awful lyrics and easily one of the most poorly executed solos that Alex Lifeson has performed within Rush's career, with nothing seeming to come together quite right at all, the mixing especially being off, with the guitar coming through really scratchily in places, further diminishing the enjoyment to be found here. Lakeside Park is also nothing particularly bad, although once again, I do find it to be quite unimpressive, defiitely being one of the weaker mid paced tracks Rush has put out, feeling very by the numbers in essentially every way, although Neil Peart does add some nice flair to aspects of the song. The worst part of the album is undoubtedly the final 2 songs however, and I'll talk about both of them interchangeably, as they both feel very similar to me, and both have the exact same problems. These songs both have some aspects os them which are great, such as the slow, atmospheric section of The Necromancer or the insane drum solo in Fountain Of Lamneth, but these are quickly replaced with either generic, or straight up bad sections that display next to nothing of any merit. This is especially present in the Fountain, as the back half of it is mostly comprised of slow passages that lack any sort of decent melody or beauty, being boring to a painful extent, especially when factoring just how long the song is. There's also the issue where even riffs that by all means should sound really great to me, just don't, the placement in the songs and the common lack of cohesion is what I say is to blame, with each song feeling like a variety of concepts and riffs loosely strung together, giving no moment any particular impact at all, no matter how good it could otherwise be. I just cannot enjoy anything to do with these in the slightest, and considering how much of the album they take up, it reflects the album extremely poorly.

While some people enjoy this album, and I cannot fault them for that, I personally find this album to be an absolute black hole of entertainment, and never has 44 minutes felt so long to me than when trying to actively listen to this album. The shorter songs lack the punch that their others tend to, and their more progressive compositions fall flat on their faces, easily being some of the most boring prog music I've heard. I'm very glad that Rush managed to bring out so many excellent albums past this point, but this album is one that I don't really plan on ever returning to.

Best tracks: Bastille Day

Weakest tracks: I think I'm Going Bald, The Necromancer, Fountain of Lamneth

Verdict: I genuinely cannot think of a single person that I would recommend this album to in good spirit, I find the best track on here to still be somewhat dull, and for almost the entire rest of it to be stuff that I honestly never want to hear again. To me, this is boring to a painful extent.

 Fly By Night by RUSH album cover Studio Album, 1975
3.36 | 1150 ratings

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Fly By Night
Rush Heavy Prog

Review by Kempokid
Collaborator Prog Metal Team

3 stars Rush's second album is definitely a better album to their first, I'll give it that. The introduction of Neil Peart into the band immediately gave the band a sound much more indicative of Rush, even if the majority of this was still more along the lines of standard hard rock, rather than the proggier stuff that was soon to come. While still quite flawed in some respects, I definitely love how this is the album that establishes Rush's sound very effectively.

The main difference I find with this album is the much tighter playing that each member of the band displays, along with a strong sense of unity accentuated by the meticulous nature of the compositions, with each instrument playing off each other amazingly, sometimes truly perfectly. Anthem is a great example of this, being a fast song already showing off just how talented Neil Peart is, balanced by an excellent bassline. The more energetic, over the top singing of Geddy Lee works far better on this album as a whole, both due to the music fitting it much better, and especially due to what feels like a clearly improvement of his vocal skills in general, as it contains much less of the abrasive quality than what could be found on the debut album. I also commend how uplifting Rush tends to be in general, but especially with songs such as this, which are on the more energetic side of things, which is part of the reason why I find many of their commerical songs just as good, if not better than some of their proggier output. Best I Can is another fast paced, fun track with a particularly catchy chorus, and is definitely one of the better moments on the album. At points, it definitely still feels clear that the band were still finding their feet, which is most clear in their first attempt at a prog song, By-Tor and the Snow Dog. While elements of this song work well, such as the unconventional soloing by Alex Lifeson and the dynamic instrumental break being a big step up from anything Rush had done beforehand or even on their next album, Caress of Steel. Unfortunately, this is brought down immensely by the pointless middle section that's simply nothing more than a quiet section filled with pointless sound effects and is quite boring. This awful section turns what could have been an absolute classic into a very mixed bag, and is definitely a case of the live versions being considerably better.

More issues arise in the second half of the album, with 3 of the 4 songs either doiing nothing for me, or being downright bad in my opinion. The exception of these tracks is the title track, another concise rock track that carries immense power while also being extremely pleasant and enjoyable in essentially every way, with such an optimistic tone to it. Unfortunately, the remaining songs on the album generally pale in comparison to the rest, especially the next two. Making Memories features a simplistic, repetitive acoustic melody that while initially sounds quite interesting, it never develops past this point, leaving it stagnant. Rivendell has this same issue but ten times worse, as the basic melody reveals nothing interesting, and it is then extended to 5 minutes, which by the end feels painful, just 5 minutes of pure saccharine drivel without much to salvage it. In The End does no favours for itself with the quiet intro, which definitely sounds better when not preceded by Rivendell, but the rest of the song is definitely better, although not really anything amazing.

Overall, while the album is flawed, there are some excellent tracks to be found here, and the growing ambition the band had undertaken here was definitely a step in the right direction. That said, the bad moments on this album tend to be pretty damn bad, especially the 2 song stretch of Making Memories and Rivendell, which singlehandedly make listening to this album far more difficult than it had a right to be, considering it also contains Anthem and Fly By Night. While this isn't where I'd start off with Rush's discography, it's undoubtedly my favourite of Rush's first 3 albums, before they finally broke out and let their ambitions run wild. I'd recommend just cherry picking the best tracks off this, even if you're quite int hard rock, as this album is quite uneven, albeit great at times.

Best songs: Anthem, Best I can, Fly By Night

Weakest songs: Making Memories, Rivendell

Verdict: Despite the clear improvements in all areas that this album shows over its weak predecessor, this album still has a large issue with consistency. The good tracks are absolutely great, but it balances out with some utter garbage. That said, I'd definitely say that a fair bit of this album is good, even if it's ill conceived at times.

 Test For Echo by RUSH album cover Studio Album, 1996
2.86 | 795 ratings

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Test For Echo
Rush Heavy Prog

Review by TCat
Collaborator Eclectic Team

3 stars "Test for Echo" was Rush's first album in 3 years and they wouldn't release on until 5 years after. The band took a well deserved rest before releasing this one, and they returned to the studio feeling refreshed and positive. They would use Peter Collins once again to help produce the album. This time, however, they changed their song writing method. Alex and Geddy would write out the music and Neil would write the lyrics, as usual, but this time the basic framework of the music was written at the same time the lyrics were being written, and then they would try to fit the music to the lyrics, and then when they agreed on the combination, they would add all of the bells and whistles.

Alex always claimed that this was one of Rush's better albums and contains some of his favorite tracks. Unfortunately, most everyone else, mostly fans, didn't think so. Of course, it sold well, it is Rush after all. But, for some reason, this doesn't match up to the standard of Rush's other albums. It is probably more accessible than their other albums, but it also lacks a heart. It does start out well enough with the title track "Test for Echo" and "Driven", the latter becoming a concert staple that shows off Geddy's bass skills in an extended instrumental section. However, the quality of the music starts to fail in the next two sub- standard songs, "Half the World" and "The Color of Right". Although it might be true that some lesser bands and their fans would be happy with those songs, but Rush's standard had always been higher than this, and the songs become quite underwhelming compared to many of their other songs and albums. To me, the songs get to sounding to similar to each other. There are a few other bright spots on the rest of the album, but overall, this is an underwhelming effort that seems to be half hearted. Even the instrumental "Limbo" actually just consists of parts and pieces of other songs that never got finished.

Rush was in a more guitar-centered phase at this point, which had begun with one of my favorite albums "Presto", continued on one of my least favorites "Roll the Bones" and then another favorite "Counterparts" and finally ending that phase with this album. There are still bits of synth mixed in there on this album, but it is pushed way to the back of the sound. This phase worked well at times, and not so well like this time.

I put off reviewing this album for quite a while because the things I have to say about it pretty much reflect what other reviewers have already said, but since it has been a while since anyone has reviewed it now, I thought I would throw my 2 cents worth in. It manages 3 stars, but have we come to expect so much more from this amazing band.

 Rush by RUSH album cover Studio Album, 1974
2.94 | 1028 ratings

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Rush
Rush Heavy Prog

Review by Kempokid
Collaborator Prog Metal Team

2 stars Despite the fact that Rush is undoubtedly a massive name in the prog world, I personally find it hard to deny that they had a very rocky start with their first couple of albums, with their eponymous debut containing little of what people would associate with Rush. Before Neil Peart entered the scene on their second album, Fly By Night, there was very little prog to be found in the band, instead employing a more standard, classic rock sound taking heavy inspiration from Led Zeppelin. Personally, I'm not much of a fan of the majority of this album, as I do feel like it often does sound like a weaker version of the bands they are being influenced by, and it feels clear that while there was definitely work that went into the album, it often can feel ill conceived when listening to the weaker cuts on the album.

Finding My Way kicks off with a fun, fairly standard hard rock riff, with the other instruments backing it up nicely to make one of the songs here that sound a bit more like what Rush would come to sound like on their future albums. The big issue with the song is that it is littered with Geddy Lee screaming "Oh yeah", which doesn't come off as much beyond extremely cheesy to me, and it definitely dampens the song quality quite considerably, disrupting the flowand steady groove of the song considerably.Need Some Love is one of the weaker tracks on the album, doing very little which I find interesting, as it doesn't even function particularly well as a fun classic rock song, which I believe is at least somewhat to do with the fact that Geddy's vocals here are quite grating at multiple point, especially when trying to sing passionately or hit high notes. Take A Friend isn't anything particularly special, but it is a passable song all around, without anything particularly wrong with it outside of the lyrics being very cheesy, but it doesn't really do too much for me in either case, although it is a massive improvement from the previous two songs. Here Again is one of the 2 songs on the album that I can say I truly love, as it takes a more subtle, moody approach that still leaves room for a passionate performance, but one that doesn't go over the top like most of the other songs here do, and Geddy sounds great. The song ascends to another level once the vocals are belted out and the amazing guitar solo kicks in, which balances the two main aspects of soloing extremely well, being technically impressive enough while also containing great deals of emotion and melody, and ties the song together very well. Overall, this is likely m favourite song from Rush's first 3 albums and is definitely an underrated gem.

After that display of greatness, the album falls back to being strraighforward hard rock, with What You're Doing instigating a very similar response to what I felt from Take A Friend, being decent, but nothing particularly interesting to me. In The Mood sticks out to me even more than Need Some Love as the definite weak point on the album, with a chorus that simply does nothing outside of bore and frustrate me, all around being dull and repetitive with very little going for the song in general. Before and After is one of the better songs here, having an extended intro and really fun, groovy instrumentals, especially the wonderful bassline. It still suffers from fairly poor vocals, but even so, the song still ends up sounding pretty fun. Working Man is the obvious pick for another highlight on the album however, being acclaimed as Rush's first true classic song, which I can completely see why, as the song defiitely feels like the most fully realised on the album, having a strong, consistent groove maintaining the pace as Alex Lifeson unleashes awesome solos. The main verses are enjoyable all around as well, and definitely lend themselves to the song, despite the main attraction being that superb instrumental break in the middle of it.

Overall, while I personally don't enjoy a great deal of the songs here, the ones I do enjoy are enough to push this up to a 2 star rating, along with the fact that there is definitely potential within the album that was just not quite realised here. I'd definitely find this much more enjoyable with a few more songs of the quality of Working Man and Here again, but even moreso if the vocals were better, as they're definitely another ig reason why this album just doesn't hit the mark for me. While I do like Rush quite a bit, I still personally find there to be only a small amount of material to enjoy here, even though that material happens to be pretty excellent.

Best songs: Here Again, Working Man

Weakest songs: Need Some Love, In The Mood

Verdict: This mainly sounds like Rush emulating the sound of Led Zeppelin, often fairly poorly. Overall, I wouldn't recommend this album to anyone before a great deal of other Rush albums, although if you're an avid fan of straighforward hard rock, you may enjoy this one quite a bit, I just personally don't.

 2112  40th Anniversary edition by RUSH album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2016
3.48 | 20 ratings

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2112 40th Anniversary edition
Rush Heavy Prog

Review by MrMan2000

2 stars So, I guess I'm the first to write a review for this.

One of the biggest disappointments to me is how Rush has become a shameless commercial enterprise, willing and happy to repeatedly pillage and package their grand past for yet another buck. They weren't like this when they started and the behavior seems to fly in the face of the messages they've espoused for 40 years.

There's very little to like here. I'm not an audiophile and can't tell the difference between the studio versions here and the ones on my crappy CD I bought back in the early 90's.

The bonus tracks are largely abysmal. Radio commercials? Brief outtakes from the original album? Live versions that are practically identical to the songs found on All The World's A Stage? Covers? Other than the Steven Wilson cover nothing here worth noting.

The ONLY thing...I repeat ONLY thing with any value here is - get this - crappy black and white video with crappy sound from the band opening for some other band in 1976. It's all of 40 minutes long, the sound is terrible and you probably won't watch all that often.

But as a historical document it's invaluable, showing Rush when they were still trying to break through and prove themselves. Geddy could still shriek. Peart had long hair. They were young and aggressive and finding their way (heh).

This is a cash grab made up of odds and ends found in closets...nothing more. Rush shold be ashamed of themselves for peddling this crap.

 Grace Under Pressure by RUSH album cover Studio Album, 1984
3.69 | 1104 ratings

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Grace Under Pressure
Rush Heavy Prog

Review by thesimilitudeofprog

4 stars Chronologically placed between Power Windows and Signals, Grace Under Pressure is the tenth studio album by Canadian rock band Rush, released in 1984.

Grace Under Pressure" is the continuation of "Signals" but a little bit more unequal and 80's sounding. Although it features dated synthesizers, the first side and the last track are really standouts. By incorporating a few new musical elements, the band proves they were still creative and daring. With Grace Under Pressure, Rush moved a little further in the use of synths. It features the first song to have Geddy's play no bass (Red Sector A), and Neil plays electronic drums here for the first time as well.

The album kicks off on a fresh and positive note with Distant Early Warning, the guitars and synthesizers are more or less evenly distributed in the production. Lyrics deal with the fear of a nuclear holocaust. Afterimage- This is a highly personal song of the group. A friend of the band died in an accident during the sessions for the album, and was immortalized within the lyrics that read as a eulogy. Alex Lifeson, steals the show on this, with his tasteful guitar fills during the verses. The song is one of my favorites on the album. Red Sector A- Wow, this isn't a ballad, but it evokes twice the emotion of any ballad you could name. Geddy's parents were both Holocaust survivors, and this song is a brutal description of the horrors which occurred during those years. The instrumental sections do just what music should, it conveys the message of the lyrics just as powerfully as the lyrics themselves. This song is another classic. The Enemy Within- This is part one of the "Fear Trilogy". The album's title comes from this song. Awesome bass song. It's got a dark overtone that makes the song interesting. The Body Electric- This is the story of an escaped humanoid trying to reprogram himself and seek freedom. It is a decent song, but it fails to stand out as much as any of the songs that preceded it. Kid Gloves- Is upbeat nature, but it sadly fails to impress as much as any of the other songs on this album. Red Lenses-is the strangest song on the album; half funky singing, half proggy interludes, it is unimpressive and not very re-memorable. Between the Wheels- The nihilistic theme reemerges, saying that the way mankind is headed, we could see "Another war, another wasteland, another lost generation." The soloing is downright insane during the instrumental sections. You may find yourself listening to it several times in a row without cease.

Grace Under Pressure is melodic, dark, powerful and bold. Another album in the extensive Rush catalog which I recommend for those of you who like more accessible prog rock. Enjoy.

 Different Stages - Live by RUSH album cover Live, 1998
4.34 | 379 ratings

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Different Stages - Live
Rush Heavy Prog

Review by patrickq
Prog Reviewer

3 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
3.19 | 71 ratings

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Retrospective II (1981-1987)
Rush Heavy Prog

Review by patrickq
Prog Reviewer

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

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

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