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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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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 | 1067 ratings
Rush
1974
3.36 | 1192 ratings
Fly By Night
1975
3.53 | 1256 ratings
Caress Of Steel
1975
4.11 | 2081 ratings
2112
1976
4.32 | 2217 ratings
A Farewell To Kings
1977
4.37 | 2396 ratings
Hemispheres
1978
4.29 | 2046 ratings
Permanent Waves
1980
4.39 | 2827 ratings
Moving Pictures
1981
3.95 | 1322 ratings
Signals
1982
3.70 | 1144 ratings
Grace Under Pressure
1984
3.54 | 998 ratings
Power Windows
1985
3.26 | 905 ratings
Hold Your Fire
1987
3.18 | 835 ratings
Presto
1989
3.09 | 849 ratings
Roll The Bones
1991
3.75 | 916 ratings
Counterparts
1993
2.87 | 826 ratings
Test For Echo
1996
3.42 | 845 ratings
Vapor Trails
2002
3.57 | 958 ratings
Snakes & Arrows
2007
3.96 | 1076 ratings
Clockwork Angels
2012

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

3.85 | 453 ratings
All The World's A Stage
1976
4.03 | 571 ratings
Exit... Stage Left
1981
3.50 | 412 ratings
A Show Of Hands
1989
4.34 | 390 ratings
Different Stages - Live
1998
3.83 | 349 ratings
Rush - In Rio
2003
4.22 | 203 ratings
R30 - 30th Anniversary World Tour
2005
3.61 | 224 ratings
Snakes & Arrows Live
2008
3.94 | 178 ratings
Grace Under Pressure 1984 Tour
2009
3.57 | 67 ratings
ABC 1974
2011
3.41 | 163 ratings
Time Machine 2011: Live in Cleveland
2011
3.39 | 69 ratings
Moving Pictures: Live 2011
2011
3.98 | 98 ratings
Clockwork Angels Tour
2013
3.94 | 22 ratings
Kiel Auditorium, St. Louis, Missouri - 14 February 1980
2015
4.38 | 39 ratings
R40 Live
2015

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

3.99 | 139 ratings
Exit... Stage Left (VHS)
1981
3.41 | 40 ratings
Through The Camera Eye
1984
4.00 | 111 ratings
Grace Under Pressure Tour (DVD)
1985
4.04 | 118 ratings
A Show of Hands
1989
3.05 | 86 ratings
Chronicles
1990
4.35 | 281 ratings
Rush in Rio
2003
4.42 | 266 ratings
R30 - 30th Anniversary World Tour
2005
4.08 | 140 ratings
Replay x 3
2006
4.12 | 151 ratings
Snakes & Arrows Live
2008
2.80 | 45 ratings
Working Men
2009
4.67 | 285 ratings
Beyond the Lighted Stage
2010
4.19 | 80 ratings
Classic Albums: 2112 - Moving Pictures
2010
3.91 | 105 ratings
Time Machine 2011: Live in Cleveland
2011
3.93 | 66 ratings
Clockwork Angels Tour
2013
4.83 | 9 ratings
R 40 (DVD Box Set)
2014
4.40 | 51 ratings
R40 Live
2015
4.37 | 19 ratings
Time Stand Still
2016

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

3.42 | 59 ratings
Archives
1978
2.74 | 25 ratings
Through Time
1978
3.00 | 2 ratings
Anthology
1984
3.56 | 110 ratings
Chronicles
1991
3.34 | 75 ratings
Retrospective I (1974-1980)
1997
3.18 | 72 ratings
Retrospective II (1981-1987)
1997
3.21 | 80 ratings
The Spirit Of Radio (Greatest Hits 1974-1987)
2003
3.13 | 56 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
2.33 | 29 ratings
Icon
2010
4.17 | 40 ratings
Sector 1
2011
4.55 | 44 ratings
Sector 2
2011
4.55 | 43 ratings
Sector 3
2011
3.29 | 7 ratings
Icon 2
2011
4.83 | 6 ratings
Moving Pictures 30TH Anniversary Deluxe Edition
2011
4.23 | 29 ratings
The Studio Albums 1989-2007
2013
3.53 | 21 ratings
2112 40th Anniversary edition
2016
4.21 | 14 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
5.00 | 1 ratings
Bastille Day
1975
3.06 | 29 ratings
Fly by Night
1975
3.05 | 29 ratings
The Twilight Zone
1976
3.58 | 36 ratings
2112: Overture/The Temples of Syrinx
1976
3.67 | 36 ratings
Closer to The Heart
1977
2.31 | 21 ratings
Everything Your Listeners Wanted To Hear By Rush... But Were Afraid To Play
1977
3.44 | 13 ratings
The Trees
1978
4.12 | 48 ratings
The Spirit of Radio
1980
2.83 | 43 ratings
Entre Nous
1980
3.95 | 53 ratings
Tom Sawyer
1981
4.18 | 11 ratings
Tom Sawyer / A Passage To Bangkok / Red Barchetta
1981
3.90 | 10 ratings
Vital Signs / Passage To Bangkok / Circumstances / In The Mood
1981
4.17 | 10 ratings
Subdivisions
1982
3.75 | 8 ratings
Countdown
1982
3.14 | 38 ratings
New World Man
1982
3.71 | 7 ratings
The Body Electric
1984
3.58 | 36 ratings
Distant Early Warning
1984
3.50 | 2 ratings
Afterimage
1984
3.08 | 37 ratings
The Big Money
1986
4.00 | 7 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
2.84 | 201 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
4.67 | 9 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
 All The World's A Stage by RUSH album cover Live, 1976
3.85 | 453 ratings

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All The World's A Stage
Rush Heavy Prog

Review by Hector Enrique

4 stars The incorporation of Neil Peart from the Fly By Night supposed a very high quality jump in the structure of the trio. In its beginnings with a marked style of hard classic rock (album Rush), it was from the Fly by Night that a new way of facing challenges can be clearly seen, without leaving its Zeppelian roots, its inclinations to get closer to the progressive world were more marked. Continuing with the Caress of Steel, they reached their highest point with 2112, as controversial as it was decisive in their future as a band. Their first official double live album, All the world's a Stage sums up this stage of evolution very well, later facing the second part of the seventies as a decidedly progressive band.

In my opinion, the strengths of this album, which has not had a worldwide impact as relevant as the band's subsequent live albums, are, on the one hand, the almost 16 minutes of 2112, which live clearly stands out. The musical wall that the 3 members build, develop power and solvency and, within it, the instrumental Overture, with a simply spectacular guitar by Lifeson, and the accompaniment of Lee and Peart at the height. On the other hand, the 2nd high point is the 12 minutes of By-Tor & Snowdog, where again the trio shows its great coupling and excellent display of musical virtuosity, extending more than 3 minutes from the studio version. Finally, the 3rd strong point can be found in the middle between the classic Working Man from the first album and Finding my Way, Peart gives us the first of one of his many drum master classes, demonstrating why he has been one of the best, if not the best, drummer of progressive rock and rock in general.

To also emphasize that it was the last time we appreciated Geddy Lee live with a rather harsh and shrill voice timbre, from the next studio album (A Farewell To Kings), it would become a cleaner voice.

All The World's a Stage, is a very good live album of progressive rock, and only in recent years its assessment as such has begun to be more recognized with all fairness.

 A Farewell To Kings by RUSH album cover Studio Album, 1977
4.32 | 2217 ratings

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A Farewell To Kings
Rush Heavy Prog

Review by jamesbaldwin
Prog Reviewer

3 stars With Farewell to Kings starts the Rush's classic era, that last for four albums.

Side A. Farewell to Kings. Acoustic guitar, intro for a minute, then electric guitar, then first verse, beautiful pressing, syncopated chorus bit slow, new verse and chorus, electric guitar solo, refrain. Nice rock, the verse is better than the chorus. Rating 8.

Xanadu start with electronic atmospheric sounds, percussion, bells, then the guitar (Lifeson) takes the control and around the two minutes Peart's bass is at work. The music continues on its own for up to 5 minutes, when, once the guitar tour is over, it returns to the starting point and finally the singing begins at first calm, then with rhythm. At a certain point the rhythm becomes syncopated and similar to the initial theme, then the music stops and the synths arrive. The ending with an overwhelming guitar is perhaps the best thing in this mini-suite that doesn't take off. Overall, rating 7.5.

Side B. The first song begins as an acoustic ballad, which gradually becomes faster and more electric, and in fact ends as a hard rock but very pop song - in some moments they remember the Queen. Rating 6.5. The quality of the disc is falling dramatically.

Cinderella Man starts with a powerful riff on the electric guitar but then develops again as an acoustic song. Lee's voice struggles to adjust to the changes in mood and feeling that music evokes. The text is inspired, and flies high, it is certainly not that of heavy metal. The constant changes of rhythm and atmosphere outline a certain indecision but make the piece unpredictable. Bass sounds are the best part of the song. Final with guitar solo, return of the refrain and syncopated rhythm. Rush believe in what they do, but we are in the commercial and melodic hard-pop world without great pretensions. The difference with pop music is mainly due to the continuous changes of time and arrangement (as well as the technique of the musicians). Rating 7+.

Madrigal is a short and insignificant acoustic ballad, without even a variation. We went down quite low. Rating 5.

The record ends with the Cignus mini suite which starts with electronic sounds that are prolonged too long. The drums come in around two and a half minutes, and then with the guitar they outlines various syncopated instrumental parts that repeat a little too much. Up to 5 minutes, if you take away the technical ability of the musicians, what is left of music? Very little. When Lee's voice comes, the situation improves. Fortunately, we are already halfway through the suite! The rhythm increases and finally there is a enthralling rock piece that continues with the electric guitar. Then, around 7 minutes, the music stops on an obsessive phrase on the guitar, which with electronic noises creates a thriller atmosphere. Finally comes the final paroxysm: amplified guitar, deafening drums, screamed voice. Sensationalistic ending. But then they leave a guitar fade of almost a minute. The second part of the mini suite is very good, but in fact this song should last half the time. Rating 7,5/8.

In conclusion, Rush release an interlocutory disc, with a good initial song and- two not entirely successful suites, which only at times justify their length. The three short and semi-acoustic tracks on the second side are rather anonymous. This is not a masterpiece. Absolutely.

Medium quality of the songs: 7. But without Madrigal (very short) is 7,4. We are between two and three stars. But overall I think three stars are the right evaluation. Rating 7+.

 Moving Pictures by RUSH album cover Studio Album, 1981
4.39 | 2827 ratings

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Moving Pictures
Rush Heavy Prog

Review by Zoltanxvamos

4 stars Never been my favourite Rush album. Why? It has the more commercial tunes such as 'Tom Sawyer' and 'Limelight', which are both equally fine song. I think that overall, this album was definitely an attempt at making a commercial friendly prog album, which is fine, but overall I think there are better Rush albums.

Tom Sawyer as an opener has always been a Rush classic, especially for me, I am canadian after all. The overall commercial tone of the song is different from their usual take on a more prog hit such as Freewill off Permanent Waves. However the overall mood and atmosphere of this song is like their Mama, except for 2 years earlier and frankly better written.

Red Barchetta is a brilliant tune, always liked it, it's still a bit more on the commercial friendly side but it is much less accessible than Tom Sawyer. The intricate drum patterns made Neal Peart (may he rest in peace) are staggering, the guitar and bass patterns on the song just intertwine with the drums and the lyrics are also amazing. Quite the poetic lyrics for a song about a car, and do I enjoy it? Oh yeah I do, it's always been another Rush classic that i can crank on my stereo.

YYZ, Pearson International anyone? No? Ok... sorry. Anyways, this is probably the best on the album. The odd times, the drum patterns, the tone of every single instrument. The only problem is Geddy Lee's inability to play keyboards well, he is the Geoff Downes of Rush, except he makes up for it for being an incredibly talented bassist and amazing vocalist. The beginning is intricate and covered by odd time signatures, and even the subtle chord on the keys are well done, not well played but still it adds layers to the song. The solos eventually come up and all of them are just so well done, Geddy's bass solos, the drum solos and the Guitar playing is just... it makes your mind bend. The slow part reminds me of something... I will probably never be able to think of what it is but it's so familiar to me. It's all well written and well played.

Limelight has never been a song I was a fan of, the lyrics seem offputting, almost like they don't like the spotlight (even though probably doesn't exactly mean that). The alternating odd times are well done, I just find that the song isn't very intriguing. I can enjoy the overall tone of the song but I wouldn't buy the album for this song. I still think this album is great, but I was never a huge fan of this song.

The Camera Eye is a song about Manhattan, the observation of New Yorkers, the overall concept of this song is very interesting and... having been to New York, it's fairly accurate. The music for this bigger piece is very slow at first with cool keyboard sounds done by Geddy and the drumming is just.. well.. Neal Peart. The song eventually picks up speed and then you get the lyrics kicking in and well... Rush greatness. Layering more odd times, more intriguing and well written guitar and bass parts, the flow of the song is brilliant.

Witch Hunt is quite the tune on this album, the weird and darker intro to this song is a different approach and rather interesting from the start. The rest of the track is also very well written, good chords, intricate drum fills, Geddy's vocals are great, etc, etc. This song belongs on this album and frankly I enjoy it myself.

Vital Signs is probably one of my favourite Rush songs of all time, I love this song to death. The intro had that sequencer and then Alex and Neal burst with their parts, the guitar parts are great, the drum fills are of standard to Neal Peart. The rest of the song has that more commercial tone while still maintaining that amazing prog feel. The drum part is irregular but very typical of Neal Peart, never wanting to do a straight beat, and always trying to experiment a bit, a brilliant quality of his indeed. Geddy's vocals are yet again great, I've always loved his voice and his tone. He has the vocal range to sing all of these parts with emotion and this song proves it. Needless for me to say, this is a brilliant song to end off a very good album.

Ok, so why am I not giving it a 5 star review. The weaker songs on the album, Limelight for me has never stood out as a great track, and I have never thought of it as a very well written track, it has it's good drum beat but overall I never thought it was a great song. It has good playing overall, just the song itself is just bland to me.

I do like this album a great deal, but I think they did better albums in the past. If you want a more commercial friendly Rush album, this is it, but I myself prefer Hemisphere's, Permanent Waves, A Farewell To Kings, etc. This album did solidify their fanbase, but I find that they just wrote slightly better material a few years earlier.

 2112 by RUSH album cover Studio Album, 1976
4.11 | 2081 ratings

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2112
Rush Heavy Prog

Review by jamesbaldwin
Prog Reviewer

3 stars 2112 is considered the first masterpiece signed by Rush.

Is it a real masterpiece?

Let's see.

Side A is occupied by the suite 2112, lasting about 20 minutes, which starts with spatial, cosmic sounds, then Lifeson's hard rock guitar enters, and we witness a continuous change of rhythm, marked by the virtuosity of Neil Peart. As soon as the Overture closes, the voice of Geddy Lee is heard, at first sweet, then, when the hard-rock music starts again, shrill, screamed in that typical way of heavy metal that I don't like, it reminds me of the Neapolitan melodrama: when you go beyond the tone, the real emotion is absent, it is more form than content.

However, this short second song is certainly overwhelming, and ends with an acoustic guitar, then, with the sound of water, the narration of this futuristic and dystopian poem continues where music is prohibited. The piece is acoustic, soft voice and acoustic guitar. Then the rhythmic Presentation starts, very heavy, with the shrill voice in the foreground; a hyper-fast guitar solo ends the piece; Oracle still starts with a sweet voice and acoustic guitar, then becomes hard rock, with the characteristic shrill voice. The sound of spring water returns, and again an acoustic melodic piece is the prologue to a hard rock piece, the formula seems clear enough and repetitive. Finally, the Grand Finale, a short virtuoso show. As happened with the second side of the previous album, even here, more than a real suite, this long piece of music is only the set of many songs united by the same theme, songs that do not have a true unitary musical development.

Great effort, but in my opinion we are far from the masterpiece.

Rating 7,5/8

Side 2 2. A Passage To Bangkok (3:34). An oriental jingle, a guitar riff, the voice of Geddy Lee, and we are facing a conventional rock ballad, with a good guitar solo. Rating 7.

3. The Twilight Zone (3:18). Inspired song, partly electric, partly acoustic, with rhythm changes. A small prog-rock pearl, which however ends too early with a Lifeson's solo. Rating 7.5 / 8

4. Lessons (3:51). Acoustic guitar, rhythmic progression, screaming and scratching voice, we are faced with a good conventional hard-rock with guitar solo. The arrangement suffers from the exact same solutions. Rating 7+

5. Tears (3:32). The song begins with a melodic and romantic, acoustic piece, then arrives the mellotron played by Syme. Sweet song, very melodic and slow. The singing by Lee is finally whispered and not howling. Too short. Rating 7,5/8.

6. Something For Nothing (3:59). Concluding song with an acoustic beginning that soon becomes electric and very sustained, coarse voice, central guitar solo (I can't deny that the sound seems rather monotonous to me), again coarse voice. Rating 7.

There is very little progressive in this second side. In general, both for the arrangements and for the singing, Rush seems to me only a group of simple hard rock, very competent, ready to write suites which, however, so far (the first two albums) are more than anything else the union of single songs always hard rock. Good music rock, visceral, engaging, but rather simple, and short songs seem uncared for. A step forward compared to the previous album, a discreet but still immature album.

Quality Side 2: 7+.

Medium quality between side 1 and side 2: 7,5. Three stars.

 Signals by RUSH album cover Studio Album, 1982
3.95 | 1322 ratings

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Signals
Rush Heavy Prog

Review by TCat
Special Collaborator Eclectic / Prog Metal / Heavy Prog Team

4 stars Over the course of the last few albums before "Signals", Rush had been making changes slowly, mostly unnoticed by it's audience, which by now had grown quite large. In my opinion, "Signals" signaled the biggest step in their new direction, and suddenly people were taking notice. The biggest change here was to the importance of synthesizers in the music which were utilized more now in this album than ever before. Unfortunately, the synths were being added while Lifeson's guitar was being used less. It would have been better not to have one thing at the expense of another, but, it was also the beginning of the 80's, and that was where the mainstream of rock was heading. Since The Police had seen a lot of success with more atmospheric guitars and a reggae sound, Rush also adopted that sound, but added in the layers of synths on top of that.

So, in the case of Signals, it worked to a certain extent. The band worked off of their successes with their previous hits "Tom Sawyer" and "Limelight", and fashioned their new songs off of that sound, but also toning down their heaviness by making the guitar more of a supporting instrument rather than a leading one. Sure Lifeson still got some solos in there, but nothing like before.

Rush still hit the mark with their fans with great songs like "Subdivisions", "The Analog Kid" and "New World Man" and this showed in the sales of their singles. It wasn't yet a complete wash out, but it was getting closer to that. The more streamlined and hook-less sound of "Chemistry" proved that, and the fact that the album ended on a weaker track ("Countdown") left many fans downhearted. "Chemistry" and "Digital Man" were the obvious links to the sound of The Police, and by the time Side One was over, I remember the first time I listened to it, I realized the sound had changed and that there was not going to be anything as awesome as "La Villa Strangiata" or "Xanadu" on this album. The sound was getting more like a wall of sound where no single instrument seemed to stand out, plus, no hooks in the music. On top of that, the mixing had no dynamic in it. It was just flat.

As time went on, I was able to appreciate the album a bit more, and even though it never reached the heights of previous albums, it was a failure either. I couldn't say that for later albums as enthusiastically, no matter how many listens or how much time I gave them. To me, there wouldn't be a great album until the release of "Presto", but then, I know I am pretty much outside the norm for that one.

I find that I like the first two tracks on both sides of the album better than the last two. And I like them enough to be able to boost this album above an average score. But I dislike the last two tracks on both sides enough not give it a perfect score, in fact, they are more like average fare. "The Weapon" at least holds some level of progressive sound, being more complex than the average rock song especially in the early 80s. The guitar atmospherics are quite tasteful here, and at the time, were something you didn't hear very often, or at least, not done as well. "New World Man" has always been a favorite Rush track of mine mostly because of its infectious bass and changing tempos.

I admire the fact that they utilized the violin in "Losing It" but I find the track devoid of any emotion other than that. I always have a hard time even remembering the song even right after I hear it. It just never sticks with me, and has too much of an 80s sound to it other than the violin, which is even still underutilized, drowned by the synth layers. "Countdown" to me is just an utter failure, and always has been the biggest disappointment out of all of Rush's output. It almost caused me to throw my newly purchased copy (again back in the day) out of the window of my car.

I had hopes back in the day, that Rush would find their feet again and return to the sound that I loved them for. Much to my dismay, they would only digress on their next album and it would be awhile before they won back my respect. But they did, and I took the time to go back and review the albums that I had ignored. It took quite a few years though. No doubt that this was a risky move that they made, but I think they hoped that their popularity would eventually increase as they tried to adjust their sound to the 80s sound. It just didn't work for them, especially with their level of creativity in both music and in lyrics. However, before anyone gets upset, I will say I have come to respect the band again, and have even brought myself to become more familiar with their later output, and much to my delight, have found some excellent albums in the process. In the meantime, this one at least now manages to rank as a 4 star, though I wouldn't have even been able to do that when it first came out.

 Different Stages - Live by RUSH album cover Live, 1998
4.34 | 390 ratings

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Different Stages - Live
Rush Heavy Prog

Review by fuxi
Prog Reviewer

5 stars Even though I first started listening to prog in 1975 and immediately got hooked on Yes, Genesis and the Canterbury Scene, I never met anyone who was into Rush and didn't start listening to the Canadians until we were well into the new millennium. I guess I thought Rush were a rather dubious heavy metal band. When I went to university in the late 1970s, the air around me was full of Blondie, Elvis Costello, Bruce Springsteen and the Police, and none of the music papers I read had a good word to say about Rush. It was only after I discovered Prog Archives and noticed that Rush kept popping up in 'best of' lists that I decided to give them a chance. First I played some of their classic albums from 1977 to 1981, and when I quite seemed to enjoy those, I watched the documentary BEYOND THE LIGHTED STAGE. The more I found out about the band, the more they fascinated me. That three musicians from relatively anonymous neighbourhoods in Ontario had the guts to set 'Kubla Khan' to music and did it convincingly (I'd even say unforgettably)... I found it breathtaking. In fact, I thought the band so likable I started buying one live DVD after another. (I also appreciated that Rush could send themselves up mercilessly. How many box office heroes have done the same, tour after tour?)

Now the big question that confronted me was which live album I should get. EXIT STAGE LEFT sounded a little sterile, so after consulting a range of reviews I finally settled for DIFFERENT STAGES LIVE. This turned out to be my single best purchase of 2019. Not only does it contain almost all the classic Rush I've come to love (in riveting live performances), it also features a large number of catchy but more conventional rock songs (mainly dating from the 1980s and 1990s) that I greatly enjoy, such as 'Bravado', 'Animate', 'Analog Kid' and 'Roll the Bones'. I'm convinced that if the tunes in question had been recorded by perhaps more universally popular acts like David Bowie or U2, Bowie/Bono fans would have fallen for them without exception. So don't tell me that when Rush went into their more 'commercial' phase they lost inspiration. (The only album of theirs I find painfully overrated is their final studio album, CLOCKWORK ANGELS, which simply does nothing for me.)

It's really strange how a man's life goes... At the age of fifty-nine I seem to like nothing better than Rameau and Berlioz; at the same time nothing cheers me up more than half an hour of Rush - two things I never expected when I was in my teens and twenties. So, in conclusion, let me say this. All three parts of DIFFERENT STAGES LIVE are highly enjoyable. Even the grandiose (and, let's face it, rather silly) '2112' is included in full. (I defy you not to start headbanging to this.) My only regret is that no space was found for 'La Villa Strangiato'. I wouldn't mind if the final few encores on Disc 3 had been dropped for that.

 Permanent Waves by RUSH album cover Studio Album, 1980
4.29 | 2046 ratings

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Permanent Waves
Rush Heavy Prog

Review by kaiofelipe

5 stars Rush is one of those bands that have improved with each album. First they cut the excesses of hard rock in favor of progressive rock structures (initially with Caress of Steel and definitely with 2112), and when this stage reached its limit in Hemispheres, they made a new stylistic adjustment: shorter songs and incorporation of elements of new wave and reggae. In other words, Rush started inspired by Led Zeppelin, then had a Yes phase and in the 1980s was influenced by The Police. By the way, although the peak of the band is with Moving Pictures (1981), the following albums from the 80s are quite pleasing to me, precisely because they have a sound more based on synthesizers (and I really like post-punk, new wave and synthpop). A fundamental point in this trajectory of constant change and improvement is the album Permanent Waves. It is on this record, among other things, that Geddy Lee's high-pitched vocal was softened, and he expanded his vocal range. In addition, as already mentioned, the tracks became more economical: what was previously expressed in 10 (or even 20) minutes is now done in 5 minutes. Not that it meant a technical or creative setback; quite the contrary, it reveals Rush's ability to more efficiently use every second of his songs. Even the epic "Natural Science" can play in various lyrical and musical territories in 9 minutes without becoming tiring. The economy is such that the record lasts only 35 minutes; some fans regret that there was room to lengthen the "Different Strings" guitar solo, which is shortened by a fade-out. The disc already starts with two classic songs. First, the nostalgic "The Spirit of Radio", an ode to a Canadian radio that still favored artistic value over commercial appeal despite the increasingly voracious music industry: "All this machinery / Making modern music / Can still be open-hearted / Not so coldly charted". The end of the track, in the midst of an unusual reggae rhythm, shows that this was less and less possible: "For the words of the profits / Were written on the studio wall (...) And echoes with the sound of salesmen" . The riff on this track (or rather, the three riffs that succeed each other in the first few seconds) is one of Rush's best. The second one is the libertarian "Freewill", who emphasizes freedom of conscience - and the responsibility that comes with it - instead of religion or any ideology that sacrifices our autonomy: "You can choose a ready guide / In some celestial voice / If you choose not to decide / You still have made a choice / You can choose from phantom fears / And kindness that can kill / I will choose a path that's clear / I will choose free will ". Although its rhythm variations are typically progressive, it is the hardest track in Permanent Waves; the final verse, with very high-pitched vocals, seems to be Lee's "farewell" to his singing style in the 70s. The dark "Jacob's Ladder", according to Peart, tries to musically create a heavy storm. "Entre Nous" is one of the rare lyrics written by Geddy Lee instead of Neil Peart, and has a romantic atmosphere that continues on the next track, "Different Strings". The expansive "Natural Science" starts out acoustic and becomes heavier. The chorus melody is unforgettable, and the final part contains verses marked by a poignant metalanguage that sound like a response to the cultural pessimism of "The Spirit of Radio": "Art as expression / Not as market campaigns / Will still capture our imaginations / Given the same / State of integrity / It will surely help us along". Permanent Waves is one of Rush's best records, and perhaps one of the most accessible to start listening to this band. Although it is tempting to treat it teleologically (that is, as the one who set the stage for Moving Pictures), this is an album that has a lot of value in itself.
 Rush by RUSH album cover Studio Album, 1974
2.94 | 1067 ratings

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Rush
Rush Heavy Prog

Review by hugo1995

1 stars It's hard to believe anyone actually enjoys this album and music. It is boring music made for boring people who enjoy vanilla ice cream. This album almost can't even be considered a rush album, it is so different to everything else. It is all blues with no complexity, but lacks the adventure and thrill that blues contemporaries such as Led Zeppelin offered. It's even harder to believe that a few years after this they were creating prog, and not just prog, but prog classics.

Give this album a hard pass. If you're like me and love to listen to an entire bands catalogue, give this a listen. Don't be surprised when you are bored. Most bands have a decent first debut album, Rush does not.

For Rush's sound, their real first album is the next one.

 Hemispheres by RUSH album cover Studio Album, 1978
4.37 | 2396 ratings

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Hemispheres
Rush Heavy Prog

Review by ProgMetaller2112

5 stars Hey Progheads, I'm back from a long hiatus in reviews and stuff. You all missed me? Lol probably not. Anyway, I am going to be reviewing one of my absolute favorite music(not just prog, metal or rock) albums of all time, Rush's 1978 Hemispheres. Where to start? Well for one, the band started hitting it big in the UK with the previous effort. They finally reached what they dreamed about as kids playing at high school dances. What they recorded after A Farewell to Kings (Hemispheres, the aforementioned album) was and is the stuff of legends. On to the review right?

1) Cygnus X-1 Book 2: Hemispheres - What to say about it? Not much because I find it absolutely flawless and awe-inspiring. This is what music should sound like. It is the epitome of great sound and imagination. Whenever I hear it, I get taken to the cosmos with it. It is an amazing piece of music as it is so smart, so emotional and heartfelt all at the same time. You're not really going to get that else as some bands lack the intellect while others lack the emotion. This piece of music has them both. We will call you Cygnus, the God of Balance you shall be!! ....(chills). 10/10

2) Circumstances - This one is just a straight up rocking and pretty darn complex tune. Although a bit higher than he is used to I love Geddy's vocal delivery (it fits the mood and song perfectly). I also quite love his bass work (it's pretty darn busy and rad). Everyone shines on here from Alex, Geddy to Neil. I love it. 10/10

3) The Trees - This is one of absolute genius in my opinion, the lyrics and music just go so well together. From Geddy's bass to Alex's ingenious soloing and riffing to Neil's woodblock playing . Personally, I feel it depicts class struggle (that's pretty darn cerebral there ain't it?). It just never feels dull or boring, you feel like you're taken to another world with these Trees. Yet another track that I love from these guys. Rush is just on another level with these tracks. 10/10

4) La Villa Strangiato - This track is the epitome of Rush at their most mind-blowing and epic. Although not for everyone (most Prog isn't lol) it is something I feel ordinary people will be blown by if they listen closely. It is that good even though it is also very complex. This is the track to get lost into (from any band really) if you ask me. Lee, Lifeson and Peart all put on a show. Amazing, amazing stuff. 10/10

Yet another masterpiece from Canada's best Prog band ever. I think it would have topped Kings as my all time favorite record had they included Alex's Broon's Bane but that's just my nitpicking haha. Overall it gets a 40/40 from me. It's an absolute masterpiece. 5 stars!! Peace out!!

 2112 by RUSH album cover Studio Album, 1976
4.11 | 2081 ratings

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2112
Rush Heavy Prog

Review by kaiofelipe

4 stars 2112 achieved a triple feat: 1) it saved Rush's career (which was threatened by the commercial failure of Caress of Steel), 2) it showed artistic integrity (after all it is a record that "doubles the bet" of its predecessor, incorporating even more elements of progressive rock) and 3) it was a major contribution to a subgenre (that is, prog rock) that seemed to be in decline after reaching its peak in 1974. The title track is worthy of the progressive rock's tradition of 20-minute epic songs, whose greatest exponents are "Lizard" (King Crimson), "Tarkus" (ELP), "Supper's Ready" (Genesis) and "Close to the Edge" (Yes). The inspiration could not be more unusual: Ayn Rand's libertarian philosophy, which serves as the basis for a critique of collectivism, incarnated in this song by institutional religion (and, indirectly, the State), for its repression of individual freedom and self-expression. There are certain verses of the second section ("The Temples of Syrinx"), however, that also resemble The Great Inquisitor (Dostoevsky): "We've taken care of everything / The words you hear, the songs you sing / The pictures that give pleasure to your eyes (...) / Never need to wonder how or why". The musicianship of Neil Peart (drums), Alex Lifeson (guitar) and Geddy Lee (bass) in each of the seven sections is amazing; they move easily through various styles and time signatures. Initially, Geddy's high pitched vocals irritated me, but with time I got used to it - even because I understood that they are performances (for example, to represent the anger of the priests of the Temples of Syrinx). The B-side of the LP (or tracks 2-6 of the CD) has five shorter songs, but they shouldn't be considered minor tracks compared to "2112"; actually two of them are very good: the hard rock "Something For Nothing", which also has libertarian lyrics - "Oh, you don't get something for nothing / You don't get freedom for free"; and the funny "A Passage to Bangkok", which tells the adventures of the character to find good-quality weed during the tours around the world: "We'll hit the stops along the way / We only stop for the best". In its combination of Rush's hard rock origins with the complex musical structures of progressive rock (Yes seems to be a particularly strong influence), 2112 served as a template for Rush's next two records (A Farewell to Kings and Hemispheres), but its experimental impulse - in a move that could have been a commercial suicide, but ended up being their breakthrough album - persisted for rest of the band's career.
Thanks to Tony R for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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