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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$1.59
$0.21 (used)
Moving Pictures [Remastered]Moving Pictures [Remastered]
Remastered
Mercury 1997
Audio CD$3.16
$0.68 (used)
The Spirit Of Radio: Greatest Hits 1974-1987The Spirit Of Radio: Greatest Hits 1974-1987
Remastered
Mercury 2003
Audio CD$2.09
$0.61 (used)
A Farewell to KingsA Farewell to Kings
Remastered
Mercury 1997
Audio CD$2.29
$1.98 (used)
Rush (Remastered)Rush (Remastered)
Remastered
Mercury 1997
Audio CD$1.59
$0.01 (used)
Signals (Remastered)Signals (Remastered)
Remastered
Mercury 1997
Audio CD$2.28
$2.74 (used)
GoldGold
Remastered
Mercury 2006
Audio CD$5.65
$0.39 (used)
Fly By Night (Remastered)Fly By Night (Remastered)
Remastered
Mercury 1997
Audio CD$2.27
$0.23 (used)
Clockwork AngelsClockwork Angels
Roadrunner Records 2012
Audio CD$5.11
$3.74 (used)
Permanent Waves (Remastered)Permanent Waves (Remastered)
Remastered
Mercury 1997
Audio CD$2.27
$0.16 (used)
Right Now on Ebay (logo)
RUSH Cassette Tape Lot: Show of Hands, Fly by Night & Chronicles Vol. 1 USD $9.01 Buy It Now
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Rush 2112 Cassette 1976 Free Shipping USD $7.99 Buy It Now
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Icon 2 by Rush (CD, Jul-2011, 2 Discs, Island) SEALED USD $9.49 Buy It Now
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RUSH - Roll The Bones (1991 Atlantic Records) USD $1.50 [0 bids]
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Grace Under Pressure Rush Japanese vinyl LP album record 25.3P-505 EPIC 1984 USD $57.08 Buy It Now
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HAMISH STUART Midnight Rush / It Is What It Is MODERN SOUL 45 (SONIC WAX 7" R USD $10.38 Buy It Now 23m 55s
JENNIFER RUSH " MOVIN' " ORIGINAL VINYL LP 1985 EX/EX USD $1.29 [0 bids]
25m 1s
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JENNIFER RUSH " KEEP ALL THE FIRES BURNING BRIGHT " 12" VINYL 1988 EX/EX USD $1.29 [0 bids]
31m 36s
PETER RUSH PERSIAN ROSEBUD & DEAR LITTLE FACE AT THE WINDOW IMPERIAL 1870 USD $3.25 Buy It Now 34m 11s
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Jennifer Rush - Passion (1988) - Jennifer Rush CD UDVG USD $5.24 Buy It Now 56m 53s
Single (7-inch) Rick Nelson Fools Rush In USD $2.53 [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)

2.92 | 920 ratings
Rush
1974
3.35 | 1018 ratings
Fly By Night
1975
3.53 | 1093 ratings
Caress Of Steel
1975
4.10 | 1779 ratings
2112
1976
4.34 | 1869 ratings
A Farewell To Kings
1977
4.37 | 2015 ratings
Hemispheres
1978
4.30 | 1738 ratings
Permanent Waves
1980
4.40 | 2387 ratings
Moving Pictures
1981
3.95 | 1135 ratings
Signals
1982
3.69 | 994 ratings
Grace Under Pressure
1984
3.54 | 861 ratings
Power Windows
1985
3.27 | 787 ratings
Hold Your Fire
1987
3.16 | 726 ratings
Presto
1989
3.09 | 743 ratings
Roll The Bones
1991
3.76 | 800 ratings
Counterparts
1993
2.86 | 724 ratings
Test For Echo
1996
3.43 | 749 ratings
Vapor Trails
2002
3.58 | 848 ratings
Snakes & Arrows
2007
3.96 | 931 ratings
Clockwork Angels
2012

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

3.85 | 389 ratings
All The World's A Stage
1976
4.04 | 497 ratings
Exit... Stage Left
1981
3.49 | 361 ratings
A Show Of Hands
1989
4.37 | 346 ratings
Different Stages - Live
1998
3.81 | 315 ratings
Rush - In Rio
2003
4.20 | 170 ratings
R30 - 30th Anniversary World Tour
2005
3.59 | 202 ratings
Snakes & Arrows Live
2008
3.94 | 154 ratings
Grace Under Pressure 1984 Tour
2009
3.52 | 54 ratings
ABC 1974
2011
3.36 | 141 ratings
Time Machine 2011: Live in Cleveland
2011
3.34 | 54 ratings
Moving Pictures: Live 2011
2011
3.99 | 71 ratings
Clockwork Angels Tour
2013
4.00 | 5 ratings
Kiel Auditorium, St Louis, MI, February 14 1980
2015

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

3.96 | 118 ratings
Exit... Stage Left (VHS)
1981
3.35 | 36 ratings
Through The Camera Eye
1984
3.99 | 99 ratings
Grace Under Pressure Tour (DVD)
1985
4.00 | 100 ratings
A Show of Hands
1989
2.99 | 75 ratings
Chronicles
1990
4.35 | 248 ratings
Rush in Rio
2003
4.41 | 241 ratings
R30 - 30th Anniversary World Tour
2005
4.04 | 125 ratings
Replay x 3
2006
4.13 | 137 ratings
Snakes & Arrows Live
2008
2.78 | 40 ratings
Working Men
2009
4.67 | 257 ratings
Beyond the Lighted Stage
2010
4.17 | 69 ratings
Classic Albums: 2112 - Moving Pictures
2010
3.91 | 94 ratings
Time Machine 2011: Live in Cleveland
2011
3.85 | 49 ratings
Clockwork Angels Tour
2013
4.32 | 22 ratings
R40 Live
2015

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

3.42 | 55 ratings
Archives
1978
2.72 | 24 ratings
Through Time
1978
0.00 | 0 ratings
Anthology
1984
3.58 | 97 ratings
Chronicles
1991
3.29 | 66 ratings
Retrospective I (1974-1980)
1997
3.17 | 63 ratings
Retrospective II (1981-1987)
1997
3.11 | 74 ratings
The Spirit Of Radio (Greatest Hits 1974-1987)
2003
3.09 | 49 ratings
Gold
2006
2.86 | 48 ratings
Retrospective III 1989 - 2008
2009
2.77 | 40 ratings
Working Men
2009
1.80 | 26 ratings
Time Stand Still: The Collection
2010
2.32 | 26 ratings
Icon
2010
4.17 | 34 ratings
Sector 1
2011
4.54 | 38 ratings
Sector 2
2011
4.58 | 38 ratings
Sector 3
2011
3.40 | 5 ratings
Icon 2
2011
4.11 | 19 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
2.80 | 26 ratings
Finding My Way
1974
2.60 | 5 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
4.11 | 9 ratings
Tom Sawyer / A Passage To Bangkok / Red Barchetta
1981
3.88 | 8 ratings
Vital Signs / Passage To Bangkok / Circumstances / In The Mood
1981
4.15 | 8 ratings
Subdivisions
1982
3.80 | 5 ratings
Countdown
1982
3.14 | 37 ratings
New World Man
1982
3.80 | 5 ratings
The Body Electric
1984
3.57 | 35 ratings
Distant Early Warning
1984
3.07 | 35 ratings
The Big Money
1986
4.33 | 3 ratings
Prime Mover
1987
4.67 | 3 ratings
Closer To The Heart
1989
4.00 | 6 ratings
The Pass
1989
2.78 | 17 ratings
Ghost of a chance
1992
4.00 | 4 ratings
Roll The Bones
1992
1.86 | 18 ratings
The Story Of Kings
1992
3.05 | 24 ratings
Stick It Out
1993
3.33 | 26 ratings
One Little Victory
2002
2.83 | 188 ratings
Feedback
2004
3.50 | 2 ratings
Summertime Blues
2004
3.49 | 38 ratings
Far Cry
2007
4.10 | 126 ratings
Caravan / BU2B
2010
3.59 | 74 ratings
Headlong Flight
2012
4.67 | 3 ratings
The Garden
2013
3.00 | 2 ratings
7 and 7 is
2014
4.00 | 1 ratings
Roll The Bones
2015

RUSH Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Signals by RUSH album cover Studio Album, 1982
3.95 | 1135 ratings

BUY
Signals
Rush Heavy Prog

Review by aglasshouse

5 stars It's obvious that Rush's zenith was none other than the 1980's, a time considered emphatically by most to be the worst ten years for progressive rock (and admittedly there is some truth to the hyperbole). What gave Rush the edge over the rest of those who hit a low point in the 80's was their ability to be simplistic yet deeply complex seemingly at the same time. A record that exemplifies this well is none other than '81's Moving Pictures. It was a refreshing glimpse into the hard rock scene, and was what I like to call the second coming of Rush, where the legendary trio was once again able to meld the entire rock scene with pure power. Now I am a fan of Moving Pictures but I actually have somewhat of an unpopular opinion, because I believe that their following year follow- up, Signals, is in fact an even better record than it's predecessor.

Signals is very similar to Moving Pictures in many ways. For one, Lifeson sounds nigh identical to how he did on the latter, with the same echoey twang that's become signature for Rush. But what I thing Signals did so much better was the balancing of the instruments. I will admit sadly that the bass guitar, an obviously necessary instruments gets buried in progressive rock, and a lot of that comes from how many filters and sounds are layered over it. Signals is one of the few records where I can honestly say that Geddy Lee presents his full blown talent to us on the bass without fail, while still keeping Lifeson's guitar at the helm. Peart is somewhat receded in his playing which to a drummer like myself sort of does get under my skin because I know that his simplistic drumming on Signals is a bit of a facade, though he still does still have some great rolls even with his constraints.

Most of the songs are either fast-paced swinging rockers or slow, intricate jams. 'The Weapon' showcases one of the catchiest beats by Peart I think I've heard by far, and some of those pseudo-poetic lyrics that I know the band loves dearly (as do I). The two man-centric songs, 'Digital Man' and 'New World Man' are quite different, the former being practically a cheesy b-side from a Moving Pictures track (not a bad thing), and the latter being slow methodical tune that talks about the development of technology and the wonders of one certain man who has harnessed it to his own will. 'Countdown' I love so much but it infuriates me in equal measure. This particular track irks me because of it's potential to become an epic (one that could maybe even be a 20-minute long spectacle). It has so many different coinciding musical themes to it that bounce off each-other, and practically are an introduction to a suite where these different themes will be displayed in their own unique and powerful movements...but alas nothing of the sorts happens. The only song I dislike in any way is 'Losing It', which granted starts out with a particularly creative intro Kraftwerk- like techno tune, but shifts into a particularly annoying ballad halfway-through. Unfortunate because I found the first third and the last third to be dreadfully catchy and particularly good background music. Not exactly 'bad' but definitely not a high point of an otherwise great album.

If you show someone who you know who by some mystifying means doesn't know Moving Pictures, and afterwards inquires for more of it, give them Signals. Depending on how well-versed they are with Rush or at least Rush's sound, they may like it the same, or in my case more than other 80's Rush works. Two thumbs way up.

4.5 rounded to a 5.

 Hold Your Fire by RUSH album cover Studio Album, 1987
3.27 | 787 ratings

BUY
Hold Your Fire
Rush Heavy Prog

Review by Mr. Gone

3 stars In my review of Signals, I mentioned my being a latecomer to Rush and the fact that I love synthesizers. So I'm starting by tackling (as I can) the controversial post-Moving Pictures 1980's Rush albums, just...well, because I can. So there.

Seriously, there's certainly plenty of worthy material on all those albums. The thinnest for me is probably Grace Under Pressure, where certain songs seem a bit forced, and the energy seems a tad down (there's a heaviness in sound but also in delivery). Power Windows sounds cleaner, but is weighed down by some unremarkable filler. There's filler on Hold Your Fire, too, but the high points are certainly memorable and quite moving here, more than probably on any of these other releases.

Let's start with the low(er) points. "Force Ten" is a fine song the first 30 or so times you've heard it. After awhile, though, it becomes a bit ordinary. Powerful, yes. But it doesn't always stick terribly well. The sentiments of "Time Stand Still" are beautiful (especially as someone staring down middle age and watching loved ones - even peers - succumb to that inevitable final enemy, while also contemplating things I wish I could accomplish or times I wish I could go back to), but the presentation is a bit too poppy and feels somewhat unsubstantial. And "Prime Mover" - just never liked this song. There's nothing to distinguish it from anything else on the album. A rather boring riff at the center and the lyrics don't speak to me.

Other songs fare better. "Open Secrets" is also a bit slight, but the melody is lovely and holds up fairly well on repeated listenings. My favorite of these "pretty good" songs is "Second Nature", with a pleading tone of gentle desperation and the recognition of our efforts to save the environment ("We fight the fire") while simultaneously destroying it ("while we're feeding the flames"). "Tai-Shan" has a nice Asian feel to it, courtesy of sitar-sounding guitars and synthesized flutes. I know this is not a favorite of many (like "Madrigal" on A Farewell to Kings, there isn't another Rush song quite like it), but I quite fancy it and also appreciate the band's willingness to try something quite atypical for them. And "High Water" rumbles along with a nice energy through its fat guitar/bass riff in its middle.

Then, there are the three songs I consider to be the true centerpieces of the album - the "side two" openers. "Lock and Key" has decent lyrics if perhaps a bit of a reach (I'm not sure all of us have homicidal mania in our psyche, especially not close to the surface), but the orchestrated melody is very, very well done and highly enjoyable. Alex Lifeson gets a nice solo in the middle (if perhaps a bit short) and Geddy Lee gets to play a muscular bass at the same time while Neil Peart turns in his usual complicatedly catchy tom hits. "Mission" is my favorite here, celebrating the movers and shakers in our world in a variety of areas (science, art, literature, architecture, etc.) while simultaneously wondering if they might have appreciated a bit more sanity in place of the frenzied brilliance that dominated the lives of many. Substantial thoughts, here, and presented against an immaculately beautiful musical backdrop. Great guitar lines, fantastic keyboards, excellent drumming - just a terrific song. And "Turn the Page" has a great bassline and a great guitar solo. Maybe it's no more progressive than "Prime Mover" (I would argue it is), but it's certainly a far more distinctive and memorable effort.

So, the final analysis? Some filler here for me. I never liked "Prime Mover", and the album's openers don't wear that well. Some of the "pretty good" songs ("Open Secrets" especially) are pleasant but not super-distinctive. But the three centerpieces are among the best work the band ever did (yes, even with "Red Barchetta", "Xanadu" and "La Villa Strangiato"), so that props things up a bit. In my younger days, this album was one of my faves. I see its flaws more clearly now, and it's certainly not their best, but I still pull it out and enjoy it from time to time. Essential? No. Somewhere between Good and Excellent. I'll give it three stars, with the caveat that everyone should hear it at least once and decide if they need more.

 Rush by RUSH album cover Studio Album, 1974
2.92 | 920 ratings

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Rush
Rush Heavy Prog

Review by Rodrigo Andrade7

2 stars "Rush" is the self titled debut album of this incredible band. It's a good taste from what Rush is, but its just the beginning of it. This album features many pure rock catchy songs but what I like about this album is that you can already tell what Rush will be in the near future. Sure this album has a lot of influences on many hardrock bands (and thats what this album is), its a difficult album to listen to without Led Zeppelin coming into your mind... I would say impossible, but this is not a bad thing, this is still a fantastic album to play on your car and enjoy the nice rock music, but its not really more than just that. I like the tracks "Finding my way" because its a very good rock track and "Working man" because gives slight approach for what Rush is going to turn in the future. I am giving 2 stars on this album because it doesn't contain any progressive music on it, its just a pure hardrock album, but a good hardrock album if you take it to its consideration.
 Roll The Bones by RUSH album cover Studio Album, 1991
3.09 | 743 ratings

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Roll The Bones
Rush Heavy Prog

Review by Chicapah
Prog Reviewer

3 stars After taking a long break from going through Rush's extensive catalog of work (and reviewing prog discs at all, for that matter) I sat down and gave this album a few spins recently. I recall all too well that the rock music scene in the early 90s was undergoing a drastic, everything-must-go overhaul due to the emergence and popularity of the grunge movement so I give this trio and all prog artists of that era a mile or two of slack. The "Seattle sound" invasion was akin to the "back to the basics" trend punk rockers instigated in the late 70s in an effort to distinguish themselves from what they considered pompous and preposterous posturing on the part of groups like Yes and ELP. Prog took a vicious uppercut to the jaw and hit the canvas hard. Many acts didn't survive the beating and those who did walked with a limp for the rest of their careers. The sole exception was Rush. They never expected to be accepted in the first place so being quarantined outside the mainstream was business as usual for those guys. The more I've gotten to know about them, the more admiration I have for their sheer audacity and guts to stay true to themselves. I still think "Moving Pictures" was their apex but I also think they scaled the heights of adaptive creativity on '84's "Grace Under Pressure." I find all of their releases to be above average in general but those two really stick out as special. As for "Roll the Bones," it sits comfortably in the "pretty-good-but-not-extraordinary" range.

They open with "Dreamline" and I was immediately struck by Geddy Lee's ever-maturing voice. I, like many others, had a very difficult time handling the screeching chirps that characterized his vocals on earlier efforts and it kept me away from giving the band a fair listen for decades. But beginning with the aforementioned "Grace Under Pressure" the man mellowed substantially and I found his lower register much more to my liking. This number is a dynamic hard rock ditty that showcases their always top-notch production, a reliable hallmark of their recordings, but the composition itself is slightly pedestrian. "Bravado" is next and I was instantly drawn into the track's cavernous depth-of-field and solid groove but the shallow lyric content doesn't stir up anything I can relate to. It doesn't help that Lee doesn't deliver them with suitable conviction. The title track "Roll the Bones" follows and I was bowled over by Alex Lifeson's guitar sound that's huge and impressive. Geddy's synth adds a brassy tint and, while I'm no fan of the genre, their detour into pseudo rap territory during the breakdown section actually provides a welcome relief from predictability. The "life's a crap shoot" theme imbedded in the lyric is attractive, as well.

"Face Up" is a bit of a throwback to their original sound but once again it's hard to take Lee seriously when he doesn't put enough raw passion into his vocal. Especially when he's singing about how angry he is. Gotta give Alex a nod, though. His flaming guitar solo rips a new one. The instrumental "Where's My Thing?" is the best thing on the CD because it's as if they finally stopped overthinking and just let nature take its course. It's awesomely funky and fun with Neil Peart getting to toss in some nifty drum fills. They take a few risks here and there and the enriching payoff proves they were worth it. "The Big Wheel" is next and it comes out swingin' with a Who-ish gritty vibe but the too-relaxed chorus detracts from the powerful verse pattern they'd built up. It would've been more effective if they'd kept this one a simple, straight-ahead rocker from start to finish. "Heresy" begins with a military march beat that promises an epic thrill ride but it ends up being more of the same arena rock fare. I'm not complaining, per se, but I expected something wild to happen and it never did. "Ghost of a Chance" sports the edgier approach that I prefer but alas, the airy chorus sucks all the helium out of the balloon. The song just never quite jells. "Neurotica" is next and, while I have great respect for their continuing to pay close attention to the technical quality of their artistic endeavors, the tune fails to take me anywhere they haven't taken me several times before. Lifeson does wow my ear canal briefly by letting the fur fly on his solo, though. "You Bet Your Life" has the trademark of a progression they might have developed while jamming in rehearsal but, no matter its birth, it manages to shine brightly. The song's chorus in particular is distinct and intriguing. Makes for a good exit.

"Roll the Bones," released on September 3rd of 1991, was their 14th studio album and it marked an upturn in their collective fortunes. By reaching #3 on the American charts it became their first CD to reach the top five since "Moving Pictures" did that ten years prior. I've gotten to know more about Rush due to various documentaries, interviews and live concerts that keep being aired on satellite TV networks and my hat's off to them for hanging in there so long. They really are a remarkable entity but they had their ups and downs just like their peers. "Roll the Bones" is better than "Presto" was but only by a few checkmarks. 3.4 stars.

 Grace Under Pressure by RUSH album cover Studio Album, 1984
3.69 | 994 ratings

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Grace Under Pressure
Rush Heavy Prog

Review by maryes

4 stars 4,5 stars !!! "Grace Under Preasure" , how I've said in my review about the previous album from RUSH ( (#1568194) | Posted Friday, May 20, 2016 ), with the audition of this one I start to make a better appreciation of the new direction assumed by these incredible Canadian guys, which in that moment I presume was shows how to make more simple melodic themes becomes a great progressive rock music. Already on the first track "Distant Early Warning" with their overture theme you can feel this - the repetition turns a "tension point" which as the same "trigger" To guitar solo and the climax of the track ! Another intersting point in this album is the clear Alex's tendency of prioritize the chjords progressions in the construction of his solo melodies - this is present in track 2 " Afterimage" and track 3. "Red Sector A". Besides the last track "Between the Wheels" are simply outstanding (slightly above the other tracks) . In short a excellent album. My rate is 4 stars !!!
 Grace Under Pressure by RUSH album cover Studio Album, 1984
3.69 | 994 ratings

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Grace Under Pressure
Rush Heavy Prog

Review by Modrigue
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Second signal

3.5 stars

Let's make it simple: "Grace Under Pressure" can be described as "Signals" bis, with a little more guitars and a slightly inferior quality. Pursuing the 'synthetic reggae-rock' approach of its predecessor, the band ventures again into new musical territories for them on some tracks, such as new-wave and ska. The keyboards and drums also sound colder, robotic, dehumanized, however this time Alex Lifeson plays a larger role: his interventions are more nervous and punchy than on the previous opus. Furthermore, and most important, the inspiration is still present.

The album title comes from the general theme of the songs: people's reactions when they're under pressure. The science-fiction and heroic fantasy stories of the 70's are now replaced by cold war, nuclear weapon and technology problematics. "Grace Under Pressure" can also reflect the particular conditions in which the disc was composed and produced, as the musicians separated from their historic producer Terry Brown, nicknamed 'Broon', before the recording.

The first side is very good. The powerful opener "Distant Early Warning" is the best track of the record. Referring a nuclear alert system, this reggae-rock song in the style of THE POLICE evolves into a true hard-rock piece, with ferocious guitar passages and an heroic finale. Great! Dedicated to one of the band's friend who had just passed away, "Afterimage" is a touching and melancholic synthesizer reggae-rock track with a cool solo from Lifeson. Inspired by Geddy Lee's mother experience during the liberation of the Bergen-Belsen camp, "Red Sector A"'s topic is the concentration camps and the Holocaust. Despite cheesy keyboards, it offers a nice alternation of electronic, rocking, epic and touching ambiances, even sounding new-wave. The Canadians made a ska incursion with "The Enemy Within", featuring different atmospheres and rhythms. Original and having its moments, but finally a bit uneven.

The second side is unfortunately less inspired. "The Body Electric" narrates the story of an android attempting to escape its programming. Despite its mysterious surprising opening, this electronic song is rather average. "Kid Gloves" contains an excellent guitar solo but the track itself sounds overall flat. As one of the oddest RUSH composition ever, "Red Lenses" is quite irritating as well as the only true weak passage of the record. One the contrary, "Between The Wheels" is the best song of Side 2 with its oppressive ambiance and icy heroic rock.

"Grace Under Pressure" is the continuation of "Signals", a little bit more unequal and 80's sounding. Like its predecessor, 'electronic reggae-rock' could be an attempt to describe the style of this album. Although it features dated synthesizers, the first side and the last track really rock. By incorporating a few new musical elements, the band proves they were still creative and daring.

This tenth studio offering from the Canadians will be the last truly good RUSH album of the 20th century. If you didn't enjoy "Signals", this one is not for you either. Otherwise, go for it without hesitation. Recommended to fans of "Signals", THE POLICE, or even reggae-rock.

 Signals by RUSH album cover Studio Album, 1982
3.95 | 1135 ratings

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Signals
Rush Heavy Prog

Review by Modrigue
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Signs of life in the 80's

Released after the melting-pot album "Moving Pictures", "Signals" represents one of RUSH's biggest musical mutation. The transformation started in 1980 is now complete: dominated by synthesizers, and even sequencers, the music is radio-friendly, less aggressive, contains less guitars. The tracks have all a normal duration and are neither progressive nor metal anymore. Already explored by the band, the reggae sections are also more present. Last point to mention: Geddy Lee's voice sounds now perfectly clean. So... is the end of RUSH as we know it? Yes. Is it worth listening? Yes too.

Rather than turning commercial, this evolution denotes the will of the Canadians to explore new musical directions in the new decade, however this does not necessarily result in a soapy 80's pop-rock. After all, this is RUSH. The inspiration is here, and, if the compositions display an homogeneous style, they still use uncommon time signatures.

The change of musical direction can be heard from the very first seconds. Featuring passages with different rhythms, "Subdivisions" is a powerful synth-rock opener, with a nice melody. Alternating rocking and calmer moments, "The Analog Kid" is driven by an energetic guitar and includes a cool guitar solo by Alex Lifeson. Nonetheless, the overall is a bit uneven. On the contrary, "Chemistry" is my favorite song of the record. A nearly cosmic overture and heroic melody, it rocks! The very cool "Digital Man" contains top-notch bass playing, reggae-based sections and numerous rhythm structures changes.

Even more surprising, the spacey disco-rock "The Weapon" is quite convincing and epic! Then comes "New World Man", a pleasant a soft reggae-rock that an remind THE POLICE at times. Featuring Ben Mink, a friend of the band, at electric violin, I'm not really a big fan of the "Losing It" and tend to find this ballad a bit flat. The only true weak track of the disc for me. The closer "Countdown" is a tribute to the NASA and its astronauts. The song narrates the launch of Space Transportation System-1, the first orbiter of NASA's Columbia Space Shuttle program. The band attended the event in 1981 in Orlando. The track incorporates genuine radio dialogs between the two pilots, John W. Young and Robert L. Crippen, before and during the flight, and is dedicated to them. Not the best passage of the album, but enjoyable.

As may understand, we're not in hard/heavy prog rock anymore. No long 70's hard/heavy prog ambitious suites like on "2112" or "Hemispheres" here. No new-wave either. 'Synthetic reggae-rock' could be an attempt to describe the style the musicians adopted on "Signals". For sure, the eighties' synthesizers sound quite dated, but this does curiously not prevent the tracks from being pleasant and original. Again, this is RUSH, so this is still creative in its way as no other band were offering something musically comparable at the time. Furthermore, this opus has a rather constant quality, and remains better than most 70's' progressive bands' releases in the 80's.

If you only know the seventies' years of RUSH, prepare for a surprise, but a good one. Accessible and lively, "Signals" opens new horizons for the Canadians, and should please fans of the trio, THE POLICE, or even reggae!

 Moving Pictures by RUSH album cover Studio Album, 1981
4.40 | 2387 ratings

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Moving Pictures
Rush Heavy Prog

Review by Modrigue
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Rush's best album of the 80's

Last 20th century RUSH album to really contain progressive compositions, "Moving Pictures" is clearly their most varied and colorful studio opus. Its predecessor, "Permanent Waves", marked a turn towards more radio-friendly material, and so do this eighth offering. However, although the record contains several of the band's best-known songs, the music itself has a rich orchestration and still remains quite adventurous, with complex rhythms structures, while approaching different styles. The tracks can be seen as a link between their long elaborated 70's suites and their short and direct synthesizer-reggae-rock songs of the 80's. As ever since "2112", the keyboards become more and more present, whereas the incursions in the metal territory are rarefying. Another point denoting this evolution: there are no acoustic guitar passage.

Inspired the famous book of American writer Mark Twain, "Tom Sawyer" is RUSH's most successful hit single. A powerful and retro-futuristic rock song, with changing rhythms, setting immediately the tone. Great! Alternating softer passages and raging guitars, "Red Barchetta" is enjoyable. With "La Villa Strangiato", "YYZ" is the best instrumental composition of RUSH, and even one the finest of the hard rock genre! YYZ is the international identity code assigned to Toronto's airport. Transcribed in Morse code, these three letters form the opening rhythmic of the track, at bells and guitars. As Toronto is the town where the members live, "YYZ" has a particular meaning to them, as it means home sweet home. This track possesses all you could expect from the Canadians: uncommon time signatures, different ambiances, epic passages, various soli and even a spacey interlude... Fantastic! Highly influential, this complex jazzy heavy rock is simply breathtaking! On the contrary, I'm not really a big fan of "Limelight". Although also elaborated and evolving, this piece is rather average.

Longest and most progressive song of the disc, "The Camera Eye" features both somber and dreamy atmospheres. These 11 minutes contain nice guitar works and rocking passages. Not the best mini-epic from the band, but still good. The two last tracks are the most surprising for the fan. The dark fantasy "Witch Hunt" is quite particular in RUSH's discography. Cover art designer Hugh Syme's synthesizers' layers create a deep, haunting mystical ambiance, increasing more and more in intensity. Love it! Rather lively, the electronic reggae "Vital Signs" foreshadows the style that the trio will develop in their next two albums. It rocks!

The mixture of genres displayed in "Moving Pictures" was quite unique at the beginning of the eighties, when prog has already declined. Varied, original, risky and refined, the music should even please the seventies' purists. I find this album a bit overrated though, as "Red Barchetta" and "Limelight" tend to bore me. Nevertheless, the other compositions are great and more remarkable than "Permanent Waves"'s. At the beginning of the eighties, Lee, Lifeson and Peart still remain pioneers and adventurers.

One of the best and most eclectic albums from RUSH! Highly recommended!

 Exit... Stage Left by RUSH album cover Live, 1981
4.04 | 497 ratings

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Exit... Stage Left
Rush Heavy Prog

Review by Modrigue
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Rush's best live album?

After four studio records, one live album. Released in 1981, "Exit... Stage Left" concludes in a beautiful way RUSH's second period, often considered as their most progressive and creative. The set-list consists in extracts from "Fly By Night", "2112", "A Farewell to Kings", "Hemispheres", "Permanent Waves" and "Moving Pictures", recorded at concerts in UK and Canada.

The set-list is more varied and colorful than on the band's first live release, "All The World's A Stage". Still played with the same energy and virtuosity, the tracks have been quite reworked in the studio. Furthermore, Geddy Lee's singing sounds less juvenile and enraged, but rather mastered and fluid.

The cover art (front plus back) contains elements from all RUSH's studio albums from 1974-1981.

"YYZ" includes a mindblowing drum solo by professor Neil Peart, displaying his knowledge and technicality, whereas Alex Lifeson has sharpened his axes on "Jacob's Ladder". Not featured on any other live or studio release by the band, "Broon's Bane" is the novelty here. A nice short instrumental acoustic guitar piece by Lifeson, introducing "The Trees". With "Xanadu", the these two songs see their orchestration enhanced by the addition of cool synthesizers accompaniments. Same goes for "La Villa Strangiato", incorporating also great alternative guitar interventions. Unfortunately, these are also the first official released performances with the super soapy ballad "Closer To The Heart", which appearance will become recurrent at the trio's concerts.

Whether you prefer "All The World's A Stage" or "Exit... Stage Left" is just a matter of taste. The first live album represents RUSH's wilderness and youth, while this one represents its sophistication and maturity. The music of the first one is hard/heavy rock just beginning to turn progressive, whereas the second displays a wide panel of the Canadians' neo-hard-prog more elaborated compositions. As you prefer...

Anyway, both live albums are essential for every fan of RUSH, which won't be the case for the third one...

 All The World's A Stage by RUSH album cover Live, 1976
3.85 | 389 ratings

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All The World's A Stage
Rush Heavy Prog

Review by Modrigue
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Rush's first live album

One live release every four studio albums, this will be the rule. Recorded in 1976 in Toronto, the band's town, "All The World's A Stage" covers RUSH's first period, from 1974 to 1976. A this time, the Canadians were beginning to incorporate progressive elements in their powerful seventies hard / heavy rock. The set-list features extracts from their self-titled debut, "Fly By Night", "Caress Of Steel" and "2112". All discs are well represented and the songs are interpreted with energy, volume and conviction.

Skipping the "Discovery" and "Oracle: The Dream" sections, "2112" has been shortened to 16 minutes. Overall cool, however I do prefer the more polished studio version. On the contrary, "By-tor And The Snow Dog" has been extended to 12 minutes and is undoubtedly the highlight of the record, maybe superior to the original. The band sculpts here an incandescent sonic magma, especially Alex Lifeson creating a maelstrom of furious cosmic guitars. Terrifying! The mysterious spacey interlude is also transcended and simply gorgeous. An unbelievable tour de force! The selection of the average "In The End" as a calm ballad to slow the pace down is a curious choice. "Working Man / Finding My Way" features a long drum solo at the end, Neil Peart being called "The Professor" by Geddy Lee.

Although a bit lengthy, "All The World's A Stage" clearly remains one of the band's best live releases. The concert will please every early RUSH fans, and is also a good entry point for newcomers to discover the trio's first period.

Thanks to Tony R for the artist addition.

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