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Rush - Fly By Night CD (album) cover




Heavy Prog

3.36 | 1182 ratings

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3 stars Fly By night is Rush's first album with drum god Neil Peart, who promptly took over lyrical duties from Lee and Lifeson, who both admit words are not their strong suit. The result is the first transitional album for Rush (there are three or four), and this one takes us from run-of-the-mill blues rock to the start of something special.

"Anthem" opens the album with Peart's first salute to Ayn Rand. It's one of the band's best tunes with heavy riffs and a great bassline. Lyrically, however, the song doesn't pay tribute that well (see 2112 for a much better nod to Rand). "Best I Can" is decent, but it should have been on the debut considering it's simple hard rock sound. "Beneath, Between and Behind" is a scorcher that became even more blazing live. "By-Tor and the Snow Dog" is where the band truly begin to embrace progressive rock: a nine minute song complete with Peart's penchant for mythology, searing guitars, pounding bass, and a jaw-dropping drum solo that manages to dazzle yet remain musical. This is hands down the best track of the album.

Side Two begins with the title track, a fun hard rock number followed by the ballad "Making Memories." These two songs are the glimpses at Peart's lyrical talent that wouldn't start to flower until Permanent Waves and beyond. "Rivendell" is a mediocre track that barely pays homage to Tolkien's Elvish haven. This track is best skipped. "In the End" closes the album in fine fashion with alternating soft and heavy styles.

Fly By Night is worth it for By-Tor, Anthem, and the title track, but the band had a long way to go. Unfortunately, their next album would be a minor misstep that would delay the band's rise.

Grade: C

1800iareyay | 3/5 |


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