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Rush - All The World's A Stage CD (album) cover




Heavy Prog

3.85 | 467 ratings

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4 stars Having discovered Rush on the release of their A Farewell to Kings album, being mightily impressed I was eager to start exploring their back catalogue. Their Live album, All the World's a Stage seemed like a good place to start giving me a cross section of material from their first four albums. Although I didn't know it at the time I much prefer the Live versions of the songs here than the studio versions. The album although very raw captures the band with youthful enthusiasm and a fire to their playing that has not been equalled on any of their (some excellent) live albums since.

What we have here is most of the choice cuts from their first four albums starting from their eponymous debut when they were pretty much a straight Heavy Rock band into the start of their more Progressive years, 2112 being their most recent studio album at the time of release of this double album. Caress of Steel is somewhat under represented with only two tracks appearing here. One being Bastille Day which opens this (and the afore mentioned studio album) in fine style and packs a more powerful punch than the studio version. Side one of the original vinyl version continues with a blast through some of their shorter and liveliest tracks, all played very well before dropping down a notch for the more laid back Lakeside Park at the start of side two. However the bulk of this side consists of an excellent slightly edited version of 2112. The track flows better here with some of the fat cut out though of course part of the original concept is missing as a consequence.

The final two sides keep up the quality including the best Version of By-Tor and the Snowdog to be heard anywhere and a medley of Working Man and Finding my Way including the obligatory Neil Peart Drum solo and although he's recorded more technically accomplished ones since, this is still one of my favourites being so full on throughout.

Rush have released quite a few live albums since this but to this day All the World's Stage remains my favourite and is also an excellent introduction to anyone wanting to check out the early days of the band without going to the expense of buying all the previous studio albums. 4 1/2 stars.

Nightfly | 4/5 |


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