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Rush - A Farewell to Kings CD (album) cover




Heavy Prog

4.33 | 2289 ratings

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Symphonic Team
4 stars You say goodbye, I say hello!

As I pointed out in my review of the previous 2112 album, Rush started out as a highly derivative and generic Blues Rock/Hard Rock band heavily influenced by Led Zeppelin but gradually incorporated progressive elements and structures into their music. 1976's 2112 album was the start of their classic period that peaked with 1978's Hemispheres and continued until Moving Pictures in 1981. But while the side-long, multi-part title-track of 2112 was the first truly progressive piece by Rush, the rest of that album was still a little bit backward-looking. A Farewell To Kings was the first full album of progressive Rock by Rush and what a great album it is. For me personally, A Farewell To Kings is rivalled only by Hemispheres.

Synthesisers were taking a larger role in the sound of the band and here they blend wonderfully with the electric guitars, bass, drums and vocals and especially with the acoustic guitars. I love the unusually strong acoustic dimension of this album, a side of the band that would not be very prominent on future albums. There is a very nice balance between ballads and rockers and there are no weak points whatsoever. While only Closer To The Heart remains a mainstay in the band's set list to the present day, every track here is a true Rush classic. Xanadu is one of my all-time favourite songs and Cygnys X-1 is the first part of Hemispheres.

The next step in the band's evolution would be to add an almost Jazz-Rock/Fusion dimension to their sound with tracks like La Villa Strangiato from the next album. A Farewell To Kings, while highly progressive, is still rooted in Rock 'N' Roll somehow.

They would reach perfection with their next album, but they are very close to their peak already here and this one is also absolutely essential

SouthSideoftheSky | 4/5 |


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