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Rush - Chronicles CD (album) cover




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3.58 | 112 ratings

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3 stars Rush is an album band. As far as I know, since their debut LP, their entire recorded studio output has been released on full-length albums with one exception: an EP in 2004. No non-album singles or b-sides, no songs originally from soundtracks, no special fan-club recordings. Especially since many Rush albums are based on a unifying theme or concept, it seems like Rush hopes that their songs are enjoyed in the context of their respective albums. A compilation like Chronicles doesn't seem to make as much sense as it might if it were released by a more singles-oriented band.

So if you're new to Rush and you buy or download music instead of streaming it, I suggest that you first get Moving Pictures, the band's 1981 album. But if you like what you hear on Moving Pictures, get Chronicles next. I say that because this album does a pretty good job of introducing the listener to the band's 1970s and 1980s output.

Each studio album is represented by two songs, except for Moving Pictures (three songs) and Presto (one song). Presto was still pretty new at the time and was released on a different label (Atlantic) from all of the other songs (Mercury, which also released Chronicles). There is also one song from each of the band's three live albums from the 1970s and 1980s. Each of the band's songs that hit the Billboard Hot 100 are here: "Fly by Night," "Closer to the Heart," "Spirit of Radio," "Limelight," "Tom Sawyer," "New World Man," and "The Big Money." Also are included are radio favorites like "The Trees" and "Freewill" and video hits "Distant Early Warning" and "Time Stand Still." The remaining song choices are pretty good considering the constraints.

The sound quality is good. Sure, the remastered versions that I've heard sound even better, but even unremastered Rush CDs cut from the vinyl or cassette masters sound good.

If you already have more than a few Rush albums, there's no point in getting Chronicles. But if you want a sampler of their albums through 1989, or if you just want to have one Rush collection, this is probably it.

(P.S.: Chronicles appears to have been superseded by Gold (2006), a two-CD set covering almost exactly the same time period and containing most of the same songs. (It does, however, skip the live albums and Presto.) On the other hand, Gold presumably uses more recent remastered versions of the tracks.)

patrickq | 3/5 |


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