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Rush - Moving Pictures CD (album) cover




Heavy Prog

4.39 | 2932 ratings

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4 stars If you're new to Rush, you'd do well to buy this album first. Three reasons: 1) It contains the fantastic Tom Sawyer which is the band's biggest hit (even if I prefer The Spirit Of Radio, their lesser pop hit). 2) It contains the fan favourite instrumental YYZ which I believe they play at every single concert. 3) It still manages to be really progressive, despite being released in 1981! Here's an analysis of the songs:

I'm not exaggerating when I say the opening track Tom Sawyer was once the most played track on my computer! In a time when I was wholly obsessed with Dream Theater, I borrowed the CD off my girlfriend's dad, and instantly fell in love with it. Within a few days, the plays counter quickly shot past 30, and became the most played track. This might be to do with it's relative length compared to the normal Dream Theater length of ~8-10 mins. The song is just so cool though. Whilst being a pop hit, the band are uncompromising, playing an extremely technical instrumental! The lyrics are just amazing; they don't make sense, but they are extremely cool. A brilliant opener!

Red Barchetta is not so good. For one thing, I don't particularly like the sound of the guitar in it, and I've never really gotten into it since I first got the album. However, it's still a bit proggy, and in fact if you listen closely, it is more of a ballad about a boy smashing his uncle's car in a getaway chase. If you like cars and you like prog, you'll like this. For me it's 2/5 though.

YYZ is the code for an airport in Toronto, and is also the name of this song. The letters are spelled in morse right at the beginning -.-- / -.--/ --.. This is becomes a fantastic 5/4 opening to this superb instrumental, which is one of the finest in hard rock! There is virtuoso playing going on everywhere! Lots of Alex Lifeson's extreme guitar playing, lots of Neil Peart's awesome drumming, and if you listen closely, you'll hear Geddy Lee is pushing out some awesome bass riffs as well. You'll understand why the fans love it.

Limelight is yet another hit song, and is also of superb quality. I'd give it 4/5.

If you weren't sure whether to buy this album on it's pop merits alone (which you really could do), the extended The Camera Eye should definitely sway you. Split into two parts - one section about New York, one about London, seperated by an ocean of instrumental goodness - this is an exceptional song! It is as good as any of their previous 10 minute hits, eg Xanadu and The Necromancer. Unfortunately, this would be Rush's swan song to extended writing, and since this eleven minute wonder, Rush have not produced any songs over seven minutes in length. The quality of this song makes me feel that it wasn't that they were getting worse at writing long songs, just they gave up interest in it. It is very sad indeed, that yet another true giant of prog was lost to the 80s pop explosion.

Witch Hunt is an eerie song, mainly synth driven, but still quite cool. I've never been a huge fan of it, but it's good nonetheless. To this day, Vital Signs eludes me. It sounds terribly geeky to me, a bit awkward and not hard or cool at all.

I'm afraid I can't give this 5 stars. I was struggling between 4 and 5, and I guess when something is a 5 star, then you will know it, so it has to go down to 4 for me. I think there is just too much filler in it for me. The tracks Tom Sawyer, YYZ, Limelight and of course The Camera Eye are very worth your money, and you might even enjoy those tracks I didn't! 9/10

baz91 | 4/5 |


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