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Rush - 2112 CD (album) cover




Heavy Prog

4.11 | 2381 ratings

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Easy Livin
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars We have assumed control

I do not list Rush as one of my favourite bands. I do however enjoy some of their music, and certain albums appeal far more than others. "2112" was the first album I bought by Rush, mainly of the strength of having heard "Soliloquy" and "Grand finale" from the "2112" suite on the radio, not long after the album was released. That particular section is indeed imaginative and impressive, and when I discovered it formed part of a major piece, my hopes were high.

After a couple of competent, if rather unadventurous rock albums, "Caress of steel" gave the first indications that there was much more to be had from the band. While the general feeling is that the album was a heroic failure, "2112" sees Rush suddenly burst forth with a 20 minute epic which firmly establishes their identity. The lyrics for the entire suite are written by Neil Peart, who acknowledges 20th century author and philosopher Ayn Rand. Rand, a Russian born American "objectivist" was also a principal influence on the lyrics for "Anthem" on the previous album. The story here tells a rather grim tale of life in the 22nd century, where human life is entirely controlled by computers. The sleeve, which contains the full lyrics, also includes further narrative to clarify the underlying story.

Right from the futuristic sounds of the "Overture", the band make it clear that "2112" is going to be different. Anyone with any misgivings about Rush's prog credentials simply needs to hear this suite to have such doubts dispelled. While Geddy Lee's vocals are undoubtedly an acquired taste (and one I have yet to acquire), the structure of the piece and the overall performance render any criticism of that aspect appear churlish. This is Rush's defining moment.

Side two of the album is more in line with the previous albums, with five unconnected shorter pieces. The songs are however notably more refined, with "Tears" even featuring symphonic mellotron.

In all, "2112" is a superb release, which was instrumental in promoting Rush from being simply another rock band to the world conquering act they have since become. The album is not without its faults, but it still stands today as landmark album.

Easy Livin | 4/5 |


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