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Rush Fly by Night album cover
3.38 | 1368 ratings | 125 reviews | 12% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 1975

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Anthem (4:10)
2. Best I Can (3:24)
3. Beneath, Between and Behind (3:00)
4. By-Tor and the Snow Dog (8:57) :
- i. At the Tobes of Hades
- ii. Across the Styx
- iii. Of the Battle:
- iiia. Challenge and Defiance
- iiib. 7/4 War Furor
- iiic. Aftermath
- iiid. Hymn of Triumph
- iv. Epilogue
5. Fly by Night (3:20)
6. Making Memories (2:56)
7. Rivendell (5:00)
8. In the End (6:51)

Total Time 37:38

Line-up / Musicians

- Alex Lifeson / electric, 6- & 12-string acoustic guitars
- Geddy Lee / bass, classical guitars, lead & backing vocals
- Neil Peart / drums & percussion

Releases information

Co-arranged, co-produced and engineered by Terry Brown

Artwork: Eraldo Carugati with Jim Ladwig (art direction) and Joe Kotleba (design)

LP Mercury ‎- SRM-1-1023 (1975, Canada)
LP Anthem - ANR-1-1002 (1977, Canada)

CD Mercury ‎- 822 542-2 M-1 (1987, US)
CD Mercury - 534-624-2 (1997, US) Remastered by Bob Ludwig & Brian Lee

FLAC (2015, Ponomusic) Hi Res download in 192kHz/24bit lossless files from the remaster by Sean Magee, which includes an extended ending on track 4 totalling 9:32

Thanks to ProgLucky Tony R for the addition
and to Prog Network & NotAProghead for the last updates
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Buy RUSH Fly by Night Music

RUSH Fly by Night ratings distribution

(1368 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(12%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(37%)
Good, but non-essential (42%)
Collectors/fans only (7%)
Poor. Only for completionists (1%)

RUSH Fly by Night reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Sean Trane
3 stars Not that this is a bad album but it is hardly a classic , as they were still struggling to come out of their Zep clone habits. And this is an old Torontonian speaking who saw them live about twenty times around those years and to 82.

Of course one can see that By-Tor And The Snow Dog is the premice of the start of greater things to come , but there are still a lot of flaws in it. Of course as a teenager, we did not see those flaws, and my comments on all Rush albums are a mix of my teen fanhood and the grown-up proghead I am today. Anthem has got its moments , in The End is a good closer and Rivendell is correct. The rest is in my eyes relatively flawed but nothing shameful either, displaying the same hard rock they had given us with their debut album.

Review by chessman
2 stars 99% of Rush's music is amazing, and I have every album. Nearly all are classics. But this...sorry to say, is without doubt their weakest. (And all the people I know who like Rush agree with me!) Admittedly Anthem is a tremendous song,and Beneath, Between and Behind is excellent too. But the rest is average at best and unmemorable. By-Tor, whilst being a powerful highlight on All The World's A Stage, is here shortened and plods along. Rivendell is embarrassing (and yes, I am a Tolkien fan) and the whole recording seems pedestrian. I know a lot of fans will disagree with me on this but we are all different! And yes, I was around when this album was first released, so I know what I am talking about!
Review by philippe
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
1 stars I've always difficulties to listen to the whole album each time I play it...sorry but Geddy Lee vocals are disconcerting & really irritating. Moreover this album is absolutely not progressive. It features only basic, standardised, old dated hard rock compositions. Unfortunately in that time, the group didn't find his own musical identity...a regrettable effort.
Review by greenback
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars WOW! For the first time, Neil Peart plays the drums here: compared to the previous album, we feel here a quite more DYNAMIC energy involved: faster & more refined bass, more complex and varied drums. The guitar sound is not exactly the same too: it is more nervous and the sound is just slightly less extreme, although very powerful and razor all the same. We also notice that the tracks are much more structured: the have more the prog hard rock style. This record has no keyboards and does not need them at all! The sound is very good and the recording is professionally made. There are some excellent flanger effects in the electric guitar sound, like on "Anthem" and "In the End". Lee still screams like an hysterical person, and that is very pleasant, never irritating. Most of the tracks are rythmic, loaded and catchy. On "Rivendell", the mood is very mellow, featuring a peaceful acoustic guitar, with Lee whispering in your ears some poetic words. Of the RUSH's keyboards-free records, this is my favorite one!

Rating: 4.5/5

Review by daveconn
4 stars They came riding from the North, ready to do battle with the notion that progressive rock was a dying art form. No disservice to JOHN RUTSEY, but new drummer/lyricist NEIL PEART was the missing chink in this power trio's armor, as "Fly By Night" makes plain. This is a firestorm of a record, with music delivered in great chunks of hot metal: the epic "By-Tor and The Snow Dog", the searing "Beneath, Between and Behind", et al. PEART's drumming, sometimes treated with an echo, is the perfect foil to LEE's impassioned (if awkwardly high register) vocals and Lifeson's gargantuan guitars. At this stage, RUSH hadn't incorporated the standard LEE/LIFESON/PEART credits for their music, allowing various members to pair off in songwriting (including a song written completely by Lee, "Best I Can"). The title track, which served as the album's single, is as catchy a song as they've written over their career (the style is reprised on "In The End", my personal favorite on here). The LED ZEPPELIN comparisons still hold on a few tracks, notably "Making Memories", which sounds like an outtake from "Houses of the Holy" (or a southern boogie band, given LIFESON's leads). The band also slips into GENESIS territory on the delicate "Rivendell", with LIFESON stretching out the guitar notes a la STEVE HACKETT.

"Fly By Night" may find the band groping for their own voice, but what I hear is a band throwing down the gauntlet and challenging for their own fiefdom in prog rock's storied land.

Review by Blacksword
3 stars Rush begin to take their compositions seriously, with Fly By Night, their second album. With persussion genius Neil Peart on board the band were at last able to challenge themselves and each other as musicians. This is not really a prog album, as it stays faithful to their rock 'n' roll roots, but it does have 'By-Tor and the snow dog' the first 'concept' track by Rush. At almost 9 minutes, 'BTATSD' moves through a series of musical chapters, describing battle netween good and evil. Its entertaining, is filled with classic Peart drumming, but is not to be taken too seriously. 'Athem' opens the album explosively and with a positivity that reassures the listerner that they have indeed moved on from their scatty, silly sounding debut album. There are great rock songs on 'FBN' notably 'Anthem' 'The best I can' and 'Beneath between and behind' Lifesons guitar sound is raw and his playing competent. The only song that doesn't quite hit the spot is 'Rivendell' This is a weak glimpse into the bands admiration for Tolkein, but despite it weakness it is certainly prophetic. A good second album for a young band. A good rock album.
Review by Menswear
4 stars Not an essential, but oh! so slose. This is 4 stars...if you take the time to listen and relisten. We have a bit of everything for everyone. Hard rock, prog rock even something close to folk in Rivendell, inspired of course by Peart's love for Tolkien's litterature. Because this is something that Peart is good at...reading. Thanks to him, the band really and I mean really took off to success and finally giving Canadian Rock a name to be proud of. He reads a freakin' lot, judging by the quality of the lyrics and the cohesion of his writing along the glorious Rush' journey.

This is a misunderstood album. Despite duds like Best I Can (which is quite finger snappy), this is prime-time good ol' rock and roll. Who Rush generates in Fly by Night a fiery cry of youth that could alter your behavior while driving. Suddently, you feel like speeding up and giving "the eyes" to women at a red light just like at 20 years old.

Fly by Night breathes great mid-20's years just hanging out and listening old records. Who could deny the fact that By-Tor and the Snow Dog has tremendous musical efficency and 100% concert headbanging potential? Man, I wrecked my neck in the Vapor Trail Tour on that song. I still recall shouting at the top of my lungs "the sign of Eth is rising in the air!" and mimicking Geddy Lee's grandiose Robert Plant-like "Oooh yeeahh!"

Boy what a crazy ride of an album.

A huge 1975 "ROCK ON!" to everyone who agrees.

Review by Cygnus X-2
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars This is Neil Peart's debut with Rush. From the get-go, he was asked to supply lyrics for the band, and this addition changed the principal elements of the band. No longer would they sing about working from 9-5, now they would sing about Snow Dogs and Necromancers. Anyway, the work by all the members is phenomenal. Rather than talk about all of the tracks, I'll mention the stand out tracks.

The opener Anthem begins and ends with a bang. With great guitar work by Lifeson, phenomenal bass work by Lee, and incredible drumming and lyrics from Peart, the song brings up Peart's long fascination with the heart and mind. A true rocker at the core.

The next stand out track, By-Tor and the Snow Dog, brings in the entrance of By-Tor, who later makes an appearance in The Necromancer. A true rocker, with phenomenal work by all of the members, especially Peart, whoses drum fills take the main stage throughout the song. The song has a very rocking intro, a very quiet middle section, and a rocking ending everything a good song needs, a rise and fall.

The other three songs woth mentioning are Beneath, Between, and Behind, another rocking piece that begins Pearts fascination about kingdoms. Fly By Night, a rocking piece, with some great bass work by Lee and a catchy chorus. And the finale, In The End, beginning with a quiet acoustic guitar, then roaring in with a phased electric guitar, this is my favorite song on the album.

Overall, this is my 2nd favorite of the first 3 Rush albums. For every track I like, there are a few that are just okay, nothing spectacular. 3.5/5.

Review by Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars By this second album Rush had changed personnel in which previous drummer John Rustsey was replaced by Neil Peart. This line-up which we can consider it as Mark II has never changed since then until now. Through this second album, the band still consistent with their music style, i.e. hard rock with three-piece formation similar to early line-up of American Grand Funk railroad. With this second album, musically the band has matured as the composition was getting better than the debut album. Yes, by the time the band was still categorized as heavily influenced by legendary heavy metal band Led Zeppelin. However, with this album Rush had pushed their music boundary not limited only to hard rock music but the had injected some prog elements into their music.

The album opener "Anthem 4:21" (4:10) does not only indicate a heavy metal / hard rock tunes standards but they pushed forward with some dynamic style through the exploration of guitar riffs and inventive bass lines. "Best I Can" (3:24) is probably still rooted on hard rock music with straight forward structure. This also happens to the thirrd track "Beneath, Between and Behind" (3:00) which has been the band's favorite live track. Through the fourth track "By-Tor and the Snow Dog" (8:57) I can smell the progressive efforts put forward by the band. It's something that Led Zeppelin had ever done before: combining the energetic part of a composition with some music exploration that is continued with different style of music - a blues-based style. It's also obvious that the band divides this 8-minute track into four parts: I. At the Fobes of Hades, II. Across the Styx, III. Of the battle, IV. Epilogue. The combination of electric guitar solo plus its sound effects and bass guitar lines is truly excellent.

"Fly by Night" (3:20) brings the music back to a hard rock style followed with a good ballad using acoustic guitar rhythm in "Making Memories" (2:56). "Rivendell" (5:00) is a mellow track with nice melody augmented with good acoustic guitar fills. "In The End" (6:51) is a good track that combines nice introduction in mellow style and a rocking part that follows. It's now a legendary track.

Overall, this album offers a hard rock style music with some tracks with progressive approach. It's obvious also through this second album of Rush that Neil Peart has demonstrated his excellent drumming. This album is produced by Rush and Terry Brown. If you like the music of Rush, you should have this album with you. Keep on rockin' ..!

Peace on earth and mercy mild. GW.

Review by Tony R
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars Rush's second album and the first to feature the drums and lyrics of Neil Peart.

There is still very a "Led Zep Junior" feel to the album,with only hints at later prog glories.Indeed Anthem,Fly By Night,Making Memories,Best I can and In The End are barely a step up from the debut album in terms of songwriting.Thematically there is a big change- out go the working class hero lyrics and in come Ayn Rand and Tolkien flowing from the eager pen of Neil Peart.

This isnt a bad album-apart from the awful Rivendell.The drumming is of course excellent and there is a tightness and assuredness about the band that was lacking on their debut.What really makes this album a progression from their debut is the killer "By-Tor & The Snow Dog".Fantasy lyrics and fantastic playing are a feature of this mini-epic.The bass growls and the guitar screams as the two heroes of the title battle it out in some Tolkienesque fantasy world and then there is that legendary drumming and drum-roll that announced Peart to the drumming fraternity.Of course,the live version on "All The World's A stage" is the definitive version but this track was the real pointer to Rush's future direction.

Once more,this is not really a Progressive Rock album,so cant be rated as one.A 4 1/2 star heavy rock album,but in terms of Prog, for Rush fans only.

Review by slipperman
4 stars One of the most fortunate events in music history occured when original Rush drummer John Rutsey was replaced by Neil Peart. 'Fly By Night' was the first album to feature the classic Lee/Lifeson/Peart trio, and like many albums that were to come, it set a very high standard and played to the peak of the band's abilities at the time. 'Fly By Night' is a curious album, splitting time between the band's debut of simplistic hard rock and the progressive tendencies that would overflow on their successive output. It also splits the Rush fanbase, being as much loved/hated as an album like 'Roll The Bones'.

"Anthem" opens proceedings, and if their debut 'Rush' was heavy hard rock, "Anthem" is sublime heavy metal. Bombastic, theatric and iconoclastic, it propels forward with serious intent, tons of depth, and inspired vocals by Geddy. The reverbed accents give the song even more character, and it's clear that Peart is a player on par with his new bandmates. The special chemistry between the three musicians is very clear here, and they couldn't have picked a better song to open their second album. Too bad second song "Best I Can" takes things a few steps backwards. It's simple, framed on a typical boogie-rock figure, and though it would've worked fine on their first album, it drags down the momentum of the album's excellent beginning. "Beneath, Between & Behind" features some interesting chord patterns from Alex Lifeson, swirling percussion from Peart backing Lifeson's open-chord stylings, dissonance and exciting transitions. It's another song that moves Rush away from hard rock and into a more metallic area. And what can I say about "By-Tor & The Snow Dog" that hasn't been said a million times? This is an undeniable classic, an epic of early prog-metal, and easily the highlight of the album (kind of...I put "Anthem" right up there with it). The battle sequence is intensely visual...but we should keep in mind that it bears an uncanny likeness to Yes's "The Gates Of Delirium", which was released one full year before (on 'Relayer'), a band that Rush admitted to being influenced by at this time. But that knowledge doesn't lessen the impact of the mighty "By-Tor" one bit.

The second half continues the diversity of the first, but is overall a bit lighter. "Fly By Night" is a perrenial FM radio staple, simple and light-hearted, easy to get into and utterly enjoyable, though not a total classic. "Making Memories" is something I'm not always in the mood for, being an acoustic-driven, lilting springtime bounce. The lyrics are autobiographical and foreshadow the heights the band would scale in the coming years. "Rivendell" is a gentle ballad with a medieval feel, Geddy's fragile approach conveying Peart's lyrics well enough, but it seems merely a warm-up to the more effective ballads that would come ("Madrigal" and "Tears"). "In The End" is excellent. I love its slow build, and the crashing chords along with Geddy's wailing provide a huge ending to 'Fly By Night', a wonderful album that may not be as complex as those that were on the horizon, but as Rush's true starting point, it works plenty of magic.

Review by erik neuteboom
3 stars After the Cream/Led Zeppelin inspired eponymous debut LP drummer John Rutsey decided to leave Rush because he was not pleased with the wish from Lifeson and Lee to sound more progressive. Soon auditions for a new drummer took place and Neil Peart became the new drummer from Rush. Halfway 1974 the band started their North-American tour as a support act for Uriah Heep and Manfred Mann's Earth Band, they played for 10.000- 12.000 people. During the tour Neil Peart turned out to be a huge reinforcement. Rush kept on touring (with Nazareth, Hawkwind, Kiss and PFM) and the chemistry between the three members started to work.

On this second Rush album (released February 1975) you can hear the difference with their previous record, it sounds far more powerful and original. OK, most of the songs are no more or less than pleasant rock songs like "Anthem", "Best I can", "Beneath, between and behind" and "Fly by night" featuring splendid soli from Alex Lifeson (fiery and biting, wah-wah drenched). But some compositions showscase progressive tendencies like "By-Tor and the Snowdog" (several shifting moods and halfway a break with sound effects and a distorted guitar solo), "Making memories" (catchy rhythm with acoustic - and slide guitar) and "In the end" (first and final acoustic part and halfway propulsive electric guitar riffs, including a fiery solo). Side two delivers more acoustic pieces like the romantic "Rivendell" featuring beautiful classical guitar and warm vocals from Geddy who sound in general a bit screamy and too high pitched for me! From this second album gradually Rush integrated more and more progressive ideas and Neil Peart started to write, his lyrics were almost beyond the usual R&R subjects like love, sex, drugs and other primal needs!

This is a pleasant rock album with progressive tendencies, no less or more.

Review by The Crow
3 stars Better than their debut, but not a great album, and with a soft entering in prog sounds in some songs...

Rush was trying to find their way in rock music, and with the entering of Neil Peart the band earned a lot of quality in the rythm section and a great lyricist in him... Neil Peart it's undoubtly one of the best and more influential (Mike Portnoy he's an obvious fan...) drummers in rock history!!! This is the first Rush's album with the classic trio...

This album followed the path of the previous one, but with a little more complex compositions and with a harder sound, because the great Neal's beats...

Best songs: Anthem (nice start), By-Thor and The Snow Dog (good mini-suite, maybe the firt Rush's progressive song...) Fly By Night (the best song of the album) and Makin Memories (great acoustic and bass here!)

Weak songs: Best I Can (forgettable song...) and Rivendell (really boring song in my opinion...).

A good album, recommended to 70's hard rock lovers. But maybe the prog and symphonic's rock lovers will be dissapointed with it...

Review by Padraic
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars The opening riffs to "Anthem" inform the listener that someone new is behind the kit, someone not to be trifled with. Neil Peart's first album with Rush contains some gems such as "Anthem" and "Fly By Night", but overall the band is still basically playing a very standard Zeppelin influenced hard rock/heavy blues. Certainly the musicianship has been raised up several notches with the addition of Peart; the playing sounds tighter, more focused. The track "By-Tor and the Snow Dog" gives us a glimmer of what is to come, but the album version is slow and listless compared to the absoutely stunning performance of it on "All The World's a Stage" (one of this reviewer's favorite live tracks by any band, ever.) The line from "Making Memories" is apt: "our future still looks brighter than our past". The album is a good step up from their debut but non-essential.
Review by Marc Baum
4 stars The only reason I don't give this album a higher score is that their following stuff is even better (and because of that stupid sound effect passage in the middle of "By-Tor and the Snow Dog").

From the opening unison salvo, you can hear where bands like Dream Theater draw tremendous influence from far as chops go, and you can also hear the infinite difference between previous drummer John Rutsey and current god Neil Peart, with his terrifically accented snare work. After the opening shredding, everything pauses and they go into this soaring riff in case there was any question about whether this band kicked ass or not. From there, it's a roller coaster of diverse & memorable riffs and solos from Mr. Lifeson, Peart's godly drumming and interesting lyrics, and Geddy's banshee wails and monster bass work (that's right, you can hear the bass in this band). The rhythmically unique "Beneath, Between and Behind" is one of my favorites, and that groovy riff in the middle with the whole open-closed hihat pattern will silence any naysayers who put down Neil as having no groove (or maybe he doesn't, I wouldn't know, but the band rocks pretty well and grooves here). "Anthem" is a great hard rock classic with a highly memorable drive and is even better live. "Rivendell" is, as the name implies, about all things fantasy-related, and is actually a quiet acoustic number with some downright beautiful classical guitar work.

Not a real weak track on here, some terrific and revolutionary hard rock and progressive rock/metal, and a good starting point for a band with a huge discography full of great albums.

album rating: 7.5/10 points = 74 % on MPV scale = 4/5 stars

point-system: 0 - 3 points = 1 star / 3.5 - 5.5 points = 2 stars / 6 - 7 points = 3 stars / 7.5 - 8.5 points = 4 stars / 9 - 10 points = 5 stars

Review by Certif1ed
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Standing on the Runway Waiting to Take Off

Rush's second album shows a marked progression from the Led Zep clone style of their debut - the Rush sound is beginning to crystallise, most notably in Geddy's vocals.

The overall style of the music, with rare exceptions, is of progressive hard/heavy rock, but it drops valuable Brownie points in the Prog Rock score charts. The one song that redeems this entire album is the famous "By-Tor and the Snow Dog" mini-suite, which almost justifies the price tag - if you can pick it up cheaply.

Good Rocking Tonight

"Anthem" has many of the hallmarks of a Budgie track in the multiplicity of riffs and contrasting light/heavy sections with soaring, screeching vocals - although some sections still bear a sneaky resemblance to Led Zep. Peart, particularly, loses the groove all over the place, coming across as messy rather than loose in the groove.

The same could also be said about "Best I Can" - and "Beneath, Between and Behind" passes almost unnoticed in a rather bland heavy rock vein.

There is a kind of garage charm in the looseness of execution, and the overall feel of being unsure about what the band is trying to achieve, but this is reasonably balanced with the conviction in the delivery and the attention to detail in the structuring of the compositions.

The lyrics for these first three tracks underscore the Rock feeling of the music, as the first two songs are plainly in self-absorbed Rock territory, while the third is an interesting take on the fascination with the Dark and Middle ages that many Rock bands displayed; It's interesting simply because it bemoans man's planned desecration of the earth and worries that we may get our come-uppance - which is the theme of Necronomicon's "Tips Zum Selbstmord".

By-Tor and the Snow Prog

Everything becomes tighter and more dramatic for the "By-Tor and the Snow Dog" mini- suite, which despite the tightness in delivery and focus on riff-based segments, becomes the first and only Prog track proper on this album, each section following on smoothly from the last as a continued developement of a single musical idea. Rush even manage to inject a sense of humour into the overall drama, which goes through clearly identifiable characteristics as it sets out to convey the separate "movements";

The "Across the Styx" section is most striking, as tinkly bells lend an electric atmosphere to the sparse and expressive instrumentation, which demonstrates the versatility of the recharged Rush.

I'm tempted to Rush into an analysis of this piece - but who among Rush fans reads technical analysis of music?

A bit of a Hoot

"Fly By Night" has the harmony issues that were to plague many future Rush tracks, and is just another in the vein of the first 3 tracks - no new territory is explored here.

The next interesting track is the balladic "Rivendell", but the line "You feel there's something calling you, You're wanting to return To where the misty mountains rise and friendly fires burn" is a kind of giveaway to the inspiration behind this. Geddy's voice is somewhat precious here, which spoils the whole effect - but in itself it's a reasonable, simple song, as is the disappointing "In The End".

I find the last song disappointing, simply because I kind of expected a hard rock oriented album to go out with a bang rather than a whimper: Although the music picks up for the middle section, it returns to the light opening music, and is somewhat simple and samey in style overall.

Birds of a Feather

It's worth bigging up Budgie at this point - this band had already released 3 albums before Rush's debut, and both "Never Turn Your Back on a Friend" (1973) and "In For The Kill" (1974) should be compulsory acquisitions for fans of "Fly By Night" to lend a better context. The former contains "Breadfan" and the latter contains "Crash Course in Brain Surgery", both made famous when they were covered by Metallica.

Neither has anything as proggy as "By-Tor and the Snow Dog", but both the similarities and differences between these two power trios should automatically make fans of one band fans of the other - and Budgie don't get nearly as much press as they deserve - so check out "Budgie"(1971), "Squawk"(1972) and "Bandolier"(1975) while you're at it :o)

Of course, YMMV.

This Bird Has Flown

By way of summary, a good if patchy hard rock album that's not really metal and not really prog, apart from the one track - which is a bit of a masterpiece.

Review by bhikkhu
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars When I was younger (much), this was considered a great album in my circle of friends. I didn't argue. As years went by, it came out less frequently. There was a point when it had been dormant for years. In the more recent past, my collection has been in a state of reconstruction (the reasons for which are another story). There were some classics that seemed necessary to replace. This was one of them.

As I have become reacquainted, something has changed. It's not quite as good as nostalgia would have it. Not bad, but just not the on the pedestal upon which it was once perched.

As always, the band can play. They never disappoint as musicians. It's the compositions. They aren't especially strong. Even the classic title track, is a pretty simple rocker. There are some bright moments. All are mostly held in the last three songs, and "By-Tor (foreshadowing what was to come)." "Rivendell" is a lovely piece, but not earthshakingly so. There is solid rocking all throughout, but no real "wow" moments.

Again, this is a good album. If you want to complete your collection, go get it. It's more satisfying than most of the post "Signals" output. However, if you are just looking to explore Rush, this one can wait.

H.T. Riekels

Review by OpethGuitarist
2 stars Work in Progress.

Rush adds Neal Peart, and while their is an obvious improvement, some of this is hard to chew. Most are simple rock songs with a few dynamics here and there, but nothing is memorable or good for multiple listens. This album is great for those who enjoy rock music, as it will be right in your ballpark as far as overall sound goes.

Obvious influences from other texts shows the band branching out with the influence of Peart, but the band really doesn't get 'progressive' per se until the next album 2112. A great record for fans of Rush and following the career of Peart, but their would be much better offers from the band.

Review by obiter
3 stars This was the first Rush album that gripped me.

The 70s rock numbers remain but the influence of Peart is phenomenal. By-Tor and the Snow Dog rocks through the decent into the netherworld, peers eerily across the River Styx and lets loose the dogs of war at the tobes of Hades. Classic.

Making Memories is a great little number: but then I love Ramble On. Same vibe. The opening chords and broken chords of Fly By Night are for me the unmistakable signature of Rush. It's rock but it has a very positive optimistic feel. Nothing dark here.

In the End is just one of those classic simple chorded monster songs (slightly more than 4 chords that made a million) but it just has that simple powerful feel.

This is one of my favourite albums but I could not even venture to say it was a masterpiece. If you are a prog-rocker it's a definite 4.

Review by Mellotron Storm
3 stars 3.5 stars. RUSH's sophomore record with the great cover has it's highlights to be sure, but also some forgettable moments as well.

"Anthem" is a RUSH classic, with a guitar driven intro leading to Geddy's passionate vocals. I love Alex's guitar solo 2 1/2 minutes in. RUSH's record label in Canada actually took their name from this song. "Best I Can" is a straight forward song with Neil's drumming standing out. Another good guitar solo. "Beneath, Between & Behind" is an uptempo rocker.

"By-Tor & The Snowdog" is a mini epic that I never really liked that much. The guitar is great though. "Fly By Night" is an awesome mid-paced tune. Just a feel good song for me, with a beautiful guitar solo. "Making Memories" and "Rivendell" are two songs that really do nothing for me at all. The album ends with "In The End" a fantastic song with great lyrics.The intro is mellow, while the power is turned up for the rest of the song.

Songs like "Anthem" ,"Fly By Night" and "In The End" are worth the price of admission to this early RUSH record, but the best is yet to come.

Review by Chris H
3 stars Rush's transition album?

Most people of the general consensus find Rush's late 70's or early 80's albums to be their "transition period" albums, but I like to think of their second release, "Fly By Night", as their transition period. First off, the biggest transition and most obvious is the replacing of original drummer John Rutsey with the powerhouse and major creative mind behind later Rush albums known as Neil Peart. The other reason why this is a transitional album for me is that I noticed they are trying to break free from their "Zeppelin clone" image. Of course this change isn't entirely complete on this album, but songs like "By-Tor And The Snow Dog" certainly help break the ground for their change into progressive rock.

The album opens up with "Anthem", is very reminiscent of their debut album, and by that I mean a straight up, 4 minute, rock n' roll power song. "Best I Can", same thing. More power drumming, heavy bass riffs and guitar solos. "Beneath, Between & Behind" opens up in a similar style, but they manage to transform it halfway through and end up making it somewhat progressive, even though you can still hear the cymbal smashing of a true 60's rocker. Everything from that point on turns into complete progressive rock to the core, starting off with their "epic", "By-Tor And The Snow Dog". Set in four parts, this is as progressive as progressive gets, even if it isn't a favorite Rush song of mine. The progressive party continues to flow into "Fly By Night", one of my favorite Rush songs and one of their most recognizable. That opening intro is just pure brilliance, at least to my ears. The last three songs? Among the last 15 minutes of music I honestly could not find any high points. Sure, "Making Memories" is a nice song but it is incredibly out of place no the album, and none of the last 15 minutes is somewhat progressive.

This is one of those albums that you can listen to and think to yourself, "I'm glad I own this and I'm glad I didn't pay 15 bucks for it". By that I mean don't break the bank trying to find it, but if it's cheap or on sale you should make an effort to snatch it up. Not only is it the transitional phase for Rush, it is also Neil Peart's debut with the band.

Good, but could be better. 3 stars.

Review by Prog Leviathan
4 stars From the second that "Anthem's" ballsy introduction starts shaking your speakers you'll know you're in for some serious rockin'. "Fly By Night" really showcases the improving musicianship of both Alex and Geddy, but is even more famous for the arrival of Neil Peart, whose lyrical smarts are evident when comparing the themes of this album's songs with the band's debut. Taken as a whole, "FBN" is smarter, more intense, and more consistant than any of Rush's early albums, while at the same time offering more variety in the songs. Peart's precise drumming really tightens up the group as well, bringing them to the next level of playing.

As for specific songs, "Anthem" throws down a gauntlet that is hard to match, but "By- Tor..." comes close. "Beneath, Between, and Behind" is easily one of the wittiest jabs at American history and culture I've ever heard (and boasts a great melody), especially when compared to the overt explicitness of Ameri-bashing coming from some European bands these days. "Rivendell" sets my Tolkien-loving heart aflame each time I hear it-- and remains the only real quite song the band has ever recorded.

"In the End" is an artsy close to a great album, start to finish. Solid.

Songwriting: 3 Instrumental Performances: 4 Lyrics/Vocals: 3 Style/Emotion/Replay: 4

Review by Finnforest
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Best side A in hard rock

Or one of them at least. "Fly by Night" is my favorite Rush album these days (a 2014 comment) because of its power and immediacy. Anthem kicks off in a big way and the addition of Peart was truly riveting. The songwriting was growing by leaps and bounds as evidenced by By-Tor and In the End. BBB is another stellar rocker. There are a few static moments on side 2 but all in all this was the true blast- off for Rush and a relief for 70s rock fans who may have started to see some cracks in the Zeppelin machine even though Presence was still coming. I also love the easter egg video of Anthem (live) and the look of determination on Peart's face as he sets out to prove himself.

Someday I need to amend this dreadful review with a real review. (Another 2014 edit)

Review by Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars An owl? . . . or a mutant Budgie?

After what for many Rush fans was a false start, the classic line up of Lifeson, Lee and Peart (that sounds a bit like Emerson Lake and Palmer surely?) came together for this their second album. Neil Peart immediately gets his sleeves rolled up, contributing to the writing of all but two of the tracks.

By and large though, this is simply a natural follow on from the band's debut. The vast majority of the 8 tracks are simplistic heavy rock songs. The three tracks which open the album for example are straightforward toe tappers, with the familiar hints of Led Zeppelin, but little else to define them.

Only the nine minute "By-Tor and the snow dog" stands apart as something more substantial. The track retains the heavy, driving rhythm but the story telling lyrics and three part structure offer the reassuring proposal that the band are looking to move out of their comfort zone and to experiment with more complex themes. We also have in "Across the Styx" the first real indication that the band can be delicate. For me, the appeal of the song is largely confined to the potential it offers, rather than to the music itself.

The title track, which kicks off side two, is an early "Spirit of radio" type pop rock song. It is perhaps "Rivendell" though which is the most interesting track on the side. Once again, not because of the music per se, this is a pretty conventional acoustic soft ballad, but because it introduces another string to the bow. The closing "In the end" surprisingly continues the reflective acoustic mood until Alex Lifeson's lead guitar increases the volume if not the pace. Future albums would successfully bring together these new strands, merging them with the heavy rock roots of the band.

In all, a decent if unremarkable heavy rock album, which is notable more for the potential which flows from it, rather than the music itself.

I have seen Welsh band BUDGIE mentioned as a reference point for this album, and overall that is a useful comparison. It is though a mutant budgie which flies by night.

Review by 1800iareyay
3 stars Fly By night is Rush's first album with drum god Neil Peart, who promptly took over lyrical duties from Lee and Lifeson, who both admit words are not their strong suit. The result is the first transitional album for Rush (there are three or four), and this one takes us from run-of-the-mill blues rock to the start of something special.

"Anthem" opens the album with Peart's first salute to Ayn Rand. It's one of the band's best tunes with heavy riffs and a great bassline. Lyrically, however, the song doesn't pay tribute that well (see 2112 for a much better nod to Rand). "Best I Can" is decent, but it should have been on the debut considering it's simple hard rock sound. "Beneath, Between and Behind" is a scorcher that became even more blazing live. "By-Tor and the Snow Dog" is where the band truly begin to embrace progressive rock: a nine minute song complete with Peart's penchant for mythology, searing guitars, pounding bass, and a jaw-dropping drum solo that manages to dazzle yet remain musical. This is hands down the best track of the album.

Side Two begins with the title track, a fun hard rock number followed by the ballad "Making Memories." These two songs are the glimpses at Peart's lyrical talent that wouldn't start to flower until Permanent Waves and beyond. "Rivendell" is a mediocre track that barely pays homage to Tolkien's Elvish haven. This track is best skipped. "In the End" closes the album in fine fashion with alternating soft and heavy styles.

Fly By Night is worth it for By-Tor, Anthem, and the title track, but the band had a long way to go. Unfortunately, their next album would be a minor misstep that would delay the band's rise.

Grade: C

Review by SoundsofSeasons
2 stars 2.5 stars, actually

Definitely on the lower tier of RUSH albums. Yet, condsidering the calibur of RUSH albums, it seems this still passes off as a almost a good album. Its very hard rock, and very reminicent of Led Zeppelin, which is exactly what they were trying to imitate after all. Even though it doesn't sound very 'RUSH' and sounds more like something else its still a fun album. Some classic RUSH songs here. Anthem and By-Tor & the Snow Dog being the main ones.

I recommend it to a RUSH fan if they want to know about the roots of their favorite band and as well anyone who likes the hard rock side of RUSH and enjoyed the 2112 album. Otherwise, only By-Tor really saves this album from being collectors only. Basically it gets a 2 and a half because it's between what I normally rate a 2 and a 3... sorry, i guess that wasn't a very good explaination. Either way, if your a Rush fan get it, if your not, skip it and look elsewhere.

Review by Dim
2 stars Fly by night, some progressive moments, many not regressive moments. Though not a horrible album, and actually not a bad classic rock album, I feel the album probably shouldnt be held too high in anyones aresenal, prog fan or not. Geddy Lee does, however, show his amazing skill as a bass player, unlike in the terrible debut album, and Neil is introduced, giving some much needed drum skill to the group for the second album.Then theres Lifeson, the guy who can get away with huge stardom and glory, without ever having to get out of the pentatonic scale, this is very frustrating to me, oh well.

The first three songs, Anthem, Best I can and Beneath between and behind are all your typical three minuete verse chorus verse classic rock song, touching on little to no subject matter. Beneath between and behind is actually a bit more satisfying then the other two, with a catchy chorus and a cool bassline, but as Pearts debut in songwriting, even with Lifeson... disapointing. Things look up as Rush's first mini epic appears as By tor and the snow dog, An awesome display of musicianship and compositional skill, yes even Lifeson is very good on this one, hey! They even mess with time signatures on this song! Now theres the poppy radio singal title song, it's pretty nice, but nothing progressive though. The next two songs, making memories and Rivendell are boring and forgettable. Now there is my favirote song on the album, IN THE END! Just an awesome classic rock song,yuo wont find me saying that very often, but man, this song has some very cool moments, especially the riff and the closing part!

Well, there's my review of this album, though there are some very mediocer moments, there are songs like by tor and the snow dog, and In the end that pull the album up a bit, butI would get hemispheres or some other later seventies stuff than this.


Review by Queen By-Tor
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars And so begins Rush's rise to the top.

Exit John Rutsey and enter lyricist/drum master Neil Peart. This new album Rush moved on from their debut and the rumor that they would only try to be the next Zep, the heavy side can still be heard from the trio, but this really is where the band started to explore it's progressive side. Rush fans know that Peart is now the primary lyric writter, with Geddy and Alex contributing music, but back in the day such was not so, only just staring to get there. The result is a diverse album, not the classic era Rush, a bit more experimental, but with moments of glory none the less.

As stated before, the album is quite heavy, starting with the bombastic ANTHEM the album presses on to the equilly heavy BEST I CAN, which apperently is a fairly forgotten, well done track. Where the album realy gets good , though, is where they discard the straitforewardedness of their previous album. For example, IN THE END is a classic that starts on a slower pace but ends up with blasting guitars and sharp, screaming (yet coherant) vocals. The biggest standout (and this should come as no surprise to many) is Rush's first true epic, BY-TOR AND THE SNOW DOG. Who needs ovetures? Rush bursts strait into this battle at full speed. We see the beginning as Prince By-tor leave the depths of Hades and ascends to the overworld where awaits his nemesis, the Snow Dog. The instumental battle ensues, with Geddy playing the part of By-Tor and Alex the Snow Dog. A frantic battle and a slower victory later the vocal re-emerge and outro the song. This is a fantastic track, (It's even better live, as most Rush is, check it out on Different Stages Disc 3 or Rush In Rio disc 3) and would be the beginning to the classic sword and shields era if Rush that lived from 1975-1980.

Other tracks on the album are also quite good and worth noting; MAKING MEMORIES a remenicent track about life on the road, RIVENDELL, a slower track for the Lord Of The Rings fans, and BENEATH BETWEEN & BEHIND, a great straitforward track. At the end of it all this album does not disapoint, I would give this album four stars, but it's still really for the Rush fans, as a prog album it only has a couple really prog tracks, Rush's later material is better for those who want to listen to some strait-up prog. 3.5 stars as a prog album, great, but not totally essential, but if you like Rush make sure you get around to it sooner than later.

Review by Nightfly
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars With the benefit of hindsight the arrival of Drummer Neil Peart in Rush was an essential addition for the band to progress from their Hard Rock roots into the Progressive giants they were to become. Much of this album follows in a similar vein to their debut but here the band display more finesse and start to show hints of a more Progressive and fantasy based style most notably on By-Tor and the Snow Dog.

The first three tracks are still pretty much straight Heavy Rock but album opener Anthem is an excellent track in particular with a great riff and Peart demonstrating he means business from the off.

Getting back to the previously mentioned By-Tor and the Snow Dog, here the band really start to demonstrate what they're capable of. The song is divided into four parts and although still primarily a Heavy Rock track they use more light and shade and really begin to show what great players they are as it's their most demanding piece to date.

Title track Fly by Night is another slice of good Heavy Rock and the band add acoustic Guitar to their arsenal, notably on Making Memories and the Tolkien inspired Rivendell although neither is essential. Final song In the End also has an acoustic guitar intro and after By-Tor and Anthem is the best track on the album combining a strong melody, powerful Guitar riffs and Geddy Lee's high pitch vocals taking centre stage to great effect.

Fly by Night is a step forward from their debut album but not a Rush classic and although well produced I prefer the versions of the key tracks here that can be found on their first live album, All the World's a Stage.

Review by progrules
3 stars Rush' second album after the odd debut. A radical change you might call this. There's not much left compared to their first where style is concerned and of course that has also to do with the personnel change (Peart for Rutsey) which in such a small band is a significant change. But also the songwriting has already matured slightly in one year time. First three songs are nice firecrackers, pretty heavy songs with speed sounding really fine. Next is By-Tor & The Snow Dog the album heads in another more symphonic direction. Real progressive composition, almost epical with after two minutes special vocal effects combined with spacy guitar playing by Lifeson. Significant song this.

The original B-side (vinyl) was always less interesting to me, just some good tracks with In the End as the better one. If side B would have been as good as the A-side this could have been a 4 star album but now it will have to settle for 3 (3,3). Good album.

Review by LinusW
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars 3,5 stars

This album marks the beginning of the Rush sound. I will still only award it three stars, even if it's better than Rush in many ways.

Personally, I find this album very different from their '74 album. Gone is that Zeppelin tribute feeling so very present there, and the listener is served a more mature listening experience. The band is clearly more confident now and - with the hard rock sound still very prevalent - things are starting to happen...

Anthem starts the album with a boom. Wow, this is powerful! One can immediately recognise Geddy's bass melody in this song (check out 2:25 to 2:55). And the lyrics? Well, have no fear, Neil is here! The individualistic, Rayn-inspired text promises great things for the future. You can't possibly miss the improved muscle of the drumming, which seems to have been moved more up front on Fly by Night.

I won't write a song-by-song review, but some of them deserves some extra mentioning:

Beneath, Between and Behind/Fly by Night - prime examples of Rush's signature hard rock sound. Originality.

By-Tor and the Snow Dog/Anthem - the mini-epic By-Tor marks the beginning of progressive Rush, even though i wouldn't consider it a progressive effort. Or...what the hell! I'll call it progressive. It features enough experimentation, shifts in the music, sound effects, skill and sci-fi imagery for that. Anthem is just great,'nuff said.

Not a single BAD song here, but some of the songs just don't resonate with me like the ones mentioned above. As an example, Rivendell is beautiful, but not essential for the album experience.

//Linus W

Review by Seyo
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
1 stars Hm, RUSH is supposed to be a sort of very influential mid-70s prog rock trio that influenced development of prog metal.

I must admit the band is virtually unknown in the former Yugoslav republics - as far as I can remember, only Permanent Waves saw the light of the day in exYU record shops at the turn of the 80s. Basically I never heard what they sounded like until I joined ProgArchives and listened to several samples. Now, I tried to listen to the entire album Fly By Night for a few times and I am very disappointed.

First, there is no trace of any progressive rock here - what I hear is a basic hard rock with elements of emerging heavy metal.

Second, sorry guys but the voice of Geddy Lee is really horrible, I can't stand it! At moments it reminds me of late Bonn Scott of AC/DC, with a difference that Scott was enough funny and deliberately caricatured in a teen-glam rock fashion.

Third, music is below-average hard rocking with occasional acoustic moments, drawing unoriginal inspiration from ZEPPELIN's folk-Tolkienesque themes (Rivendell).

The title song is a decent and catchy rock tune, while the acoustic ballad Making Memories is OK because Lee's vocal is at least somewhat bearable.

Overall, this is bad album without innovative or experimental prog elements and sounds like third-class heavy metal. If compared with its contemporaries like LED ZEPPELIN, BLUE OYSTER CULT or even AC/DC, it is very poor.


P.A. RATING: 1/5

Review by UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars "Fly by Night" is the 2nd full-length studio album by Canadian progressive rock act Rush. The album was released through Mercury Records in February 1975. A lineup change has occured since the 1974 self-titled debut album as drummer John Rutsey left Rush shortly after the debut album was released. He was replaced by Neil Peart, who also toured with Alex Lifeson (guitars), and Geddy Lee (bass, vocals) in support of the debut album. Neil Peart would immediately start contributing lyrics to the bandīs music, and he has written all lyrics on "Fly by Night", except for "Best I Can" and "In the End", which were written by Geddy Lee.

Compared to the Led Zeppelin influenced hard rock of the debut album, the music on "Fly by Night" is slightly more sophisticated and varied. Thereīs still a strong hard rock foundation in the music, but itīs obvious the band were interested in moving in a more progressive direction. So "Fly by Night" features both hard rock riffs and driving rhythms as well as more intricate details. The 8:39 minutes long mini-epic "By-Tor & The Snow Dog" is the most obvious example of the bandīs newfound progressive rock direction, but itīs not as such representative for the rest of the material featured on the album.

The change on the drummer position is heard throughout the album. Rutsey was arguably a well playing hard rock drummer, but Peart has a few more tricks up his sleeve. His slightly fusion influenced drumming style and occasional experiments with time signatures bring a new more sophisticated dimension to the bandīs music, although he can also rock hard when that is called for. The musicianship is generally of high class on all positions though. Geddy Lee is not only a skilled and distinct sounding vocalist but a brilliant and quite busy bass player too, and Lifeson delivers both hard rocking riffs and well played solos. Itīs on this album his chord progressions also began going down other roads than the debutīs predominantly blues based hard rock progressions. Itīs a combination of the two here though.

"Fly by Night" is a very well produced album, featuring a powerful, organic, and detailed production, which suits the material on the album perfectly. The songwriting on the 8 track, 37:57 minutes long album is overall of a good quality too, and although some tracks donīt stand out as much as others, itīs an entertaining album throughout. Highlights include "Anthem" and "By-Tor & The Snow Dog", while Rush probably shouldnīt have ventured into fantasy ballad territory with "Rivendell", which doesnīt really work that well and also feels a bit out of place on the album. All things considered "Fly by Night" is a quality release though and a 3.5 star (70%) rating is deserved.

Review by Sinusoid
3 stars Noteworthy for being the first album with Neal Peart, and also for containing a hint at the heavy prog direction Rush would partake in the future, namely in ''By-Tor and the Snow Dog''. This eight minute driving epic ought to keep prog fans satisfied with all of its themes and twists and changes. This song and ''Anthem'' are early examples of what we call ''Heavy Prog''.

The rest of the album doesn't hold a candle to either song. I have a soft spot for ''Best I Can'' of all things even if it fits better on RUSH. The band tries acoustic folk with ''Rivendell'', but this sappy soft song doesn't really sound like Rush. Most of the other songs are rather forgettable in the context of later Rush glories, even if many fans consider the title track a classic.

Rush were finding their feet here. Don't expect too much of a masterpiece here.

Review by Conor Fynes
3 stars 'Fly By Night' - Rush (62/100)

"Life for yourself -- there's no one else more worth living for / Begging hands and bleeding hearts will only cry out for more..."

It's pretty amazing what can happen to a band within the space of a year. Rush's self-titled debut had initially tanked commercially, but gradually gained popularity as months went by. In that time, their drummer John Rutsey had to leave the band due to complications with diabetes, leaving a third of the band's membership up for grabs. The decision to induct Neil Peart into the ranks of Rush stands as one of the most propitious lineup changes in rock history. I like the debut - I really do! - but it's difficult in current hindsight to dissociate the band's sound and style from Peart. Alex and Geddy had more than enough personality between the two of them to carry a rock record, but it was Neil that pushed them towards a more sophisticated end.

Rush was a solid hard rock album, but it was limited in intellectual scope. Sure, "Working Man" could be interpreted as existential to a certain degree, but their lyrical themes were hooked within genre expectations: contrived lust, having fun, and youthful malcontent. With Peart and Fly by Night, they went from that to songs aboutAyn Rand, of all [%*!#]ing things. More than that, they were also making songs about Lord of the Rings and the mythic struggles of frostbitten puppies. An expression of highbrow literacy paired with an inkling for all things Fantastic were sure signs that Rush were well on the way to becoming progressive rock.

...It's unfortunate that the music quite as interesting. Despite a few incredible tracks, Fly By Night is one of those sophomores that tries to be several kinds of follow-up at once. Rush were trying to push past the straight-up heavy blues on the debut; a nine minute track like "By-Tor & the Snow Dog" (complete with incomprehensible subsections) was a clear nod towards bigger things. At the same time, they clearly didn't wish to alienate fans of the first; rockers like "Best I Can" and "Beneath, Between & Behind" could have easily masqueraded as weaker tracks on the self-titled. Fly By Night is a less consistent album, with higher highs, lower lows, and a weaker sense of coherence, if only because Rush were trying out so many new things at once. It was a necessary transition album, but it's always struck me as one of the weaker chapters in their discography, alongside the arguable nadir they hit in the 90s, circa Test for Echo.

At the same time, Fly by Night isn't so easily dismissed. On top of having a few of the least appetizing tracks of Rush's early career, there are a couple of the absolute best. On the heels of the self-titled, hearing "By-Tor & the Snow Dog" is a revelation. The peppy rock energy they've carried throughout their career becomes entwined with progressive bombast here. Even if they were new to the 'prog' genre here, they were already teaching it a thing or two. Most progressive suites take time to build and get started; "By-Tor" erupts with a quick drum fill and bursts into the quick meat of the song. The instrumental mid-section is one of the coolest things Rush would ever do; the counterpoint between Lifeson's playful leads and Geddy Lee's heavily distorted bass fuzz sounds like a conversation between two distinct personalities- isn't that what all battles are to begin with?

Even if it's certainly the most ambitious piece on the album, "By-Tor" isn't my favourite. The honour has always gone to "Anthem", which musically might be described as "Finding My Way" on amphetamines. Rush were clearly trying to recreate the thunderous energy that opened the self-titled, and they managed to one-up it in every possible way, creating one of the best hard rock songs I've ever heard. I really like how it takes absolutely no time whatsoever to demonstrate the talents of their newest member. Neil Peart is in top form with "Anthem"; the drums are crisp and frantic, and it's clear Lifeson and Lee are benefiting from the fresh blood.

I have so many good things to say about those two tracks- even the title track "Fly By Night" has gone some peppy flame to it, although the nuisance of radio overplay probably weighs against it. It's a memorable, catchy pop song with a contagiously cheerful riff to boot. much like the debut however, there are just as many songs on Fly By Night that come off as underwhelming. "Best I Can" and "Beneath, Between & Behind" sound like they're rehashing the self-titled without the credit of great riff writing. Barring the title track, the rest of the second half is downright disappointing. I suppose "Making Memories" is decent, but there's nothing really compelling about a simplified acoustic rock tune in the wake of what came before it. "In the End" tries to play the role of bombastic closer, but the hazy pace feels lifeless. Worst of all (and I'm sure some will disagree) is "Rivendell". By all means I know I should be enjoying Rush trying to be Yes or something out of Jon Anderson's solo career, but the sleepy atmosphere never seems to end. It is a small handful of initially charming ideas stretched out to make a song two or three minutes longer than it really should be. Fly By Night has considerably more to say than its predecessor, but nothing off of Rush felt as lazy and uncompelling as the last couple of tracks here.

Fly By Night is a total mixed bag. Unlike the self-titled (which I think benefited from a revisit) my thoughts on Rush's second album haven't changed much over the years. There are a few immortal tunes, some 'meh', and a couple I'm bored stiff by. In any case, there's a lot to be said for any band that tries this hard to see what they're capable of. Emerging from the shadow of their influences was no doubt a scary step to make, but judging from the streak of legendary records they would make soon after this, I think their leap of faith paid off fairly well; don't you?

Review by Bonnek
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars This is Rush at their hard rocking best. More mature but still as energetic as on the first record. Not as elaborate but more direct then 2112. The album has a fine mix of good hard rock songs (Beneath Between Behind, Fly by Night) and classic tracks like Anthem and By-Tor that mark Rush's their first brave steps into prog territory. Especially Neil Peart lifts this album to a higher stage. His drumming is immediately spot on. Fast, heavy, subtle, rich, complex and very prominent.

Anthem is the quintessential Rush track, with its complex rhythms, Zeppelin-meets-Crimson guitar riffs, the heavy Chris Squire inspired bass playing and Geddy's vintage duck squeal it screams prog rock through all its pores, even though it's only a good 4 minutes long. Best I Can and Beneath Between Behind are entirely pleasant hard rock tunes. Again it is the drumming that makes them stand out above Rush's debut album. By-Tor and the Snowdog is the real winner here. An epic song with an unexpected song structure, long instrumental passages and heavy effect soloing. One of the most interesting tracks of 1974. Fly By Night and Making Memories are just straightforward, catchy rock songs, but with Rivendell and In The End, the album goes for a strong ending. Rivendell is a folksy moody tune, a unique style exercise for Rush and a very successful one. In The End screams Led Zeppelin all over again, it's the last of their songs where the reference is still so obvious but it's a worthy tribute and a solid conclusion of an ambitious and well balanced album.

Well, I think you kind of guessed Fly By Bight is my personal favourite of Rush's first four albums.

Review by The Quiet One
4 stars Rush's second release, Fly by Night, is classic 70's Hard Rock; strong riffs, powerful solos, unstoppable drumming, loud bass and energetic vocals. Yeah that's it, pretty much like their debut was, however on this album Rush goes a bit further on reaching their own sound, unlike their debut which clearly had Led Zeppelin influences pretty much everywhere.

This album reminds me more of the Welsh power trio band, Budgie, they were doing a very similar style of Hard Rock, besides both being ''power trio's'', they had high-pitched vocalist and explored some new grounds for them, in the case of this album the 9 minute mini-suite By-Tor and The Snow Dog: raging drumming and great guitar potential, plus a splendid soft instrumental section which they would later develop once again in the following album with even greater success, The Necromancer.

The rest of the album features mostly straight-forward Hard Rock songs with great potential and in the heights from those featured in Caress of Steel and 2112. These are Fly By Night, Anthem, Best I Can, In the End and Beneath Between & Behind. All strong in riffs like I stated in the begining, and definitely rock hard.

The album then features two acoustic-oriented songs, Rivendell and Making Memories. The former being a very sweet acoustic tune giving the album a more dynamic feel, while the latter is more up-beat with a simple though very entertaining acoustic guitar and well Geddy's voice can't get catchier than this.

Very strong second album, despite not featuring the complexity nor uniqueness of their later more acclaimed albums. I find this to be in the heights of early Ac/Dc or Blue Oyster Cult, naming two more acclaimed hard rock bands of the time.

3.5 stars, highly recomnded for those Hard Rock fans from the 70's. However, if you're looking for the Prog, check out 2112 and A Farewell to Kings first.

Review by Epignosis
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars This is Rush's second album, and so began the evolution of a great band. Rush's new drummer would also be responsible for the bulk of the band's lyrical content, reflecting both his philosophy of Objectivism and his penchant for the mythical, fantastical, and science-fiction. The first half is full of fast, crunchy, riff-based rock music, whilst the second half is far more acoustic and simplistic. It's a must for Rush fans, and a good album for anybody else.

"Anthem" The album begins with one of Rush's best early riffs, a speedy ride that stops midair to bring in heavy chords and then Geddy Lee's rough, premature screeching vocals. Overall, this is a great piece and the harbinger of what Rush would accomplish in terms of hard-hitting rock "anthems."

"Best I Can" This is about as straight ahead as it gets in terms of rock music. It is riff-based and has a pop structure, complete with a guitar solo in the middle.

"Beneath, Between and Behind" Yet another heavy rock piece in the vein of Led Zeppelin, this song has a great melody and shows some of what newcomer Neil Peart was capable of.

"By-Tor and the Snowdog" The centerpiece of the album is a sign of what is to come during the remainder of the 1970s with respect to conceptual and progressive songwriting. Over instrumental growling and bass work that's all over the place, Alex Lifeson stretches out and makes use of his biting creativity on guitar. That new fellow also takes an opportunity to show off his chops during a few short drum solos. A menacingly quiet interlude follows, incorporating a snare drum, deep bass, and guitar swells, all leading into a final guitar solo.

"Fly by Night" The title track is a peppy one, and a radio favorite on many stations. It has a pleasing riff coupled by acoustic guitar that compliments the vocal melody quite well. The brief bridge is more pensive and makes for a masterful variation.

"Making Memories" This acoustic track is a decent song that features a slide guitar solo.

"Rivendell" Rush takes things to an even quieter level with this gentle piece consisting of classical guitar and a rare, sweet vocal performance. The piece does not develop at all, instead staying in classical guitar mode for its entire duration (rather than progressing into other styles and moods as a song like "The Trees" would).

"In the End" Further acoustic guitar, this time accompanied by bass, makes up the beginning of the final song. The band would be remiss if they didn't rock out once more though, and with a riff that is very similar to that of "Fly by Night," they're off with a moderately-paced rocker.

Review by tarkus1980
4 stars Wow. Neil Peart comes into the picture, and the band releases ... a really, really good album!?! I waver between giving it a *** and a ****, but every time I listen to it I come away happy and pretty impressed. In a coup for Rush, I don't consider a single track on here bad, and I find some of them just terrific.

You know what I like most about this album overall? It's the FABULOUS production, which I think may be the best the band would ever have. The equalization is almost textbook for mid-70's hard-rock, as all of the instruments jump out at and throttle the listener without ever suffocating the listener in unnecessary heaviness. Not only that, but I'd say that even a die-hard Geddy hater would have a difficult time saying that Lee ruins a single one of these songs, as his vocal screams often propel the sound forward in a way that couldn't happen otherwise.

Just as important, though, is that quite a few of these riffs and melodies are good. The best of these, of course, comes from the opening "Anthem," which might be in my top five tracks from the band. Sure, the lyrics annoy me in that wonderful Peart manner (the song is named after an Ayn Rand novel), but I cannot ignore all of the marvelous riffs that jump out throught these heavenly four minutes. Plus, I just adore the way that, as mentioned before, the band uses Lee's vocals as a way to catapult the jamming forward, especially when the "Wonders in the world! Wonders in the world! Wonders in the world! AAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRRRR ... *riffs*" part pops up. The guitar solos are great, too.

Originally, I thought the album was basically just "Anthem" with a bunch of filler, but that was a mistake. The title track is a great pop song; I mean, the riff is good, the guitar tone is solid, the vocal melody is memorable in a good way, and the chorus is very nice. "Beneath, Behind, Between" is somewhat neglected in the hierarchy of great Rush tunes, but I think that it has a great main riff, and having the vocal melody largely move in parallel with the guitar lines actually helps out the song. And finally, I'm very fond of "In the End," which I rarely see touted as a good song. Yes, it's seven minutes, and its mid-tempo, and it's largely based on a single chord sequence on guitar, but I like the chord sequence, and I like the vocal melody Geddy sings over. Yup, if I was going to pick a song as "most underrated Rush song ever," this would be a strong contender.

The other four tracks are a step down, but still not bad. "Making Memories" is an acoustic number with a lot of drive, kinda sounding to me like something Led Zeppelin would have had as an outtake from the III sessions, and I generally like it. The slow, quiet acoustic ballad "Rivendell" (yet another evidence in support of this era of Rush being a bit of a Led Zeppelin knockoff; the obligatory Tolkien-influenced number) is kinda dippy, not really going anywhere, but I don't find it offensive, so it can stick around too.

If the album has clear weak links, it's in the remaining two tracks. "Best I Can" isn't horrible, but it dwells too much on the lyrical message (penned by Lee, not by Peart) at the expense of solid hooks or riffs, and it doesn't impress me much. And, of course, there's "By-tor and the Snowdog." Don't get me wrong, it's not a bad song. The big problem I have is that, given that Geddy has repeatedly stated that Yes' Relayer is his favorite album, it's very difficult for me not to end up trying to compare this track to that album's Gates of Delirium (the structure is largely the same, except for a reprise of the opening vocal melody at the end). Putting it mildly, that's a battle that By-tor just can't win. Still, the song is pretty funny, and I only find it really annoying when the band starts to show off its ability to start and stop on a dime, as if they think that that's enough to make them impressive as a prog rock band. It would improve live, anyway. But all complaining aside, I'm perfectly content with this album. I consider it the studio peak of the early, hard rock epoch of Rush, and I really think it belongs in any decent collection of 70's hard rock.

Review by progpositivity
2 stars In my college years, I owned a black cat. Naturally I named it Snowdog! How's that for a conversation starter? I always knew who was "in the know" musically. Even so, despite my historical bias in favor of Rush, I must remember that this is ProgArchives, not classic rock archives and review it in the context of prog-interest and history.

"Fly by Night" is an album of "firsts" for the band ? and as such will be of very high interest to Rush fans. We get introduced to a new and vital drummer Neil Peart on this album. Not only is he an interesting drummer, he is a lyricist with a flair for the fantastic and slightly philosophic. This is the Rush album in which they unveil their first "multi-part" song "By-Tor and the Snowdog".

Rush fans will relish the opportunity to see the genesis of and to trace each development along the way. We are witnessing the very roots from which Rush's prog greatness would emerge.

General prog fans, however, may be left wondering what all the fuss is about. Looking back, this is a decent hard rock album, one which includes a few flashes of light pointing toward a bright hard rock/prog future for our beloved trio from Canada. As with their debut, the most compelling track (By-tor and the Snowdog) is much more definitive on Rush's live recordings.

As much as I like this album, it is for Rush fans and collectors. 2 very good stars.

Review by Chris S
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars A bridge a bit too wide to cross to Caress Of Steel, this is unfortunately the " fall Guy" for that transition yet it is still not too bad an album and probably gets for more negative feedback than it deserves. " ...Snow Dog" is a classic as is the much maligned " Rivendell". Anyway overall a great evolutionary piece of work, this too is art, if well delivered so the migration to bigger and better things would take place. This is a good album, Neil Peart taking over an irreplaceable domain not withstanding his predecessor's contribution. Flickering images by night perhaps but vivid concrete hard edged evidence on reflection to a bolder more progressive future. Not for nostaliaphobes. Three solid stars.
Review by Starhammer
3 stars Enter the drummer...

Following John Rutsey's departure from the the band after only one album, Neil Peart was recruited to complete the now legendary power trio.

The Good: Whilst the debut is essentially just an exercise in hard rock, Fly By Night shows a definite move towards the style which would become synonymous with their "classic era". This is demonstrated through the structure and instrumental prowess of tracks such as Anthem and By-Tor and the Snow Dog, both of which are fantastic compositions and have remained concert staples throughout the years. The album also has its fair share of standard rockers, but they're of a higher quality than their previous release and far more interesting.

The Bad: Rivendull.

The Verdict: Underrated member of the Rush back catalogue.

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Fly By Night is the second in a long line of Rush albums and this is by no means a classic though has moments of greatness. Rush continued to play many of the tracks here live and they are bonafide fan favourites. Anthem became somewhat of an anthem for the band for years and of course the prog rock delicacies of By-Tor & The Snow Dog: I. At the Tobes of Hades; II. Across the Styx; III. Of the Battle; IV. Epilogue. This blockbuster prog track really summed up what the power trio were about in these early years. They took risks and damn the consequences with this infamous 8 minute sprawling 4 part epic duel of banshees, hell hounds and dogs on glacial landscapes. The lead break of Lifeson on this is phenomenal as is the insistent creative drumming of Peart, joining the band and adding just the right flavour to the mix. The band would remain in this lineup indefinitely having shed Rutsey who moved on to greener pastures, and perhaps regretted that for an eternity. The band were about to be launched into the stratosphere with upcoming albums, but hindsight is a wonderful thing in rock.

Fly by Night is the screechy title track with Geddy's high falsetto voice breaking glass. Throwaways such as Making Memories and Rivendell never do the album any favours, though it ends with a classic in the form of In the End. All in all an improvement from the debut but there was still a lot more left in the tank before Rush would break outside of Canada to becoming one of the greatest rock bands of the world.

Review by ProgShine
COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Rush is a band that is around for over 40 years now. And you don't really need to give any introductions. The only thing nice to mention tough, is that after their first album, Rush (1974) they changed their drummer and the same trio is together since then.

Fly By Night (1975) is the first album with Neil Peart behind the drums and also writing most of the lyrics. Neil's lyrics were always different and something to pay attention on. Here, he's on his early stage as a writer but you could see how far he would go and soon.

Fly By Night was the second album from Rush I've heard (being Moving Pictures the first) and since I brought the LP home I was blown away because of 'Anthem', what a powerful track with an intricate riff and great vocals.

Recently I've bought the remastered CD version of the album and it sparkled the desire of writing a bit about this album. Fly By Night (1975) is their first real attempt of making Prog Rock (Hard Prog to be precise) and it is showed very clearly on the song like 'By-Tor And Snow Dog'. The Prog Rock side would be refined in their next albums. Here, we have two sides of their musicality, the aforementioned Hard Prog with killer songs like 'Anthem', 'Best I Can' and 'Fly By Night'. Many of this songs deal with Neil's dreams finally coming true and going on the road with a band.

Then we also have their acoustic side on songs like 'Making Memories' and the Tolkien influenced 'Rivendell'. These songs are clearly influenced by their lifestyle at the moment, they use to tour 6 days a week on those days and new songs were been written on the bus with acoustic guitars.

They were still 'green' on those days, but with the helping hand of Terry Brown on the production the Canadians were able to surpass, and with style, their debut album and because of that they would achieve fame soon.

This is a really essential album!

Review by Warthur
4 stars Standing head and shoulders above the Led Zeppelin worship of the previous album, Fly By Night sees Rush create a first rough draft of their distinctive proto-prog metal style. This is most apparent on the album's highlight, the multi-part epic By-Tor and the Snow Dog, which aside from a slow section towards the end is a great prog metal composition featuring some superb guitar work from Alex Lifeson.

Of course, the transformation in the band's sound is thanks mainly to the presence of Neil Peart, whose more technically proficient drumming allows the band to explore more complex musical territory. But both Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson give a superior performance this time around as well, the presence of Peart clearly boosting the band's morale and both founder members relishing the opportunity to show off their skills outside of a blues-rock framework.

It isn't a perfect album, though; there's a couple of lightweight rockers that don't really stand apart from the material on the debut album (such as Best I Can or Making Memories), which whilst fun don't really scratch the "Rush" itch, and the faltering acoustic piece Rivendell is an embarrassing slice of Tolkien worship that's best forgotten about - not least because it stretches about a minute's worth of musical ideas over five minutes. Nonetheless, the album brings the band appreciably closer to becoming the dominant force they would become, so major-league Rush fans will probably want to pick it up regardless, and the better material here is sufficiently good to forgive the album's occasional misstep (just as the title track from 2112 is reason enough to forgive some of the less successful songs on its flipside).

Review by Chicapah
3 stars Not that it matters to anyone (nor that it should), I've finally decided to shed my ill-conceived notions and biases about the band Rush and objectively investigate their prog craft one album at a time. For decades I've avoided them for the pettiest of reasons yet I've come to realize lately that I'm only hurting myself by being so close-minded. The first time I heard of them was back in the mid 70s when my girlfriend who worked at the Travis Street Electric Company in Dallas raved about the show they put on there while I was out of town on a club tour. The night spot was changing from a gaudy disco to a concert venue that could give up-and-coming acts a place to display their wares in North Texas. (They soon moved into a huge barn of a place near downtown and dubbed it the "Electric Ballroom.") I valued her critiques of the artists she got to see there yet this one bugged me. I don't know why but I was jealous of her enthusiasm for a group I'd never heard of and, in response, callously formed a sour opinion of them. My affair with that lovely lass ended badly (for me) in late '75 but, while I eventually got over her, my unfounded aversion for Rush lingered on and on. (I have no doubt there's a connection. Doesn't take a shrink to figure that out, Sigmund.) So whenever I happened to hear one of their songs on the radio I'd purposely pay no attention whatsoever to what they were doing. I was smugly satisfied with being a Rushophobic.

Over the past few years (via numerous documentaries and interviews that've cropped up on VH1 Classic channel in particular) I've been made aware of the trio's enormous influence upon a host of musicians (prog and otherwise) that I hold in lofty esteem, forcing me to contemplate the possibility that I was wrong to rush into judgment about the group so long ago. Plus, the fact that they're (a) recognized worldwide as an undisputed giant in the field of progressive rock and that (b) they're one of the few bands from the Americas that can legitimately call themselves prog add up to my confessing in shame that I've been a stubborn curmudgeon when it comes to Rush. Alas, I've turned over a new maple leaf, my friends, and I intend to boldly go where their art takes me without prejudice. I may or may not like what I hear but at least I'll have legitimate cause for feeling one way or another and that, for this proud prog reviewer, is liberating. I'm starting with their 2nd LP, "Fly By Night," simply because I couldn't procure a copy of their debut in the short run. I'll get around to it someday if I live long enough.

Taking into consideration that their original drummer John Rutsey quit just before embarking on the tour to promote their 1st album, their survival of that normally-devastating event is admirable in and of itself. Replacing him with Neil Peart, a man who'd grow to be revered as a drum god, is fate at its most serendipitous. Even more astounding is the lasting bond that solidified between him, guitarist Alex Lifeson and bassist Geddy Lee within a span of weeks. By the time they went into the studio to tape their sophomore record they were a stronger trio than ever before.

The opener, "Anthem," has an aggressive beginning that leads to Geddy singing with much more rasp and gusto than I expected to hear. I confess that, like many of the group's detractors, Lee's sometimes screechy voice can be a distraction but I'm finding it's an acquired taste that my palate is slowly warming up to. One thing that really stands out on this cut is the tightness between Geddy and Neil. They were made for each other. I'm also struck by Alex's solo because it's so individualistic and free from any obvious mimicry of other prog guitarists. "Best I Can" is straight-ahead power rock and once again I'm surprised by how strong Lee's vocal is. I'm similarly impressed by the quality of Peart's lyrics as he describes the arduous task ahead of the band as they travel down the prog road. "I've got a livin' that's rough/a future that's tough/you know what I mean/blankers and boasters/all the bluffers and posers/I'm not into that scene," Geddy sings. "Beneath, Between, Behind" is an energetic track filled with sharp, punchy accents and seamless changes in feel. You gotta love Neil's fearlessness in not sticking with simple beat patterns and daring to be different in his approach.

"By-Tor and the Snow Dog" is progressive rock that doesn't sound like anyone else and much more experimental and envelope-pushing than the three previous numbers. An entertaining, slightly psychedelic aura surrounds the middle instrumental section that serves as a great showcase for the cohesiveness of the players. Lifeson's subtle guitar work during the quieter movement is an indication of his versatility and the whole epic is a testimony to the group's clear, undiluted statement of purpose. "Fly By Night" got the most airplay in my neck of the woods with its memorable melody displaying their desire to be accessible to a wide spectrum of the public without sacrificing their prog ideals. One aspect of the song I'd never bothered to notice is Geddy's complex and invigorating bass lines that run through the tune. "Making Memories" is next wherein Alex's strummed acoustic guitar expands the surface of their aural canvas and keeps things from becoming rote. His bottleneck slide lead is an eye-opener and Lee's voice is not only passionate but controlled as he delivers prophetic lines like "There's a time for feelin' as good as we can/the time is now and there's no stoppin' us/there's a time for livin' as high as we can/behind us you will only see our dust."

The beautiful "Rivendell" unveils a softer side of Rush I wasn't aware of and that I find extremely refreshing. Alex's expressive guitars create a depth of field that's rarely heard without the aid of space-filling keyboards. This song is a more-than-passable foray into the realm of prog folk. They close with "In The End." After a laid-back acoustic 12-string onset the number gives way to hefty electric guitar chords layered over a driving rock groove. I reiterate that it's a pleasure to hear a state-side guitarist with an original tact, who isn't so thoroughly steeped in "da blooz" that it colors every riff he plays. It's somewhat predictable that they'd return to the tune's initial theme but I attribute that to their compositional inexperience and I don't deem it patronizing at all.

Enjoying "Fly By Night" as much as I did only reinforces my personal assessment of myself as being an ignorant jackass. I have a distinct inkling that I'm going to become a fan of Rush the further I venture ahead in this belated journey of discovery. Geddy's voice will, at times, grate on my nerves but I'll also become more comfortable with it as I accept more readily that it's the only voice the Lord gave him and he's getting everything he can out of it without apology. The musicianship of the band, even at this early stage, is beyond reproach and I look forward to the challenges they'll present me with. No sophomore jinx in play here, this is a darn good album from start to finish. 3.3 stars.

Review by siLLy puPPy
COLLABORATOR PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams
3 stars RUSH made the leap from just a hard rock band to the progressive rock band that would conquer the world with their 2nd album FLY BY NIGHT. The talented Neil Peart took over not only drumming duties but also became the lyricist leading the band into the fantasy world for inspiration. Also prevalent is the influence of the philosophy of Ayn Rand.

This album starts out really strong with the feisty rocker "Anthem," but although the complexity of RUSH's prog side had taken bloom, clearly their songwriting skills were not quite yet honed to the point where their longer pieces were interesting. I have always loved the shorter songs on here like the title track but tracks like "By-Tor And The Snow Dog" and even "Rivendell" just sound goofy and struggling to find their proper expression but fail miserably in the attempt.

Having said all that, not a bad introduction to the new RUSH that would remain the lineup up to the current day producing countless albums including masterpieces and duds alike. I actually prefer the debut album to this one since the debut is an interesting hard rock album and this one takes on more than it successfully delivers.

Review by FragileKings
3 stars Rush's second album, "Fly By Night" is similar in a way to Judas Priest's "Sad Wings of Destiny" and Metallica's "Ride the Lightning". All three albums were sophomore releases that included the final pieces of material written with founding members who had since departed. Judas Priest included some final bits of material written by Al Atkins; Metallica included some parts claimed by Dave Mustaine; and Rush included a last couple of songs written when former drummer John Rutsey was in the band. Yet while the efforts of Judas Priest and Metallica would go on to have profound impacts on the growth and development of heavy metal, Rush's impact on metal and prog would not leave a huge impression until two albums later with "2112".

Rush's eponymous debut was a good solid hard rock album with some wonderful heavy guitar work. With Neil Peart now on board not only providing an added dimension to the drums but also lyrically taking the band in more intellectual directions, Rush released for their second album a tight rocker with budding progressive tendencies. With songs like "Anthem", and "Beneath, Between & Behind" the band was raising the bar for fast- paced heavy rockers with a higher degree of complexity. Conversely, "Best that I Can", "Making Memories" and "In the End" still sound like the old Rush of a few months prior with "Making Memories" featuring some slide guitar and acoustic guitar that remind me of Nazareth.

The title track was a song I heard frequently on the classic rock radio station along with "In the Mood" and "Closer to the Heart" but none of those songs ever impressed me. Now I really enjoy this song about Peart's time he spent in the U.K. becoming disappointed with the reality of the music business. The guitar solo is a classic seventies rock guitar showcase, and Alex Lifeson, in an interview a couple of years back, listed this among his top ten favourite solos that he has ever played.

The song that was really intended to make headway into prog territory was the mini-epic, "By-Tor and the Snow Dog", a multi-part narrative about two arch enemies who encounter each other and commence battle. The song describes the events that lead up to the battle which is then played out with Lifeson's guitar playing Snow Dog and Geddy Lee's bass growling as By-Tor. The battle is ferocious but at one point it seems Snow Dog might be defeated. The music becomes sparse while little chimes tinkle like ice crystals. We came imagine the two combatants bloodied and out of breath, By-Tor perhaps looking on as Snow Dog seems worse for wear and potentially defeated. But the music returns to power as the Snow Dog does likewise and at last Snow Dog is victorious while By-Tor flees.

The one odd track on this album and indeed one of the oddest in Rush's catalogue is "Rivendell". Featuring only acoustic guitar, soft electric guitar notes, and Lee's voice, the song relates the comfort and joy of staying in Rivendell from Tolkein's "The Hobbit" and "Lord of the Rings".

This is still Rush in their first phase, the seventies hard rock one. Though they began experimenting with more progressive approaches to writing music, this was only their first step. Nevertheless, this album walks with a foot firmly planted on each side, one in the heavy rock of the mid-seventies and one in heavy prog. A step up from the debut and looking strong.

As a prog album, good but not essential. As a rock album, excellent!

Review by TCat
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars Rush's 2nd full album effort in my opinion is their weakest from all of their earlier albums from their debut album up to "Moving Pictures". Granted, Rush was working hard to find their sound, and they do move a little bit away from their straightforward Rock sound of the debut album towards a Hard Progressive sound, but they don't quite nail it down very well. To me, "Caress of Steel", their next album does a much better job of expanding their sound than this one does. I know that probably contradicts what most people say, but, I love "Caress of Steel" even if it is a little disjointed and "Fly By Night" to me is rather substandard in comparison. It even sounds more like a 1st album than the debut album does.

There are a few great songs here at least that hold their own when compared to the best Rush songs, namely "Anthem", "Best I Can" and the multi-movement epic "By-tor and the Snow Dog" and these songs throw the most light on the greatness that was to come later, but the rest of the album seems to sag. Most of the 2nd side of the album is much softer and sounds like an attempt to be radio friendly. Of course, this made the title track accessible and has become one of the band's most famous songs, but it pales in comparison to Rush's usual output. The usual emotion and energy of Rush's music is missing and this creates a weak album.

I can't rate this as a 1 star because it's not a poor album. The 3 strong songs here make it a good album, but just don't expect a lot out of it and you may find it somewhat enjoyable at least. Nothing really makes this essential though when compared to the greatest Rush albums. So, it squeaks by with a 3 star rating because of the excellence of 3 tracks and a very cool looking album cover.

Review by Necrotica
4 stars Rush's eponymous debut album was largely comprised of hard rock/blues rock tunes a la Led Zeppelin and Cream. While it had many solid tunes, the album as a whole sounded pretty safe and derivative; the songs didn't really provide anything especially new for fans of 70s hard rock music. Most likely because of this, the album didn't do very well in terms of sales (it only managed to reach 105 on the Billboard 200); to make matters worse, drummer John Rutsey had to opt out of the album's tour due to his diabetes and ended up leaving the band. So when Neil Peart was set to audition for the group, his future bandmates were a bit skeptical, especially guitarist Alex Lifeson. But eventually they formed a bond and started to become great friends, especially since the band's first tour was a few weeks away. Once 1975's Fly by Night was released, some very drastic changes were made from the group's previous effort, but was it all worth it? Definitely.

Fly by Night retains a large amount of the hard rock its predecessor had, but adds a bevy of new tricks to keep listeners on their toes. The most obvious improvement is in the percussion department; Peart's precision and overall technique definitely fit Rush's music a lot better than Rutsey did. But beyond this, he also provides most of the album's lyrics; on top of that, there aren't any more songs about love and sex, but rather about philosophy and fantasy for the most part. The music has also taken a step forward, and there's no better way to display this than with arguably one of best opening songs in rock history, "Anthem." The band immediately throw you into the fray with a heavy (almost metallic) guitar riff and energetic drumming to back it up. The band calms down a bit for the verses, offering a nice contrast to such an intense first impression. Alex Lifeson alternates between the aforementioned heavy riffs and some nice clean guitar playing, while Geddy Lee's bass playing and vocal work are certainly a step up from the trio's debut. "By Tor and the Snow Dog" operates in the same vein, but has a fantastic instrumental section that would hint at the band's future progressive rock epics. The verses are pretty fun too, just your standard hard rock; once again, Neil Peart steals the show with some exceptional drum fills and a keen ear for detail when it comes to his technique. However, my absolute favorite track on here would have to be the insanely-underrated "Rivendell." Ironically, the song doesn't even have drums or the bass guitar on it; it's a folk ballad with Geddy Lee's softer singing and Alex Lifeson's beautiful acoustic guitar playing. As the title suggests, the song is about the elven outpost of the same name in The Lord of the Rings, and Geddy Lee sings about the tranquility and beauty the place brings. The entire song is gorgeous and doesn't need any embellishments to improve it; the almost-minimalist nature of the song and the emotional charge it has is certainly enough.

Unfortunately, the downside about this album is that, as with the band's debut, this album has a good chunk of filler to plow through to get to the good stuff. "Best I Can" and "In the End" are average rockers that could have easily appeared on the first album, while "Making Memories" is a pretty boring acoustic rock piece; the clean guitar work is a nice addition, but the bass is a little listless and the drumming's pretty bland for Mr. Peart. Luckily, the album's fun title track comes in midway to balance things out, and inconsistencies are more tolerable. It's still pretty annoying to have to sit through the boring tracks in the first place, though.

However, these flaws aren't enough to destroy the album; if anything, this album was a very bold move for the band; "By Tor" offers a glimpse into the band's future glories and other songs show the band refining and polishing their hard rock formula very well. This isn't really one of the band's best albums in the end, but it's at least a fun hard rock/progressive rock album that benefits from well-focused compositions and well-written lyricism. If you like Rush or want a hybrid of progressive rock and hard rock, this album should do the trick.

Review by Modrigue
3 stars A little proggy hard rock animal

First RUSH album with drummer Neil Peart, "Fly by Night" is also the first one to clearly feature progressive passages and to shape the style that will become the trio's future musical trademark. The songs are overall in the same catchy 70's hard rock vein than its predecessor's, but some tracks are more elaborated and varied, alternating soft and aggressive passages. Furthermore, new themes are addressed, such as heroic fantasy.

This evolution is partly due to the arrival of Neil Peart. Already an highly skilled drummer, his play style increased the complexity of the songs' rhythmic sections. He also wrote most of the lyrics of this record.

The first side of the disc is the best. The thundering "Anthem" is simply a great powerful opener. Nearly heavy metal, it sounded quite aggressive for the time! "Best I Can" and "Beneath, Between & Behind" are more conventional hard rock'n'roll songs, pleasant and punchy. However, the highlight here is undoubtedly the 8 minutes mini-epic "By-tor And The Snow Dog". Longest track of the album, this song is one of the progressive passages of the disc as well as one of RUSH's first inclusion of fantasy lyrics. Displaying the musicians' skills, it alternates various soli, rhythm changes, different ambiances and even surprising instrumental passages with a space rock feel! This complex composition clearly announces announces RUSH's future musical direction. Very cool!

The second side is unfortunately less convincing. The autobiographical title track narrates Neil Peart's experience when moving from Canada to London as a young musician. The tune is overall average and a little repetitive. "Making Memories" is a semi-acoustic folk piece that can remind LED ZEPPELIN III at times. Not really remarkable, but enjoyable. The other song taking inspiration from fantasy is "Rivendell", referring Tolkien's "Lord of the Rings". Looking promising, this fully acoustic ballad is finally soapy and lengthy. The record finishes with "In The End", a pleasant soft piece mutating into a slow heavy rock. The best track of this second side.

"Fly by Night" is the release where RUSH slowly begins to craft its identity, by showing the members' mastership in their respective instruments. Combined with energetic hard rock and catchy melodies, complex structures and rhythm breaks will be the musical signature of the band for the years to come.

As one of RUSH's most uneven album from the 1974-1984 period, this second opus is nonetheless enjoyable and contains powerful passages. Not the one to start with for newcomers, but recommended for fans.

Since then, the Geddy Lee / Alex Lifeson / Neil Peart line-up will become one of the most stable formation in the rock'n'roll history and is still remaining for 40 years now...

Review by Kempokid
3 stars Rush's second album is definitely a better album to their first, I'll give it that. The introduction of Neil Peart into the band immediately gave the band a sound much more indicative of Rush, even if the majority of this was still more along the lines of standard hard rock, rather than the proggier stuff that was soon to come. While still quite flawed in some respects, I definitely love how this is the album that establishes Rush's sound very effectively.

The main difference I find with this album is the much tighter playing that each member of the band displays, along with a strong sense of unity accentuated by the meticulous nature of the compositions, with each instrument playing off each other amazingly, sometimes truly perfectly. Anthem is a great example of this, being a fast song already showing off just how talented Neil Peart is, balanced by an excellent bassline. The more energetic, over the top singing of Geddy Lee works far better on this album as a whole, both due to the music fitting it much better, and especially due to what feels like a clearly improvement of his vocal skills in general, as it contains much less of the abrasive quality than what could be found on the debut album. I also commend how uplifting Rush tends to be in general, but especially with songs such as this, which are on the more energetic side of things, which is part of the reason why I find many of their commerical songs just as good, if not better than some of their proggier output. Best I Can is another fast paced, fun track with a particularly catchy chorus, and is definitely one of the better moments on the album. At points, it definitely still feels clear that the band were still finding their feet, which is most clear in their first attempt at a prog song, By-Tor and the Snow Dog. While elements of this song work well, such as the unconventional soloing by Alex Lifeson and the dynamic instrumental break being a big step up from anything Rush had done beforehand or even on their next album, Caress of Steel. Unfortunately, this is brought down immensely by the pointless middle section that's simply nothing more than a quiet section filled with pointless sound effects and is quite boring. This awful section turns what could have been an absolute classic into a very mixed bag, and is definitely a case of the live versions being considerably better.

More issues arise in the second half of the album, with 3 of the 4 songs either doiing nothing for me, or being downright bad in my opinion. The exception of these tracks is the title track, another concise rock track that carries immense power while also being extremely pleasant and enjoyable in essentially every way, with such an optimistic tone to it. Unfortunately, the remaining songs on the album generally pale in comparison to the rest, especially the next two. Making Memories features a simplistic, repetitive acoustic melody that while initially sounds quite interesting, it never develops past this point, leaving it stagnant. Rivendell has this same issue but ten times worse, as the basic melody reveals nothing interesting, and it is then extended to 5 minutes, which by the end feels painful, just 5 minutes of pure saccharine drivel without much to salvage it. In The End does no favours for itself with the quiet intro, which definitely sounds better when not preceded by Rivendell, but the rest of the song is definitely better, although not really anything amazing.

Overall, while the album is flawed, there are some excellent tracks to be found here, and the growing ambition the band had undertaken here was definitely a step in the right direction. That said, the bad moments on this album tend to be pretty damn bad, especially the 2 song stretch of Making Memories and Rivendell, which singlehandedly make listening to this album far more difficult than it had a right to be, considering it also contains Anthem and Fly By Night. While this isn't where I'd start off with Rush's discography, it's undoubtedly my favourite of Rush's first 3 albums, before they finally broke out and let their ambitions run wild. I'd recommend just cherry picking the best tracks off this, even if you're quite int hard rock, as this album is quite uneven, albeit great at times.

Best songs: Anthem, Best I can, Fly By Night

Weakest songs: Making Memories, Rivendell

Verdict: Despite the clear improvements in all areas that this album shows over its weak predecessor, this album still has a large issue with consistency. The good tracks are absolutely great, but it balances out with some utter garbage. That said, I'd definitely say that a fair bit of this album is good, even if it's ill conceived at times.

Latest members reviews

3 stars And this is where Neil Peart's story with Rush begins. Although the success and general recognition would come later with "2112", the band gained a lot as an entity with its own personality and an identifiable musicianship with the addition of the drummer for "Fly by Night". It is true that t ... (read more)

Report this review (#2932705) | Posted by Hector Enrique | Monday, June 12, 2023 | Review Permanlink

3 stars The band recorded their second album, Fly by Night, in early 1975. Fly by Night marked a massive shift in Rush's sound, away from the blues-oriented hard rock of their debut and toward something much more complex and sonically varied. It acts as something of a bridge between their debut and their fu ... (read more)

Report this review (#2904233) | Posted by TheEliteExtremophile | Monday, April 3, 2023 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Fly By Night, the first of two 1975 releases from Rush, is the band's second album but is the first to feature drummer and primary lyricist Neil Peart, which in many ways makes it the band's first "real" album. Peart brought so much to the table ? more literary allusions, deeply personal and phi ... (read more)

Report this review (#2879642) | Posted by Hokeyboy | Tuesday, January 31, 2023 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Another important album in the way I use to become a music appreciator. In that times when hard rock and heavy metal as the easy listening that filled my days and attracted me to enjoy art, this album was a no less than a must. But some years passed away, other musical interests came upon me, ... (read more)

Report this review (#2768757) | Posted by Antonio Giacomin | Monday, June 6, 2022 | Review Permanlink

3 stars When I started listening to rush I decided to do it chronologically, I guess I thought they deserved it. The debut is a very strong album, a real solid one and I enjoyed that much that I used it as trampoline to the rest of their catalog. But I think it is also fair to better jump straight to th ... (read more)

Report this review (#2605113) | Posted by ElChanclas | Monday, October 18, 2021 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Review #74 Who doesn't know the album with the huge blue owl on the cover? "Fly by night" was published in 1975 with the addition of Neil PEART as the new drummer (replacing John RUTSEY) and as the main lyricist. Unlike the debut album of this Canadian power trio, this album shows a musical ma ... (read more)

Report this review (#2486776) | Posted by Uruk_hai | Monday, December 21, 2020 | Review Permanlink

2 stars 'Fly By Night' is the second album by Canadian rock legends Rush. Released in 1975, it's the first album to feature drummer Neil Peart, and solidifies what is the definitive Rush line up, with bassist/vocalist Geddy Lee and guitarist Alex Lifeson, holding up all the way to the bands retirement i ... (read more)

Report this review (#1941490) | Posted by martindavey87 | Wednesday, June 27, 2018 | Review Permanlink

3 stars As Neil Peart entered Rush, the band experimented a rebirth that would redefine its existence and its musical output. Regarding the music, with this album came the first demonstrations of the progressive direction the trio would achieve and perfect in future releases. Lyrically, as Peart began to ta ... (read more)

Report this review (#1825190) | Posted by judahbenkenobi | Monday, November 20, 2017 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Rush's personality didn't really come in until this album. Like such Fly By Night resonates early echoes of what the band would become, granted with less experimentation and overall "progressive" nature and more of the classic rock sound featured on their debut. Then, you may ask, is so great ab ... (read more)

Report this review (#1579445) | Posted by aglasshouse | Thursday, June 16, 2016 | Review Permanlink

4 stars After Rush's debut album an extraordinary series of events took place. After working their tails off playing every high school, church basement and bar they can throughout Ontario, Canada, they finally released an album on their own label after getting rejected multiple times, they then secured a re ... (read more)

Report this review (#1509070) | Posted by ster | Friday, January 8, 2016 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Wow. If you hadn't already guessed by the mythical beast on the album cover, the first 5 seconds of music should tell you that something serious has changed here. That something is virtuoso drummer, Neil Peart. Geddy and Alex have stepped up their game as well. The first song, Anthem, has it al ... (read more)

Report this review (#1167007) | Posted by TwoCents | Tuesday, April 29, 2014 | Review Permanlink

4 stars 4.5 Stars In 1974, Rush realized that if they were going to go anywhere they were going to need a new drummer(no knock on John Rutsey though). In comes the very well-acclaimed drum maestro Neil Peart aka The Professor and with th ... (read more)

Report this review (#1117087) | Posted by ProgMetaller2112 | Tuesday, January 21, 2014 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Rush's sophomore effort, Fly by Night, is a slight improvement over their debut. Don't get me wrong: both albums are very solid and certainly above average, but neither one quite matches the sophistication and greatness of their late 70s/early 80s output. Fly By Night is still in the same Zeppeli ... (read more)

Report this review (#996752) | Posted by Deckiller | Friday, July 12, 2013 | Review Permanlink

3 stars The Rush sound starts to come together on this album - Neil Peart has taken his place on the seat of the drum engine of the band. 1. Anthem - the beginning of the early classic Rush sound this track is one of the Rush canon set pieces defining what was to come. 2. Best I can - standard rocke ... (read more)

Report this review (#934109) | Posted by sukmytoe | Saturday, March 23, 2013 | Review Permanlink

4 stars 4,5 really !!! After the first release from 1974, RUSH starts to refine your sound and open their ascending path in direction to (in my humble opinion) the more sophisticated heavy-prog style reached for a band ( specially a trio ). I know which one circumstance contributes definitively to ... (read more)

Report this review (#929692) | Posted by maryes | Wednesday, March 13, 2013 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Fly By Night is the first Rush album with drummer Neil Peart, and coincidentally the first album with a hint of the prog to come. All of the heaviness of the debut is here, but with a much more clean and defined sound. The songs are a bit more divese than on their debut. There are the rockers in ... (read more)

Report this review (#771341) | Posted by Mr. Mustard | Friday, June 15, 2012 | Review Permanlink

4 stars 7/10 Hmm .. this album was not an experience as unique as the later works of Rush, but gives a good indication of what the trio will make these next. Also has a classic of them (By-Tor and Snow-Dog) and introduces us to the legend Neil Peart on drums. The sound is generally a good mix of h ... (read more)

Report this review (#754012) | Posted by voliveira | Wednesday, May 16, 2012 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Along with it's neighbor in time, CARESS OF STEEL, FLY BY NIGHT is an often overlooked album by Rush. It does not compare for sure with albums such as PERMANENT WAVES or 2112, but it is not as poor as their first album or some of their later more synth albums. FLY BY NIGHT seems to be a "rough ... (read more)

Report this review (#637912) | Posted by mohaveman | Wednesday, February 22, 2012 | Review Permanlink

5 stars They hadn't fully moved into the realm of progressive rock, but what differentiates their second album from the debut is that Fly By Night is a full-fledged classic rock album, with emphasis on the word classic. Their songwriring ability had obviously grown since the first, and not just becau ... (read more)

Report this review (#618571) | Posted by 7headedchicken | Tuesday, January 24, 2012 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Although highly influenced from what was done in their previous record, this one is an improvement from it, and you could say the main reason was an evident change in the structure of the band, the arrival of Neil Peart. This change is evident in the dynamics of their drum sound, quite outstan ... (read more)

Report this review (#474054) | Posted by shyman | Saturday, July 2, 2011 | Review Permanlink

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