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Rush 2112 album cover
4.11 | 2344 ratings | 221 reviews | 46% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 1976

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. 2112 (20:31) :
- i) Overture (4:32)
- ii) The Temples of Syrinx (2:13)
- iii) Discovery (3:29)
- iv) Presentation (3:42)
- v) Oracle:The Dream (2:00)
- vi) Soliloquy (2:21)
- vii) The Grand Finale (2:14)
2. A Passage to Bangkok (3:34)
3. The Twilight Zone (3:18)
4. Lessons (3:51)
5. Tears (3:32)
6. Something for Nothing (3:59)

Total Time 38:45

Line-up / Musicians

- Alex Lifeson / guitars, bass pedals (?)
- Geddy Lee / bass, bass pedals (?), vocals
- Neil Peart / drums, percussion

- Hugh Syme / ARP Odyssey (1.i intro), Mellotron (5)
- Terry Brown / co-arranger, co-producer, engineer

Releases information

Artwork: Hugh Syme with Yosh Inouye (photo)

LP Mercury ‎- SRM-1-1079 (1976, Canada)
LP Anthem - ANR-1-1004 (1977, Canada)

CD Mercury ‎- 822 545-2 M-1 (1987, US)
CD Mercury - 534-626-2 (1997, US) Remastered by Bob Ludwig & Brian Lee

FLAC (2015, Ponomusic) Hi Res download in 192kHz/24bit lossless files from remaster by Sean Magee

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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RUSH 2112 ratings distribution

(2344 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(46%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(37%)
Good, but non-essential (13%)
Collectors/fans only (3%)
Poor. Only for completionists (1%)

RUSH 2112 reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Sean Trane
4 stars This is where the real Rush starts - the classic Rush and to me this is still my fave album from them along with A Farewell To Kings.

All of the short numbers on side 2 are good except for that terrible yawner Tears. But clearly A Passage To Bangkok was a call to Stoner-hood with mentions of Bogota, Katmandu and Thailand. We followed those advices. Twilight Zone was still looking at the sort of track that was run-of-the-mill of By-Tor And The Snow Dog era.

Side 1 holds the title track that helped me grow up and acquire a conscience but listening to this nowadays I see a few weaknesses and the simplicity of it all has not stood well the test of time in my ears. How many times did I listened to this fascinating story of this man discovering via the music instrument (an acoustic guitar) the power of self-expression in a repressive society? A thousand time, maybe. For a 15 year-old rebel (were those Priests of Syrinx not our teachers or parents?) , this was all I managed to think about for months and this Grand Finale was absolutely moving most of the times pulling a tear and wanting me to commit suicide just for the sake of it! Very few bands managed to make their feelings come through their music like Rush did in this album.

Although looking or hearing this album now , I can see that it has not aged that well , sounding somewhat simplistic but still so expressive and with grat musicianship. This is one of the most important album of my teenhood along with Meatloaf's Bat Out Of Hell as all of those tracks SPOKE and SAID something to me.

Only four star because , this album has not aged that well to my adult proghead mind, but the teen I was would've given this album seven stars.

Review by chessman
3 stars Rush were maturing by now, and it shows on this album, although it is starting to sound a little dated now. The title track is a brave attempt to bring a thought provoking concept to the ears of the rock listener. Alex's guitar work is very good in this. The second side is, admittedly, something of a let down. But Bangkok and Twilight Zone salvage something here, for me. This is a band about to make it big...and the next album certainly showed that!
Review by greenback
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars This fourth album contains memorable songs. It is probably the first album to become really popular. This is sophisticated hard rock, even mellow and progressive sometimes. It is the first time keyboards are introduced, but we are far from Power windows; Geddy Lee was rather minimalist here, but efficient enough.

The epic eponymic song, which lasts about 20 minutes, is a wonderful hard rock progressive song full of powerful electric guitar, complex bass and drum parts. The other side contains varied songs: the mellow acoustic "Twilight Zone", having a good guitar solo. The more hard rock "Passage to Bangkok", "Something For Nothing" and "Lessons". The peaceful acoustic "Tears" on which floating keyboards and quiet lead vocals allows the listener to really relax.

Review by daveconn
3 stars "2112" was more than an album; for pot-smoking male adolescents it was a rite of passage. To them, the title track was a fulfillment of their rock & roll fantasies: toppling a totalitarian future-world with the power of music. PEART's lyrics were carefully crafted to reference the listener's likely state of mind (notably on "Oracle: The Dream" and "Soliloquy"), and written for two voices (rendered by GEDDY LEE in a way that recalls "Jesus Christ Superstar") as if it were a play. And while it was a dramatic improvement over previous albums, musically the band still struggled with the epic format. The musical themes are incestuous from part to part, little time is found for flashes of instrumental brilliance, the end seems abruptly tacked on, and references to earlier storytellers (THE WHO, ELP) show a band slightly out of their depth. The rest of the album returns to song format, including a paean to pot ("A Passage To Bangkok") that would have fit on "Physical Graffiti", "The Twilight Zone" (about the TV series of all things) and an impassioned manifesto on "Something For Nothing." If you're looking for concrete evidence on "2112" that makes a case for greatness, you won't find it. The appeal of this album is that so many fans listened to this album when they were young, when they were high, and have listened to it often since then. Otherwise, except for the thematic shift from fantasy to science fiction, there's nothing on "2112" that wasn't already present on "Caress of Steel" and "Fly By Night". Of interest, the band does experiment with some new sounds, including the opening synthesizer section on "Introduction", and the ever-popular Mellotron on "Tears" (with Lee providing very Rutherfordian accompaniment on bass).

This is the culmination of the band's first phase, a period marked by music that had yet to break free from the pull of past influences (GENESIS, LED ZEPPELIN, THE WHO et al). In my opinion, "2112"'s is a subjective greatness, a first crush where adolescent emotions walked on a new moon, breathed the air, and found it good.

Review by James Lee
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars The first RUSH masterpiece- it's not without its flaws, of course, but this is where hard rock and progressive rock successfully and accessibly came together. Additionally, the sound was so individual and uncompromising (for its part) that it far outclassed the hard rock "progressive-lite" bands like STYX and JOURNEY. You could party to this album, and you could also do some mind-expanding with it. Continuing the 'concept side/shorter song side' system, they also enabled you to get some action with it, given the right partner and some careful song selection (I knew at least one girl who responded to "Tears"). Nerds loved it, stoners loved it, rockers loved it. Being one of each as time passed, it has a nostalgic value to me and is almost required listening for any progressive rock collection for the "2112" suite alone. I'm not saying this is the most polished or involving narrative in prog rock- the "Discovery" part in particular is as clumsy as it is lovely- but it works from start to finish and leaves you satisfied. I suppose a labored analogy would be: RUSH is the fast food of 70s prog, PINK FLOYD is the meat-and-potatos, and KING CRIMSON is more of an haute-couture restaurant (I guess that makes YES chinese food...well, these analogies only go so far). Anyway, if you're any kind of prog fan, "2112" is one of those classic albums you just have to hear.
Review by loserboy
5 stars Growing up in a small Northern Ontario city was all about listening to RUSH albums and "2112" was definitely played in my house a ton. IMHO 2112 is the defining moment for RUSH prog a progressive rock. Complete with the 21 Min epic "2112" Rush transports us back into the temple of Syrinx and into the future with "Twilight Zone". As always the line- up are the 3 young Alex Lifeson (guitars), Neil Peart (drums) and Geddy Lee (bass, vocals). Long standing friend Hugh Syme also appears on "Tears" playing some very lovely mellotron (which may be the only RUSH album with mellotron!). Musically these guys were and still are superb, but there is something extra special about "2112"... something that can only be explained by listening to this album. Hate to say it but for me this is a pure masterpiece...!
Review by penguindf12
3 stars This was an album my Dad listened to a lot, and I heard it quite a bit. The title song "2112" is the only thing truly worth listening to on it. That song is a true 5 star effort as it portrays a futuristic despotic world where everything is controlled and individuality is a thing of the past. It is heavily based on Ayn Rand's book "Anthem." The instrumentation and lyrics are good, although it tends to drop off towards the end of the epic somewhat, only to be thrown back upwards with the Grand Finale.

Unfortunately, the other songs are what drag it down. They are mediocre at best, with "The Twilight Zone" and "Road to Bangkok" being the only things worth even considering. In spite of this, it is a good gateway album to prog rock, almost as good as "Dark Side of the Moon."

Review by Chris S
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars 2112 ( Not that far off!) was the beginning of Rush making serious headway in the prog rock arena. Sure it shows naivety at times but that is what makes some of the early progressive sounds so pleasurable. This is a richly layered gem from Rush. Side one encompasses 2112 as in the whole suite and it is pretty fanatstic! I listened to this just the other day and it reminded me why progressive genres make such rewarding listening. Side 2 comprises of shorter songs but ' Passage to Bangkok' and ' Lessons' really shine.
Review by FloydWright
3 stars Maybe it's because I'm a newcomer to prog, compared to those who heard this album when it was new, but I can't really see what the fuss is about, for the most part. It's not that 2112 is a bad album at all, but my interest in it is more historical than anything. In this I find the precursors to some of the more current prog bands I'm a fan of, especially AYREON, whose mastermind ARJEN LUCASSEN cites RUSH (and this album specifically, I believe) as an influence on his own work. However, despite trying, I just haven't been able to get into this the way that many of you have. It definitely has its high points, but I really can't call it anything beyond just "good".

The "2112" suite itself is interesting to listen to for the story it tells, and also for the strange guitar acrobatics by ALEX LIFESON that accompany the tale of the instrument found by the narrator. NEIL PEART has done a very good job lyrically, and the concept of this suite reminds me strongly of some of AYREON's speculations about the future (a world where emotion and creativity are no longer valued...see "Evil Devolution" for an example). As for his drumming, in places it most definitely sounds like the precursor to the technique later drummers like MIKE PORTNOY of DREAM THEATER would adopt, and I have to wonder very seriously if his work had a part in touching off the entire metal genre. This has the same rapid-fire pacing in places, even some shredding from the guitars that is suggestive of it. The only thing about this song that I don't really care for at times is the fact that beyond the opening and a few other places, the synths are very underutilized and do little to fill out the atmosphere which consists of three things only: the drums, the guitars, and GEDDY LEE's odd vocals. He is a talented vocalist, to be sure, but listening to too much wears one out eventually!

"2112" is a decent 4-star track by itself...unfortunately, the rather radio-friendly, poppy shorter songs that followed it (for the most part) drag it down in my eyes. I have a hard time comprehending why these are on the same album with "2112". "A Passage to Bangkok", to be honest, does very little to me. As far as I can make out, this one seems to be a ramble about the various foreign countries where one can smoke pot, and quite frankly, I find that a waste of my time. How many other songs from the 1970s have we got that deal with that subject? Quite unoriginal. "The Twilight Zone" does better and has a more interesting sound to it, and was probably the second-best of the short tracks on here. "Lessons"...well, to be honest it just isn't very memorable to me. "Something for Nothing" was rather more interesting...but by the time I get to this point, I just feel lacking...

...especially after having just heard GEDDY LEE's fantastic "Tears". I really found myself wishing there was more of this kind of thing on 2112--more melodic, atmospheric, unassuming (yes, I know prog delights in showing off, but I respect groups that know how to be simple and soulful as well). LEE's lyrics are worlds away from NEIL PEART's bombastic fare, and while much less complex, there is something about them, as they're delivered, that is convincing. From what I heard here, I honestly think that LEE may be more comfortable singing his own material than what PEART writes for him; "Tears" brings out a much more heartfelt side of him that I had never heard before. Perhaps, freed of PEART's excess, he can at last relax be himself, and it really does show. While there's no denying that LEE's voice does support PEART's lyrics to a T, I just think this sounds much more natural, less forced, and the difference is like night and day. And maybe I'm just a sentimental sap, but part of me even wants to call this the best track of the album even ahead of "2112" itself.

Ultimately, though, I guess I just didn't find that 2112 lived up to the 5-star hype that a lot of people are giving it. Perhaps I was born at the wrong time to appreciate this, and thus my ears aren't accustomed to the type of sound production or techniques or some other element. It's not that I reject all earlier music; in fact, I truly love the work of PINK FLOYD. The difference is, though, PINK FLOYD typically had a very ahead-of-its-time production and atmosphere...2112 just seems too much like a product of its era in places for me to really accept it as anything special. I just find myself wanting an AYREON album, or DREAM THEATER, or something, rather than this effort that just seems incomplete to me, for lack of a better word. I imagine those who are interested in classic prog would like's not like there isn't good material here. Still, this just didn't make the best impression on this listener from a younger prog generation.

Review by Marc Baum
5 stars What really can be said about this amazing album that hasn't already been uttered in it's twenty-eight years of existence? "2112", the first truly great epic rock album, was the full-length release that gave Rush a market in America and elsewhere in the world. It took them out of Canada and scattered them all over, and oh, how the fanbase would grow...

The first track is "2112", itself. It is, actually, seven smaller tracks all in one; epic indeed. It begins with a sci-fi, almost techno-y laser hum, followed by what can best be described as "cosmic sounds". Then the rock kicks in: Alex's guitar riffs, Geddy's bass providing support, and Neil's drumming crashing in to carry both along. They rip through the first part of the song, "2112 Overture", and then zoom right into the second part: "The Temples of Syrinx" (These first two parts are often the ones used on Rush compilation albums). Afterwards comes the mellow "Discovery", then the slightly harder "Presentation". Expect only the best solo-wise in that segment; Alex Lifeson is, in my opinion, one of the most underrated guitarists in rock history. Following the solo is "The Oracle", a part which helps to further the story the epic is based on. Finally, we come down to "Soliloquy" and at long last, "Grand Finale". They crush through final part of the twenty-minute song, and end it with distorted guitar fuzz, a fading bassline, crashing cymbals and pounding bass drum, all with an electronic, echoing voice shouting about control. It's really a highlight in rock history.

The rest of the album is superb, as well. "A Passage To Bangkok", keeping in spirit with most 70's songs, is about marijuana. Ohwell, it has a very good main riff and Geddy does a very nice job with his vocals to provide an atmosphere.

"The Twilight Zone" is next and it's about... well, the television show The Twilight Zone. A very nice homage.

Next comes "Lessons", a great song about making mistakes and learning from them. Alex goes up high on the fretboard for this one, creating wails to fit Geddy's vocals. It's a rather cool effect which leaves a lasting feeling of amazement.

And then comes the ballad on the album, "Tears". Implementing a violin and acoustic guitar, paired with very somber, very melancholy vocals, it strikes you in the heart and leaves a sad imprint...

...which is quickly taken away by the albums closing song, "Something For Nothing". A very rocking song, to say the least, the boys jump right to it during the chorus and continue until the last chord fades out with the album. Forty minutes of music in a span of six songs.. sounds like Rush to me.


In the middle of the '70's Rush had thier prog-hardrock, which with it's unbelievable atmosphere fantasy-dreamers and science fiction-freaks nights-long into strange worlds guided, so perfected, that not few fans believe today, the three Canadians couldn't be from this earth. With the "sense of wonder" of Tolkien, the band leaded the complexity of the "Caress Of Steel"-longtracks in more transparent ways and created with the title track of this '76 masterpiece a giant, that forever will be undestroyable and perfect, like the black Monolith in the Kubrick-film "2001". The siren-like vocals in "The Temples Of Syrinx", the all with it carried stellar hurricane of the "Grand Finale" - all highlights of the intelligent, creative rockmusic. What can be elegant driven on shorter floor, shows the B-side of the record with it's five short earworms, which carry the from the long journey through space hard beating heart softly back down to earthground. Mr. Lee, Lifeson and Peart may be from far away dimensions; We can the limitations of ourselves just with the greatest music only hide away for short time.

This album is an absolute MUST-HAVE, not for the historical value alone but for the music. I cannot emphasize that enough; if you're a Rush fan, you more than likely already have this. If you're not, go and find it, cherish it, worship it. It will blow you away, if you let it take control over you. Have a nice journey through space, but don't forget to come home again!

album rating: 9.5/10 points = 95 % on MPV scale = 5/5 scale

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 Eetu Pellonpaa
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars This fine classic album introduced me to the music of Rush. I understood the band considered this record being their last due "Caress of Steel"'s poor sales success, and they felt relaxed to do anything they want for the final time. The title tune "2112" is just marvelous, an epic space opera in vein of symphonic music, but played in powerful 1970's hard rock style. The opening with several guitar channels really raise hairs with its melodic curves and introduces a tale of dystopic future vision of interplanetary religious dictatorship, a dreamer crushed between totalitarian realities of his environment and personal yearning for freedom. After few decades of listening this rock suite has stand the test of time for myself, which I find rare when compared to many other longer works of Yes, Genesis and others. The shorter songs on the B-side of the LP lower slightly the personal value of this LP, but I felt "Tears" being a pretty ballad. Even though with few basic rock fillers, I see 2112 as a very fine album still, reaching its full value as a gatefold vinyl artefact.
Review by Tony Fisher
4 stars This is Rush at their studio best, though to see them at their very best, you have to see them live. They are far more hard rock than prog on this album and that is what they do best. In view of the grading criteria, perhaps they shouldn't get 4 stars but the album is good enough to ignore the lack of prog content. 2112 is full of great guitar riffs and solos and the rhythm section is amongst the best around. The only weak bit is the lyrical content (which hints at some slightly right wing views and sounds a bit naive) and Geddy Lees voice falls into the "love it or hate it" category. The second side is all short songs, a Passage to Bangkok and the excellent Something for Nothing being the highlights. Tears is entirely forgettable and should have been omitted. Definitely worth buying overall, but not for its prog content alone.
Review by Philo
3 stars This was the first concept album I ever bought and I found the concept of a concept album very unusual and it took a while to appreciate and accept the concept of this being a concept album. If you say enough times the word sounds very [%*!#]ing weird. Concept, concept, concept etc... As dated as much of the albums contents and cover "graphics" may well be 2112 is nevertheless still a good listen and ranks as one of Rush's better albums and a concept (concept, concept) album with plenty to offer and shows and how adventurous and aggressive that Rush were prepared to be though maybe not not quite pulling it off as diverse as they would on later albums like A Farewell To Kings or Hemispheres, though 2112 has a certain substance that both of those afore mentioned follow up albums lack. Personally I have always had a preference for the album that preceded this one. A Caress Of Steel had an innocence and a captivating glance of optimism about it, and 2112 has some sterling features but a little ambitious bordering on the cheese factor and lacking the innocent and wonderful naivete of A Caress Of Steel. Alex Lifeson's guitar playing, both electric and acoustic, stand out for attention as he plays tighter and with more imagination than ever before which brings a creative emotion when needed on the album's concept as the tale ebbed and flowed and built through to a massive final crescendo. As well as the "2112" the album contains more straight ahead songs. "Something For Nothing" is a good rocking song" with a great riff, though "Twilight Zone" is a bit disposable, lyrically anyway. "Tears" is a beautiful ballad with excellent vocal from Geddy Lee and plenty of emotion, while the stoners voyage of "Passage To Bangkok" mixes and blends in some wasteful fun. Like the vision of the title track "2112" my own mood changes with the album whenever I have played through the last 20 years or so, getting to grips with Rush in general is never an easy task, starting from 2112 may well be a good starting point but it can be a bumpy ride at the best of times.
Review by Cygnus X-2
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars This is the album that got me into Progressive Rock. I remember vividly listening to it for the first time, and thinking how incredible it was. I had never heard of a 20 minute track before, it seemed ludicrous to me. From the first listen, I was hooked.

At this point in time, with the failure of Caress of Steel, Rush recorded this album in a do-or- die fashion. They pulled out all the stops in their creative arsenal, and created a landmark album for progressive music, and a breakthrough in their careers.

The opening of the first track, the overture of 2112, is a memorable experience for me. The opening buzz and the long pause, then the band crashes in, changing time signatures with each transition. The instrumental is superbly crafted, with elements of all the parts coming in to play. A crash comes in and the overture is over, and Geddy says, "And the meek shall inherit the earth". The Temples of Syrinx is another fan favorite, and it is a superb part, with a singable chorus, the song goes straight into Discovery, a quiet guitar only piece that symbolizes the character's discovery of the guitar. The rest of the song is perfect, with wailing guitar, perfect bass, precision drumming, and the mother of all endings, "Attention all pilots of the solar federation, we have assumed control" ringing over and over throughout the speakers, and the song is over.

The second side is a collection of songs, the best being A Passage to Bangkok, The Twilight Zone, and Something for Nothing. The other two tracks, Tears and Lessons, while both good, aren't up to par to the rest of the songs. A Passage to Bangkok has a memorable chorus and introduction, and a great guitar solo. Something for Nothing has great Lifeson riffing, great bass from Geddy, and great lyrics from Peart.

Overall, this is an incredible achievement. While not my favorite album by Rush, it is the one that got me into the band, and it features one of the best songs that they ever did. I give it a 4.5/5.

Review by erik neuteboom
4 stars I bought the remastered version in Vancouver because in Holland the prices are twice as high so I earned a bit back from a rather expensive holiday in Canada! But back to the music, this is the first genuine progressive rock album from Rush although from "Caress of steel" Rush turned out to be an interesting heavy progressive rock band. In the titletrack all members prooved their instrumental and compositional skills, what a mindblowing breaks and soli, especially Ale Lifeson his effect-pedal drenched guitarwork is excellent! Another remarkable song is "Tears" because of the use of the Mellotron, it fits perfect to the music but unfortunately for me it appeared to be the last time Rush used this wonderful instrument. The next album "A farewell to kings" became a milestone and presented Rush as a pivotal progrock band. But "2112", especially the titletrack, remains a very good 'heavy progressive' album, so unique for that era. GREAT!!
Review by Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars I remember vividly how this album has influenced young men in my country who love rock music in the seventies. In many places around Jakarta I can see many graffiti with big letters: RUSH 2112. Yeah, this album rocked the world, I think. Even until now I still find many places with 2112 graffiti. It's so rocking. Musically, through this album Rush has demonstrated their music direction and its standing among the seventies rockers. Their music is still using hard rock as the basis and the band compose their music with multi-part structures combining diverse styles with many tempo changes. The center of this album is of course the epic title track that also serves as album opener: the twenty-one-twelve (2112). The epic comprises seven parts that all together make up a twenty minute stream of full rock music. From the colossal opening "Overture" this epic starts to cast an excellent kind of music especially through guitar riffs and musical harmonies augmented wonderfully with drum work. "Temples of The Syrinx" with high register notes voice by Geddy Lee in relatively fast tempo. The diverse music styles for all parts in this epic has made a strong label for the band as progressive band. The other highlight of this album is the band's favorite for live performance: "A Passage to Bangkok". This track has a wonderful riffs and great melody.

Overall, it's an excellent addtition to any prog rock collection.

Progressively yours, GW

Review by Garion81
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars It is a little strange that I approach this CD years after its initial release. I have always known about it having heard it at parties and other events but I never went one on one with it. After hearing about it from a lot of people here, hearing Tiles cover the first two passages of it at CalProg and the stories from some other slightly younger friends of mine who would have considered this a staple in their high school diet of music I decided to give the re-mastered CD a go.

2112- In parts is genius. The hard rocking parts of the overture is a great experience. Neil Pert is a true master of the drums and Geddy Lee is more than just fill. Alex Lifeson certainly is a competent if unspectacular guitarist of his time. Temple of Syrinx picks up where the overture left off and is very solid. Lee's voice screams with emotion to let you know these priests are not very nice. Then the whole thing goes on hiatus for a while. Now I know there is a story being told but the music drops down to zero for too long! (I notice on the live version of this that Discovery is left off.) Lee's voice is not suited for this type of music. If this part was shortened by 2 minutes it might have been a better segue to Presentation which is a great song. The Dream too drags a bit but the ending pieces are as solid as the beginning more than make up for it.

The rest of the CD I have only listened two once all the way through and found little there to spark my interest. Rush had not reached its peak of radio friendly hard rock songwriting yet.

My rating is thus. I wanted to give this 3 stars + but I thought about the title track and its importance in the development of this group. I also thought of another album of like mind ELP's Tarkus. I would give Tarkus only a 4 except the title piece is essential so I would give it 5. Using that rational I give this 4 stars as the title track is an excellent addition to any collection.

Review by Dan Bobrowski
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Ah, My first RUSH review. 20 stars, IMHO. So many bongs and bottles and various other substances fuel my love for this piece. Rocked out teenage memories, insightful Ayn Rand philosophies and hairless old aged reminisciences. Partying to Bangkok, sobbing to Tears, banging my head to Something for Nothing and spookin' to the Twilight Zone, yeah, those were days to remember.

2112, the magnum opus, is the real reason to add this disc to our collection. Near perfect in the melding of the classical stylings of Yes or Genesis and the power and glory of Led Zeppelin and the Yardbirds. RUSH put it all together and damn near created the Prog Metal genre with this singular piece. All bow.

RUSH learned the lesson of combining light and dark, the electric and acoustic, to take a epic idea and create a masterpiece of progressive rock. They made an attempt on Caress of Steel, but hit pay-dirt on 2112. A blistering introduction, main story line, heroes entrance, rebellion, battle and magical rebirth (resurrection). Nirvana (the ideal, not the friggin' grunge guys, ya maroon) for the prog 'n' roll soul.

I no longer indulge, but, raise yer bong or beer skyward and scream.... We have assumed control.... We Have Assumed Control.... WE HAVE ASSUMED CONTROL.

Review by Zitro
3 stars This is the beginning of Good Rush. An album containing their best of their side-length songs they have made, followed by average pop/rock tunes that unfortunately bring the album down in quality (at least for me)

2112 : I assume this story about a person developing the power of musical expression under a repressive society is supposed to be on the future (hence the title 2112). It is a great cencept epic full of musical movements like if it was a classical music composition. The moods range from acoustic ballads to powerful and overblown electric guitar driven moments. The best moments are in the first 6 minutes, with its amazing guitar riffing and the 'Temple of Sphinx!" which has a great vocal hook. The rest of the music is very consistent and wel done for Rush (they usually do not succeed when making epics) This is probably the only prog rock epic I know that doesn't have keyboards in it. (8/10)

The rest is not very memorable. They are just several short pieces with little to no progressive elements, and mediocre songwriting/melodies. (4.5/10)

My Grade : C

Review by slipperman
5 stars Rush music has evolved in distinct phases, each phase consisting of a four-album cycle, marked by a live album to separate the phases (until 'Rush In Rio' messed with that pattern). I think their best two albums are the ones that cap the first two eras: 1981's 'Moving Pictures' and this one. '2112' is the climax of their years as a metal/hard rock band, before venturing into even more ambitious and refined territory, though it's hardly without its own sophistication.

In terms of composition, lyrics, storytelling, performance and production, the side-long title-track is a masterpiece. "2112" achieves a flow that their other side-long epics (1975's "The Fountain Of Lamneth" and 1978's "Cygnus X-1, Book Two: Hemispheres") lack. Each of the seven parts conveys its own independent strength but flows into the next with ease. The story is communicated easily, with clarity and without complication. Too many times a conceptual piece (song or album) gets tangled in convoluted nonsense. Not here. The musical side achieves the emotion inherent in the lyrics, flowing, climaxing, acting subtly, doing whatever is needed for the good of the piece. I can't move on without mentioning the forceful "The Temples Of Syrinx", being built from one of the greatest metal riffs of all time while Geddy Lee conveys the authority of the priests with sheer intensity. And if there's a more tense and hopeful (and, in the end, tragic) climax to any song anywhere than these final minutes, represented by "Soliloquy" and "Grand Finale", I have yet to hear it. As Rush epics go, "2112" is the ultimate.

Judging the album's second half against the "2112" epic is unfair. Taking it as a more down-to-earth counterpart, you get 5 solid and totally different songs. "A Passage To Bangkok" hangs on a heavy, swaying, arrogant riff, infused appropriately with the fifths commonly heard in Eastern music. It's an inviting, haze-fogged tale of global travels in search of the finest crop (we're not talking soybeans here). "The Twilight Zone" is as close to psychedelia as Rush ever got, a cosmic and sublime journey into the unknown. Geddy's forlorn vocals along with excellent production techniques make this a must for headphones afficionados. "Lessons" has been likened to songs from their first couple albums, but it's way too polished and dynamic to be compared. The carefree verses are blown apart by the crashing chords of the chorus, topped by some seriously convincing vocals. "Tears": a highly effective ballad, conveying everything it intends: sadness, loss, bittersweet memories, loneliness (curiously, the only song to feature keyboards, and those are played by graphic artist Hugh Syme). Closer "Something For Nothing" takes more influence from writer Ayn Rand (a Neil Peart favorite at the time), and some of Geddy's most impossibly high vocal shrieks. Like "Anthem" and "Bastille Day" before it, it's Rush at their metallic best.

Another remarkable trait of '2112' is the production. This time Terry Brown helped the band get it right. Plenty of depth and clarity, all kinds of power without any loss of subtlety. It matches the quality of the writing and performance. Everything in synch. You get the (probably very real) feeling that these three young men are having the times of their lives exploring the musical chemistry they've locked into. And here it is, an album worth $1,000 in pure listening pleasure for a fraction of its true worth...which certainly makes up for the money I shelled out for 'Hold Your Fire' years later...

Review by con safo
3 stars Quite a good album, but side 2 does not live up! "2112" is Rush's second attempt at the epic, and it fairs much better than on "Caress Of Steel" but they still have a lot of room to grow. The album opens with the 20 minute opus "2112." After a blistering intro and some excellent solo's by Alex, we are treated to the heavy opening movement of "Temples of Syrinx" and learn about a new world, where everything from what you see, hear, and read is governed by "The Priests". Our unnamed protaganist soon discovers an acoustic guitar near what sounds like a waterfall, and learns to tune and play it proficiently in a couple of minutes.. yea! This aside there is some nice acoustic playing by Lifeson in this part. The song regains momentum when our hero confronts the priests about his new discovery, only to be sent away. Geddy does a good job of different vocal-roles, but nothing on par with Gabriel (..but, who is?) The song has a basic message that can be easily applied to our current society. But the lyrics are not anything overly spectacular, the music is the real treat in this epic, although the compositional skills of the band had some room to improve. The song is concluded the way it began, with a blistering outro, fitting end to this masterpeice prog epic. If I were to rate the album on this track alone, it would most definitely receive 5 stars. But the album loses steam during the second side, as the short songs really do nothing for me, besides the pretty good "Passage To Bangkok" and the heart felt "Tears". The other songs are for the most part pretty generic and forgettable. It seems to me that most of the bands creative energy went into the title track, and it shows. Due to the lackluster side 2, i can only give this album a 3.5/5 - con safo
Review by Menswear
3 stars A tad overrated.

Yes it's true, this is a real classic. I even think this album will be played even when the guys'll be gone. But to me, this is the wake up call Rush needed to stay in the game.

Rush' career wasn't going too good when this came out, and it saved the day. A story about rebellion, musak and fascim. Is it why it's so popular? Probably, and the fact that Geddy's voice tip top shape doesn't hurt. Or maybe is it the strange sign on the cover that attracts so much? Or could it be the picture of the band with long robes and no panties under? Yuck.

I really never understood why people going berserk on this suite. Temple of Syrinx is a concert classic, but the whole thing isn't gripping me like Cygnus X-1 Book II did for example. Maybe it's one of those records that strucked people in the right place right time.

For majestic suites listen also to Hemispheres, Natural Science and Camera Eye. Those are as good, and gives more cohesion and melodies.

High 5 to Bangkok and Something for Nothing also.

Review by OpethGuitarist
3 stars What can be said that hasn't already been said? This is the album that really defined Rush for many people. Although it's not necessarily their greatest work, it's something that any fan of prog should have. 2112, the song itself, is really the only track I concern myself with. Some of the others are nice to listen to, but never really hold me. It's a fun, entertaining listen. The notes fall in the right place, and the inspiration is clearly there. This album was definitely a sign for great things to come.
Review by bhikkhu
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Rush at its proggy best. As popular as they were in my teen years, not as many people seemed to know about this one. Those who did raved about it. "2112" is a rite of passage for anyone interested in '70s prog (or for those of us around at that time). It was almost a test for anyone serious about rock. If you liked it, you passed. My fever for Rush has diminished over time, but I still like to occasionally pull this one out.

"2112" is the magnum opus, and the primary reason for getting this album. The Sci-fi tale is a bit hokey, but it works well enough. As a teen, I was with it 100%. "F%$# Yeah! Rock conquers all, man!" The concept wears a little thin now, but it is not without its charm. As you would expect, the playing is outstanding. The music rocks, softens, gets downright spacey, and never fails to entertain.

The remaining tracks pale in comparison. They aren't bad, and would have probably made a great EP. But once you have heard the big one, they fall a little flat. Because of this division, I can't call the album itself a masterpiece. That's okay though, the title piece is worth the price. Just think of the others as bonus tracks. Seek it out, listen to it, and you'll probably want to add it to your collection.

H.T. Riekels

Review by Australian
5 stars "2112"is the album where all the pieces came together, where the band realised its capabilities and created something to match. "2112" sees the band adopting strong space rock influences and themes (more themes) and the album has a strong sci-fi story. The concept behind the title track is of a galaxy-wide war which was brought about by the union of all planets under the rule of the Red Star of the Solar Federation in 2062. The empire is controlled by the priests of the Temples of Syrinx. This whole concept reminds me of the recent "Dune" series in which computers are dominating.

In the song "2112" the main character finds a guitar hidden in a cave behind a waterfall and is fascinated by it. In the quiet section following "The Priests of the Temples of Syrinx" there can be heard the flowing of water, signifying the waterfall. Then there is the sound of a guitar being played, at first it sounds out of tune but it soon develops into more coherent music. He takes the guitar to the priests, who he believes would be amazed by the discovery, they aren't. The rest of the concept I'll leave to you to discover, don't want to spoil the story! The instrumentation throughout this entire song is amazing, as in all Rush songs. "2112" has many very quite sections in which there is only subtle chord progressions, tunes and lyrics sung by Geddy Lee. The loud sections are made even more effective by the overall quietness of the song. The use of the mini-moog synthesizer gives the song a real sci-fi feel. At the very end of the song there is a voice that says: "Attention all planets of the Solar Federation, Attention all planets of the Solar Federation, we have assumed control.

"A Passage to Bangkok" follows "2112". It has a very distinctive melody which begins immediately and lasts throughout the entire the song. The lyrics are masterful to say the least here, and they depict the journey through the middle-east to Asia. The instrumentation matches the lyrics in terms of brilliance. It is just an amazing song.

"Twilight Zone" really contrasts in sound and is less heavy than the previous songs but still retains a genuine driving intensity. The quiet sections are very guitar orientated with many parts and bass supporting. The song ends with the good old fashion guitar solo, the song really seems to ends way too quickly.

Next is "Lessons." The song begins with some acoustic guitar chords before being overplayed by electric guitar, bass and drums. Once again the lyrics are fantastic and carry a very Robert Plant quality. It's not just the music but also the guitar is very reminiscent of Led Zeppelin. I guess this can be said about many Rush songs though. That said the track has Rush's distinctive song structure that douses all thoughts the song being a Zeppelin-clone.

"Tears" is the mellowest song of the album and it is mainly focused around Alex Lifeson's classical guitar and acoustic chords. The vocals from Geddy Lee are very soothing and the song features guest on mellotron. There is also a flute on the album, though it may be synthesized but it sounds pretty real to me. "Tears" is really different from the rest of the album, save maybe the quiet sections in "2112." It is none the less a fantastic song.

Last of all is "Something For Nothing" which is perhaps the easiest song to recall on the album due to its very catchy chorus. The song begins with arpeggio chords played on more than one guitar as well as the bass backing. The song seems to get more and more intense as the song progresses and some of the guitar-work from Lifeson is fantastic and he has more than one solo here.

"2112" is the second highest selling Rush album behind 1981's 'Moving Pictures' which reached the status of quadruple-platinum in the US (4 million sales), while "2112" reached 3xPlatnium in the US (3 million sales) and remains an icon of progressive rock music. Funny though, the album only charted at number 62 initially yet still achieved platinum statutes all but one Rush studio album have gone gold (500,000 sales.) The band is fourth in overall Gold albums which is an amazing feat!

1. 2112: (5/5) 2. A passage to Bangkok (5/5) 3. The twilight zone (4/5) 4. Lessons (3.5/5) 5. Tears (4.5/5) 6. Something for nothing (5/5) Total = 27 divided by 6 = 4.5 = 5 stars

Essential: A Masterpeice of Progressive Music

"2112" is really a fantastic album and gets a 5 from me. "2112 has the perfect set up for me, and what's more a fantastic concept. I'd recommend this album to Rush fans, it's a real must have and secondly to all of you who like a good Art Rock album with Sci-fi themes.

Review by Cesar Inca
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars "2112" is a definite cornerstone in Rush's long career, since it is the album that simultaneously culminated their heavy rock oriented first phase and set the pace for their progressive second phase. From the opening synth layers and initial guitar-bass- drumkit blows of the namesake suite, you can tell that these guys are headlong toward the exploration of a deeper artsy trend in their own rock essence. The joint pair of the first two sections have grown to bear a personality of their own through countless renditions in countless tours. The 'Overture' consists of a set of following sections' portions, while 'The Temple of Syrinx' displays a powerful example of vintage Rush in a most majestic expression. The final classical guitar flourishes end this section with soft elegance. 'Discovery' and 'Presentation' are also paired in a continuum, the former built on a serene guitar chord exercise, the latter bringing another solid example of typical Rush rock, albeit with an enhanced melodic vibe. 'Oracle' and 'Soliloquy' we have two brief musical sketches that serve dramatic purposes for the story's development - that is not to say that the amazing guitar lead at the interlude of 'Soliloquy' has to be dismissed, on the contrary, it is one of the most emotionally charged Lifeson solos ever. The fact is that these two sections find themselves a bit "stuck" between the splendid ending section of 'Presentation' and the incendiary 'Grand Finale'. It is impossible for the Rush-head not to feel moved by the sinister sound of that infamous robotic declaration: "Attention all members of the Solar Federation1 We have assumed control" while the trio displays tons and tons of their rocking power all the way through the main riffs toward the red hot chaotic conclusion. This is real prog metal before its time! The album's second half consists of a catalogue of shorter numbers. 'A Passage to Bangkok' pretty much anticipates the atmosphere of controlled sophistication that will be used recurrently in the 77-81 albums' shorter tracks. 'The Twilight Zone' also builds on that, although I wish this particular song had been more developed, since its bluesy nuances and mysterious ambience had enough potential as to be explored further - anyway, that's the authors' call. After the funny 'Lessons', penned by Lifeson as a joint homage to The Who and Led Zeppelin (two of the most prominent influences on Rush's earliest years), comes 'Tears', one of the most beautiful Rush ballads ever, penned by Geddy Lee. The marriage of acoustic guitar and mellotron serve as adequate sonic vehicles for the romantic vibe incarnated in the vocal lines: indeed, you need not be a prog fan or a hard rock lover to enjoy the simple beauty of this song. The album is closed down by 'Something for Nothing', an effective rocker related to the spirit of the "Fly by Night" and "Caress of Steel" albums. Well, what else can I say that many people haven't said months and years before me? "2112" is an excellent item in any good rock collection, and it is of special meaning for Rush, since it is the ultimate statement of the maturity of their own musical voice. From now on, they will be left with constant refurbishing.
Review by 1800iareyay
4 stars 2112 marks Rush's first essential album. This album enjoyed commercial success despite its decidedly non-pop format. Pop songs are usually in the 3-5 minute range, and the title track is a whopping 20 minute opus. However, enough people stayed out a Studio 54 cocaine- and disco-induced haze to realize the raw talent of this trio from Canada. Today, the album stands as a hallmark of 70s prog.

2112 opens the album with electronic whirring, as if your record (or CD, as I'm used to) player was coming to life. Neil, Alex, and Geddy come in thunderous force and the opening movement is propelled with a mid-tempo rumble The guitars and drums give way to explosions until an brief silence falls with Geddy's spoken word "And the meek shall inherit the earth." The sonic bludgeon returns for "The Temples of Syrinx." Geddy shrieks the part of the priests, almost forcing you to sit up and pay attention. The lyrics give some background to the world in which the song takes place, a sort of 1984 meets Anthem (the author, Ayn Rand, is credited with the inspiration for this song) dystopia. The volume drops out completely and is supplanted with a lonely acoustic and nature sounds for "Discovery." This pattern will be the basis for the rest of the song (soft when the protagonist thinks, crashing, when under stress or when the priests are involved). The unnamed protagonist discovers a guitar in the waterfall behind his home. Alex's guitar chords become more and more complex to represent his learning to play.

The protagonist decides to show the instrument to the priests to gain their favor. "Presentation" marks the return of the rest of the band, furious as ever. The protagonist shows his relic to the priests and argues that it can educate people on the glory of the elder race (most likely humans from Earth). Geddy alternates between the priests' shrieks and the protagonist's soft pleading, and it stands as one of his finest vocal performances. Also a great solo from Alex *Concept ends here to avoid spoilers"

"Oracle" marks a return to Alex's acoustic, and is a fine continuation. "Soliloquy" alternates between soft vox and agonized screams. The song ends with bombastic instrumentation and a P.A. stating "Attention all planets of the Solar Federation, we have assumed control."

"Passage to Bangkok" opens side 2 of the album. The lyrics sound as if they were written by Kyuss, Monster Magnet, or another stoner metal band. The songs involves a journey through Asia, getting high. A cheerfully light tune to balance out the dystopia of the title track.

"Twilight Zone" is a quirky ode to the T.V. show of the same name. It almost sounds if the boys wrote while on the passage to Bangkok, if you know what I mean. The track is a little weak coming off of the other two songs.

"Lessons" is a mellower number, and not really that memorable.

"Tears" is a beautiful ballad that keeps things simple. It sounds out of place on this album, though.

"Something For Nothing" obliterates the softness of the last song with more heavy guitars. The feel of the song matches the lyrics, and the song is enjoyable.

2112 is a great album that gets hampered by one or two filler tracks. If you like prog, and I assume you do, this album is a necessary addition to your collection

Grade: B

Review by Mellotron Storm
4 stars It was like RUSH was at the plate with two out and two strikes on them and with "2112" they hit a homerun, and the rest is history. The band did feel that if this one wasn't successful the game was over, that this was their last opportunity and this could possibly be their last record.

The song "2112" would be their second side long suite, the first coming on their previous release "Caress Of Steel". In an interview Alex had said that the band was really happy with "Caress Of Steel" and they wanted to develope that style but because it didn't do well commercially the record label and their management were directing a lot of negative feelings towards them. "The Fountain Of Lamneth" had been their first concept song and they were determined to make "2112" which was like an extension of it. Alex said there was a lot of anger and passion on this record. It was about one person standing up against everybody else. Which is just how they felt.The first part of it called "Overture" sounds like synths are firing off all over the place, and when Neil starts going crazy on the drums it's fantastic. "The Temple Of Syrinx" is a short 2 minute passage that begins with Geddy singing "The meek shall inherit the earth" and then all hell breaks loose as Geddy lets it absolutely rip. We are assaulted on several fronts during this earth shaking passage. "Discovery' opens with acoustic guitar, the sound of water flowing and gentle vocals. "Presentation" is my favourite part of this epic. Some great heavy parts in this one, nice bass too.The contrast is incredible between the heavy and mellow sections. Alex ends it with a really good solo. "Oracle : The Dream" opens with sad vocals but it gets intense. "Soliloquy" opens with acoustic guitar and running water again before we get some scorching guitar and passionate vocals.The "Grand Finale" closes the song with a beautiful instrumental.

"A Passage To Bangkok" has an eastern sound to it and is quite dark until the chorus when things lighten up.This is such a great song.The guitar solos are amazing. I think this is the only RUSH song that has it's focus on drugs. "The Twilight Zone" is both haunting and empty, at least that's the feeling I get from the chorus. "Lessons" builds in the intro to some passionate vocals and some good guitar. Nice song ! "Tears" is a sad song that features some beautiful mellotron from Hugh Syme, flutes in the verses and strings in the chorus. "Something For Nothing" is another song that contrasts the light and the heavy very well.

This is the one that put them on the world map, and it's a masterpiece !

Review by laplace
2 stars While Moving Pictures is the hard rock fan's favourite Rush endeavour, 2112 is the title of the album that is still spoken in reverence. After all, it contains a glorious paean to music in seven parts - a true epic which inspires us all, no matter what our dreams might be. Of course, debate rages about the root of the lyrics - some consider them to represent strong libertarianism, and as such, repulsive - yet the message is one of music uniting us against oppressors and historical revisionists.

The main problem with the album is that it runs out of prog after 270 seconds. Of course, the 2112 suite has just reached full swing by that time and it unfolds most enjoyably - just not challengingly. Indeed, the only part of the album that is difficult to come to grips with is the overture and by the second play that also passes smoothly.

If you're a hard rock fan, side B of 2112 is a smash hit. This reviewer is not, and considers it a trainwreck. There's still a higher level of play in evidence because the band are who they are, but what's missing, again, is any trace of invention. Rush remain the band that, were someone to overhear you mention them in conjunction with progressive rock, they would be doubtful and mistrusting of your subsequent opinions on music.

So how many stars should I give this one? Two? One? One?! Two.

Review by Prog Leviathan
3 stars The album that either makes you a Rush fan for life, or makes you hate everything about them (but usually just Geddy's shrieking). "2112" really is a hallmark of the genre and is a great example of how rock can be elevated to new artistic heights. The band's playing is tight and their sound gigantic... and epics were never so sing-alongable. I particularly enjoy Geddy's non-Syrinx vocals and Alex's solo on "Soliloquy".

The rest of the album is not as good (admit it), and falls somewhere between "Fly by Night" and "Caress of Steel". "Passage to Bangkok" is about as good as side B gets, with "Something for Nothing", "Lessons" and "Twilight Zone" sounding awfully close to filler. All of these three songs don't bring much new to the table, which is unfortunate. "Tears" is remains the bands only real ballad (and it's actually pretty good), but when mixed together they are simply dwarfed by the red-star of "2112".

Essential for everyone who even half-way likes Rush for "2112" alone, with the other songs fun for an occasional listen.

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

Review by Angelo
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars I stand atop a spiral of stairs....

When I first heard this album, I was 15 and I immediately got hooked on the hacking rhythm of 2112 Part V The Oracle, and the frantic screaming of the priests on 2112 Part II The Temples of Syrinx. I was an Iron Maiden and Metallica fan at the time, but the first step away from 80's metal was set.

Side one of the LP, or the first track on the CD version is burned into my mind forever , I can dream every note of the Overture and The Grand Finale. Only three instruments produce the whole sound of this track (apart from the short keyboard contribution in the intro). Rush was known to be a loud band long before they released an album, and with 2112 they had not yet lost that capacity - even though the suggestion to play it loud was no longer printed on the cover, as it was with their debut.

A Passage to Bangkok is sort of relaxing after the wall of sound that is the ending of 2112. It took a few years before I realised what the song was about, but it's an addictive track - pun intended. The riffs are catchy in a certain way, and Neil shows his interest in gadgets by adding some melodic percussion under the song's intro riff. The track Twilight Zone that follows is a tribute to the producer of the TV show of the same name, who died during the creation of the album. A very relaxed song, and far from complex track with a nice slow guitar solo at the end - plus haunting whispered backing vocals in the chorus.

The next two tracks are written individually by Alex and Geddy respectively. Lessons is a clean guitar tune, with lyrics that will bring back memories with every post-adolescent. Nice guitar work, in a rather plan rock song. Tears is the first and by my knowledge only Rush track that uses a mellotron, played by cover artist and multi-instrumentalist Hugh Symes. Apart from the mellotron, the song is played only on acoustic guitars, and Geddy proves that he can actually sing. I once danced to this song with my wife, which is rather unique for a Rush track I guess. Closing track Something for Nothing is, according to the biography Rush Chemistry by Jon Collins a message from the band, indicating that they have their goals set and realise after releasing the flopped Caress of Steel that they won't get there for free. A driving rock song, with lyrics showing the spark of wisdom that ignites in the musician's minds.

With this album, Rush sets the course for the next few years, as I learned years after I heard it for the first time, when I finally got interested in the stories behind the bands that I liked. As for progressiveness, the epic 2112 leaves no doubt, the shorter tracks are still more straight forward heavy rock songs in the style that the band started out with. Because of this, the album doesn't deserve the full 5 stars on the ProgArchives scale, that the title track by itself would get without a doubt. Alas, 4 stars it is, including an extra half for the use of a mellotron.

Review by obiter
2 stars THis is one of those talismanic albums, a sacred cow that cannot be criticised.

Well, here goes. The songs on the second side are not up to muster. The earlier rocky numbers on Fly By Night are far better. So before going onto the great concept piece we're already half an album shy of greatness.

2112 is better than Fountain of Lamneth. The is a coherent theme that carries the listener through from the crashing pomp of the Temples of Syrinx through the delicate discovery to the triumphant finale.

Well shoudl this be revered as a great philosophical treatise ....a book about the philosphy of Rush talked about the dystopian antichrist Father Brown ... sorry the deep thoughts are beyond me. As far as I could amek it out: weird priests rule, music is banned, the hero finds a guitar, hey it's cool, he pays some chords, even cooler, the preists don't like it, he's all sad, bummer, but music sets us free and the whole fabric of the priests' state collapses. Wow.

When I first listened to this album in the 70s I thought it was great: I was 13. It's gathered a fair bit a dust since then, although every time I take it out for a re-listen it gets put away for another long rest ...

Review by Finnforest
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars My least favorite of the 70s Rush albums

Well, I'm afraid I'm with Teaflax and Obiter on this one. While I did enjoy the long suite when I was young it has not held up for me over time. Listening these days I must admit that I find the music to be less convincing and definitely less memorable than Caress or Farewell. I would simply point to Fly By Night or Caress as the stronger examples of young Rush, their period that ends with this album.

2112 (the song) is certainly more power-chord chugging than Fountain of Lamneth but the themes are predictable, it lacks the charm and to this listener, the sincerity of both Necromancer and Fountain. While side 2 has its moments those tracks are not as vibrant and consistent as the short songs of Caress (or even Fly By Night for that matter). While I initially rated 2112 two stars I had to come back and edit that to three to be fair. 2112 is very far from my favorite Rush but I have to acknowledge it deserves three at a minimum.

Review by Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars We have assumed control

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

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

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

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

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

Review by Dim
3 stars This album has an amazing first side, and a terrible second Side. Though I am not sure why Rush needed to put seven completely different songs together into one really long song, the title song 2112, is quite an excellent song, with some great drum work, amazing vocals and limber basslines. After this song, a second side of mediocre classic rock songs rear they're ugly head and destroy what left of an otherwise four star album.

I guess I should go over the title song. Well, as I mentioned before, there is no reason to put seven completely different songs on to one song. They dont share the same key, tempo, or at some points time sigs (though, this is in the early age of Rush when they mostly did 4/4). Either way, that dosent make it a bad song at all, that just means I dont consider an epic. Now for the song! It starts with some very cool effect, then explodes in a very high energy and exciting instrumental section, filled with some amazing drums and bass, (btw, I still do not recognize Lifeson as a very good guitar player for only playing the pentatonic). This eventually leads to the very cool second part of the song themples of Syrinx. I guess this is where the concept beggins, with Geddy's screaching vocals displaying a very powerful (and maybe oppressive) voice of a priest of some religion that obviously rules the planet, led by computers and temples. Musically this song rocks! Very hard and very metalish, with some rock solid guitar and vox. After this song there is a brief silence, then a detuned guitar that quickly turns very pretty and rythmic... leading to the third part of the song: Discovery. This parts about some random guy in a waterfall who finds an ancient musical device (a guitar), then realises how beautiful it is and how he can show this to the priests who rule the world, so they can show the world, so everyone can make pretty music. musically, the song is a bit slow and melodic, with some pretty vocals and guitar, then an electric blast comes in and the next part comes in. Presentation is very cool to me because it flops from the soft acoustic parts with the man showing the priests the guitar, to the very hard screchy vocals of the priests smashing our hero to the ground, and with that, I have explained this part of the song. Oracle the dream is probably the weakest song on the album musically, as in there is nothing interesting. Of course the concept goes on with our hero walking home sadly then falling asleep and dreaming of an oracle showing him earth 1000 years ago with beauty and music ect ect. Siloloquy is a very sad song with a very cool guitar solo ( I said it) and very nice vocals! The last lines of this song are just about our hero feeling sorry for hmiself and then killing himself, because he know that life will be meaningless without the beauty that he has uncovered. From then on is the grand finale, an instrumental part, not as good as the first, but good none the less! If I had to review this song, I would give it 4.5 ****

Now the rest of the album is not ear shattering bad, but reminds me of an early led zeppelin album, so it's pretty bad! The first song, a passage to bangkok, is pretty nice with some cool experimentation, but with some otherwise lame lyrics. The twilight zone dosent make sense to me, the drums are doing a country kind of one-two beat, and everything else goes with it to sound almost like VERY electric country. The lyrics are a bit cooler, but dont impress to much. Lessons has a cool easy strum riff, but with some punk rock rebelious lyrics that dont make much sense either. Tears is probably my favirote song outside of the title song, a very slow ballady song with very sweet lyrics and cool mellotron. Something for nothing is kinda the closer to the title song, basically dashing our hero's dreams into the dust, musically a strereotypical classic rock song.

Well, A very mixed up album with some very high highs and some low low's. Overall I rat


Review by FruMp
4 stars Just ignore the second side

RUSH were under considerable pressure when they released 2112, their record label was on their backs to release something succesful and Neil Peart decided to show it to them by writing an amazing sidelong epicr. 2112 the song is fantastic, it's one of the best prog epics ever written and it tells a very clear if slightly cheesy story which is an amazing achievement for a piece of music, unfortunately there are 2 sides to a record and the B-side in this case is a waste of time. 2112 starts of ominously with some sound effects before that very distinct syncopated section comes in and then things step up and we here glimpses of a certain classical piece with a similar name. The second part of the song 'The temples of syrinx' is really quite heavy and the chorus is very addictive. Things then quieten down for a bit before the electric instruments return triumphantly. The ending of the song is great, it's quite moving and instrumentally powerful and the voice over at the end is just funny.

The second side of the album is full of 3 minute pop-rock songs and contains no real progressive merit but they aren't overtly bad and because of the sheer greatness of the title track and the influence of this record I think it deserves 4 stars.

Review by apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars To my ears ''Caress of Steel'' was a really hot start into more adventurous territories for Rush, unfortunately the public did not share the same opinion and the album was followed by limited sales and, thus, to small live tours.Mercury pressed the band to return with a more commercial album in the future, instead Rush seemed to believe in their own forces and returned with ''2112'', which contained another sidelong track.The album was recorded in February 1976 at the Toronto Sound Studios in Toronto and introduced for the first time Hugh Syme as a guest member on keyboards, the man who was responsible for the surreal artworks of Rush'es albums.

The eponymous track, clocking at 20 minutes, was based in a concept story set in Neil Part's mind, taking place in the year 2112 when everything is controlled by the so-called ''Priests of the Temples of Syrinx''.Musically this is a Hard Rock-oriented piece with progressive leanings, not really based on indulgent technique or virtuosic solos, but more on the beautiful atmospheric changes throughout the track.Basically it moves through the electroacoustic alternations and presents a variety of moods depending on the lyrics, offering sharp guitar riffs and intense rhythmic passages, where the LED ZEPPELIN bluesy influences are still apparent, along with dreamy acoustic lines and Lee's high-pitched voice in the forefront.Syme provides the opening synth effects on the ARP Odyssey synthesizer and the tracks flows amazingly easy despite its length.

The second side is more easy-going, typical of Rush'es style during their early years, with shorter tracks, however the songwriting remains incredibly consistent at some point.''A passage to Bangkok'' is a very dramatic Hard Rock cut with outstanding guitar work and excellent solos, while ''The twilight zone'' offers a mix of pleasant Blues Rock lines with light psychedelic tunes and good guitar melodies.''Lessons'' is rather forgettable and sounds too amateur regarding the composing level Rush had reached at the time, but the following ''Tears'' shows the more sensitive side of the group, introducing Syme's Mellotron over Lee's emotional vocals and Lifeson's ethereal acoustic guitar.The album closes with ''Something for nothing'', another track that recalls more of Rush'es first albums, being Hard Rock-oriented with guitars in the forefront and strong LED ZEPPELIN inspirations.

While the best had yet to come, ''2112'' moves the style of Rush a bit further.Keyboard introductions, a tendency towards constantly more progressive songwriting and a concept story as the centerpiece of another release.Strongly recommended...3.5 stars.

Review by Queen By-Tor
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Gettin' out the angst!

By the mid seventies Rush was starting to get noticed, their first album "Rush" (while not very prog) had given them some major credit in the hard rock world, while their sophomore "Fly By Night" had gone on to prove that Rush was not Zeppelin wannabes. Then came the controversial "Caress Of Steel", which sold just as much as it's predecessors, but was called "a dog" by the press. The band, feeling they were onto something with that album, and had put their all into it, were fairly disappointed, and, fearing the worst, named the corresponding tour the "Down the Tubes Tour". They may have thought it was the end, but no. They stil had one album left on their contract. Ignoring the advice of producers, and getting all their anger and angst out of their system, Rush released 2112. Expecting little, Rush was surprised to find that this was their highest selling album to date, the record companies also extended their contract. This was the beginning to Rush's classic era.

Let's start with the opening side. 2112 is a bombastic, apocalyptic epic that starts with the instumental "Overture", which twists and winds as Rush shows just how good of musicians they would eventually be known to be. It all comes to a slow as Geddy's voice comes in, ("...and the meek shall inherit the Earth...") and is soon blasted away by the metal riff that opens "Temples of Syrinx". This part is brief and soon we're into some quiet time until we're introduced to the main character nd the story really takes off. Now, I'm not going to get right into the story, nor will I explain the rest of the song, but I will mention some highlights. "Oracle: The Dream" is a nice part, and "Finale" finishes the song off with the same kind of force it was started with, not to mention the increadibly creepy "ATTENTION: All planets of the solar federation; We have assumed control...". Indeed, this is an epic that essential for any prog lover.

The rest of the album is a mixture of hard rock tunes, nothing really progressive there. For us classic rock fans, however, this side is almost as good as the first! PASSAGE TO BANKOK and SOMETHING FOR NOTHING are both classic Rush tunes, while others such as LESSONS or TWILIGHT ZONE are great as well.

So while this album may not be Rush's best, it certainly is great, and definately the start of something beautiful. 4.5 stars, excellent!

Review by LinusW
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars 4,25 stars

Aptly titled 2112 - since side 2 is overshadowed by its grandeur - I guess this is what many consider the first essential Rush album. Also the first one I picked up after some discussion with my father (another fan). At the time, 2112 (the song) just didn't do it for me, but side 2 was played over and over again.

From A Passage to Bangkok with its smoky, Eastern feeling, the mysterious, alluring The Twilight Zone, the powerhouse that is Something for Nothing to the smooth, yet rebellious Lessons. I was hooked. Couldn't stop. Repeated over and over and over again. Why, oh why! My life's greatest musical experience until I listened to A Farewell to Kings.

I won't make this review much longer, since it isn't necessary. Of course I fell in love with the 20 minutes of 2112 as well. Only natural progression. In my book one of the few epics that grabs your full attention all the time. It's perfect in every way, musically and with a story that's easy to follow and love. What keeps the album from a perfect 5 is Tears (not bad, but inferior to the quality of the rest of the album), but I can live with that.

If you haven't heard this album yet, you might as well sell a piece of your soul. A perfect gateway to the world of Rush if there ever was one, particularly if you're approaching it from the hard rock direction.

//Linus W

Review by sleeper
3 stars 2112 was the album that made Rush into one of the biggest bands of the 70's, but is an album that leaves me cold. The title track strikes me as being a disjointed collection of songs rather than a proper epic, especially with the change between The Temple of the Syrinx and Discovery which really ruins the flow of the song. the second half of the album is filled with short songs that seem to me to be little more than high quality hard rock songs, but definitely not prog. Its these shorter songs that I actually get the most enjoyment from on this album, with Tears being the only lamentable effort. Of the three musicians, only Geddy Lee stands out for his impresive bass work, ALex Lifeson shows that he is definitely a competent guitarist but spends most of his time in Lee's shadow whilst Neil Peart earns his monicker as the profesor with a cold precise and workman like performance. I rarely come back to this album as its deficiant to much of the progressive music of the same era.
Review by russellk
3 stars I guess you had to be there.

RUSH do not so much abandon as extend their hard rock personas and try something of a prog rock number here: the title track is not so much an epic as a connected series of songs telling a far-fetched sci-fi story. As usual with RUSH, LIFESON's guitars are understated, creating a 'lite' feel, with the emphasis on rhythm rather than lead guitar. As a consequence I have never really thought of this band as 'hard rock', more 'art rock'. PEART does a competent job, and GEDDY LEE starts to sound a little more like himself and less like ROBERT PLANT.

The major importance of this album is as the first in RUSH's progressive sequence, but in itself it's hardly stellar. The epic title track really is the stuff of bong smoking frat students: coming to RUSH much later, I find little to enthuse me in the music, just a disjointed series of musical vignettes. And the five songs that constitute side two of the album are very lightweight, save the melancholic 'Tears', for me the highlight of the album.

There's no doubt this is above-average fare. However, it came along years too late to give RUSH a place in the top league of 70s progressive acts. They would, of course, go on to carve out just such a place, taking advantage of the decline in standards in the late 70s and early 80s.

Worth a listen, as much for its historical importance as the actual music.

Review by TGM: Orb
3 stars Review 20, 2112, Rush, 1976

Here is a case where my criteria for a masterpiece harpoon me. I would love to give this album the full five stars, I absolutely love it pieces, I enjoy every listen, I know all of the lyrics, and always end up singing along to many parts. I even play the world's worst air guitar ever to a couple of songs. However, it's not truly perfect, and it's not a really challenging album, so it doesn't get a fifth star from me. Nonetheless, quite possibly the most-listened album in my collection, and so a very favourable review is forthcoming:

There are a few things that mark out this album from its followers: Alex Lifeson is still a bestial guitar soloist, while his later solos often feel rather sterile to me. Neil Peart's lyrics give the album a very individual feel, a lot of visual ideas, and a great concept: overblown, absolutely, pretentious?, perhaps, but still I feel his lyrics here are superb. His drumming, while often praised, usually leaves me cold on albums like Moving Pictures and Permanent Waves, but at this point in time has a real warmth and fluidity as well as technical competence. Geddy Lee's bass, as always, is superb, and his vocals are at their peak, with very high, high-energy singing throughout, that really brings out the lyrics, as well as some basic vocal fiddling around on various tracks.

Starting a review with the second side first, because I feel it could otherwise be neglected:

A Passage To Bangkok is one of those cases of superb verses being brought down slightly by an over-repeated chorus. Still a great song, but I could have done without so many repeats of the chorus (even if there is some quite neat variation in them). The opening and verses are absolutely classic, with Geddy Lee's memorable bass riff, and Lifeson and Peart both coming in very neatly. The chorus, slightly less so. It's still decent but lyrically I felt it didn't really match up to the powerful verses. Let us not forget a stunning Lifeson guitar solo prior to the final two chorus repeats. Standout performances from all involved, and only one small issue.

Twilight Zone is quite a weird song, since it begins with a potent guitar riff, then changes into a weird upbeat acoustic thing with Peart largely working around the guitars and characteristic high, slightly straining vocals. The chorus section (which is repeated with a whispered accompaniment that I've grown to like) features slightly softer vocals and a 'ni-ni-ni' thing that might annoy some people. Lyrically it's not up to the standards of many of the tracks here, but is nonetheless tolerable. The real highlight of the track for me is the slow-paced, tasteful electric guitar solo that harks back to The Necromancer.

Lessons (lyrics [of an acceptable standard] from Lifeson, here, IIRC) is a good rocker, with a particularly amazing bass performance from Geddy Lee, great vocals and a general energy that's always fitting. The song again combines acoustic and electric guitar. The long guitar solo is decent, but the way it's slowly faded while the acoustic strumming remains pretty constant just doesn't work for me. I'm not the biggest fan of fades, even if the one here isn't particularly offensive.

Tears is no ordinary acoustic ballad, it's an acoustic ballad with a mellotron, delicate bass playing and superb vocals. Geddy Lee's lyrics feel right for the song. I really don't have much to say about the song, except that everything comes together very neatly, and it has an emotional impact on me.

Something For Nothing was evidently the way to end this album. The rhythm section stands out, and Lifeson's rocking guitar is great. The lyrics and vocals are immaculate, motivating and extremely energetic, even managing to go to a mantra-like forcefulness without feeling aggressive or overblown. Another stunning guitar solo on this one, and a better, uplifting closer would be hard to find. With such a great opener and closer, the album certainly feels a little stronger than it perhaps really is.

Now. 20+ minutes of assorted drooling over the title suite. Firstly, this song was a first-time-blown-away-and-still-recovering-from-the-effect song (Caress of Steel, conversely, was a first-time-blown-away-and-still-recovering-from-the-effect album), and features Peart's superb lyrics, with emotional resonance, moral ideas, obvious real-world parallels and the advancement of the fairly basic sci-fi plot all taking place at once. It is, admittedly, a selection of seven songs, with parts from several of the later songs being foreshadowed in the Overture, and one fluid storyline.

The Overture begins with swirling synths, and throbbing bass, establishing the sci-fi atmosphere before the guitar-and-drums hammer their way into the mix, foreshadowing the later Oracle, Priests and Soliloquy moving straight on into the rocking main theme (with bits of background keyboards and acoustics added). Peart provides a sterling drum performance, connecting Geddy Lee's jabbing bass and Lifeson's rhythm/solo guitar cross, before the trio move into a brief jumping section, followed by the 'And the.

The Temples Of Syrinx is the album's almost-unchallenged high point (I didn't like it so much when I first heard out of context, though) - everything that makes early Rush for me stands out on this track. High-energy, powerful vocals emphasising the lyrics that establish the setting, introduce part of the story, question political conformity and fit in with the theme of the piece, as well as being awesome. Powerful, unindulgent, flowing rock drumming. A great rocking bass and guitar combination, rounded off by a short acoustic reminder of the Overture.

Discovery is in my mind the weakest section of the suite, the acoustic stylings (slowly developing from random strumming to more typical, upbeat acoustics) and the waterfall effect were both decent ideas, and work fairly well. Where this song falls down a little is lyrically. I think Peart did the best job he could with his idea, but it is simply very difficult to poetically describe a guitar without seeming a bit lightweight, despite the clever context he puts it in. Not weak, but not as great as the rest of the suite.

Presentation is where the ideas of the previous two songs are merged somewhat, with the two sides being represented. The protagonist presents his guitar to the priests, who break it, and Geddy Lee voices both sides very convincingly, and his bass seems to go along with it. Really, the argument between the two songs within this is very impressive, with all three musicians changing their sides very neatly. The lyrics are again excellent. When the argument's been concluded, Alex Lifeson provides his style of solo, very powerful and emotional, fairly fast, with a twisting, defined edge.

Dream: The Oracle begins with a distorted acoustic shimmering and gentle vocals, and moves into a much harder, slightly pompous, theme, with great vocals, lyrics and percussion. One of my preferred Neil Peart drum-parts.

Soliloquy is another of the absolute stunners, bringing back the light, beautiful vocals and acoustics (as well as the waterfall effect) of some earlier parts, before exploding with one of the most honest lyrical lines I've yet heard ('Just think of what my life might be/In a world like I have seen!') into an amazing, soulful hard rock song with one of my favourite guitar solos of all time. Perfect.

The finale is equally stunning, hammering through some altered bits of the Overture. Another great performance from all involved, ending with a tortured guitar sound, dark humming and the return of the elder race of man.

As said before, I love this album. Highly Recommended.

Rating: Four Stars, but I'd love to say five.

Favourite Track: 2112, especially Temples and Soliloquy

Edit: Snippity-snip. Well, I guess I'd say some of my enthusiasm for this one's worn off. The title suite is still great fun... the second side hasn't got the same sense of freshness or energy, really... it's not a wreck, but I felt that maybe this amount of non-first-rate-material, a four was out of line with how much I actually like the album as a whole.

Review by UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars "2112" is the 4th full-length studio album by Canadian progressive rock act Rush. The album was released through Mercury Records in April 1976 (and through Anthem Records in Canada). "2112" was Rush first major commercial success. They were actually asked by their label to write more mainstream material after the commercial failure of "Caress of Steel (1975)", which sold less than "Fly by Night (1975)" had done. But Rush chose to ignore the advice and continued to write more progressive inclined material. In retrospect that was of course a great idea, but back then it was a major gamble, where they fortunately ended up collecting the reward. Had they not succeeded with "2112", who knows what the label would have done with them?

Stylistically "2112" is more or less the natural successor to "Caress of Steel (1975)". The album features one 20:33 minutes long progressive epic (the title track) and five shorter tracks. The "regular" length tracks vary in style from hard progressive rockers, to more mellow progressive rock tracks. None of them are overtly complex in structure, but they still feature a progressive edge, which makes them quite intriguing. The real attraction here is the title track though, which displays a lot of different sides of Rush. Their instrumental superiority, Geddy Leeīs incredible vocal range, Neil Peartīs adventurous lyrics (in this case set in a future sci-fi universe), and their songwriting skills.

"2112" is a very well produced album too, and the sound production is a great asset to the album. Itīs powerful, warm, and organic, and especially the drums feature a great sound. "2112" is in many ways an impressive release, and itīs obvious why itīs often mentioned among the highlights of the bandīs discography. One of the things which makes "2112" stand out compared to the next couple of releases by the band, is that it still features quite a lot of hard rocking riffs, rhythms, and vocals. Sure that has always been a part of the bandīs sound, also on subsequent releases, but this is the last album by Rush to feature the primal aggression of their early material. Iīd even go as far as to say that the most hard edged and aggressive moments on the album feature heavy metal leanings. A 4 - 4.5 star (85%) rating is deserved.

Review by The Crow
3 stars Better than "Fly By Night" and "Caress of Steel" in my opinion... But still bellow the best Rush's efforths!

I must say that I absolutely love the opus 2112, the first 20 minutes song of the album... But the rest of the songs don't do too much for me. If the quality of the album were so high as the first track, then I would give it 5 stars without a doubt!

This first side of the album is just great, and one of the most progressive Rush's songs... There are seven related but different sections, all in the same mood and with a coherent structure. Just great! I specially like the acoustic parts, really inspired Lifeson's playing here. The lyrics are a bit confusing, and I have not read the book... But it's not really important, while the music is outstanding. Marvellous long song!

But the rest of the songs are not so good, and it's a pity... Ok, the quality of these tracks is also high. Higher than the previous Rush's short tracks... But there are just good, and not great like the first side of the album. I specially like the acoustic feeling of Lessons, and the frantic Something for Nothing. The rest are not bad, but not really special...

Conclusion: a great first side, and a correct second side... Wich makes this album a bit irregular. The outstanding quality of the tittle track is not matched by the rest of the songs. Some of them are good, like Lessons and A Passage to Bangkok, but the boring Tears is just forgettable, for example. So this is not a masterpiece... But it's still a very good Rush's album, similar in style than the two previous efforths, but clearly surpasing them in quality. So I recommend this album to every prog lover, because the song 2112 is wonderful and really interesting... But the whole album is not one of the Rush's bests. The following albums are far better in my opinion!

My rating: ***1/2

Review by thellama73
COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars 2112 is Rush's fourth album and their first real breakthrough in terms of both record sales and critical acclaim. The band arrived rather late in the progressive movement, their debut self titles album, having been released in 1974, a full five years after King Crimson and their contemporaries brought Prog blazing to the forefront of popular music. In addition, Rush didn't really get progressive until their third album, Caress of Steel, their earlier attempts being competent but somewhat derivative and undistinguished hard rock fare.

They first began to show signs of a more ambitious approach in 1975 with their Fly By Night album. After the departure of the original drummer, the band had the incredible good fortune to find a replacement in Neil Peart. Not only was he a fantastic drummer, but he also turned out to be quite a gifted writer, and his lyrics were a major part of what took the band to the next level, as well as his penchant for science fiction, fantasy and more ambitious subject matter in general.

Hints of this can be found as early as in Fly By Night's sprawling By-Tor and the Snow Dog, a first attempt at an epic that didn't quite work. But fortunately for Prog fans everywhere, the band did not let the raggedness of these early attempts discourage them, and their next release was the even more ambitious Caress of Steel. Once again, critics called it a failure, although fans seemed to be warming up to what the band was trying to do.

Finally, despite fervent objections by their record company, Rush made 2112, and in doing so struck musical gold. Just as bands like Yes and Genesis were running out of steam, and with the arrival of the Ramones in 1976 threatening to shred the very fabric of Prog to ribbons, Rush came out with an epic that experienced a popularity not enjoyed by any twenty minute plus song since Jethro Tull's Thick As A Brick four years earlier. It certainly didn't hurt that the band's reputation was more cemented in hard rock, a popular genre at the time, than in the rapidly waning excess of Prog.

Now let's meet the musicians who brought us this wonderful record. The frontman for Rush has always been Geddy Lee, and it would be hard to find a more unique band leader, whether in looks, sound, or instrumental virtuosity. Geddy sings and plays the bass, also providing support on keyboards when needed. His extremely high pitched voice is often a source of controversy among listeners, and many are turned off by what they deem to be an intolerable, banshee-like screech. Many others, myself included, feel that his voice is powerful and unique, and lends an energy and distinctive sound the band, and makes their music even more appealing. In the early Eighties, Geddy decided to start singing in a slightly lower register, making his voice much more accessible to the masses. Whether this was due to public and critical pressure or whether he finally realized that he couldn't keep shrieking that way without ripping his vocal chords out is anybody's guess, but it helped in gaining the band even more popularity, even though I personally prefer his earlier style of singing.

All that is to say nothing of his bass playing. Now bass guitar is not normally an instrument that gets a lot of recognition. Instead of the flashy excess of lead guitar or even drums, it is often relegated to providing a simple backdrop to whatever is going on in the "more important" instruments, rarely taking solos and often mixed so low that it is difficult to hear, even at high volumes. Geddy Lee proves that all of this is silly nonsense. He plays the bass like a monster and when he does it's impossible to ignore. Never before have I been distracted away from a guitar solo to listen to the bass part until I heard Geddy play. He is a truly remarkable musician.

Equally remarkable is the aforementioned Neil Peart, who is now recognized as one of the top drummers in the world. The energy, power and complexity of his playing adds immeasurably to any track he plays on, but especially lends itself to the ornate shifting time signatures that characterize Rush's style. And that's just on drum kit. He also specializes in percussion instruments of all varieties, including, but not limited to bells, chimes, wooden blocks and innumerable small percussion toys that have worked their way onto Rush albums over the years. His only real competition in this area is from the excellent Bill Bruford, who approaches his craft from a more jazz oriented style than Peart, who is through and through a rock and roll kind of guy. Peart's intellectualism, strong writing ability and sometimes controversial political views have helped transform Rush from a simple garage band into a powerhouse Prog Rock outfit, but more on that later.

The third member of the group is guitarist Alex Lifeson. While he too is a top notch musician with a unique style all his own, for some reason his playing just doesn't grab me as much as that of his bandmates. For one thing, he's not quite as showy in his approach to the guitar, opting for slower, more melodic solos instead of the lighting fast technical flourishes of his peers. This is by no means a bad thing, and indeed, it would probably be tedious to have him playing as furiously as Peart the entire time. What's really impressive about Lifeson is his range. He plays just about every kind of guitar you can think of. - six string, seven string, twelve string, acoustic electric and everything in between. In fact, his sound is so varied and he plays each instrument with such attention to its own unique qualities that at times it's difficult to believe there's only one guitarist in the band.

Power Trios such as Rush have a long and distinguished history in rock music, from early pioneers like Blue Cheer, to later masters like Cream. I was at first skeptical of the concept, because three instruments just doesn't seem like enough to produce a full, rich sound, especially in Prog. However, all these bands have managed to deliver the goods, so I guess my fears were unfounded.

All three of the members of Rush are among the best in the business, so it's no surprise that what they created would be so wonderful What is amazing though is that they've stayed together for more than thirty years with no lineup changes. I recently had the pleasure of seeing them in concert on their Snakes and Arrows tour, and they're still as good as they ever were, if not better.

But enough of that. On to 2112 itself. I bought the album right in the middle of a small progressive rock kick I was on, before I really got into the style. I had never heard Rush before, but I had heard good things about them and I knew I liked long songs, so this seemed to fit the bill. As a matter of fact, the cover alone is enough to pull one in, with its striking image of the Star Man against the black backdrop of outer space, a flaming red pentagram at his feet as he stretches out towards the infinite. This solitary man standing alone against the cold and empty void of space symbolize the strident individualism represented by Neil Peart's personal beliefs and the repeated themes on the same subject that appear throughout the album. I have been meaning to pick up a copy of the original vinyl, as I imagine the full size image would blow me away, especially compared to the tiny reproduction on the CD case.

2112 opens with dramatically swirling synthesizer sounds, conjuring up the kind of science fiction images and otherworldly magic that would later become a hallmark of all Rush releases. This is significant because up until this point the band had been a purely guitar, bass and drums trio, and the entry of keyboards into their sound, especially in such a prominent way indicated right from the get go that something was going to be different this time around. So begins the first section of this multi-movement suite. The first section is designated "Overture" in a nod both to classical form and as an indication that a story is about to follow. Overture was a term originally reserved for opera, and would be a sort of montage of the themes the audience could expect to hear throughout the play. This served to familiarize the music, making it easier to appreciate the second time it came around, but perhaps the primary reason for such a section was to get people to stop talking and sit down before the action of the plot began to unfold.

Rush's overture serves these same purposes. It introduces the main melodies that we will hear throughout the twenty minute epic, being played one by one with the fury and energy of Alex Lifeson's guitar playing. It also succeeds brilliantly at getting the listener's attention. The pounding guitar work and frantic drums, combined with the aforementioned synthesizers immediately get your adrenaline pumping and it is impossible not to feel excitement for what is to come. Slowly, quietly Geddy Lee's voice enters, singing an ethereal sustained melody above the instrumental fireworks in the foreground.

After all the themes have been played, the overture settles down and we prepare to hear the tale about to unfold. Just before the next section begins, Geddy utters a single phrase as though setting the mood and commenting on what he is about to sing, almost like a modern day version of Shakespeare's Puck. He gravely intones "And the meek shall inherit the Earth."

Now, to understand the implications of this phrase regarding the song as a whole, we will need to take a diversion into philosophy and discuss the inspiration and political messages present in the lyrics. Without understanding where the writer is coming from, we can hardly hope to understand or appreciate the art he spent so much time and effort creating. Neil Peart is a very strong supporter of the philosophy known as "Objectivism." It was first put forth by the ex-Soviet writer, Ayn Rand, and I shall attempt to briefly sum up its key points here. Basically, Objectivist philosophy states that every person should live for themselves and watch out for their own best interests (provided, of course, that doing so does not infringe on the rights of others.) It is often considered a branch of Libertarianism, and states that taxes are merely disguised theft and therefore immoral. Individual liberty is highly stressed Ayn Rand believes that no one should be forced to support another, less capable person. Indeed, she discourages even charitable acts towards the inept or lazy, whom she deems "moochers" off of the able and ambitious. Capitalism is viewed as the only acceptable economic system, as no other is based entirely on voluntary cooperation. Therefore, the phrase "And the meek shall inherit the Earth," taken from the Bible when Jesus gives his sermon on the mount, is used here ironically. Ayn Rand has been very clear that she is opposed to the values of Christianity, such as the belief that one should put the welfare of others above that of himself. Furthermore, Rand clearly has no use for the meek, as her philosophy glorifies the rugged individualist who isn't shy about sticking to his principles and being ambitious enough to achieve something great. Ever since the arrival of Neil Peart to Rush, their lyrics have frequently dealt with the these topics, such as in the songs "Anthem," "The Trees," and "Freewill."

In the interest of full disclosure, I must confess that I am, essentially, an Objectivist, although I detest that name. To call your philosophy "Objectivism" seems to me no different than calling it "Correctism" or something similar, which I find rather arrogant. I try not to let politics get in the way of my listening habits, but I must admit that I find it refreshing to hear a band supporting my point of view for a change. That may be part of the reason I like Rush so much. But I digress.

The primary inspiration for 2112 came from a book by Ayn Rand called "Anthem" which is also the name of Rush's music publishing company. The book is similar to other dystopia novels of the time, such as George Orwell's 1984 or Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451. The plot centers around a young man in an oppressive future society where freedoms are almost non-existent and the "good" is viewed as self sacrifice for the good of the community, at the expense of the individual. This is the very antithesis of Objectivist philosophy, and the young man's realization of his imprisonment and escape from the society are the central plot points of the novel, all of which is prompted by his inadvertent discovery of electricity. A discovery to which the community leaders are highly resistant, fearing change and the threat of one individual becoming more or less than any other. I won't give away the ending, but it is a good read and I encourage anyone interested in these sorts of moral, political and philosophical issues to pick up a copy.

2112 is based on Anthem, but only loosely, as many of the details have been changed for reasons known only to Neil Peart. In general he's given the piece a more "science fiction" feel than that shown by the original work. I'll address these in more detail as they come up.

After the Overture, the next section is called "The Temples of Syrinx. It is told from the point of view of the leaders, or so called "priests" that govern this oppressive society, as they explain their jobs. The music here is fast and furious and Geddy sings in an extremely high register, with frenzied energy. One of the interesting things about his vocal performance throughout the song is that when he switches back and forth between different characters, he changes his register or level of energy or some other minor aspect of his singing. This has the effect of very clearly delineating the different characters, eliminating any confusion one might expect to arise from a single voice playing multiple parts. We can hear this again on Rush's Hemispheres album, although it is not so marked as it is here.

The priests sing about how they have taken care of all the needs of their people and how everyone is equal and balanced, but the irony shines clearly through. Here "taking care" of someone is merely a euphemism for enslaving them. This section of the song is important, as it shows how the priests (another jab at organized religion, that they should be so called) use euphemisms and doublespeak to disguise their true actions and motives. If you are constantly saying that you are working for the good of society, bemoaning the plights of the poor or disabled, it is hard for anyone to paint you as a villain.

The term Syrinx used here is an allusion to Greek mythology. Syrinx was a nymph who, after being pursued by that rogue, Pan, begged the Gods to help her escape. In response, the Gods transformed her into hollow reeds that grew along the river's edge. This did help her escape from Pan, although I doubt if it is what she intended. The Gods had a sick sense of humor back in those days. These reeds became known as Pan Pipes and over time Syrinx became a symbol of music itself. Since music is one of the many things outlawed in this imagined society, the use is, once again, ironic. It is interesting to note that when Rush perform 2112 live, they typically stop after the Temples of Syrinx section. However, this is probably just due to time limitations and the fact that the section ends a nice, final sounding cadence, rather than to any ideological point being made.

The third section, called Discovery, is particularly interesting for its uniqueness and unconventional approach to storytelling and programmatic music. In this part of the story, the hero stumbles upon a guitar in a cave, a forgotten remnant from long, long ago, and teaches himself to play. The music begins with a soft background sound of a babbling brook, flowing peacefully away from the prying eyes of the authoritarian government. Slowly, we hear Alex Lifeson begin strumming open strings off his guitar, tuning a little along the way as he goes. This is somewhat reminiscent of the beginning of the classic Yes song "And You And I," in which Steve Howe tunes his guitar before playing, but the important difference here is that the tuning actually fits in with the story line, rather than just being an interesting musical effect. Our protagonist has never seen a guitar before, or even heard music, and this is reflected masterfully in Lifeson's playing. Gradually the random plucking and strummings of an amateur evolve into a coherent piece of music, becoming more and more complex as our hero gains skill on the instrument through countless hours of practice. It is really quite a beautiful thing, as if we are witnessing the birth of an artist before our very ears.

I should mention that this part of the story differs slightly from the original book, in that the book tells of a man accidentally discovering electricity, not a guitar. However, this is a really minor diversion, and let's face it, a guitar is way more rock and roll than electricity (sorry AC/DC.)

After the the guitar playing becomes significantly complex, we segue smoothly into section four of the song "Presentation" in which our hero brings the guitar, quite naively, to the priests, expecting them to reward him for his amazing discovery and use it to better the lives of everyone in the community. The joy of discovery is plain to be heard in Geddy's voice as he makes his offering. However, he is immediately shouted down by the shrieking falsetto of the priests, whose power is threatened by anything that might give the people a sense of individuality. They dismiss the guitar as "another toy to help destroy the elder race of man" and chastise the messenger, ordering him to "forget about your silly whim. It doesn't fit the plan."

The next section, called Oracle: The Dream deals with the frustration and internal struggle of the protagonist after his rejection and chastisement by the priests. He lies in bed, fitfully tossing in his sleep and dreaming of confronting an oracle on top of an ivory staircase. The Oracle tells him of a fantasy landscape where people are free and unoppressed by government or any other kind restrictions, happy with their individuality. Free to produce art and anything else they please. A world that could be, if only.

In the next section, Soliloquy, he ruminates on the new ideas he has discovered and ultimately concludes that, now that he has tasted freedom, he can no longer live in such an oppressive society. Seeing no other way out, he resolves to take his own life, reasoning that it is better to be dead than a slave.

The last section is the Grand Finale, an instrumental section that rocks really hard and brings a sense of climax to the proceedings. The last thing heard in the song is a mechanical sounding voice proclaiming "Attention all planets of the Solar Federation. We have assumed control. We have assumed control. We have assumed control."

This ending is ambiguous and different fans interpret it in different ways. One common belief is that the voice is an arm of the government, announcing that all planets will soon be forced to bow to its will. This is a very dark and pessimistic interpretation, especially following a suicide. Rush are usually a pretty positive band, so I personally reject this view and tend to side with the other common school of thought, that the voice is coming from the original humans on Earth, relieving the tyrant priests from their positions and restoring freedom to the planet. Only Rush knows for sure which is the correct answer.

know I said that I wouldn't ruin the ending of the book, but just know that the last few sections of the song differ GREATLY from the novel, which has a much more uplifting (and much less sci-fi) conclusion. That's all I'm gonna say.

Side two of the original Vinyl is a much lighter and less political affair, which is nice given the heady nature of side one. I just wish the material were a little better. A Passage to Bangkok is about scoring good Marijuana all around the world. (okay, a LOT less serious than side one.) Despite its questionable subject matter, it is actually a great song with a very catchy guitar hook. It has been a concert staple for Rush for years.

Next comes The Twilight Zone, an homage to the 1950's sci-fi television series, created by the late, great Rod Serling. The song is okay, but feels a little pointless and meandering, with a really strong melody or riff to keep it going.

Lessons is a strong song, with another message from Neil Peart about learning from your mistakes, but Tears is un unmemorable ballad penned by Geddy Lee. As much as I love Geddy, his songs are usually not the highlight of any given Rush record.

The album closes with the rocker Something For Nothing. This iss an appropriate closer for the album, because it sums up in a less bombastic way the basic message of 2112. "You can't get something for nothing. You can't get freedom for free." It's a continuation of Peart's Objectivist leanings and a darn good song to boot.

So, to sum up, 2112 is not Rush's best or most consistent record. The imbalance between the two sides definitely hurts it, when compared to A Farewell to Kings or Hemispheres. However, the power and ambition behind the title song is such that I cannot in good conscious give the album less than five stars. It IS essential and every Prog fan SHOULD own it, even if they never bother to flip the record over.

Review by Sinusoid
3 stars 2112 is considered by many a fan as one of the finest hours (or half an hour) of Rush. The titular epic certainly holds true to that claim. The instrumental opening encapsulates the sheer volume of the group as well as their complex ambitions, giving the listener a prelude for what's to come later. Every riff later in the epic that is derived from the opener has an ''off'' kind of sound that made it different than what you heard before, a sign of clever composing. But the real treat of the epic is the ''Grand Finale'', where Rush instrumentally explodes giving the listener a reward for sticking around for the whole twenty minutes.

The remainder of the album doesn't quite live up to the heights of the opening epic. Only ''Something for Nothing'' and ''Lessons'' have some progressive intrigue, but none of the five songs are of the essential prog listening. ''A Passage to Bangkok'' is more of a fan favourite, but it's compositionally empty and gets tired only after a few listens.

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars 32 years later and this album still has the power to captivate thanks to an almost obsessive conceptual framework on the theme of discovery and enlightenment. Hard prog rockers Rush released in 1976 perhaps their most famous album, '2112'.

A strong narrative text is evident in the title track that rocks with moments of high complexity merged with the simplistic standard song format. '2112' begins with narration and a brilliant instrumental workout in 'Overture'. Rush were a musical virtuoso band, primarily due to the guitar riffing of Alex Lifeson, but also featured incredible vocal gymnastics with a high falsetto range in the form of Geddy Lee. When he powers into 'The Temples of the Syrinx' he nails it to the wall; such is the incredible high vocal range Lee is unable to repeat this in later years live, as is evident on the brilliant 'Different Stages' CD.

The track merges seamlessly with the rest of this epic as the quieter 'Discovery' begins. The concept concerns the weird tale of a boy who has a dream and consults an oracle to find the answers and has a dream that holds the key (a theme that would occur over and over in concept albums - the tales of discovery by consulting a supernatural force - even Kiss did it on 'The Elder'). I don't pretend to understand all the conceptual content, however, I prefer to sit back and let all the musical arrangements wash over, and Rush were masters of the epic performance.

The other tracks on side 2 include 'A Passage to Bangkok' a straight rocker, and the raucous 'Something for Nothing'. This was a brave album for Rush after presenting their own brand of heavy prog such as 'Caress of Steel' and 'Fly By Night', but it works because the tracks are memorable and superbly executed. The Drums of Neil Peart are a definite highlight and keep the relentless rhythms flowing in perfect sync. This album is highly influential to the likes of Dream Theater's '6 Degrees of Inner Turbulence,' that feature a series of songs wrapped in the cocoon of one long album side track, and each song section has the power to stand alone.

Overall this is an excellent album, but the piece de resistance would come on the incredible followup album, 'Farewell to Kings'.

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
4 stars A passage to Prog

Having started out as a highly derivative Blues Rock/Hard Rock band strongly influenced by Led Zeppelin, Rush had gradually incorporated progressive elements and structures into their music over the course of two further albums (Fly By Night and Caress Of Steel). But it was with the present, their fourth album, that Rush took the major step toward progressive Rock. For the first time in their career, the whole first side of the vinyl album was occupied by an epic, multi-part composition and it was also the first album to feature keyboards (although, very sparsely) in addition to guitar, vocals and drums.

In my opinion, the 20 minute plus title track still stands today as one of the band's finest compositions. Especially, the two first parts of it: Overture and The Temples Of Syrinx. The band is simply on fire here, with Neil Peart's drumming being some of the best I've ever heard and Geddy Lee's vocals being more intense than ever before (or after) and Alex Lifeson's guitars more to the point. The six-part song tells a story of a authoritarian society where music is banned.

The second side of the album is less powerful in comparison and has more to do with earlier albums. Still, we have here five fine Rock tunes with A Passage To Bangkok standing out as the best of the lot. Tears features the famous Mellotron.

Overall, a great album and the first great Rush album

Review by Tarcisio Moura
4 stars The first truly progressive work from the great band Rush. The title track is a classic in all aspects and I still remeber how strong was the impact this release had at the time. Up till then the band was considered a competent, above average power trio, but little more. With 2112 everybody started to take them more seriously. They really spread their wings in here, not only musically, but also showing they had a lot to say.

2112, the epic, was based on sci fic story written by Ayn Rand, was the first tune to actually feature a synthesizer sound (albeit used only for effects). It was a total departure from their previous stuff and no one at the time could tell if it would work. Fortunalty for the band it sold 100.000 copies on the first week of its release. It paved the way for even greater things in the future. It is still a impressive piece of work for a band that was still called 'little Zeppelin' at the time (they would be no more). Is anybody interested about the prog metal influences?

Second side is not that different, some songs bearing the earlier sound, something closer to Caress Of Steel (which was, by the way, an improvement over Fly By Night). Passage to Bangcock being a proof they could hadle more styles than most would believe and Tears is an interesting slow ballad.

All in all this is much more than a transitional record. it was a fantastic leap forward for such a new band. It is one of the truly classic stuff by Rush and much more was to follow. 4,5 stars at least.

Review by progrules
3 stars Having done the FtK review just a minute ago I realized this one was on my list as well. In fact it will have to be more of the same where comments and ultimate rating are concerned. But that doesn't mean the 2 albums are more or less the same.

The stand out track on this one is of course the title track and this one has faded from me in a less drastical way than most other tracks on this album or its successor. 2112 is a classic and a special epic. Does that also mean I go nuts about it ? No, it doesn't but it will always be one I treat with respect. I was blown away by it in the eighties when I didn't know that many epics but now that I do I still count this as a great one though not a masterpiece to me.

The shorter tracks on the B-side of the vinyl are just about of the same quality level as those on the successor. Also on this one we find a ballad (Tears), real beautiful if you are in a sentimental mood. There's the one with the filosophical siginificance (Something for nothing), an interesting life lesson. Compositionswise A Passage to Bangkok has always been my favourite of the short songs on this album. The other two mean less to me.

So even though this one is just about as good as Farewell to Kings it has another impact on me. Strange enough it doesn't make a difference for the rating. 3 stars for 2112 as well (3,3).

Review by progaardvark
COLLABORATOR Crossover/Symphonic/RPI Teams
3 stars After three albums showing ever improving composition and song writing, Rush really broke through with 2112. Oddly enough, their record company was quite concerned when they made two conceptual tracks (both easily over 10+ minutes) on their previous album, Caress of Steel, and pressured them into making more commercially attractive numbers. Rush stuck to their principles and although side two of this album contains a number of decent songs suitable for radio play, the first side features the 20+ minute, seven-part title suite.

Lyrically and musically, the 2112 title suite was the most complex piece Rush had ever composed up to this date. I remember first hearing it back in the 1980s (I was too young in 1976, having been my Sesame Street years) and was utterly amazed by the performance. Almost 30 years later, I'm afraid the suite hasn't aged as well, mostly because it was from Rush's early growing years and obviously because Rush only got better and better with each album after this. Still, this song has a place in prog rock history because by this time period other prog bands were releasing rather embarrassing albums. Rush filled that void and would continue to do so well into the 1980s.

The tracks on side two aren't really in the same league as the title suite, nor are they as finely done as shorter pieces on later albums. Still, they are good songs, particularly A Passage to Bangkok, The Twilight Zone, and Tears.

Since the music on this hasn't aged as well as other later Rush efforts, and Geddy Lee's voice is a bit too raw for me (he'll improve considerably on future albums), I'm going to give this three stars (3.5 would be more suitable). A must have for Rush fans.

Review by Epignosis
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars As much as I have tried to think highly of this very good album, I do not enjoy nearly as much as many other releases. The epic is somewhat banal by this point, even for Neil Peart, a fan of the writings of Ayn Rand. The bottom line is this: It's good rock music overall, and fans of Rush would love it. Otherwise, one could pass it by without missing much.

"2112" Mystical intergalactic noises initiate one of Rush's most revered epic tracks. During the heavily accented prelude, the notes echo out, and from the distance, Geddy Lee's voice contacts the listener, as though lost somewhere in the deep reaches of outer space. The introduction relies heavily on Alex Lifeson's guitar work. A thunderhead introduces Lee's calm and ironic proclamation just before "The Temple of Syrinx" begins. This segment is structurally the most simplistic. Soon, a quiet classical guitar interlude welcomes tranquil waters, and the sound of a detuned guitar (the protagonist having only just discovered the six-string wonder) eventually forms more complex phrases (indicating that the hero is teaching himself this lost art). He produces the chords for the next part. It rises and falls in tempo as the singer excitedly describes sharing his revelation to the others. The rest of the band enters as he tells of his discovery to the aforementioned guardians of society. Even though Lee was never the theatrical vocalist as the likes of Peter Gabriel from Genesis, he does use his range to differentiate between speakers. Lifeson delivers a powerful solo over a spirited reprise of "The Temples of Synrix" once the protagonist is summarily disappointed in the answer he has received. The segment thereafter depicts his despair, and has some brief experimentation with the sound. A stately section follows, but the sound of the waters is heard again, as is the sound of the lonely guitar. Over this, the main character recounts his nightly vision, but falls into a self-detrimental hopelessness. Lifeson rips into one more well-structured guitar solo, just before Lee announces the conclusion of Peart's ill-fated tale. The final minutes employ both heavy rock and experimental guitar work. An ominous and ambiguous announcement terminates the piece.

"A Passage to Bangkok" Over a guitar phrase (with that stereotypical oriental riff), Lee sings fairly simple narrative lyrics about drugs. The lyrics are certainly about marijuana given not only the content and innuendoes presented within, but by the visual presentations on certain tours. There is only one guitar accompanying Lee for a while, but soon the sound becomes fleshed out. Rush's sound here is very close to that of earlier albums (Caress of Steel comes to mind). The chord progression, lyrics, rhythm, and guitar solo are all fairly straightforward, so this song does have a tendency toward being lackluster.

"Twilight Zone" The short introduction is very different from the jazziness that follows. Lee sings what are short synopses of actual plots from the television program. The two episodes are "Will the Real Martian Please Stand Up?" and "Stopover in a Quiet Town." Hokey backup vocals whisper beneath him. Lifeson concludes the song with a decent, but fairly uneventful solo.

"Lessons" My personal favorite from the short songs, Lifeson doubles up the rhythm guitar with an acoustic and a sprightly electric. Lee's voice travels quickly from subdued to a high-pitched screech, as he throws in some outstandingly tasteful bass riffs. Peart's drumming is full and lively on this one. It is, incidentally, Lifeson's guitar solo that falls a bit of on the bland side; even as everything is fading out, he still sounds like a tired country rocker.

"Tears" This is a fairly simple song from the pen of the bassist. It is certainly melancholic enough, and Rush's primary album cover designer Hugh Syme puts a further touch on the album by playing the Mellotron. It's memorable after a while, even if unremarkable.

"Something for Nothing" Twelve string guitar, bass, and a simple beginning ends the album. The lyrics are drenched heavily with the philosophy of Objectivism. It's a decent song, but mostly uninteresting (by the time Lifeson begins soloing, the song fades out), and it's a shame the album ends this way.

Review by Conor Fynes
4 stars '2112' - Rush (7/10)

This is generally considered by Rush fans to be the band's 'breakthrough' album, and the album that essentially saved their career. Although they definately had some stuff (particularily 'Caress Of Steel') that was stellar, there were only a few people that really cared about the band until '2112.' While the album itself isn't a masterpiece, the song itself is, and is an essential track for Rush.

The science fiction theme comes front and center in the first few seconds of the song, erupting with a trippy spacy intro that was very rare for the time. While the music is very hard rock centered, the concept and theme of the music gives it a very progressive dimension to it.

There are heavy parts, mellow parts, and an epic, dramatic finale. Everything that an epic should have. It is in fact, the first epic that I fell in love with, and undoubtedly the precursor and influence that drove suceeding band's like Dream Theater to write their epics.

The rest of the songs range from being just alright to great. 'A Passage To Bangkok' is a great song, with oriental influences. The only really forgettable song on the album is 'Lessons.' The rest of it is actually really good.

I don't enjoy this album so much anymore (although I've had it for quite a few years) but I figure that if it really was a masterpiece, it would still hold alot of virtue for me. Good, great even. But it's too hard-rock oriented to stand the test of time, at least for me.

Review by Isa
3 stars |C+| Very good and essential to Rush fans.

Hi everyone! This is my first review after looking around this wonderful site for the past couple years or so, and I figured what better a place to start than a classic album by my favorite band. I look forward to (finally) being a participant in one of the leading sites of my favorite type of music.

This was one of the first Rush albums that I bought after listening to my parents' Chronicles compilation all my life, as I had heard from someone that this is one of their most essential albums. In a sense I disagree, as I consider the following three albums some of the greatest musical work of rock history, but this is definitely a great one to start on, or at least it was for me. But this pretty straight up hard rock for the most part, not too progressive in the conventional sense, but certainly with prog overtones (I mean, how many hard rock bands were doing epics, even at that time? Not too many, I don't think). The Led Zeppelin and Cream influences are still rather obvious throughout, but one can definitely hear the band branching off starting to develop their own sound, which would unleash into a furry of masterwork in the following albums. However, I think whenever I rate an album, I want to consider how the album stands alone and avoid making comparisons. And as this album stands, I feel there is great writing, melodies, riffs, etc., but nothing really that transcending or even outstanding.

The best achievements from this album would definitely include our beloved epic suite, 2112. I'm sure there are plenty of reviews here that go to depths of explanation on this epic I shan't dare to venture, but I think I'll cover the basics just for this review's sake. The lyrics are based around a science fiction novel set in the year 2112. A man in a fascist society discovers a guitar, plays it for the priests of the temples of Syrinx who rule over the people, and is banished for his discovery, not of the guitar but of the concept of self expression he learned from the instrument. He then is confronted by the Oracle who gives him visions of a free thinking society, and realizes he is doomed to a worthless life, and thus commits suicide. This is where I feel the essential brilliance of this album lies: in the lyrical presentation of this story and how the music matches so well with the plot. As so many have said before me, the real point of attaining this album is really for this great hard rock conceptual suite, which is in my opinion some of Peart's best lyrical work with the band. Sometimes I wonder if I have a soft spot for this epic just because I'm overall pretty anti-government libertarian minded, as it seems that was the idea Peart presented in the lyrics. Again, there are some reviews I've read that go much more in depth with all this, and I won't invade their territory. Overall I wouldn't say the musical quality is masterpiece material, but it's pretty up there. Everything Rush does best (which is a lot) can be found here, but a bit more on the basic hard rock oriented side (which I love, but don't have full musical respect for compared to most stuff on this site.)

The songs following the epic on side two are definitely, almost ridiculously dwarfed by the epic. Passage to Bangkok is a Rush classic, period. But other than that the following tracks are quite mediocre, which is probably what mainly keeps this album from hitting four stars on my rating scale. As you'll read in most reviews on this album, the paragraph about the epic is huge, and the paragraph for the rest of the album is either smaller or more drawn out. I really dislike Twilight Zone, I consider it one of the few honestly badly written tracks Rush has made. Lessons is a catchy song, and Tears and Something for Nothing are very mediocre, I enjoy them in a hard-rock fanboyish sense but can't site them as something I'd recommend to anyone else. And seriously, when you look ahead at even the album following this, you wonder how these tracks ended up like most of Rush's early material. I guess they put most of their focus in the epic, which I suppose payed off in the end.

This is certainly a wonderful album for the prog-newbie to check out if they want to become familiarized with the music of Rush. It is also essential to the Rush fan, as many as there are of us out there. But it's not the album I'd recommend to the staunch prog listener, I'd tell them to go straight for the gold (the following three or four albums).

Phew, that was a good first review, I think. I certainly look forward to future reviews, and I'll try to mainly focus on albums that get less attention. Again, I'm pleased to be participating in one of the leading website communities on progressive music, and in a sense giving back to all of the incredible music this site has lead me to discover. Happy progging everyone!

Review by The Sleepwalker
3 stars To me this is the first Rush album that really showed what the band was able to. The album is made up of several short tracks and the epic title track, which is as you might expect, the most important track on the album.

The tiltle track "2112" is made up out of several different parts representing different chapters in the story the song tells. The story is about a man who finds a guitar in a distant future ruled by technology, I'm not going to tell the whole story, cause it's very enjoyable to listen to it by hearing the song. The first part is "Overture", which is my favorite part of the song. It's not as progressive as you might expect, it is in fact just a bunch of cheesy riffs thrown together with some excitement added...but the cheesy riffs all are fantastic! so is the pretty short guitar solo, a very great opener. Second is "The Temples Of Syrinx", which is in the same style as "Overture", but contains great vocals and some different riffs. Though being a good and enjoyable part, it is nothing special actually. "Discovery" is next. This is a pretty soft part, rain can be heard on the background and Alex supports Geddy Lee's singing with some clean guitar playing. "Presentation" starts out with a gentle and funky section, that returns several more times. The funky riff sometimes makes places for a distorted riff. Both different styles are used as a dialogue between the hero and the priest of the temples of Syrinx. Suddenly a powerful guitar solo comes in, very haunting. "Oracle: The Dream" is a heavier part in the style of "Temples Of Syrinx", it's more diverse than "Temples..." and better I think. "Soliloquy" is a very soft and sad part, it isn't very special, but tells the story excellent. "The Grand Finale" is the final part, and it really is a grand finale. "2112" ends in the style of "Overture", the reffs are different and the part is overall more bombastic. An excellent prog-outro I think. "2112" is not as good or progressive as some of Rush's latter epic's, like Xanadu and Hemispheres, but it is a great track, sometimes a little bit cheesy and not always very proggy. This song is a essential track for anybody who is into Rush.

The rest of the album is much weaker than the title track, "A Passage To Bangkok" has some nice riffs, but really lacks the spirit, not one of my Rush favorites at all.

"The Twilight Zone" is the best of the short tracks, not one of Rush's bests, but a very decent one. The song starts out with a catchy intro and changes into different styles. The funky and mystical verses both are very good and Alex pulls out a nice solo.

"Lessons" is very uninteresting, it's a poppy song with some heavy riffing in it. That's a pretty strange combination and the song could have been pretty good if the happy acoustic verses were replaced by something heavier, cause the heavy riffs are pretty nice.

"Tears" is a ballad, it's a gentle, sad song. Tears is not my favorite Rush ballad, but it is a nice song, not enjoyable in every different mood of course, as it is a ballad.

"Something For Nothing" is a decent track, very much in the style of "Lessons", but it's less poppy and much more powerful. The song has some nice riffs, great vocals from Geddy Lee and two nice guitar solo's, one fading out and closing the album.

"2112" is not one of Rush's best albums I think. The title track is excellent, but the shorter tracks are all only decent or even bad, so I have mixed feelings about this album. I will rate the album three stars, because of the amazing title track, the others leaves me uninterested.

Review by Bonnek
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Seen by most as their best accomplishment from their beginnings, it sure is a wonderful album. But there are some weaker spots in the song writing (Twilight zone, Lessons) that bring down the average quality of the album. Also, not as a point of criticism but merely as an observation, this is still a hard rock album. Yes, there's a 20 minute title track but that's made up of 6 separate hard rock songs that do no interact much musically, only lyrically. 2112 is a strong album no doubt, but only for those interested in the hardrock side of Rush, the real prog rock years were lurking on the horizon.
Review by Rune2000
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars 2112 is where things really got on their way for Rush. Conceived as another make it or break it release, after the unsuccessful Caress Of Steel, the band finally received the recognition they deserved!

The track 2112 is a mind blowing experience. I remember listening to it after already hearing Permanent Waves and Moving Pictures not really knowing what to expect so it really took me by surprise. The band managed to fuse the musical and lyrical themes into one continuous and very coherent story arc which is something that only highly experienced artists can pull off. I would like to note that I never considered Rush to be a progressive band, instead they fit in the same sub-category of as such great artists like The Beatles and David Bowie. The band took in the influences of times and added them into the mix by broadening the scope of their music direction. Unlike other artists who only took a quick stab at different genres only to create a series of poorly composed releases, these chameleon type of bands and artists managed to put their newly acquired sound direction to good use by creating a massive following of their particular take on this sound of the times.

The second part of this album falls in the same disappointing category as ELP's Tarkus for me. These shorter 3-4 minute compositions don't leave much of a lasting impression but luckily, since there aren't any truly terrible tunes here, they maintain the album afloat all throughout its duration. A Passage To Bangkok and Something For Nothing are generally considered to be the better compositions out of the bunch but to me they just sound like poor versions of the great short tracks from the band's previous albums. Incidentally, is there a possible connection between succeeding in one songwriting category while automatically failing miserably in the other, especially one that you already assumed to be a master of? For me Geddy Lee's Tears is easily the highlight since it offers a nice melody combined with some really sentimental lyrics.

This album might not be an all around excellent release but the title track still keeps 2112 an important album to fans of classic epic songwriting. This one is definitely a keeper!

***** star songs: 2112 (20:37)

**** star songs: Tears (3:31)

*** star songs: A Passage To Bangkok (3:34) The Twilight Zone (3:17) Lessons (3:51) Something For Nothing (3:59)

Review by progpositivity
5 stars If for no other reason than how very important I consider this album to be in Prog Metal and Hard Rock/Prog history, '2112' should be an item of interest to even the most general of prog fans. In this respect I consider it "essential". Not a masterpiece, but "essential" nonetheless.

Caress of Steel was a mere 'practice run' for this album. This is the album that marks the 'coming of age' of Prog-Arena Rock. '2112' was the band's breakthrough album as evidenced by the extent to which a blazing red star "held high in hand" would become deeply associated in the fans' consciousness as the band's "symbol" for no few years to follow.

This is the album that should be famous (some might say infamous!) for paving the pathway for our Prog-Metal music of today. While this album is not prog-metal at all, and many modern Prog-Metal bands may distance themselves from the association, virtually an entire generation of Proggie Metal-heads and Hard Rockers cited Rush as a major influence. Another very strong branch of the Prog-Metal family tree traces through Dream Theater back to Rush. The goal of Prog Metal-ites is not so much to reproduce Rush as much as it is to pick up where the band left off and to realize the fully complex and powerful potential of which the trio only 'scratched the surface' in the 1970's.

Of course, Prog Metal doesn't exactly have to be your favorite sub-genre of prog in order to enjoy this album on a purely musical level. The 'epic' "Side One" 7-part title track holds my attention from start to finish. Side Two is weaker but ends strong with the thoughtful, if slightly preachy, "Something for Nothing".

Review by JJLehto
4 stars A prog classic, I won't beat this review to death, but I had to get around to it! After all, how could I not? This is 2112 by Rush. I was actually surprised when I heard this album, at the time the only "true" prog rock band I really knew was King Crimson, and I suppose Pink Floyd as well. So the heaviness, and overall hard rock feel on "2112" threw me a curveball. Well, I loved it!

This is a pretty good album. Prog rock, (as opposed to metal, tech metal, etc) is not my forte but I really thought of this as more of a hard rock album, but with definite prog rock tendencies. The opening song seems like a 20 minute epic but it feels more like a bunch of songs grouped into one. I'm used to gaps in music but too many maybe? I don't know, doesn't flow well. Maybe a book with chapters? However, bunch of songs or prog epic aside, it is a great song and the intro had me thinking I was about to listen to space rock!

Tears is the only song on the album I don't really like. No doubt it is mellow and melodic, but it does not hold me very well. Not a terrible song, but I really don't want to go out of my way at all to listen to it. The rest are all good, and it does not drag often. Lots of good hard rock riffs, with some space rock, melodicism, and prog rock feel thrown in. The musicianship on this album is really superb. Lifeson lays down a lot of great riffs, solos (and varies their style throughout) and holds the album together well. Peart's drumming is really good, and Lee's bass playing is as well. His vocals took some time to get used to. Talk about prog being influenced by the hard rock/psychadellic bands of the 60's! Besides the music, listening to Lee's vocals you'd think it was Robert Plant from Led Zeppelin!

Good album, don't know if it's for all proggers. I am really torn between three and four here. When this happens I take my gut instinct and here I want to bump it up to four. However, my true rating for this album is

Three and a Half stars

Review by tarkus1980
3 stars If there's such a thing as The Stereotypical Rush Album, then this is almost certainly it. Pretty much any serious discussion of Rush will bring this album up early on, and I've found reactions mostly tend to fall either into worshipping the album or spitting upon it. As often happens in such cases, I fall in the middle.

As with Caress, this album shows Rush showing itself as both a prog rock band and as a more conventional 70's hard rock band. This time around, though, this division actually seems to have been totally planned, and the confused feel of the last album is gone on this one. The production is also a LOT stronger and more forceful here than there, even if the sound still isn't as powerful as on Fly by Night. This album also lightly introduces synthesizers (and even a mellotron here and there) into the band's sonic pallette, and they work more effectively than I might have thought from just listening to the band's first three albums.

The first side is occupied in its entirety by the famous title track suite, with which I am not head-over-heels in love. The story is closely based off of Anthem (it also has some similarities to the plot of Lifehouse), and the liner notes contain the sentence, "Dedicated to the genius of Ayn Rand." Basically, the story concerns a future totalitarian society in which The Priests of the Temples of Syrinx control everything that people can read and listen to. One day, a man makes the archaeological discovery of an electric guitar, which he is instantly able to start playing in a way that produces coherent music. He shows the guitar to The Priests, thinking they'll be all proud of him and amazed at his discovery, but instead they tell him it's of no use to them and they destroy it. The protagonist then sulks about this (and has a vision of the world in which this guitar was created) until he's gotten so depressed that he kills himself. The end. Wow, Neil.

Needless to say, I'm not at all impressed by the concept of this piece, and it's really the quintessential example of why Rush tend to annoy the living crap out of me. The more "dramatic" moments of the piece work for me only as unintentional comedy; hearing Geddy squeal "I don't think I can carry on!" and "My lifeblood spills over..." inevitably makes me laugh every time, and the ending "announcement" is one of the most ridiculous things I've ever heard on a rock album. The closest comparison I could make would be to the ridiculous "This is our Independence Day!'" speech in that 1996 movie, and that is definitely not a compliment.

So ok, I don't like the lyrics or the story, but what about the music? Well, truth be told, I think the actual music of the "Overture/Temples of Syrinx" part is fantastic, and close to the best (and at least the most powerful) music to come from Rush in the 70's. A bit too much of it is taken up with dated sound effects, but when the band is actually playing, it almost seems as if they've found a bottomless well of cool riffs. Plus, the lyrics are so over-the-top hilarious that, in the context of these good riffs, it's almost impossible for them to hurt anything, and they even almost contribute to my enjoyment of the piece. The rest of the piece, though, strikes me as thoroughly mediocre. Only the reprises of the opening theme have much of a positive effect on me at all; the rest of the time, the emphasis is clearly on the lyrics, and the music just isn't memorable to me in either melody nor in arrangements. So basically, the first half of the album consists of seven minutes of greatness, and thirteen minutes of me waiting for the second side to start.

The second half of the album, then, is where I get most of my enjoyment, and is the reason this album almost gets a ****. The Lifeson-penned hard-rocker "Lessons" is a messy throwaway, but I find every other song on the side to be good or better. "Passage to Bangkok" has a great set of riffs and some decent lyrics that seem to be about going to various drug-producing locations in the world, and is a Rush song I can easily get in the mood for. "The Twilight Zone" has some goofy lyrics, but they amuse me, and I find the introduction great and the song itself quite good, so it can stick around.

The last two tracks end the album on an extremely high note, and ultimately ensure the album its grade. My personal favorite is the oft-ignored but oh-so-beautiful ballad "Tears." Laugh if you want, but I think it has an absolutely beautiful acoustic guitar line, a nice vocal melody, lyrics that are good enough for the song's purpose, and even effective mellotron use. Yes, it's a "wussy" song, but I can't help it if I think the wimpiest song on the album is easily the best. At the other extreme, the closing "Something for Nothing" is a screeching rocker with some nice guitar lines and a GREAT memorable chorus. The lyrics strike me as stupid and obnoxious (they read like a Libertarian creed in parts), but they're delivered with enough power that that is at least somewhat offset.

In the end, I actually consider this a perfectly ok album, and a necessity for all Rush fans. It just so happens that my reasons for liking it will be different from the reasons that most Rush fans will have for enjoying it. Slice through the pomp and half-baked "artsiness" of the title suite, and what you're left with is a really decent 70's hard rock album.

Review by lazland
4 stars There's probably not a lot I can add to the numerous reviews written about this classic album, the one that catapulted Rush from being an interesting Led Zeppelin sounding hard rock band, to one that bestrode the global stage.

This was THE album that any self respecting rock fan in the 70's had to own, with its incredible cover, and the correct way of calling it twenty one twelve, as opposed to non initiates who would say two thousand & etc.

The epic track itself was inspired by the writings of Ayn Rand, a Russian-American writer who was a powerful exponent of libertarianism. There was an amusing incident upon the album's release, in that New Musical Express accused the band of being a bunch of fascists, a charge that led to a refusal to speak to the rag which exists to this day. The charge was grossly unfair to Rand as much as anyone else, given that she also hated the corporate fascism espoused by Mussolini and others, as well as state socialism.

The epic itself stands up very well to the test of time. A track of seven distinct movements, which veer from melancholic to grand to out and out rocking. At the centre of it all is quite the most incredible vocal performance from Geddy Lee, it has as its hallmark the best of all concepts - it tells a complex story very simply, and for that Peart must take a huge amount of credit.

Side two, I'm afraid, does not stand up so well. Good enough, but not much in a progression from the earlier fare as the epic itself. In fact, listening to them now, I realise it will be many more years before curiousity gets the better of me again.

For that reason, this does not deserve the epithet "masterpiece", although it is, to me, an album which most definitely should be an essential part of any self respecting prog collection, if only to appreciate a slice of rock history.

Four stars. If you are a young reader of this, and haven't got around to exploring what classic hard rock was like in my younger days, then here is where to start.

Review by baz91
4 stars There's a first for everything, and 2112 was my first Rush album, and I guess also the first '70s Prog' album as well. When I bought it, I was a massive Dream Theater nut, and I was aware that Rush was the biggest influence to the band. I also knew that I liked 20 minute songs, and since the 2112 suite was the only Rush song to actually cross the 20 minute mark, I decided to head there first. After all this time, here are my thoughts on this otherwise legendary album.

If you know your Rush, you'll know this album comes after 'Caress of Steel' which was a commercial failure. You'll recall also that that album too had a 20 minute suite, named 'The Fountain of Lamneth'. While this suite had some great music, it was flawed because the format was essentially 6 short songs separated by silence, rather than being one continuous piece. Those who were underwhelmed by 'Fountain' will be pleased to hear that the 2112 suite is (quite literally) light years ahead of it's predecessor. While still not being a continuous piece from start to finish, some of the parts do link to the next one, and all of the silences between the other parts feel more natural within the suite. Also, rather crucially, the story of the suite is far more evocative and exciting, and the music itself is far better than Fountain.

The story itself is set in the future (no points for guessing which year). This is a dystopian future where a group of dictatorial priests control the media and all forms of art are strictly forbidden (uncannily similar to the 2002 film 'Equilibrium' by Kurt Wimmer, which is also fantastic). A man who discovers a guitar in a cave, begins playing and discovers a range of emotions he has never felt. Excited, he brings this to the priests, but is dismayed as they smash it to pieces, saying that it is all 'a silly whim' and 'doesn't fit the plan'. He then dejectedly returns home, and has a dream where he learns that the 'Elder Race' all moved to another planet, where they lead lives far superior to his. Awakening, he is distraught knowing that he can never lead a life as happy and fulfilling as that which has seen in his dreams. Ultimately, he returns to the cave where he first found the guitar and kills himself. The song ends with a statement from the priests: 'We have assumed control.'

This is only my interpretation of the lyrics, and you can be open to make yours, but I find that reading others opinions helps me form my own. Within the CD and LP editions, there are annotations between the lyrics, fleshing out the story with more information. Whilst some people enjoy concept albums which can have many interpretations, I find Rush's presentation to be perfect on this one. Coming up with your own story to suit the lyrics of an album can be difficult and time consuming, so I really appreciate the fact that Rush put in most of the effort to come up with a solid story, and leave relatively small details to be sorted out by the listener. On other concept albums, such as Misplaced Childhood by Marillion, it is more difficult to come up with your own idea of what the album is about. While the album doesn't patronise you by fully telling the story, 2112 gives you sufficient information to really appreciate the story, which honestly does not happen that often in prog.

The music played in this suite is also extremely good. The song really rocks hard and heavy in places, but more can be said. The band have an amazing use of their instruments to explain parts of the song. When the protagonist finds the guitar, for example, we first hear the sound of someone tuning the guitar, then trying different notes, then playing simple chords and ultimately playing faster and more technically, simulating a speeded up version of the process of learning guitar. The way Alex Lifeson plays this section is masterful, not only giving a good impression of this process, but playing it in a way that sounds musical, rather than a series of random notes and riffs. Also, praise must be given to Geddy Lee's use of vocals to give different accents to the protagonist and the priests. More precisely, he uses a higher and louder singing voice to characterise the priests, giving real depth to the song. Unfortunately, he can no longer reproduce this on stage, and the live versions really suffer. Musically, the band saves the best till last, and the Grand Finale is one of the best outros heard to any suite in prog rock.

On Side 2 of this album, there are no less than five short rock songs, all between three and four minutes long. Unfortunately, these don't share an ounce of prog between them, but they are nonetheless enjoyable. A Passage to Bangkok, Lessons and Something for Nothing are all geared to be favourites when played live. Of these, 'A Passage to Bangkok' is the most enjoyable because of it's anthemic chorus, perfect for concerts. Of the remaining songs, The Twilight Zone, dedicated to the show of the same name, is a truly bizarre composition, being very uncatchy and having too much contrast between the verses and the choruses. Finally, Tears shows the more mature side of Rush. Rather than rocking out as usual, the band instead hold back and instead perform an effortlessly beautiful and melancholic song. As a piece it is very underrated because it is radically different to the hard rock Rush sound.

The album is extremely lopsided. Surely Rush knew that five short rock songs (who's combined running time is still 2 minutes shorter than 2112) would not be able to compete against the epic on Side 1! As far as history goes, Rush were steadily getting proggier at this point, and the extreme success of this album encouraged them to keep writing sprawling epics. Whilst 2112 was a great album, with it's superb title track, the best was yet to come.

Review by Evolver
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
3 stars While Rush had been experimenting with longer concept pieces on their previous albums, it is with the side-long twenty minute title track that they earned their prog credentials. This piece has it all: sci-fi lyrics, complex chords and rhythmic sections, and many different movements. But it's also plagued with Geddy Lee's shrieking vocals (he's gotten better), and a weird section where it sounds like Alex Lifeson is just tuning up his guitar.

But have no fear - Rush overcame those difficulties in later live performances of this piece.

The second half of the album does not fare as well.

A Passage To Bangkok is the best of these songs, but it, too is marred by Lee's vocals. Like 2112 this song has fared better in later live versions. And I know some people don't like the song Tears, but it has Mellotron in it, and it shows that when Lee wasn't shrieking, he sounded pretty good.

Review by Starhammer
4 stars "Attention all planets of the Solar Federation: We have assumed control."

After their previous attempt at writing longer songs resulted in a commercial facepalm the band ignored all their critics and went for broke...

The Good: My first exposure to the title track was through the compilation album Chronicles. As it only featured the first two sections (Overture/The Temples of Syrinx) I was eager to listen to the whole piece. I was still at the very start of my musical journey and had never listened to anything longer than ten minutes, sitting through a single track of over twice that length was just something I was unable to comprehend at the time. I seized my chance when I noticed 2112 in a CD shop on holiday and hurried back to where we were staying. I was too impatient to wait till we got home before listening, so played it using a portable DVD player and a pair of headphones that had all the fidelity of a tin can attached to a piece of string. It blew my mind. I must have listened to the whole album at least five times that day alone.

Several years have passed since then and I'm now able to see it in a wider musical context, yet it still holds strong. The sheer scale of the composition, its structure, and most of all its character lets it stand shoulder to shoulder with even the most complex prog epics, and is light-years ahead of the rough and ready efforts released on Caress of Steel only one year earlier.

The Bad: The Twilight Zone and Something for Nothing don't have much going for them.

The Verdict: The birth of a dynasty.

Review by Andy Webb
4 stars We have assumed control.

Here we have one of those truly classic albums in prog rock that is slightly flawed. The album, Rush's commercial turning point, is prog rock's favorite "half concept album," as so many people call it a concept album, but they overlook the second side of the album, which is comprised of much shorter, unrelated tracks. The album truly is crucial in the Rush story. The band had been buffeted by critics who despised the band's previous album, the highly progressive giant Caress of Steel, and the record label they were signed to didn't want the band to continue in the trend of extended pieces of music for fear of loss of sales. What happened next was the complete opposite of what the label wanted, 2112, a 20 minute long epic, and a (half) concept album about rebelling against the system (A.K.A. Mercury Records). Of course side 2 is compiled of short, poppier tracks, but we traditionally don't look at that ;-). This album exploded as the band's first real hit, with the album's lead single "Overture/Temples of Syrinx" exploding as a huge success, driving the band into the limelight of rock music success. One can really see this on just the liner notes. On 2112, the band is listed as "Alex Lifeson - Acoustic and Electric guitars, Geddy Lee - Bass, Vocals, and synthesizer, Neil Peart - drums and percussion," while on A Farewell to Kings, just one album and one year later, the band is listed in a verbose manner as "Alex Lifeson - electric, acoustic and classical guitars, bass pedal synthesizer, Geddy Lee - vocals, bass guitar, twelve string guitar, Mini-Moog and bass pedal synthesizers, Neil Peart - drums, cymbals, cowbells, orchestra bells, wind chimes, triangle, bell tree, vibra-slap, tubular bells, temple blocks." That's quite an improvement, especially financially! Even just in the liner notes, one can see the importance of this album for the band, the rock world, and the music scene forever.

Of course the album is more than just money and pop hits. The album is a fantastic display of the band's compositional prowess and ability to mesh musically as a band. Whether it is Lee's piercing vocal capacity, Peart's incredible rhythmic prowess, or Lifeson's fantastic guitar work, the entire album is brimming with musical virtuosity and ability. The title track, full of fantastic melodic, rhythmic, and compositional qualities, is a crowning achievement in the band's discography. The lyrics, geniusly crafted by master lyricist Neil Peart, are some of the best there are in the rock world (and are influenced by the genius Ayn Rand), and tell a fantastically creative and inventive story. Whether the band is churning out a fantastic riff or playing an extremely well-coordinated solo section, the entire masterpiece is a fantastic prog rock epic. The song has a fantastic amount of dynamic, transitioning effortlessly between hard rock sections and mellow prog sections. Overall, this song is truly fantastic. In the end, with this song, Rush truly did assume control.

Sadly, however, the album is not all just one giant 2112. Side 2 is comprised of five, shorter, unrelated proggish rock tracks. Although these songs aren't bad in any way, they are truly dwarfed by the magnitude of the track on the opposite side. Each song follows a similar format, with a verse, a chorus, a verse, a chorus, an instrumental section, and then a final chorus, with each track averaging around three and a half minutes. Each of the five songs present themselves as pleasant, pop rock songs, with a nice beat and (usually) some interesting lyrics.

One thing I found rather interesting is how obvious it is when Peart's lyric writing ends. After "The Twilight Zone," Lifeson and Lee pick up the lyricist duty (excluding the closer, which Peart writes lyrics for). I have to say Lifeson and Lee's lyrics are a bit... well... a bit cheesier. Although the songs still have that signature Rush style, they have the typical classic rock feel of that era that would have made the album more popular, which undoubtedly what the label wanted. Obviously, this seemed to work, as I doubt the massive epic was all that attracted thousands of people to buy the album (although it was a huge hit still, especially the concept among rebellious youths). Overall, these shorter, poppier tracks add little to the massive side one, but rather fill out the second side to appease the label. Good, but not essential.

In the end, this record is more of a balancing act between the two sides of the record. Side one is an absolute masterpiece and one of the most incredible prog epic out there. However, side two is a less fantastic side compiled of some pretty good proggish hard rock songs. In the end, however, this album is truly one of those classic progressive rock albums, and if it were not for this album, we may not have hat the innumerable masterpieces the band produced in the next few years, from 1975 to 1981. Overall, this album is truly an excellent addition to any progressive rock collection. 4 stars.

Review by Warthur
4 stars By the time Rush came to record 2112, Caress of Steel had been a commercial and critical flop and the band fully expected it to be their last album. Kicking off with a side-long prog metal epic despite their advice of their label, the band suddenly and unexpectedly turned out to be quite good at this prog thing after all. The title track from this one blows away the false starts of Fly By Night and Caress of Steel with stellar performances from all concerned, tighter compositional structures in which there's always something interesting happening, and a plot which is unashamed of its nerdiness and which is still exciting to hear after a dozen listens. (Oh, come on, tell me you don't get a shiver down your spine when you hear the distorted voice declaring the Elder Race's conquest of the solar system at the end of the song.) So what if the plot might be a thinly-veiled Objectivist allegory (or, more likely, a swipe at the music press for not accepting Rush's musical vision) when it's so good to listen to?

The second side of the album provides a tight set of shorter songs which proves that the band had also got the knack of producing these as well. As goofy as the thinly-veiled weed worship of A Passage to Bangkok is, it's still one of the catchiest songs they've ever done, with its thunderous guitar solo by Lifeson being a particular highlight of the album, Lessons is enjoyably upbeat and manages a nice blend of acoustic and electric guitar lines, and Something for Nothing is a great barnstormer to close the album.

The album isn't quite perfect - The Twilight Zone lacks the boundless energy the rest of the songs have, and doesn't quite hit the spooky atmosphere it aims for (though it comes close), and Tears is a lacklustre, melancholic ballad which even the generously applied heaps of Mellotron can't save from being bland middle-of-the-road slop. But even with these roadbumps on the second side, the album is still an enduring classic and the first sign that Rush might be able to stick it out for the long term. Finally mastering the progressive metal style they'd been tinkering with for two albums, the band took their place at the spearhead of the nascent subgenre, and with 2112 they more than earned it.

Review by Chicapah
4 stars I'm as guilty as the crooks in Congress for thinking that, because high-quality prog rock being made by any artist or group in the western hemisphere was as rare as getting struck by space junk, I had every right to nourish my biased skepticism of the Canadian band Rush. That's just one of many stupid reasons I had for ignoring them over a span of decades (for a more detailed but no less excusable explanation for my ridiculous attitude see my review of "Fly By Night") but I've finally come around in my old age to deciding to honestly give their albums a fair listen. My becoming aware of how determined this trio was to be true to themselves and to follow their progressive-minded muse even if she led them perilously close to entering the bleak lands of obscurity where groups who got dropped from their labels went to die had a lot to do with my decision to assess them anew. If there's one thing I respect above almost anything else in music it's rugged individualism and having the courage to go against the grain. Like them or not, Rush has those characteristics aplenty and deserves your admiration.

In the mid 70s prog rock was still enjoying widespread popularity but it was also veering into a period of transition where many of its most famous purveyors drifted into other styles that sometimes did and often did not make for better prog. Yes was undergoing yet more personnel changes while putting together "Going for the One," Genesis was attempting to replace Peter Gabriel and prove they were still viable with "Trick of the Tail," ELP was crippled by egos run amok during the sessions for "Works, vol. 1" and Pink Floyd was trying to follow up the biggest LP of that era with "Wish You Were Here." In the fledgling stateside prog scene Kansas was still straining to get their foot in the door with "Masque," Styx was timidly straddling the fence between prog and pop with "Equinox" and we all wondered what the hell Santana was trying to do via the weak "Amigos" disc. In other words, in the eyes of the American record executives, progressive rock was something you imported but you didn't cultivate locally. They'd determined that the populace just wouldn't support or buy it. That's the sermon the head honchos and their legion of yes men were preaching to the spunky little trio from up north after their third album, "Caress of Steel," had failed to set the world afire. The members of Rush had a decision to make. Bend to the winds of commercialism or stand firm and damn the torpedoes. They chose the latter option and their landmark "2112" is the result.

They boldly spat in the face of their masters by starting the record with a side-long epic, the career equivalent of going all in with their remaining chips. It was a case of their way or the highway and this time the good guys won. "2112" opens with a spacey drift that's neither overdone nor tacky. The group's extremely tight punches lead into an energetic hard rock motif and some very well-thought-out, intricate passages that wend through tricky prog terrain. Bassist Geddy Lee's shrill voice adds a sense of urgency and alarm to the storyline's warning tone. The "discovery of the lost guitar" moment is presented with flair and just the right amount of drama before they deftly elevate the song's intensity level back up from that subtlety. Lee shows he's much more than a frantic screamer in the process. The following up-tempo section is a spirited jam and the finale is suitably ominous. I'm compelled to hand it to these boys for having the billiards to buck the trends and do exactly what they were born to create come what may. No one else on this side of the planet was attempting to rival the UK-based progressive rock juggernauts on their lofty plateau quite like Rush was and this extended, highly-involved piece of music takes a back seat to none of them.

They made their defiant, game-changing statement on side one and the rest is gravy (and excellent gravy, at that). "A Passage to Bangkok" is arena rock & roll presented with an original, independent streak running through it that prevents it from becoming mundane. On "The Twilight Zone" the steady progress they were making in their technical abilities and their studio savvy really shines through as they fearlessly abut different tempos and rhythmic feels to create a sound that's distinctively their own. "Lessons" is next and the track's acoustic guitar approach is not laid-back or syrupy but goes a long way in keeping things unpredictable. What strikes me most on this cut is how drummer Neil Peart can be overtly busy on his kit without being indicted for the crime of overplaying. Guitarist Alex Lifeson's solo is red hot, especially during the long fade out. My favorite song is "Tears." Like both Genesis and Yes, they weren't afraid of alienating their rocker fans by displaying a softer, more delicate side of their art. This number has a beautiful melody and a lush depth of field helped in no small part by their employing Hugh Syme to add his expressive Mellotron work. As he did on "Fly By Night," Geddy's ability to adjust his vocal approach in order to give the song precisely what it needed to be most effective is a big surprise for me. The subdued beginning of "Something for Nothing" contrasts strikingly with the powerful momentum they generate during the more driving sequences of the tune. Neil's poignant lyrics sum up the band's mindset as the music showcases their unified purpose and their aspirations for future endeavors. "What you own is your own kingdom/What you do is your own glory/What you love is your own power/What you live is your own story/In your head is the answer/Let it guide you along/Let your heart be the anchor/And the beat of your own song," Lee warbles with confidence and resolve.

Curious how it's the rebels and the nonconformists that make the most lasting marks on civilization. No label wanted The Beatles but they changed the course of history. No publisher thought kids would care to read thick books about a young wizard but they couldn't get enough of Harry Potter. I could go on and on with more examples of those "in the know" not knowing diddly squat about what the public desires but you get the gist of my argument. The suits at Mercury records told Alex, Geddy and Neil that nobody would sit through 20-minute long songs and that the only way they'd survive in the cutthroat world of the music biz was to write catchy tunes that had the potential to scale the Top 40 charts. According to the "experts" prog rock was on its way out and they'd better get wise before it was too late. Thank heaven they didn't listen to those short-sighted dolts. The truth was that rockers of all ages were still eager to indulge in challenging music that offered an alternative to "Frampton Comes Alive" and Kiss' "Destroyer." "2112" not only outsold every album Rush had made up to that point, it became a testament to the persevering spirit of progressive rock that, against all odds, consistently refuses to lie down and die. Personally I think this band had yet to make their masterpiece but there's no denying that this album deserves every accolade it receives. 4.3 stars.

Review by crimson87
4 stars While "Caress of steel" epics were a wrong move, they sure have paved the way for new things to come? Among those things we have the monster epic 2112. This sci - fi piece de resistance is one of the cornerstones of progressive rock and with good reason , among it's 20 minutes it's musically flawless: the overture rocks hard , the ending is superb and the rest of the song features high peaks of emotion.

While musically flawless , the same cannot be said about the lyrics since they sound a bit lame to my ears , but that does not keep me from listening to this song. Now to side 2? it's not THAT bad actually! featuring an acoustic ballad "Tears" a pop song "Lessons" and 3 hard rock tunes that deliver.

Summing up , the first proper Rush album having an amazing title track and solid tunes on side 2. Not a masterpiece but still a very good album. 3.5 stars

Review by siLLy puPPy
COLLABORATOR PSIKE, JRF/Canterbury, P Metal, Eclectic
5 stars RUSH's groundbreaking album that kept them from becoming a footnote in history. 2112 took what was insinuated on the previous two releases and really upped the ante to make their first classic album. The title track is one of the best examples of classic heavy progressive rock out there. It excels in lyrical content, instrumental prowess and most importantly the ability to shift from act to act while remaining thoroughly exciting throughout its entirety. This is not a grower. This is something that is instantly lovable yet only becomes more so upon repeated listens. This title track is often cited by RUSH fans as the absolute best thing they have ever done. I can't say that I disagree although i'd be hard pressed to pick an absolute favorite this certainly is up in the higher ranks.

One of the things that has always (slightly) disappointed me about this album is that is isn't a full-on concept album. I would have loved to hear an entire album dedicated to the exploration of the theme set about on the title track. However, not imposing my futuristic will upon an album that was cutting edge at the time, I have to admit that despite it not being what I really want it to be it still is a great album. The songs on the second side are excellent. "A Passage To Bangkok" is one of the best songs they have ever recorded and although the other tracks took me a little longer to appreciate, I have succumbed to their charm as well.

Despite really wanting to give this album 5 stars, I have to think what would my most ideal RUSH masterpiece be. After giving it a little thought I think it would be "2112" from this album plus "Xanadu" and "La Villa Strangiato." THAT would be the perfect RUSH masterpiece. This album has one of those ingredients but unfortunately the rest of the tracks are not that great but I do enjoy them. They are not masterpieces and this just falls short of the top honors but I really love this album anyways so 4.5 but since we don't have a half point system here i'll just have to make this a weak 5 star album.

Review by Necrotica
4 stars Caress of Steel was considered a huge disappointment for Rush, who almost instantly abandoned traditional hard rock (except for a few songs like "Bastille Day") for the more complex progressive rock route. Many fans weren't able to deal with such a swift change in the band's sound at the time, and the album's tour was eventually known as the "Down the Tubes" Tour because of extremely poor concert revenue. Not only that, but the album itself was very disjointed and overlong, a harsh departure from the consistency the band's previous two records. But Rush, sticking to their guns, refused to listen to Mercury Records and ended up not selling out. Proof? Look at the next effort 2112, with a 20-minute epic literally opening the damn album! Naturally, the record label were praying that Rush knew what they were doing because people feared that the band would be done for good. Luckily, everyone was dead wrong.

2112 ended up selling more than people expected, and has garnered numerous accolades over the years; to this day, it's considered one of Rush's best albums and a classic work of progressive rock. If anything, the title track certainly suggests this as it's one of Rush's finest pieces. Clocking in at 20:34, the epic illustrates a world where priests (of the Temples of Syrinx, of course) rule every facet of everyday life and one man discovers an old guitar that is deemed obsolete by these Priests. Meanwhile, all planets are ruled by The Solar Federation as a result of a large scale war. This whole story is fascinating to listen to with the music and keeps the listener's attention throughout; the music also sees a huge upgrade from the previous album as one would expect. Spacey synthesizers kick off a thundering hard rock overture, with every tempo/time signature change performed more fluidly than with the previous album's epics. There are seven sections of the song in all, none going past the 4:33 mark; this is refreshing in its own right, as no segment overstays its welcome. One particular section to note is the Discovery portion, in which the volume dies down and the listener is given some nice atmosphere. Once the man in the story fully tunes the guitar he found, the melodies played by Alex Lifeson are beautiful and give off a feeling of renewal. The last thing to mention is the ending of the song, which is pretty unusual; the heaviness of the piece reaches its climax as the drum fills are going crazy and the guitar distortion is more intense. An announcement comes on: "Attention all planets of the Solar Federation; we have assumed control." It's interesting how the song has a bit of an ambiguous approach to the story as it concludes, but it's cool seeing different theories float around about it. Either way, the song is amazing. It's Rush's first successful epic, maintaining its freshness even today.

The other songs, however, are a mixed bag. They range from great ("Passage to Bangkok," "Something for Nothing") to alright ("The Twilight Zone") to downright awful ("Lessons," and ESPECIALLY "Tears"). To start on a positive note, "Passage to Bangkok" is an extremely fun, drug-influenced hard rock song that benefits from a strong Lifeson riff and solid Geddy Lee vocals. "Something for Nothing" is especially great, mixing a heavy guitar sound in the chorus with cleanly played verses. The dynamics are well-done and the tempo changes keep your interest until the end. But let's talk about "Tears" for a second... it's AWFUL! It features some of the worst attempts at melancholy, the overall product sounding more sappy than endearing. Then again, with a song title like "Tears" coming from Rush, I guess it's probably a bit expected. Anyway, the instrumentation is sparse on this one, especially in terms of alarmingly simple drumming from Neil Peart. But as I said before, what makes it fail is the poor attempt at a sad atmosphere; future songs such as "Roll the Bones" and "Red Sector A" would prove to be better examples of a dark vibe by Rush.

So how does it all add up? Even though there are some very weak tracks on this, the record as a whole is still quite well done. The title track alone is a 5/5, but there are good songs during the album's second half as well, particularly "Passage to Bangkok" and "Something for Nothing." If you can get past some mediocrity, the overall reward is still more than worth the price of admission.

Review by Modrigue
4 stars The very first progressive metal album?

4.5 stars

After the experiments and commercial failures of "Fly By Night" and "Caress Of Steel" - where the band still searched itself - and the disastrous tour that follows, RUSH was at the edge of bankruptcy. The record label Mercury urged the musicians to abandon the progressive approach and compose solely radio-friendly songs. So what was the decision of our Canadians? The exact opposite!

By combining their punchy heavy / hard rock with the complexity of their rhythmical structures and their instrumental virtuosity, the Canadians simply possibly created the first prog metal album, and also delivered one of the most iconic record of the progressive world, all that in 1976. Although not as sophisticated as YES' or GENESIS', the music is however more direct and catchy, as well as a bit ahead of its time in terms of aggressiveness. This disc has inspired future prog metal bands such as DREAM THEATER, and maybe even IRON MAIDEN. It also marks the first appearance of synthesizers, played here by cover designer Hugh Syme, in the band's universe. With "2112", RUSH has at least completely emancipated from its initial British hard rock influences, and delivers their first major opus.

The title track is of course the highlight. A science-fiction musical story, taking place in year... 2112, in a dystopian world where totalitarian priests have banished art and a young man discovers a guitar. Beginning with a spacey electronic introduction, the "Overture" and "Temples Of Syrinx" are the best sections: thundering and ferocious, with epic galloping riffs! I was just completely blown away the first time I listened to it. Grandiose and perfect progressive metal! "Overture" evens contains a short tribute to TCHAÏKOVSKI's heroic "1812 Overture". The rest is also very good. The discovery of the guitar beneath the cascade is reproduced by a gentle hesitating acoustic solo from Alex Lifeson and aquatic sound effects. The opposition between the hero and the priests is rendered by an alternation of soft and hard rock passages. Concerning the ending, it simply rocks! One of RUSH's ultimate compositions, needless to say more.

The second side consists in of short songs, but is nonetheless also quite good. "A Passage To Bangkok" combines a funny little Eastern theme with heavy punchy riffs. Powerful and original! Based on the TV show of the same name, "The Twilight Zone" is a calmer ballad, delicate and touching. Not much to say about "Lessons", except the fact Lifeson wrote lyrics. An enjoyable rock piece, alternating soft and harder passages. With lyrics by Lee, "Tears" is another melancholic ballad, pretty but a bit repetitive and finally average. Don't rely on the sweet beginning of "Something For Nothing", this track is a ferocious and epic proggy metal song that truly rocks! The best song of Side 2.

If you want me to nitpick, the only negative points I can find are a few strange transitions in the title track and "Tears". Otherwise, "2112" is a great album, thundering and innovative, with an overall constant quality. Originally accused of being a LED ZEPPELIN copycat, RUSH have at least found their identity with this signature record. The music is definitely not just hard prog rock like their neighbors KANSAS, but truly pioneering progressive metal. No wonder future bands such as DREAM THEATER refer to the Canadians as a major influence.

The musicians were right not to follow their record label's instructions: "2112" will be the band's first commercial success and will save them from bankruptcy.

This fourth studio offering is the one to start with if you're not familiar with RUSH. Geddy Lee's high-pitched teenage vocals may not please everyone at first listen, however they're finally well adapted to the ambiance. A cult and iconic disc in the progressive world, opening new musical horizons. This elaborated and complex hard/heavy metal was quite unique at the time, I can't think of comparable bands venturing in this territory with such power in the 70's.

One of RUSH's best albums, an essential listen for progressive hard rock and heavy metal fans!

Review by Kempokid
4 stars After an incredibly shaky start, and then a massive commercial flop in the form of Caress of Steel, on the verge of going entirely bankrupt, Rush decided that if they were going to go out, they'd do it with a bang, subsequentally causing them to skyrocket into popularoty and eventually become one of the most iconic progressive rock bands. When looking back on it, it's quite clear to see why 2112 would do that, as it's such a drastic leap forward in their sound, taking the ambition of Caress of Steel, and not only turning it into something actually listenable, but refining it into such an incredible prog epic that fully deserves to be as beloved as it is. The second side is less good, but still overall provides a decent array of hard rock tracks that mostly surpass what came before in the band's discography, bar a few highlights. This second side also stops this album from actually being a concept album, despite what so many people will tell you.

The undoubted highlight of the album is the title track, as the iconic 20+ minute suite that it is, with strong science fiction imagery bleeding through the entire song, in terms of lyricism, grandiose tone, and the use of synths that can be found throughout, but are especially prominent in the intro, sounding as if an intergalactic spaceship has just blasted off. The first 7 minutes of this song, which covers the first 2 sections of it, are definitely some of the greatest music that I think Rush have ever put out, which is saying a lot when looking at the next few albums past this point. Every moment of this has incredible energy and some absolutely incredible riffs, backed up by extremely tight, intricate interplay from both the bass and drums, making this both impresive in terms of composition, and the amazing playing. Overture continues in such a way, never dropping its energy at all and just bombarding the listener with excellent riff after excellent riff, all ending quietly as Geddy finally kicks in. The Temples of Syrinx takes this energy from Overture, and then ups it dramatically, especially with the high energy vocal performance dominating everything else that Geddy had done so far, and definitely still stands as one of his best vocal moments, absolutely belting it out without the abrasive quality that sometimes can come with his higher notes, especially when sung loudly. The chorus in particular is something that will stick in my head for hours after I've given this album a spin, and is definitely nothing short of breathtaking. The next 2 sections play out much slower, with a stronger focus on melody and storytelling, but still adding some flair here and there, especially with Neil Peart's drum fills. I in particular love Presentation, acting as a converation between the protagonist and antagonists, Geddy Lee putting on a more intense voice to represent the antagonists, and a lovely, melodious one for the protag. As the section draws to an end, the pace picks up once again and brings back some power, stopping the song from going on too long without some sort of climactic part. The Oracle serves as this climax, having a grandiose, uplifting tone to it that is once again absolutely incredible, before dying down into Soliloquym which maintains a lot of the passion, while slowing down and upping the intensity dramatically, all culminating in an absolutely stunning guitar solo, before ending with a gradual crescendo as more and more elements are introduced, becoming somewhat chaotic as a robotic voice penetrates the wall of noise that's being created, before the song then dies down and ends.

The second side of the album is a lot more conventional and straighforward, none of the songs going over 4 minutes and all following a very basic structure, just being fun rock tracks. A Passage To Bangkok is a catchy song and another one that I find myself humming at random points in time, mid paced and with a decent riff and hook. The Twilight Zone is what I'd consider the best song on this side other than Something For Nothing, having a bit more variety to it and having a great, galloping rhythm that's nicely broken up by the softer bridges, while Something For Nothing is at the opposite end of the spectrum, and simply works well as a great, fast paced rocker. The two songs, Lessons and Tears are nothing to write home about, although I'd still say that they're passable, despite te fact that they're easily the low point here, being fairly generic and not really carrying anything all too special to justify their existence here.

It's easy to see how this album managed to save Rush from bankruptcy, as it blows all their previous material out of the water, especially the absolute masterpiece of a title track, which singlehandedly provides great merit to the album. The creativity and ambition of the band was pushed extremely far here, this time becoming fully developed and realised, rather than falling flat on its face like the two epics on Caress of Steel did. The second side drags this album down a bit, especially with its two middle tracks being as underwhelming as they are, but even with this, on the whole, the album is extremely good, and deserves its popularity and acclaim.

Best songs: Something For Nothing, 2112 (this one especially)

Weakest songs: Tears, Lessons

Verdict: The first of the great Rush albums that would continue for quite some time, being filled with great energy and amazing technicality being presented from all members of the band, displaying intricate interplay and a lot of instrumental passages that never end up feeling overwrought. While the second side is definitely weaker than the first, both are good, and the first side is amazing enough that it's my first recommendation for people wanting to get into the proggier side of Rush, even if I'll tell them not to bother with the rest.

Review by jamesbaldwin
3 stars 2112 is considered the first masterpiece signed by Rush.

Is it a real masterpiece?

Let's see.

Side A is occupied by the suite 2112, lasting about 20 minutes, which starts with spatial, cosmic sounds, then Lifeson's hard rock guitar enters, and we witness a continuous change of rhythm, marked by the virtuosity of Neil Peart. As soon as the Overture closes, the voice of Geddy Lee is heard, at first sweet, then, when the hard-rock music starts again, shrill, screamed in that typical way of heavy metal that I don't like, it reminds me of the Neapolitan melodrama: when you go beyond the tone, the real emotion is absent, it is more form than content.

However, this short second song is certainly overwhelming, and ends with an acoustic guitar, then, with the sound of water, the narration of this futuristic and dystopian poem continues where music is prohibited. The piece is acoustic, soft voice and acoustic guitar. Then the rhythmic Presentation starts, very heavy, with the shrill voice in the foreground; a hyper-fast guitar solo ends the piece; Oracle still starts with a sweet voice and acoustic guitar, then becomes hard rock, with the characteristic shrill voice. The sound of spring water returns, and again an acoustic melodic piece is the prologue to a hard rock piece, the formula seems clear enough and repetitive. Finally, the Grand Finale, a short virtuoso show. As happened with the second side of the previous album, even here, more than a real suite, this long piece of music is only the set of many songs united by the same theme, songs that do not have a true unitary musical development.

Great effort, but in my opinion we are far from the masterpiece.

Rating 7,5/8

Side 2 2. A Passage To Bangkok (3:34). An oriental jingle, a guitar riff, the voice of Geddy Lee, and we are facing a conventional rock ballad, with a good guitar solo. Rating 7.

3. The Twilight Zone (3:18). Inspired song, partly electric, partly acoustic, with rhythm changes. A small prog-rock pearl, which however ends too early with a Lifeson's solo. Rating 7.5 / 8

4. Lessons (3:51). Acoustic guitar, rhythmic progression, screaming and scratching voice, we are faced with a good conventional hard-rock with guitar solo. The arrangement suffers from the exact same solutions. Rating 7+

5. Tears (3:32). The song begins with a melodic and romantic, acoustic piece, then arrives the mellotron played by Syme. Sweet song, very melodic and slow. The singing by Lee is finally whispered and not howling. Too short. Rating 7,5/8.

6. Something For Nothing (3:59). Concluding song with an acoustic beginning that soon becomes electric and very sustained, coarse voice, central guitar solo (I can't deny that the sound seems rather monotonous to me), again coarse voice. Rating 7.

There is very little progressive in this second side. In general, both for the arrangements and for the singing, Rush seems to me only a group of simple hard rock, very competent, ready to write suites which, however, so far (the first two albums) are more than anything else the union of single songs always hard rock. Good music rock, visceral, engaging, but rather simple, and short songs seem uncared for. A step forward compared to the previous album, a discreet but still immature album.

Quality Side 2: 7+.

Medium quality between side 1 and side 2: 7,5. Three stars.

Review by VianaProghead
4 stars Review Nš 674

"2112" is the fourth studio album of Rush and was released in 1976. The album features an eponymous seven part musical suite telling a dystopian story about a man who discovers an ancient guitar and learns to play his own music in the year of 2112. The "2112" suite fills the entire A side of the album. Besides that suite, the album has more five tracks on the B side. Rush repeated this musical arrangement on their sixth studio album "Hemispheres" released in 1978.

"2112" represents the last studio album of the band that belongs to their first musical phase. That phase started with their eponymous debut studio album "Rush" released in 1974, followed by "Fly By Night" released in 1975 and "Caress Of Steel" also released in 1975. This musical phase is a less progressive phase that is more characterized by the hard rock and the blues tunes and some more complex progressive tracks that "2112" is the greatest testimony of that.

Rush has always been regarded as one of the very most important bands in the progressive rock and metal history. Their intricate song structures and the use of outside influences has become a staple of countless of the band's sound. The complexity of their masterpiece suite, the twenty minute epic track "2112" is undeniably one of the greatest achievements that this legendary power trio have ever put their name on. However, the album to which it lends its title contains no other really worthwhile music. Sure, there are some fine riffs on the last five out songs, but none of them can rival with the colossally layered mastery of harmonies and atmosphere displayed consistently on the title track. Nor do the display the unbelievable musical intensity that Rush could often take on effortlessly. The acoustic parts everywhere, but the first song feel thin and lifeless, but it's all made up for before you even get to those songs, really.

About the individual tracks, "2112" is the lengthiest and the greatest track on the album. So, I must talk more deeply about it than the other five tracks. Lyrically and briefly, "2112" tells the story of a futuristic society run by a priestly intelligentsia that brainwash the masses into believing that they are happy. One day a boy finds a guitar and being expressing himself through music. The boy wants to share his music with others, which infuriates and terrifies the priests. Musically this is really a great piece of music with a magnificent huge sound. It's on a par with some other great progressive pieces of music like Yes's "Close To The Edge", King Crimson's "In The Court Of Crimson King" and Pink Floyd's "Wish You Were Here". What distinguishes more "2112" is that the band manages to create such a giant sound with not much than a guitar, a bass, drums and vocals. While there is some doubling of guitar, mostly during solos or when acoustic guitar is added, and a few keyboard passages, the vast majority of "2112" is produced with only three music instruments. So, all of this elements and the story makes of "2112" a true masterpiece in the way that it sounds.

Relatively to the other five songs on the album, while "2112" rightfully gets all our attention, side B is praiseworthy in its own right. While side A perfected their progressive rock elements, side B is the group's more direct hard rock dimension. On side B, Rush move out of a shadow of Led Zeppelin to create a hard rock sound with a very distinctive Rush touch. I'm not saying that the second half of this is completely bad, or even that it doesn't rock face times. There are definitely some riffs driven joints to be found here. These songs tell vivid stories or describe intense emotional experiences and in each case, Rush finds good melodies and hooks to convey these stories and feelings. For instance "A Passage To Bangkok" captures the energy and exoticism of travelling in far of lands while "The Twilight Zone" creates a spooky ambience. Even the ballad "Tears" is quite impressive, with Lee delivering a beautiful vocal performance, while guest musician Hugh Syme provides excellent atmospheric backing melodies with his Mellotron. When I want to hear these songs, I usually choose the respective live versions. But I admit this is a personal preference.

Conclusion: "2112" isn't truly a cohesive effort due to the great differences between both sides of the album. The side B of the album isn't as progressive and as good as the side A is. I think it suffers from the same problem that "Tarkus" of Emerson, Lake & Palmer suffers. However, I sincerely think it has enough quality not to spoil the general musical quality of it. Probably, the main problem with the both sides of the album is that Rush, in my humble opinion, was never a pure progressive rock band and always had a more direct hard rock aspect to their sound, at least, through "Moving Pictures". By the other hand, with "2112", Rush took a real giant leap into their music and began the release of a true amazing set of studio albums that shuttling them definitely to the stardom. With "2112", Rush made exactly the album that they wanted to make, rather than the one the label was being for. Few bands haven't been brave enough to maintain their artistic integrity in that situation. Thus, "2112" became so important that neither progressive metal nor alternative rock bands would be what they are today without it. As a whole, "2112" stands out because of its title track.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

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3 stars I admit that I am not a big fan of Rush mainly because I find the vocal's colour irritating and not enough progressive rock elements in the piece I've heard so far. Rush is a fine instrumental band albeit limited to bass, guitars and drums at this level. This lays more focus on the rhythm part ... (read more)

Report this review (#2419453) | Posted by sgtpepper | Tuesday, July 14, 2020 | Review Permanlink

4 stars 2112 achieved a triple feat: 1) it saved Rush's career (which was threatened by the commercial failure of Caress of Steel), 2) it showed artistic integrity (after all it is a record that "doubles the bet" of its predecessor, incorporating even more elements of progressive rock) and 3) it was a major ... (read more)

Report this review (#2285982) | Posted by kaiofelipe | Saturday, December 7, 2019 | Review Permanlink

5 stars We have arrived at a point in Rush history where the band finally started to pick up steam (both from an artistic and musical standpoint as well as for the band's record company). Even though their record company did not particularly like the brand of music that they made they still had them signed ... (read more)

Report this review (#1908611) | Posted by ProgMetaller2112 | Thursday, March 22, 2018 | Review Permanlink

4 stars The album where it all began! The first truly progressive release from the Canadian trio. After three albums where Rush was still trying to find out their true calling, came this near-masterpiece. Poor critical reception towards their previous effort sparked a positively violent reaction from th ... (read more)

Report this review (#1825192) | Posted by judahbenkenobi | Monday, November 20, 2017 | Review Permanlink

3 stars REVIEW #8 - "2112" by Rush (1976) Facing pressure from their record label to make a more commercially-friendly album, Rush decided to ignore the threats and create another album similar to their panned "Caress of Steel." Drummer Neil Peart, an objectivist and avid reader of Ayn Rand's work at t ... (read more)

Report this review (#1646818) | Posted by ProgMirage1974 | Saturday, November 19, 2016 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Infamous prog rock legends Rush never had an easy ride in their early years. They began as a hard rock band with incredible potential, and it did indeed take them a few albums before they struck brilliance. A short ways down the road, after the rather ambitious (but not bad) Caress of Steel, they fa ... (read more)

Report this review (#1554374) | Posted by stainedclass2112 | Thursday, April 21, 2016 | Review Permanlink

5 stars So, according to most critical aclaim, this is when Rush has a breakpoint. In my opinion, this is the start of there prime era. It was when they got a good grip on prog, however Caress of Steel is still a pleasent album. Alex, Geddy, and Neil bring us 2112, with a 20 minute title track telling t ... (read more)

Report this review (#1425643) | Posted by A_Flower | Wednesday, June 10, 2015 | Review Permanlink

5 stars The beginning for me of a lifelong relationship with a band that sung the story of my life. My first Rush album in 1976 when I was sixteen and very impressionable. The epic tale told through marvelous lyrics and music made my imagination soar. The unique, progressive tunes captured my soul an ... (read more)

Report this review (#1311582) | Posted by Geddygirl | Monday, November 17, 2014 | Review Permanlink

5 stars The album that started it off for me on my prog adventure! Everything about this record just screams 'listen to me!' ? for me it's always return to this album following all the keyboard-driven prog from other bands and listen to some guitar-driven prog greatness! The focus of the album is ... (read more)

Report this review (#1234331) | Posted by franklogan1956 | Monday, August 4, 2014 | Review Permanlink

3 stars A difficult album to review properly. One awesome multi-part epic and 5 mediocre short songs. Side 1: The title epic is without a doubt the crowning achievement of their early period (first 4 albums) and shows a great advancement over the flawed epics of Caress of Steel. This one actually has ... (read more)

Report this review (#1167030) | Posted by TwoCents | Tuesday, April 29, 2014 | Review Permanlink

4 stars I like this album. I think it's a really great starting point for both the band and progressive music in general. The highs are way high in the sky (space, even), and there aren't really all that many lows, and even the ones that exist are very forgivable. This album is definitely important bo ... (read more)

Report this review (#1111644) | Posted by Neo-Romantic | Friday, January 10, 2014 | Review Permanlink

3 stars So here it is, Rush's moving through a really good direction in prog rock. I always say that Rush is not one of my favorites, I don't really like them a lot, but no one denies that they are giants! They did a great work in this album ONLY in the epic 2112, one of the best songs that I have hea ... (read more)

Report this review (#1011584) | Posted by MyDarling95 | Monday, August 5, 2013 | Review Permanlink

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