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Rush Chronicles album cover
3.59 | 119 ratings | 15 reviews | 21% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Boxset/Compilation, released in 1991

Songs / Tracks Listing

CD 1 (73:37)
1. Finding My Way (5:05)
2. Working Man (7:09)
3. Fly by Night (3:19)
4. Anthem (4:22)
5. Bastille Day (4:37)
6. Lakeside Park (4:07)
7. 2112: Overture / Temples of Syrinx (6:44)
8. What You're Doing (live) (5:38)
9. A Farewell to Kings (5:21)
10. Closer to the Heart (2:53)
11. The Trees (4:38)
12. La Villa Strangiato (9:34)
13. Freewill (5:23)
14. Spirit of the Radio (4:47)

CD 2 (69:03)
1. Tom Sawyer (4:34)
2. Red Barchetta (6:08)
3. Limelight (4:20)
4. Passage to Bangkok (live) (3:45)
5. Subdivisions (5:32)
6. New World Man (3:40)
7. Distant Early Warning (4:56)
8. Red Sector A (5:10)
9. The Big Money (5:34)
10. Manhattan Project (5:04)
11. Force Ten (4:32)
12. Time Stand Still (5:08)
13. Mystic Rhythms (live) (5:40)
14. Show Don't Tell (5:00)

Total Time 142:40

Line-up / Musicians

- Geddy Lee / basses, bass pedals, synthesizers, vocals
- Alex Lifeson / guitars, bass pedals, guitar synthesizer
- Neil Peart / drums, acoustic & electronic percussion
- John Rutsey / drums, backing vocals (1-2)

Releases information

2CD compilation by Vertigo-838 936-2

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

(119 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(21%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(52%)
Good, but non-essential (24%)
Collectors/fans only (3%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

RUSH Chronicles reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Eetu Pellonpaa
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars A very good double CD compilation representing this Canadian art rock trio! I admit that the essential epics are missing, as they very often do in this kind of compilations. Anyway the material covers a large part of their production line, and some older tunes sound quite good as remastered. This album would be a good starter for somebody who is interested of the band, but haven't heard their records. As there are one or two songs from each major studio and live album, one can get a good overview from the different production eras of the band. This would also be a handy CD for those who have collected the albums as vinyl, or for listening in a car's stereos. The booklet contains also a small biography of the band. "The Passage to Bangkok" from "Exit...Stage Left" vinyl is also released here, as it lacked from the first CD versions of that album.
Review by Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Among other boxset compilation, this one is the best one to pick because it contains many great tracks, even though not all, of their career. You can here the period where their music was heavily influenced by Led Zeppelin through almost half of the first disc. This is typically true for "Finding my way" (5:05), "Working man" (7:09), "Fly by night", "Bastille Day" (4:37) and "Lakeside Park" (4:07). Workin Man is probably the best track from this era. It then continues with their music direction to progressive rock with tracks like "2112: overture / Temples of Syrinx" (6:44), "A farewell to kings" (5:21), "La Villa Strangiato" (9:34) and "The Spirit of Radio" (4:47). First disc in its entirety represents great music by Rush during its early days.

The first half of disc two represents the band's music in transition from progressive rock to something more synthesizer-based. "Tom Sawyer" (4:34) is a great track with excellent melody and relatively complex structure. "Red Barchetta" (6:08) is an excellent riff-driven rock music, followed beautifully by "Lime Light" and live version of "Passage to Bangkok" (3:45). "Subdivisions" (5:32) remarkes the band's move into synthesizer. "Subdivisions" is one of my favorite of Rush music. "Distant early warning" (4:56) is also another great track. After "The Big Money", I don't think the music is worth listening.

Overall, it's a good chronicles even though I'd rather recommend you to buy individual album of Rush than purchase this compilation. Keep on proggin' ..!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW (i-Rock! Music Community)

Review by progaardvark
COLLABORATOR Crossover/Symphonic/RPI Teams
3 stars In my opinion, Rush's Chonicles "greatest hits" album was just an attempt of a record company taking advantage of a group's popularity to make a few extra bucks. As I understand it, this collection was assembled without the participation of the band, and it shows. Some of these I would hardly call "hits," while others are obviously. In the end, the result is a mixed bag. Many songs didn't make the cut, and for the most part, it's the longer tracks that were carelessly discarded so they could fit as much on these 2 discs as possible.

I guess as an introduction to the band, this collection might be acceptable, but it doesn't provide enough insight into the band's earlier progressive years. Xanadu and Cygnus X-1 (at least one of the two parts) would have helped in this manner, instead of many of the shorter pieces they pulled from this period. The 2nd disc seems most representative of the band's 1980s output.

How to rate this? Fans probably already have all their albums, so this isn't for them. Collectors? Maybe, but most likely not. Newcomers to Rush? I would prefer they get the studio albums from their peak period. Completionists? Well... that's what they do, so they'll want this. The music isn't bad, just not the best selection for a "greatest hits" compilation. I guess I'd have to go with three stars. Good stuff, but not really essential for the above reasons. Or am I just overthinking the rating thing?

Review by snobb
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Perfect compilation of one of the best heavy-prog group. This double album is enough representative for wide period of group's activity. This is it's strong side. The weak point comes from the reason above: if you want to prepare representative collection of song covering twenty years, you for sure will put some songs, which are good for some albums, but are below average for the group in common.

I think this compilation is produced having this problem in a head: best period (around 1980) is represented with maximum songs. It's a perfect decision, because these songs are the album's gem.

From other hand, it's not easy to make that kind of compilation at all: Rush's "Moving Pictures" is fully the best possible compilation! So any compilation should consist of "Moving Pictures " plus some tracks? Easy to ask, difficult to answer!

So, we have really strong ( representative in time) compilation there! ( With accent to best albums). As for me, first CD is generally perfect, and the first part of the second. Starting from the group's "new sound " ( read - synth-pop sound) I almost lost my interest to their music at all, so it's always difficult for me to listen CD2 till the end ( boring faceless synth-pop-rock in prog clothes,sorry).

But I understand, that for many listeners even later Rush is kind of prog-idol. So I think ( if I am thinking in democratic way) that in total this double CD is strong enouh and representative.

If you are new for Rush music and want just to start ( or to buy just ONE album), I can recommend just to purchase "Moving Pictures"instead! As I said before, "Moving Pictures"is better than any Rush copmilation!

Review by zravkapt
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars My first Rush purchase but I already knew many of their songs. The first of many compilations to come. The biggest let down would be only having an excerpt of "2112" and the live songs. The live songs are not bad, but I would have preferred studio songs in their place(and not just studio versions of the live songs). The tracklist is decent. I think only "Working Man" should have been used from the first album; "Finding My Way" sounds too much like Zeppelin. It also would have been great if they included "Marathon", one of the band's best '80s songs.

So, you get the classics and the more well known singles along with album tracks like "La Villa Strangiato". Generally most of the longer tracks are not here. So no "Necromancer" or "Xanadu". This set covers 1974-1989. The first disc is pre-Moving Pictures. Because you don't get some of the longer album tracks, you don't quite get an accurate picture of the band's evolving sound. You hear a chronological change but it seems abrupt.

If you have no Rush albums this is a good place to start. Other compilations have generally the same songs as here. You are still better off getting a copy of Hemispheres or Moving Pictures. A good introduction to the band but doesn't show you everything they are capable of. 3 stars.

Review by Conor Fynes
3 stars 'Chronicles' - Rush (Compilation)

If it means anything, this is Rush's most complete compilation album.

The concept of 'best of' collections and compilations generally get a bad reputation amongst critics, especially Rush compilations. For a band with multiple takes on the 'best-of' of this well-known Canadian trio, it doesn't seem like any have really been able to get the concept down right. Showcasing some of the band's better known work up to the release of 'Presto,' 'Chronicles' seems to do quite a more successful job of showing each side of the band, and the gradual development of the group's sound from the rough and rocking early days, through their progressive years, and into their synth-heavy '80s period.

While the band's prog-minded fans will no doubt be a bit unsatisfied by the lack of the more ambitious material here, there's plenty of great tracks here, even if they may be the sort that listeners could typically find on the radio in any case. While certainly not essential for any fan of the band (who are easily better off buying the actual studio albums over this), 'Chronicles' does understand that it takes more than a single disc to showcase such an expansive career.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Latest members reviews

4 stars This one is a very good compilation album from Rush. It is perfect for people who wants to listen to Rush for the first time, since it spans their entire career up to that point. It features songs from every album of Rush in the 1974-1991 period, including the live releases (16 albums in total). The ... (read more)

Report this review (#2592191) | Posted by sensedatum | Saturday, September 4, 2021 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Chronicles is one of the few compilations by Rush that is not a Retrospective. Being released right before the album "Counterparts", it wasn't able to include many more recent hits, from albums like "Test For Echo" or "Clockwork Angels". The compilation includes all necessary hits from albums ... (read more)

Report this review (#1261822) | Posted by aglasshouse | Wednesday, August 27, 2014 | Review Permanlink

3 stars It must be quite difficult to create a great compilation album. You have to keep mostly to album length (We aren't talking anthologies here) and pick out the treasures from what may be a wide body of work. This album was released in September of 1990 according the Rush's website. By that point, R ... (read more)

Report this review (#268383) | Posted by R-A-N-M-A | Friday, February 26, 2010 | Review Permanlink

3 stars A big deal when it was released This was the first official Rush compilation album and it was welcomed with open arms by myself who at that time only had Hold Your Fire, A Show Of Hands and Presto on cassette tapes. Accidently, I bought my first CD player the same week as the release of this co ... (read more)

Report this review (#200867) | Posted by toroddfuglesteg | Tuesday, January 27, 2009 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Probably the best Rush compilation album in existence, and for several reasons. First, the selection is, IMO, better than that of Gold. Second, it shows perfectly the evolution of the band's music in chronological order. From their Zeppelin sounding days of birth (like their debut "Rush"), to thei ... (read more)

Report this review (#155994) | Posted by Draith | Thursday, December 20, 2007 | Review Permanlink

3 stars My introduction to Rush came with this album on recomendation from a friend, this collection of songs immediatly clicked with me and I was head over heels madly in love with them, from the chippendale voice of Geddy Lee, the strong bass and drum backbone of the songs, the added synth melodies ... (read more)

Report this review (#122062) | Posted by tuxon | Monday, May 14, 2007 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Salmacis said it best...there's nothing rare here. So don't buy this collection thinking that you'll get an unreleased version of "Fly By Night" or something of that nature. If you do, you'll be in for a huge disappointment. Collections, by nature, normally number in their ranks an assortme ... (read more)

Report this review (#80015) | Posted by sbrushfan | Thursday, June 1, 2006 | Review Permanlink

5 stars This is the cd that made me fall in love with the band. It is a great introduction to Rush, but there's no reason why old Rush fans won't enjoy this great collection. It covers most of Rush's earlier works and styles and definetely lives up to its name. ... (read more)

Report this review (#21018) | Posted by | Wednesday, June 23, 2004 | Review Permanlink

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