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Rush Exit... Stage Left (VHS) album cover
4.00 | 145 ratings | 8 reviews | 41% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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DVD/Video, released in 1981

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Limelight
2. Tom Sawyer
3. The Trees
4. Xanadu
5. Red Barchetta
6. Freewill
7. Closer to the Heart
8. YYZ
9. By-Tor and the Snow Dog/In the End/In the Mood/2112 Finale
10. YYZ (Credits)

Total Time: 60 minutes

Line-up / Musicians

- Geddy Lee / bass guitar, vocals, synthesizers, bass pedal synthesizers, occasional rhythm guitar
- Alex Lifeson / electric & acoustic guitars, bass pedal synthesizers
- Neil Peart / drums, percussion

Releases information

Polygram Music Video, VHS, 60285

Thanks to Guillermo for the addition
and to Cleaver for the last updates
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RUSH Exit... Stage Left (VHS) ratings distribution

(145 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(41%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(46%)
Good, but non-essential (12%)
Collectors/fans only (1%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

RUSH Exit... Stage Left (VHS) reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars I remember vividly when this live video was first launched early eighties, I had the beta version of this. I liked this set and it was in competition with my other collection: Genesis "Three Sides Live" which was issued around the same period. I watched this video altogether with friends as I did not have the video player (pity me).

It's an excellent show with all members had a long hair. My favorite tracks were Tom Sawyer, The Trees - Xanadu and YYZ. It's regretful that my other favorite La Villa Strangiato which was featured in the CD version of the show is not featured in this video. But overall, it's a good performance by the band. Geddy Lee moves his positions frequently while singing and playing his bass guitar. Neil Peart doing his machine-gun drumming. Alex is rocking the stage.

Keep on proggin'

GW - Review #305

Review by Eetu Pellonpaa
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars This is a wonderful old film from the tour that represents RUSH's live playing skills at their best. The moving pictures gives a nice addition to the sense of aestethics, and it's very refreshing to see and hear good stuff from the 80's. During that time the band wrote perhaps their best songs, and the old numbers from the 70's get the best treatment they have ever got. Dig out your old Commodore Vic 20 for few games of Pac Man to reach the ultimate sense of time after watching this!
Review by erik neuteboom
4 stars Last year Rush was in Holland and there they prooved again that they are one of the greatest progrock bands, what a skills, visuals, energy and .. pleasure. After 30 years Rush playing together it's amazing what a tight unit this 'powersymfo' trio is, incredible! If I compare the actual Rush to the Rush on this video, I have to admit that there was in those years (I've seen them many times between 79 and 87) more magic and more pure musical excitement because Rush sounded so unique and they were so talented: that very moving guitar-solo (fine use of the tremolo-arm) in "Limelight", the great changing of climates between acoustic and electric in "The trees", the great buiil-up and stunning grand finale in "Xanadu" (spectacular view on the twin-necks from Geddy and Alex), the magnificent interplay in "YYZ", it all shows how exciting it wastoo witness Rush during a concert. Not only musical but also visual, Rush used funny cartoons, an advanced lightshow and it was great to see how enthousiastic Rush did their performances: you got the idea that every concert Rush gave 100% for their fans and they played material from every era. So fans from the heavy period were screaming and yelling together with the fans from the progressive era, wonderful! This is perhaps not the best live-footage but to me it's such an emotional experience because it evokes so many good memories.
Review by SouthSideoftheSky
3 stars In the limelight

This live video was originally released in conjunction with the live album of the same name, but don't be fooled into believing that the two releases are very similar. There is some overlap in terms of songs, but some songs that appear on the album are not here on the video and the other way around too. Like the album, this video was recorded and released at the very culmination of the band's classic period in 1981 (just before they were overcome by the "spirit of radio" and started to drift away from Prog with Signals). The running time is rather short with only eight full songs and one medley performed. In honesty though YYZ only appears over the closing credits, which brings us down to seven full songs that we can see the band perform here. Only the opener Limelight and the closing medley are not also featured on the album of the same name. Still, I think that the video is actually more enjoyable than the album, but both releases have some obvious shortcomings. That there is some talking in between the performances is one of them.

The highlights for me are an absolutely brilliant performance of Xanadu and the wonderful medley featuring excerpts from By-Tor and the Snow Dog, In the End, In the Mood and the 2112 Finale. There are no weak spots as such in the performance and there is more energy and passion in the video than on the album, I feel. Had this video featured the complete show without interruptions, the rating could have been higher.

The version I have is the recently re-released DVD, but the contents are the same as on the old VHS (as far as I know). The DVD version is available both as part of the Replay x 3 collection (together with Grace Under Pressure Tour and Show Of Hands DVDs) as well as individually.

Recommended, but could have been a lot better

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Exit...Stage Left is a 1 hour concert from the early years or Rushtory when they had long hair, and features a strong setlist with the likes of Limelight, Tom Sawyer, and a rare appearance of the brilliant Xanadu. The usual suspects are here such as the wonderful Red Barchetta and quintessential Freewill along with lighters in the air stalwart crowd pleaser Closer To The Heart. It is always great to see them having fun with the instrumental YYZ and a real treat is to hear the medley at the end with By-Tor And The Snow Dog, In The End, In The Mood and 2112 edited together masterfully.

The VHS or DVD delivers what it promises, Rush in their hey day with great quality sound and editing. The band look young of course and jump around a lot more and there were no signs of chicken rotisseries or clothes dryers back then, but a heck of a lot of lighting and laser effects more than makes up for it. The concert also comes with a lot of interview footage and voice overs between songs, and some footage of the band backstage while the songs play and that is a treat compared to the usual straight concert footage. Too short but quite sweet. A real blast from the past that will please Rushaholics.

Review by Guillermo
4 stars I added this video to the Prog Archives database some years ago. I even can`t remember now when I did it. But finally this week I watched to this video so now I can write a review about it.

"...forever young...".

Well...that is the impression that I have when I listen and even more when I watch to some bands playing after many years on the road. RUSH is one of those bands. And after watching to this video and to their "Grace Under Pressure Tour" video I still have the same impression, because the main audiences of this band were and maybe still are very young people (I could be wrong, but in both videos there are some scenes taken from the point of view of the audiences...and there were a lot of teenagers and maybe a lot of university students among the fans of this band, or even some pre- teenagers too...with maybe some of their parents attending the concerts with them). Well. Anyway, this band is a very good band and even if I am not as young as most of their fans are I still sometimes enjoy listening and watching to a band like RUSH. I listened to the "Exit... Stage Left" live album for the first time in 1983 (when I was 18 years old) and it remained for at least two years among my favourite albums from that period. Maybe it is their best live album and for my taste their period between 1978 and 1984 was their best, at least in Prog Rock terms. The band sounded very well rehearsed, very energetic, very creative, very heavy. Each musician played their instruments very well, with a lot of precision (particularly drummer Neil Peart, one of the best drummers in Rock music). Bassist Geddy Lee was singing very well in those years and also was playing bass guitar and keyboards and bass pedals, and some rhtyhm guitar (in "Xanadu"), and even controlling the keyboard sequences and playing some keyboard parts using pedals, helped a bit by Alex Lifeson. Lifeson still is a very heavy guitarist, but he sometimes used some acoustic guitars (on the first part of "The Trees" and in "Closer to the Heart", this last song being one of the few songs from the band on which the lyrical themes are not about "modernity", science fiction or technology, themes on which i am not very interested now, but maybe are very interesting for their fans).

So, this video is still very enjoyable, despite the images are not very good. But the sound is good. I think that the performances of the songs are not the same as in the album, or maybe some of them were overdubbed in the recording studio or mixed differently. Anyway, this video is a very good companion to the album, and even has some songs which were not included in the album ("In the End", for example, is one of my favourites from their early seventies period). The only thing that I did not like from this video was the omission of Peart`s drums solo in "YYZ" which is presented in an edited form. But they included "The Trees", "Xanadu" and "Free Will", three very good songs which are among my favourites from their repertoire.

Latest members reviews

4 stars What could you expect about this live album film? Ok first this album was filmed in the Moving Pictures tour exactly between 1980-81, this was the first release of Rush in Video, we have an excellent setlist and amazing performence by them on stage. Also Im going to give you some pros and con ... (read more)

Report this review (#261029) | Posted by squire4001 | Friday, January 15, 2010 | Review Permanlink

4 stars I honestly think that the DVD/VHS version of the show is much better than the CD version, but the DVD/VHS version does have its much needed flaws that keep this from being an absolutly perfect Rush concert, but its still a keeper. One thing I may suggest is that they release a 2 DVD set with th ... (read more)

Report this review (#197084) | Posted by Rushlover13 | Saturday, January 3, 2009 | Review Permanlink

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