Rediscovering Rush

  • For the last year or so I have been rediscovering one of my favourite bands, Rush. I was huge fan in the seventies ( those albums rank amongst my all time favourites) but never took to signals. The bits I heard of their later albums I simply did not like. I bought Show of Hands cheaply to check them out and see if there was anything left for me but there was nothing so I duley ignored them for many years. I bought Vapour Trails following a review and quite liked it , same with Snakes and Arrows, but really liked Clockwork Angels after buying it in a special Classic Rick edition. ( Went to the tour)That is a great album. About a year ago i spotted a CD box set of their albums from presto to SAA. onwards going for a tenner so gave it a go. I have been playing them on and off since and I must say am really enjoying it. The music feels so fresh . Counterparts is a great album , still getting to know the others. I have even revisited Signals and Show of Hands and found myself enjoying them. I have slight regret for ignoring 20 years of music but it's good to catch up in what feels like new music to me. I may even get round to getting the synth laden 3 albums of the eighties still missing from my collection .

  • A class act and a cut above the rest. I drifted away from them in the mid eighties, but now find that i spend as much time listening to some of the later albums...Power Windows, Grace under pressure...as well as the earlier classics

    Funny how time can change your perspective

  • I had a very similar experience.

    They were my first “favourite band,” discovered them when I was about 12, shortly after the release of ATWAS, and to this day I list them among my favourites.


    But like you, I went through a 12-year stretch where I stopped buying their albums, declaring their last worthwhile album to be Grace Under Pressure – dismissing all subsequent releases as synth heavy, light on guitar and pop leaning.


    Then in the late 90s, on a Genesis forum, of all places, I was chatting with a fellow Rush fan and after expressing my passion for the band's early output, he encouraged me to give Counterparts a try.

    And so I did, not expecting to be impressed, and was completely taken aback.

    It made me realize at that point, I hadn’t really given the albums after GUP a proper chance. Instead, judging them largely based on individual tracks that seemed to support my previous dismissal.


    So I bought the missing albums and went through a period of discovery and grew to appreciate this previously maligned group of albums.


    I also share the view Rush went out on a high.

    Their last three studio albums I thought were great.

  • I came in at around the time of Hemispheres and liked it. From then on I enjoyed their work increasingly with each album and unlike many fans, my appreciation shot up even more with Signals. Perhaps as a fan of electropop the synth-rich sound appealed greatly. I was blown away by Subdivisions and The Analog Kid and they remain favourites. A performance of Subdivisions at a 1988 gig in London was so stunning it's still in my all-time top 10 gig moments.


    I'm not keen on the pre-Hemispheres stuff bar the odd track here and there. But from that album and especially Permanent Waves onwards I don't think they did a weak album and I agree they finished strongly, quite a remarkable sequence. But I often hear rock-heads decrying the later stuff and being all about the 70s material.

    I drifted away from them in the mid eighties, but now find that i spend as much time listening to some of the later albums...Power Windows, Grace under pressure...as well as the earlier classics

    You're classing GUP and PW as 'later' albums?

    Abandon all reason

  • By the way, there are a few usual suspects on this board who will, I guarantee, come in here to say how much they hate Rush. I'm not saying they shouldn't, just that they almost certainly will!

    Abandon all reason

  • was only saying GUP and Pw 'later ' albums, as a lot of 70's rush fans seemed to have switched off after signals. Along with counterparts i think they are very strong, and show that like another certain band, they weren't afraid to change and experiment

  • was only saying GUP and Pw 'later ' albums, as a lot of 70's rush fans seemed to have switched off after signals. Along with counterparts i think they are very strong, and show that like another certain band, they weren't afraid to change and experiment

    Ok got you. Adding to earlier comments I too have a lot of time for Counterparts, excellent songs and an overall tight punchy sound.

    Abandon all reason

  • Rush is one of my top 3 favorite bands. I saw them live more than any other band I've ever gotten to see. For me the period from AFWTK to PW is their best stuff. The stuff prior is good and full of just rocking energy but I don't rank it nearly as high. I fall off a bit with HYF but there are still some really strong songs in there and on Presto. The 90s were a bit hit or miss for me in their catalogue but I feel Vapour Trails is a fantastic and sort of raw album. Not big on S&A, but Clockwork Angels is among their best albums and such an incredible way to end their career, not that it was necessarily planned that way.


    I find a lot of people like Counterparts but for some reason I've always struggled to get fully into it, don't really know what it is. The songs aren't bad, but they don't grab me the way they do for others.


    Rush is an interesting group in that their fans tend to kind of like different periods all over the place so they pretty much could break out any old deep cut live and make a lot of people happy. I loved that about them, you never were quite sure what would show up on a tour. They had their standards but then suddenly Power Windows gets 5 - 6 songs in a set many years after not playing those songs.


    I miss seeing them live but cherish every show I saw.

  • I loved that about them, you never were quite sure what would show up on a tour. They had their standards but then suddenly Power Windows gets 5 - 6 songs in a set many years after not playing those songs.


    I miss seeing them live but cherish every show I saw.

    I completely agree about the setlist choices. They'd suddenly unexpectedly dust off old ones that either hadn't been played for decades or even in some cases, ever.


    I miss their live shows too. They fell into a pattern of rarely coming to Europe, sadly. I will now forever nag myself for not taking the chance to see them in London on the Time Machine tour. The last time I saw them was in 07 on the S&A tour, which was excellent as ever.

    Abandon all reason

  • Slightly off-topic, but does anyone know if Permanent Waves was released in Canada (or anywhere else) before the UK? I know this was the case with earlier albums but wonder if by the time of PWs they were big enough to command simultaneous worldwide releases. It's just that the UK release date has been identified (you can usually ignore any date W*k*p*d*a gives, especially where bigger North American acts are concerned) but I'd like to know if it appeared anywhere else beforehand.


    Thanks,

    Phil Morris

  • Been a fan of Rush for many years now. Their concerts have all been excellent. I have to say though that their last three albums (Vapor Trails, Snakes & Arrows and Clockwork Angels) didn't hit the mark with me. My favourire period was 1974 - 1981

    “Without music, life would be a mistake”

  • I have the albums up to and including Hold Your Fire and like them all, except HYF. That one's first two tracks are okay, while the rest sounds somewhat half-hearted to me. I read they stopped progressing afterwards and instead returned to their older sound to appease fans, so I lost interest. After reading some glowing praise here I may give their later work a chance someday. ^^

  • I have the albums up to and including Hold Your Fire and like them all, except HYF. That one's first two tracks are okay, while the rest sounds somewhat half-hearted to me. I read they stopped progressing afterwards and instead returned to their older sound to appease fans, so I lost interest. After reading some glowing praise here I may give their later work a chance someday. ^^

    Mission on HYF is a great track. You've been misled about them supposedly returning to their older sound to appease fans. The following albums didn't change hugely but they certainly didn't go back to their 70s sound. There was a gradual progression through to Counterparts which at the time sounded quite different to me, in a good way. Echo didn't make much impression on me. The starkest change came with Vapor Trails where they ditched all synths and went for a harder, more raw under-produced sound but even then I wouldn't say it returned to their older style. (It was later remixed and re-released, sounding less like it was recorded in a cupboard in a garage).

    Abandon all reason