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Billy Apple

Best Rush Album

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I love all of their 80s output and even the early 90s (yes, I’m the one person who likes Presto and Roll the Bones).

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I was pleasantly surprised  by Clockwork Angels, but I still love Hemispheres most of all. probably cos that's the 1st I bought :)
 

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Posted (edited)
9 minutes ago, Oopsdabassist said:

I was pleasantly surprised  by Clockwork Angels, but I still love Hemispheres most of all. probably cos that's the 1st I bought :)
 

Hmm side 1 (the first hemisphere?) is the same song repeated for a good deal.'Trees' is my entry-point though... My favourites are 'Moving Pictures' and 'Permanent Waves'. Oh wait, maybe my entry point was, '2112'... I remember thinking that this guy sounds like Chris Squire so I'm in! 

Edited by visog
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My ring tone is the intro to Spirit of Radio and screensaver the cover of Test for Echo.

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Grace Under Pressure. Alex Lifeson was unhappy with being elbowed out of the way a touch by synths on Signals, yet the Waldorf PPG sounds are brilliant. The tension in the band can clearly be felt but that brings an edge that isn’t there in later albums, and this is the real turning point of them moving from progressive hard rock to having a wider palette, but in a more succinct format. From the cover art and the best band portrait shot by Yousuf Karsh, to me the best song and guitar solo in their entire output - Between The Wheels - for me it’s the high water mark of their output.

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BTW is a great song... And I love AL's solo...

Who's going to kick-off the whole 'best bass tone' thing here?  Me! Ricks & Jazz on PW/MP - the later Steinberger and Wals sounded terribly flappy? 

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I actually listened through all of them about a year ago...the stuff I remember and believed had achieved gold-star status in Chez-NJ really didn't seem to hold up.

The early material suffers from very poor production values, they sound thin and nasty.  Things do get better around the time  of Moving Pictures, but a couple of albums on from this, I'd moved on.

The beauty of Rush is reinvention; the stream of live albums and DVD/BluRay, to my ears at least, make the live releases eminently listenable, plus, they always come across as very likeable guys.

So best album? In my opinion, there isn't one, largely because their better material is peppered over many albums, but more collectively on the live sets.  All The World's A Stage holds high, it's my first exposure.  Of the rest? R30.  Belter.  Images And Words was great as well.  :)

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Best Rush album? No such thing. Having had such a long career and gone through so many stylistic shifts over the decades, there is no single collection of songs that defines them. I think personal favourite albums will hinge on when you got into them.

I can do personal favourite by decade, then overall favourite:


70s - A Farewell To Kings. First Rush album I bought, in 1979, blew my tiny little mind.

80s - Permanent Waves. This transitional point between flowery prog epics lyrics to a more aggressive, pared-back & succinct style is pretty much perfection.

90s - Counterparts. Likely inspired by the zeitgeist of the time,  Rush finally abandoned walls of keyboards & pop production and  remembered that they were actually a proper rock band. Some of their best writing in a decade, too.

00s - Vapor Trails. Difficult, uncomfortable album - their most experimental music; and Peart's most human, relatable lyrics by a long, long way. I would say if you have not heard the remix of this album, you haven't heard it at all.

10s - Clockwork Angels. Not perfect (no Rush album is) but contains some perfect moments. Good to hear Peart writing imaginative, conceptual lyrics again. Shame it was their last, but a high note to end on.


I think because of the pretty much unfiltered nature of their writing, Rush's output has always been uneven. There are a good few albums I don't think I'd go back to and listen through again - although with one exception (Test For Echo), every album has a gem or two.

If I had to pick an overall favourite, it would be Permanent Waves - really this is the point at which Rush defined their own sound and  stopped sounding like - in fact, being - a mishmash of identifiable influences. Their most consistently stratospheric writing and playing, and a production that properly captured the raw edge of their live sound.

Anyone else ever notoce that Rush albums come in distinct pairs? IMO this is a rule that held true up until their hiatus following Test For Echo. They would always seem to make two related, or stylistically similar albums, and then move on - eg Caress Of Steel/2112, KIngs/Hemispheres, Permanent Waves/Moving Pictures etc.

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My favourite band & a fan since my early teens (so that’s 35 years+).

A big fanboy of their 80’s stuff & for a long time Power Windows was my favourite album.

I actually think they went out on a high, & Clockwork Angels is now the album I like the most.

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I’d like to hear a remixed version of Clockwork Angels, the production is too dense and mushy for my ears and hides some fantastic tunes.

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I have the original and the remixed Vapor Trails and I have to agree with bassassin. the later version is a belter!

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30 minutes ago, Oopsdabassist said:

I have the original and the remixed Vapor Trails and I have to agree with bassassin. the later version is a belter!

Agreed; some of their best writing spoiled by too many overdubs.

I like Presto too.

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For me Moving Pictures just shades it from Permanent Waves.

As a callow youth I used to love Farewell & Hemispheres but while I still enjoy some of the shorter tunes, the epics haven't aged as well for me.

2112 still makes me laugh, albeit in a nice way (at least until I see the outfits on the back - not quite sure what's going on with Alex's trousers but it looks neither comfortable nor healthy).

Honourable mention to Grace Under Pressure. Despite containing more chorused guitar than a jam session with Mike Stern and Andy Summers held underwater in a giant washing machine it has aged well and contains some great tunes.

I could never get on with Power Windows and so voluntarily banished myself from the city of Megadon thereafter. Fortunately I found a strange device in a cave with four thick wires that vibrate and give music and achieved a terrifying musical proficiency on it within 40 seconds.*

*Not actually true. Some thirty-odd years later I still can't play the first five notes of YYZ up to tempo.
 

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Hemispheres, Permanent Waves and Signals.

A gradual decline from Hold your Fire, and serious patience-testing after Counterparts.

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My favourite is definitely "Exit Stage Left" (even though it is one of the muddiest sounding live albums ever). 

Favourite studio album for me is Power Windows - love it! 

 

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Just now, kevin_lindsay said:

My favourite is definitely "Exit Stage Left" (even though it is one of the muddiest sounding live albums ever). 

If ever there was an album crying out for a remix, it's that one.

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Timely thread. I'd just decided to listen to some Rush. Two reasons; my mate (and first drummer) has always been a huge fan and I didn't get it but promised that I would try one day (see also Yes), and the way some of you lot go on about the bass player, well I thought I ought to check them out. 

As I can't name one song never mind album I shall see what the BC consensus is. So far, as a fan of Edward Hopper the cover of the Windows one has caught my eye. 

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6 minutes ago, stewblack said:

As I can't name one song never mind album I shall see what the BC consensus is. So far, as a fan of Edward Hopper the cover of the Windows one has caught my eye. 

Of all the songs from all the albums (and I love them all until hold your fire), Middletown Dreams on Power Windows is one of those songs that evokes images.

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Grace under Pressure. It's got the lot - passion, musicianship and great melodies.

(closely followed by Signals and Power Windows)

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I only have three of their albums. Out of those Moving Pictures is the one I play the most.

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If you were looking for an entree to Rush, then I guess Spirit of Radio would be as good a starting point as any? But is that cheating? 😊

Spirit of Radio Cover.jpg

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Moving Pictures my fav album

Farewell to Kings would be next

I still like 2112 a lot as it was the first Rush album i bought back when it came out.

From then on i found specific songs were amazing on each albu while other songs were great butdidn't stand out as much.

Love Roll the Bones & Bravado but rest of the album i couldn't even remember song titles.

Dave

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