Author Topic: Tell me about Rush  (Read 1803 times)

Jockice

  • I really have red hair. And a **********.
Tell me about Rush
« on: January 07, 2021, 08:59:34 AM »
They are a band I have always totally avoided but I have friends who are severely into them and are always urging me to listen to them. One of them even tried to get me to go and see them live with him a few years ago. I refused. If I could have got free tickets I might have considered it but that ship had long sailed by then.

My entire knowledge of them is they're Canadian (I think), play twiddly prog rock with high-pitched vocals (I think) and have some quite right-wing lyrics (I think). And one of their albums was called 2112. I think.

So you can see I am starting from a position of almost complete ignorance but recently I've had two other friends (I know both in real life but they don't know each other) arguing on Facebook over the best starting point for them. I've promised to finally listen to some stuff by them - even though it sounds incredibly far from 'my thing - so thought I'd ask the experts on here. Any good? And why do they attract such fanatical fans?

I'll probably get the bum's rush for this though.

Re: Tell me about Rush
« Reply #1 on: January 07, 2021, 09:34:27 AM »
I'm not an expert, but I tink their first album which came out in 1974 sounds like the first couple of Led Zeppelin albums from 5 years earlier. Their late 70s albums sound like Yes Albums from 5 Years earlier. Their mid 80s ones sound like early 80s synth pop.

They're OK at doing what they do, I guess. For Canadians.

Jockice

  • I really have red hair. And a **********.
Re: Tell me about Rush
« Reply #2 on: January 07, 2021, 09:41:21 AM »
Innovators then?

famethrowa

  • mere rhetorical frippery
Re: Tell me about Rush
« Reply #3 on: January 07, 2021, 09:50:59 AM »
I'm no expert,but I like their song Tom Sawyer and I think it tells me everything I need to know about them. High vocals, slightly preposterous lyrics, synthy noises, grinding riffs and tricky drumming and guitar solo. Never been motivated to find out much more...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=auLBLk4ibAk

sirhenry

  • That worked out well...
Re: Tell me about Rush
« Reply #4 on: January 07, 2021, 10:05:05 AM »
Neil Peart was arguably the best drummer of his generation, starting as a Moon/Baker rock drummer and later, after studying jazz drumming, producing and playing on two Buddy Rich tribute albums. The time signatures on the later Rush albums got increasingly intricate and fun to watch live.
He was the only drummer (other than John Halsey in the Rutles) whose drum solos were fun to watch. My favourite was one where he took turns playing a few bars on each of a standard rock drum kit, a timpani kit and a set of tubular bells, with a delay so that he played all the variations of each with the others as both lead and rhythm. Sadly I can't find a video of it, though there are videos of a few of his more spectacular ones out there.

Modern Drummer magazine awarded him Best Rock Drummer in 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986. And 2006 and 2008, despite them putting him on their Honor Roll as Rock Drummer, Multi-Percussion. As a member of the Honor Roll in these categories, he was no longer eligible for votes in the Best Rock Drummer category, but in 2006 and 2008 they just went "Fuck it!"

He wasn't the best lyricist though.

PlanktonSideburns

  • Image ©Blodjenks-Yutani
Re: Tell me about Rush
« Reply #5 on: January 07, 2021, 10:06:19 AM »
I'm not an expert, but I tink their first album which came out in 1974 sounds like the first couple of Led Zeppelin albums from 5 years earlier. Their late 70s albums sound like Yes Albums from 5 Years earlier. Their mid 80s ones sound like early 80s synth pop.

They're OK at doing what they do, I guess. For Canadians.

harsh but true

quite liked them as a tastless guitar teenager, listened to a fair range of their stuff, from the early to the mid to the late, and apart from the thrill of very small divisions of time played very neatly, i cant really see what the appeal was.

i dont remember anything right wing in their lyrics, - the early stuff seemed to be about nothing at all - theyve got a song about a park, a song about having a job, where they just list the features of the park, and list the things that happen when you have a job (im sure one of the lines in that one is something like,

I GET UP IN THE MORNING, [YEAH]
AND I GO TO BED AT NIGHT

lyrically theyre like that garth mehrengi line about writers who use subtext being cowards

theyve got a song about bastille day which is called Bastille Day, which lists, chronologically the events of the time in-between intricate guitar solos,

i feel like if they had any right wing lyrics, it would be in a song called

Republican Man,

or something like that

PlanktonSideburns

  • Image ©Blodjenks-Yutani
Re: Tell me about Rush
« Reply #6 on: January 07, 2021, 10:08:31 AM »
Neil Peart was arguably the best drummer of his generation, starting as a Moon/Baker rock drummer and later, after studying jazz drumming, producing and playing on two Buddy Rich tribute albums. The time signatures on the later Rush albums got increasingly intricate and fun to watch live.
He was the only drummer (other than John Halsey in the Rutles) whose drum solos were fun to watch. My favourite was one where he took turns playing a few bars on each of a standard rock drum kit, a timpani kit and a set of tubular bells, with a delay so that he played all the variations of each with the others as both lead and rhythm. Sadly I can't find a video of it, though there are videos of a few of his more spectacular ones out there.

Modern Drummer magazine awarded him Best Rock Drummer in 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986. And 2006 and 2008, despite them putting him on their Honor Roll as Rock Drummer, Multi-Percussion. As a member of the Honor Roll in these categories, he was no longer eligible for votes in the Best Rock Drummer category, but in 2006 and 2008 they just went "Fuck it!"

He wasn't the best lyricist though.

hes like superman if superman turned up years after someone dropped their baby into niagra falls to tell everyone about how he's the best at flying into niagra falls

PlanktonSideburns

  • Image ©Blodjenks-Yutani
Re: Tell me about Rush
« Reply #7 on: January 07, 2021, 10:11:04 AM »
its kinda perfect that on their later tours, around 2010s, they embraced steampunk aesthetics. both in terms of its missing the bandwagon and skidding in the mud, but also that the image of a lovingly crafted steam engine, fine of craft but a dearth of actuall use, is them nutshelled

Re: Tell me about Rush
« Reply #8 on: January 07, 2021, 10:15:07 AM »
If you can, listen to Rush in Rio - a good selection of songs from across their career and about as "raw" as Rush ever got.

Also if you don't like this then I don't think Rush are for you: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J9RvC558gBE

Re: Tell me about Rush
« Reply #9 on: January 07, 2021, 10:21:06 AM »
Their politics are a bit arse, but yes, they are an amazing prog band, with some very good songs, and some very dull songs. They gambled it all on their 20 minute epic song and won, "2112".
During the 80s their synth hasn't aged well, and at the time the lead guitarist threatened to quit as Geddy Lee was both singing and playing keyboard, leaving him very little to do

Re: Tell me about Rush
« Reply #10 on: January 07, 2021, 10:37:41 AM »
When I was a boy I remember* queuing with my dad to get tickets for a gig (that he was going to tak
e me to - probably BB King or Stevie Ray Vaughan) - and there being these French metallers in a line to get Rush tickets. They seemed very exotic and cool to me then, and I've always thought of the name "Rush" as being so.

I once heard a bit and quickly realised that wasn't the case but I prefer to think of them that way.


*it may have been a dream though because I remember it being in an abandoned concrete car park

PlanktonSideburns

  • Image ©Blodjenks-Yutani
Re: Tell me about Rush
« Reply #11 on: January 07, 2021, 11:27:45 AM »
Their politics are a bit arse, but yes, they are an amazing prog band, with some very good songs, and some very dull songs. They gambled it all on their 20 minute epic song and won, "2112".
During the 80s their synth hasn't aged well, and at the time the lead guitarist threatened to quit as Geddy Lee was both singing and playing keyboard, leaving him very little to do

what are their arse politics?

the ouch cube

  • you've got moomins on yr breath
Re: Tell me about Rush
« Reply #12 on: January 07, 2021, 12:21:16 PM »
Lyrical flirtation with Ayn Rand that lasted for about one record, and was then junked. It's only because they are a non credible/canonical group that it is always brought up. If they were another mumbling Velvet Underground clone it would be downplayed or ignored.
 

Shaky

  • I drink your thread
Re: Tell me about Rush
« Reply #13 on: January 07, 2021, 12:30:05 PM »
Rush are really fucking great. Their final album, 2012's Clockwork Angels, is an absolute beast of a thing and the heaviest they ever got. Of "classic " early stuff, Hemispheres, Moving Pictures and Permanent Waves are brilliant through and through. Lifeson's an insanely good riffer. Some really odd, angular concoctions when they quickly moved away from Zepp worship. I think the cheese-laden 80's hit them hard but even 85's Power Windows is catchy as fuck even if it does sound more like Huey Lewis and the News than Led Zeppelin.

The right wing thing is totally overstated. Peart was into Ayn Rand very briefly in the 70's but backtracked and described it as a phase decades later (calling himself a "bleeding heart Libertarian"). The other two were never into Rand's shit, and simply read a book or two because their drummer had them lying around the tour bus.

I think Peart's lyrics are too on the nose to be as amazing as the majority of fans believe, but they generally showed him to be pretty broadminded, if very private and self-protecting.
« Last Edit: January 07, 2021, 12:41:36 PM by Shaky »

Magnum Valentino

  • Formerly magval
Re: Tell me about Rush
« Reply #14 on: January 07, 2021, 12:36:52 PM »
So you can see I am starting from a position of almost complete ignorance but recently I've had two other friends (I know both in real life but they don't know each other) arguing on Facebook over the best starting point for them.

Best starting point is a discussion of their fucking politics on cookd and bombd, apparently. Not available on Spotify though.

The best starting points are the shorter epics, likes of Xanadu and La Villa Strangiato. Fly By Night is their best straightahead rock album, A Farewell to Kings is maybe the best of the prog stuff. The song Subdivisions is a good test of your patience with Rush. Later bangers include Caravan (from their final album Clockwork Angels) and Stick it Out, a sludgy mid 90s reaction to the scene at the time.

This Pinkpop clip is a great opportunity to watch Alex play his excellent guitar solo live at the height of their powers. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=78D00dYOBrM&ab_channel=workingman



sirhenry

  • That worked out well...
Re: Tell me about Rush
« Reply #15 on: January 07, 2021, 12:44:23 PM »
Best starting point is a discussion of their fucking politics on cookd and bombd, apparently.

If it was good enough for child porn voiceover artist Julie Burchill[1], it's good enough for us.
 1. She called them fascists for two and a half pages while failing to review 2112

Re: Tell me about Rush
« Reply #16 on: January 07, 2021, 12:59:41 PM »
Not the biggest fan of their music. This is tremendous though.

https://youtu.be/EndaI-okEIc

mobias

  • Member
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Re: Tell me about Rush
« Reply #17 on: January 07, 2021, 01:05:22 PM »
Spirit of the Radio is an absolute belter of a tune, particularly live. The, time signature, bass line, drum parts are all bonkers. Great lyrics too. Like listening to The Police are their best live back in the day you're
left amazed that just three musicians sound like about five.

It was great live back in the 70's and 80's when Geddy Lee's voice could actually hit all the right notes. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IF3UKQJ-uBc

boki

  • Defecranium
Re: Tell me about Rush
« Reply #18 on: January 07, 2021, 01:14:48 PM »
theyve got a song about bastille day which is called Bastille Day, which lists, chronologically the events of the time in-between intricate guitar solos,

i feel like if they had any right wing lyrics, it would be in a song called

Republican Man,

or something like that

So I suppose you could sum up Neil Peart's Libertarian phase as Ayn Randy Newman?

Re: Tell me about Rush
« Reply #19 on: January 07, 2021, 01:29:57 PM »
I quite like the album 'Moving Pictures', maybe as it streamlined a fair chunk of their earlier prog stylings down. All very talented musicians, though lyrically it too often comes across as a bit sixth form - 'Limelight' being a rare example where I get where he's coming from. Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson seem like an affable bunch of lads, and the tragedies Neil Peart went through (losing his daughter and wife in a matter of months, I think) would have sent me completely over the edge.

Magnum Valentino

  • Formerly magval
Re: Tell me about Rush
« Reply #20 on: January 07, 2021, 01:52:42 PM »
I quite like the album 'Moving Pictures', maybe as it streamlined a fair chunk of their earlier prog stylings down.

Permanent Waves (released the year before) is an even better example of this streamlining as Moving Waves sees that awful new-wave style creep in towards the end.

Re: Tell me about Rush
« Reply #21 on: January 07, 2021, 01:55:21 PM »
Permanent Waves (released the year before) is an even better example of this streamlining as Moving Waves sees that awful new-wave style creep in towards the end.
I don't mind too much the New Wave stylings, but it seems as the decade went on they moved more into a "Corporate Rock" area, complete with Geddy Lee sprouting a ridiculous mullet/pony tail combo. No thanks.

Endicott

  • I've done no research
Re: Tell me about Rush
« Reply #22 on: January 07, 2021, 02:17:29 PM »
I don't really get the comparison to Led Zep. The first LP is straight up rock and blues, and its great, especially Here Again, but it's not as innovative as anything Zep did. Then Peart turns up and they start to get more proggy, but again I don't see the Yes comparison either. Well let's say in 40 years it's never occurred to me and doesn't ring true now.

I'd go for Caress of Steel over Fly by Night, though not by much. Permanent Waves is a very solid LP and marks them getting much more synthy. Moving Pictures is OK but is when I lost interest in them. I've heard good things about their later years but never been motivated to look into it. Weird of me really as they were my 2nd fav prog band after Genesis. The other LPs that came before Moving Pictures, which I haven't cited, I find a bit bitty. Some excellent stuff but the LPs themselves are not satisfying wholes like the others.

Paging bgmts to thread.

Famous Mortimer

  • War - it's fantastic!
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Re: Tell me about Rush
« Reply #23 on: January 07, 2021, 03:18:36 PM »
Lyrical flirtation with Ayn Rand that lasted for about one record, and was then junked. It's only because they are a non credible/canonical group that it is always brought up. If they were another mumbling Velvet Underground clone it would be downplayed or ignored.
 
Thye're not brought up that often, but I think you're grossly underestimating their "flirtation". Their record label is named after Rand, and this 1978 interview quotes Lee's own words on her - and claimed that punks were rebelling against socialism.

I don't know that the Velvets are brought up that often, either, but Mo Tucker and her bonkers views are mentioned pretty much every time they are. If they were a better band, maybe? They get regular play on my local classic rock station, and I like the songs they play, but any time I've dipped into an album I've been disappointed.

Re: Tell me about Rush
« Reply #24 on: January 07, 2021, 03:22:16 PM »
They get a few mentions in  'The Goldbergs' as a side character is a fan.

That is the entire extent of my Rush knowledge.

PlanktonSideburns

  • Image ©Blodjenks-Yutani
Re: Tell me about Rush
« Reply #25 on: January 07, 2021, 03:34:19 PM »
man, listening back, power windows sounds great!

massive keyboards, rubbery toms, Lee's vocals buried a bit more in the mix so the cringedad lyrics are buried a bit

Jockie - give power windows a go

PlanktonSideburns

  • Image ©Blodjenks-Yutani
Re: Tell me about Rush
« Reply #26 on: January 07, 2021, 03:38:16 PM »
the song Manhatan Project is keeping to the planko theory of rush lyrics:



in the past
a man invented
a bomb
it was enormous,
and its vibrations
[SHOOK THE WOOOOORLD]


well done lads

Magnum Valentino

  • Formerly magval
Re: Tell me about Rush
« Reply #27 on: January 07, 2021, 04:03:00 PM »
I think the Led Zep thing is bollocks as well, one of these parroted internet opinions that doesn't stretch beyond Plant and Geddy having high voices and being in rock bands. There's nothing of the Bonham groove in Peart's much more "written" drumming and the guitar playing doesn't compare either.

Re: Tell me about Rush
« Reply #28 on: January 07, 2021, 04:06:24 PM »
The first album is really, really solid and then after that they have a habit of taking anything that might rock for a few minutes and adding some horseshit or something fucking stupid, but the first album!!!!!!! listen to the first album!!! WORKING MAN!! they DON'T fuck up working man! they don't fuck anything up on the first album!

Re: Tell me about Rush
« Reply #29 on: January 07, 2021, 04:09:41 PM »
2112 and The Trees are very cringey anti-commie libertarian. But 2112 is cool so whatever. They do give up on Rand later on so don't judge them too harshly on that.

I like Grace Under Pressure!!!!

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