Rush – Chronicles

I had a roommate in second year university who may very well have been the world’s biggest Rush fan – at least, that I’ve ever met, anyway. He’d play their records really, really loudly on his crappy little boombox, passionately howling along in falsetto (horribly, I might add). But it was hard to fault his enthusiasm for the band. They really are fucking amazing.

There’s a more recent Gold Series set of Rush’s greatest hits that’s probably mostly identical to this one, but to me this 2 CD set is the one to have. Years ago, I owned a copy of this myself, but the mists of time have shrouded the reasons as to when and why I got rid of it. Probably to make moving that much lighter, at some point. Silliness!

I bought another copy yesterday in Toronto, because I was totally jonesing to hear this incredible band’s inimitable sound. I’m playing it right now, and I was so right for snapping it up. I was a fool to get rid of it the first time around, living without it all these years. What a great set!

These are three of Canada’s premier musicians. From a technical musical standpoint, these guys are completely brilliant. Neil Peart on drums? Alex Lifeson on guitar? Geddy Lee on bass, keyboards and those incomparable vocals? Holy shit! Untouchable. The lyrics are intelligent, interesting and classic. Just try telling me you don’t know all the words to Tom Sawyer, Closer To The Heart and Working Man. Liar!

Culled from their early albums, there’s not a track here that even approaches mediocre. Even better, Rush has been around so long now, and has continued to make fantastic records in the 17 years since this set was released (Christ, somehow that makes me feel old), that by now they’re living legends. They operate on a plane that few other bands in this country can even imagine, let alone pretend to comprehend.

Just take a look at the track listing and you’ll know what I’m on about. I’m not complaining at all, but the only things missing from the list are forgiveable. Personally, I’d say that the entire 2112 opus is a greatest hits collection in its own right, but for these purposes one may as well just own the album. Trust me! It’s that good! And this set came before Counterparts, which contained the fantastic track Nobody’s Hero, which I’d include on any Hits set by this band. The more recent Gold set omitted it, I noticed – idiots.

Yes, I’m a fan. No, I’m not overstating how great this band is. This is a gem. Own it.
 

Track Listing:
Disc One
01 Finding My Way
02 Working Man
03 Fly By Night
04 Anthem
05 Bastille Day
06 Lakeside Park
07 2112 (a) Overture
08 2112 (b) The Temples Of Syrinx
09 What You’re Doing (live)
10 A Farewell To Kings
11 Closer To The Heart
12 The Trees
13 La Villa Strangiato
14 Freewill
15 The Spirit Of Radio

Disc Two
01 Tom Sawyer
02 Red Barchetta
03 Limelight
04 A Passage To Bangkok (live)
05 Subdivisions
06 New World Man
07 Distant Early Warning
08 Red Sector A
09 The Big Money
10 Manhattan Project
11 Force Ten
12 Time Stand Still
13 Mystic Rhythms (live)
14 Show Don’t Tell

4 thoughts on “Rush – Chronicles

  1. Phillip Helbig says:

    About what I would have picked, given the constraints. However, a “best of” with neither “Xanadu” nor “YYZ”? If pressed, I would probably cite these as my two favourite Rush songs. However, essentially everything on their 4th to 8th studio albums is excellent, so it is difficult to pick just 2 or 3 songs from each album, even though some just had 4 songs (one taking up all of one side). There are gems from older and newer albums as well.

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