In the summer of 1976, I turned two years old. I’m pretty sure I didn’t care about Rush at that time, although nothing is impossible… I’m kidding. I think… It was in that year, though, that the band made this incredible record.
By my mid-teens I had a copy of 2112 and I loved it. I loved the futuristic sf story, I loved the 1984/Fahrenheit 451 paranoia and concerns about societal control and the death of the arts, which is perhaps even more relevant today, non? (Discuss.) Even better, the music completely kicked my ass. Rush was (and still is, thank you very much) a band to be reckoned with, and this album was one of my favourites.
In those early years I moved around a lot, and that meant paring down possessions to make moving easier. One of the victims of these various purges was my copy of 2112, though I couldn’t tell you exactly why it didn’t make the cut. I suppose I reasoned I could get another copy at some point someday.
Well, here I am years later and I’m re-acknowledging my love of Rush. I bought Chronicles (see review) to whet my appetite. Then I read Martin Popoff’s book Contents Under Pressure (see review), and now I’ve found a remastered copy of this classic album for $10. It really should’ve been selling for more than that, so I was doing it a favour by rescuing it and bringing it to a loving home.
All the classic bits are here. That succinct story full of sorrow and hope married to the massive, soaring music and vocals. The hilarious dedication in the liner notes “with acknowledgement to the genus (sic) of Ayn Rand.” I love that. Does it mean it’s just a typo, or was Ayn Rand her own sub-species? (Discuss.) And who is John Galt? (Discuss.)
The tracks on the second half of the record kick ass too. A Passage To Bangkok is by now a classic of the catalogue, a great rock song. The Twilight Zone has its neat, whispered vocals in behind the chorus and stunning guitar work. Lessons is an acoustic-driven, great 70’s rock song that builds to wailing vocals and heavy guitar. Tears, a ballad penned by Geddy, is overwrought and sappy and therefore perfect. Every album needs one song like this, and this is it. And Something For Nothing is a grand rocker, thematically bookending the record. The last lines of the song leave you with a great thought and the key to Rush themselves and how hard they work at their craft.
And the remastering job sounds great, by the way, just like it should. Awesome.
For me, listening to Rush has always been about listening to the monumental variety in their music first and foremost. Add lyrics (they always have a ton to say) and it’s a complete package. This is a great, great record, and even after all these years it’s still one of my favourites.
ii) The Temples Of Syrinx
v) Oracle: The Dream
vii) Grand Finale
02 A Passage To Bangkok
03 The Twilight Zone
06 Something For Nothing