Rush: The (Partial) Series – Exit… Stage Left (1981)
I took one look at the track listing for this CD and knew it was gonna be a corker. It reads like a greatest hits set (because it is). I mean, look at this. JUST LOOK!
The Spirit Of Radio
A Passage To Bangkok
Closer To The Heart
Beneath, Between & Behind
La Villa Strangiato
Yeesh! If your mind isn’t blown after all of that, you haven’t been paying attention!
Now, I did make some notes as I went through this. But I found that I was repeating myself, track after track, so I will just put it all into a paragraph or two:
I definitely noticed the bass as being prominent, on this record. That’s awesome. I love Geddy’s playing and it really stands out in all of these tracks. Every single song here is a great, great version. Many of them are very close, nearly note-perfect, to the album versions. Which leads me to say HOLY HELL CAN YOU IMAGINE BEING THERE?!?! I don’t know how anybody walked out of those gigs. Me, I’d need to be carried out.
I loved the crowd sing-along in the intro to Closer To The Heart. According to the liner notes, that was in Glasgow, so our metal brother HMO can stand proud that his city-mates did us justice! I had to look up Broon’s Bane, which turns out to have been written for this tour/album as an intro to The Trees. Nice! The little 50s pop song intro to Jacob’s Ladder was fun.
Commenter Phillip Helbig recommended I check out Rush live playing Xanadu (a fave of his). From what I’ve heard on this record, it’s guaranteed to blow my mind. I still need to get to the youtubes and take care of his recommendation of seeing it.
Honestly, folks. This live CD melted my brain. If this was all you heard of Rush, you’d still say that they are Rock GODS.
Two metal horns all the way up! \m/ \m/
PS Also interesting to note: I swear that this is a true story. My only witnesses are 5 and 2.5 years old, as my kids were in the car with me, but I swear it happened exactly like this: I played Exit… Stage Left all the way through as we waited for my son to get out of school (I recently blogged about how my daughter and I hear all these CDs). Once I had him in the car and we were headed home, the CD spun again from the top. On arrival, I ejected the Exit.. CD so I could bring it back into the house. And, I swear this is true, our local rawk station (named after an animal, as they all are) was blaring the studio version of Working Man! Talk about fantastic timing! And hey, that in itself is interesting, but hearing it right after Exit… like that brings to mind an valid point: not to knock the track listing of Exit… in any way, shape or form, but I’d say that Working Man’s exclsuion from that setlist is a fair oversiiiiight! So, thanks to our local rawk radio. I was so caught up in all the awesome of Exit… and never even noticed that Working Man had been omitted.
No matter. Exit… Stage Left is a fucking killer, top to bottom. GREAT live album!
Thanks big heaps to our illustrious Lebrain for this one too!