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Customer Reviews

5 out of 5

30 Ratings

Moving Pictures


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The Straw That Stirs The Drink


Moving Pictures is a rarity in music in my opinon. It is a definitive sampling of a great band at their creative peak, an authentic classic album in its own right, and a unique artifact that no other band could create. Every moment, every second is part of a wheel that connects every phase of their career, including today. For non-Rush fans, if you don't appreciate Moving Pictures, you won't appreciate Rush. No other band with Rush's longevity has that kind of definitive litmus test. Not that Rush doesn't have other great albums (they do, many) but Rush created a zeitgeist for themselves with Moving Pictures and they are still riding high from it's success. "Tom Sawyer" and "Limelight" are radio and mainstream media staples, "Red Barchetta" and "Witch Hunt" remain go-to concert favourites, "The Camera Eye" and "Vital Signs" are Rush at their most literal and musically articulate, and "YYZ" is by far THE progressive music instrumental of all time. No other band has encapsulated everything their fans love about them in one album, and still manage to this day to make music and play past favourites in concert with such seeming effortlessness, integrity, attention to detail and appreciation for great ideas and a sense of humour. Among other Rush fans I've encountered disagreement about other albums and phases of the band's career, but one thing is always agreed upon: one of the strongest things that binds Rush fans together is an appreciation of Moving Pictures.

About Rush

Over the course of their decades-spanning career, Canadian power trio Rush emerged as one of hard rock's most highly regarded bands; although typically brushed aside by critics and rarely the recipients of mainstream pop radio airplay, Rush nonetheless won an impressive and devoted fan following, while their virtuoso performance skills solidified their standing as musicians' musicians.

Rush formed in Toronto, Ontario, in the autumn of 1968, initially comprising guitarist Alex Lifeson (born Alexander Zivojinovich), vocalist/bassist Geddy Lee (born Gary Lee Weinrib), and drummer John Rutsey. In their primary incarnation, Rush drew a heavy influence from Cream, and honed their skills on the Toronto club circuit before issuing their debut single, a rendition of Buddy Holly's "Not Fade Away," in 1973. A self-titled LP followed in 1974, at which time Rutsey exited; he was replaced by drummer Neil Peart, who also assumed the role of the band's primary songwriter, composing the cerebral lyrics (influenced by works of science fiction and fantasy) that gradually became a hallmark of the group's aesthetic.

With Peart firmly ensconced, the band returned in 1975 with a pair of LPs, Fly by Night and Caress of Steel. Their next effort, 1976's 2112, proved their breakthrough release: a futuristic concept album based on the writings of Ayn Rand, it fused the elements of the trio's sound -- Lee's high-pitched vocals, Peart's epic drumming, and Lifeson's complex guitar work -- into a unified whole. Fans loved it -- 2112 was the first in a long line of gold and platinum releases -- while critics dismissed it as overblown and pretentious; either way, it established a formula from which the band rarely deviated throughout the duration of its career.

A Farewell to Kings followed in 1977 and reached the Top 40 in both the U.S. and Britain. After 1978's Hemispheres, Rush achieved even greater popularity with 1980's Permanent Waves, a record marked by the group's dramatic shift into shorter, less sprawling compositions; the single "The Spirit of Radio" even became a major hit. With 1981's Moving Pictures, they scored another hit of sorts with "Tom Sawyer," which garnered heavy exposure on album-oriented radio and became perhaps the trio's best-known song. As the 1980s continued, Rush grew into a phenomenally popular live draw as albums like 1982's Signals (which generated the smash "New World Man"), 1984's Grace Under Pressure, and 1985's Power Windows continued to sell millions of copies.

As the decade drew to a close, the trio cut back on its touring schedule while hardcore followers complained of a sameness afflicting slicker, synth-driven efforts like 1987's Hold Your Fire and 1989's Presto. At the dawn of the '90s, however, Rush returned to the heavier sound of their early records and placed a renewed emphasis on Lifeson's guitar heroics; consequently, both 1991's Roll the Bones and 1993's Counterparts reached the Top Three on the U.S. album charts. In 1996, the band issued Test for Echo and headed out on the road the following summer. Shortly thereafter, Peart lost his daughter in an automobile accident. Tragedy struck again in 1998 when Peart's wife succumbed to cancer.

Dire times in the Rush camp did not cause the band to quit. Lee took time out for a solo stint with 2000's My Favorite Headache; however, rumors of the band playing in the studio began to circulate. It would be five years until anything surfaced from the band. Fans were reassured in early 2002 by news that Rush were recording new songs in Toronto. The fruit of those sessions led to the release of Rush's 17th studio album, Vapor Trails, later that spring. By the end of the year a concert from the supporting tour was released on DVD as Rush in Rio.

In 2004 Rush embarked on their 30th anniversary tour, documented on the DVD R30, and in 2006 they returned to the studio to begin work on a new album. The resulting Snakes & Arrows was released in May 2007, followed by the CD/DVD set Snakes & Arrows Live in early 2008. Material from the latter was combined with footage from Rush in Rio and R30 for the CD/DVD compilation Working Men, which was released in 2009. A documentary on the band assembled by Toronto's Bangor Productions called Beyond the Lighted Stage appeared in 2010, followed a year later by another Bangor video production, Time Machine 2011: Live in Cleveland.

Rush's 19th full-length studio album, Clockwork Angels, arrived in June of 2012. While the following year wouldn't bring a new album, it did deliver the next best thing by way of Vapor Trails: Remixed, which found producer David Bottrill revisiting one of the more notable victims of the so-called loudness wars. Along with a freshly repaired album, Rush also released Clockwork Angels Tour, a three-disc live album recorded during their 2012 tour. The band took the next year off, but returned in 2014 with the R40 video box set, which was released to coincide with the 40th anniversary of Neil Peart's membership with the group and included the live outings Rush in Rio, R30, Snakes & Arrows Live, Time Machine 2011: Live in Cleveland, Clockwork Angels Tour, and two previously unreleased bonus discs. The following year saw Rush embark on their North American R40 tour, which was purported to be their last large-scale tour. It was chronicled in the 2015 CD/DVD concert album R40 Live.

The band celebrated the 40th anniversary of their classic 2112 with a deluxe reissue in a variety of packages. It contained a newly remastered version of the album plus a second audio disc with live outtakes of album tracks and included cover versions of some of its songs by Dave Grohl, Taylor Hawkins and Nick Raskulinecz ("Overture"), Steven Wilson ("The Twilight Zone"), Alice in Chains ("Tears"), and Billy Talent ("A Passage to Bangkok"). Also included was a video disc of Rush's 1976 concert at the Capitol Theater, a video for the cover of "Overture," and a question & answer interview with Lifeson looking back on the album's history. ~ Jason Ankeny

    Toronto, Ontario, Canada

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