Friday, January 14, 2011

Rush (1974)

I'm kind of surprised I'm not into progressive rock more than I am. Because I like intellectual fantasy music, and I don't mind the pretension one bit. But I guess the more varied instrumentation leaves less space for the hard-rocking guitar, which I am primarily drawn to. In the case of Rush, I have to admit that I'm not especially fond of the vocalist (Geddy Lee)'s style. It's just one of those things. And I'm not terribly impressed with their poppier tracks that get played most often on the radio (with one exception). Naturally, I have to wonder what the rest of their music is like, because bands are all too frequently misrepresented by their hits. I can tell that they're a good band, but they don't really capture my interest, which is ultimately a matter of taste.

That having been said, a lot of bands pioneer one type of sound, only to grow into a different style later on - the one that finally catches on. Like Journey, for instance. And Rush's first album has a straighter hard rock edge than their later prog excesses. For the prog fans, this is naturally a disappointment, but if you ask me, comparisons to Led Zeppelin are a good thing. Rush is clearly no Zep - not even here - but their debut album is an enjoyable collection of rockers. The standout track is obviously the closer - Working Man (which is the exception I mentioned above). That song actually made it onto my very first compilation of radio tracks back when I was first getting into classic rock. But Here Again, which happens to be the longest track on the album (just barely exceeding Working Man's track length), is also worth mention, despite being more of a minor ballad than a ballsy rocker - though, this was back in 1974, when ballads were still good. The rest of the tracks on the album are good, mostly simple rockers. This album doesn't exactly break ground - like, say, Zep's first album did - but it's a good, fun, rock n roll record.

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