I’m no die-hard Rush fan, but I know my rock history & Amazon’s review(of an Amazon essential recording no less, now in the R&R HoF Definitive 200 albums list [#198])by Michael Ruby doesn’t quite do justice to either the band or the album. The band has been around now for more than 35 years, but critics still harp on the same things: poor vocals, pretentious lyrics, & nerdy drummers, failing to take the band’s progression into account & trivializing their early works.
Further, if someone only reads the Amazon editorial review, he(or she) would get the impression that after this record, Rush stopped making prog-rock records. I know for a fact that they didn’t stop making songs under 10 minutes until 1982’s “Signals”. It’s not as if they suddenly woke up and said, “hey, those rock critics are right, we ARE bombastic & pretentious”.
The review also fails to mention that all three members of the band are respected BY THEIR PEERS & have each won awards for their musical skills. In the end, that’s the problem with rock critics: they always have their reputations at stake, which is why the professional Amazon reviewer can’t come out and say that he likes it without dousing his words in irony & campiness. It’s uncool for rock critics worth their salt to actually admit that they like Rush; if it were cool, Rush would be in the R&R hall of Fame. So, dear reader, do me a favor & click YES if you agree the reviewer Michael Ruby hasn’t done justice to the band or record in his review.
By the way, the live version of “2112″ on “Different Stages” is an excellent example of how 1) Geddy Lee’s vocals have mellowed over time & 2) Rush’s musicianship has further improved since 1976.