I don’t have time to make an account, so this is filed under 13, but I’ve been around just as long as Rush has. Let me begin by saying that AFTK is, in my opinion, Rush’s greatest achievement of the 70’s. The band began experimenting with new sounds, mainly Peart, who is using wood blocks, tubular bells, and wind chimes. This album offers a heavy progressive feel throughout, and it doesn’t disappoint.
The album kicks off with the title track, “A Farewell To Kings”. What a beautiful way to open such an astounding album. The song begins with a classical acoustic guitar intro, courtesy of Alex Lifeson. Soon after, the song explodes into an electric section, and it quickly picks up tempo. The song then closes with a classical guitar outtro by Alex. All in all, a very overlooked and underrated gem of a song.
The band follows up the album’s title track with what is, in my opinion, the greatest song they have ever written by far. The 12-minute epic, “Xanadu”. Folks, you do not know Rush until you have heard this song. This is where the band starts adding more flare to their new sound. Nowadays, all Neil has to do is hit a MIDI trigger and the chime or bell sound is created, but on here, hearing him run through the tubular bells, chimes, and wood blocks is much more realistic, and adds to the already amazing sound. Also, Geddy and Alex are both using double-necks here, which creates an even more realistic effect. The song opens with a very ethereal aura, and features a beautiful intro by Alex on his 18-string double-neck. From there, the song eventually enters its main theme, and it also goes into another amazing intro by the band. The lyrics of the song are based on an old poem, although I forget the name of it. The song ends with a jaw-dropping solo by Lifeson just before closing out on an explosive finale. This song alone is worth the price of the album.
Now we come to the radio classic, “Closer To The Heart”. Every Rush fan has heard this song, so I’m not even going to waste my time describing it. All I will say is that it’s a very enjoyable song, and I really like to sing along to it, despite the fact that I can’t sing for my life.
The next one on the album, “Cinderella Man”, is another overlooked gem. It’s a little hard for me to describe, but I like the lyrics and the way they flow with the tempo of the music. A very listenable tune, overall.
The next tune, “Madrigal”, is an odd one. It’s not something you would ordinarily hear from this band. Nevertheless, it still is a beautiful song which offers you a nice chance to catch your breath before the jaw-dropping closer to this outstanding album.
“Cygnus X-1″ is the other epic on this album, and it’s next in line with “Xanadu”. The song begins with a rather long inrtumental intro by the band members. This song also features an absolutely magnificent vocals performance by Lee. At the very end of the song, he makes his highest scream I have ever heard him do, and the song closes out with Alex playing some minor chords.
So in conclusion, I have to say this; if you’re thinking about picking up this album, STOP THINKING ABOUT IT! If you are a fan of this band or progressive rock, your life is a waste if you don’t listen to this album. For the price, you can’t go wrong if you’re a Rush fan.