With so many reviews posted on this album I’m just going to cut to the chase. I really like Rush. I have 14 of their albums and had more back when I still owned the vinyl versions. Exit.. Stage Left is what I would call the best album to introduce an new fan to what I call Rush’s classic period when they were experimenting with what some called “soundtrack rock” as well as making a successful transision into album rock.
Rush has shown the ability to reinvent themselves many times. While others criticize the band for not sticking to their roots I applaud them for stretching out their horizons. This album shows one of those transisions from a purely progressive art rock band to one that is more accessible to radio rock listeners at the time. Rush would go on to evolve their sound a few more times, but Exit…Stage Left is more about the art to radio move.
Okay. Here’s the bomb I’ve been meaning to drop about this remastered version. The actual audio fidelity and mixing between this album and the non-remastered are virtually identical. If you plan on buying this album to get an update in sound don’t bother, because only the most avid audiophile will notice any of the subtle changes. What this album has that the original CD doesn’t is the song A Passage to Bangkok. Personally I don’t think the song is Rush’s best, but it was in fact on the original double vinyl album so it’s good to see everything finally on CD.
Essentially if you have the original CD and don’t miss having A Passage to Bankok then don’t bother spending your hard-earned cash on this CD. If you do not have any version of this album then you have some choices. If you want the best possible cut there is no reason why you shouldn’t go for this remastered version. However if you ask me, go with the cheapest version and save some money. Do so ONLY if you don’t mind getting an album minus a not-so-great song (IMHO).