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Retrospective, Vol. 2 (1981-1987)

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(35 Reviews)

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  • Retrospective II, along with its predecessor disc, are both adequate introductions to Rush for any curious or casual fan. But for die-hard fans, such as myself, this is merely a waste of money if you already own the albums (which is really the true context the music must be heard). I do happen to own this disc, but I only listen to it if I do not want to change CD’s in my car or at home. In that respect, it is a collection that satisfies me, somewhat. That is because the best songs are not represented here (of course, that is only my opinion). The 15 tracks here are equally divided between the five studio albums released from ‘81 to ‘87 (Moving Pictures, Signals, Grace Under Pressure, Power Windows, and Hold Your Fire). Due to this balance of division, worthwhile tracks from strong albums (Moving Pictures, especially) are omitted for the purpose of giving preference to ones from weaker efforts (Hold Your Fire, and Power Windows {to a lesser degree}). To get into the specifics of this, “Vital Signs” or “YYZ” from MP would have been a great addition here, along with possibly “Digital Man” from Signals. Of course, to do such a thing would have meant dropping a couple of other songs, which in my opinion should have been “Mission” from HYF and probably “Marathon” from PW. Don’t get me wrong, these are both very good tracks, but not better than the aforementioned songs from Pictures or Signals. From GUP, “The Enemy Within” or even “Afterimage” (one of the most underrated, and impassioned Rush songs ever) could have been here instead of “The Body Electric”, which pales in comparison to those two tracks. A case can even be made for “Manhattan Project” from Power Windows, as it is one of the three best tracks from that album. Which brings me to a point: The music of Rush is not really meant to be dissected into fractions of “wholes” (albums) to make new “wholes” (best of collections), but is best experienced in the context of the album. Unless you are quite stingy and do not want to shell out the money for the individual albums represented here. Which the casual fan for which Retrospective II is designed may just do anyway after buying this disc.

    Posted on December 29, 2009