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The Spirit Of Radio: Greatest Hits 1974-1987

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★★★★☆
(94 Reviews)

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  • It’s obvious that the record company made this cd to capitalize on the recent craze of “Greatest Hits” albums started by “The Beatles 1″ cd. They’re trying to put all of Rush’s best songs on one cd to appeal to the average consumer that isn’t a big Rush fan. If you’re a die hard Rush fan, you have no need for this cd. However, if you don’t want to delve too deep into the Rush catalogue and only like “Tom Sawyer”, “The Spirit of Radio”, “Freewill”, “Limelight”, and “Subdivisions”, then this cd is perfect for you. Hopefully the newbies that will buy this album will like the music enough to want to go back and buy the original albums, which can only be a good thing, since the kids these days listen to too much [crud] like Avil Lavigne and Britney Spears. 4 Stars for the great music. One star deducted because of the overkill of greatest hits packages by this band.

    Posted on January 29, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • The latest Rush compilation “The Spirit of Radio” covers the band’s years with Mercury Records from 1974 to 1987. During this period, the band churned out classic after classic beginning with their hard-hitting debut album, followed by the equalling hard-hitting “Fly by night” and “Caress of Steel”. Then it was off into prog-rock territory with the classic trilogy of “2112″, “A Farewell To Kings” and “Hemispheres”. This was followed by two more progressive style albums “Permanent Waves” and the great “Moving Pictures”. Following this was the more synthetic album “Signals”. The final trilogy consisting of “Grace Under Pressure”, “Power Windows” and “Hold Your Fire” finds the band leaving behind the heavy rock and progressive elements and merging into a unique brand of power-pop-rock. This is where the ‘classic’ Rush years ended. “The Spirit of Radio” compilation beautifully covers this period beginning with “Working Man” from the first album and ending with “Time Stand Still” from “Hold Your Fire”. Inbetween, we hear classics such as “Closer To The Heart”, “The Trees”, an extract from “2112″, “Freewill”, “Limelight” and “Tom Sawyer”. The only albums which this compilation skips over are the three live albums “All The Worlds A Stage”, “Exit Stage Left” and “A Show of Hands” and the 1975 studio album “Caress Of Steel”. It hardly seems to matter though because this compilation clocks in 8-seconds short of a solid 80-minutes. Every single track on this CD is something special from a special time. I have my own personal memories when I hear Rush from these years. This is a must-have for any Rush fan and also serves as an ideal introduction to the band if one has never heard them before. This is music for, like the old Rush song says, “Making Memories”.

    Posted on January 29, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • I remember when Rush’s first album appeared on the Canadian music charts when I was in high school. It entered at #100 and 2 weeks later climbed all the way up to #99. This, I thought with my usual accuracy for prognostication, is a band going nowhere.I wasn’t alone. When Rush were nominated for Best New Band at the Junos (Canada’s Grammy awards), they lost to the ever popular Myles & Lenny. Inexplicably nominated in the same category the next year, they lost again.But someone was listening…Rush toured and toured, putting on phenomenal shows, playing with ever-increasing virtuousity and writing the most intelligent songs in the hard rock genre. They hold the record, by a wide margin, of most consecutive Billboard top 10 albums by a heavy metal act. Including Led Zeppelin.Several reviewers have complained that the tracklisting for this set is also available on Chronicles, a 2-CD set. True, but this set isn’t for completists. The songs alone rate 5-stars, regardless of how often they are repackaged.Ironically the song “The Spirit Of Radio”, for which the album was named, was the slogan of radio station CFNY in Toronto. The station played an eclectic mix new wave, punk, and obscure album tracks, not the big heavy metal acts of the day that Rush, rightly or wrongly, was categorized as being amongst.CFNY never played Rush.But most other Toronto stations did, effectively giving free advertising to a competitor.

    Posted on January 29, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • Released in 2003, this is the 3rd Rush compilation, and it contains 16 tracks.As Rush dawned on their 30th Anniversary, their old label Mercury(Who they disbanded with in 1987) decided to release a compilation to commemorate the event. Taking songs off the manyRush albums between 1974-1987, it manages to incorporate at least one song from each album released during that time period except for Caress of Steel, an underrated gem. Although thisalbum says “Greatest Hits”, none of these songs reached billboard success except for “New World Man”, which peaked at #16. Essentially this is a “Best Of” compilation, gathering up all the radio staples such as “Limelight”, “Tom Sawyer”, and “Subdivisions”(Really you can hear all thesongs on this compilation on the radio!), and adding in fan favorites such as “Time Stands Still”, “Distant Early Warning”, and “Force Ten”. The CD’s packaging is also quite nice, with a Booklet that tells allabout their CD’s and the singles on this compilation, and it proves to be quite an interesting read. If you are a fan of Classic Rock, I cannot recommend Rush enough. Making a compilation for the greatest band of all-time can prove to be quite a formidable task, so read on below to find outhow Spirit of Radio stacks up: (By the way, thanks to Der Kommissar for the format!)PROS:ALL THE SONGS ARE CLASSICS-Without a doubt, every single song on this compilation are some of Rush’s best, and they will not fail to satisfy even the stingiest of tastes. If you are a fan ofClassic Rock, there is no way you cannot like this!THIS RUSH COMPILATION IS CHEAPER THAN ANY OTHER ONE AVAILABLE-Atmost CD Stores, you can find this CD for a mere 11.99$, which is basically a steal. The other Rush compilations, Chronicles and Retrospective 1 and 2, are more expensive.PERFECT FOR A CASUAL FAN-If you just want all the radio staples without the fan favorites, this Rush compilation is for you!INTERESTING BOOKLET-The cover booklet gives interesting info on all of Rush’s albums and each and every song on this album. One of the best booklets for a compilation(Other than JudasPriest’s Metalworks).Cons:MISSING MANY GREAT SONGS- This compilation blatantly excludes “Bastille Day”, “Lakeside Park”, “By-Tor and the Snowdog”, “YYZ”, and many others. Most or all of thosesongs I just mentioned are played on the radio in regular rotation, and they are all classics, so it’s ashame they weren’t included.DOESN’T COVER CARESS OF STEEL- Although Caress of Steel certainly isn’t Rush’s best album, this compilation covers all the albums EXCEPT this one, and they could have easilyadded the songs “Bastille Day” and “Lakeside Park”.NO SONGS FROM PRESTO OR THE 90′S CDS-Since this compilation only covers the CDs released on the Mercury label, you get NO songs off Presto or any of Rush’s 90’s material, which is just as notable as their earlier work.FALLS FLAT ON ITS FACE COMPARED TO CHRONICLES-Compared to Chronicles, which mentions all the songs I wanted above, plus songs from Presto and Roll the Bones, and many more classic songs(“Something For Nothing”, “Anthem”, “Mystic Rhythms”, “La Villa Strangiato”, and many more), Spirit of Radio almost seems like an afterthought compared to Chronicles.Overall, a this compilation gathers all of the most popular Rush songs, but omits many undeniable classics, and contains no material from the 90’s, therefore severely degrading it. What’s here is great though, and if you don’t want to spend more than 15 Dollars on a Rush Compilation, this CD is for you. ALSO, DO NOT GET THE RETROSPECTIVE CDS, THEY ARE RIPOFFS!THEY ARE JUST 2 OVERPRICED VERSIONS OF CHRONICLES! But if you are looking for a TRUE retrospective, this album is not for you.RECOMMENDED IF YOU WANT A CHEAP RUSH COMPILATION, NOTRECOMMENDED IF YOU’RE GETTING INTO RUSH, INSTEAD GET THE MUCHBETTER CHRONICLES! Thanks for reading!

    Posted on January 29, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • Rush was recently on Rockline promoting this CD, and came right out and said they had virtually nothing to do with this CD, and that their record company more-or-less mandated its release. The first 100,000 copies printed have the limited edition DVD, which has nothing that isn’t on the Chronicles DVD. As a HUGE Rush fan, some previously unavaliable videos such as the newer ones (Driven, Half the World, Show Don’t Tell, Stick It Out, Roll the Bones, etc.) would be more of a “bonus” as far as I’m concerned, since you can’t get them anywhere. As a collection of music, it’s all good, that’s why I’m giving this a 5-star rating. However, if you’re already a Rush fan, it’s useless, since any self-respecting Rush fan owns whole-album sets and not just greatest hits. This CD is basically a record company marketing scheme. SAVE YOUR MONEY FOR THE LIVE IN RIO DVD THIS SUMMER! IT WILL FEATURE A BONUS BEHIND-THE-SCENES DVD AS WELL AS THE ENTIRE SHOW THEY PERFORMED DURING THE VAPOR TRAILS TOUR!!!!

    Posted on January 29, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now