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Old 02-20-2023, 05:30 PM   #11 (permalink)
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That's a lie.
I hate all jazz.
Which would be why you hate Yes.
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Old 02-20-2023, 06:31 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Honestly I consider this album to be Oldfield's true masterpiece, Tubular Bells is great but it's a little rough around the edges, Oldfield was a 19 year old kid who threw together every idea he had to see if it sticks, it did it's job in showcasing his raw talent but it lacks the flow and cohesion of some of his later work.

Ommadawn is just gorgeous from beginning to end.
Agreed 100%, it's a breathtaking masterpiece.

I'm a pretty big Oldfield fan but somehow never knew he was that young when he made Tubular Bells. When I was 19 I was playing in the worst local screamo band you've never heard.
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Old 02-20-2023, 08:01 PM   #13 (permalink)
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More of a Vangelis guy myself.
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Old 02-21-2023, 07:18 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Which would be why you hate Yes.
Something tells me he's gonna love Sound Chaser.
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Old 02-21-2023, 10:48 AM   #15 (permalink)
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I think it's unfair to say I hate Yes. If I did, I'd listen to none of their music but I have at least four albums of theirs (yes I include ABWH, who doesn't?) that I not only like but seriously love, and one other than I can listen to but don't love it. It's not like, say, Magma or ELP or Robert Wyatt, where I wouldn't listen to anything by them unless I had to or I was strapped down with headphones glued to my head. I do like Yes. I also like Anderson's solo work, particularly that with Vangelis. But I don't like their early stuff, and I've never made any secret of that.
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Old 02-23-2023, 10:00 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Album title: 2112
Artist: Rush
Nationality: Canadian
Sub-genre: Heavy Prog
Year: 1976
Position on list for that year: 6
Chronology: 4 of 19
Familiarity with artist: 5
Familiarity with album: 5
Gold Rated track(s): 2112, Tears
Silver Rated track(s): Something for Nothing, Lessons, A Passage to Bangkok
Wooden Rated track(s):
Comments: The concept album to end all concept albums? Rush’s best album? There’s evidence to support both arguments, but one thing is certain: though there had been concept albums before this, 2112 stood, and still stands to a large degree, as the most cohesive single-story concept in progressive rock, or perhaps any rock, and is certainly the first, or at least one of the very few, concept albums based around a science fiction theme. I mean, sure, Hawkwind were always going on about science fiction on their albums, but let’s be honest: half the time it was hard to know what they were singing about, if they even knew themselves. 2112 was the brainchild of drummer and lyricist, the late, great Neil Peart, and concerns a society in which all forms of freedom are suppressed and banned, especially music. Against this backdrop, an ancient guitar is found, the “natural order” is threatened, and the album deals with really the struggle for free speech and free will, and ends with an attack on the Solar Federation, resulting in the freeing of all the worlds held under the power of the Priests of the Temple of Syrinx.

It’s also possibly the first, maybe only, concept prog album to also have much heavier elements of rock in it. Look at others like The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway or Rick Wakeman’s The Wives of Henry VIII, or even later material such as Spock’s Beard’s Octane: most if not all of these, while they may have heavier guitar passages and some shouted vocals, adhere to the concept (sorry) of progressive rock: long, convoluted keyboard passages, acoustic guitar, lengthy intros and outros, suites, with instruments like flute, cello, violin and harp used. Rush didn’t do that. Their concept (again, sorry) of prog rock was far more on the heavier side, which for my money really pushes them closer to the idea of being progressive metal, though this is classified on PA as “heavy prog”, which it certainly is.

This was Rush’s last chance saloon. Their first three albums had bombed, and despite the fact that I love it to death, the previous outing, 1975’s Caress of Steel had not sold well, and audiences were shrinking at their stage shows. The label was considering dropping them, but gave them one more chance. Expecting an album with better commercial material and hit singles, what they got was the opposite of that: a side-long composition that tells a story, much in the vein of “The Necromancer” and “The Fountain of Lamneth” from the previous album, and yet which rocketed them to the status of prog gods, ensuring their longevity and popularity right up to today and beyond, even though they have now broken up. Rush stuck to their guns, refused to be pushed into making a pop prog album to satisfy their paymasters, and were rewarded in spades, as was the label.

Like all good concept albums, this opens on a overture, which runs for nearly five minutes, a suitably spacey intro with feedback and wind sounds and effects before the first blasts of Alex Lifeson’s guitar punch through, and the whole thing takes off at a gallop, leaving you in no doubt that this is rock with a capital R, and hell, even an M too, perhaps. What? For Metal, dummy. Do I have to explain everything? Now, now! No need to get violent. I’ll just… be over here. After the introduction we hear the lilting tones of Geddy Lee singing “The meek shall inherit the earth”, as we power into “The Temples of Syrinx”, where Lee comes into his own as we meet the Priests, who control the worlds of the Solar Federation and are a totalitarian theocracy bent on retaining power. Geddy Lee’s high screeching voice is perfectly suited to singing the claim of the Priests as they lord it over their subjects and shriek out their arrogance.

Softly tuned guitar leads in “Discovery”, as the protagonist (I think they refer to him as the Man) discovers the ancient guitar and wonders what it is. Clever indeed here how Lifeson plays the instrument as if he is only learning to understand how it works, then we hear the more restrained side of Lee, before the Man brings the guitar to the Priests, who unsurprisingly put it down and scream and shriek at him, throwing him out of the temple after having the guitar destroyed. This song shows the first example of one of the populace standing up to the Priests, which no doubt angers and worries them. A population can only be held in thrall by fear if everyone is so held; once one person begins to fight back, you can end up with a revolution on your hands. The song veers between quiet acoustic and powerful, upfront hard rock, ending in a soaraway solo from Lifeson, which would make you think he’s going to be the hero, but it’s not the case. One man can’t take on the system, and so he wanders off, in despair now that his wonderful new discovery has been dismissed and taken from him.

“Oracle: the Dream” is another hard rock track, showing the Man that others exist beyond his planet, where music is not only allowed but celebrated and played openly, but he knows he can never be part of this and so in “Soliloquy” he loses what little hope he had and kills himself. It begins as a reflective acoustic style ballad but quickly kicks up into a punchy rocker as Lifeson lets loose. The “Grand Finale” then has the worlds of the Solar Federation taken over by another, unnamed enemy, who will, presumably, bring better times. Peart has said these are “the good guys”, though there’s never any mention of who they are. It’s assumed the Priests will be kicked out, the Temples of Syrinx knocked down, and the computers that run the planet probably used to create the internet or PornHub or something.

After the breath-taking epic, the second side of the album is more in the nature, I think, of the previous albums, with the drug anthem “A Passage to Bangkok” raising a mischievous eyebrow, a good rock track and great fun, while to be honest “The Twilight Zone” (written about the show) is the one track I always forget on the album. It’s all right I guess but if I had to pick a worst track on a classic, almost faultless album like this, it would be it. There’s more really I suppose of a sense of actual prog rock about this than there is about most of the others on side two, but it just doesn’t do anything for me. The next two are the only ones on the album not written by Peart, with Lifeson penning “Lessons”, not surprisingly very guitar-led but kind of restrained in its way, while “Tears” is a soft ballad on Mellotron written by Lee, which comes very close to being my favourite on the album, other than the title of course. The album ends then on a rip-roaring “Something for Nothing” which rocks along with real purpose and a sense of bitter accusation in Lee’s voice, perhaps a finger to the record executives who thought they knew what the world wanted from Rush, when the Canadian power trio had better ideas.

Rush ran into some problems when they name-checked Ayn Rand, upon whose novella Anthem much of the title track is based. They faced accusations of being right-wing, of supporting Nazism, which was certainly a major offence to Lee, whose parents were holocaust survivors. Soon enough though, the music media found new amusement and left Rush alone, and now that the album is reckoned one of the all-time best progressive rock albums, there’s not really anything anyone can say to damage that reputation. Nor should they.

Personal Rating: 10


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wPpQWyMjQ-s
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Old 02-25-2023, 05:20 PM   #17 (permalink)
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The title track steals the show but side B is good too with Tears being the highlight for me, lovely ballad with some excellent use of mellotron which Rush didn't use very often, I wish they did more ballads.

As great as Rush were in the 70s I actually prefer their early 80s stuff, of all the classic prog bands they were the most successful at updating the prog rock sound for that decade.
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Old 02-25-2023, 06:08 PM   #18 (permalink)
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The title track steals the show but side B is good too with Tears being the highlight for me, lovely ballad with some excellent use of mellotron which Rush didn't use very often, I wish they did more ballads.

As great as Rush were in the 70s I actually prefer their early 80s stuff, of all the classic prog bands they were the most successful at updating the prog rock sound for that decade.
I prefer early 80s Rush on the whole as well. I also think their mid-80s synth period is great; Grace Under Pressure and Power Windows are underrated and not really talked about as much as part of their legacy.
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Old 02-25-2023, 07:15 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Meh, I don't know. Caress of Steel, A Farewell to Kings, Hemispheres, 2112, Fly by Night even - there's a huge slice of their best work there in the 70s. I'm not as familiar with their 80s work, but didn't it get a little more poppier and commercial?
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Old 02-25-2023, 08:01 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Meh, I don't know. Caress of Steel, A Farewell to Kings, Hemispheres, 2112, Fly by Night even - there's a huge slice of their best work there in the 70s. I'm not as familiar with their 80s work, but didn't it get a little more poppier and commercial?
They did get poppier, used a lot more synths, embraced new wave as an influence and made shorter songs but they remained progressive all the same, they never went full pop like Genesis and Yes did.

Moving Pictures in particular strikes a perfect balance, still complex enough for prog fans but catchy enough to appeal to a wider audience.

I know Moving Pictures is the basic bitch choice for favorite Rush album but I am a very basic bitch indeed.
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