Saturday, November 11, 2006

Rush-2112, 1976

I am afraid that both my kids and myself have been sick the past few days so that's why I had not posted.

I probably saved the best for the last as I close out Canada Rocks week with the fourth album from Rush. The debut album had a definite Led Zeppelin influence. After that release the band changed drummers and Neil Peart came it which signaled a huge change in the band's lyrics. They also began to develop their own sound over the next two albums as they incorporated a hard rock sound, but had a very progressive approach to it. In looking at the case for this one, you will notice the title track has chapters and the overall song is over twenty minutes long. So it a concept song and then you have five other songs after the title track. The first thing I think when listening to the Overture is "how can only three guys create this many sounds?" and that's a question that I ask several times during this album. The whole 2112 song is like progressive hard rock sci-fi epic if that makes any sense. Each of the seven chapters of the title track are very distinctive and all are impressive. I think Rush make me think that's not as much what you play as it is how you play it. The band play a few basic parts, but they are highly effective because they know how to switch from a basic part to a complicated part and how to really get the most of out every note and beat they play on this album. After the title track we get five more songs and all great or near great. The last two Tears and Something for nothing are the ones that impressed me the most. Tears is a ballad I guess or as much a ballad as these guys would play. I just think the whole arrangement of this song is brilliant. Something for nothing on the other hand is a classic 70's Rush rocker. Geddy Lee's are all in your face and the song is big and flowing. A great way to end a great album. I remember listening to 2112 on my walkman around 1988 and watching the sun rise and it was just an amazing experience as both the music and the sunrise made me feel so alive. This album still makes me feel very alive because it is just so vibrant.

***That's going to wrap up Canada Rocks week. I will be back to the normal stuff on Sunday.


Anonymous Bruce said...

2112 was my introduction to Rush, and I've never looked back. What a great album.

9:31 PM  
Anonymous Joerg said...

I really love Rush. I also like how 2112 is the end of the over-long song era, and I have to admit that I usually skip 2112 after 7 minutes (almost exactly at the point they stop playing it live now...), but probably more because I like "A Passage to Bangkok" so much, it's my favourite song on the album.
I first knew "Tears", as a Dream theater cover, and later bought 2112 as my third Rush album.
I wonder, have you ever read a Neil Peart book? I read "Ghost Rider" lately, it was good, though maybe 100 pages too much in the middle. But it is fantastic to have a look inside Pearts head, he is a really great person.

12:49 AM  
Blogger Ben Heller said...

Great review for a great album. I agree with you that they mixed intricate work with basic song structure.

They weren't typical Prog or typical Hard Rock. They fell somewhere in between which I think was what made them unique.

1:26 PM  
Blogger :P fuzzbox said...

It was a great album and after seeing them live I was even more amazed at the sheer volume and quality of sound that three guys could put out.

2:38 PM  
Anonymous Robert Ethier said...

Like Bruce, 2112 was my introduction to Rush, and what an intro it was!!! My friend Jeff turned me on to it, he had older brothers who were into it. I remember just being blown away by the 2112 was a cool sci-fi story and it rocked...what could be better to a kid?

I have very fond memories of Jeff, Bob and I cranking that album up as loud as we could and "air jamming" to it in like 9th grade!!! :)

When I listen to it now, it does seem a bit overlong, but not really bloated...although it's hard to be objective about it because it was so vital in my musical education. Before it, I was pretty much a KISS obsessed kid (card carrying member of the KISS ARMY, etc....) and after that, a whole new world opened up!!!

Thanks for the great review!

5:58 AM  
Blogger David Amulet said...

A winner through and through! What's amazing about Rush is that they can play this stuff live ... the 2112 intro is amazing to hear from three guys on a stage.

You make a good point with the other songs that I'll expand on. It's all too easy to overlook the non-title track songs, but they are an excellent balance of the other sides of Rush during the mid-70s. I love most of them, even "The Twilight Zone," in their own way.

I think it's the best album to ever come out of Canada.

-- david

1:46 PM  

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