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Rush – 2112 40th Anniversary Review

Genre: PROGRESSIVE ROCK

Released by: UMG

Release date: 9th December 2016

 

Line up:
Alex Lifeson
Geddy Lee
Neil Peart

 

Tracklist Disc 1 CD:

1. 2112
I Overture
II The Temples of Syrinx
III Discovery
IV Presentation
V Oracle the Dream
VI Soliloquy
VII Grand Finale
2. A Passage to Bangkok
3. The Twilight Zone
4. Lessons
5. Tears
6. Something for Nothing

 

Tracklist Disc 2 CD:

1. Solar Federation
2. Overture – Dave Grohl, Taylor Hawkins, Nick Raskulinecz
3. A Passage to Bangkok – Billy Talent
4. The Twilight Zone – Steven Wilson
5. Tears – Alice in Chains
6. Something for Nothing – Jacob Moon
7. 2112 – Live at Massey Hall 1976 Outtake
8. Something for Nothing – Live at Massey Hall 1976 Outtake
9. The Twilight Zone – Live 1977 Contraband
10. 2112 – 1976 Radio Ad

 

Tracklist Disc 3 DVD:
Live at Capitol Theatre 1976

1. Bastille Day
2. Anthem
3. Lakeside Park
4. 2112
5. Fly by Night
6. In the Mood
Bonus Features:
Overture – Dave Grohl, Taylor Hawkins, Nick Raskulinecz
A Passage to Bangkok – Behind the Scenes with Billy Talent
2112 – 40 Years Closer

 

Tasked with reviewing the 40th Anniversary Edition of 2112 by iconic Canadian Rock Pioneers Rush – an album I’ve listened to all my life and one which is nearly as familiar to me as breathing has got to be the easiest write up I’ve ever done right?… Wrong! The first disc featuring the original track list remastered is only the tip of the iceberg with this release.

2112, which takes up one side of an LP seems to pass more quickly for me on this edition, not that this epic could ever be lost or overlooked even in this expanse of material. Rush fans reading this will not need reminding that this is a classic concept album which has stood the test of time and features outstanding musical diversity and truly original songwriting. Geddy’s voice which some may consider too high sounds pitch perfect to me and are not only an ideal compliment to the rhythmic drumming sensation that is Neil Peart but a mirror to Alex Lifeson squeezing as much emotion as possible from his guitar. Remastered at Abbey Road Studios, I loved it then, I love it still. This music is timeless.

Disc two of this release is, for the most part, a collection of cover versions with 3 live Rush recordings thrown for good measure. Covers, can be hit and miss at the best of times and generally need to be spectacular to make an impression on me, I also feel that the sound produced by certain bands is just so distinctive that it’s an injustice for another artist to even attempt to emulate it. Personally, Rush would feature under the distinctive sound category, however, it became quickly apparent to me that these covers are all meticulously produced renditions from the classic Rush repertoire. More surprising still is that my favorite amongst them is “Tears” performed by American metal band “Alice in Chains”. As far as conveying the emotive essence of this track is concerned, they have it nailed. Dave Grohl, Taylor Hawkins, and Nick Raskulinecz pull off a stunning version of “Overture” and “Passage to Bangkok” performed by Billy Talent is also hugely impressive. In truth, it would be difficult to fault any of the cover tracks, which amazed me. I do feel, however, that die hard Rush fans may feel their inclusion on release unnecessary or unfitting.

The outtake of “2112” and “Something for Nothing” Live at Massey Hall in 1976 galloped along majestically, the sound quality fantastic, the vocals stunning. “The Twilight Zone” live in 1977 has a somewhat muffled, faraway, bootleg sound to it, not one bit of which is lost on me.

The third and probably my favourite disc in this edition features black and white footage of Rush live at Capitol Theatre in 1976, if ever you were in any doubt that the monumental sound of Rush was the product of just a trio of musicians then seeing is believing and I was in absolute awe watching and listening to them rampage their way through classics such as “Bastille Day”, “2112” and “Fly by Night” and reminded why they are touted as one of the rocks supergroups.

Bonus features on the DVD include a solemn looking (or deep in concentration ), Dave Grohl, in a recording studio playing “Overture” and behind the scenes with Billy Talent for “Passage to Bangkok”.

2112 – 40 years closer features questions and answers – or reflections as I would put it with guitarist Alex Lifeson and Producer Terry Brown.

In summary, 2112 is definitely an album worthy of celebration. The 40th-anniversary edition of what in my opinion is the definitive Rush album is one that no self-respecting fan should be without, for the DVD if nothing else – the particularly thick booklet of liner notes is also a bonus as is the vast quantity of material. If you have yet to sample the delights of Rush then 2112 (being their fourth studio album), is not the beginning…but it’s a damn good place to start…

 

Reviewed by Karen Hetherington

SCORE:  10/10

 

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