Author Jeff Wagner Picks His Top 5 Rush Albums
Today is February 1, 2012 -- or 2.1.12. That magic combination of numbers makes today Rush Day, if only in the minds of the worldwide community of Rush fans.
In celebration of all things Rush, we got former Metal Maniacs editor and author of Mean Deviation: Four Decades of Progressive Heavy Metal (Bazillion Points) Jeff Wagner to step in and name his top five Rush albums.
For more on Mean Deviation -- which may very well be the definite prog metal text -- head to Mean-Deviation.com.
4. Moving Pictures (1981)
Perfect album. Songwriting...performance...production... Rush at their highest peak. Everything they released afterwards was just a bonus for fans. This is the ultimate Rush, and my favorite album of all time, if pressed.
3. Permanent Waves (1980)
Love how this album is made of three pairs: two sublime, rocking classics ("The Spirit of Radio," "Freewill"), two low-key, high-atmosphere mellow tracks ("Entre Nous," "Different Strings") and complex longer tracks ("Natural Science," "Jacob's Ladder"). Overall it showed Rush staying smart and still playing like gods while starting to shave off certain excesses.
2. 2112 (1976)
Rush's fourth album was the product of hard lessons learned and serious fine-tuning of their growing creative vision and near-telepathic chemistry. Although Side A features one of the most well-written and complete side-long songs of all time ("2112"), the second half of the album shouldn't be overlooked, as it features equally great stuff like the THC-powered "A Passage to Bangkok" and ghostly "The Twilight Zone."
1. Caress of Steel (1975)
Maligned by some fans and band members, this album featured a dirgy proto-metal Rush stumbling over something like "I Think I'm Going Bald" on their way to early prog metal achievements like the dark fantasy of "The Necromancer" and side-long adventure "The Fountain of Lamneth." A love-or-hate album, and one we probably won't see the band performing "in its entirety" anytime soon...or ever.
5. Signals (1983)
After perfection, where do you go? You embrace cutting-edge technology and look for new territory to explore with it. And of all the streamlined, keyboard-driven digital-era Rush albums to come, Signals remains the most potent of them all.