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Sunday, October 3, 2010

Rush - Classic Albums - 2112 and Moving Pictures DVD review

Rush – ‘Classic Albums’ 2112 and Moving Pictures DVD review
Released through: Eagle Vision. Release date: Available now

Rush has always been one of those amazing acts that through no matter what happens, an album not doing so good – In the early days – or a personal matter within the band, the three guys Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson and Neil Peart just move along, stick together and work out whatever is needed.

In this footage you’ll find Neal Peart explaining that it’s probably a shared romanticism of music, reading and their similar sense of humour that has really been the chemistry behind their longevity.
They are all such extremely talented musicians, which I know really goes without saying, but should be said anyway as they are always a band very worthy of praise, through their incredible technical musical abilities.

So what does this latest ‘Classic Albums’ release do for us that we don’t already know?
Well, one thing that is interesting right now at the time of this DVD's release, is that there is also the release of ‘Rush – Beyond the Lighted Stage’ DVD / Blue Ray available, which was not so long along out at the movie theatres and was also shown on VH1 Classic which I saw. Some of the material used in that comes from this ‘rockumentary’ or vice versa as I recognized a lot of the material, just the same it’s still a great watch as there are areas here where the other movie didn’t take you through.

The other thing to keep in mind is that this DVD couldn’t just jump into the ‘2112’ period of the band, without covering the earlier ‘tougher’ years, where the band almost folded and that ‘2112’ was going to be the make it or break it album. So they go through discussing each prior release, ‘Rush,’ ‘Fly By Night’ and ‘Caress of Steel.’

The band and others here even discuss original Rush drummer, John Rutsey (RIP), who it seems they all felt wasn’t quite up to how both Lee and Lifeson were progressing musically, as he was more of a straight ahead rocker.
It’s even mentioned that he didn’t seem perhaps prepared to commit to things as the other two were.

After ‘2112’ the band and other guests here, go through moving toward ‘Moving Pictures,’ touching on the releases between, ‘A Farewell to Kings,’ ‘Hemispheres’ and ‘Permanent Waves,’ each taking it’s own path as each band member discusses what was driving them on and influencing them.
There’s talk of the early tours playing alongside classic / prog rock acts such as Uriah Heep and Jethro Tull.

It’s great that - as on other ‘Classic Albums’ DVD’s in this series – they bring in so many of the important people that were around at the time of recordings, such as band manager Ray Danniels, Cliff Burnstein who signed the band for Mercury records and producer of both albums Terry Brown (He’s also done more than the odd one or two more!), as well as other musicians and rock journalists who as admirers reflect on their own take of the band. This includes Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins, Bare Naked Ladies’ Ed Robertson, Radio DJ Jim Ladd, Rolling Stone magazine’s David Fricke, along with a few other folks, a chat show host and even a Professor!

It’s really something to see just how talkative and humourous these three guys can be, when perhaps many people see the band as over intellectual squares, which maybe sadly some people still do.

Alex talks about how they started back in 1968 and how bands like Cream and Led Zeppelin were huge influences on them. Interesting too that Neil Peart seems completely as ease in the interviews, yet he openly admits that he leaves the band meet and greets to the other two guys.

The song ‘Limelight’ was written about dealing with being successful and popular and Neil explains, “I used to go and see The Who in Toronto, but I would never have dreamed of hanging around backstage, chasing them to their hotels, never mind going to their homes and I was shocked to see that kind of behavior. People chasing us around and people coming to my house!”

There’s some incredible footage on the disc, early live footage and studio video and live performances from throughout the 70’s and 80’s. What’s also very cool is how each band member performs specific parts of the old songs now in a studio set up, nice extra touch, but that is typical across this whole ‘Classic Album’ series.

If you’ve seen this on VH1 already, what you saw was edited of course as this DVD has a bonus of over 54 additional minutes of footage and interviews. Really, really, great stuff.

I could seriously tell you so much more about this great DVD, but you really check it out yourselves. Well worth checking out, I must also get a copy of ‘Beyond the Lighted Stage,’ for a keepsake.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5
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