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4.4 out of 5 stars56
4.4 out of 5 stars
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This is where it really all started for Rush, one of the best bands to come out of the '70's. Yes, they already had one album under their belts, but that was a straight forward hard rock album, albeit a very good one. Here with a change of personnel was also a slight change indirection. John Rutsey, the original drummer left and was replaced by the professor, the great Neil Peart, one of the greatest drummers to ever beat the skins of a drum kit. Not only was Peart a far more accomplished drummer, bringing in more complex time signatures, he also brought with him his lyrical ideas. Whether or not you agree with all those ideas, especially those influenced by the right wing author Ayn Rand, they certainly added more depth to the song writing.

The album starts out with one of their classic rockers, Anthem, the first song to reference Rand (It was the title of one of her novella's and the story that influenced Peart when writing 2112). Whatever its influences this is a wonderful statement of intent to start the album, yes the introduction and chorus rock out but the verses take a slightly gentler course. The next two songs Best I Can and Beneath Between And Behind carry on in the harder edged end of the Rush universe. Side 1 (Yes I am that old) signs off with By Tor And The Snow Dog, the first of their forays into extended songs telling fantastical stories, something which they continued to so over the following four albums. Although not my favourite of their extended story telling (That award goes to Xanadu) this is still a wonderful example of prog rock. A tale of good versus evil as Snow Dog battles to save us all from the evil of Prince By Tor. Okay so it may not be songwriting that looks deeply into the human condition but these were twenty year old blokes, how many of us in our early twenties were capable of looking into the human condition (Bono, Bob Dylan put your hands down).

Side 2 has more of the gentler side of Rush, the title track and Making Memories gentle rockers looking at life on the road and then Rivendell, a soothing acoustic number whose lyrics certainly earn the description 'Tolkienesque'. And finally a return to their rock roots with In The End, although you would be forgiven for thinking it's more of their acoustic leanings as the introduction starts out with a lonely acoustic guitar and Geddys voice until everything else plugs in and we're back in rock territory.

So there we have it, Rush's first great album, there were bigger triumphs to come but this was one hell of a statement of intent from a band that would go from strength to strength over the next seven years. It's funny over that period many so called 'serious' music journalists loved to poke fun at Rush and their fans. The band though have seen them all off and these days they are falling over themselves to heap praise on them. You see we were right all along, the geeks have won. Take a listen to this album and see why.
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on 3 October 2000
Having owned the vinyl version for as long as i can remember, i was keen to get the remastered CD edition. Kicking-off with the rocking "Anthem" the album rarely looks back. If you've never heard classic ruch then this is a pure pre-synth treat of Canada's finest trio. Highlights (for me at least) always remain: "Beneath,Between, Behind", and the excellent "In the End" The turntable will never get a look in for this one.
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on 17 September 2004
This is an often overlooked classic by the great Canadian Trio.
Neal Peart made his Rush debut on this album, and the differences were immediately apparent: more intricate drums, more percussion, more thoughtful lyrics. After the 100% full-on rock of their eponymous first album, some of the mellower moments on this one must have caused quite a stir when it was first released. However, "Anthem" kicks off in time-honoured style - a superb rock track. The next two songs are also fairly straightforward heavy fare.
Then we get "By-Tor and the Snow Dog" (surely the silliest title in Rock?) - not just a brilliant vehicle for a guitar vs. bass duel, but possessing an atmospheric middle section ("Across the River Styx"). Thankfully, the guys have recently brought most of this track back into their live set (check out the great cartoon on the Rio DVD). "Rivendell" is about as mellow as they come. I first listened to this in my teens whilst reading Tolkien's LOTR and Silmarillion for the 1st time, and this spacious music (and indeed much of Rush's earlier music) fits in with my imagination of Middle-Earth much more than the pseudo-celtic claptrap that they used on the recent LOTR films.
Closer "In the end" has one of those deceptively simple great guitar riffs that you've just *got* to learn to play.
And if none of the above impresses you - just buy it for the gorgeous cover art!
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on 6 April 2013
So, Rush get to their second album. Unfortunately they have managed to lose their drummer, but they've found an adequate replacement - at least in the drumming states. Yes, they have found a drummer who can pass as being an intellectual - by the simple expedient of the fact that when he reads a book he can actually keep his colouring between the lines. They think this qualifies him to write lyrics. Oh dear...

So what we have here is an album which if it lacks some of the débuts consistency is still a worthy addition to the Rush canon.

Anthem is a suitably anthemic opener.
Best I can has some of the last great Rush lyrics, viz:

Got an itchin' to rock, a hate for small talk
I'm funny that way
Got my sights on the stars, won't get that far
But I'll try anyway

Beneath Between & Behind is a Granitic pillar of ROCK
By Tor & The Snow Dog is a relentless METAL epic.
Fly by Night is a stunning little pop-rock number.
As is Making Memories.
Rivendell, ah, Rivendell, here we find Rush are fallible. Skip this one.
In the End is indeed in the End and is a slow burning Blues Rock MONSTER.

So, make like Imelda Marcos in Wynsors World of Shoes and BUY!
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 5 September 2010
Possibly my favourite Rush studio disc from the 70's,an album that i love as much today as i did back then.With Neil Peart on drums and lyrics the band moved up a gear,dungeons and dragons ,sword and sorcery would become the norm while expanding the Zeppelin/Sabbath like riffs.

From the opening 'Anthem' followed by 'Best I Can' the band have hit a groove which just rocks hard and brings a smile.The highlight of the disc ,of course, is the epic 'By Tor And The Snow Dog(fantastic title) a superb track which contains a wonderful bass/guitar battle sequence which confirms the talent of the musicians involved whilst everything held tight by the out of this world drumming of Peart.

Interestingly the other tracks 'Fly By Night','Beneath Behind Between' and 'Makin Memories are all quite commercial,rock n roll rather than heavy metal.
Sadly time hasnt been kind to 'Rivendell',hated it then,hate it now,that leaves the other highlight 'In The End' a fantastic ending to the album a simple but blues based rocker,which really ought to be reinstated in concert.

A stunning album(remember it was only their second) which deserves to be re evaluated,as good now as it was then,excellent stuff.
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on 3 February 2015
I'm not gonna get into the music because we all know how great this album is, but I was dismayed to find out when I received this LP that it was 180 gram and not 200 gram like it says on the Rush website.

I already own the 200 gram reissue of the first Rush album and was looking forward to all the reissues being the same so I need to know are we in the UK getting 180 gram reissue while North America get 200 gram or has the Rush website made a mistake?
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on 19 October 2010
If you're already a Rush fan you don't need to read this, it's a fine example of the early and best Rush, maybe not up there with the likes of 2112, hemispheres and permanent waves but still a fine album full of classic Rush eccentricities, flare, superb musicianship and of course the unusual lyrics!
If you are new to Rush, then welcome to the start of what should be a revelation for you. There is no band like Rush and they are indeed an aquired taste, but if you dare to be different they can be an absolute joy to listen to, whether you get mesmerised by the insane drumming by the one of the worlds best, Neil Peart, or get lost in the complex guitar of Alex lifeson and Geddy Lee's unbelievable bass - it's simply a musical delight.
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on 1 March 2015
Great album...but worst vinyl reissue I've ever had the misfortune of paying for. Jumps, bumps and loud crackles straight out of the bag. I've owned previous Back To Vinyl reissues and while not particular lovingly restored or anything, they at least played without problem. Thankfully was able to return to Amazon & refunded without question. Is this the bit where vinyl lovers start getting screwed again like they did in the late 80's/ early 90's?
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on 31 January 2013
Rush's self titled debut album was, to many people, not much more than a straightforward, Led zeppelin influenced rock album. While a good album, it wasn't until they released their followup album, the excellent fly by night, that rush really started to show a lot of promise in the progressive rock genre.
This album contains many of the bands most well known tracks, that are still loved by many today. These tracks include the iconic title track, the eight minute epic, by tor and the snow dog, and also the superb, beneath, between and behind.
This album is also the first to feature Neil Peart on drums, and this definitely shows. This is because the album is much more intricate and interesting, both lyrically and musically.
So overall, fly by night is a brilliant progressive rock album, and is well worth your time and money. This is also one of Rush's best albums, and is up there with masterpieces such as 2112 and permanent waves.
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on 5 February 2014
Rush, with Neil Peart recruited on the drumstool, really start to hit their stride on this 1975 release. The Led Zeppelin influences are very much on display, but, you can already hear the future direction towards progressive rock. The opening salvo of 'Anthem', 'Best I Can' and 'Beneath, Between and Behind' sets the pace before 'By-Tor And The Snow Dog' gives Alex Lifeson the opportunity to show his virtuoso guitar skills. Geddy Lee's supreme bass playing and high-octane vocals are excellent throughout. The lovely 'Rivendell' demonstrates that Rush can do subtlety just as well as power whilst the stately 'In the End' rounds things off very nicely. This is an album well worth buying.
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