Customer Reviews


41 Reviews
5 star:
 (32)
4 star:
 (7)
3 star:
 (2)
2 star:    (0)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


29 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Masterclass In Innovation
After the critically acclaimed "2112", a lot was expected of Rush. Slowly ascending out of the heavier vien of their first 4 studio offerings, a more diverse and innovative side was being introduced into the arena with the release of " A Farewell To Kings" (1977).
The album starts off with the beautifully crafted title track, that shows the...
Published on 3 Feb 2001

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Rush - "A Farewell To Kings"
The CD is not one of the best for those who like Rush more progressive rock than heavy. This may be a hard experience between progressive sounds and sounds a little heavier. This is the fifth album of the band that is lower than the previous and the later, although it is well accepted by the fans. The range is detaque "Xanadu" that has an instrumental very well...
Published 1 month ago by Jose Henrique


‹ Previous | 1 25 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

29 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Masterclass In Innovation, 3 Feb 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: A Farewell To Kings (Audio CD)
After the critically acclaimed "2112", a lot was expected of Rush. Slowly ascending out of the heavier vien of their first 4 studio offerings, a more diverse and innovative side was being introduced into the arena with the release of " A Farewell To Kings" (1977).
The album starts off with the beautifully crafted title track, that shows the universe what an underrated guitar talent Alex Lifeson is. Beginning with classical guitar, which belongs in a masterclass, which then progresses into a solid piece of trademark Rush, complete with thumping, intricate bass lines and precision percussion, which is perfectly intertwined with virtuoso guitar work. Track 2, "Xanadu", is one of the greatest pieces of music, that we were privalleged to listen to in the last century. From the synthesized vision into a utopian dreamworld, we are taken on a journey by sublime guitar work and percussion that is still ahead of it's time, almost a quarter of a century later (check out the version on "Exit....Stage Left", for a masterclass in perfect live music). Geddy Lee's bass is precise and uncompromising, whilst his keyboard skills are introduced with virtuoso precision.
"Closer To The Heart", was one of the earliest single releases by Rush in the United Kingdom. A classic song, that is still a mainstay of the live show, with a beautifully phrased classical guitar intro, that bursts into an intelligent anthem, which is both excellent ant timeless, a very underrated classic. Next up is the strangely titled "Cinderella Man", which shows the audience just how deep and thoughtful a lyracist Niel Peart actually is. Showered with accoustic sublimity and precision vocal delivery by Geddy Lee, this is definetly more than a mere album filler. The penultimate track, "Madrigal", is a wonderous journey into the mellowness of music heaven. Again sublime to the limit; definetly not just another album filler. The grand finale is "Cygnus XI (Book 1)" (which served as a prelude to side 1 of the brilliant "Hemispheres"). The musicianship and unit solidarity was in full flow on this epic masterpiece. The bass line is powerful to the extreme, whilst the drumming needs to be heard to be believed. Alex Lifeson's guitar work gels the whole track together. Pure excellence in motion.
One of the best albums of the twentieth century.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


46 of 47 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars At The Peak of Their Creativity, 22 Sep 2001
This review is from: A Farewell To Kings (Audio CD)
Between 1976 and 1981 Rush released what were arguably their finest recordings. Starting with "2112" and ending with "Moving Pictures", Rush released music that was quite simply untouchable. The quality of the musicianship has to be heard to be believed and it was quite obvious that the group were giving everything in an attempt to create something special. During those peak years Rush released two classic albums in "A Farewell To Kings" and "Hemispheres". The first album is packed full of intricate solos and amazing inventiveness that nearly 25 years on still sounds as fresh as ever. Along with Hemispheres, this is progressive rock at its best and I can't reccommend it enough. Although Rush went on to create some great music, I don't think they have ever recaptured that spirit from those years. A great album from a great band
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolute class, 15 Jun 2006
By 
Rachel F-J (Edinburgh, UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: A Farewell To Kings (Audio CD)
Being a little teenager person right now, I wasn't around to see Rush in their heyday and had to content myself with gleaning snippets of information out of my dad. He told me to get this album because it was the best one ever in the whole wide world ever, and I see no reason to diasgree with him.

The entire album is marvellous. Closer to the Heart remains my complete favourite, hence much naffed-offness when they didn't play it on the R30 tour. People might say that it's tedious and prog - prog it is, tedious it ain't. The soundscapes created vary hugely and the melodies and harmonies are beyond contestation.

Rush are the bedrock on which all modern prog - and a whole heaping load of other weird genres - are founded, and this album proves why. Essential.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pure Genius, 25 Feb 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: A Farewell To Kings (Audio CD)
Arguably the Canadian trio's finest album release, even if only for the monumental 14 minutes of 'Xanadu'. Starting with the title track, medieval acoustics give way to the crunching power of Alex Lifeson's guitar and Geddy Lee's distinctive falsetto vocals screeching "Scheming demons dressed in Kingly 'guise" (more wonderful Neil Peart poetry).The superbly melodically crafted 'Closer to the Heart' leads us on to the gentle 'Madrigal' and intriguing 'Cinderella Man'. The brilliant 10 minute Space Odyssey of 'Cygnus X-1' perfectly finishes the album. A must for any Rush fan.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


30 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best of their "classic" albums, and the least dated, 20 Aug 2004
This review is from: A Farewell To Kings (Audio CD)
In their early years, Rush were very much a band of their time - the 70's - and were unmistakably "prog rock". From their third album "Caress of Steel" to their sixth, "Hemispheres", Rush reached the zenith of their ambition in terms of lengthy, musically complex song suites. Although their outstanding musical talent was really never in doubt it can fairly be argued that at times their ambition exceeded their ability. As a result, some of their work now feels uncomfortably dated.
However, with "A Farewell To Kings" they reined in their excesses just a little and created an album of enduring worth and listenability. Okay, this album contains two long, musically complex pieces and totals only six tracks, but it manages to stay interesting by constant changes in theme and musical style both between tracks and within them.
The range here is staggering - from the two-minute "Madrigal" to the 14-minute-plus "Xanadu", from blistering full-on rock through folk, Spanish and classical guitar, and from complex chord changes and and twiddly bits to the perfect pop-rock of "Closer To The Heart".
Even the most obvious target for critics, "Xanadu", works as well today as it did 25 years ago. The tale of someone seeking Kublai Khan's fabled pleasure dome and the terrible fate which befalls them as a result is a masterclass in writing decent lyrics and then surrounding them with ever-changing, ravishing music - an object lesson in how to do "prog" well. Oh, and anyone who thinks abrupt "quiet-loud" dynamic changes were invented by the Pixies or Nirvana should listen to this.
Much that seemed like a good idea in the 70's has turned out not to be. "A Farewell To Kings" is one of the rare exceptions.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rush at their very best, 17 Jan 2012
By 
Mr. R. Powell (Wales) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: A Farewell To Kings (Audio CD)
This is my favourite Rush album, to me it represents them at their creative best. I first bought it on vinyl back in '79 and came to love it very quickly. This was the first album where Geddy and Alex were able to show off their new toys and talents, namely the bass pedals and keyboard playing. There was a new depth to their playing and to their music. 2112 is a classic album but it was still basically guitars, bass and drums. Here, after the break for their first live album, they really expand their sound, and how it pays off. Side 1, for those who still remember such things, had just two tracks, the title track and the majestic Xanadu. This, to me, is the perfect example of prog rock at height of its powers. Eleven minutes long, it starts out quietly with keyboards and chimes and then the guitar quietly enters, it then builds up to the main theme, and not a lyric in sight for the first five minutes. And oh what bonkers lyrics they are, a tale of a man seeking immortality and being rather disappointed when he finds it, but let's face we never turned to prog rock for insights into the daily drudgery of life, that's what punk rock was for.

Side two had four tracks, three of them being on the gentler side of the Rush universe. Starting off with concert favourite, Closer To The Heart, and then followed by Cinderella man, a song loosely based on the Gary Cooper film Mr Deeds Goes To Town. It starts off as a bit of a rocker then calms down and then all of a sudden in the middle section things get slightly funky before calmimg down again. Madrigal, as the name suggests, is a gentle acoustic number before the album finishes off with more bonkers Sc-Fi in Cygnus X1 a tale of a spaceship sent to investigate a Black Hole and getting sucked into it. As with Xanadu it starts of slowly and quietly before building up to an almighty climax (No giggling at the back). It's a two part story that is finished off on all of side one of the Hemispheres album.

This is the kind of album and artist that we are told punk killed off. Funnily, Rush are still around as popular as ever and prog has had yet another re birth with the likes of Mastodon, Opeth and Dream Theater enjoying great success and rave reviews, whilst punk stuggles to offer us anything new. Something the trendy music press can't bring themselves to admit.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, punchy, power-trio prog, 28 Aug 2009
By 
Greg Farefield-Rose (Hertfordshire United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: A Farewell To Kings (MP3 Download)
Canadian three-piece Rush made most of their best music in the late 70s and early 80s with 1977's A Farewell To Kings the probable pinnacle of their career. Made by a band at the absolute top of their game, AFTK incredibly combines complex prog-influenced songs with accessibility and a power-trio sound. It largely does this due to the sparsity of the arrangements and a perfect clear production.

Despite the intricacy of the playing, the band could still reproduce the songs on AFTK quite accurately live due to the economy of the arrangements. And what brilliant, imaginative playing it was by these three exceptional musicians. Geddy Lee is simply one of the best bass players in popular music with a free-er rein than most four stringers within the band's three-piece format. He also of course possesses one of the most distinctive yelps in music and is joined by guitarist Alex Lifeson whose combination of imaginative, runs and power chords made Rush a popular band amongst heavy metal fans unlike many of their more prog-ish peers. Completing the line-up is Neil Peart on drums and a variety of bells and percussion. Peart also writes most of the band's highly literate lyrics, bucking the trend of all drummer jokes anyone cares to mention. Together they make the exciting, punchy sound that is A Farewell To Kings.

On to the album itself, AFTK consists of just six tracks and is dominated in length at least by the epic Xanadu and Cygnus X-1. Xanadu used to frequently appear in Radio 1's Friday Rock Show's Annual Top 10 and is inspired by the Kubla Khan poem by Samuel Taylor Coleridge though the absolute lyrical highlight for me of AFTK is the excellent use of vocabulary in the superb title track. A Farewell To Kings, the song, is another exceptional mini-epic of over five minutes though those who accuse the band of over-grandiosity should move to Closer To The Heart and Madrigal, two intimate acoustic numbers clocking in at less than three minutes apiece without a note wasted.

Despite the perception of Rush as a prog-rock band, the powerful sound and stripped down arrangements of A Farewell To Kings place the album as close to The Who's Tommy as the complex intricacy of Yes and Genesis. So cast aside your prejudices and investigate this album - with its brilliant yet economic playing, intelligent yet heartfelt lyrics and superb production you are unlikely to be disappointed.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rush reached an almost untouchable standard, 11 Oct 2010
By 
Lucioperca (Norwich, England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: A Farewell To Kings (Audio CD)
Jeeez ... most of the Rush back catalogue is available on Amazon for less than £5 an album ...... why the heck wouldn't you buy it, even if only out of idle curiosity? At times you wonder how they produce a sound like this with just 3 guys and you become convinced this is hyper-produced and multi-layered recording ... and then you see them play it live, faultlessly, seamlessly and without any of the layers missing. Quite simply Rush are that awesome. Geddy Lee appears to be the front man of the band, but Neil Peart is a massive driving force behind what they produce and I doubt they would have had this level of global success if John Rutsey had stayed as their stickman. However, do not under-estimate the contribution of Alex Lifeson .... his excellent solo album Victor shows his creative abilities.

Farewell To Kings contains a couple of Rush classics ... the epic 11 minute Xanadu and also the gig favourite Closer To The Heart ... one of the few lighter Rush tracks that you genuinely feel disappointed if they don't perform it live. This isn't their best album by any stretch of the imagination but its still fantastic. Great album artwork, diverse songs and some superb guitar work by Alex Lifeson. Farewell To Kings, 2112 and Hemispheres are the three albums where Alex has been allowed completely off the leash and yet incredibly he never features in any of the TV polls about great guitarists ... he is not even one of those they quickly skip through in the high 70's and low 80's. Kinda makes you wonder who puts these polls together. Great album, get your fiver out and do something wise with it ... buy this album, you wont regret it and you will enjoy for much longer than the two pints of lager or the beef madras your £5 would normally get you.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "To Walk The Caves Of Ice...", 10 Sep 2011
By 
G. Young (Scotland) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: A Farewell To Kings (Audio CD)
It starts gently, acoustic guitar strings opening the first track, sweeping from left to right channels, accompanied by a soft keyboard melody, glockenspiel and birdsong that bursts effortlessly into A Farewell To Kings - medieval in feel and infused with a melancholic yearning, the middle section is delicate and heavy at the same time, ride cymbals ping, bass weaves up and down and Alex Lifeson simply makes his guitar sing but best of all, it all sounds so effortless. This opening splendour leads us to the dark, mystical and intricate beauty of Xanadu - a masterclass of atmospherics and composition. This is a wondrous Rush album and easily one of their finest moments, you really get the sense of adventure and experimentalism that fired the band at this bold new phase of their recording career. The timeless Closer To The Heart proving that Rush can create a perfectly crafted song under the three minute mark and still showcase their developing musicanship. Madrigal, whilst melancholic and quiet, displays another rare short song that is both calm and evocative and always makes me think of some ancient, otherwordly winter, all burned broken trees and cracked earth, a tired horseman with splitting boots, contemplating the absence of a lover.

Cygnus X-1, closes the album in a brilliantly eerie and fearless manner, it is at once dark and brooding, slow and pulsating, it builds and builds into a spiral of chaos then leaves the listener in a soft, space-like and contemplative mood. In places, there is a real feeling of menace and of mystery. Kings is a unique and complex album, full of interesting ideas and truly exciting compositions. This is essential listening for lovers of intelligent music and fully deserves a place in the sacred halls of progressive rock. This is classic Rush.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Farewell? An introduction, more like!, 3 Mar 2011
By 
Tim Kidner "Hucklebrook Hound" (Salisbury, UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: A Farewell To Kings (Audio CD)
I'd gotten the live double LP Exit...Stage Left and that was my portal into the world of Rush. Liking their more creatively imaginative stuff on it, both lyrically and musically, I headed for the albums those brilliant epic songs originated from.

'Xanadu', one of the most finely crafted pieces of prog hard rock, ever, led me first to this LP - I thought their concept of an LP cover radical (for its time) - and along with many other's favourite, Cygnus X-1, I had Geddy wailing away, his bass churning like a bad gut, Alex's guitars screaming and Neil's drums laying out a rhythmic landscape of their very own.

Having been as much of a Yes fan that my pocket money would allow (not very much!) I also liked what others describe as Rush's 'medieval' sounding tracks, too.

These old(er) classic Rush albums have really stood the test of time. My playing of their CD replacements is more about if and when my neighbour goes out shopping so I can crank up the volume a bit...
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 25 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

Only search this product's reviews