on 19 July 2009
I think it would be fair to say that "Caress Of Steel" isn't vintage Rush, but prehaps it is an important stepping stone in the band's development.This was the album where Rush really became prog and began to expand their sound and the length of their compositions.For me,as well as the opening track "Bastille Day", the songs that make this album worth owning are "The Necromancer" and the 20 minute epic "The Fountain Of Lamneth"."The Necromancer starts off as a dreamy Pink Floyd style piece before launching into a Led Zep style guitar/vocal interchange and then drifts into a very nice,almost pop ending."The Fountain Of Lamneth" is a little taxing but has some excellent ideas and I think this track is kind of a prototype of 2112(released the following year)which I think saw the band execute this idea better.All in all if you're new to Rush then this probably isn't the place to start,but if you are a long-time fan and have just never got round to this album,it's well worth checking out.
on 29 August 2010
I was 13, it was 1983, and I'd discovered hard rock and metal and was vociferously listening to every band I could. Zep, Sabbath, Purple, UFO etc had all been given the once over and then a lad at school did me a tape of Caress of Steel. The stop start riff of Bastille Day caught my attention, the next few kept it then Necromancer came on. I wasn't into prog, and still aren't, so this sort of thing was all new to me but I was hooked. Then The Fountain of Lamneth came on, and took me on a musical journey to a mythical place. Rolling acoustic melodies were suddenly shattered by crushing riffs and I have been a huge Rush fan ever since.
This may not be their best album, but for me it changed my whole view of music. Don't be put off by the prog label, Rush are simply intelligent hard rock with incredible musicianship and endless creativity. One of the all time great rock bands, perhaps the best, and this is an essential part of their cannon.
After 2 excellent albums this was a sideways switch that nearly killed the band off,A mis-step? perhaps but it was the catalyst for 2112 and for that we should be grateful
Opening with ,as usual, a killer tune 'Bastille Day' gets the album off to a great start whilst the humourous 'I Think Im Going Bald' contains some sterling guitar playing by Alex Lifeson.I agree with a previous reviewer,'Lakeside Park' should have been a single,a lovely little track that the band hate so much especially Geddy.Next up the 'Necromancer' which is a decent attempt at another 'By Tor' type song ,leaving the the 20 minute epic 'Fountains Of Lamneth' whilst having some redeeming moments,it as the band said in the past lacks cohesion and is is overlong,whilst this is true and it doesnt hold the attention like 2112,in the right mood it can be rewarding,its not a disc most fans will listen to on a regular basis. Not as good as the 2 previous albums but certainly the prelude for 2112. 3.5 stars.
on 14 October 2008
After hearing FBN when it was released and digging on that for awile when COS was released I eagerly scooped it up, put it on the turntable and proceeded to crank up the headphones...It was absolutely One of the most memorable listens to a new release in my entire life...and I have had many! It was the production ot the individual instruments that really caught my ear. Neil wailing away all over the place, Alex going back and forth in my head with that gut wrenching KILLER lead guitar work and Geddy doing my favorite vocals of his ever along with his Wonderful Bass playing. I miss that singing style he had back then. Too bad when guys get older they feel like they have to be more refined or whatever. The live Closer To The Heart just isn't the same without out that "WOA WOA" , I know someone out there know's where I am coming from?
on 18 December 2012
I hesitated purchasing Rush's third album, Caress Of Steel, after reading a lot of reviews stating this was a weaker Rush effort, a test run for what came later, otherwise an ugly listen. It does appear to me that it's become somewhat trendy to state this is so bad it's good.
So my opinion? It's awesome! Every track is a winner, and Bastille Day is one of the best songs in the Rush canon. It's just epic! The guitars are simply mesmerising!
The longer tracks are not quite classic, which should not come as too much of a surprise, but in all honesty they have serious charm. The Necromancer is possibly the weakest of the two, but The Fountain Of Lamneth is just the coolest thing ever! It's flawed, but fun to listen to, the audio equivalent of a cheesy black and white adventure movie. Neither track can hold a candle to the quality of 2112, but I prefer both of these songs, and the rest of the album too, to the whole of A Farewell To Kings and Hemispheres. And I was led to believe those two were masterpieces! (If they are, they have not grown on me.)
Lakeside Park is quite sweet, I like the sentimental side and I Think I'm Going Bald is just terrific fun. As a bit of laddish humour, it's fine. And the song itself is just perfect '70's rock!
So Caress Of Steel isn't my very favourite Rush album, but I prefer it to the debut, and Farewell and Hemispheres. The cover is my favourite of their 70's output (second only to Grace Under Pressure), and I wouldn't hesitate to put this in my Rush top five (alongside Moving Pictures, Clockwork Angels, Grace Under Pressure and Permanent Waves).
on 8 May 2005
Heavily criticised upon it's release by critics this remains the least sucessful Rush album to date in terms of sales. This is a shame as there is much to commend it. Very much a precuser for the follow up 2112 album side 2 consits of a twenty minute melodic epic called ' The Fountain of Lamneth ' surprisingly my favourite track on the album. Also included are two tracks which should have been singles. ' Bastille Day ' about the French Revolution ' and ' Lake Side Park ' in which Neil Peart reflects on his days as a park attendant. There is one jokey song ' I'm think I'm going bald ' which for me is an ok filler and another epic track called ' The Necromancer '. Covering the popular mythalogy subject matter of the day. Again this is a bit hit and miss for me but it shows how this great band were developing as song writers. Not the easiest place to begin for a new fan, this album, but for an album the critics loved to hate I can't stop playing it. Long live Rush and their music !!
on 6 April 2013
So, Rush get to their third album and what can they deliver?
Well, it turns out they deliver their ultimate delivery.
Quintessential Rush that's what it is. The sound of a band flicking V-signs to the world as they go about moulding HEAVY METAL to their own form.
If you don't like this then you don't like Rush.
Bastille Day, I can't even type it without reaching for a slice of Lemony Cake, yum!
I think I'm going Bald is probably Purts lyrical triumph, ah the precocity of the young.
Lakeside Park is OK, the weak link of the album, but would that they could craft a song like this now.
The Necromancer suffers from cheesy narrative, but makes up for it with some fierce Lerxstims.
And now, and now, we come to The Fountain of Lamneth, will you all please kneel and now your heads at its majesty. Stunning. Sumptious. Awe Inspiring. If they'd called it a day after this they would still be talked about in hushed reverential tones. Magnificent.
If you don't have this album then BUY!!!!!
on 17 August 2013
Solid album by Rush.
This is when Rush started making epic songs that last 20 minutes.
Bastille Day is a fine opener, and still sounds like the first Rush songs, after that I Think Im Going Bald which is a funny little song.
Right before the epics we got Lakeside Park, to me this is just one of the best, I just love it, so calm and different from the rest.
The first real Rush epic I think, The Necromancer, its a good song, heavily inspired by the works of Tolkien, it might start of a bit slow, but it gets better.
To end this album, the 20 minute epic, The Fountain of Lamneth, just listen to it really, its so different from Rush's later epics, but its still really good.
Overall I give this album a 4 star rating, I dont get why it was so hated among the critics back then.
Its a solid release to add to your collection if you are into Rush or Prog Rock in general!
on 2 August 2004
I had the original vinyl recording of COS and this was a replacement to a damaged CD version I had also bought.
Rush's first two albums were very rock-like, but COS marked the band's first foray into conceptual work. As I understand things, their label wasn't too impressed and wanted them to change it, but it has stood the test of time and marks the point where Rush turned from a normal rock band into a unique one.
The opening track Bastille Day was an anthem in its time, with its racing guitar and Rush's favoured stop-time approach back then. The last track on 'side 1' (in vinyl terms) was a mini-story (The Necromancer), with atmospheric sound effects mingling with strong instrumental work.
The remainder of the CD is another - more loosely defined - mini-story. It has a slightly folky feel to it, but shot through with the now-familiar Rush heaviness (though at the time the direction the band would subsequently take was in question).
Listening to any Rush work I find it hard to distinguish between new and old material purely in terms of quality. Rush has always been tight and clinical in their approach to studio albums - but I think COS was probably the one where they put down the rules for all their future work.
Again, this is a part of history, so I would recommend owning COS for that reason alone. Of course, no Rush fan would be without it anyway.
on 14 February 2014
This was an ambitious attempt by Rush to expand further their horizons after the solidity of their 2nd album 'Fly By Night' and, unfortunately, it doesn't quite work for me. The 3 shorter tracks (especially the rocky 'Bastille Day') are the saviours of this album because neither 'The Necromancer' (which weighs in at 12 and a half minutes) nor 'The Fountain Of Lamneth' (a mighty 20 minutes) really work for me and the good moments of both seem to get washed away in the general craziness. If Rush were 'off their heads' as was admitted by the band during the writing and recording of this album, then I'm not surprised!! Don't buy this until you've bought Rush's classic 1970s albums i.e '2112', 'A Farewell To Kings' and 'Hemispheres'