A Farewell To Kings Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.Read more ›
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Classic album from one of the most inventive progressive bands.Published 4 months ago by John, Stockton-on-Tees