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4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
All the World's a Stage
Format: Audio CD|Change
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 2 December 2010
This is where the world of Rush all started for me. It was 1979 and I was a teenager into Zeppelin, Purple etc when a couple of lads I knew suggested I check out Rush. I was (and still am) a sucker for live albums and so off I went to Penny Lane Records in Chester to see if there was such a thing as a live Rush album. There sure was and this was it. Home I went and put it on the turntable.

As always with the best albums I wasn't too sure at first but after a few more listens I was hooked. This is a really good example of classic Rush while they were still a straight ahead rock band. Geddy Lee still in his Robert Plant pomp, Alex Lifeson peeling off those classic riffs and Neil Peart showing just what a good drum solo should be. Add to that many of their best songs from this era incuding Working Man and most of 2112 and you have what is for me their best live album. About 5 years ago Classic Rock magazine listed the 50 greatest live albums. Exit...Stage Left came above this one. They got it wrong. The sound on this album is far more raw and sounds like a live album should, whereas Exit is too polished and the mix all wrong.

After this I was hooked for a good few years. Within 6 months I was at Bingley Hall Stafford watching in awe as they showed what an incredible live act they were. Unfortunately 5 years later the keyboards outweighed the guitars and I lost interest, at least until the R30 tour.
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on 21 July 2004
It's hard to keep track of the number of live albums that Rush have released. This was the first, and came between the early heavier rush and the more synthesizer influenced middle part of their career.
The most noticeable thing about this album is that Geddy Lee plays bass and...nothing else! This is a guitar/bass/drums set up that shows them at their hard-rocking best. The only issue I have with it is that the sound quality isn't too great, and in particular the bass guitar is very low in the mix.
The songs are some of the best from their early career (spanning 4 studio albums), and there are great versions of the tracks from 'Rush' here, including a great version of 'Working Man'. They seem to have concentrated on reproducing the studio versions of the tracks, and have done an admirable job!
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on 16 September 2010
I bought this to replace my old worn out vinyl version,which I bought just over 30yrs ago.This was the first Rush album I bought and is still my favourite of all the other live products since released.
It is not as polished as the others but comes from my favourite era of the band,1976 up to 1979 Hemishpheres,when I got to see them for the first time.
The album is the classic power trio live,harder rocking than the more complex band they became.Starting with Bastille Day running through Anthem,Fly By Night,In The Mood and Something For Nothing the band really belt along.Lakeside Park next which for me is still the only downer of the collection.2112 next harder rocking than the studio version and for me more enjoyable.BY - Tor And the Snowdog is the stand out track on the album for me,and this is the best version in its full 11 minutes,Alex particularly shining.
The album then runs In The End,classic Working Man,Finding My Way and then the encore of What You Doing.
To quote the band "It is not perfect,but it is faithful to us and to you"
For fans who came across the band through "Spirit Of Radio" and "Tom Sawyer"it my take some getting into,but this unpolished gem is worth it.
Now all we need is a live cd of the Hemishpheres Tour and my Rush collection would be complete.
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on 9 April 2001
Rush's first live album represents the end of chapter 1 of their career. This album is a sort of "best of" from their first 4 studio albums which charts their progress from the "Led Zeppellin Junior" style of "Rush" to the sci-fi prog rock classic that is "2112". Rush are only a 3 piece band, however, they manage to fill the soundscape with a heavy rock sound which is both intricate and melodic without resorting to heavy metal cliches. It is arguably their best live album as there is little or no post - production work leaving you with a real Rush live experience - (over production of live albums Exit... Stage Left and A Show of Hands is irritating). 1998's 3 cd live album Different Stages runs this album a very close second as best live Rush album in my opinion...
My personal faves on here are 2112, Something for Nothing, Lakeside Park and By Tor and the Snowdog including an Alex Lifeson prog-rock interlude - rocktastic!.
ATWAS also gives us the first edition of a Neil Peart drum solo - a mainstay of Rush concerts. Listen to how it evolves and gets longer over the other 3 live albums!
Listen to RUSH!
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on 14 November 2009
Rush are really on good form on this album. They really rock out. My favouite track? It would have to By Tor and the Snow Dog. I can't praise the musicianship of the three of them. If you want to start your Rush collection you could do worse than start here!!
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 6 September 2010
There are many fantastic live double albums from the 70's,very few of them live up to this one.From the opening 'Bastille Day' to the closing 'What Your Doing' this album rocks from start to finish,a historical document of Rush in simpler times,when keyboards were not the preeminent instrument,Rush in their purest form? you decide.

There are many highlights,from the spine chilling intro to 2112,hairs standing up on the back of the neck as Geddy's vocals reach for the stars to the nerve shreding finale. The fantastic drum solo from Neil Peart,the pop sensibility of 'Lakeside Park',the magnificence of 'In The End' even better live to the albums best track the extended 'By Tor And The Snow Dog' with its other worldy mid section featuring a stunning bass/lead guitar battle,that only three men could make this sound is awesome.Indeed every track is a classic with special mention of the final trio 'Workin'Man/Finding My Way & What Your Doing' with guitar riffs to the fore absolutely confirming Rush rocked from the start.

An essential purchase,still my favourite Rush live album(and there are many),take a trip back in time,you wont regret it.
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on 6 April 2013
Once upon a time in a land far, far away, Rush live albums were akin to punctuation. A full stop at the end of a paragraph if you will. These days Rush albums are like busses, you wait for ages and three turn up at once.

All the World's a Stage was the first punctuation of the Rush story, coming at the end of a sublime run of albums wherein our Canuck chums had raised the HEAVY METAL bar to new heights. Recorded at Toronto's Massey Hall, this is probably the best live album ever, as I understand it it is exceptionally live by live album standards - no Unleashed in the Studio here. It's also liver than Rush would ever dare be nowadays, oh away with you thrice-cursed samples.

Rammed full of the classics from the first for albums, the only thing that is really missed is Beneath, Between and Behind, but who can quibble with the Bombastic Bludgeon of Bastille Day? The Anthemicness of er Anthem? Who can fail to be thrilled by hearing "We'd like to do for you side 1 of our latest album, this is 2112"? Man oh man, this is just Live, Loud and ROCK!!!!!!!!

Heartily recommended. Buy with utmost confidence.
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on 23 August 2017
Superb early Rush. Good to have it back in my collection . Good selection of songs and well produced.
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on 21 March 2017
Very satisfied with this
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on 25 December 2016
Perfect gift for my work mate who's a huge Rush fan and new to vinyl !
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