Ah. I've been waiting all year for this. That's right, the excellent Rush: Beyond The Lighted Stage, comprehensive though it is, was not enough documentation of this excellent and honestly, truly peerless band for one year.
I've seen a few of the Classic Albums films before (now well dated by the inclusion of the Men In Black poster in the record store glimpsed the opening credits) and enjoyed them for the most part, though owing to their compilation for broadcast they are bound not to be too specific. Yes, this series of documentaries has its niche audience, but too much information on one particular guitar solo or synthesizer pattern and common curiosity might begin to wane. So, while the main 2112/ Moving Pictures piece is pleasingly succinct in its discussion of those albums, their creation and their impact, the hour's worth of extras is what the real Rush fans are looking for.
Herein you'll discover detailed analysis of certain tracks (I'm sure you can guess which ones), an informative discussion of influences, a particularly enjoyable improvisation from World's Greatest Drummer Neil Peart (doubly enjoyable as it bears no resemblance to his sublime but rarely altered touring drum solo) and each of the band members discussing warmly why they're so fond of each other, and what's kept Rush going into its fourth decade.
The only gripe I have with this disc is that the new studio performances are overdubbed with the original masters, which (forgive my churlishness) seems utterly pointless, like seeing rock's best musicians soullessly miming on TOTP. However, things such as an aural glimpse of the original up-tempo demo of "Tom Sawyer", the post-fade-out ending to the final version of that track and general depth of analysis that's afforded these great records (when you consider the extra material) makes up for that small oversight tenfold.
A must for Rush fans, and I imagine of some value to fans of music documentaries regardless of their level of appreciation for the Canadian Power Trio. Besides, how can you say no for less than a tenner?
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