Rush debut album review

Rush - Rush | Album Review

A fun and an energetic debut that utilizes a hard rock sound similar to that of Led Zeppelin

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Year: 1974

Length: 39:51, 8 tracks

Genre: Hard Rock, Blues Rock

Label: Moon Records in Canada, Mercury Records Internationally

Producer: Rush

Lineup:

Geddy Lee - lead vocals, bass

Alex Lifeson - guitar, backing vocals

John Rutsey - drums, backing vocals

Background

Rush was a Canadian rock band formed in Toronto by guitarist Alex Lifeson, bassist and frontman Jeff Jones, and drummer John Rutsey on September 18, 1968. Within a couple weeks and just before the band's second performance Jeff Jones quit the band and was replaced by Geddy Lee who was a classmate of Lifeson at the time. The band stabilized and became known as Rush in May of 1971 with a lineup consisting of Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson, and John Rutsey. In 1973 the band released their first original composition called "You Can't Fight It" which peaked no interest in any of the record labels at the time so they decided to create their own label called Moon Records.

Rush is now known for being one of the most renowned progressive rock bands in the world. Classic albums like Moving Pictures and 2112 are not only famous within the progressive rock community but are also well-known throughout the entire music industry for being timeless masterpieces. Rush's self-titled debut album shows the band in a different light. Instead of being the progressive rock masters that the band became with later albums, Rush were simply three guys rocking out by means of simple lyrics and straightforward songwriting.

Track Ratings

1. "Finding My Way"

Length: 5:03

YEAH OH YEAH! The opening track to the album is a hard rocker that is certainly well placed at the beginning of the album. Geddy's powerful high pitched vocals are amazing and Lifeson's excellent playing bolster this song as one of the album's best. The song is not amazing, but it is a really fun opener that I still enjoy every time I give it a listen.

Rating: 7/10

2. "Need Some Love"

Length: 2:16

A fun track that has a very infectious beat and an extremely catchy chorus. Its best characteristic is its fast rhythm and its upbeat energy that gives me a good feeling every time I listen to it. It is a bit corny though and is insignificant lyrically.

Rating: 6/10

3. "Take a Friend"

Length: 4:27

This track is saved by Lifeson's fantastic guitar work, but nothing else about it impresses me. The lyrics are really corny and are quite repetitive as well. With that being said I do love the guitar solos and the main guitar riff on this track.

Rating: 5/10

4. "Here Again"

Length: 7:30

A great blues rock tune that slows down the tempo of the album as well as changes the mood of the album to a much more serious one. The lyrics of the track are about finding yourself in a bad relationship again and again. I love the emotional guitar solos as well as the fantastic vocal delivery from Geddy Lee.

Rating: 7/10

5. "What You're Doing"

Length: 4:19

One of the album's heaviest tunes. It has an addictive main guitar riff, catchy drumming, and fantastic guitar solos that last a fairly long time. I must say that this track is a bit repetitive, but it rocks hard and has great energy.

Rating: 6/10

6. "In the Mood"

Length: 3:36

This song is so corny. The lyrics are terrible during the chorus. The track is pretty catchy at times but as soon as the listener realizes what they are singing along with they will most likely stop.

Rating: 4/10

7. "Before and After"

Length: 5:33

I love the softer acoustic intro of this track. It is the only song on the entire record that has a progressive section. After the soft opening though, the band returns to their hard rock sound. It is a fun and catchy song with a great main riff and an awesome guitar solo.

Rating: 6/10

8. "Working Man"

Length: 7:07

Now, this is a classic! "Working Man" is one of the best hard rock songs of all time. The main guitar riff is one of the best that the band has ever written. Every member shines and gives a stellar performance as well. Geddy's vocal delivery is at its finest as he yells about the struggles of being a working man. Lyrically, the song may not have any deep meanings, but it does not need to. "Working Man" is easily the best track on the album.

Rating: 10/10

Pros

The band's performances are fantastic. Geddy Lee is excellent on the bass and gives a very impressive vocal performance that demonstrates his powerful and unique voice which can be clearly heard throughout the entire record. Rutsey may not be Neil Peart but he gives a good performance especially on songs like "Take a Friend" and "Working Man". Lifeson is the big highlight though. Unlike the band's later albums that seemed to give every instrument equal attention, this album certainly focuses on Lifeson's riffs and solos a bit more.

The album's structure and the length are great. It opens with "Finding My Way" which is perfectly placed as the opener due to the band's high amount of energy and Geddy's emphatic vocal delivery. "Here Again" is placed in the middle of the album where it has a huge impact. Its slow bluesy nature fits perfectly as a pace and mood change right in the middle of the record. The closer "Working Man" is a masterpiece and is still one of my favorite Rush songs to this day.

The instrumentation on this record can be a bit repetitive at times making several songs less memorable due to how similar the band's instrumentation is. Still, there are plenty of awesome riffs, solos, bass lines, and drum fills all over the album. I particularly enjoy the riffs on "Working Man" and "What You're Doing".

The production of this record is not perfect but all of the instruments sound good and the vocals are also not muffled and are very clear in the mix. Geddy's vocals may be very powerful but they do not overpower any of the band's instruments.

Cons

This album is not very creative. Rush were not trendsetters at this time in their career, instead they simply molded themselves after their biggest hard rock influences which were Cream and Zeppelin. Because of this, the band simply had a hard time standing out because they simply were too similar to other 70's hard rock bands at the time.

The lyrics on the album are completely unoriginal and quite boring after several listens. The album's lyrics are simple and easy to sing along to but lack originality and are only memorable in many cases because of how uninspired they are. Songs like "Here Again" and "Working Man" are good lyrically but the rest are only notable for how bad they are at times.

Rating Scale

0/10: Worthless

1/10: Garbage

2/10: Awful

3/10: Bad

4/10: Below Average

5/10: Average

6/10: Above Average

7/10: Good

8/10: Great

9/10: Excellent

10/10: Perfect

Verdict

When Rush is brought up in conversation no one ever mentions the band's first album. This is mostly due to the style of music that differs so much from the band's later material. Rush may not be a great album, but it is a very enjoyable listen that stacks up pretty well to other hard rock albums at the time.

Rating: 7/10

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