Summer of 81 and it was Rush Rush Rush Rush. Moving Pictures was selling like Hotcakes and Tbone was the first to jump on the Prog Train by purchasing this album before Moi ! Wowzer’s,as our first introduction to Rush our minds were blown!
Like other huge Rock albums that came out around the time of the early 80s(AC/DC’s Back In Black being the biggest) what could I possibly add to a review that many have already read?
Um….Nothing! Haha! What I will try to explain is how this album impacted a couple of young Thunder Bay Hooligans and became an instant classic! Tbone has Moving Pictures securely set in his all time Top 20 whereas I have Rush’s followup Signals(1982) which just beats out Moving Pictures by a smidge in my Top 20!
Geddy Lee – lead vocals, bass guitar, bass pedals, Minimoog, Oberheim polyphonic synthesizer, OB-X, Moog Taurus
Alex Lifeson – electric and acoustic six- and twelve-string guitar, Moog Taurus
Neil Peart – drums, timbales, gong, bells, glockenspiel, wind chimes, bell tree, crotales, cowbell, plywood
Look at that resume of what 3 Dudes can pull off! Interesting to note that Peart is so good he plays Plywood??! Would not put it by the Professor!
The production of Moving Pictures (Courtesy of Terry Brown) is awesome! Terry does an excellent job at keeping all 3 instruments in check with the guitar/drums/ bass never being buried by the Keyboards! The sound of the album gives off a Warm vibe but with a Fist to the Gut when need be!
Or should I say The Classic’s!
No. Title Length
1. “Tom Sawyer” (Lyrics: Peart and Pye Dubois) 4:34
2. “Red Barchetta” 6:10
3. “YYZ” (Lee, Peart; Instrumental) 4:26
4. “Limelight” 4:20
No. Title Length
5. “The Camera Eye
I: New York
II: London” 11:01
6. “Witch Hunt” (Part III of “Fear”) 4:46
7. “Vital Signs” 4:46
What can you say about Side 1 that already hasn’t been said?! These first 4 tracks were prominently featured on the live Exit Stage Left album that came out later in 1981! What a fantastic way to become an Rush Fan back in the Summer of 81! We first get our 14-year-old noggins wrapped around this new Sonic Sounds Of Rock than shortly a few months later comes the Double Live Exit Stage album! What a great couple of months to be a Rush Newbie!
First time hearing Tom Sawyer just boggled my mind! I had never heard and I’m sure I can speak for Tbone as well that up to that point we didn’t know what Prog Rock was. I’m sure for the diehard Prog enthusiast out in Blogsville there are more Proggy Rock Acts going but for us Moving Pictures was a whole new Ball Game!
Peart lays down the beat and who has not air drummed to that part of Tom Sawyer after Lifesons solo? We all have and when we(Tbone) caught Rush for the first time live in 2002 I seen with my own eyes 14,000 people airband Peart. That’s saying something! Sawyer sets the pace for the rest of the album.
Love the geetar picking of Alex at the beginning of Red Barchetta until the pace of the tune ramps up especially during the chorus and Lifeson once again lifts this track off the ground with that solo! Also must mention Geddy’s riffing on the Bass at the tail end of the tune. He’s a Beast on the 4 Stringer!
YYZ is the instrumental so each guy shows off their musical muscle during the 4 plus minute of Sonic Prog Furry! Tempo changes galore rage supreme during YYZ!
Limelight ends Side 1 with another Classic! Speaking of Air-banding. How about the opening riff of this tune? Instant Gem! I will go on record as saying that the guitar solo on this tune is one of my all time fav’s. Love how the song just breaks down and Alex takes over while Geddy and Neil layoff of the gas pedal for a second while Alex dips and dives during the solo until the boys pick up steam to end Side 1.
Side 2 is where things get real interesting!
Camera Eye is one of the best Rush Tracks ever! Basically this is my first foray into Prog! I had never ever heard a tune like this before as it’s a long way from KISS’s Ladies Room. Love that funky wavy synth sweeping around the track and of course Neil once the drums kick in and lays down the pace i’m hooked! Crazy time changes and Lifeson just laying down the law sonically with his 6 string just encompasses all good things Rush! At 11 minutes this at the time was the longest song I had ever heard before and basically good on Rush for holding my attention span! I posted the video for Camera Eye as I don’t expect you to listen to the whole 11 minute track( you should though!) but cue up the track at the 5 minute 50 second mark and at exactly the 6 minute mark this just proves Rush’s pure brilliance as the band is going one way and then Neil shifts gears and the song goes down another avenue! Everytime I hear this part of Camera Eye it gives me Goosebumps! How can dudes in there early to mid 20’s at the time come up with stuff like this?
Witch Hunt has to be the creepiest/darkest Rush tune ever as at the beginnings of the song you hear an Mob and well Folk’s were on a Witch Hunt! The Lyrics are dark the pace of the tune is darker. Neil’s lyrics are deep here basically about Society going down the Shitter! (well that’s how I hear it!)…You want pre Grungey 1981 Rush? Look no further than here friends!
Vital Signs has a real neat synth Cars/Devo like charm added with what sounds like Neil playing some electronic drums. Vital Signs triggers the end of Rush on Moving Pictures but Vital Signs also begins the sound that Rush would pursue on their next studio release (My all time fav Rush album) Signals. Just always to remember not to Deviate From The Norm!
Ged/Neil/Alex released a Classic with Moving Pictures! Once I dived into Rush’s 70’s music and 1980’s Permanent Waves album you could see Rush was moving forward!
Side 1 of Moving Pictures to me anyways is Rush going mainstream as we all know the first 4 tracks right? Even a non Rush fan knows Tom Sawyer!
Side 2 of Moving Pictures is Rush going little Prog to keep the 70’s faithful happy especially on the first two tracks but by the time Vital Signs rolls around its Rush saying this is our new direction. You with us??
Yes Dudes…..I’m with ya!