December 23rd 2016….
Well Folk’s it’s time for me to take a couple of weeks off around these parts! Don’t fret I will be back in the New Year with a whole new batch of review’s and such so Merry Christmas to all my readers who have been on this Crazy Ride with me! I thank you all for discovering Stick It In You Ear and following along with my written shenanigans! Much Appreciated!
2 Years Ago I posted this review of Exit explaining how after all these years after I received it as Christmas Gift from my Parents. Exit is my all time Fav Christmas Album…. Read on and once again…
Thanks….Stay Safe & Happy Holidays!
Originally posted…Dec 22 2014…..
Aaron over at KeepsMeAlive mentioned how he got for Xmas Blue Rodeos Xmas album. I left him a comment how at around this time I always get into Rush’s Exit Stage Left record! I did mention it on my Signals review a bit but Aaron asked me today to come out of hiatus and explain it with a little more depth! So fair enough ……
Christmas 1981 and it’s safe to say that myself/Tbone and John Young(real name/no nickname…hahaha) that Rush was dominating our turntables and cassette tapes decks in our home bases of Thunder Bay! For me Moving Pictures was when I hoped on board the Rush Xpress train and joined everyone else and being blown away by the virtuosos that make Rush! Geddy Lee/Alex Lifeson and Neil Peart played there tunes like I had never heard anyone play songs like that before!
So at the end of October that year (1981)drops into record bins Exit Stage Left and John Young was the first batter up to get Exit Stage Left! Upon first listen I drooled with my musical brain blown! A double album/Drum Solo/12 songs? What? Basically 3 songs per side except for side 2 with 4 Songs! Man I was used to Kiss/Cheap Trick/AC-DC/Queen you know 5 songs per side,10 songs per album 40 minutes total! Too make a longer story that much shorter …I’m going Progging!
Love this album cover….Must have stared at it for hours. No,I was not baked but thanks for asking though….
So once into early December what was at the top of my list? Peppers Rush’s Exit Stage Left! And on Christmas Day my parents delivered in spades and into my hands Exit Stage Left! My parents were and are very cool as they always said every Christmas throw down on a list 5 albums and they would always have at least 3 records for me under the tree!
So here it is my rundown on my all time fav Xmas album. Like I said in my review of Signals. People at this time of year trip out over Micheal Buble’s Christmas album. Fair enuff. I will trip out with Geddy/Alex and Neil!
SPIRIT OF THE RADIO- Geddy tells us ‘This is The Spirit Of The Radio!” Lifeson rips the intro and the boys bash it out! Love the sonics on this album! The solo is sick and man what a great start!
RED BARCHETTA- So it’s apparent after owning at the time (81) some live albums(Aeros Live Bootleg/Kiss Alive 1&2/Cheap Tricks Budokan and Judas Priests Unleashed In The East) that Rush is doing what none of those bands that I mentioned did which was fade out the crowd after every track and the crowd was mixed lower on Exit than the two Kiss Live albums esp Alive 2 which I had read that the makeup boys borrowed(ahem)the Super Bowl crowd from 1977 on there Alive 2 album! Anyways Red Barchetta rocks! Love Lifeson’s solo especially at the end of his solo when they all hit the jams hard! Also must mention Geddy’s little bass riffage at the end!
YYZ- Tour de force man! Pearts drum solo and because of this he’s my all time fav at that spot! Up til than it was “Peter Criss on the Drums !” Paul Stanley shouts at the end of Criss’ drum solo on God Of Thunder! Hahaha….damn man Peter Criss must have puked when Neil layed waste to his kit on YYZ ! Still to this day the best recorded drum solo I have ever heard!
PASSAGE TO BANGKOK-Sparkit up! We’re riding the Orient Express with Rush and learning some history from the lyrical prowess of Mr Peart! Pretty cool that Geddy had that double necked bass and guitar and shifted into rhythm guitar during the solo! My young mind is blown! Like who does this shit? Rush does !
CLOSER TO THE HEART-Cool use of the acoustic at the beginning and man big time power chords hit along with the drums and how about Neil sliding all around his Kit at the end of this song and boom into….
BETWEEN,BENEATH AND BEHIND- Which must be one the shortest Rush tunes at 2.5 minutes! Cool solo and Rush are seeing if I’m paying attention to how short this song actually is! Crank the video posted!
JACOBS LADDER- Ok since Moving Pictures was my very first owned Rush album and Exit is my second its time to get schooled in Prog and by golly I did! This song is sooooooo good! Love the sound of this. Blows me away even to this day!
BROONS BANE- Lifeson and his acoustic guitar clock in just under 2 minutes and Alex tells me through the grooves of the vinyl that it’s ok not to have to crank everything thru a Marshall stack!
THE TREES-Ha ! Only Rush could call their song The Trees and Lifeson when he moves on from BROONS BANE opens the Trees with his acoustic and love Geddy’s bass groovin on this one! Awesome track!
XANADU- Another Prog extraganza! Wow this one is over the top and Rush is taking meaning for the ride! 12 minutes,9 seconds of Progmania! I mean that’s basically the first 4 songs from the Kiss Love Gun album! Crazy …but this is crazy good. I mean when Geddy sings the line….”to walk the caves of ice,oh I will dine on honey-dew,and drink the milk of paradise!” Wowzers ..that is slick! throw down some keys/ bass/ drums and guitar and man we got ourselves a CLASSIC! Lee/Lifeson are playing double neck guitars and Peart has the ultimate kit ever and the dude plays everything on that kit! Just watch it,you’ll see!
FREEWILL- Also a first time hearing FREEWILL was on this release and holy cow what a great track I just love when Neil and Geddy do there drum/ bass thingy and Lifeson goes off the rails of his solo and then Geddy hits those high notes and ropes it all back in! Man oh man and love how they crank out the ending! Bam were done!
TOM SAWYER- What’s there to say about this one? Even if you don’t dig Rush (shame on Ya!) everyone has heard this track and how many airbanders have airbanded Pearts part of the song? Ya know what I’m talking about!
LA VILLA STANGIATO- also a first time listening experience for me at the time! 9 minute epic end of the album Prog Rock Extravaganza! I mean the chops on this are absolutely out of this world! How the 3 Rush guys are just locked n loaded and blaze the trail and tell us all us in the a nice Canadian way ” Beat that Schmucks!” One of the greats!
IN CONCLUSION- Exit Stage Left has nothing to do with Xmas for probably everyone out there except me! (Ha) Sure on other Xmas’ I got records from my parents like in 1982 it was Signals by Rush and Speak Of The Devil but for some reason this live beast just sleighs(get it) me every year and for that thanks Rush!
Merry Christmas once again Folks!