Rush
Fly by Night


3.5
great

Review

by Caleb McAlpine USER (109 Reviews)
October 7th, 2009 | 248 replies


Release Date: 1975 | Tracklist

Review Summary: My ship isn't coming and I just can't pretend...

Let's start this review with a picture: http://userserve-ak.last.fm/serve/500/2207650/Rush.jpg

When Neil Peart auditioned for the drummer role in Rush back in 1974, Alex Lifeson and Geddy Lee were initially skeptical. Peart didn't seem to have the charisma - he had a hideous-beyond-reason haircut, worshipped Ayn Rand and wrote songs about Tolkien novels. Meanwhile, Lee and Lifeson were self-proclaimed beacons of 70's zeitgeist - the leather jackets, the glimmering shirts and the bug-eyed glasses in the picture speak lengths about this testament. Yet as alluded to by Lee in a recent interview, there was something immeasurably promising about Peart's audition that made him and Lifeson think twice before disposing him. In hindsight, most people would argue that Peart was the best thing to happen to Rush. Peart's debut on Fly By Night showcases remarkable progress in terms of songwriting and drumming when compared to Rush's self titled debut and the album is only a precursor to much greater, more ambitious things to come.

Instrumentally, Fly By Night isn't much of a far cry from Rush's debut (besides the obviously improved drumming). 'In the End' is a slow-churning ballad-turned-epic much in vein of 'Here Again', 'By-Tor and the Snow Dog' is a jam-based extended-piece much akin to 'Working Man' (albeit a slight bit proggier) and 'Making Memories' is just as Zeppelin-influenced as anything found on the self titled. While Lee has gotten unfortunately a little more confident with his vocals and has harnessed an inexplicable affection for screeching on songs like 'Anthem' and 'Best I Can', his performance on Fly By Night is distinctively Geddy Lee and is perfectly suited for the band. Lifeson takes a slightly less riff-based approach on most of the songs and his performance is dampened slightly by this decision but it's an ineffable fact that the solos in 'Anthem' and 'By-Tor and the Snow Dog' are among the best of his career. That being said, 'By-Tor and the Snow Dog' is quite the song indeed. The song is arguably the band's first genuine progressive song, as it is split up into "chapters" throughout it's 8-minute reign and is tied to a concept (about a snow dog and a lord of evil, no less). While it's story is kitschy and post-production snorting seems to ruin much of the jam-section, the song is a standout track and an interesting bundle of foreshadowing when considering the band's later progressive tendencies.

Yet it's impossible to deny the handful of faults on Fly By Night. Rush were still a band maturing at this point (one could argue that they never really did get it down perfectly) and hadn't settled in with a sweet spot quite yet in regards to Neil Peart. The song 'Fly By Night' - although often a fan favorite - contains an immensely irritating chorus and 'Best I Can' sounds like a b-side from the band's debut (only considerably worse). Ultimately, however, Fly By Night is an intriguing precursor to Rush's later progressive indulgences and is a worthy component in the band's near-infallible discography. While not an essential, the album certainly warrants repeated listens and ultimate respect from Rush fans and casual music listeners alike.



Recent reviews by this author
Anberlin LowbornThe Oh Hellos Through The Deep, Dark Valley
Dan Mangan Oh FortuneThe Decemberists Long Live the King
The Reign Of Kindo Rhythm, Chord & MelodyAntoine Dufour Convergences
user ratings (873)
Chart.
3.8
excellent
other reviews of this album
1 of

Comments:Add a Comment 
Waior
October 7th 2009


11454 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

[img]http://userserve-ak.last.fm/serve/_/70692/Rush.jpg[/img]

thanks neil peart for your bad haircuts, stupid lyrics and awesome drumming

Ulsufyring
October 7th 2009


1724 Comments


[img]http://i33.tinypic.com/33tle8i.jpg[/img]
example two of bad haircuts

entarthedryden
October 7th 2009


175 Comments


sometimes when i dont shower for 5 days on end the smell of shit and rotting dick doesn't bother me that fucking much

Ulsufyring
October 7th 2009


1724 Comments


oh my god waior i'm sorry

Ulsufyring
October 7th 2009


1724 Comments


no more pictures jom will get mad

AnotherBrick
October 7th 2009


9771 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

good review dude...totally agree about the title track, its damn annoying

Nagrarok
October 7th 2009


8259 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Great job once again, this needed a 3-3.5 review. Actually prefer the debut to this (although yes, the drumming is deeply inferior there).

Phantom
October 7th 2009


8930 Comments


oh my god, who is that?

looks like a dicktaker, whoever it is.

thebhoy
Emeritus
October 7th 2009


4461 Comments


good review, I'm excited for the discography reviews but all I have to say is this: if you don't give Hemispheres at least a 4.5 we can't be friends, k?

ziroth
October 7th 2009


1252 Comments


waior, you suck because you use big words like extended. wtf man!

pos'd; Rush rules i need to listen to this

XulOnerom
October 7th 2009


1818 Comments


My god, those pics!!

Poor Neil looks like a reject from an indie bands. Great review and album

stargazer76
October 7th 2009


218 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Great review Waior - keep up the good work. "Caress of Steel" must be up next!?!

I Agree with Nagrarok - this definitely needed a 3-3.5 review. The drumming is much better on this than their debut, but there aren't that many good songs on the album. "By-tor and the Snowdog" is the pick of the few good tracks!





Iluvatar
Staff Reviewer
October 7th 2009


16089 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

guys the dude on the beach is...waior...

stargazer76
October 7th 2009


218 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Waior has a lovely haircut - on par with Neil Peart?

Waior
October 7th 2009


11454 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Picture 'twas a joke - friends went swimming and I didn't want to so I became a coathanger for their shirts/glasses/hats/etc. But yeah, my hair's definitely been cut since then.

Ulsufyring
October 7th 2009


1724 Comments


whatever style blasphemer

qwe3
October 8th 2009


21362 Comments


aw man that was a douche move

Ulsufyring
October 8th 2009


1724 Comments


not as much a douche move as convincing some people to use it!
heheheheheheh

taylormemer
October 8th 2009


4917 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Ugh. Great. Now every time Waior submits something I'll have this awful image glazing my eyes.

Ulsufyring
October 8th 2009


1724 Comments


see that's the reaction i get whenever waior releases anything anyway so...



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2014 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Privacy Policy