Rush
Exit...Stage Left


4.5
superb

Review

by sonictheplumber STAFF USER (107 Reviews)
June 7th, 2012 | 21 replies | 3,591 views


Release Date: 1981 | Tracklist


5 of 5 thought this review was well written

Recorded at arguably the highest point in Rush's career, Exit...Stage Left serves as an appopriate time capsule of that period. Featuring recordings from their Permanent Waves and Moving Pictures Tours respectively, the album is a wonderfully produced and highly entertaining listen featuring some of the group's best work.

Rush were nearly infallible at this stage of their career, and this live document only proves that. The performances are note-for-note perfect, and there is never a sloppy moment. This is especially impressive considering the duties each band member faces: Alex and Neil both have to expertly play some of the most complex and intricate music ever composed, and Geddy must sometimes provide vocals, keyboards, synthesizers and bass all at the same time. With such responsibility on the band members, one would assume that eventually one of them would make a mistake, but no mistakes are found on this album.

Because of Rush's goal to make each song nearly identical to its studio album counterpart, this leaves little room for improvisation. Songs such as "The Spirit of Radio" and "Freewill" are simply high-energy versions of their studio originals with added crowd cheers and whistles. However, this is no problem, because this album has the perfect production that every live album needs. The songs are clear and audible, but they are very obviously live - there are no added effects to make the album sound clearer or more polished than it needs to. While the album lacks the rawness of All The World's A Stage, which is the group's first live album, it more than makes up for that fact by containing such flawness performances.

While the performances and song selections are both superb, where the album only slightly fails is the fact that the performances often sound a bit too, for lack of a better word, professional. Although the lack of rawness or bombast is not exactly a flaw because the music sounds great, the album lacks the punch of an album like, say, Thin Lizzy's Live and Dangerous or even the band's first live album. As stated previously, the performances themselves are flawless, and any Rush fan will love this album because of the stunning tracklist alone, but many of these tracks are simply too identical to their studio counterparts. If one already loves the songs as I do, this is no flaw at all, but for those expecting an album of improvised and spontaneous jam sessions that live albums like Live at Leeds and Made in Japan are famous for, Exit...Stage Left will, for the most part, sound like merely a best-of compilation.

Despite its single half-flaw, this album is nearly perfect, and any Rush fan will love it. While it certainly won't convert those who are adamant haters of the band, because all of Rush's trademarks are here (Geddy's creates a new definition of "falsetto" on "Freewill" and "Beneath, Between & Behind," and yes, there is a somewhat lengthy drum solo), it will please even a casual fan because it serves as a perfect document of what a slightly doctored and polished version of a Rush concert in the early 1980's sounded like. The songs rock too.



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user ratings (245)
Chart.
4.3
superb
other reviews of this album
Karl Malone AKA The Mailman (5)
Rush's second live outing displays the Canadian trio at one of the peaks of their career....

Kenny_Fever (5)
...


Comments:Add a Comment 
CaptainDooRight
June 7th 2012



28297 Comments


good review

Digging: IQ - The Road of Bones

RosaParks
June 7th 2012



14592 Comments


p//

JosephLong
June 7th 2012



301 Comments


fuckin sweet but dude presto??? presto right god damn now!

rockandmetaljunkie
June 7th 2012



3302 Comments


100 reviews, congrats

omnipanzer
June 7th 2012



21418 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Rating is correct.

Digging: Grant Lee Buffalo - Fuzzy

Killerhit
June 7th 2012



5188 Comments


epic

Jethro42
June 7th 2012



12351 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Exit Stage Left for a 100th review = win win win

Eons
June 7th 2012



442 Comments


4.1/5

Nagrarok
June 7th 2012



8169 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

About time sonic joined the 100 club. Obviously, anything other than Rush simply would not have done here.

Killerhit
June 7th 2012



5188 Comments


Damn right you are Nag. And a good 100th it is.

rape
June 7th 2012



13 Comments


really good review, pos.

wacknizzle
June 7th 2012



12547 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I need to get this on vinyl, my one friend has it and it sounds incredible.

Digging: PVRIS - Paris

JamieTwort
Contributing Reviewer
June 7th 2012



19895 Comments


What Nag said.

pos'd.

auberginedreams
June 7th 2012



5983 Comments


LOL

http://25.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m59dj6XmtT1qe8jgto1_500.jpg

auberginedreams
June 7th 2012



5983 Comments


nevershoutnever repping rush. i wonder if the scene kiddos are gonna start listening to this band now.

JosephLong
June 7th 2012



301 Comments


wtf

YoYoMancuso
June 7th 2012



10761 Comments


the drum solo on this is so fucking awesome

camaraderie
June 7th 2012



988 Comments


"http://25.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m59dj6XmtT1qe8jgto1_500.jpg"

Fuck that pothead.

Ballz3D
June 8th 2012



552 Comments


Great review man. Friggin' rights.

FloydZepp4ever
November 27th 2012



5 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

this is one of my all time favorite live albums, but my only complaint is that the bass is just a little too loud and its sorta hard to hear the guitar.



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