Rush formed in Toronto in 1968 but it wasn't until 1974 that the band released their self titled debut. This record, however, focuses less on the progressive aspect of things like the use of synthesizers, Ayn Rand inspired lyrics, epic song lengths and focuses on just hard rock with simple lyrics about things like women and a hard day's work. This is the only Rush Record to feature John Rutsy on drums, instead of the amazing Neil Peart. Peart made his debut on the follow up record to this, Fly By Night
in 1975. Even without the great drumming of Neil, John Rutsy still manages to give a solid performance, though it isn't the same. Neil, who also wrote the majority of the lyrics after this album, is also a reason the lyrics are different as oppose to later Rush albums. Rush sounds very similar to Led Zeppelin on this record more than any other album of theirs by far, with the bluesy riffs and solos, and even Geddy Lee's voice sounds similar to Plant's at times. Alex Lifeson also gives a outstanding performance on guitar on this record, as usual. Now on to the album review...
opens up with a solid track. A bluesy riff starts off Finding My Way
and it maintains the blues feel all the way through. Right from this track, you can tell the Zeppelin influence, and see the different sound to Rush's early work. 'Finding My Way' has an excellent solo and a great way to open up the record. Track number two gets right into the vocals as Geddy immediately starts singing. Need Some Love
verses are very fast paced, but the chorus brings the tempo back down with a melodic feel to it. This is another solid track but it falls very short, clocking in at only 2:19, making it by far the shortest song on the album. Next is Take A Friend
. The song starts quiet until it gradually makes it way to full gear. Geddy's voice sounds especially good on this track, and there is some great guitar work on this song by Lifeson. This song is a bit more laidback compared to the previous two songs. Take A Friend is a very good song, but doesn't stand out, just keeps the flow of the album going. Following Take A Friend is Here Again
, the longest song on the album, coming in at over seven and a half minutes. The song is the slowest song, on the album, as the instruments seem to compliment Geddy's voice as they play slowly as he sings over them. This song also has one of the better solos on the album. 'Here Again' fits nicely in the middle of the record.
Next is one of my favorites on the album. What You're Doing
opens with a riff similar sounding to Led Zeppelin's 'Heartbreaker'. This song is very energetic and a great change of pace after a calm song. Again, this song has excellent guitar work. Overall an excellent hard rock track and a definite standout on the album. Next is In The Mood
, probably the most blues sounding song on the album. This song fun and has a very catchy chorus. The lyrics aren't the greatest, and will make you appreaciate Peart's lyrics more, but they're fun. The second last song on the record is Before And After
, which is probably the most progressive-esque song here. It has a very soft into, as the drums and bass slowly come in, but then kicks into a rocking song. This is another solid track on the album and again another solid guitar performance from Alex, but the song just kinda goes by. Okay, now we get to the best song on the album and one of the best Rush songs, period: Working Man
. After the thunderous guitar intro, Geddy Lee starts singing about a day at work and what its like to be a Working Man. Geddy sings: "Well they call me the working man; I guess that's what I am"
. This song features an amazingly fast solo for the best on the album. This song is an excellent demonstration of hard rock and Rush puts it together perfectly. What a great way to end the album.
So overall, for a debut album, this is a very solid record as there are no weak tracks, but some lesser ones. Even though Neil Peart isn't in the band on this, which means the drums and lyrics are a step down, it is still very good, but again, its not the Rush we all know. If you are a fan of classic 70's rock, like Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, or just rock in general, I recommend this album. While it is certainly not one of Rush's best albums and does't even sound like Rush themselves, it is recommended to fans of the band.
What You're Doing