Rush- Moving Pictures
Rush’s music is hard to pinpoint and classify into one genre. Between the three living legends that make up this band, a whole world of genres is brought into one band. Geddy Lee, famous for his high anxiety shrieking voice, and fast, melodic bass playing is placed in front of Alex Lifeson’s sci-fi, yet progressive guitar technique and Neil Peart’s out-of-this-world, flash drumming. Undoubtedly, all three are great musicians by themselves, but what they do together has arguably changed the face of progressive rock music. Moving Pictures is widely known as their most famous album, and like the others, provides excellent facets in every melodic and rhythmic department, and in very unique ways.
With a mere seven songs, this album might not appear to be lengthy, but the durations of the songs can make up for it’s lack of tracks. A perfect example would be the opening song, ‘Tom Sawyer’. With the pseudo- techno keyboard tracking, and powerhouse drumming, a strong foundation is built upon a track that clocks in at just over seven minutes. This is not at all a bad thing, by any means. The song does not get boring at all, and the melodies will prove their fair share of ‘hum factor’. It may take some time to get used to Geddy Lee’s shriek, but it will without a doubt, sink in and become familiar to you. It can get rather nasal at some points in ‘Tom Sawyer’ however, particularly in the lyrical phrases of “What you say about his company is what you say about society.” and so forth. But mark my words, you’ll get used to it. It’s no surprise, to the casual Rush listener that the first four tracks on this album will prove to be more entertaining and recognizable than the other three. ‘Limelight’ for instance, is Neil Peart’s story of living in the media’s eye. It can prove to be quite challenging, judging from the lyrics and overall vibe that the song presents to you. It sounds darker than the other tracks. Musically, it is genius, with an instantly memorable guitar riff and a rolling bassline that build upon yet another fantastic drum beat. The lyrics are personal to every member of the band, but seem too personal for something that Geddy would write. In other words, it’s no news that Neil wrote it. “Living in the limelight the universal dream for those who wish to see”. The pressure of escaping the media and cameras proved to be too much for the Rush drummer to handle and not to sound like a jerk, but thank god for that, because this song came out of that.
Without a doubt, the climax of the album, and perhaps the apex of all of Rush’s music, is the instrumental ‘YYZ’. Apparently, the Toronto- airport based security code is spelled out on chimes in morse code in the beginning. Just a little homage paid to the trio’s hometown in Canada. The other message or meaning is unclear to me, however. But rhyme or reason is not the case for this song, because after a first listen, one might think of this as being the most predominant instrumentals in rock music. Particularly the rhythm section, shines here. Geddy’s infamous jack-hammered riffing lies solidly underneath Alex’s sci-fi style of guitar playing. This might be considered to close-minded, purist snobs as ‘wanking’ for it’s ‘solo every other second’ mentality, but the performance is undoubtedly smooth and interesting. Geddy and Neil trade solo fills frequently, and a series of multi-faceted riffs make a groove for Lifeson’s neo-classical, yet Latin-induced guitar solo. I’ve never come across a Rush fan who’s said that they did not like ‘YYZ’. As opposed to the more laid back grooves that seem to control the other songs, ‘YYZ’ is just a sonic seizure at a rocket-propelled pace. There is a dichotomy. And that is what makes “Moving Pictures” so loved. If there is one complaint that I have with this album, it is ‘Witches Hunt’. Not to say that it is a bad song, (By all means, it stands fairly strong on it’s own.) but it just does not appeal to my tastes, and doesn’t fill my expectations for a Rush song. There is not much else to say about the song, and other than that, there are no other problems I have with the album. In fact, ‘Red Barchetta’ is a fine song, frequently appearing on the many ‘Greatest Hits’ compilation CD’s for Rush and ‘Vital Signs’ is in fact a reggae- influenced ‘prog.’ tune.
At first listen, this album (and band for that matter) might not be appealing to all listeners, but the brilliance of this album shall not be denied, no matter the criticisms that have been stacked against their style of playing music. So to all you who do not enjoy Rush, I ask you to truly open your ears and minds, and listen to “Moving Pictures” in its entirety. I’m sure you’ll reconsider. :thumb:
Line up of Rush
Geddy Lee- Bass, Vocals, Keyboards
Alex Lifeson- Guitars
Neil Peart- Percussion
Hope you like my review!