by tom79 USER (81 Reviews)
March 5th, 2006 | 230 replies

Release Date: 1974 | Tracklist

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...

Rush 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.

Standout Tracks:
Working Man
What You're Doing

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Comments:Add a Comment 
March 5th 2006


It would be kind of interesting to hear this, but I don't think that I would enjoy it.
Nice review, it was crammed with detail.

Storm In A Teacup
March 5th 2006


Another great review by you. I'm glad to see you're so active on the site.

March 5th 2006


Album Rating: 2.0

My least favorite Rush album but still solid on its own. Excellent review, too.

March 6th 2006


Probably my favorite Rush album, to tell the truth. There is a certain raw energy that Lifeson built in his guitar sound that was so heavy and full of life. Unfortunately, that sound died over the years. I still love all their albums, though. Working Man is probably the best hard rock song of all time. I had the fortune of covering it this past summer, 5 minute jam and everything. Between me assuming the position of bassist, and this crazy prodigy guitarist, the song actually wowed most of the people at that show. Great review, might i add, for an awesome album.

March 7th 2006


Album Rating: 2.5

Good review, i only enjoy this album if I don't think about it being by rush.

March 7th 2006


Album Rating: 2.5

i only enjoy this album if I don't think about it being by rush.

Yes it doesn't sound very rush like, but many bands sound different on their debut. it took a couple of albums for rush to find the sound that they are more known for and this was the starting point.

Digging: Empty Country - Empty Country

August 24th 2006


this is a good album. Not the best but pretty damn good.

January 5th 2007


Album Rating: 4.0

In the mood is so funny after listening to something like Hemispheres.

January 5th 2007


Album Rating: 2.5

My Dad got me into Rush, so when I bought the remasters of the Rush albums (Self-titled included) he was pumped. He claimed that he hadn't heard the self-titled effort since the 80's and he sat down to listen to it with me. We essentially laughed through the entire record. It's THAT different.

Check out: Finding My Way, Working Man

January 27th 2007


Album Rating: 4.0

I like this album and 2112 a lot more than their later work, which I still reviere, though.

July 18th 2007


Album Rating: 1.5

I dont like their debut album

too much Led Zep style & standard rock type, not enough prog. for me

"Working man" is quite goodThis Message Edited On 07.18.07

Digging: Gotsu Totsu Kotsu - Retributive Justice

May 13th 2008


Album Rating: 3.0

R.I.P John Rutsey...

This album is great, not as good as 2112 or Moving Pictures, but still a great listen. Working Man & Finding My Way are my favs from the first Rush album

December 25th 2008


Album Rating: 3.0

Watered down Zeppelin lol

Digging: Molested Divinity - Unearthing The Void

June 25th 2009


Working Man's guitar sounds so much like Sabbath.

November 19th 2009


Album Rating: 3.5

nothing special but a good listen every now and then

January 29th 2010


Probably my third least favorite Rush album, still great though.

January 29th 2010


"nothing special but a good listen every now and then"

couldnt say it better

June 12th 2010


Album Rating: 3.5

this album is a lot better then i remember

November 7th 2010


the most raw and thrash rush album i love it

November 19th 2010


Album Rating: 3.5

hey baby its a quarter to 8

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