I counted 13 Rush albums in my vinyl collection. That is a complete run of studio releases plus a couple of live affairs. I guess I should add that the latest was Power Windows. Rush was a staple on my turntable during my college years and for about a decade after that.
I’m not quite sure why I stopped purchasing their work. Maybe my musical tastes just changed or more probably the money was spent elsewhere. It was not until last year that I re-connected with the band. I obtained a copy of Snakes & Ladders Live and it was like catching up with old friends.
Retrospective 3 is an album perfect for someone like me. It gathers material from their years recording for the Atlantic label, 1989-2008, onto one disc. I am assuming it is a representation of their best work. Since I only own material from their Mercury label days, it was a chance to take a crash course in the music and years I had missed. The album presents only a taste of their output, but I was impressed and will probably purchase a few of the studio albums that I have ignored over the years.
Comparing this material to their early career work I am not sure that bassist and vocalist Geddy Lee, guitarist Alex Lifeson, and drummer Neal Peart break a lot of new ground. But that is fine as they cover the old so well and there is something to be said for that. While the overall sound may be a little slicker, it is instantly recognizable. Lee’s voice remains one of the unique instruments in rock music, and Lifeson can and has always been able to play the guitar as well as just about anyone. At times he almost seems to play the rhythm and leads parts at once.