Rush is a Canadian rock band that originally formed in Toronto, Ontario in the summer of 1968. The band is composed of bassist, keyboardist, and lead vocalist Geddy Lee, guitarist Alex Lifeson, and drummer and lyricist Neil Peart who joined in 1974. While Rush’s style has changed over the years, it started with blues-inspired rock on their first album, then encompassing hard rock, progressive rock, and a period with heavy use of synthesizers.
Rush: 2112 & Moving Pictures – Classic Albums focuses in on a pair of albums that had profound effect on the band. These two albums, coming six years apart, in which the first was their breakthrough album, and the second was where the band reached their peak of popularity.
In 1976, after their record label pressured them to creating a more commercially friendly and accessible album, or be dropped from the label. The band ignored the requests and developed their next album, 2112 with a 20-minute title track divided into seven sections. It went platinum in Canada. From there, Rush was on solid ground.
In 1981, after a series of successful albums, they finally released the commercial album that the label had been wanting and this time it took them to the top. Moving Pictures contained the radio friendly “Limelight”, the popular song “Red Barchetta,” and the classic favorite “Tom Sawyer.”
Rush: 2112 & Moving Pictures – Classic Albums documents the history of each of these albums and give an up close and personal insight into the times and situations that allowed these classics to come together. All three of the band members, along with the original producer, Terry Brown and others, like Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkens and Rolling Stone journalist David Fricke, examine the behind the scenes situations that happened while making these albums.
Rush: 2112 & Moving Pictures – Classic Albums has an aspect ratio of 1.78:1 and is recorded with a clean 1080/60 AVC/MPEG-4 high definition encoding. Of course the archive footage is not of the same high quality that the HD is, but that is understandable. But, overall, the film is high quality and very sharp with no noticeable noise.
While somewhat disappointing, the video is your basic LPCM 2.0 Stereo, but is still very good. Again some of the older stuff is not as good of quality but the new stuff is crystal clear with some punch. The supplemental materials consist of a lot of segments that fill in with more insight and information on the band, their music, and the albums. This consists of almost an hour of additional video.
What makes Rush: 2112 & Moving Pictures – Classic Albums work is the way it is laid out. You have some segments of older video from the days when these albums were on the charts. Then you have segments where the band members are showing how the songs were played and how each of the parts worked together. What I also liked is that they would show how when Geddy Lee was maintaining the rhythm section while Alex Lifeson would take the lead, then later in the song Lifeson would provide the rhythm and Lee or Peart would take over the song. It was interesting to see how three people could make such filling music.
They also analyzed a lot of other aspects of the albums, including how they came up with songs, how the fact that the drummer wrote all of the lyrics and how that affected his ability to come up with his stylizations on the drum parts, and how the other members would come up with the music. It was all very interesting.
I found Rush: 2112 & Moving Pictures – Classic Albums, to be a very enjoyable viewing both from the quality of the production and from the point of putting together an interesting, educational, and entertaining video.