Moving Pictures 40th Anniversary

If “The Spirit of Radio” helped Rush kick open the door to FM radio, its 1981 follow-up elevated them to blockbuster status. To mark the occasion, this 40th-anniversary Moving Pictures comes in tantalizing combinations of CD, Blu-Ray, ATMOS and 5.1 mixes, and vinyl.

Along with the studio anthems, the jackpot is an unreleased ’81 concert taped in Rush’s stronghold of Toronto. This is a multi-track soundboard recording; the mix sounds like you have a prime floor seat at Maple Leaf Gardens. “Limelight” is ferocious, with Alex Lifeson’s solo bathed in deep echo, chorus, and distortion. A section of the Hemispheres suite sounds piped-in directly from Mount Olympus, a slab of god-like prog. This alone is worth the price of admission.

Live takes of “The Camera Eye” and “Vital Signs” reveal Rush’s interest in British post-punk, mixing Geddy Lee’s minimalist synthesizer with Lifeson’s modulation-drenched white Strat. “YYZ” finds Lee assaulting his black Jazz Bass with fusion virtuosity. Alex’s classical-guitar performance of “Broon’s Bane” leading into “The Trees” is rapturous. The same can be said for this entire studio/live box; if you love Rush, it’s just about mandatory.

This article originally appeared in VG’s July 2022 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.

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