Friday, February 20, 2015

Rush R40 Countdown at No. 18: 'Feedback' provides all the fun, but none of the memories

Any feedback on how we're doing so far? 
We're preparing for the Rush R40 concert by counting down our favorite Rush albums, from the least-glorious to Moving Pictures.
Will is no longer relegated to the comments, and will post rankings here, too. You'll see that we like similar things differently. I love the Mets, he loves the Reds and we both love baseball. Our approach to Rush will be similar, I'm sure. 
We're still in the lower regions of the countdown, and this time I'm hitting on what has to be the Rush album that most surprised fans.
Dave's No. 18 Feedback
Released in 2004

Highlights: “Crossroads,” “Summertime Blues.”

Least-great moment: “Shapes of Things.”

Cool Neil Peart lyrical moment:

Well, none. These aren’t songs written by the band. But the Peart-penned liner notes are pretty neat.

“The music celebrates a good time in our lives, and we had a good time celebrating it.”

I like to look at my high-school year book once in a while. It’s fun for me and brings back some nice memories. (Some not-so-nice memories, too. But that’s high school.)

Although I have the book in a prominent spot in the living room shelves, I notice that no one other than me pulls it out and looks through the photos. Not as much fun for them.

That’s kind of the issue with "Feedback" The guys chose to celebrate a milestone with an album consisting entirely of songs from their teen-age years.

“We thought it would be a fitting symbol to commemorate our 30 years together it we returned to our roots and paid tribute to those who we had learned from and were inspired by,” Neil writes.

The guys run through classics like “Crossroads” and “Summertime Blues” and “The Seeker,” and it sure does seem like they’re having fun.

“Crossroads,” in particular, has the band letting loose, which is not your basic Rush characteristic.  The live version on the R30 album is even better.

It’s a fun disc, make no mistake. But, as Will points out, we’re comparing this to other Rush discs, so the bar is high. Playing the disc again this week, I realized that it’s nice to listen to – but I probably haven’t listened to it in a long time. When I’m in the mood for Rush, I tend to reach for actual Rush, not Rush playing other performers' songs.

The album is kind of like flipping through someone else’s yearbook. The photos might be nice to look at, but the memories aren't there.
Here's some "Crossroads" to enjoy.
And Will joins us for his No. 18:
Will's No. 18: Rush
Released in 1974

There, I said it. I fully expect--and understand if it happens--Dave to now bail on the concert, not wanting to be seen in public with me.

It's true: Another of Rush's first three albums is in my bottom three and one that is held in high esteem by Rushies. Blasphemy! I should hang my head in shame and go back to listening to Triumph!

Sorry, but it just doesn't connect with me. Sure, there are three bona fide Rush anthems on this album, and it would be cool to hear them all this time, which we probably will, but none of them--even Working Man--are among the roughly 200 Rush songs I chose on my top 1,000 for a reason.

Just as there are Beatles periods, there are Rush periods, and Rush's early period, like the Beatles' coincidentally, is my least favorite. I make no apologies. (Yeah, I know I started the paragraph with an apology, but that's of the "I'm sorry if you were offended" ilk and not of the "I'm sorry for what I said" ilk.)

It's simple: I like my Rush with a brain, and although I would concede that Rush, the album, is smarter than about 98.6 percent of every hair metal song I've ever heard, it's just not, well, Rush. Every band has to start somewhere, and it's a cool document--you can definitely hear the band that made Feedback on this album, but ... something's missing, something that still was in St. Catherine's. The band and album were called Rush, but it wasn't REALLY Rush, not yet anyway.

For people just catching up:

Disagree? Let us know in the comments.

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