By: Aaron Kent

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Released on March 17, 2015 via Universal Music Enterprises

It’s easy to say that there would be no Prog-rock as we know it today without the influence of Rush – it’s easy to say this because it’s not entirely true – yet there is something of a legacy to Rush, the band that displayed a complex musical style years before Dream Theatre even considered forming and creating a more modern stylistic approach to the same ideology. This is a rather dismissive approach to the band though, as they have also influenced acts as wide as Nine Inch Nails, Anthrax and Primus. The marmite of music, you either love Rush or you hate them.

Or, like myself, you don’t really care.

In 2015 Mercury Records have taken it upon themselves to reissue all the Rush Mercury releases as part of their 40th anniversary. You can find out more about the reissues here.

However, there is a difference between appreciation and caring, and in my ignorance I failed to recognise that, because essentially Rush are pretty incredible! A fact that only becomes more evident with March’s 180gm vinyl reissues of 2112 and All the World’s a Stage. Both are incredible albums – 2112 a studio album, All the World’s a Stage being a live album – and demonstrate the continual ability of Neil Peart, Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson to evoke musical talent unlike many others.

2112 is perhaps Rush at their best prog and concept-wise. Set in the year 2112, there is no necessary coherent plot except for the basic understanding that these songs represent the dystopian future of the year 2112. Widely included on most ‘best prog albums’ lists, 2112 is a definite for progressive-rock fans, and a certainty if you want to understand the awe-inspiring nature of the band. The new release on vinyl sounds fantastic and reissued onto 180gm vinyl.

All the World’s a Stage is the live version of the aforementioned 2112 suite, with additional Rush favourites either side. Live albums are a tricky proposition, you run the risk of either sounding too familiar to the studio material and therefore showcasing a lack of diversity, or you potentially stray too far from the beloved songs into a wilderness where the audience threaten getting lost. This is never a problem Rush have had, demonstrating an uncanny knack of creating improvisations that fit the material well and almost giving the songs a new lease of life.

Rush fans can do little wrong in picking up the March Rush reissues, new fans could do little wrong I trying to explore the band as a whole new entity and using the reissues as a basis to build upon.

And those who hate Rush? I mean, come on, at least accept how very talented they were.

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