Rush - Feedback
Classic Rock
8 songs (27'08)
Release year: 2004
Reviewed by Marty
This past spring, in a dimly lit studio in Toronto decorated with lava lamps, bead lights and candles, Rush set out to do something that they've always said they would never do.....record cover tunes. Looking back to the years between 1966 and 1970, all three members came up with a list of tracks that they used to play in some of their very first bands or just simply songs that they would like to do. Some worked quite well and some didn't. Apparently, several Led Zeppelin covers were done as well as covers by Jimi Hendrix but it was Geddy Lee who pulled the plug on those; not being very happy with how his voice sounded. What we ended up with is an 8 song mini album that pays tribute to the bands and artists that influenced this legendary Canadian band. A few of the song choices are not too surprising but several are. Despite the wide variety of material covered here, all the songs get the full Rush treatment complete with Geddy's distinctive voice, Alex's big slicing power chords and Neil's all out drum assault.

The first track, Summertime Blues, has been played a lot lately on North American radio and it's a raunchy and reckless version of the Blue Cheer version of Eddie Cochrane's classic 60's anthem (also done by The Who on their 1970 Live At Leeds album). The guitars are louder than they have been on any Rush album since 2112, Geddy does a decent job on the vocals and the ending is huge!!. Next up is the Yardbird's Heart Full Of Soul. With it's acoustic and electric blend of guitars it really recreates the mood of the original except it lacks some of the background vocals. I thought this one to be an odd choice but it works surprisingly well. Another surprise is a cover of the politically charged For What It's Worth by Crosby, Stills and Nash. A track about the rebellious and violent era of the late 60's, this one gets spiced up a bit with some classic Rush power chording. No cover album by Rush would ever be complete without at least one Who song. With The Who (and particularly John Entwistle) being a huge influence on Geddy Lee, they chose to cover the classic The Seeker. It's easy to see how the Rush sound developed with tracks like this. Alex Lifeson's major power chord riffing that was such a staple of early Rush recordings owes a lot to the style that was developed by The Who's Pete Townsend back in the mid 60's. The cover of Buffalo Springfield's Mr. Soul is a lot slower than the Neil Young version done several years later but it has a more psychedelic edge. Seven and Seven Is, a track that I had never heard before despite being a huge fan of classic 60's rock, was originally done by a band called Love. It has a guitar sound that is right from Rush's Caress Of Steel album and it's a great spirited track with some really fast snare work from Neil. The Yardbirds are once again represented on this collection with their classic Shapes Of Things. Again, the guitar sounds like it did on the Caress Of Steel and 2112albums and they manage a decent and true representation of the song. The final track, Creem's version of the Robert Johnson classic Crossroads allows the band to lock into some really cool sounding blues jams. Alex's lead guitar sounds like he went out and dusted off his old Wah pedal as he sounds much like the lead on Rush's By-Tor and the Snow Dog.

In keeping with the overall tone and atmosphere of the album, a very basic production was used with most tracks being recorded live before Alex doubling up on some of the rhythm guitar and punching in and out of the mix for his leads. The overall sound quality really reminds me of the earlier Rush albums with it's biting guitar sound. Rush hasn't rocked this hard in many years. All in all, a look back at a time that was so influential to many musicians and bands and also the era where the heavy guitar sound originated. In an era where sugary bubblegum pop music dominated the airwaves, the guitar evolved in a big way with many 60's anthems having very unique and distinguished riffs. For a band that's always looked forward and not interested in reliving the past, Rush has finally allowed themselves to get a little nostalgic and to celebrate their 30 years together by revisiting their youth when they were eager young musicians.......and it sounds like they had a lot of fun doing it.

Killing Songs :
Summertime Blues, The Seeker, Shapes Of Things and Crossroads
Marty quoted no quote
Other albums by Rush that we have reviewed:
Rush - Clockwork Angels reviewed by Aleksie and quoted 90 / 100
Rush - Beyond The Lighted Stage reviewed by Goat and quoted no quote
Rush - Test For Echo reviewed by Goat and quoted 86 / 100
Rush - Counterparts reviewed by Goat and quoted 86 / 100
Rush - Roll The Bones reviewed by Goat and quoted 87 / 100
To see all 26 reviews click here
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