Rush - All The World's A Stage
Mercury Records
Classic/Progressive Rock
10 songs (1:19:38)
Release year: 1976
Rush, Mercury Records
Reviewed by Goat
Archive review

Released shortly after their first masterpiece 2112, All The World’s A Stage is the first live album ever from Rush, and sums up their first four studio albums well. From the moment that the MC welcomes the band fans are in for a treat, and the next hour and twenty minutes are damn near impossible to fault. All three members are on the top of their game, and considering the year it all sounds amazing, beating most of today’s insipid productions – especially the guitar and drums, sounding big and meaty. Of course, this is the era of Rush before they made the keyboards overbearing, and as a result there’s little that is restrained about the band’s performance here, even quieter songs like In The End packed full of Classic Rock goodness.

There’s a decent selection of songs performed, with only (most of) the title track and Something For Nothing from 2112, but considering how the band charges through older songs, from the opening riffage of Bastille Day and Anthem to the closing finale of Working Man/Finding My Way (with an excellent drum solo from The Professor) and What You’re Doing, fans of old Rush will be in heaven. The burgeoning Progressive element of the band’s sound is present and correct, but mostly pushed aside in favour of good ol’ Rocking Out, although an extended performance of By-Tor And The Snow Dog, incorporating some amazing jamming, will have the Prog-minded in tears.

Although it was recorded over four days, All The World’s A Stage doesn’t make the error of 1981’s Exit… Stage Left, which is essentially a collection of live tracks rather than a cohesive recording of a concert. All the songs here flow naturally in and out of each other, and the end result is about as close as you’ll ever get to seeing the seventies Rush at their best.

Rush would go on to make some excellent albums, but all too often their first four (first three especially) are ignored in favour of later releases, which is a shame as All The World’s A Stage proves. For fans of this early period, this is an essential part of the Rush collection, holding up over thirty years later as proof of the Canadians’ magnificence.

Killing Songs :
Bastille Day, Anthem, Something For Nothing, 2112, By-Tor And The Snow Dog, Working Man/Finding My Way
Goat 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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