Mercury Records, 1976


REVIEW BY: Jeff Clutterbuck


Rush's 2112 proves that, after all, good things can come out of Canada. At least, that's what I'd be saying if I set out in this review to bash Canadians. Rest assured I'm not. After all, Canada has given us luminaries like William Shatner and Jim Carrey, so it can't be all that bad.

My knowledge of Rush was non-existent until a few days ago. Despite my status as a classic rock aficionado, Rush was not in my vocabulary. It was only through my cousin's mentioning that they were one of my uncle's favorite bands that I thought to see how they were. My uncle has been a huge influence on which bands I listen to, so if Rush is good enough for him, they would be good enough for me.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

2112 was described to me as a "non-radio friendly" album. After giving it a few listens, it's easy to see why. Forget the 20-minute epic that opens the album. The other five songs on the album are not your typical three-minute pop ditties. There is an underlying complexity to each song, however how well the band pulls them off.

The title track as well as the first song, "2112" is what everyone remembers this album for, and why not? As far as 20-minute, Ayn Rand-inspired, guitar-driven prog-rock epics go, this is one of the best. Where bands like Yes might go off on meandering instrumental tangents, Rush accomplices the exact opposite. Example: when the main character first discovers the guitar, one can hear him gradually getting better at it; the same riff is presented over and over, but with more complexity each time. The story itself grows in complexity, and there's an emotional connection to the main character. These all lend a fullness and richness to a track that when compared to something off Tales From Topographic Oceans, is sparse.

Naturally, after making it through the first song, there's bound to be a let down. While the drop-off is noticeable, it is not severe enough to ruin the remainder of the album. The clever guitar riffs and strong refrain on "Passage To Bangkok" warrant repeated listens, and "Tears" is a strong acoustic number. "Something for Nothing" fits the role of a decent closer, with some suitably blistering guitar solos.

That leaves two songs, "Twilight Zone" and "Lessons," which drop the album a few notches. "Lessons" sounds as if the band decided to steal some riffs from the title track, a feature not endearing. "Twilight Zone" simply does not take off, switching moods quickly, and as a result fails to impress.

Rush manages to do on this disc what prog bands like Yes, Genesis, and Pink Floyd were capable of doing only occasionally, by crafting tracks that are lengthy yet involving. The second side of the album is almost an afterthought, unjustly so. This is not the best album I have heard, but at the same time, it's not a disposable one. If you want your hard rock mixed in with some prog, 2112 is the album for you.

Rating: B

User Rating: A-



© 2005 Jeff Clutterbuck and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Mercury Records, and is used for informational purposes only.