Tuesday Tune: ‘2112’ by Rush

Song: “2112 Overture”
Artist: Rush
Album: 2112

This week we are blessed with the arrival “2012”, the latest cinematic masterpiece from Roland “I like to blow things up” Emmerich. When I first read the title of this film, I briefly thought that someone had made a movie out of Rush’s magnum opus “2112”. Sadly this appears to be another by the numbers world catastrophe movie.

“2112” marks the beginning of the Canadian rockers most fertile period. Rush marched through the 70’s releasing one progressive rock masterpiece after the other while simultaneously inspiring countless teen-aged percussionists to construct their own 37 piece drum set.

“2112” possesses every quality that made Rush such a compelling band: crushing, Led Zeppelin inspired guitar riffs, odd time signatures, muscular drumming, athletic bass playing, and an intellectual, Sci-Fi-ish story line inspired by the writings of Ayn Rand.

I imagine that many of you who are loyal SF Signal readers are also fans of Progressive Rock. If so:

1. What is your favorite Rush album?

2. Who is your favorite progressive rock band ?

19 thoughts on “Tuesday Tune: ‘2112’ by Rush”

  1. Hands down, 2112.  Followed closely by A Farewell to Kings.

    Dammit.  Now I have to go get those albums again.  Geddy Lee was my inspiration for learning to play bass guitar, which led me into several bands and more than a decade of great times playing local clubs. 

    Of course that was 25+ yrs ago when dinosaurs roamed the earth and I was a much, much younger man.

    SIGH.

  2. Asking my favorite Rush album is like asking which of my kids is my favorite … in a theoretical world where I have over 20 kids.

    My standard answer for years though wah always Exit Stage Left.  It captures them at the peak of what music of theirs I initially fell in love with.  But now I’d have to say that Different Stages takes that prize, which has one of my hands-down favorite tracks (Natural Science) as well as 2112.

    Oh, you wanted a studio album?

     

  3. I am ashamed to say that I did not even make that link (album vs. movie) until I saw it here.

     

    Shame on me.

     

    Time to dig out my old vinyl and transfer it over to digital for easier on-the-go listening and memories. :)

     

  4. Michael:

    Farewell to Kings is a Fantastic album. “Xanadu” is one of my favorite Rush tunes, especially the live version.  It goes without saying that Geddy Lee is one of the greatest bass players of all time.  I’m particularly fond of his bass work on some of the 80’s Rush albums like “Hold Your Fire”. 

    Dave:

    I feel the same way about the Rush albums. I love them all, but when asked this question I’ll generally point out less popular Rush albums like Presto and Hold Your Fire. 

    If you haven’t checked it out yet, the Rush 3X is a great DVD box set that includes the Exit Stage Left Convert as well as a Show of Hands and the Grace Under Pressure tour.

     

    Doug & Paul:

    Thanks for commenting.  What are some of your other favorite Progressive Rock bands?

     

  5. John:

    I imagine that many of you who are loyal SF Signal readers are also fans of Progressive Rock.

    In my case, at least, you imagine correctly.

    1. What is your favorite Rush album?

    Grace Under Pressure… though I admit to have gaps in the collection on either side of this album

    2. What are some of your other favorite Progressive Rock bands?

    From the heyday: early ELP, Yes, Genesis (“Get ‘Em Out By Friday” — now there’s an SF story), Gentle Giant, and the fabulous Van Der Graff Generator

    From the 80’s & early ’90’s: I’ve always thought of The Cure’s Disintegration as great Prog music

    From the 90’s & early 00’s: can’t warm up to the “new” Prog bands (e.g. Porcupine Tree) — too close to metal for my tastes

    Current: I’m fond of Post-Rock bands (once again stretching the Prog rock definition), particularly the luminous Explosions in the Sky.

  6. Hi Fred,

      I’m quite fond of Grace Under Pressure myself.  In the Rush 3x DVD there is a concert from the Grace Under Pressure tour.  Somewhat unusually, I’m quite partial to Rush’s keyboard dominated material.

    For classic Progressive Rock, its hard to beat Yes’ mid seventies albums.  I’m also a big fan of the 80’s lineup of King Crimson. 

    Porcupine Tree & Dream Theater are pretty metal sounding.  I happen to like both bands quite a bit though.

    For neo-prog rock bands who aren’t quite so metal I highly recommend checking out both The Flower Kings and Spock’s Beard.

  7. Wow, favorite Rush album …

    It’s hard not to pick Moving Pictures, since it’s sort of the quintessential Rush album, and plus it’s generally awesome. But I also have a weakness for Power Windows. And Test For Echo. And Farewell to Kings. And Permanent Waves. And Hemispheres. And … and …

    This is too hard.

  8. Is “2012” based on the horrendous Whitley Streiber novel of the same name?

    Filming “2112” would basically be filming “Anthem”, and the very thought might give Leonard Peikoff fits.

    Favorite Rush album…”Signals”.  It was my first, and it was like musical peyote to a mind that had been raised on pop music and 8 tracks of Conway Twitty.

    Favorite prog rock band…does Primus count as prog rock?  I like prog rock that crosses over into metal, so bands like Queensryche and Dream Theatre really get my motor running.

  9. I would say my favorite Rush Album is Hemispheres. It’s great from start to finish, of course it’s about 38 minutes long, but still. La Villa Strangiato is probably their best instrumental. 

     

    I’ll so give a thumbs up to Spock’s Beard, Dream Theater and throw in Kansas. 

     

     

  10. (Hmmm … I posted just after Doug on Tuesday, but it doesn’t seem to have stuck.  Here’s basically what I wrote, though.)

    Favorite Rush Album:  Power Windows, especially the song “Territories”.  I think Peart’s lyricism was at its best on this album.

    Favorite Prog Rock bands:  Rush (of course), Dream Theater, early 90s Ozric Tentacles, Pink Floyd if you consider them Prog Rock.  Personally, I think Floyd is in a class of its own.

  11. Derek: I actually saw Porcupine Tree open up for Yes a few years ago.  It was one of the best shows I’d ever seen.  Both bands were in great form.

     

    Greg: I agree with you on Moving Pictures. Even though many of their greatest hits are on it, it is just a great album from start to finish.  As many times as I’ve heard Limelight, I still get chills when I hear Alex Lifeson’s guitar solo.  My favorite tracks on Moving Pictures are Vital Signs and The Camera Eye.

     

    Dominic: You can’t really go wrong with “Signals”.  I love Geddy Lee’s synthesizer solo on “Countdown”. I must have listened to that solo a hundred times. 

    I think Primus counts as Progressive in the same way that Frank Zappa can be considered Progressive, although he’s really in a category of his own.  Les Claypool actually made a cool power trio album with Stewart Copeland of The Police and Trey Anastasio of Phish. 

    If you like Dream Theater, check out Kevin J. Anderson’s Roswell Six project.  Dream Theater vocalist James LaBrie is singing on a few songs. 

     

    Mike: I’m actually a fan of shorter albums.  I think 40 minutes or shorter is the ideal length for an album.  Just meaty enough for extended listening but short enough so it can be consumed in one sitting.  I think if artists just picked their 10 best songs and cut out the filler, most albums would be a lot better. 

    I was never super into Kansas, but I’m a giant fan of guitarist Steve Morse, who was in the band for a few albums in the 80’s.  If you like ripping guitar, check out The Power album by Kansas.

     

    Stace: Ozric Tentacles is one of those bands that always comes up in prog-rock conversations, but I’ve never really heard them before.  What album would you recommend.

  12. For pure guitar power, I liked Vapor Trails. No keys, no frills, just Prog Rock.

    My Fave Prog Rock band includes the usual suspects; Porcupine Tree, Dream Theater (and all its variants, such as Liquid Tension Experiment and the DT / Spock’s Beard hybrid, Transatlantic), Yes, King Crimson.

  13. Cool Johne.  I liked Vapor Trails.  I haven’t listened to it nearly as much as earlier albums, but its still solid. 

    I love all of the side project Prog bands myself.  I just Netflixed a Transatlantic lived DVD.  I love their first two albums.  I heard that they are getting back together again to tour and to possibley record a new album.

     

     

  14. @John:  for Ozric Tentacles prog rock, I’d stick with the early 90s stuff:  Strangitude and Jurassic Shift in particular.  The later stuff tends toward trance and dub.

    I saw them at a club in Tempe called The Nile in 1994 or so.  Great show; high energy and an amazing light show.  I spoke with Ed Wynne at the edge of the stage after the show, and he was very personable, though a bit of a smart aleck.

    If you dig those albums up and give them a listen, let me know what you think.

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