Rush - the epics 1975-1981 POLL

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Bit of a tough one for me, this. For this poll, I've stuck to the tracks that are between 7 to 20+ minutes long. They seemed to settle on an average song length of roughly between 4 to 6 and a half minutes after Moving Pictures, so sadly couldn't include any tracks from 1982-1985.

Poll Results

La Villa Strangiato 10
Xanadu 9
2112 5
By-Tor & the Snow Dog 4
Cygnus X-1 Book II: Hemispheres 4
The Camera Eye 1
The Fountain of Lamneth 0
The Necromancer 0
Jacob's Ladder 0
Natural Science 0
Cygnus X-1 0

Le Baton Rose (Turrican), Monday, 7 May 2018 22:22 (eight months ago) Permalink


kornrulez6969, Monday, 7 May 2018 22:25 (eight months ago) Permalink

we will call you "cygnus" -- the god of balance you shall be

reggie (qualmsley), Monday, 7 May 2018 22:26 (eight months ago) Permalink

2112 then La Villa.

Josh in Chicago, Monday, 7 May 2018 22:34 (eight months ago) Permalink

Snow Dog! is victorious...

henry s, Monday, 7 May 2018 22:45 (eight months ago) Permalink

I was thinking about the development they showed on the three side-long epics they did... like, 'The Fountain of Lamneth' has some great moments, but is easily the least tight of the three compositionally, it's basically a series of several different songs shoehorned together in the hope that a reprise and the lyrical theme will be enough to cohere them into a whole. It isn't. I always hear it as a series of songs rather than as a complete thing.

By the time they got to 'Cygnux X-1 Book II: Hemispheres', they'd managed to create a 20 minute side that plays like it's a complete piece. '2112' sits in the middle, like 'The Fountain of Lamneth', each different part is its own thing, but it's all tied together more expertly, with the overture setting the scene and the musical and lyrical themes gelling better.

Le Baton Rose (Turrican), Monday, 7 May 2018 22:52 (eight months ago) Permalink


Le Baton Rose (Turrican), Monday, 7 May 2018 22:53 (eight months ago) Permalink

Xanadu gets my vote. Peak '70s Rush right there, a perfect mix of subtlety and power.

A. Begrand, Tuesday, 8 May 2018 12:19 (eight months ago) Permalink

2112 ftw

raise my chicken finger (Willl), Tuesday, 8 May 2018 12:34 (eight months ago) Permalink

'Xanadu' is incredible - even now, hundreds of listens later, that track doesn't feel like it's 11 minutes long.

Le Baton Rose (Turrican), Tuesday, 8 May 2018 17:22 (eight months ago) Permalink

by-tor no question

flappy bird, Tuesday, 8 May 2018 17:27 (eight months ago) Permalink

Tempted to cast a contrarian vote for The Camera Eye, which is beautifully structured, but yeah By-Tor duh

Jeff W, Tuesday, 8 May 2018 18:05 (eight months ago) Permalink

At the very least, "By-Tor & the Snow Dog" might be the least cool song ever recorded, which itself is pretty cool.

Josh in Chicago, Tuesday, 8 May 2018 18:44 (eight months ago) Permalink

let the fray begin

mookieproof, Tuesday, 8 May 2018 18:46 (eight months ago) Permalink

gut reaction is 2112. gonna go listen to these again, it's been a while

ciderpress, Tuesday, 8 May 2018 18:59 (eight months ago) Permalink

What would be contrarian about a vote for 'The Camera Eye'? It's great!

Le Baton Rose (Turrican), Tuesday, 8 May 2018 19:13 (eight months ago) Permalink

it is but Alex and Neil had short hair by then and they'd ditched the kimonos

idk it's a bit like voting for Marquee Moon in a general epics poll simply due to running ti- oh wait

Jeff W, Tuesday, 8 May 2018 20:51 (eight months ago) Permalink

They didn't have the kimonos for that long!

Le Baton Rose (Turrican), Tuesday, 8 May 2018 21:00 (eight months ago) Permalink

I voted for "La Villa Strangiato", although the ending is not 100% satisfying imo. The harmonics riff is beautiful, the groove in 7 is slick, the solo yearns. Always makes me think of skating on the canal for some reason. I want to revisit those Permanent Waves epics, though. Iirc, Kris once compared "Natural Science" to a mash-up of Yes and Afrika Bambaataa.

No purposes. Sounds. (Sund4r), Tuesday, 8 May 2018 21:10 (eight months ago) Permalink

I love the playing in the middle section of 'Natural Science', just incredibly tight.

Le Baton Rose (Turrican), Tuesday, 8 May 2018 21:15 (eight months ago) Permalink

I didn't give a shout-out to that main riff-based ensemble passage in 4 in "Strangiato" but obv it's unforgettable too.

No purposes. Sounds. (Sund4r), Tuesday, 8 May 2018 21:23 (eight months ago) Permalink

And I'm actually reconsidering that the inconclusive ending might be really clever.

No purposes. Sounds. (Sund4r), Tuesday, 8 May 2018 21:29 (eight months ago) Permalink

This is a tough one. The Camera Eye is one of my favorite Rush tracks, but it is structured more like a very long conventional song than a multi-part epic, so I feel like italmost doesn't count. I also really love the Different Stages version of 2112. Xanadu and Hemispheres are close contenders as well. Decisions, decisions.

Mario Meatwagon (Moodles), Tuesday, 8 May 2018 21:57 (eight months ago) Permalink

I've finally settled on one - all I'm gonna say is that it's not 'The Necromancer', a track that nobody seems to talk about aside from the absolute hardcore.

Le Baton Rose (Turrican), Wednesday, 9 May 2018 19:52 (eight months ago) Permalink

set-list for that show i saw in 1980 and that i mentioned on the other rush thread. epic after epic.

By-Tor And The Snow Dog
The Spirit Of Radio
Natural Science
A Passage To Bangkok
The Trees
Cygnus X-1: Book I: The Voyage
Cygnus X-1: Book II: Hemispheres
Closer To The Heart
Beneath, Between And Behind
Jacob’s Ladder
Working Man
Finding My Way
Bastille Day
In The Mood
Drum Solo

Encore: La Villa Strangiato

scott seward, Wednesday, 9 May 2018 19:56 (eight months ago) Permalink

opening with all of 2112 is truly inspired if you ask me.

scott seward, Wednesday, 9 May 2018 19:57 (eight months ago) Permalink


Mario Meatwagon (Moodles), Wednesday, 9 May 2018 19:58 (eight months ago) Permalink

Holy shit, what a setlist! And of course, this is before Moving Pictures and concert staples like 'Tom Sawyer', 'Limelight' and 'YYZ' etc. were a thing.

Le Baton Rose (Turrican), Wednesday, 9 May 2018 20:00 (eight months ago) Permalink

Some of those were abridged versions, surely? Else that would be one seriously long gig.

Le Baton Rose (Turrican), Wednesday, 9 May 2018 20:02 (eight months ago) Permalink

I saw them on that same tour! (First rock band to play Joe Louis Arena.) 3 of 4 epics to start! Still, my sweet spot is the last batch of tunes, before the drum solo.

henry s, Wednesday, 9 May 2018 20:04 (eight months ago) Permalink

new haven 1980 bootleg on youtube has 2112 and xanadu at 13 minutes each. i was so happy to hear xanadu and jacob's ladder live.

scott seward, Wednesday, 9 May 2018 20:06 (eight months ago) Permalink

Speaking of which, shouldn't "Working Man" be in the poll? It clocks in at 7 minutes plus.

henry s, Wednesday, 9 May 2018 20:06 (eight months ago) Permalink

No, because it came out in '74 ;)

Le Baton Rose (Turrican), Wednesday, 9 May 2018 20:11 (eight months ago) Permalink

I know I'm in the minority here, but that first Rush LP is my favorite. Nothing against Peart, and sure, they were Zep copyists at that point but they were good at it.

henry s, Wednesday, 9 May 2018 20:30 (eight months ago) Permalink

I like the debut, but for me the band really begin with Fly by Night and even then they were just warming up for a couple of LP's!

Le Baton Rose (Turrican), Wednesday, 9 May 2018 20:41 (eight months ago) Permalink

i just played that first live double album over and over and over when i was a kid. 1979 and 1980 was just non-stop rush, sabbath, and priest for me. until kings of the wild frontier came out. (which i bought on october 1, 1980. a very definite before/after for me.)

scott seward, Wednesday, 9 May 2018 20:53 (eight months ago) Permalink

I had that same rotation going, with Blue Oyster Cult thrown in for comic relief.

I saw Rush a bunch of times in those days - the opening act was always some kind of April Wine/Max Webster/Triumph combination.

henry s, Wednesday, 9 May 2018 20:57 (eight months ago) Permalink

I played that Rush Live LP over and over too, to the point where I was shocked when somebody mentioned that corny part at the end where you hear the band going "aw man, what a show!"...For whatever reason I never noticed it!

henry s, Wednesday, 9 May 2018 20:59 (eight months ago) Permalink

Listening to Hemispheres this morning is reminding me just how awesome this band were when they were firing on all cylinders.

Le Baton Rose (Turrican), Saturday, 12 May 2018 11:13 (eight months ago) Permalink

Automatic thread bump. This poll is closing tomorrow.

System, Monday, 14 May 2018 00:01 (eight months ago) Permalink

I haven't listened to any of these in probably a decade or more, but voted La Villa.

Johnny Fever, Monday, 14 May 2018 01:00 (eight months ago) Permalink

I ended up voting for Hemispheres because that's what I'm feeling right now. It's the moment they went from really good band to Godhead.

I saw Primus the other night and they tossed out the opening riff of Cygnus X-1 at one point.

Mario Meatwagon (Moodles), Monday, 14 May 2018 01:17 (eight months ago) Permalink

Yeah, I voted for 'Hemispheres' too... my favourite of all the side-long epics.

Le Baton Rose (Turrican), Monday, 14 May 2018 20:01 (eight months ago) Permalink

Although the 'No One At The Bridge' section of 'The Fountain of Lamneth' is all-time for me... love the guitar solo on that.

Le Baton Rose (Turrican), Monday, 14 May 2018 20:13 (eight months ago) Permalink

Automatic thread bump. This poll's results are now in.

System, Tuesday, 15 May 2018 00:01 (eight months ago) Permalink

Top 2 OTM

No purposes. Sounds. (Sund4r), Tuesday, 15 May 2018 00:08 (eight months ago) Permalink

Aww, I feel bad for Camera's Eye, it's nearest to my heart.

Mario Meatwagon (Moodles), Tuesday, 15 May 2018 00:37 (eight months ago) Permalink

Xanadu's a pretty good jam, but I never got down with that "for I will dine on honeydew" stuff. Honeydew melons? Yech! Like that's supposed to be a big deal? Honey Dew donuts, maybe.

henry s, Tuesday, 15 May 2018 00:42 (eight months ago) Permalink

I always liked honeydew melon but tbf it was Coleridge who made a big deal about it in the first place.

No purposes. Sounds. (Sund4r), Tuesday, 15 May 2018 00:46 (eight months ago) Permalink

Maybe honeydew melons taste fabulous while on opium.

A. Begrand, Tuesday, 15 May 2018 04:37 (eight months ago) Permalink

0 votes for 'Natural Science'!

Le Baton Rose (Turrican), Tuesday, 15 May 2018 17:20 (eight months ago) Permalink

"natural science" (and "jacob's ladder"!) are in my top 4

reggie (qualmsley), Tuesday, 15 May 2018 17:24 (eight months ago) Permalink

Would buy a 7-sided LP set consisting of all these tracks.

Does anybody remember Rock In Opposition? *audience screams* (Matt #2), Tuesday, 15 May 2018 18:27 (eight months ago) Permalink

Agreed - they were untouchable.

Le Baton Rose (Turrican), Tuesday, 15 May 2018 19:14 (eight months ago) Permalink

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