RUSH - Retrospective I 1974-1980 (Mercury)

Mercury is currently in the process of upgrading and reissuing the entire Rush catalog. In addition to all the individual albums, they compiled two 'best of' packages. The second retrospective isn't bad, but it doesn't stack up against the first one. Ask any real Rush fan what the band's best period is and they'll tell you 'the early stuff.' The songs where Geddy Lee could still hit the high notes. The critics always hated them, but sales figures will tell you - Rush is one of the most successful bands to emerge from above the US border.

Retrospective I contains most of Rush's best material. Songs like "Xanadu" and "By-Tor and the Snow Dog" easily rank among their best tracks ever. Those tracks, plus FM staples like "The Spirit of Radio," "Freewill," and "Fly By Night" are just a few of the tracks included here. If that's not enough, you also get an excerpt from "2112" and the instrumental epic "La Villa Strangiato." The only bad thing about this CD is the songs aren't in chronological order. Long-time fans are sure to be pleased with the track selection. For those who may be just starting to get into Rush, this is great place to start.

© 1997 Steve Marshall