So I am listening to all of Rush’s albums in order to honor the life and work of their drummer and lyricist Neil Peart who died on Jan 7th at age 67.
Album Name: 2112
Released: April 1976
Rush’s forth studio album 2112 is a gloriously silly space opera that somehow manages to justify its excesses. Unlike its predecessor Caress of Steel its 973 minute opening takes us briskly into the rest of the album AND stands on its own instead of collapsing in on its own weight. Even though it’s hard to look at in plainly in retrospect (its the band’s breakthrough record and arguably them at their best. It’s human nature to muddle the two).
For the record, it is not my favorite incarnation of Rush and not why I signed on 35 years ago. I was barely in a full set of clothes in 1976 and my earliest memories of the band are when they’d left this stuff far behind. Still, I admire their nerve here as a young band and how well these epic pieces hold up live if not in fashion but in repeat performance.
Best drumming: That overture is mostly keyboard -driven but the drums sure buttress it nicely
Though it is simply about drug culture, “A Passage to Bangkok” paints a coked-out tableau with great wit and punnery.
“Our first stop is in Bogota
To check Colombian fields
The natives smile and pass along
A sample of their yield
Sweet Jamaican pipe dreams
Golden Acapulco nights
Then Morocco, and the East
Fly by morning light”