Saturday, March 1, 2014

Rush self-titled debut turns 40 today

Rush released their debut album 40 years ago today. It’s the only album to feature drummer John Rutsey (who was replaced by Neil Peart before ‘Fly by Night’ was released a year later).

While songs such as “In the Mood” and “Finding My Way” have appeared in Rush live set lists on occasion, most of the eight songs fall to the wayside (minus the die-hard fans) and with the exception of “Working Man,” THE song that served as the introduction to Rush.

Thank you Donna Halper (the WMMS Cleveland disc jockey/music director as mentioned in the Rush movie “Beyond the Lighted Stage”) who received a copy of “Working Man” and took notice of the length of the song (true story). She mentioned she was usually looking for long “bathroom songs” that her DJs could throw on when nature called. At seven minutes plus, “Working Man” was ideal and its blue collar theme fit the town like a glove. Then it all began…..

Here we are, forty years later and the Rush machine continues to move on and their legions of fans grow in numbers. They were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame last year and still remain relavent. They don’t rely on touring as a “greatest hits” band, but release albums that are extremely imaginitive and contain substance (see “Snakes & Arrows” and “Clockwork Angels”).

Late last year I had read this album would be reissued this year to celebrate the 40 year milestone and the members of Rush are “very involved” in the process of putting the package together.

**UPDATE** To mark the band’s 40-year recording career, on April 15, 2013, Universal Music Enterprises (UMe) will celebrate with the vinyl reissue of the original Moon Records (pre-Mercury) release of Rush, as part of Universal’s reDISCovered vinyl series.

“It seems to me I could live my life / A lot better than I think I am / I guess that’s why they call me / The working man”  Rush “Working Man” (self-titled debut album 1974).

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