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New Rush Documentary and "Cleveland Connection"


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Just watched the new documentary on Rush. I know most here are not big fans, but this was tremendously well-made. Much as I love EC and the boys, it's all very new to me. Rush was what I was listening to when I was 13 years old, and it still really speaks to me.

Anyway, I learned early in the documentary that one of Rush's first big breaks was getting airplay on WMMS in Cleveland. Apparently, their song "Working Man" really spoke to the working class Cleveland residents, and Rush were on their way!

As a relatively new fan of the Raspberries and a long-term Rush geek, it's hard for me to believe that Rush's career was just beginning as the 'Berries' was ending. But I love 'em both today!

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I'd read about the Cleveland connection.

Whether you like Rush or not, they deserve respect as they earned everything they got. The band didn't have a hit until like their 7th or 8th album. Until then (and after) they toured.. and toured.. and toured.. and toured.

I went to see them a bunch in the 1970s when they were at their live performance peak (IMHO). Thru incessant touring, they incrementally gained an audience/fan base until eventually they became one of the biggest bands ever. They got there with work and integrity.

Another thing they get credit for is that their lyrics have depth and are interesting. They don't resort to cheap stuff in their song themes to attract a following.

I am more of a fan of their first 5 or 6 albums. I like their heavier, harder stuff. The concept piece "2112" is the best album side of alltime (for my taste). It's got it all.

The later music didn't draw me to the same degree as their early music.

But I still love Rush!..


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"Xanadu" is one nobody seems to be familiar with, but is a masterpiece, IMHO.

I heard it first live, in Ft. Worth, Tx about a month before the album was released in 1977. I knew right away it was the real deal.

Written by the band when they were at their creative peak, it's SO good. This video captures a strong live performance of the song:

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I appreciate Rush's songwriting talents about as much as I do Rush Limbaugh's...

And Limbaugh doesn't write songs... Indifferent

No one ever said Rush are great songwriters. Just like no one ever said the Beatles are virtuoso musicians.

I appreciate great songs, moreso since discovering EC and the 'Berries. I admit that if you try to play a Rush song on a single guitar or piano, no one will be impressed. It's not their strength.

The strengths of Rush are instrumental mastery, amazing arrangements and (at least in their early days) cool ideas. As soon as I hear the opening chords of "Hemispheres" or "Natural Science" I'm hooked.

I lasted a little longer than James, I'm a big fan up through

Moving Pictures and portions of Signals. After that, I too jump ship.

I just can't see how anyone can listen to the instrumental break in the middle of Tom Sawyer and not be floored. But to each his own.

The fact that the critics dismissed Rush means zip to me. The idea that critics could pan Rush while slavering over Sid Vicious says all that needs to be said about critics.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Something ironic - as I've mentioned before, Rush pretty much lost me with "Permanent Waves". I didn't like "Moving Pictures" much either, though both had a good song or 3.

The ironic thing is that those albums were exactly where Rush took off commercially! Same thing with another of my favorite bands - REO Speedwagon. My divorce with them really started with "Hi Infidelity" (though I liked the album) - which was their breakthrough/commercial explosion album!

Lastly.... one other great thing about Rush was that they stayed true to their art - they never let record companies dictate the flavor of their music. They recorded what they wanted to record.

Pretty cool..


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Yes, here it is:

"With Special Thanks to Donna Halper of WMMS in Cleveland for getting the ball rolling"

I'm a Brooklyn boy with relatives in California, so I've never been anywhere in the midwest (except for one wedding in Indianapolis). But hanging around this forum, I'm starting to feel a soft spot for Cleveland!

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