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Style: progressive, hard rock, tribute, Canadian
Home: Toronto, Ontario
Members: Geddy Lee ~ bass guitar/vocals
Alex Lifeson ~ guitars
Neil Peart ~ drums
Until I came across this album I never expected to hear anything so straight ahead a la traditional rock from prog-rock icons Rush. & yes, they really do play straight ahead rock here, not turning this tribute album of covers into mystical prog rock renditions. For eight songs they they step out of their Rush shoes & humble themselves with the music of the past. As for what they're rockin on, this EP features the Who's "Summertime Blues" & "The Seeker", the Yardbirds's "Heart Full Of Soul" & "Shapes Of Things", Buffalo Springfield's "For What It's Worth" & "Mr. Soul", Cream's "Crossroads" & Love's "Seven & Seven Is." Did you ever expect to see Buffalo Springfield, Love & Rush all in the same mix? This album was released in honor of Rush's 30th anniversary. While most other bands would release a box set, greatest hits collection, a studio album with a reunited 'classic line-up' Rush decided to do a tribute to past bands they liked. Geddy Lee, with his trademark falsetto, can't sing like Roger Daltrey, Keith Relf or Jack Bruce & doesn't even try, while the Yardbird's "Heart Full Of Soul" sound more like something out of the solo years of George Harrison. But, when the interpretation works it nearly rivals the original, or at least takes it for a run. "Crossroads" is a real highlight with some dirty blues playing you wouldn't expect from Lifeson rivalling Clapton's original lines. I often find covers albums more often disappointing than not with the remake a bland imitation, or a nearly exact imitation, if not a completely disturbing imitation. I want to hear a band put their stamp on a famous song not imitate. I always have felt Marilyn Manson gave "Sweet Dreams" the life that it was lacking while we've completely forgotten that Soft Cell's gay anthem "Tainted Love" was originally a disco hit by a now Christian preaching black woman. Rush knew what they could & could not do (i.e. Lee's unchangable vocal quality) but worked with the songs not against themselves. They played a tribut to Clapton, not tried to be Clapton. Even though it's not a typical Rush album & Rush fans, believe it or not, might not be able to listen to it because it's so different, it boosted my respect for the band. Not just do I find the idea of a tribute album as an anniversary album interesting but also their choice in bands to cover. It's great seeing the underrated Love alongside the Who. Rush gets categorized as having a limited prog sound but this EP is just another demonstration of how that's not true. This is the Rush you didn't know existed & it makes them waaay cool now that you do.