Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: Folk, Pop
CD reissue of this 1971 compilation from the Folk-Blues singer/songwriter, who released critically-acclaimed albums for Elektra in the '60s and Columbia in the '70s. Classic Rush is a compilation of his best material from ... more »
CD reissue of this 1971 compilation from the Folk-Blues singer/songwriter, who released critically-acclaimed albums for Elektra in the '60s and Columbia in the '70s. Classic Rush is a compilation of his best material from the Elektra years. 11 tracks.
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The Versatility of Tom Rush
allemande | Columbia, MO USA | 04/20/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The original release of this collection on vinyl LP was one of my favorite recordings. I had waited in vain for years to see a compact disc release, and had largely given up. Now a label called Wounded Bird, specializing in rather out-of-the-way reissues, has provided the CD release I was hoping for.
This disc collects notable tracks from three albums Tom Rush made for Elektra Records in the 1960s. All three of those albums have since been made available on CD, which would, on the surface, seem to make this release unnecessary. But "Classic Rush" is no slap-dash compilation assembled to make a quick buck after Tom Rush's departure from Elektra. It is, rather, one of the most thoughtful collections of music I have encountered, showcasing an underrated artist's talent and the many moods he was able to create.
The album includes songs that Rush championed, written by other soon-to-be-great songwriter/performers early in their careers, such as Joni Mitchell and James Taylor. How Tom Rush treats these other artists' material is quite remarkable. For instance, James Taylor's "Something In the Way She Moves" becomes almost a new song here. Both of Taylor's own versions (his 1976 Warner Bros. recording is preferred) are plaintive, hinting at quiet desperation; Tom Rush is exuberant: he COULD live without this woman, but doesn't want to--and why should he? Joni Mitchell's "Urge For Going" is transformed too, her own recording having an exterior feel, marking the impersonal change of the seasons from summer to fall, from vibrant warmth to killing cold. Tom Rush brings this song indoors to the personal space where he lights the fireplace and adds blankets to the bed while his broken heart mends. "Shadow Dream Song", which can seem a trifle in the hands of some other performers, receives a soulful, wistful treatment by Tom Rush, who seems always able to mine emotion and meaning from a song.
Selections on the album written by Tom Rush include "No Regrets". He recorded this a second time for the Columbia label, releasing a number of albums there in the 1970s. But the Columbia version seems quite over-arranged compared to this earlier one, whose intimate charm could hardly be bettered. "No Regrets" is followed immediately by "Rockport Sunday", a solo for acoustic guitar. These two pieces fit together so seamlessly in sequence that it can be difficult to realize they originally appeared in different order on Rush's album "The Circle Game". That sense of flow, programming the music with an ear for compatibility as well as contrast among selections, is one of many factors making this a satisfying album.
The sound quality of this release is good, although some quiet passages such as the lovely endings of "Urge For Going" and "No Regrets" seem a bit suppressed. This is unfortunate, but may be explained by reports I have heard that the master tapes for some of these recordings (notably those taken from "The Circle Game") have a great amount of hiss. Compromises may have been made, then, so that the listener may hear music rather than tape noise. This seems fair enough.
I suspect that even fans of Tom Rush who already own his original Elektra releases, which include everything here, would want this collection anyway, as it contains so many of his truly fine moments and presents them so well. It goes without saying that a listener just beginning to appreciate Tom Rush, or who is curious about his work, absolutely must own this CD. I believe it will become one of your favorites, just as it has long been one of my own."