Japanese only paper sleeve SHM pressing. The SHM-CD [Super High Material CD] format features enhanced audio quality through the use of a special polycarbonate plastic. Using a process developed by JVC and Universal Music Japan discovered through the joint companies' research into LCD display manufacturing SHM-CDs feature improved transparency on the data side of the disc allowing for more accurate reading of CD data by the CD player laser head. SHM-CD format CDs are fully compatible with standard CD players. Warner. 2009.
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The Last Rush Album I Can Listen To
YJM | Somewhere In The South | 10/18/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)
"As the review title says, this was it for me and Rush. I don't think there could have been a bigger fan than myself pre Hold Your Fire. Between concerts, bootlegs, collectibles, and anything else I could get my hands on related to Rush, I had it. I even got to go backstage to meet the band on their Signals tour and they autographed a Rush biography, a book now out of print that I still have to this day. I think the albums Fly By Night through Exit Stage Left are some of the best progressive rock albums ever released, right up there with the best of ELP, Yes, Genesis, and King Crimson. Signals marked a turning point for Rush, where all of a sudden keyboards dominated the album rather than being used as a texture device in earlier albums. Rush lost some die hard fans with that album but I loved it, even if Alex was buried in the mix (the remaster sounds much better). Alex had some burning solo's on that album and one of my all time favorite Rush Songs, Losing It. Even though keyboards become a staple in the songwriting, I love to this day Grace Under Pressure and Power Windows. Power Windows especially blew me away. I was enjoying this stage in Rush's career. Then Hold Your Fire was released...
My first listen through of Hold Your Fire back in 87 was a very underwhelming experience. It reminded me of eating angle food cake, light, somewhat tasty, but completely forgettable when finished. There wasn't a single song that grabbed and this was a first for me. Hold Your Fire became a record (yes, we still used records back in those days) that would be added to my collection, but not touched for many years.
As the years have progressed I've learned to appreciate this album a bit more than I originally did. The musicianship is at a very high level. Neil is on fire (no pun intended) on this album, with some of his most complex drumming up to that point. Geddy's bass stands out in this mix and he too puts in an incredible performance across the album. Alex's guitar is prominent in the mix with heavy use of chorus effect. Lots of chord work on this album, big, lush, full chords with the occasional arpeggiated line. His solo work on the album makes use of heavy tremelo bar usage, and chordal soloing rather than fast single note stuff. They work, but like most of the songs on the album, they are forgotten as soon as they're over. While I have learned to appreciate this album over the years, I still don't particulary like it. The Mission and High Water are my two favorites, while the only single released from the album (Time Stand Still) is my least favorite song. All of the songs are really busy, but they don't seem to go anywhere. There are no hooks and the songs all run into each other and start sounding the same. My three stars is for the incredible musicianship, thought provoking lyrics, but not the incredible songs. I play this album when I'm studying (studying for my MBA) as it makes perfect background music. I never thought I would feel that way about a Rush album, but as unmemorable as this album is for me, they got much worse on later albums.
Presto took one listen for me to know it was not for me, and the same can be said of 90's and 00 Rush. They just weren't the same band anymore and the songs bored me to tears. I know Rush of the 90's introduced them to a whole new audience, and more power to them, but they were not for me. But music is such a personal thing and touches people in different ways. A dud for me might be a treasure for someone else. If you're a Rush fan and you don't own this album I highly recommend you get it. As you can see by the many five star reviews there are plenty of people who love it. Maybe you'll be one of them."