Rush – A Farewell to Kings (1977/1990)

Rush - A Farewell to Kings (1977/1990)
Artist: Rush
Album: A Farewell to Kings
Genre: Heavy Prog
Label: Mercury
Year Of Release: 1977/1990
Quality: FLAC (image+.cue)

Tracklist:
01. A farewell to kings (5:49)
02. Xanadu (11:04)
03. Closer to the heart (2:51)
04. Cinderella man (4:19)
05. Madrigal (2:33)
06. Cygnus X-1 (10:21)

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Personnel:
– Alex Lifeson / guitars (6- & 12-strings electric & acoustic, classical), bass pedals
– Geddy Lee / bass, bass pedals, Minimoog, 12-string guitar, vocals
– Neil Peart / drums, orchestral & tubular bells, wind chimes, vibra-slap, percussion

With:
– Terry Brown / co-producer, engineer, spoken vocals (6)

Rush were always trying to expand their sound. They went into a more intricate direction starting with this album. Featuring some of their best epics, and some of their best “singles”, this album is easily one of their best efforts. This is the first album where Geddy plays the Moog, this addition would be arguably the best thing Rush ever did. With great textures created by the Moog, great riffs and solos from Lifeson, awesome bass work from Geddy, and some of Peart’s best drumming, this album has a special place in my heart.

The opener of the album, A Farewell to Kings, begins with quiet acoustic guitar accompanied with some Moog and some bells, then the electric guitar kicks in and a real rocker is revealed. With lyrics alluding to corrupted politicians, a very underrated track. The next track is often considered the best Rush epic, the groundbreaking and phenomenal Xanadu begins with eerie chimes and percussion and volume swells from Lifeson, one of their best introductions to date. When the main riff comes in and the band kicks in, the listener is taken for a wild ride. With lyrics inspired by the epic Kubla Khan by Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Peart gives it the personal twist that the poem did not have.

The second side opens with the quintessential Rush “ballad” Closer to the Heart. Beginning with quiet acoustic guitar, and some bells from Peart, it quickly evolves into another AFTK type rocker. Add a fade-out and you get one of the great Rush singles. Cinderella Man is Geddy Lee’s adaptation of “Mr. Deeds Goes To Town” is another rocker that used to close their shows during the tour that would follow. Add a wah solo from Lifeson, and another Rush masterpiece is born. The final of the contemporary songs is the quiet, soft-spoken Madrigal, which really is one of the softest things Rush had ever did. Predominantly lead by Moog, it is the weakest track on the album, but still a great showcase of Geddy’s Moog work.

The finale of the album is my personal favorite track, the epic Cygnus X-1. With an eerie intro guided by a distorted voice (Terry Brown I believe), the scene is soon set for Geddy’s awesome bass intro. The riff quickly evolves into an all-out jam between the group. Then the metal-esque riff is played, and the mood and tempo of the song is in place. At about the middle of the song, the vocal comes in. Then ending with screeches from Geddy, so ends one of the best Rush albums available.

Overall, one of my favorite albums from Rush. I give it my highest recommendation. 5/5.
Review by Cygnus X-2

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