Rush – 2112 Deluxe Reissue Edition CD & DVD

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Review by Brian McGowan

Back catalogues continue to be a major source of revenue for the majors, whose world has gone spinning out from under them as CD sales continue to spiral downwards. And so, classic albums like Rush’s 2112 get a makeover. Remastering; extended liner notes (Rolling Stone’s David Fricke did these); bonus tracks (3 live); a bonus DVD (the album tracks in 5.1 Surround Sound and other impressive sounding technical stuff) All in a gatefold digipack.

Of course “classic” albums only become classic albums because they have stood the test of time… 2112 was originally released in 1976, and there was plenty of competition. It was a make or break album for the band, whose previous effort Caress Of Steel had stiffed, and despite everyone’s rose tinted memories of labels supporting artistic development back then, if you didn’t have “hits” you were out on your ear. ‘Twas ere thus.

So, what does a band do? They write a Progrock concerto based on author Ayn Rand’s philosophy of objectivism. Sounds like a winner? But it worked. Half of 2112 is genuinely classic prog. That opening 20 minute track, a 36 year old precursor of their recent Clockwork Angels Steampunk Scifi theme, is a fabulous piece of musicianship. (And this was the seventies. Progrock was the new exotica, with albums from Genesis, ELP, King Crimson, Yes, Gentle Giant, Gong and a million others all going Top Forty). Peart, Lee and Lifeson were at the top of their game here, weaving and meshing inspired individual musical contributions into one mesmerising piece of music, even if the ‘concept‘ seems dated now. Those 20 minutes effectively made the band’s reputation, and on that they built a career.

The CD includes 3 bonus live tracks, ’Overture’, ’Temples Of Syrinx’ and ‘A Passage To Bangkok’ (owner of the most clichéd oriental guitar motif in the history of the world). The first two date from Canadian concerts in 1981, the third from a 1980 gig in the UK. What these really confirm, when you get a decent live recording, is that the trio are superb musicians in their own right, especially the usually underrated Lifeson, who axes up a storm on all 3 tracks.

The DVD has been clearly cooked up to add value to the overall package without actually including any video or live footage. It’s basically the album in 5.1 Surround Sound illustrated by a graphic artist. DVD extras include a Photo Album and a Comic Book.

Despite the label’s dubious motivation, Rush fans will drool over this Deluxe Package, and at the right price, so will Progrock audiophiles. It maybe stretches the ‘Deluxe’ concept to breaking point, but I’m sure that open minded rock audiophiles of any persuasion will find a lot to like here.

7 out of 10

Rush 2112 CD DVDTrack listing:

  1. 2112
    1. Overture
    2. The Temples Of Syrinx
    3. Discovery
    4. Presentation
    5. Oracle The Dream
    6. Soliliqoy
    7. Grand Finale
  2. A Passage To Bangkok
  3. The Twilight Zone
  4. Lessons
  5. Tears
  6. Something For Nothing
  7. Overture (Live)
  8. Temples Of Syrinx (Live)
  9. A passage To Bangkok (Live)

 

DVD

  1. 2112
    1. Overture
    2. Temples Of Syrinx
    3. Discovery
    4. Presentation
    5. Oracle The Dream
    6. Soliliqoy
    7. Grand Finale
  2. Passage To Bangkok
  3. The Twilight Zone
  4. Lessons
  5. Tears
  6. Something For Nothing