Regrettably, I’ve been sitting on this one a while since it landed on my desk just before I was set to take off for a week, but I’m back now and I’ve just finished watching 2112 & Moving Pictures: Classic Albums on DVD. It may be my favorite Rush DVD release thus far.
There’s no doubt that Rush: Beyond The Lighted Stage was great and I enjoyed it immensely, but if you want to get a bit more technical with the amazing musicians of Rush, this DVD is for you.
What was unique about this release was that it was centered around two of the group’s most recognized and important albums. 2112, the Rush classic that propelled them to fame after nearly being dropped by their record label, and Moving Pictures, an album that consists of material that has built itself a reputation as the most-requested in the band’s extensive catalog.
Fans expecting a “concert” DVD may be disappointed by this one. Although there is plenty of Rush music sprinkled throughout, it’s more about the creative force behind the music of two albums that helped make Rush one of the top-selling rock bands in history.
The reason I love this DVD is because of its lack of theatrics. I’ve always been frustrated by video releases of live performances that seem to be more about the pyrotechnics, light shows and screaming fans than it is about actually showing what’s going on with the band. And let’s not even talk about the relentless barrage of 2-second, seizure-inducing shots most “live” DVDs use that barely allow you to determine what model guitar Alex Lifeson is playing, let alone how he’s actually playing that chord! Perhaps I’m just a typical Rush geek.
In contrast to so many other video releases, this one features a generous amount of face time with all three members of the group. Even the famously reclusive Neil Peart has plenty to say on this one!
For concert footage fans there is some vintage stuff which is fun to look at, but there is also a great deal of studio performance footage that was obviously done for the purpose of this release, and features great close-ups which show what’s going in with more clarity and detail than I have previously seen. If you are a Rush fan and a musician, I dare say you will love this DVD.
Stepping back a bit from all the technical aspects that are included, it’s very interesting to hear Lee, Lifeson and Peart expand further on how they work together and make Rush what it is. In addition to the feature track on this DVD, there is also a generous bonus track that features more in-depth discussions of things such as how a song like “YYZ” came to be, for example.
We also get to hear each individual speak a bit about their respect and admiration for their band mates and how their unique and varied abilities combine to form what many believe is the greatest progressive rock band of all time.
A theme that seems to be woven throughout the discussion of these two albums is one that I’ve been aware of since first hearing Rush back in the 70’s but I had not fully realized how central it was to so much of Rush’s work.
With 2112 being hailed as the album that saved their career, it also may have been the beginning of the media’s long-standing reluctance to give the group the respect they so obviously deserved. Neil Peart’s acknowledgement of Ayn Rand as in inspiration for the concept behind the album makes it pretty clear where Rush stands with regard to individual freedom and liberty — a factor that many in the media and music industry may not have been terribly excited about.
The whole freedom theme is carried on into the discussion of “Red Barchetta,” a song that’s built on another story of freedom’s triumph over would-be oppressors. The success of 2112 ensured that Rush was did not intend to be oppressed themselves, when it came to the kind of music they wanted to make.
If you happen to be a dedicated Rush fan and do not yet have this DVD in your collection, go out and get it. I’m pretty confident that you will not regret it.
Like all of my reviews, I did not and will not be receiving any compensation of any kind for this review. I received a review copy of the DVD at no charge and that’s it. Yeah, I really do like this DVD that much.