hello folks! this week for the weekly review, we’re checking out Canadian progressive rock band Rush’s 1981 release, Moving Pictures. if you had pressured me to name two Rush songs i knew before listening to this record, both of the songs i would have named were on this record, so i’m very interested to see what else this record holds!

i’m pretty sure Tom Sawyer is their biggest song. i knew it going in, and all the material i see indicates that like, this is THE Rush song. and yknow, if you’re going to be known for a song, this is definitely a good one to be known for. vocalist Geddy Lee pulls of some really strong deliveries, and the moody, plotting verses lay excellent groundwork for the soaring choruses. nice. Red Barchetta is a very cool sorta-sci-fi narrative track about a lover of old-fashioned cars in a dystopian future where leisure driving is outlawed, inspired by a Richard S. Foster short story. i dig this one quite a bit. feels nerdy in a very fun way, and while i dont personally like driving, i really do like a good “driving free” song, haha. a lot of my classic rock knowledge i got, like many folks my age, from Guitar Hero. my parents didn’t frequent music stations that played harder rock, and i was pretty musically sheltered until after high school so it should be basically no surprise that i don’t think of Tom Sawyer first when i think of Rush, i think of YYZ. i think this is still my favorite song on the record. it’s blazing, it’s intense, it kicks ass. Limelight is a very strong song grappling with the effects of fame. apparently this song was extremely popular because guitarist Alex Lifeson would toss a killer guitar solo into this song. and drummer Neil Peart has some really good lyrics here too! i dig it. The Camera Eye is fine. i don’t find it as compelling a long track as something like Red Barchetta, and it definitely does lose me a bit. from what i can tell, Witch Hunt is considered part of a larger cycle of songs by fans. i think this is the one i connected with least on the record. nothing wrong here, just wasn’t really for me. Vital Signs closes out the record, and this is a very odd track (in a good way!). what i think stuck out most to me was that this was the song that most made me think of Supertramp, whose vocalist was absolutely playing in the same space as Geddy Lee, but the connection wasn’t THAT strong for me until i hit this song.

faves – Tom Sawyer, Red Barchetta, YYZ, Limelight
dislikes –

i made a comment about Tom Sawyer being the biggest Rush song, but it is very interesting in looking at discussions of the band just how many of the songs from this record showed up on “best of” lists – Red Barchetta and Limelight regularly were in like, top 10 lists. wild to me that 3 or 4 songs off this 7 song album are considered like, massive favorites from the band’s whole career. and i feel it! this record is very very good! i think i’m a bit under exposed to some of the classics of prog rock, but i am absolutely delighted to have spent some time with this record.

Moving Pictures – 8/10

for the next Weekly Album Review, i’ll be checking out Adeem the Artist’s 2022 album, White Trash Revelry. i’ll be back next Friday, October 6th with that review and to pick another weekly record, and in the meantime, let me know what album you’d like me to review! (i pool all suggestions in one place, and draw a person, then one pick from that person, so feel free to drop as many as you’d like! if you leave an email or username i’ll contact you when i’ve gotten through all your suggestions.)