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Rush Albums Ranked from 19 to 1

Rush Rush Albums Ranked Progressive Rock Alex Lifeson Neil Peart Geddy Lee

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#1 houseofclouse

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Posted 12 August 2017 - 09:32 PM

I will be ranking every Rush original studio album.
Each track will be rated as follows: Awful, Very Poor, Poor, Below Average, Average, Above Average, Good, Great, Superb
Each album will be rated on a scale of 1 to 10.

Feel free to give your input on each album and discuss why you like/dislike each album. Please keep it civilized and have fun!

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#2 houseofclouse

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Posted 12 August 2017 - 09:35 PM

19. Test for Echo
Year: 1996
Track Listing:

1. Test for Echo
What a great opener to an album. Test for Echo has amazing drumming, fast paced bass playing, and heavy guitar riffs. The chorus is very effective as well.

Grade: Great

2. Driven
Wow, what a phenomenal song! Driven has heavy guitar riffs, catchy bass lines, and fantastic drumming. Geddy's vocal delivery is hit and miss throughout this album, but he kills it on this track.

Grade: Superb

3. Half the World
Half the World is a softer peace of music that is enjoyable to listen to at first, but it becomes a drag because of boring lyrics and repetitive music. This track may be well liked by some Rush fans, but definitely not one for me.

Grade: Poor

4. The Color of Right
The Color of Right has some really good guitar work and is solid musically. Despite this, the track is one of Rush's worst. This is because of Geddy's awkward vocal delivery and the horrible sounding chorus. It really makes me cringe a little bit.

Grade: Very Poor

5. Time and Motion
Time and Motion is a unique listening experience that seems to grow on me with every listen. The guitar riff is heavy and Neil's drumming is great too. The guitar solo is phenomenal and is definitely one of Lifeson's most underrated. It's an odd tune, but it is very effective.

Grade: Good

6. Totem
Totem has a really good chorus and a great guitar solo, but is very lackluster during the verses. It's a strange tune that I really don't like because of its inconsistency and poor listening experience.

Grade: Poor

7. Dog Years
This is probably the Rush song that is most painful to listen to. This song has excellent bass, but the lyrics are terrible. The music feels disjointed and really does not flow well. Dog Years is odd and really does not work on any level.

Grade: Awful

8. Virtuality
Virtuality has an amazing heavy guitar riff. The drumming is also fantastic. The main problem with the song is another weak chorus. It really takes my interest away from the track when the chorus happens. Still it is a very unique listening experience. The track does not flow well though and feels disjointed.

Grade: Average

9. Resist
Resist is a beautiful track with great melody and I love Lifeson's emotionally driven guitar licks. The song can drag at times though and feels a little repetitive. The studio version isn't as good as the live, but is still a solid track.

Grade: Above Average

10. Limbo
Limbo may be one of Rush's weakest instrumentals, but that isn't really saying much considering how great their instrumental pieces are. Geddy shows a lot of personality through his bass playing and Lifeson's guitar work is excellent.

Grade: Good

11. Carve Away the Stone
Carve Away the Stone has some nice vocal melodies and I love the song's message. My main problem is the song's somewhat anti-climatic approach. I do love the guitar solo though.

Grade: Average

Test for Echo is an odd release that has some good moments, but is lacking in many ways. Rush plays well musically, but the lyrical content of this album is inconsistent. I do like Alex Lifeson's terrific guitar work and Neil Peart's great drumming. Geddy's vocal performance is not up to his normal level, but it's very good on some tracks. Test for Echo may have great moments, but it is definitely the least enjoyable of all the Rush albums for me though.

Rating: 4.5/10

Edited by houseofclouse, 12 August 2017 - 09:44 PM.


#3 houseofclouse

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Posted 12 August 2017 - 09:37 PM

I will be posting 18 tomorrow!

#4 laughedatbytime

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Posted 12 August 2017 - 09:41 PM

The category just below awful should be named for "Half the World".

#5 Chronos

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Posted 12 August 2017 - 09:44 PM

View Posthouseofclouse, on 12 August 2017 - 09:35 PM, said:


5. Time and Motion
Time and Motion is a unique listening experience that seems to grow on me with every listen. The guitar riff is heavy and Neil's drumming is great too. The guitar solo is phenomenal and is definitely one of Lifeson's most underrated. It's an odd tune, but it is very effective.

Grade: Good


You spelled "Superb" wrong.

#6 houseofclouse

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Posted 12 August 2017 - 09:46 PM

View Postlaughedatbytime, on 12 August 2017 - 09:41 PM, said:

The category just below awful should be named for "Half the World".
Hey man I'm not a fan either 😂

#7 houseofclouse

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Posted 12 August 2017 - 09:48 PM

View PostChronos, on 12 August 2017 - 09:44 PM, said:

View Posthouseofclouse, on 12 August 2017 - 09:35 PM, said:


5. Time and Motion
Time and Motion is a unique listening experience that seems to grow on me with every listen. The guitar riff is heavy and Neil's drumming is great too. The guitar solo is phenomenal and is definitely one of Lifeson's most underrated. It's an odd tune, but it is very effective.

Grade: Good


You spelled "Superb" wrong.
I don't think I did 😂

#8 laughedatbytime

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Posted 12 August 2017 - 10:19 PM

View Posthouseofclouse, on 12 August 2017 - 09:46 PM, said:

View Postlaughedatbytime, on 12 August 2017 - 09:41 PM, said:

The category just below awful should be named for "Half the World".
Hey man I'm not a fan either
No, but in my opinion it's the worst thing in their catalog, especially lyrically, and that includes the debut.

#9 houseofclouse

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Posted 12 August 2017 - 10:28 PM

View Postlaughedatbytime, on 12 August 2017 - 10:19 PM, said:

View Posthouseofclouse, on 12 August 2017 - 09:46 PM, said:

View Postlaughedatbytime, on 12 August 2017 - 09:41 PM, said:

The category just below awful should be named for "Half the World".
Hey man I'm not a fan either ������

No, but in my opinion it's the worst thing in their catalog, especially lyrically, and that includes the debut.

Yeah it's pretty bad, but Dog Years for me is the worst

#10 EagleMoon

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Posted 13 August 2017 - 12:08 AM

More ranking. I think that's all this forum knows how to do anymore.

#11 laughedatbytime

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Posted 13 August 2017 - 08:55 AM

View PostEagleMoon, on 13 August 2017 - 12:08 AM, said:

More ranking. I think that's all this forum knows how to do anymore.
That's not really fair.   This place is pretty good at castigating band members for not putting their money into reviving a moribund studio where they used to record.

#12 vaportrailer

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Posted 13 August 2017 - 10:01 AM

View PostEagleMoon, on 13 August 2017 - 12:08 AM, said:

More ranking. I think that's all this forum knows how to do anymore.

Oooh! Abstract comparitivism!

If the Rush albums were hillbilly children, which one would be Cletus?
If the Rush albums were cheeses, which one would be cheddar and which would be blue?
If the Rush albums were religions/cults, which one would be Scientology? Which would be zen?
If the Rush albums were Rush songs, which would be Closer to the Heart?
If the Rush albums fell down in the forest next to Le Studio, which ones would Richard Baxter save?

#13 vaportrailer

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Posted 13 August 2017 - 10:02 AM

^
^
^
The answer to all of the above of course is "Hemispheres".
:(

#14 The K Man

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Posted 13 August 2017 - 10:04 AM

I agree with the ranking of Test for Echo last.  It's not a bad record, but it has the lowest highs of any Rush record to date, and has some of their worst and/or bland songs ever (Dog Years, The Color of Right, Time and Motion).

#15 houseofclouse

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Posted 13 August 2017 - 11:07 AM

View PostThe K Man, on 13 August 2017 - 10:04 AM, said:

I agree with the ranking of Test for Echo last.  It's not a bad record, but it has the lowest highs of any Rush record to date, and has some of their worst and/or bland songs ever (Dog Years, The Color of Right, Time and Motion).
I completely agree

#16 BenjaminW

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Posted 13 August 2017 - 12:25 PM

I'll do my own personal ranking but I will simply focus on the albums rather than go through them track by track since I don't want to listen to every single Rush song as of writing this.

19. Test For Echo: For me, I'm not so much of a fan of this album. I'm a fan of the first three tracks but I don't like any of the others. I've tried listening to Dog Years and it's such a bore for me. I wouldn't say it's a forgotten Rush album, but I would say it's one that's underrated and lackluster at best.

18. Caress of Steel: This album was the album I was the most reluctant to buy on iTunes. I enjoy Bastille Day and Lakeside Park but I refuse to listen to I Think I'm Going Bald since it's my least favorite Rush song but you guys can be the judge if you want to compare it with Dog Years and a few of the other Test for Echo tracks. But back to the point, for a band's first concept album, I feel that it was too pretentious in a way to begin with since The Necromancer and Fountain of Lamneth feel as if they're trying too hard to seem as if this is their Supper's Ready or their Gates of Delirium..

17. Vapor Trails: I will give credit where credit is due, this was their first album after a lengthy hiatus due to Neil's family tragedies. There are a few memorable tracks like One Little Victory, Earthshine, and Ghost Rider but I feel those are the only ones worth listening to on the album. Not to mention, the awful mixing it received upon its original release.

16. Snakes and Arrows: I was going to put Clockwork Angels down here since I have a bitter feeling towards it since I don't want it to be Rush's last album. But anyways, my biggest issue is the prevalent amount of instrumentals. I don't hate instrumentals but I feel the amount on the album is a bit too much. Some people would say the lyrical themes make it one of their least favorites, but who am I to judge their opinion?

15. Hold Your Fire: I was reluctant to put this album at a low spot since I am a fan of this album but I have to give my honest opinion about this album. I feel that the album was too heavily indulged in the keyboards. I like a good amount of the album but there are some tracks I don't like listening to some tracks. I'm looking at you Tai Shan. Overall, I like this album but it does have it flaws which is why I put it here at 15.

14. Clockwork Angels: As I said in Snakes and Arrows, I have bitter feelings towards the album since I do not want it to be Rush's last album. Besides that point, I feel it's a return towards the prog side of Rush that they are known for although it's not prog enough to rival Hemispheres. I especially love the drum break in Headlong Flight and I view The Garden as a perfect swan song should this be their final album.

13. Counterparts: I have heard before from some Rush fans that this is a concept album between both genders but again, those weren't my words but you guys can be the judge on that claim. Anyways, I've loved this song since I first ever heard Leave That Thing Alone. Some other tracks worth mentioning are Animate, Stick it Out, Nobody's Hero, and Double Agent. This album to me brings out some heaviness in their musicality and that's one reason it got me hooked.

12. Grace Under Pressure: This album sits somewhat on the fence for me. I don't know wether to say it's one of my favorites or least favorites. I feel that this album rides heavily off of the synth work Signals had but took to a new level. I pretty much like every song on this album except for Kid Gloves and Red Lenses but some of my favorites are Distant Early Warning, Afterimage, Red Sector A, The Body Electric, and Between the Wheels.

11. Rush: Since this album doesn't have Neil to give us awe-inspiring lyrics, I would consider this album to be 100% tonally different from every other Rush album as it appeals more to the 4/4 rock crowd. I could get people into Rush off this album but as I said, it's 100% tonally different from the other albums.

10. Presto: An absolute favorite of mine, I consider this album a transition out of the keyboard era and into the guitar driven sound we have today. Ever since I started listening to The Pass, I got hooked on this album. I will have to say that whoever did the mixing, Neil's drums sound killer on this album. Should Rush ever play again although I doubt it, they should bring out some more songs off Presto since that album is a criminally underrated album.

9. Roll the Bones: It took some time for this album to fully grow on me but I absolutely love this album. The mixing is superb on this record and I consider this album to be the best out of the 90s.

8. Power Windows: Again with Roll the Bones, this is an album I absolutely love. Each song deals with power in some way wether it be power with money, weapons, the ability to overcome challenges (referring to Marathon), etc. It took a while for Territories and Emotion Detector to grow on me but I absolutely have no least favorite track on this album.

7. Fly By Night: What can I say for this being Neil's first album with Rush? It's an absolute gem and lays down the groundwork for a stellar career with Neil. Every track has its shining moments but I can say that By-Tor has one of Neil's best drum breaks in a studio album.

6. Signals: This is the point where some Rush fans jump off the Rocinante (referring to the rocket in Cygnus X-1) and abandon ship. Rush's last album with Terry Brown feels as if I was listening to a direct sequel to Moving Pictures and I can say it has the same feel in a way as Moving Pictures but this album is somewhat more synth driven than Moving Pictures.

5. Hemispheres: By far Rush's Close to the Edge or Selling England by the Pound. It breaks all boundaries and is an absolute tour de force. Hemispheres, especially the prelude is a masterpiece and what can I say about La Villa Strangiato? These songs and the rest of the album are incredibly written and I have nothing else to say about this album.

4. A Farewell to Kings: I consider this a precursor to Hemispheres but this album is a masterpiece in its own right. From the prog epics of Xanadu and Cygnus X-1 and the catchy vibes of Closer to the Heart, this album holds a special place for me but not to forget the title track. That is one of their best songs in my honest opinion.

3. Permanent Waves: With Rush abandoning their prog epics and transforming into a radio friendly sound. From the classics The Spirit of Radio to Freewill and the prog epics of Jacob's Ladder and Natural Science. This album is a well crafted masterpiece and shapes the sound Moving Pictures is know for.

2. 2112: This album is the album that saved Rush from dying in the 70s. The title track is BY FAR, a defining example of what Rush is capable of doing. On the flip side, songs like A Passage To Bangkok and Something for Nothing are some of the highlights of the album.

1. Moving Pictures: Where do I begin? This album is such a masterpiece I can't describe it in less than ten words if I had to. Wether you are a fan of their prog epics of the 70s or their keyboard driven era of the 80s, this album is a mold of both and executes it perfectly. Tom Sawyer is the definite Rush song with the keyboard riffs and the work shown by all three members, YYZ has Geddy's best bass riff of all time and amazing drum and guitar work, Limelight was the song I got into Rush from, and Red Barchetta is a masterpiece in its own right. The Camera Eye and Witch Hunt are some excellent deep tracks in a way off this album and Vital Signs is what I consider to be a precursor for what would follow in the next four albums.

#17 houseofclouse

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Posted 13 August 2017 - 12:58 PM

Love the input man! Definitely some great thoughts

#18 BenjaminW

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Posted 13 August 2017 - 01:24 PM

Thanks. I would love to see what makes your list in the future.

#19 houseofclouse

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Posted 13 August 2017 - 01:37 PM

View PostBenjaminW, on 13 August 2017 - 01:24 PM, said:

Thanks. I would love to see what makes your list in the future.
I will be posting 18 later today

#20 houseofclouse

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Posted 13 August 2017 - 07:45 PM

Now we are onto the number 18 ranked album.
Each track will be rated as follows: Awful, Very Poor, Poor, Below Average, Average, Above Average, Good, Great, Superb
Each album will be rated on a scale of 1 to 10





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