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Main reason why Alex Lifeson as a guitarist is not held in high regard as Geddy and Neil?


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#41 Principled Man

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Posted 21 February 2018 - 05:53 PM

Alex was praised quite a bit during the 70's.  He was solidly on the list of exciting new guitar heroes.  

But then the mid-late 80's came, and Alex's guitar heroics took a back seat to the synths.  His solos were shorter, and he contributed more rhythm and texture.  That was when the unfair label of being "underrated" became part of the dialogue about Rush.  The "underrated" tag followed him well into the 90's.

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#42 JARG

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Posted 21 February 2018 - 06:22 PM

View Postsnowdogged, on 21 February 2018 - 05:16 PM, said:

View PostJohnnyBlaze, on 20 February 2018 - 10:24 PM, said:

View Postfraroc, on 20 February 2018 - 10:09 PM, said:

While Alex is fantastic, there are simple too many guitarists that are better than him. EVH, RR, Vito Bratta, Steve Vai, Malmsteen, and Zakk Wylde come to mind

Oranges are fantastic but there are simply too many fruits which are better. Bananas, strawberries, mango, pears, and apples come to mind.
Is "better| the proper word to use here? I am not a musician but I would rather listen to Lifeson or Gilmore play guitar than any of those others.
Right, One man's "better" is another man's "butter". We can certainly plot any guitarist on a spectrum where "technique" is on one end and "feel" is on the other (and even there there's plenty of wiggle room), but what makes one better than the other is simply a value judgment assigned by the person doing the listening.

#43 tangy

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Posted 21 February 2018 - 08:36 PM

Perhaps its because their highest charting song in the states was not particulary guitar heavy?

Misunderstood or maybe it that the guitar is usually a standout instead of contributing equally.

Edited by tangy, 21 February 2018 - 08:49 PM.


#44 toymaker

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Posted 26 February 2018 - 12:31 PM

What would Yoda say?

#45 Rick N. Backer

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Posted 26 February 2018 - 06:45 PM

I think it's a numbers game with Geddy.  There are very few bassists who are as technically proficient as Geddy AND relatively well known.  Peart in his day was so "busy" that his playing really stuck out on almost every song.  His reputation is well deserved.  Alex is a great guitar player, but most rock songs have a guitar solo, so there are more players with an opportunity to shine.

#46 Rick N. Backer

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Posted 26 February 2018 - 06:49 PM

View Postfraroc, on 20 February 2018 - 10:09 PM, said:

While Alex is fantastic, there are simple too many guitarists that are better than him. EVH, RR, Vito Bratta, Steve Vai, Malmsteen, and Zakk Wylde come to mind

I have no idea who Bratta is, but Vai is bloodless.  Malmsteen has the worst feel for a song of any guitarist on the planet.  Zakk Wylde has his pinch harmonics and really nothing else to make him stand out.  Lifeson is a much more richly textured guitarist than those 3.

#47 JohnnyBlaze

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Posted 26 February 2018 - 06:50 PM

View Posttoymaker, on 26 February 2018 - 12:31 PM, said:

What would Yoda say?

“Many great guitarists there are. Hmmm”

#48 Stormtron

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Posted 26 February 2018 - 08:42 PM

View PostRick N. Backer, on 26 February 2018 - 06:49 PM, said:

I have no idea who Bratta is

He's the guy who played some good solos on shitty White Lion songs. He wrote what might be the worst rock song ever recorded "When the Children Cry". But yeah...better than Alex. :LMAO:

#49 goose

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Posted 26 February 2018 - 08:46 PM

View PostStormtron, on 26 February 2018 - 08:42 PM, said:

View PostRick N. Backer, on 26 February 2018 - 06:49 PM, said:

I have no idea who Bratta is

He's the guy who played some good solos on shitty White Lion songs. He wrote what might be the worst rock song ever recorded "When the Children Cry". But yeah...better than Alex. :LMAO:
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#50 lerxt1990

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Posted 12 March 2018 - 09:39 PM

View PostRick N. Backer, on 26 February 2018 - 06:45 PM, said:

I think it's a numbers game with Geddy.  There are very few bassists who are as technically proficient as Geddy AND relatively well known.  Peart in his day was so "busy" that his playing really stuck out on almost every song.  His reputation is well deserved.  Alex is a great guitar player, but most rock songs have a guitar solo, so there are more players with an opportunity to shine.

There's also players like him, Chris Squire, even John Entwistle and others who were not satisfied with just playing a simple bass line, but made the bass something to really listen to.  Always liked that.

#51 laughedatbytime

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Posted 12 March 2018 - 10:14 PM

View PostRick N. Backer, on 26 February 2018 - 06:45 PM, said:

I think it's a numbers game with Geddy.  There are very few bassists who are as technically proficient as Geddy AND relatively well known.  Peart in his day was so "busy" that his playing really stuck out on almost every song.  His reputation is well deserved.  Alex is a great guitar player, but most rock songs have a guitar solo, so there are more players with an opportunity to shine.
It didn't help that they completely neutered him the entire second half of the 80s.

#52 goose

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Posted 13 March 2018 - 10:46 PM

View Postlerxt1990, on 12 March 2018 - 09:39 PM, said:

View PostRick N. Backer, on 26 February 2018 - 06:45 PM, said:

I think it's a numbers game with Geddy.  There are very few bassists who are as technically proficient as Geddy AND relatively well known.  Peart in his day was so "busy" that his playing really stuck out on almost every song.  His reputation is well deserved.  Alex is a great guitar player, but most rock songs have a guitar solo, so there are more players with an opportunity to shine.

There's also players like him, Chris Squire, even John Entwistle and others who were not satisfied with just playing a simple bass line, but made the bass something to really listen to.  Always liked that.
Entwistle :notworthy:

#53 zappafrank

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Posted 18 March 2018 - 12:14 PM

Alex is (or rather, can be) an *extremely* sloppy player.  Some of his really fast stuff is laden with echo or reverb, and if you penetrate through the effects, you'll see he's just sort of moving his fingers around and double picking a lot which gives the effect of speed but is nowhere as crisp or as on point as say Al Di Meola (listen to the "Casino" album, for example, which for me has always been the hallmark of "holy crap, that's fast as hell while also hitting each note on point").  He definitely has a lot of feeling, but once the 80's hit and he got away from some of the classical/acoustic guitar where mistakes/"looseness" are always amplified, he was able to hide them behind big production and the "atmospheric/big" effects that came with the synth era (though he definitely could be loose in the 70's, as well).

Edited by zappafrank, 18 March 2018 - 12:23 PM.


#54 New Digital Man

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Posted 18 March 2018 - 01:18 PM

View PostUltimate Rush Tribute, on 21 February 2018 - 08:44 AM, said:

View PostRUSHHEAD666, on 21 February 2018 - 12:25 AM, said:

View Postvaportrailer, on 20 February 2018 - 11:42 PM, said:

View Postfraroc, on 20 February 2018 - 10:09 PM, said:

While Alex is fantastic, there are simple too many guitarists that are better than him. EVH, RR, Vito Bratta, Steve Vai, Malmsteen, and Zakk Wylde come to mind

Lots of drummers are technically better than Peart:
Bruford, Giles, Bozzio, Wackerman, Minnemann, Mangini, T. Lang, among others.
(Although, unlike the others, Lang doesn’t strike me as a musical drummer.)

I would’ve thought that Peart/Lifeson would be roughly the same in terms of accolades/being held in high regard.
Both are gifted players and very smart arrangers. And as many have said, Alex is a musical guitarist, more in line with Page/Howe than 80s 6-string wankery. Maybe his guitar solos should have had cowbells in them.

I remember reading a letter in an old Modern Drummer mag. Something along the lines of “When I want to listen to a musical drummer, I’ll listen to Ringo (or whoever). If I want to listen to something fast and on time, I’ll listen to a Japanese bullet train.” :lol:

Simon Phillips and Dave Weckl man!
I wouldn't leave Portnoy off that list.  
I would! Not even close!




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