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_hi_water._'s reviews: Caress Of Steel (1975)


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#1 _hi_water._

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Posted 31 July 2020 - 05:05 PM

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Caress Of Steel... one of the most love or hate albums in the name of prog, probably the most that isn't The Final Cut by Pink Floyd. So what are my thoughts on this album? Do I consider this is a masterpiece like half of Rush fans do, or do I think this is a mess like the other half? Well half the world hates, and half the world loves (laughedatbytime is going to murder me for using "Half The World" lyrics so I better stop).

Most diehard Rush fans consider this album to be underrated. Is it? If you are looking at critics' ratings, definitely. But if you see fans' rankings, ehhhhh.

I will say this: I love this album. It's hard rock, it's proggy, and very risk-taking.

The album production is still crisp. I love how many fade ins and outs there are in this album.

The album starts off with 2 amazing rockers. Then it goes into some chilling songs, and then explodes in the 2nd part of "The Necromancer." Then it goes back to mellow... then "The Fountain Of Lamneth" starts off a lil mellow, then it starts getting explosive. After that... kinda the same pattern.

The songs:
Bastille Day - excellent tune. Just heavy and has some of their best riffs.
I Think I'm Going Bald - the song on the album everyone considers the "sore thumb". Okay, whatever you say about the lyrics (and vocals, I guess...), the riffs are amazing. And that solo... underrated.
Lakeside Park - the drum beats are earwormy to me... lol
The Necromancer - the first part is pretty cool, the second part is one of the best Rush songs alone, and the last part is really fitting.
The Fountain Of Lamneth - the first three parts are amazing. Bacchus Plateau is pretty good, and the last part is nice too. But Panacea... is a subsong that exists.

My ranking of Rush albums so far:
3. Rush (1974)
2. Fly By Night (1975)
1. Caress Of Steel (1975)

What are your thoughts on this album? Do you agree with me, or no? Post below!

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#2 laughedatbytime

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Posted 31 July 2020 - 05:31 PM

Definitely a step back from Fly by Night.   Bastille Day is great,  Lakeside Park is a nice mellow tune, and some sections of the longer songs are awesome, but too much of it is borderline unlistenable.

Of the three albums on Archives it's the one i listen to the least.

#3 apetersvt

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Posted 31 July 2020 - 06:34 PM

Definitely a step forward from Fly By Night.
It is such a raw honest album.  Certainly not polished, but that's what I love about it.  
There is so much fine fretwork from Lerxst on this one where he really steps out and shines.
Listening to this on vinyl with headphones on and listening to the music move back and forth through your brain during The Necromancer is top notch.
Rush metal at its finest.

#4 zepphead

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Posted 01 August 2020 - 02:20 AM

My views are somewhat biased by the fact that it was the first Rush album i heard.
It had just been released and my mate told me that this was a great band so i bought it on that recommendation.

All sounded great and I was blown away by the longer pieces - The Necromancer and The Fountain Of Lamneth. They sounded like a band who could really play!!

However, within a short spell I bought Fly By Night and considered it to be a stronger overall album.

Hindsight is a wonderful thing and nowadays Necromancer/Lamneth are probably viewed as weaker Rush 'complex' compositions, but importantly they were prototypes of things to come.
I Think I'm Going Bald has not aged well (perhaps it's sentiments are too close to home lol!!) but Bastille Day and Lakeside Park are still sounding great to me!

At time of release, my preference order would be (least to best) -
Rush
Caress of Steel
Fly By Night

Edited by zepphead, 01 August 2020 - 02:22 AM.


#5 JohnnyBlaze

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Posted 01 August 2020 - 04:32 AM

I like Caress of Steel but I don’t love it. Compared to Fly By Night, By-Tor I enjoy more than Lamneth and Necromancer, but Bastille Day beats everything off both albums.

Off FBN I like or love 7 out of 8 tracks. Off CoS I love 1 track and like the other 4. FBN I can listen to any day of the week because I think there’s more variety there. CoS I’ve got to be in the mood...but when I’m in the mood for it, I like it more than FBN.

Going Bald does get some criticism, and rightly so. And it is a dumb song...but no dumber than In The Mood. And it’s not so dumb that it’s not enjoyable.

In the Rush album world, and if I’m in that aforementioned mood, it’s an easy top 10 album and can pressure the top 5.

Final grade: B-

:blaze:

#6 zepphead

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Posted 01 August 2020 - 06:01 AM

View PostJohnnyBlaze, on 01 August 2020 - 04:32 AM, said:

I like Caress of Steel but I don’t love it. Compared to Fly By Night, By-Tor I enjoy more than Lamneth and Necromancer, but Bastille Day beats everything off both albums.

Off FBN I like or love 7 out of 8 tracks. Off CoS I love 1 track and like the other 4. FBN I can listen to any day of the week because I think there’s more variety there. CoS I’ve got to be in the mood...but when I’m in the mood for it, I like it more than FBN.

Going Bald does get some criticism, and rightly so. And it is a dumb song...but no dumber than In The Mood. And it’s not so dumb that it’s not enjoyable.

In the Rush album world, and if I’m in that aforementioned mood, it’s an easy top 10 album and can pressure the top 5.

Final grade: B-

:blaze:
Agree with what you have said here .... It would certainly be in my all time top 10 (but then i have made my views on post '82 Rush albums clear elsewhere!!)

#7 ST3V

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Posted 01 August 2020 - 07:53 AM

Bastille is a clear standout from Rush's 70s era. Lamneth and Necromancer have their dull parts but the guitar work is no joke on either. Lakeside flows nicely on the album, and the lyrics are nice. And then theres.. the other one. Guess Al wasnt feeling creative enough that day so he had to steal that hot riff from In The Mood (can bands copyright claim themselves?)
Production is pretty bad I feel, and also not too crazy about Ged's vocals on these.
6.9/10, B+

Edited by ST3V, 01 August 2020 - 07:53 AM.


#8 goose

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Posted 01 August 2020 - 12:05 PM

View Postlaughedatbytime, on 31 July 2020 - 05:31 PM, said:

Definitely a step back from Fly by Night.   Bastille Day is great,  Lakeside Park is a nice mellow tune, and some sections of the longer songs are awesome, but too much of it is borderline unlistenable.

Of the three albums on Archives it's the one i listen to the least.
That was the case for me originally, but after 20 years it became one of my favorite RUSH albums.  Fly by Night I hardly ever want to hear these days.

#9 Dear Sir

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Posted 01 August 2020 - 12:39 PM

The only two I now return to are Necromancer and Didacts and Narpets. Rarely, I'll play Bastille Day.

I think I heard Alex say you can smell the hash oil when you listen to Caress of Steel. That's pretty funny. :)



#10 jnoble

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Posted 02 August 2020 - 06:25 PM

I think I read Terry Brown saying the tape they used to record COS was defective and had bleedthrough or something that resulted in the album sounding a little thin.
I also think Terry should've doubletracked Ged's vocals like on almost every song off FBN which sounded great. As it was they came off a little plain on even the harder songs. Imagine how much better the chorus to Bastille Day would've sounded for example with the vocals doubled.




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