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#41 Rick N. Backer

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Posted 11 September 2021 - 07:54 PM

 JohnRogers, on 10 September 2021 - 04:40 PM, said:

 Turbine Freight, on 10 September 2021 - 04:12 PM, said:

Maybe it's because they went from being one of the GREAT rock power trios to a sad Flock of Seagulls tribute act & expected everyone to just accept it.
That never happened, not in this universe anyway.

Aren’t you a little old to be doing mushrooms?

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#42 Mosher

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Posted 11 September 2021 - 08:37 PM

The chief critical criticism I have read throughout the decades is mainly a distaste for prog. Critics find the musical feats get in the way of the song actually being good. And critics tend to find the words working to hard to be clever and ending up sounding pretentious instead. While the music changed a lot, what didn't change was the complex music and poetic wordsmithing. So critics hated it. They hated Genesis, Yes, and Tull for the same reasons.

Basically they hated prog. Other than Floyd. They always got a pass for some reason.

#43 RushFanForever

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Posted 11 September 2021 - 09:24 PM

I'm going to use two Canadian examples here with Bachman-Turner Overdrive and Rush in relation to this topic.

Both bands were signed to Mercury Records, but each achieved success in a different way.

Members of both bands get mentioned in these article pieces and a 2002 video interview below.

Creem - March 1976

RUSH Pebbles & Bam-Bam In Alphaville

Lethbridge Herald - October 1976

Rush draws on reading material

Sharp Magazine - December 2012

How Three Nerds From Ontario Created A Musical Empire, And Why 2012 Was Their Greatest Year



It's kind of hilarious that Randy Bachman has praised Geddy, Alex, and Neil as individual musicians, but not the music per se.

Alex is featured in Bachman's documentary as noted here.

Perhaps critics will give praise to music that's easily accessible, but other music isn't given that praise.

Edited by RushFanForever, 11 September 2021 - 09:36 PM.


#44 Weatherman

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Posted 12 September 2021 - 10:44 AM

 Entre_Perpetuo, on 11 September 2021 - 11:32 AM, said:

 Weatherman, on 11 September 2021 - 11:09 AM, said:

Don't forget that a lot of uneducated people were intimidated by Neil's lyrics. They couldn't understand what the words meant.

I kinda doubt anybody hates Rush because they’re uneducated and don’t understand Neil’s lyrics. I feel like the only people who hate Neil’s lyrics are those who do understand them and think they’re preachy or have bad influences or are clunky or something like that. I have no clue what the words to Sigur Rós’ music mean, but I still enjoy the music.
I've known two people who didn't understand anything about 2112 or Ayn Rand and disliked them for that reason.
Primarily it's the early stuff. "Time Stand Still/I'm not looking back/but I want to look around me now" is pretty universal.

#45 Weatherman

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Posted 12 September 2021 - 10:45 AM

 IbanezJem, on 11 September 2021 - 09:15 AM, said:

I`m surprised by the idea of hating Rush. The more logical expression would be of complete indifference, to ignore them if they`re not your thing. I can`t say I hate bands I don`t listen to or genres that don`t grab me, as I`d have to know a lot of their material before I could forge such a precision argument. You can`t hate something you don`t really know; that`s just a prepubescent intestinal response to very limited information.
Yeah, it takes something special to HATE an artist or group. For me, it's Kid Rock. I want to hurt him with my hands.

#46 Weatherman

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Posted 12 September 2021 - 10:47 AM

 Turbine Freight, on 10 September 2021 - 04:12 PM, said:

Maybe it's because they went from being one of the GREAT rock power trios to a sad Flock of Seagulls tribute act & expected everyone to just accept it.
Why can't people just listen to their catalog with two different sets of ears?
It's like being angry at lasagna because it's not hamburger. You can enjoy both.
lol

#47 zappafrank

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Posted 12 September 2021 - 10:58 AM

 Turbine Freight, on 10 September 2021 - 04:12 PM, said:

Maybe it's because they went from being one of the GREAT rock power trios to a sad Flock of Seagulls tribute act & expected everyone to just accept it.

Or 100% definitely not

#48 zappafrank

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Posted 12 September 2021 - 10:59 AM

 Weatherman, on 12 September 2021 - 10:47 AM, said:

It's like being angry at lasagna because it's not hamburger. You can enjoy both.

It's why I often order my burgers medium rare, with extra lasagna on top!

#49 zappafrank

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Posted 12 September 2021 - 11:19 AM

 RushFanForever, on 11 September 2021 - 09:24 PM, said:

It's kind of hilarious that Randy Bachman has praised Geddy, Alex, and Neil as individual musicians, but not the music per se.

Isn't one of the well known funny little tidbits about Neil that despite being really good friends with Stewart Copeland (The Police), Copeland has gone on record saying that he's not a fan of Neil's playing?

#50 thizzellewashington

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Posted 12 September 2021 - 12:01 PM

There's also a big contingent of people, a lot of whom are music critics, that gravitate to rock that's more spontaneous and gut-level and "in the spirit" of three chords and rebellion and aren't going to be impressed by complicated time signatures and philosophical lyrics. That isn't a value judgment by me about which type of music is better than the other, I'm into stuff all across the spectrum, but there's a reason critics in the late 70s and early 80s were going to prefer stuff like the Clash or Elvis Costello or early pre-stadium U2 to stuff like Rush. The whole narrative at the time was that punk rock, which is EXTREMELY well-liked critically, happened as a response to the "excesses" of prog, and Rush is arguably the most commercially successful prog band of that era, so of course they're going to get the majority of the hate.

Personally, I'd argue that making a 20-minute concept piece in response to your label threatening to drop you if you don't get more commercial is as "punk rock" as it gets, but that's neither here nor there.

Edited by thizzellewashington, 12 September 2021 - 12:02 PM.


#51 Entre_Perpetuo

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Posted 12 September 2021 - 12:19 PM

 Weatherman, on 12 September 2021 - 10:44 AM, said:

 Entre_Perpetuo, on 11 September 2021 - 11:32 AM, said:

 Weatherman, on 11 September 2021 - 11:09 AM, said:

Don't forget that a lot of uneducated people were intimidated by Neil's lyrics. They couldn't understand what the words meant.

I kinda doubt anybody hates Rush because they’re uneducated and don’t understand Neil’s lyrics. I feel like the only people who hate Neil’s lyrics are those who do understand them and think they’re preachy or have bad influences or are clunky or something like that. I have no clue what the words to Sigur Rós’ music mean, but I still enjoy the music.
I've known two people who didn't understand anything about 2112 or Ayn Rand and disliked them for that reason.
Primarily it's the early stuff. "Time Stand Still/I'm not looking back/but I want to look around me now" is pretty universal.

I think calling anyone uneducated for not knowing Ayn Rand or understanding 2112 is still a stretch. Obviously you have people in mind that you know better than I ever will, but it just sounds insulting when you say someone's too uneducated to like something.

#52 goose

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Posted 12 September 2021 - 12:35 PM

It seems impossible to me to not understand Neil's lyrics.  If anything, a criticism I have read (and generally agree with) is that they are overly literal, which come across to some as pedantic.

#53 Weatherman

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Posted 12 September 2021 - 12:35 PM

 zappafrank, on 12 September 2021 - 11:19 AM, said:

 RushFanForever, on 11 September 2021 - 09:24 PM, said:

It's kind of hilarious that Randy Bachman has praised Geddy, Alex, and Neil as individual musicians, but not the music per se.

Isn't one of the well known funny little tidbits about Neil that despite being really good friends with Stewart Copeland (The Police), Copeland has gone on record saying that he's not a fan of Neil's playing?
For real? He probably objected to Neil's belabored compositional style.
They're very different players. In the Police, when Copeland was presented with a new song by Sting or Summers, he wrote and recorded the drum part within two or three hours. It just came to him quickly, and he never got in the way of his own creativity.

Edited by Weatherman, 12 September 2021 - 12:43 PM.


#54 Weatherman

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Posted 12 September 2021 - 12:38 PM

 thizzellewashington, on 12 September 2021 - 12:01 PM, said:

There's also a big contingent of people, a lot of whom are music critics, that gravitate to rock that's more spontaneous and gut-level and "in the spirit" of three chords and rebellion and aren't going to be impressed by complicated time signatures and philosophical lyrics. That isn't a value judgment by me about which type of music is better than the other, I'm into stuff all across the spectrum, but there's a reason critics in the late 70s and early 80s were going to prefer stuff like the Clash or Elvis Costello or early pre-stadium U2 to stuff like Rush. The whole narrative at the time was that punk rock, which is EXTREMELY well-liked critically, happened as a response to the "excesses" of prog, and Rush is arguably the most commercially successful prog band of that era, so of course they're going to get the majority of the hate.

Personally, I'd argue that making a 20-minute concept piece in response to your label threatening to drop you if you don't get more commercial is as "punk rock" as it gets, but that's neither here nor there.
Great comment.
A little piece of me dies every time an accomplished, sophisticated band full of good, inventive musicians says, "Oh, we're getting back to basics on the next record, just four guys in a room jamming on three chords." UGH.
Looking at YOU, Bono.
lol

#55 Weatherman

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Posted 12 September 2021 - 12:41 PM

 goose, on 12 September 2021 - 12:35 PM, said:

It seems impossible to me to not understand Neil's lyrics.  If anything, a criticism I have read (and generally agree with) is that they are overly literal, which come across to some as pedantic.
With an iron fist in a velvet glove
We are sheltered under the gun
In the glory game on the power train
Thy kingdom's will be done.


These are NOT literal lyrics. These lyrics, like so many of Neil's, do not offer easy comprehension.
People who are very literal, or impatient, or uneducated, will get frustrated by them.
(They may still like the music, but if they're looking for a reason to dismiss a band like Rush, this presents a good one.)

#56 goose

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Posted 12 September 2021 - 01:22 PM

 Weatherman, on 12 September 2021 - 12:41 PM, said:

 goose, on 12 September 2021 - 12:35 PM, said:

It seems impossible to me to not understand Neil's lyrics.  If anything, a criticism I have read (and generally agree with) is that they are overly literal, which come across to some as pedantic.
With an iron fist in a velvet glove
We are sheltered under the gun
In the glory game on the power train
Thy kingdom's will be done.


These are NOT literal lyrics.

But these ARE.

And the things that we fear
Are a weapon to be held against us.

He's not afraid of your judgement
He knows of horrors worse than your Hell
He's a little bit afraid of dying
But he's a lot more afraid of your lying.

Which is where the criticism comes in.  Rather than let the more lyrical stanzas speak for themselves, Neil often seems compelled to reiterate the message literally.


#57 Mr Freeze

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Posted 12 September 2021 - 01:45 PM

I guess Neil felt a need to pen Dog Years for the "simple" among us ;).........and give him credit..to write a song about a maple tree wanting a little more sun 😎

#58 Syrinx

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Posted 13 September 2021 - 10:04 AM

Here is a 1979 concert review so you can see what they were up against.

Rush at Varsity Stadium, Sept. 2, 1979
By Bruce Blackadar – Toronto Star

“Rush tries to bludgeon audience”

Attending a Rush concert is like being a masochist who’d enjoy a heart transplant operation in his friendly neighborhood hospital.
But the Rush fanatics – who used to be legion in these parts – seem to be losing their addiction to pain.  Only 8,000 showed up last night at Varsity Stadium to happily endure the three-man Toronto heavy metal group’s mind-shattering barrage of technological and electronic wizardry that it cunningly disguises as music.
It’s meaningless to attempt to review what Rush is doing; that would be like trying to explain the political necessity of planting bombs in churches to a sweet old nun running a children’s orphanage.
However, we can say that the trio – Neil Peart on drums, Geddy Lee, vocals and bass, and Alex Lifeson, guitar – are certainly professional, like a team of frogmen who possess an exquisite mastery of technical matters.
First, there’s the overwhelming bass line, always present, steering the electronic carnage that makes up the bulk of the band’s albums, like Hemispheres and 2112, this way and that.
Then there’s the dentist drill voice of Lee, which after not all that many songs becomes a deft instrument of torture for the listener.  It’s a voice that begins immediately at the level of pain and, miraculously, and very unfortunately, proceeds to a higher plane.
Finally, there’s the drum work of Peart, the frightful heartbeat, the rhythm of doom.
Other ingredients of the Rush assault include a mind-bending sound system, full of hysterical – and meaningless – distortions, a perfectly synchronized light show, and the band’s weird philosophical stance of intellectually primitive conservatism.
Much of what the band does – such as The Spirit of Radio, a new song they introduced to their fans last night – is wildly exciting.  But the other material is pointless electronic overkill of the highest order.

#59 Presto-digitation

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Posted 13 September 2021 - 10:10 AM

I think I'd be more concerned if critics and the average music fan "got" them.  Not to be contrarian or some edgelord, but it's kind of cool - albeit frustrating at times - to like a band that others struggle with.  They are and remain a bit of a secret handshake of sorts.  I'm okay with that.

A lot of bands I have liked over the years are divisive that way, including old Rush pals Kiss.  If you know what it's like to be the fan of one of those bands, you have come insight into being a fan of the other as well, even if for wildly different reasons.  Somehow I'm just drawn to those artists.

Why the hate, I don't know, although I suspect it's more a matter of time and place than anything.  Where the press "is" in terms of what they deem cool or edgy or talented versus what's coming along at the same time.  So, bad timing perhaps.  Or maybe bands like Rush and Kiss were always going to be the underdogs for the most part.

Regardless, their longevity and fanbase proved all the critics wrong or at least muted them into obscurity on the subject.  I'm even better with that!

Edited by Presto-digitation, 13 September 2021 - 10:11 AM.


#60 grep

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Posted 13 September 2021 - 11:15 AM

 Syrinx, on 13 September 2021 - 10:04 AM, said:

Here is a 1979 concert review so you can see what they were up against.

Rush at Varsity Stadium, Sept. 2, 1979
By Bruce Blackadar – Toronto Star

“Rush tries to bludgeon audience”

Attending a Rush concert is like being a masochist who’d enjoy a heart transplant operation in his friendly neighborhood hospital.
But the Rush fanatics – who used to be legion in these parts – seem to be losing their addiction to pain.  Only 8,000 showed up last night at Varsity Stadium to happily endure the three-man Toronto heavy metal group’s mind-shattering barrage of technological and electronic wizardry that it cunningly disguises as music.
It’s meaningless to attempt to review what Rush is doing; that would be like trying to explain the political necessity of planting bombs in churches to a sweet old nun running a children’s orphanage.
However, we can say that the trio – Neil Peart on drums, Geddy Lee, vocals and bass, and Alex Lifeson, guitar – are certainly professional, like a team of frogmen who possess an exquisite mastery of technical matters.
First, there’s the overwhelming bass line, always present, steering the electronic carnage that makes up the bulk of the band’s albums, like Hemispheres and 2112, this way and that.
Then there’s the dentist drill voice of Lee, which after not all that many songs becomes a deft instrument of torture for the listener.  It’s a voice that begins immediately at the level of pain and, miraculously, and very unfortunately, proceeds to a higher plane.
Finally, there’s the drum work of Peart, the frightful heartbeat, the rhythm of doom.
Other ingredients of the Rush assault include a mind-bending sound system, full of hysterical – and meaningless – distortions, a perfectly synchronized light show, and the band’s weird philosophical stance of intellectually primitive conservatism.
Much of what the band does – such as The Spirit of Radio, a new song they introduced to their fans last night – is wildly exciting. But the other material is pointless electronic overkill of the highest order.

They hadn't even gotten to the synth era yet. LMAO.  I wonder how this guy felt about SIG, P/G, PoW and HYF.




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