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Exit...Stage Left 40 years old today


Timbale
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Not sure how it is that we have a 40th Anniversary of the record released after Moving Pictures...and we still haven't seen the 40th Ann set of MP, but...

 

ESL was released 40 years ago today!

 

This album came out maybe a year or so before my fandom really started...it was already there in my older brother's record collection for me to discover. It is funny...I can remember loving the band, but knowing so little about them (the dark ages of the pre-internet) that when I got All The World's A Stage a little bit later, I remember looking at the track listing and being disappointed that there wasn't going to be a drum solo on it....because YYZ wasn't one of the songs listed! Hahaha....

 

Exit...Stage Left is still one of my favourite records of theirs... I know there are people who find it too muddy, too "soft" sounding, and don't like the gaps between tracks...but I just adore everything about it, particularly the drum sound (particularly particularly the bass drum sound) and Geddy's vocals.

 

It feels like a fading hope that they will release a full set list version of this tour (maybe on the MP anniversary set?!), which is a drag. They were playing and sounding at the top of their game...and the tracks that didn't make the live record really should have an official release at this point.... but until that time, we have this amazing live record to go back to and imagine a band just nailing it perfectly.

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Great album. I got this one before any of the albums it covers except Moving Pictures, so it was my first intro to so much of their peak. My cassette version of this one was so frequently handled,the ink wore off -- I knew it was ESL only by the slightly tan/khaki tint of the plastic. And because all the others had print on them, I suppose.

 

I'll go listen again.

 

Happy Birthday, ESL!

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ESL was my first live album, and my second Rush album after MP.

 

Still one of my top albums.... on it's own merits and the nostalgia too. The synth coming in after the drum solo on YYZ, that choir on CTTH, the mighty Jacobs Ladder, and the insane LVS (with words!) to round it out. Still reminding me of those early days when the future was bright and still mostly in front of us.

Edited by grep
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ESL was my introduction to Rush, based on a casette tape copy from the original CD. In time I reciprocated to the friend who recorded the tape for me by gifting him the CD of the reissue. Would love an updated or remastered version, along with the same for MP.
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SO MANY 40th anniversaries. We're only on ESL, folks.

Just wait for Signals 40th... I hope they do something huge with it.

BTW despite being a huge Rushhead I've never seen the ESL video. I'm waiting, so that I have something to look forward to...

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Hurrah! Giving it a listen again now. I like the other live albums, but this one takes the cake for me since it captures them at the peak of my favorite era. Soon the double neck guitars and Oberheim synths and Taurus pedals would start fading away into newer tech and gear. Sure would be nice to get a Blu-ray release of the video sometime ..
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SO MANY 40th anniversaries. We're only on ESL, folks.

Just wait for Signals 40th... I hope they do something huge with it.

BTW despite being a huge Rushhead I've never seen the ESL video. I'm waiting, so that I have something to look forward to...

 

Them at their peak imo. You will love the video.

 

Back in the day videos and the whole video was on Mtv

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Going to track down that Exit Stage Right boot and listen to it today.

 

I found this on youtube today and listened to it. It's fun to hear them live in this era - playing really well....but still a little bit loose, too. (I like hearing Neil and Alex screw around at the end of Closer To The Heart, both trying to get the "last word"...) For me, if you could put a handful of Signals tunes into this setlist, it would be just perfect. As it is, it's an unreal set of music from them.

 

One thing that is interesting to hear with shows from this era is how hit-or-miss Neil is with tempo sometimes. I find it funny when you see people's comments on things like youtube praising Neil as the be-all-end-all drum god...often people will say something like "Metronomes set themselves to Neil".... and I always think, wow, you haven't listened to some of the unofficial live stuff! He's all over the place in that Chicago show - you can hear how they get out of sync with the sequencer in Spirit Of Radio, for one obvious example. He was still progressing as a live drummer I guess... and yet, I love how energetic and powerful he is in this time. I'd rather hear him be shaky in '81 than tempo perfect in 2004....

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Just wait for Signals 40th... I hope they do something huge with it.

 

I am hoping for a complete recording of a show that no recording seems to exist for (perhaps La Crosse, based on the Wandering the Face of the Earth Book).

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Going to track down that Exit Stage Right boot and listen to it today.

 

I found this on youtube today and listened to it. It's fun to hear them live in this era - playing really well....but still a little bit loose, too. (I like hearing Neil and Alex screw around at the end of Closer To The Heart, both trying to get the "last word"...) For me, if you could put a handful of Signals tunes into this setlist, it would be just perfect. As it is, it's an unreal set of music from them.

 

One thing that is interesting to hear with shows from this era is how hit-or-miss Neil is with tempo sometimes. I find it funny when you see people's comments on things like youtube praising Neil as the be-all-end-all drum god...often people will say something like "Metronomes set themselves to Neil".... and I always think, wow, you haven't listened to some of the unofficial live stuff! He's all over the place in that Chicago show - you can hear how they get out of sync with the sequencer in Spirit Of Radio, for one obvious example. He was still progressing as a live drummer I guess... and yet, I love how energetic and powerful he is in this time. I'd rather hear him be shaky in '81 than tempo perfect in 2004....

 

I was watching the ESL film, and my god is TS just all over the place. So fast at the beginning and then NP has to put the brakes on in the middle of the song. He struggled with that one for awhile. Closer to the Heart took a few years too.

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Going to track down that Exit Stage Right boot and listen to it today.

 

I found this on youtube today and listened to it. It's fun to hear them live in this era - playing really well....but still a little bit loose, too. (I like hearing Neil and Alex screw around at the end of Closer To The Heart, both trying to get the "last word"...) For me, if you could put a handful of Signals tunes into this setlist, it would be just perfect. As it is, it's an unreal set of music from them.

 

One thing that is interesting to hear with shows from this era is how hit-or-miss Neil is with tempo sometimes. I find it funny when you see people's comments on things like youtube praising Neil as the be-all-end-all drum god...often people will say something like "Metronomes set themselves to Neil".... and I always think, wow, you haven't listened to some of the unofficial live stuff! He's all over the place in that Chicago show - you can hear how they get out of sync with the sequencer in Spirit Of Radio, for one obvious example. He was still progressing as a live drummer I guess... and yet, I love how energetic and powerful he is in this time. I'd rather hear him be shaky in '81 than tempo perfect in 2004....

 

I was watching the ESL film, and my god is TS just all over the place. So fast at the beginning and then NP has to put the brakes on in the middle of the song. He struggled with that one for awhile. Closer to the Heart took a few years too.

 

Yeah, the solo section of Closer To The Heart is often galloping ahead of itself! Even on ESL recording (my fave version of all) the solo picks WAY up! To me it's so noticeable, because the 2nd and 3rd verses sit in such a nice, groovy place...and then it's off to the races!

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Yep - as much as I love Xanadu on ESL, the timing sort of comes and goes there too (almost to the point of being distracting)

 

 

Even when I was 12 or 13, I remember comparing those syncopated unison shots after "and drink the milk of paradise" just before "I have heard the whispered tales..." with the studio version and being amazed how out of time they were. And yet I much prefer the live version!

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I remember the day picking it up at the local record shop...man,I should've bought two copies and saved one for the 40th anniversary

Man,reliving the opening of a new copy all over again...I wore out the cassette copy of ATWAS and the St.Louis live radio broadcast tape.

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Going to track down that Exit Stage Right boot and listen to it today.

 

I found this on youtube today and listened to it. It's fun to hear them live in this era - playing really well....but still a little bit loose, too. (I like hearing Neil and Alex screw around at the end of Closer To The Heart, both trying to get the "last word"...) For me, if you could put a handful of Signals tunes into this setlist, it would be just perfect. As it is, it's an unreal set of music from them.

 

One thing that is interesting to hear with shows from this era is how hit-or-miss Neil is with tempo sometimes. I find it funny when you see people's comments on things like youtube praising Neil as the be-all-end-all drum god...often people will say something like "Metronomes set themselves to Neil".... and I always think, wow, you haven't listened to some of the unofficial live stuff! He's all over the place in that Chicago show - you can hear how they get out of sync with the sequencer in Spirit Of Radio, for one obvious example. He was still progressing as a live drummer I guess... and yet, I love how energetic and powerful he is in this time. I'd rather hear him be shaky in '81 than tempo perfect in 2004....

 

I was watching the ESL film, and my god is TS just all over the place. So fast at the beginning and then NP has to put the brakes on in the middle of the song. He struggled with that one for awhile. Closer to the Heart took a few years too.

 

Listen to just about any show from the Signals Tour. The guys reach hyper drive.

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There has not been a single album EVER that I have listened to more than ESL.

 

I may have shared this before, but I will again. I bought a cassette copy of this album in 1982, and I played the tape so much (maybe 200-300x) and it finally broke.

 

About 1984, I bought another one. I believe I wore it out as well, and sometime in the late 1980s I bought the CD, and then later the remaster (so I could get Passage to Bangkok back)

 

This album is actually in my car CD player now, and I was jamming to Jacob's Ladder, Broon's Bane, The Trees and Xanadu on the way into work this morning.

 

Definitely put me in a good mood!

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