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Happy 26th Birthday - Test for Echo


Maverick
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September 10th, 1996 - Test for Echo is released.

 

I only knew this album had come out because I was in the car and turned on the radio.  A song was playing, and I really wasn't paying attention to it.  But then I heard the vocals, and with a couple of words it hit - That's Rush!  I haven't heard this song before.  They have a new album!

 

Not really one of my favorite albums.  I can't remember the last time I listened to anything from it.  Stand out tracks are Time and Motion, Driven, and the title track is ok.  

 

I don't really mind Half the World that much, but I know some here can't stand it.  Kind of like how I like Red Lenses from GUP.  But I rally, really like Red Lenses.  I just don't hate Half the World.

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The nadir of Rush for me. I remember listening to it -- my first Rush CD -- and wondering if the band was just a spent force, creatively. Unlike some others that have grown on me, T4E is still rooted firmly in the bottom spot. "Driven" isn't so bad, but most of the rest of it is forgettable.

 

I'm so glad now looking back on it that it wasn't the end, merely the end of one era, before the eventual dawning of another with much stronger stuff.

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I'm in agreement with this. Lol, my husband looked at my Rush wall calendar today and said to me, " It's the anniversary of Test For Echo!"  I'm like, there's a reason you don't hear it around here very often! :biggrin:  Resist has a pretty melody and I like Carve Away The Stone but I really don't play it much.

Edited by blueschica
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3 hours ago, blueschica said:

I'm in agreement with this. Lol, my husband looked at my Rush wall calendar today and said to me, " It's the anniversary of Test For Echo!"  I'm like, there's a reason you don't hear it around here very often! :biggrin:  Resist has a pretty melody and I like Carve Away The Stone but I really don't play it much.

I never got the big fuss over Resist.  Geddy loved it, apparently.  But it was completely forgettable for me.  I didn't even remember it until I read your post.

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Driven is a great song.

 

Half the World is the biggest POS they ever recorded.

 

Not a career highlight.

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Not a lot of love, huh. It's a great long distance cycling-with-headphones album.

 

Personally, over the course of so many albums and decades I decided years ago it was a matter of understanding what they were playing, learning why new sounds and styles were introduced - not yes it's great or it's sh*t. And maybe not a popular expression but to me the albums are often about more than the music. Backstory and events play a big role in why I choose to play an album at certain times.

It could have been their last album. Lots transpired after the tour. But they kept together like they did until the very end, so an album like Test For Echo is pretty high on my list.

 

Of course we don't have to love everything they did. But it bugs me when people say this or that album or this or that song sucked. It was pressed and released with full agreement. Perhaps it's not a personal favourite but, sorry no, nothing sucked.

 

Take the title song for example, great "visuals". And Driven? Somebody posted recently about the "goth - horror European" filming style. So much thinking and production went into everything they did.

Dog Years could have been shorter - but, it's about dogs!!!!! "Put your message in a modem and throw it in the Cyber Sea", pretty cool concept. And the lyrics in Limbo? Brilliant :LOL:

 

Nothing RUSH did was half-hearted. Was TFE a precursor to Vapor Trails? When you play out a few albums of a "newer-wave" and need to go back to full on heavy, maybe TFE deserves more credit. 

 

Cheers

 

 

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I love Test for Echo.  It's not my favourite album of theirs, but it gets more play than any of the first four albums, and probably more than AFTK and Hemispheres as well.  It was the current Rush album when I became a fan, so that accounts for a lot of it.

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I liked it when it first came out and I remember being really excited when I heard the title track for the first time while at work played over local FM radio. And I remember in the very early days of the internet reading the pre-release song titles on the old TNMS site leaking the album title and myself insisting that Test For Echo was a working title not what the final product was going to be named... boy was I wrong about that lol

Unfortunately it didn't age well and I like the title track and yes I do like Half The World REM-ish as it is...the lyrics are sadly more appropriate now than they've ever been. What is also the beginning of trends in Rush's music that I didn't like all the way up to the end of the band... the dense over distorted layers of guitar and bass making the songs sound muddy, the quality of Neil's lyrics just weren't as compelling as they used to be, decidedly mediocre "meh" songwriting (Color Of Right, Totem, Carve Away The Stone) , Geddy's bass tone wasn't good and I didn't care for Alex's choice in guitar tones either. Something that would continue on Vapor Trails 5 years later.

I very rarely listen to it. The tour was good but the album was mediocre for their standards. 

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It only makes #15 in my Rush rankings. Not one of their best as far as i am concerned.

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Another lower tier album for me, doesn't mean I don't like it but this one has 3 clunkers. Dog Years, Virtuality and Color of Right

 

Really like the title track, Driven and Half the World

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I really like this album.  It’s not a top 10 album for me, but it was nice to hear the guys rock out and not suck while doing it for the first time in about 13 years.  

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6 hours ago, taurus said:

Another lower tier album for me, doesn't mean I don't like it but this one has 3 clunkers. Dog Years, Virtuality and Color of Right

 

Really like the title track, Driven and Half the World

I categorize Virtuality in the same lane as Spindrift... a great guitar riff in search of a better song

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On 9/10/2022 at 7:37 PM, jnoble said:

I liked it when it first came out and I remember being really excited when I heard the title track for the first time while at work played over local FM radio. And I remember in the very early days of the internet reading the pre-release song titles on the old TNMS site leaking the album title and myself insisting that Test For Echo was a working title not what the final product was going to be named... boy was I wrong about that lol

Unfortunately it didn't age well and I like the title track and yes I do like Half The World REM-ish as it is...the lyrics are sadly more appropriate now than they've ever been. What is also the beginning of trends in Rush's music that I didn't like all the way up to the end of the band... the dense over distorted layers of guitar and bass making the songs sound muddy, the quality of Neil's lyrics just weren't as compelling as they used to be, decidedly mediocre "meh" songwriting (Color Of Right, Totem, Carve Away The Stone) , Geddy's bass tone wasn't good and I didn't care for Alex's choice in guitar tones either. Something that would continue on Vapor Trails 5 years later.

I very rarely listen to it. The tour was good but the album was mediocre for their standards. 

Pretty much how I feel.  The tour was phenomenal for me, as I got to experience them at the Gorge on a perfect night.  As for the album itself, I agree it hasn't aged well.  I still like the title track, love Time and Motion, and have a soft spot for the tongue in cheek Dog Years.  I think the album is best experienced these days through Neil's A Work In Progress video.  Alex and Geddy admit to kind of phoning in T4E, and that lack of creative effort on their part really makes Neil's re-tooling of his drumming  the most interesting aspect of the album.

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I think T4E is Rush's least essential album - like, if it didn't exist, it wouldn't alter the story or the trajectory of the band very much.  There isn't a song from it that feels particularly emblematic or that you can't imagine a concert without.  It just feels to me like it could disappear and we'd all just be OK :laugh:I don't think you can say that for any of the other albums...maybe Roll The Bones, but that one was at least the continued step back to the 3 piece focus started on Presto.  

 

It's just so "meh"... it feels like a lot of filler to me, where everything is kinda so so ok...with a few real stinkers thrown in.  

 

I know I bring a subjective opinion because it was the first album they put out where my deep fandom waned.  I never sat with T4E and dissected it the way I did with all the albums up to that point.  It was the first one for me that didn't feel like an artistic statement, like an intentional release...it just felt like an album with some songs on it, which the other ones had not felt like to me (even though, of course, by definition, they were).  Maybe that's why I don't like it...it kinda makes me feel sad, like the remnants of a breakup. 

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1 hour ago, Timbale said:

I think T4E is Rush's least essential album - like, if it didn't exist, it wouldn't alter the story or the trajectory of the band very much.  There isn't a song from it that feels particularly emblematic or that you can't imagine a concert without.  It just feels to me like it could disappear and we'd all just be OK :laugh:I don't think you can say that for any of the other albums...maybe Roll The Bones, but that one was at least the continued step back to the 3 piece focus started on Presto. 

 

The first three songs on RTB are essential and were played live on pretty much every tour from 1991 on.

Edited by Rush Didact
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13 hours ago, Rush Didact said:

 

The first three songs on RTB are essential and were played live on pretty much every tour from 1991 on.

Yes, I agree, I should have said that. Although some of RTB is pretty disposable - I think we can all live without Face Up, for instance - those first three are important "modern" Rush songs in ways that none of the T4E songs are.

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1 hour ago, Timbale said:

Yes, I agree, I should have said that. Although some of RTB is pretty disposable - I think we can all live without Face Up, for instance - those first three are important "modern" Rush songs in ways that none of the T4E songs are.

 

I still don't think I agree.  I consider the title track, Driven, and Resist all to be essential Rush as well.

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On 9/10/2022 at 9:26 PM, Rush Didact said:

I love Test for Echo.  It's not my favourite album of theirs, but it gets more play than any of the first four albums, and probably more than AFTK and Hemispheres as well.  It was the current Rush album when I became a fan, so that accounts for a lot of it.

 

I love the acoustic guitars on this record a lot. Favorites are probably Half The World, Time and Motion, Totem, The Colour of Right and Resist.

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On 9/18/2022 at 9:33 AM, Timbale said:

I think T4E is Rush's least essential album - like, if it didn't exist, it wouldn't alter the story or the trajectory of the band very much.  There isn't a song from it that feels particularly emblematic or that you can't imagine a concert without.  It just feels to me like it could disappear and we'd all just be OK :laugh:I don't think you can say that for any of the other albums...maybe Roll The Bones, but that one was at least the continued step back to the 3 piece focus started on Presto. 

For me, TFE is better lyrically and musically than Counterparts, which could completely disappear for me and not really change my opinion of the band, though I do love the production and sound of the album.  I would terribly miss TFE, Driven, Half the World, The Color of Right, Dog Years (yes, I love it and it is funny and playful), Virtuality, and Resist (especially the live, acoustic version) if they were to disappear.  I think I would only truly miss Animate and Nobody's Hero from Counterparts.  RTB has Dreamline, which other than Far Cry is probably the last emblematic song from Rush, plus Ghost of a Chance, Bravado, and RTB.  

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