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Which Rush album is most UNLIKE all the others?


Weatherman
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Which Rush album is most UNLIKE all the others?  

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  1. 1. Which Rush Album is most UNLIKE the others?

    • Debut
      13
    • Caress of Steel
      3
    • Counterparts
      2
    • Vapor Trails
      13
    • Snakes & Arrows
      5


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We can all agree on what constitutes the prog era, the AOR success era, the synth era.

But I'm curious about your opinions re: the oddballs. You know: the albums that seem like one-offs, that aren't connected to any other albums by trend, technology, sound, or arrangements.

Which album sounds the most different from everything else in the Rush catalog?

I've narrowed it down to a few finalists. Comment below! 

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7 hours ago, goose said:

Each album is unique in some way, but I think Vapor Trails stands apart the most.

That was my first instinct but I went with the debut. I had doubted my choice and as I'm typing this I'm beginning to doubt it again but I'll stick with my gut

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Debut ...... fairly standard hard rock ........... then along came The Professor! :Neil:

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I’d go with the Debut or S&A.  The Debut is just so simple, lyrically and musically, that it stands apart.  Brown did a good job with the mix, but the production is just apart from anything else they did that it can almost be jarring.  While you can make a similar argument for Vapor Trails, which eschewed solos, I’d argue that S&A is more apart from the others as it has so many acoustic guitars mixed in with too many other guitars.  Add onto that that half the songs sound completely the same as each other in tempo and mood (and that the tempo just trudges along), and the album becomes an outlier for Rush.  

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Agreed, the debut is great fun and actually one of Geddy's favourites, but it's not the same band.

 

Vapor Trails from the Peart years for me. Unlike any of their other albums, such dark and deeply personal lyrics, with music to match. I love it, but again it's an outlier. 

 

 

 

Edited by Lurkst
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Great responses so far, thanks.

I voted S&A -- the constant mid-tempo, the acoustic guitars, the lack of melody, the nondiscernable changes in the arrangements. I honestly can't think of much else like it in their catalog. 

Debut is a close second, but it still has vocal melodies, guitar solos, a variety of tempos, and pretty standard arrangements. Much like many other albums.

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Interesting question, and these do feel like the right options. Hmm...

 

Can't be CP, because T4E exists and is pretty much CP part 2, the leftovers.

 

I don't think it's the debut either, because, there are definitely debut type songs as far out as Caress Of Steel after it. Speaking of CoS, it could be, but to me it feels like a pretty natural blend of the two records before it and the three records after it to me. Being the structural reverse of 2112 doesn't help its case for uniqueness either.

 

That leaves Snakes and VT, two very odd records.  Despite coming right after each other, the only noticeable similarity to me is Geddy's use of falsetto on both records, something he never did before and also didn't do on CA iirc. VT has the sonic template of a 90s metal album and the melodic sense of something much poppier. Snakes feels like the natural answer to the question, what if Rush just played like a normal band for once, which is to basically say they put a lot of the blues and psych from their high school years back into their sound and paired those sounds with a lot of verse chorus type songs (not surprisingly, it's the weirder songs that are the better ones on that record, not all those verse chorus filler tracks). To me, despite Snakes' own uniquities in Rush's catalogue, the obvious callbacks to a lot of old Rush influences makes it stick out a little less to me. So I'll give it to VT.  Just a really unusual batch of tunes with production unlike anything else I've ever heard.

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9 hours ago, treeduck said:

The first album, with no Peart lyrics or album concept and obviously no Peart drums, and more of an overall basic hard rock approach.

It was their Led Zep album. Not an insult, they made a good one. It was the first one I thought of. But there's Test For Echo. Its not Counterparts and its energy got stalled by Neil's life events. I actually consider Vapor Trails a succesor of that series. Same modern vibe. T4E got left to hang for a bit on its own for awhile.

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On 9/30/2022 at 4:44 AM, goose said:

Each album is unique in some way, but I think Vapor Trails stands apart the most.

I agree with you :yes:

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Since the question was "most" unlike, I went with the debut.

 

I absolutely love the first album.  To me, on a scale of 1 to 10, (10 being best), the lowest rated song for me is Take A Friend, and I give that a 7.  The album absolutely rocks out.

 

But there are still songs from Fly By Night that would fit in with the songs on the debut.  And even "I Think I'm Going Bald" from Caress is debut-album-ish. 

 

 

Great topic.

 

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