2112 by Rush

Even though the lyrics of this record rely heavily on the writings and faux philosophies of Ayn Rand — a plagiarized spew stew dipped out of Darwin and The Wealth of Nations — don't think for a minute about throwing the beautiful baby (2112) out with the putrid bathwater (Ayn Rand), because this album shines regardless of any mediocre novelist/fascist "philosopher" who inspired its thematic content.
l.-r., Alex Lifeson, Neal Peart, Geddy Lee, 1976
Geddy Lee can't sing, but he can screech. He can screech better than any banshee. Even better than Stevie Nicks. And while he's not the most attractive thing to look at up there on the stage (not his fault, he was born that way), he can sure play bass and synthesizer simultaneously like no other rocker in history.

Don't confuse Alex Lifeson for Jimmy Page. But don't confuse Steve Jones for Alex Lifeson. When the guitar needs to sound like science fiction itself — as it does on 2112 — or later in their careers when it sounds like an outlawed automobile being chased by an "alloy air car," on their 1981 classic, "Red Barchetta" from arguably their most creative release, Moving Pictures, nobody in rock history has ever made the electric guitar sound so consistently and convincingly dystopian.

Deluxe ed. in 5.1 surround sound, released 2012
Neil Peart? Ever heard of him? If you haven't, he's the most technically skilled (or was, in his prime in the 1970s and 80s), versatile, and virtuosic rock drummer who's ever lived. Set the needle (if you still have one) on side one of 2112, and listen to Overture/Temples of Syrinx, and hear the incomparable blitzing beat of percussive genius. He drums faster than a bullet train, but it's intelligible-fast, each thwack and snap distinguishable from the one preceding it, unlike the fast-thrash-ubiquitous-bashing predominant in today's harder-tinged music.

The Sex Pistols released one album in their "career" — iconic and influential as it was, granted — that garnered them a place in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. While Rush, dozens of great albums out, all (except their first) filled with Neil Peart's poetry —yes, poetry — lyrics that could pass as poetry and not just lyrics (read Closer to the Heart or Freewill for starters), and worldwide critical acclaim (except in almighty U.S. of A.) are not (WTF?)-- in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame? Get serious. Rush, in fact, hasn't even been nominated for the Hall of Fame. Absurd. No, BEYOND ABSURD.

I'm no rock critic, but I'd posit that if a "career" based solely on Never Mind The Bollocks by the Sex Pistols, is worthy of Hall of Fame status, then so should Rush gain entrance into the Hall of Fame based solely on one its finest releases, 2112 — an album sonically superior and lyrically more astute (even despite Ayn Rand's nefarious influence) than that raucous, one-chordish, veritable boy band, Sex Pistols shit.


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