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4.01 | 37 ratings | 4 reviews
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Live album · 1976

Filed under Hard Rock


1. Bastille Day (4:57)
2. Anthem (4:56)
3. Fly by Night / In the Mood (5:03)
4. Something for Nothing (4:02)
5. Lakeside Park (5:04)
6. 2112 (15:50)
7. By-Tor & The Snow Dog (11:57)
8. In the End (7:13)
9. Working Man / Finding My Way (14:56)
10. What You're Doing (5:39)

Total Time: 79:41


- Geddy Lee / vocals, bass
- Alex Lifeson / guitars
- Neal Peart / drums, percussion

About this release

Live album
September 29, 1976
Produced by Rush and Terry Brown
Recorded at Massey Hall, Toronto on June 11–13, 1976

1976 - Anthem(Canada): gatefold
1976 - Mercury(US)(Europe): gatefold
1987 - Mercury(Germany) CD
1997 - Anthem(Canada) CD: remastered
1997 - Mercury(US)(Europe) CD: remastered

Thanks to cannon, Pekka, 666sharon666 for the updates


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Specialists/collaborators reviews

"All the World's a Stage" is a live album release by Canadian progressive rock act Rush. The album was released through Mercury Records in the US/Europe and through Anthem Records in their native country in September 1976. The original version of the album was a double vinyl release featuring a gatefold sleeve. It´s the first live album release by the band, and according to the liner notes it closes the first chapter of the band´s history.

Rush got their breakthrough earlier in 1976 with the release of their fourth full-length studio album "2112" and the material on "All the World's a Stage" were recorded at Massey Hall in Toronto on June 11, 12, and 13 during their tour supporting the album. "All the World's a Stage" naturally features some tracks from "2112" (including about 16 minutes of the normally 20 minutes long title track), but the band´s first three albums "Rush (1974)", "Fly by Night (1975)", and "Caress of Steel (1975)", are also represented by at least one track each.

Rush have always been an exceptionally well playing band, and that´s true for their live performances too, which "All the World's a Stage" perfectly documents. The album also features a powerful, raw, and organic sounding production, which suits the material well, so "All the World's a Stage" is a fine presentation of a 1976 Rush show (including a drum solo from Neal Peart). The tracklist is well picked, the sound production is relatively well sounding, and the performances are strong from all three members of the band. A 3.5 star (70%) rating is deserved.
Rush's first live album

One live release every four studio albums, this will be the rule. Recorded in 1976 in Toronto, the band's town, "All The World's A Stage" covers RUSH's first period, from 1974 to 1976. A this time, the Canadians were beginning to incorporate progressive elements in their powerful seventies hard / heavy rock. The set-list features extracts from their self-titled debut, "Fly By Night", "Caress Of Steel" and "2112". All discs are well represented and the songs are interpreted with energy, volume and conviction.

Skipping the "Discovery" and "Oracle: The Dream" sections, "2112" has been shortened to 16 minutes. Overall cool, however I do prefer the more polished studio version. On the contrary, "By-tor And The Snow Dog" has been extended to 12 minutes and is undoubtedly the highlight of the record, maybe superior to the original. The band sculpts here an incandescent sonic magma, especially Alex Lifeson creating a maelstrom of furious cosmic guitars. Terrifying! The mysterious spacey interlude is also transcended and simply gorgeous. An unbelievable tour de force! The selection of the average "In The End" as a calm ballad to slow the pace down is a curious choice. "Working Man / Finding My Way" features a long drum solo at the end, Neil Peart being called "The Professor" by Geddy Lee.

Although a bit lengthy, "All The World's A Stage" clearly remains one of the band's best live releases. The concert will please every early RUSH fans, and is also a good entry point for newcomers to discover the trio's first period.
Rush's first live album is a definitive record of all that is great about the power trio. It features stunning performances of Bastille Day, Anthem, Fly By Night / In The Mood and Something For Nothing, among others. The band perform some of their earlier material and for this reason it is worth getting hold of this album in particular to hear the best versions of tracks from the debut album. It also boasts a full blown prog fest epic in the form of 2112, running for almost 16 minutes. A version of Working Man merged with Finding My Way is a gem and also the unbeatable Bytor and the Snow Dog, featuring killer guitar solo. The concert is not long, at least what has been recorded here and on DVD, but it is still a shining treasure of the classic live Rush, with each member at their best, Geddy's vocals reach those high octave notes with ease, Peart is full of energy, and Lifeson's guitar work is sensational. There are many other live Rush albums, the best being the 3 CD "Different Stages" but this is still a terrific taste of the prog legends in full flight.
Cobbled together in a hurry to cash in on the success of 2112, All The World's a Stage is an adequate but not exceptional summary of the early period of Rush. The recording quality is just about acceptable but not stellar, hinting at the band's live power without quite adequately capturing it. The songs from the first three albums are by and large improved by the raw live performance, but the songs from 2112 suffer from the production quality - and from the fact that 2112 itself is trimmed by about five minutes or so, a decision which will enrage purists.

Still, the album is an authentic-sounding snapshot of the Rush live experience at the time, with between-song chat preserved. On balance, though, I'd say it was recorded slightly too early in their career - it relies a bit too much on material from the first three albums to fill out its running time, and they're just not strong enough to carry it. The Different Stages set has a live disc from a 1978 performance, and having an extra album's worth of quality material to balance out the setlist makes all the difference. This is a live album which was probably welcome at the time, but has surely been superseded now by later live releases.

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