Moving Pictures
RUSH

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RUSH - Moving Pictures cover
4.41 | 110 ratings | 10 reviews
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Album · 1981

Filed under Hard Rock

Tracklist

1. Tom Sawyer (4:33)
2. Red Barchetta (6:10)
3. YYZ (4:26)
4. Limelight (4:19)
5. The Camera Eye (11:01)
6. Witch Hunt (4:45)
7. Vital Signs (4:46)

Total Time: 40:02

Deluxe edition DVD/Blu-Ray:
1. Tom Sawyer (4:33)
2. Red Barchetta (6:10)
3. YYZ (4:26)
4. Limelight (4:19)
5. The Camera Eye (11:01)
6. Witch Hunt (4:45)
7. Vital Signs (4:46)
8. Tom Sawyer (video)
9. Limelight (video)
10. Vital Signs (video)

Line-up/Musicians

- Geddy Lee / Bass guitars, Oberheim polyphonic, OB-X, Mini-Moog, Taurus pedal synthesizers, vocals
- Alex Lifeson / Six and twelve string electric and acoustic guitars, Taurus Pedals
- Neil Peart / Drum kit, timbales, gong bass drums, orchestra bells, glockenspiel, wind chimes, bell tree, crotales, cowbells, plywood

with
- Hugh Syme / Synthesizers on "Witch Hunt"

About this release

Studio album
February 12, 1981
Anthem/Mercury
Produced by Rush and Terry Brown

Remastered CD versions released in 1992 (sold out) and on June 3, 1997. A 30th Anniversary Deluxe Edition was released on April 5, 2011, it contains the original album remastered on CD, plus a DVD or Blu-Ray containing the entire album in Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound + PCM Stereo playback (DVD) or DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 surround sound (Blu-Ray). Regardless of format, it also contains three music videos.

Thanks to Time Signature, Pekka for the updates

RUSH MP3, Free Download/Stream

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RUSH MOVING PICTURES reviews

Specialists/collaborators reviews

Warthur
An excellent refinement and polishing of the approach taken on Permanent Waves, Moving Pictures is a strong candidate for the best album Rush ever made. Rush had begun to incorporate an increasing amount of synthesisers into their music on the preceding album, and this tendency continues this time around. The sole extended track on the album, the ten minute The Camera Eye, makes good use of this by having Geddy Lee primarily play synthesisers for the first part of the song, which is about the ambience of New York, and then switch to bass for the second half, which concerns the ambience of London; just as the modernity of New York and the history of London are contrasted in the song, so too are the future direction of Rush and their recent musical history brilliantly contrasted in the piece.

In terms of structure, the first side consists of catchy and accessible numbers which showcase the band's hard rock and metal chops whilst continuing their project of condensing progressive rock song structures into short, bite-sized chunks. This is perfectly captured on what I consider to be their best song, the haunting Red Barchetta, whose movements capture nostalgia, exhilaration, action, and escapism in an emotional trip that perfectly parallels the narrative of the song; the opening chords of the piece never fail to make hairs rise on the back of my neck. The side also includes YYZ, an instrumental in the tradition of the excellent La Villa Strangiato - the best track from Hemispheres by a long way - which again condenses the sorts of twists and turns and technical musicianship found into the earlier piece into a shorter and very accessible format.

The second side of the song is devoted to more experimental and murkier material, and has taken a while to grow on me - but grow on me it has. As well as the aforementioned The Camera Eye, it includes the spooky Witch Hunt - a rare Rush excursion into horror - and Vital Signs, in which Rush's increasing New Wave influences are manifested in a very Police-like incorporation of reggae rhythms into the song (though I have to say I think Rush succeed rather better than the Police did).

On the whole, this is an album where Rush hit a perfect balance between progging out and rocking out, in which experimentation and accessibility and cool synthesiser pieces and heavy guitar solos all work in perfect harmony. In other words, it attains the balance which Hemispheres spoke of but didn't actually attain itself, and in that sense it can be seen as the culmination all the work Rush had done up to that point. The band would take a radical new direction with their next album, but their early progressive metal period ended on the best possible note.
poslednijat_colobar
Probably one of the best Rush works, but I have little problems even with such a critically acclaimed album. Good album indeed, but obviously the level of depth of the songwriting doesn't please me enought. The flaws can be heard almost at the beginning of the album - in the second song, called Red Barchetta. It's full of static ideas and repetitions. In fact that attends all over the album, except the opening song - Tom Saywer. I think Moving Pictures is so technical example for the fact that the technique is not everything. You need more - the ability to catch the listener. And they definitely miss it with me. This album makes it, very hard! The vocals by Geddy Lee are the other weak section, in my opinion. The mixture between guitar riffs and electro keyboard sound is another motif I have a problem with here. And yet good album.

Final conclusion: an overrated album by an overrated band! 3- stars
Andyman1125
Hit after hit after hit after hit...

Here we have Rush at their absolute best. With this, they achieved an even higher critical acclaim and popularity than they had with 2112. The album contains 7 smashing songs full of life and vigor that really set the standard for progressive rock and proto-metal of that era. With the classic Tom Sawyer opening for the album, you can see how much of a classic the album really is. The album truly is a pure masterpiece.

Tom Sawyer is the opening for this album, and it's one heck of an opener indeed! Coming forth with the classic synth-drum duo, and those typical Geddy Lee-style vocals, the song is an instant hit. The whole length of the track is pure amazingness. The song has intense instrumental talent, great melodic value, superior rhythmic support, and just about everything else you could possibly want in a song.

Red Barchetta is the kin of song that needs to mature, for me. The first time I heard I thought it was alright, but nothing special. As I continued to play the album, I began to realize what a spectacular song it truly is. The song has some of the best melodies of the album, and a really great rockability going about it.

YYZ is the essential Rush instrumental. I can talk for days about the technical ability all these guys have, but this one song about sums it all up in 4 minutes. Every savory second is full of great 5/4 fun, with that great triangle-intro to the on-off feel of the guitars and drums, and those solos! Everyone gets a solo, with Lifeson ripping on his guitar, and Lee wacking on his bass, and of course Peart smashing away at the skins.

Limelight is yet another timeless classic, and was actually one of my first exposes into the sound of Rush. That classic verse and chorus makes this song an absolute timeless classic, all about Rush in the Limelight-- or not.

The Camera Eye is the epic of the album, clocking in at around 11 minutes, depending on your version. The song takes a little while to really get started, but you can be tamed by the psychedelic and ambient intro the band threw in, before the song really kicks into action. The song contains some of my absolute favorite Rush moments, with that great guitar melody and the great vocal and drum tracks that back it. The whole song is just an absolute blast to listen to.

Which Hunt is the only real "weak" track on the album, but that's only because it is on the tail end of 5 amazingly spectacular tracks. The song has a much slower and "creepy" feel to it, with some real "supernatural" feeling ambiance about it. The track is good, but nowhere near as good as Tom Sawyer or Camera Eye.

Vital Signs is a great ending to an absolutely fantastic album. The song is a little weak compared to the smashing successes of Tom Sawyer and The Camera Eye, but the great funky dynamics of the song give Rush's music a whole new dimension. The great funky chorus and verses really accent the album with some really cool effects. Geddy shows off his funky bass ability and Lifeson shows off his great jazz chord ability as the whole band meshes into one cohesive and impressive body.

ALBUM OVERALL: This album is the quintessential Rush album. Every single song, from Tom Sawyer to Vital Sings, is a smash hit, a classic, and a model for every band who ever liked Rush (which is most of them). Every single second of the 40 minute long album is intensely enjoyable and never do you wonder "why did they put this on the album?" Overall, the album is just a pure classic and a masterpiece of progressive and proto-metal music! 5 stars.
arcane-beautiful
Apparently this is the end of the prog era of Rush & the start of synth Rush (according to the remasters, because that nude mans arse is gone and replaced with finger prints, and, to be honest I miss the guys buttox). Yes, this is the last Rush prog album, and maybe the end of me giving their albums 5 starts (who knows, I only have 3 Rush synth era albums, maybe one of them could actually be an amazing album, not prog but pop definetly.)

Yes, this album for some reason is heralded as their best, but out of all the 5's I've given to Rush albums, this is the only one that I was doubting a little.

My brother believes this to be the best album, but I still disagree, and think that even though it is an amazing album, compared to the one's before it (from Caress Of Steel to Permanent Waves), this is the weakest, maybe it's just a little over rated, but still, it does live up to it's masterpiece limits.

1. Tom Sawyer - Classic Rush song, with an amazing off beat drum line that has become a favourite among drummers, having known alot of them. Yes, this song is amazing, very cathcy and some amazing lyrics.

2. Red Barchetta - A nice wee song about a car. This is probably the weakest song on the album, but it still is a great song.

3. YYZ - I have heard this song and played this song so many times, on every known instrument, including cups, plates, bins, everything. It is a wee bit addictive, and for those who don't know, the drum pattern is morse code for YYZ, ooh smart.

4. Limelight - One of Rush's greaest chorus' and one of their best lyrical achievements. Amazing song with amazing instrumental work throughout.

5. The Camera Eye - What an amazing epic. I love the melody in the verse sections, it really shows how much of a great singer Geddy Lee was (he's still great, just not as good as he was). Amazing instrumental sections and an amazing build up throughout the song.

6. Witch Hunt - Ok, this song is the 2rd part to Fear, but where are the other 2 parts. Oh yea, very eerie and quite dark for a Rush song, but brilliant nontheless.

7. Vital Signs - Want to know why I love this song so much? Because it sounds like my new favourite band, Supertramp. For some reason their is also a reggae UB40 and Police vibe to this song. I also think the lyrics are amazing.

CONCLUSION: It's a classic Rush album, so you have to buy it, and if you don't then the economy in Canada will decrease, do you really want that, do you?

Conor Fynes
'Moving Pictures' - Rush (10/10)

I can still remember years ago, going to the record store, buying Rush's 'Moving Pictures' and listening to 'Red Barchetta' on the car ride home. Little did I know at the time that the album would open up an entire category of music to me that I would soon adopt as my preferred type of music. This album, regardless of my opinion is one of the greatest albums of all time. I am in no discordance with this at all. Each time I listen to 'Moving Pictures,' I'm reminded of why Rush is one of my favourite bands in the world, and why this album had such a profound personal impact on me.

From the powerful opening chord of 'Tom Sawyer' to the reggae-influenced vibe of the album closer 'Vital Signs,' there are no filler moments that 'Moving Pictures' has to offer. All the way through, there is demonstration of rock at it's most intelligent, while maintaining some shred of mainstream appeal. For those expecting non stop technical 354/265 time signature shredding and 20 minute solos, this album will certainly dissapoint. The use of actual songwriting is in full swing in this album. Even the epic of the album; 'The Camera Eye' is a tight composition and uses it's extended time with the utmost moderation.

There is a fantastic flow on the album. After 'Tom Sawyers' relatively power driven nature, there is the up-tempo, optimistic sounding rocker 'Red Barchetta,' leading into the famous instrumental 'YYZ.'

'YYZ' might as well be the most loosely composed song on the album. That isn't to say at all it's not brilliant, and 'loose' is not meant in a negative context at all. It essentially functions as a jam for the members of the band to basically strut their stuff and show off their talent. The intense flood of unabided talent shown on this song makes it a joy to listen to time and time again.

After 'YYZ,' the listener is introduced to what was meant to be the single on the album, 'Limelight.' This is arguably the lowest point in the album, but it's a beautiful song nontheless. It's a great song to listen to if you need cheering up.

'The Camera Eye' is a fantastic composition, but it took me a little while to warm up to it. The contrast of New York to London in the lyrics is a really interesting topic to write about, and there's a really good atmosphere about the song.

Next comes 'Witch Hunt.' This is one of the most atmospheric songs Rush ever composed. There is a very precise feeling evoked, and a very 'evil' mood to it. Most black metal bands can't even recreate the feeling of eerieness as well as 'Witch Hunt' does. Very creepy, and possibly the darkest Rush song ever produced.

Lastly comes the album closer, 'Vital Signs.' The usage of reggae rhythms melded in with the typical Rush rock comes off as being really cool. It's a fitting end to an amazing album.

This is Rush's greatest album, and an everlasting testament to their great cohesion and talent as a band. A must-have for any fan of progressive rock music.
AtomicCrimsonRush
Rush has created some of the best classics of heavy prog; here is a prime example "Moving Pictures" album by Canada's darlings, the power trio Rush, is a masterpeice. Every track, every instrumental, every vocal is pure Rush; making this a definitive masterpiece in the treasury of heavy prog classics. Rush created a triumphant progressive master work with some of their most popular songs; all killer and no filler. It receives quadruple-platinum status and, along with "2112" ended up in the bizarre collection of "1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die".

It begins with an incredible opening track, the number 1 US chartbuster 'Tom Sawyer' that all Rush fans adore, and it is great when Rush open their concerts with this and the crowd are able to sing along; "A modern day warrior, Mean, mean stride, Today's Tom Sawyer, Mean, mean pride." The guitars crank out a mean, mean riff after this and there is a persistent synth drone that works well in the musical framework. The heavy dissonance or discord of time sigs and vocals is impressive, played in 7/8 for the most part. The chorus is one of the best especially lyrically, it is perhaps one of the more memorable Rush moments; "What you say about his company, Is what you say about society, Catch the mist, catch the myth, Catch the mystery, catch the drift, The world is, the world is, Love and life are deep, Maybe as his skies are wide." The ensuing lead break is incredible full of fret melting shredding, huge drum fills and power synth motifs. The Rickenbacker bass guitar is also wondrous that compliments the bright crisp guitar splashes. When the band were at their best they were totally irresistible.

'Red Barchetta' is longer at 6 minutes, and is another solid track. A mid tempo that is captivating locks in and quieter verses are sung until the chorus with new time sig locks in with captivating lyrics; "Jump to the ground, As the Turbo slows to cross the borderline, Run like the wind As excitement shivers up and down my spine, Down in his barn, My uncle preserved for me an old machine, For fifty odd years To keep it as new has been his dearest dream..." The instrumental break features echo on guitar chord crashes. The lead solo is subdued but effective.

Rush have some amazing instrumentals and one of them is 'YYZ', which gives each member a chance to really shine. The title is taken from the morse code used at Toronto Pearson International Airport. The main riff is memorable and heard in many concert performances. It has a progressive feel with unusual time sig and layered instrumentation. The riff is killer and well known in prog circles. On the "Live in Rio" DVD the audience know it so well they actually sing notes along to it. Lifeson is great on this as is Peart with his drumming metrical patterns that keep a consistent rhythm. Lee's bass is wonderful also playing fractured mini bass solos. The band really take off on this complete with glass shattering effects and all manner of solos form each member. It settles at 3 minutes in with a half time feel and an ambience is created before the main riff returns again. There is fire and ice; the explosive fire of Peart's flaming drums , the chilling ice of Lifeson's pickaxe, making this a bonafide classic on this album.

'Limelight' hit number 4 on the US mainstream charts. It has a prog time sig that is unusual and captivating. The structure of the track is spellbinding with beautiful verse sections, tension and release, shades of light and dark textures and one of the most spine chilling melodies that hooks into your system. I have never forgotten this and often the melody comes back to me without even wanting it to. The lyrics are dynamic and unforgettable once it grips your conscious; "Living in the limelight, The universal dream, For those who wish to seem, Those who wish to be, Must put aside the alienation, Get on with the fascination, The real relation, The underlying theme ..." The theme is simple, fame and fortune is not all it is cracked up to be and there is a need to keep a wall between the performer and the audience and this comes across beautifully with sparkling vocals and emotional riffing elegance. It is based on the real life dissatisfaction Peart felt about the intrusion into his private life. The lead solo is sensational with huge upsweeping picking and glorious string bends. This is my all time favourite Rush track and it sends chills through me every time; I don't know exactly why but there is a powerful element that refuses to let go when I hear it. I love the verse; "All the world's indeed a stage, And we are merely players, Performers and portrayers, Each another's audience, Outside the gilded cage." It seems to reference the live 1976 album "All The World's A Stage", and prophecy the release of their next album, that year "Exit Stage Left" which features 4 tracks from this album. The melodies are so full of life and vibrant energy, it truly uplifts my spirit every time. So ends side 1 of the vinyl, surely one of the greatest side 1's in rock history.

Side 1 begins with 'The camera eye' an 11 minute mini epic, the last for Rush, with a ton of synth at the opening section. There is a lengthy instrumental section and then at 3:40 Lee's high falsetto vocals chime in; "Grim faced and forbidding, Their faces closed tight, An angular mass of New Yorkers, Pacing in rhythm, Race the oncoming night, They chase through the streets of Manhattan, Head first humanity, Pause at a light, Then flow through the streets of the city...." The riffs on this are killer and at 6:06 the time sig slows and the track changes into some very proggy passages of music. The time sig is very intricate in the section at 7:50. The main motif returns after this showcasing Lifeson's inimitable style. The track is unusual on the album for its length and plethora of time changes, but this is what makes it such an endearing addition.

'Witch hunt (Part III of Fear)' follows; another section of the 'Fear' tracks and a great addition at that. It begins with an off kilter ethereal sound made with synthesizers and bells. This builds slowly to pitch, and sounds rather creepy in a sense, but the melody drowns out the Gothic gloom. The guitar crunches in and Lee tells the story of the hunt; "The night is black, Without a moon, The air is thick and still, The vigilantes gather on, The lonely torch lit hill..." the dark lyrics are accompanied by a dark riff and very strong synthesizers, effective and enchanting. This track is highly unusual as the whole atmosphere is intensely grim and has startling dark textures. Also Hugh Syme features on keyboards, the artist responsible for a plethora of Rush album covers. The theme reflects the Salem hunts where paranoia set in about a nonexistent threat, the uprising of so called witches, the Spectral evidence that was manufactured to accuse those who were different than others; a theme that has still an impact for modern society.

'Vital signs' is the closing track with a riff created by a sequencer made by Lee's OB-X synthesizer and well executed guitar flourishes. This is a slow paced track with a mediocre instrumental break but the vocal performance really drives this along with such enigmatic lyrics as; "A tired mind become a shape-shifter, Everybody need a soft filter, Everybody need reverse polarity, Everybody got mixed feelings, About the function and the form, Everybody got to elevate from the norm..." This is the weaker track on the album but still not a bad track after a few listens. The sequencer adds a nuance of 80s techno pop but there is still a proggy feel to this, especially the stylish bassline.

So overall this album is a dynamic flawed masterpiece. Side 2 does not measure up to the first side there is no doubt, but the mini epic more than makes up for this. Three tracks on this have become unsurpassed Rush classics, 'Tom Sawyer', 'YYZ' and 'Limelight'. The other tracks are still great but this album as a whole is a very pleasant listening experience. I have no hesitation but to count this as yet another masterpiece for my favourite heavy prog band. Rush never returned to masterpiece status after this. "Moving Pictures" was the last time the magic was captured and it ushered in a new approach in progressive rock music that works on every level. The album is the biggest seller for Rush and hit number 3 on US mainstream charts at the time of release, and it still makes an impact as one of the most influential, innovative albums of rock history.

Members reviews

MattGuitat
This was my first Rush album and also my first prog rock album! Though, I was still a metalhead at the time. Seeing them perform this album live was truly an experience that I doubt I will ever forget. The first side is a Classic Rock Radio DJ's dream. It starts off with Tom Sawyer, probably the heaviest song on the record. This is followed by the brilliant and beautiful Red Barchetta, which contains some of Geddy's best vocals of the restrained period. YYZ is truly the greatest bass performance of all-time (don't believe me, just go to digitaldreamdoor.com). The other hit, Limelight, has a very emotional feel, with Alex's favorite guitar solo that he ever did. All in all, the first side is perfect, even if it is a little overplayed.

The second side kicks off with my favorite Rush song and most played song on my ipod: The Camera Eye. I use to just skip the track, but after listening to it a few times, I found its beautiful melody and one of Alex's best guitar solos. Things then slow down a bit with Witch Hunt. Kinda forgettable, but the lyrics provide deep thought about public judging. Vital Signs is a pretty good track, which helped point the way towards Signals, but was probably better than anything on that record.

A true masterpiece, with the first 30 min. or so being absolutely perfect. Even though it slows at the end, it is undeniably one of Rush's masterpieces and a great place to start for new Rush fans.
bassgeezer
I only started listening to this album recently because it is ranked high on MMA. I also started playing bass recently. I just love listening to Geddy Lee playing bass on this album. On some albums it’s difficult to pick out the bass, but on this album it’s so clear and he plays it as a solo instrument. And he sings too. On the odd occasion I’ve tried unsuccessfully to sing at the same time as play bass, so he gets my utmost respect. Alex Lifeson and Neil Peart are great too of course. And I enjoy every one of the tracks.
Valarius
Rush's ‘Moving Pictures’ was my introduction to the Canadian Prog Rock group who seem to have inspired so many other bands. At the time I played in a band where our Drummer suggested we cover ‘Tom Sawyer’. I was blown away. The song was amazing and really fun to play.

By some chance encounter I stumbled upon the song ‘YYZ’ at another friend’s house, and again, I was highly impressed. So it was no surprise that when I decided to buy a Rush album, it HAD to be ‘Moving Pictures’.

At first listen it didn't strike me too much. The album as a whole was being overshadowed by the two songs I previously knew, and it took me some time to get into the rest of the tunes. But with the help of my trusty iPod and a job that allowed me the freedom to listen to it, I gave this album another listen, and another, and another...

And what can I say? It took me a few listens, but this album definitely grew on me. Unfortunately however, this is also the reason I gave it four stars instead of five. It did take me more listens to get into than I would have liked. But it did have a certain charm to it where I kept coming back again and again.

Whilst it took me a few listens to get into, many fans consider this to be Rush’s greatest album, and it’s hard to argue that point.
Raff
Though I would be hard put to call it a 'metal' masterpiece, "Moving Pictures" is indeed Rush's finest hour - from the intriguing, red-and-black cover (nice pun on the title, too) to the magnificent music within. With this album, the mighty Canadians managed to produce something which is at the same time complex and accessible, richly textured and never predictable. The more explicitly metallic leanings of its predecessor, the excellent "Permanent Waves", are here replaced by a more typically progressive feel, with rich layers of keyboards, intricate rhythms and a guitar sound that is more atmospheric than biting.

The seven tracks on the album are so well-known that it would almost seem pointless to mention any of them. Anyway, MP boasts one of the best opening tracks ever, the intense, multilayered "Tom Sawyer". Introduced by simple but elegant synth playing courtesy of the incomparable Geddy Lee (very busy on this album in his triple role as singer, bassist and keyboardist), the song is bolstered by Lee and Peart's stellar interplay. The following "Red Barchetta", though an excellent track with intriguing, sci-fi lyrics set in a world where cars have been banned, has never been a favourite of mine. Then the first part gets to a close with the double whammy of the magnificent (if a trifle overplayed) instrumental "YYZ" and Rush's take on the joys and pains of fame, the deceptively catchy "Limelight".

The remaining three tracks do not feature in live albums and collections as often as the others, which is a pity, as they are every bit as good and even (strictly speaking) more typically 'progressive'. The 10-minute-plus "The Camera Eye" is a streamlined epic about city life which showcases Lifeson's brilliant guitar work and Lee's vastly improved vocal abilities. In fact, this is probably the first Rush album in which Geddy shows unbelievers he can actually SING. The following song, "Witch Hunt", starts off with a brooding atmosphere punctuated by angry voices and ominous tolling of bells. Its lyrics are among my all-time favourites from the band, with its marvellous, all too true closing lines: "Quick to judge, quick to anger/ Slow to understand/ Ignorance and prejudice and fear/ Walk hand in hand". Here keyboards, drums and guitar complement each other perfectly, and Geddy's lower-register vocals add to the sense of menace. Finally, in the closing track, "Vital Signs", we see the shape of things to come - that is, the reggae influence that would come to the fore in the two following Rush albums, "Signals" and "Grace Under Pressure". Even though some people may turn up their noses at finding reggae rhythms on a progressive rock album, The Police were without a doubt one of the best and most influential bands of the '80s, and Rush proved their skill and intelligence when they chose to integrate those rhythms in their sound.

MP definitely deserves its place as Rush's masterpiece. It also stands to prove that the Eighties were a far better decade for music than they are given credit for. Highly recommended.

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