RUSH — A Farewell to Kings (review)

RUSH — A Farewell to Kings album cover Album · 1977 · Hard Rock Buy this album from MMA partners
5/5 ·
siLLy puPPy
After the huge leap in progressive songwriting on 2112 which saved their music careers, RUSH continued down that road and created their first true 5 star masterpiece with A FAREWELL TO KINGS. In fact, I do believe this to be my personal favorite RUSH album with “Xanadu” being one of the greatest pieces of music ever laid down on tape. It is a musical gem that incorporates everything that makes progressive music so wonderful including a long duration, complex melodies, diverse instrumentation and fantasy based lyrics.

On this album RUSH incorporates keyboards expands their sound and musical boundaries and continues the complex compositional approach that worked so well on the title track of 2112. Alex Lifeson utilized classical guitar, Neil Peart experimented with a huge number of new percussion instruments including woodblocks, tubular bells, wind chimes, a glockenspiel and a bell tree. Geddy Lee wrote much of the basslines on acoustic bass and has a more mature sound on this release.

This is one of the few (if not only) albums that has a two-part composition in the form of “Cygnus X-1” that includes part 1 on this album and part 2 on the following album “Hemispheres.” It is a progressive science fiction tale about the discovery of two conflicting ways of life focusing on the logical and emotional aspects of the human mind. Some of the most complex lyrical content to be had in a totally satisfying musical package. I deem this the absolute pinnacle of RUSH's creative output and although they would go on to produce more excellent music, it slowly begins to decline in quality as the albums go by.
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