Hard Rock

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Hard rock, or heavy rock, is a genre of rock music which is tied in with heavy metal at several levels. The hard rock sound is typically characterized by heavily distorted guitars, potent riffage, and strong and solid drums which, along with the bass, constitute the rhythm section, while the vocals are often aggressive and draw primarily on expression, as hard rock vocalists often incorporate screams, wails, growls, raspiness and falsetto voice and other techniques that one rarely encounters in types of popular music outside of the rock music sphere. Hard rock is heavier, more aggressive and harsher than pop rock and many other types of rock music and is thus based on the same aesthetic as much heavy metal music is.

Hard rock emerged in the mid 1960s and early 1970s as musicians within various rock subgenres of that era (such as, for instance, blues rock, progressive rock, psychedelic rock, southern rock, boogie rock and garage rock among others) began experimenting with distortion, heaviness, intensity and aggression. The sound that such artists developed would eventually become the sound associated with heavy metal music in general, and the early hard rock sound is often considered identical to the proto-metal sound, and, at the time, the terms ‘hard rock’, ‘heavy rock’, and ‘heavy metal’ were synonymous.

As artists like Black Sabbath and Deep Purple, and later Judas Priest, began to gradually move their music away from its blues roots and into darker territory, ‘heavy metal’ began to be used with reference to the type of music resulting from this darker and more intense type of rock music, while many other artists who contributed to the establishment of the proto-metal sound retained their blues influences, and also began incorporating other elements into their music, and by the 1980s, hard rock was generally considered more commercially oriented and more melodic than heavy metal music. The histories of hard rock and heavy metal remained intertwined, though, as many hard rock artists would often take their music into heavy metal territory and incorporate elements from various subtypes of heavy metal into their music, while heavy metal artists would continue to draw on influences from both contemporary and early hard rock. Also, many artists would experiment with both heavy metal music and hard rock, releasing albums and singles some of which fall under the hard rock rubric while others fall under the heavy metal rubric. In addition, several subgenres and movements in heavy metal have close associations with hard rock - for instance, many NWoBHM artists would extensively draw on hard rock (some even being more hard rock than heavy metal), while glam metal is often conflated with hard rock.

The term ‘hard rock’ is used in a number of different ways. Sometimes, it is used as an antonym of ‘soft rock’ which refers to pop rock, folk rock and other types of rock music which do not emphasize distorted guitars – this definition is very broad and includes any type of guitar-driven rock, not necessarily related to heavy metal music, including punk rock, grunge and even Brit pop. Another broad definition is the use of the term ‘hard rock’ with reference to heavy metal music in general, while a more specific use of the term is restricted to blues-based pentatonic rock music performed with intensity and heaviness on distorted guitars, thus excluding many artists who combine rock with elements from heavy metal. Another definition, which is the one that the MMA operates with, emphasizes the heaviness of hard rock compared to other types of rock music as well as its relation to metal, placing hard rock within the sphere of heavy metal music on the scale of heaviness and intensity underneath traditional heavy metal, but above other types of rock music. On this definition the ethos that characterizes heavy metal music in general, is applied to hard rock as well, thus largely excluding rock genres like punk rock and grunge rock (with exceptions, of course), as well as individual artists and releases whose sound cannot be said to bear any similarity to heavy metal music or to have any relation to heavy metal music at all. This definition cuts across rock music subgenres, and will thus include artists from, say, southern rock or AOR whose sound involves a considerable amount of heavy metal elements while excluding other southern rock or AOR artists that do not integrate heavy metal elements into their music.

Inclusive Hard Rock Genres

Heavy Psych Also known as Psychedelic Hard Rock or Hard Psych, heavy psych is a fusion genre between hard rock and psychedelic rock developed by acts such as Blue Cheer and Vanilla Fudge in the late 1960's. As such many early heavy psych acts can also be found under proto-metal on the MMA. Like with all hard rock on MMA, heavy psych acts are only included if they have been deemed to have a relevance to heavy metal music. Examples of later heavy psych acts include Blood Ceremony (whose work also leans into doom metal), Purson and Jess and the Ancient Ones.

Heavy Prog Also known as Progressive Hard Rock, heavy prog acts add a harder edge to their core progressive rock sound, which may or may not include metal elements as well, but are still primarily progressive rock artists. Like with all hard rock on MMA, heavy prog acts are only included if they have been deemed to have a relevance to heavy metal music, though as always this distinction need not apply to every release the artist has made. Examples of acts in the MMA database with heavy prog releases include Porcupine Tree, Arena and Touchstone.

Sub-genre collaborators (+ child sub-genres (except Heavy Alternative Rock) & shared with Heavy Metal and Glam Metal):
  • 666sharon666 (Leader)

Biography written by Time Signature. The Inclusive Genre section written by adg211288.

hard rock top albums

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RUSH Moving Pictures Album Cover Moving Pictures
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DEEP PURPLE Machine Head Album Cover Machine Head
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RUSH Hemispheres Album Cover Hemispheres
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RUSH 2112 Album Cover 2112
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AC/DC Highway To Hell Album Cover Highway To Hell
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hard rock Music Reviews

LED ZEPPELIN In Through The Out Door

Album · 1979 · Hard Rock
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Just like Presence, I find this album more annoying than anything... without much of the hard rock songs that I love from them, let alone the epic ones. But unlike Presence, this one doesn't have a song as great as "Achilles Last Stand" to save it. I don't give it one star because there is "In the Evening", which is good, as well as "All my Love", but still they are not at the same level of their greatest songs from previous albums. It's a shame that this would be the last album they would record before the end of their career.

DEEP PURPLE Turning To Crime

Album · 2021 · Hard Rock
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siLLy puPPy
I’ve never been one to embrace albums that are completely filled with cover tunes so when i start to check out an album that is nothing but remakes of classic songs i bring my biases along from the getgo however once in a while i’m quite surprised that something is actually better than i ever could have imagined. Such is the case with the latest release from DEEP PURPLE. It’s hard to believe that this band in name at least as been around since 1968. That’s 53 years of rocking and rolling and like The Rolling Stones seems to be immortal however we’re talking the Mark II lineup mostly since the only member to have been with the band since the beginning is drummer Ian Paice.

Back with the 22nd overall studio album, TURNING TO CRIME features 12 timeless classics reinterpreted by Ian Gillian (vocals), Steve Morse (guitars), Roger Glover (bass), Ian Paice (drums) and Don AIrey (keyboards). Several guest musicians add the extra touches of tenor sax, horns, trumpet, fiddle and squeeze box. While it may seem inappropriate for a band of such stature to tackle such an album after years of original albums, it should be remembered that DEEP PURPLE started out as a cover band with more songs from others than self-penned. Before the Mark II breakthrough the band with original singles Rod Evans covered everyone from Joe South, The Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, Ike & Tina Turner and even Neil Diamond.

While that was the thing in the 1960s, it was actually quite the surprise to find out that TURNING TO CRIME is a collection of covers here in the year 2021 but in a way this album is like a trip down memory lane and takes the listener back to the more innocent times when popular music was almost exclusively verses and choruses and you could just tap your feet to a good beat and catchy melodic hook. I have to say that DEEP PURPLE has been rather hit and miss ever since it launched its comeback with “Perfect Strangers” all the way back in 1984 and that would be mostly miss! Although Steve Morse has performed admirably as the tall order replacement of Ritchie Blackmore, the quality of DEEP PURPLE music has been rather weak with a few exceptions here and there.

TURNING TO CRIME is an oldies but goodies type of album taking you back to the years of good old fashioned rock and roll. Most of the tracks were mined from the 1960s ranging from the psychedelic rock of Love and the rock’n’soul of Ray Charles but the 50s is fair game with a track from Huey “Piano” Smith as well as the 70s with some Little Feat and Bob Seger. While at first glance i assumed this album was going to be awful but once i lowered my expectation enough i was immediately surprised that this album isn’t that bad at all! While the band’s songwriting has deteriorated over time, the musicians’ ability to perform has not. Ian Gillan sounds exactly the same as he did on “In Rock” or “Machine Head” and Steve Morse is still every bit as his Dixie Dregs days with some surprising guitar solos improvised. Add some dirty piano rolls courtesy of Airy and it becomes apparent that DEEP PURPLE successfully take the songs on board to the next level which arguably should be the purpose of cover tunes.

True that this album is hardly the next best thing since sliced bread but if a classic band wants to churn an album of nothing but cover songs for the fun of it, so be it. Yeah, there are some silly clunkers on here such as “The Battle Of New Orleans” but for the most part these guys add the classic DEEP PURPLE touch to the otherwise straight forward rock and soul classics from the past. Clearly not the band’s next best masterpiece but as i’ve already stated, hardly the throwaway dross that i was expecting. I could actually listen to this again and not hate it!

LED ZEPPELIN Physical Graffiti

Album · 1975 · Hard Rock
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I'm of the opposite opinion of most people when it comes to Zeppelin. You could make one great solid single-disc best of compilation with all the songs I like from Zep's self-titled albums and Houses of the Holy. Though, the latter is when the band was just starting to get good. More variation in songwriting, more experimental, and even more memorable hooks. Physical Graffiti though, that's where they take what that started and just went all out.

One of the few albums that absolutely warrants being two discs, two discs of some of the best hard rock ever put to record. Riff after riff, hook after hook, melody after melody, it never lets up with a weak moment. In My Time of Dying is how you make an 11-minute rock song, it has the energy and intensity of an extended live cut. The heavy raw blues riffing is just relentless, with several great hooks. Trampled Under Foot though, if I had to pick, this might be my favorite Zeppelin song. There's something about funky songs from heavy bands in the 70's that I can't resist, but this was the first of its kind I heard. The ballsiest foot-stomper out there, it's just such an irresistible groove.

The iconic Kashmir just may have had an influence on Rainbow for songs like Stargazer and Gates of Babylon, with its plodding Phrygian climb. The Rover, In the Light, and Ten Years Gone prelude some of the sounds of the following Presence with the balance of hard rock grooves and melancholic melody. Down by the Seaside is basically a chill country song, but not without an intense bridge. The album's finale of Sick Again is another heavy stomper, but there's parts where it sounds like this hard riff and colossal drums are being layered over themselves several times. Have no idea how it was produced, but whatever it is it sounds fantastic.

Even the songs that might at first seem like filler are great, Houses of the Holy I used to think was a weak moment, but now I love it for just being a great hard rock song. While the following Presence is my favorite Zeppelin album, Physical Graffiti isn't far behind at all. The greatest double album in rock as far as I'm concerned.


Album · 2000 · Hard Rock
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The name Steen Mogensen should tell something to any serious Royal Hunt fan. The bass player has been a cornerstone of the Danish melodic progressive metal masters since their very early days and until he left the band after the Eyewitness album in 2003. A few years before that, he decided to take a break from his day job and paired up with singer extraordinaire Dougie White to play some classy hard rock under the name Cornerstone. Arrival is their first LP and was released in 2000 via Massacre Records.

On Arrival, Mogensen and White received more than a little help from the bassist’s bandmates in Royal Hunt. Jacob Kjaer (guitars), Allan Sørensen (drums) and André Andersen (keyboards) all feature as guest musicians on the album. Kenny Lübcke (a regular backing vocalist for Royal Hunt) and Henrik Brockmann (Royal Hunt’s singer on their first two records) lend backing vocals. And Toni Rahm (Prime Time, but member of Royal Hunt for a short period in 1990) plays a couple of guitar solos. Altogether, this makes for a high-quality line-up that any fan of Royal Hunt would certainly find appealing and interesting. This is indeed what attracted me to this record back in 2000 when I was a fairly hardcore Royal Hunt fan and I immediately jumped on this record as soon as the line-up was announced. I still remember being very impressed by the slick, classy hard rock style of the LP back then. The album also stood the test of time, as I still find it very pleasant and well-done today, more than 20 years after its initial release.

With Mogensen as the sole songwriter, the music is inevitably not too different from the more hard rock / classic metal material that Royal Hunt released over the years and especially early on in their career. The material is highly melodic, with strong choruses and equally melodic and catchy verses. The songs have simple structures and mostly stay in the mid-tempo range, with occasional faster riffs, giving a majestic but also melancholic tone to the whole album. The arrangements are elegant and sophisticated, with a good interplay between bass grooves (which are much more prominent than on Royal Hunt’s releases), smooth guitar riffs, and delicate keyboard and piano motifs. There are also some great melodic solos provided by Jacob Kjaer (such a classy guitar player, and terribly underrated!) and Toni Rahm. The backing vocals have that vaguely AOR quality that one can also find on Royal Hunt’s releases, perfectly complementing the MASSIVE vocal performance by Dougie White. When it comes to his voice, the man’s CV’s speak for itself (Rainbow, Axel Rudi Pell, Yngwie Malmsteen, Michael Schenker, Alcatrazz, and many others) and there is no doubt that he is a superb hard rock / heavy metal singer. His smooth, velvety voice can soothe and caress, but also rip and pierce your ears when he goes full power. The album deserves a listen if nothing else for the singer’s great vocal performance.

With excellent performances all-round, the songwriting is also strong. There are some great tunes on this album, very inspired and with the right dynamics and feel. The opening duo “Arrival” and “Walked on the Water” are nothing short of exhilarating, with huge melodic hooks on the choruses that provide an excellent climax for the tension built in the dark verses. “Jungle” is lighter and more up-tempo, but provides some good melodies and a nice guitar solo too. The album perhaps plods a little bit in the middle, with songs like “Top of the World” and “Gift of Flesh” sounding a tad less inspired and verging on filler. But the bluesy “Grain of Sand” and the epic closer “I’m Alive” set things right again and ensure that the album closes on a high note.

Overall, Arrival is a pretty strong, high-quality and classy hard rock / melodic heavy metal album that will surely please fans of these genres. Anyone following Royal Hunt should also give this LP a spin or two, because there are significant traces of the Danish band on this album too. Cornerstone will continue their career with three more studio albums, also of good quality. But Arrival remains perhaps their most inspired and exciting release.

BUCKETHEAD Pike 299 - Thought Pond

Album · 2021 · Heavy Alternative Rock
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siLLy puPPy
Well hello, kiddies! Are you ready for another trip to BUCKETHEAD’s FunHouse in BUCKETHEADLAND? Tickets are selling fast so hurry up and get yours! For those of you who already have a special pass, please follow me! It’s time to board the PIKE 299 Express and today’s destination is to the THOUGHT POND. Oh yea, you know of what i speak. The place where contemplation results in heavy doses of instrumental alternative metal where the Lord Supreme Chicken Lover plays every last instrument! Buckle your seat belts and please keep you hands in the ride. Some of the chickens have turned a bit nasty lately and we certainly don’t want you to lose any limbs.

This PIKE experience will last approximately 28 minutes and transverse five distinct regions. The first stop will be “In The Vases” which showcases BUCK BUCK’s slide guitar juju. Oh it’s so bluesy and all before turning into a more standard alt metal type of tune that true fans will already be familiar with. To keep things from getting too overly weird, the following title track pretty much follows suit. Yeah, sometimes we have to keep things from getting TOO out there or we’ll have another incident where our patrons jump out of the car while it’s moving and end up as chicken fodder. This is horrible for the insurance policies.

And be careful, kiddies! Our next stop may appear to be the “Shit Reflection” but look more carefully as you will see it’s really the “Stilt Reflection!” Even stilts need to reflect sometime and never forget it. Another tasteful dose of amplified slide guitar with some tasty guitar riffs, bass and drums. Lately BH has really gotten into the classics. Recently he did an AC/DC styled instrumental PIKE and now has gotten this bluesy rock hair up his ass! Must be ticklin’ something up there! Hehe. Anyways, another decent track from he who escaped the coop so long ago. No stilt!

Now just because the next stop is a tune called “Times For Tears,” do not worry! You will not be pummeled with tear gas! We promise we fixed that problem a month ago! Also we won’t make you cry with a sappy done-before ballad that makes you want to pull your hair out, commit suicide or go bowling instead! No, kiddies, this is yet another heavy rocker with some riffy guitar workouts and a few breakdowns. I swear i must be having a breakdown. I could’ve sworn that yesterday the next stop was called “Vulcan Stroke” which made me think about Mr. Spock from Star Trek playing with himself all inappropriately but i see now it’s actually called “Vulcan Stoke” so either i need to get my mind out of the gutter or increase my meds. Anywayz, this track is sorta Led Zeppelin-y in a “Kashmir” sorta way but with those BH cluck plucks of the guitar strings. Nah, i take it back it’s just another riff based guitar dominant track. This one has some atmosphere however but not anything tooo overly different from previous PIKEs.

Well, ladies and gents, that concludes another adventure in BUCKETHEADLAND. We hope no limbs were lost and that sanity has been maintained! While this ride may not be the top attraction at this here theme park, it nevertheless was an honor to take you on this ride and we do hope you stick around for another PIKE is, well, just down the PIKE! Hehehehehe! That will conclude today’s services. Please do mind the gap upon exiting and see you on the next chicken’s wild adventure! Oh and don’t forget to stamp your merch tickets. Buy four KFC bucket head covers and get the fifth one totally free!

hard rock movie reviews

KISS Kiss Meets The Phantom Of The Park

Movie · 1978 · Hard Rock
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Vim Fuego
KISS have long had a reputation for doing anything for a buck, and getting their name out in public. There are KISS coffins, er… sorry I mean KISS Kaskets, KISS cologne, KISS checkers, KISS Visa cards, and of course, the KISS comic books. Is it over-the-top tacky marketing of image over substance, or is it capitalism and market forces in action, and simply giving people what they want? With KISS, it’s an unclear mixture of both.

The Marvel Comics Super Special 1977 comic book saw Space Ace, the Demon, the Starchild, and the Catman battling villains Dr. Doom and Mephisto with their superpowers. The comic even has the band members’ blood mixed in with the ink. And so what does every comic book superhero want? A live action movie of course.

So the world got “Kiss Meets the Phantom of the Park”, which first aired on the NBC network on 28 October 1978.

It’s like an overlong live action episode of Scooby Doo, but without the stoner humour. The plot is a bit convoluted. KISS are playing a series of shows at an amusement park. However the park is inhabited by a mad scientist who is supposedly developing animatronic robots for the park. But of course, he’s mad and therefore evil, so he’s creating robots of real people. He creates a Demon Gene robot which smashes up the park. While the band are busy performing, another robot is sent to steal their talismans, from which their superpowers come. And then it starts to get silly and confusing…

There’s more than half an hour of snoozefest before there’s any “acting” from the band themselves. None of the four had any acting experience, and the stilted delivery of their dialogue shows. Originally, all Space Ace was scripted to say was “Ack!” When the real Ace found out, he threatened to pull out unless he got some more lines. After demanding more lines, Frehley also didn’t show for filming some days, so his stunt double filled in. Peter Criss’ Catman lines were mostly feline puns, and his voice ended up being overdubbed anyway, as he didn’t turn up for looping (re-recording lines in post-production), and his broad accent. Gene’s Demon voice ended up either a demonic roar or a Satanic hiss.

Despite all the cheap and nasty sets, effects, and costuming, the fight scenes are actually pretty entertaining. There’s a kung fu fight after one of the concerts onstage and in the empty arena, and there’s a great slapstick/comic book-style brawl against various classic horror movie monster robots. And of course, there’s the climactic KISS robots vs KISS superheroes fight in front of a crowd going wild.

There’s concert footage interspersed through the movie. These parts offer sweet relief from the hammy acting. It was a real concert at a real theme park, set up especially to be filmed for the movie. After the real concert, the band also lip synched several tracks for filming. As you’d expect from KISS, the live performances are flamboyant and over-the-top. Perhaps a more traditional concert movie would have been a better idea?

So how did it all turn out? It was a fucking disaster of course! KISS hated it. For years, after, it was forbidden to mention the movie to anyone in the band. Gene Simmons compared it to “Plan 9 From Outer Space”, often considered the worst movie of all time.

Fans hated it. It got a worldwide release in theatres to a pretty tepid response. It was oddly popular in Australia, but this was probably because free tickets could be obtained by cutting 20 diamond shaped coupons from an ice confectionery cup called an "Icee" and pasting them onto a printed sheet.

KISS fans being what they are, eventually warmed to the movie. It slowly gained cult status, and was released on DVD as part of the “Kissology Volume Two: 1978-1991” box set. It’s one of those movies you see to say that you’ve seen it, but won’t remember well, and definitely won’t remember for the right reasons. The thought of a second viewing is a brand new horror show all of it’s own…

DEEP PURPLE The Video Singles

Movie · 1987 · Hard Rock
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Don’t get me wrong, I love Deep Purple, and I really enjoy the songs on offer here, but these videos are all pretty hilariously bland and uninteresting, and sure reflections of the times and music genre. Besides that, this DVD is barely half an hour long, and comes with no extras, and all these videos are available on YouTube. Not even some additional chit chat between the videos. So there’s really no point in owning this unless you’re an OCD collector like me, who needs to own everything. And even then, it only takes up space.

But I’m a collector, and I only paid 50p for this. So why not?

THE WHO Quadrophenia: Live In London

Movie · 2014 · Hard Rock
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I was not sure before purchasing this DVD, if I was going to enjoy a live show with the complete double album of "Quadrophenia", because it was a long time ago that I listen to this album and if I remember, I didn't enjoy all the songs. Many years later, I didn't change my mind about this, there are some really good songs, like the title track, "Dr. Jimmy", "The Rock" and "Love Reign Over Me". The other tracks are not bad for what they are, good rock songs, but not as good as some songs of their entire discography. Fortunately, the show has some of those songs as bonus performance, including "Baba O'Riley", "Who are You" and "Won't get Fooled Again"

There's a lot of projections on the screen of the band from the old days. Nice touch to have included John Entwistle with a solo of one of his performance in the song "5:15". Not only you can see him on the screen, but you can actually hear his solo. In fact, his solo sounds more alive than the bass sound of the actual player Pino Palladino, who is rarely captured by the cameras and low in the mix. Also, during "Bell Boy", Keith Moon is singing on the screen.Those projections of the old days performances are only present in the "Quadrophenia" album and not in the bonus songs at the end. We have many musicians on the stage including horn players, Simon Townsend who signs like Pete in "Dirty Jobs". Also two keyboardists, but it's mostly the piano that we hear during this show.

It is easy to rate this, can't be 2 stars because it's not only for collectors, and can't be 4 stars because, that is not a progressive rock show. So it's a good 3 stars, nothing more. But those who enjoy "Quadrophenia" will have a ball with this DVD!

DEF LEPPARD Classic Albums: Hysteria

Movie · 2002 · Hard Rock
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The worst episode of all Classic Albums series (and I watched 25 of them)!

What is great about the series is that they explain track by track about the albums and show these tracks on a studio enviroment stripping them down and showing us details. Not here.

Hysteria have 12 tracks, but according to this documentary the album have only 7 tracks, and half of it the only feature on the movie is some video or live footage of the song, sometimes the band says 3 words about it though.

As I said, this series is supposed to go deep into Classic albums in the history of music and tell their secrets and details, and most of times they do an excellent job. Not here.

Not to mention that Hysteria might have sold 12 million copies but this is not a classic album at all, just a popular one in 1987. And we know this story in Pop music, right?

RUSH Replay X 3

Movie · 2006 · Hard Rock
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"Replay X3" is a terrific box set of the 3 earlier Rush VHS concerts and it has been mastered to provide great picture though not all widescreen unfortunately. The sound is excellent without any noteable dropout unlike the VHS antiques. The packaging is excellent, booklets included and all original art prints on the seperate covers. There is also a bonus CD of Grace Under Pressure which is worthwhile.

DVD 1 is Exit...Stage Left, a 1 hour concert from the early years or Rushtory when they had long hair, and features a strong setlist with the likes of Limelight, Tom Sawyer, and a rare appearance of the brilliant Xanadu. The usual suspects are here such as the wonderful Red Barchetta and quintessential Freewill along with lighters in the air stalwart crowd pleaser Closer To The Heart. It is always great to see them having fun with the instrumental YYZ and a real treat is to hear the medley at the end with By-Tor And The Snow Dog, In The End, In The Mood and 2112 edited together masterfully. The VHS or DVD delivers what it promises, Rush in their hey day with great quality sound and editing. The band look young of course and jump around a lot more and there were no signs of chicken rotisseries or clothes dryers back then, but a heck of a lot of lighting and laser effects more than makes up for it. The concert also comes with a lot of interview footage and voice overs between songs, and some footage of the band backstage while the songs play and that is a treat compared to the usual straight concert footage. Too short but quite sweet. A real blast from the past that will please Rushaholics.

DVD 2 is Grace Under Pressure, another of the earlier concert performances of Rush running for about an hour with a lot of songs from "Grace Under Pressure" of course and it is nice to hear these. It begins with a glorious opening with The Spirit Of Radio, and a noticeable glowing effect on the band especially the white shirts, as if Vaseline had been rubbed on the lens. This is the 80s and this effect was prominent on film clips of artists such as Nik Kershaw and Dire Straits or Duran Duran. It looks kind of weird on Rush as they were never pretty video boys. Unfortunately the fuzzy effect is prevalent throughout the recording, and it kind of annoys me, especially the way the bright lights phase over constantly. Lifeson wears a white sports jacket looking like the mad scientist of metal, Peart has a white T and red cap that he loses later, and Lee wears grey suit jacket and white T. The hair dos are 80s personified; Peart has a rat tail, Lee has a mullet and Lifeson has a Flock of Seagulls quiff. Oh well, it is what it is. The music is brilliant.

The Enemy Within is rarely heard live but sparked my memory and it's a great song. The Weapon is always fantastic, one of my favourites, and it begins with a Dracula character on screen telling people to put on their 3D glasses. Witch Hunt begins with a screening of a bunch of cultists burning books with torches. It is a great song from "Moving Pictures" recently heard in the Time Machine concerts. Lee's vocals are excellent throughout and the guitars are incredible. New World Man is another one rarely heard live recently and it is OK though not one of the better tracks from "Signals". Synths are heard here though no one seems to be playing them, so I suspect some recorded music was used. It was the age of the video clip and a clip is shown of some animation and a boy looking up to see a huge airship in the sky. Distant Early Warning follows and it is a great song from GUP, that has become a concert favourite. The clip shows the boy riding a missile and the laser light show follows.

Red Sector A is an awesome song and I loved hearing it on this DVD again, with one of the strongest melodies of the Rush catalogue. The laser show looks great here. The lyrics by Lee are terrific and when Lee sings "smoking gun" a massive explosion goes off causing the crowd to roar. The lyrics are actually based on family experience and is a homage to his mother and father that survived the holocaust. Though Lee re wrote the lyrics to have a broader perspective that it may apply to any holocaust like situation such as Rwanda. Closer To The Heart is always a crowd pleaser and the crowd know it well enough to drown out some of Lee's vocals. There were no mobile phones back then but plenty of lighters go up in the air.

The obligatory medley is here with a terrific merging of some classics, YYZ, Temples Of Syrinx, and Tom Sawyer. During YYZ the crowd are obsessed with air drumming throughout. Tom Sawyer features the Moving Pictures animation on the screen. It is nice to hear Lee be able to reach those high notes too in the chorus.

Vital Signs is one I have not seen live on other concerts till the "Moving Pictures" live concerts of recent years. When Lee takes off his jacket his white T glows like the rest of the band's halos. It is a weird effect really and perhaps the worse part of the DVD. It ends with Finding My Way and In The Mood, from the earliest album. it is a great crowd participation song with the crowd visible throughout, a guy even lights up a pipe at one stage. Overall, this is a great snippet of songs from the Rush 80s years, worth checking out for certain even if for nostalgia if nothing else.

DVD 3 is A Show Of Hands, a 90 minutes concert experience and as such way better than the previous DVDs available, namely "Exit Stage Left" and "Grace Under Pressure". It is excellent also due to the use of animations on the big screen and the overall setlist. The songs are from "Hold Your Fire" mostly and I believe they are better heard live than on that album so that is a drawcard of this particular DVD. It also has a very solid quality sound throughout and the band look great and have heaps of fun. From "Hold Your Fire" the songs appear, Mission, Prime Mover, Force Ten, and Turn The Page so there is a lot from their latest at the time.

Closer To The Heart is always present of course along with quintessential Tom Sawyer, and The Spirit of Radio. I always love to hear the magnificent Red Sector A and hard rocking Force Ten, and it was great to see them play Mission, another one rarely heard live on these DVDs.

Marathon, Territories and The Big Money from "Power Windows" are good rockers for the crowd to get into. The drum solo by Peart is terrific, with his vibes section and patented cymbal jazz splashes along with some incredible triplet work though his drums are still stationary in this era, and not as many.

The concert ends with a brilliant medley 2112, The Temples Of Syrinx, La Villa Strangiato and In The Mood. Overall a strong concert, one of the best live documents of the band and worth getting hold of above the rest.

The Grace Under Pressure Bonus CD, is a previously unreleased audio from the newly remastered Grace Under Pressure concert soundtrack and it is a fantastic Rush sound.

"Replay x3" is definitely worth getting as it houses 3 very good concerts of the early years and these are only available now with this set released in 2006.

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