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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hard rock Music Reviews

SCORPIONS Rock Believer

Album · 2022 · Hard Rock
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Kev Rowland
When I was 16, Scorpions released the album ‘Lovedrive’ and I immediately fell in love with their music, and not only sought out both ‘Animal Magnetism’ and ‘Blackout’ when they were released but went back to some of their earlier material and was especially a fan of the ‘Tokyo Tapes’ live release. However, “Winds of Change” left me decidedly cold and I have missed all their studio albums since ‘Love At First Sting’ until this one turned up in my in box. I must admit, I nearly filed the email but instead decided I owed it to myself to see what they were doing now, even though it wasn’t going to be any good. How wrong I was.

Guitarist Rudolf Schenker must be one of the longest-running members of any hard rock band, having been there since he formed the group in 1965 while singer Klaus Meine has performed on every album even though he joined four years later. Lead guitarist Matthias Jabs has been there since 1978, filling the shoes of the legends Michael Schenker and Uli Jon Roth, while bassist Paweł Mąciwoda has been there since 2003 and even drummer Mikkey Dee has been there since 2016 (joining after the end of Motörhead). This is not what I expected Scorpions to sound like whatsoever, as while there are some slower numbers, such as “When You Know” they still have plenty of balls and power, while there are also quicker songs such as the belting “When I Lay My Bones To Rest” which has something about it which reminds me of “Speedy’s Coming” which they released all the way back in 1976. Both Klaus and Rudolf were born in 1948, so at the time of release they were both 74, but this does not sound like the work of septuagenarians but instead of a group of guys who are hungry for life. That song stands up against anything they have ever recorded, and the album as a whole is causing me to have a rethink of the band and their legacy.

Forget you ever heard them whistling, and instead discover a hard rock band who are being true to their roots and combining that with polish and experience to produce something which is very special indeed.

ANGEL Once Upon A Time

Album · 2023 · Hard Rock
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Kev Rowland
Angel, the band who burned hot and fast in the Seventies, before a new version tried again at the turn of the century, are back with their second album since they reformed in 2018 with original singer Frank DiMino and original guitarist Punky Meadows. The rest of the band is still Danny Farrow (rhythm guitars), Charlie Calv (keyboards), Steve Ojane (bass) and Billy Orrico (drums) and there is no doubt whatsoever that they are continuing the Angel legacy with style and aplomb. As soon as I saw the artwork I was intrigued as this has much more in common with the style I expect, far more glamorous than the last one where although the band were again on the cover in white, it felt way more hard-edged. The logo is at the top, the band here have fantastical imagery behind, and the whole impression is much more of a Seventies feel.

I wish there were a few more keyboards throughout, but tracks such as “Psyclone” find the band blasting as if it were the old days once again, and while neither Punky or Frank are in the first flushes of youth anymore (they must be in their Seventies now), this is a real blast from the past. Frank still gets up into the high ranges with seeming ease, while Punky shows he is far more than just someone to be sung about by Frank Zappa, and has a powerful control of riffs and licks. The first time I played this album I enjoyed it but was not too sure, but the more I have listened to it the more I have come to realise this is probably their best album since the mighty ‘Helluva Band’ all the way back in 1976. Here we have hard rock pomp from a band who refuse to give up and are still out there pounding the boards and creating great music, from ballads through to powering rockers which show others there is no need to sit back and rest but to keep pushing through to the end. I would love to hear these guys invite Gregg Giuffria back into the fold for one last time to bring back their truly classic sound, but there is no doubt they are doing well without him, as this is classic Angel from beginning to end.

NAZARETH Surviving The Law

Album · 2022 · Hard Rock
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Kev Rowland
Nazareth are one of the longest-running and most important rock bands to ever come out of Scotland, and even if we discount the years that most of the founders were playing together as The Shadettes, here is a band who has celebrated more than 50 years together. ‘Surviving The Law’ is their 25th studio album, released last year, by which time bassist Pete Agnew was 75 years old, and his son Lew had been drummer in the band for more than 29 years. Jimmy Murrison has been there since 1994, which makes him the longest serving guitarist the band has ever had, while singer Carl Sentence has been there since 2015.

Between 1971 and 1977 nine (yes, nine) studio albums, and quite a few of them are classics, although in honest none of them stand up against ‘It'sNaz’ (known by many as ‘Snaz). It was one of the most epic live albums of all time, absolutely essential, featuring the classic line-up of Dan McCafferty (vocals), Manny Charlton (guitar), Pete Agnew (bass, backing vocals) alongside Billy Rankin (guitar) and John Locke (keyboards) which allowed them to have an immense sound, but they were a quartet for the first ten years of their existence, and after bringing in a few other people, it was back to the core four in 1983 and they stayed that way until 1990 (when Manny left, Billy came back, and they stayed that way until 1994).

Carl has a great voice, but to be honest I can’t think of Nazareth without the gravel of Dan, and they have never been the same since Manny left. The original proud boys of Dunfermline were special, and while this is a pleasant old school British hard rock album with hints of metal, there is nothing here to make it stand out from anyone else. I am sure they are still a blast on the live circuit, but while there may be a few songs from this album included, most people will be holding out for the classics. For any band to be in existence for more than 50 years is sensational, and in many ways they have been at it for more than 60, but this album is fairly standard hard rock with nice vocals and little in the way of memorable songs, which is pretty much what I said about the last one, ‘Tattooed On My Brain’ as well. I think I may just put on ‘Razamanaz’, as there is the real Nazareth.

SCORPIONS Rock Believer

Album · 2022 · Hard Rock
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This album was a pleasant surprise. Ever since my disappointment with Savage Amusement (which was also partly due to my changing musical preferences in the late eighties), I never bought a new Scorpions album. It was only after listening to a review of Rock Believer and a review of the Scorpions post eighties output on YouTube that I thought I should just get this one and hear if it's as good as the reviewer said it was.

And it is!

For this album, I think the Scorpions did what a lot of the old bands have been doing recently, and that is go back to their classic period and try to recreate what the were doing back then. Rock Believer is like listening to Love Drive, Animal Magnetism, and Blackout recorded in 2022. The album is exactly as though the band never missed a beat after Love at First Sting. I haven't heard anything after Crazy World, which my friend had, but reviews online of the nineties albums especially have not been particularly favourable. But here is an album worthy of the Scorpions name!

In fact, whether it's meant to be a deliberate nod to the old albums or simply a wink, there are lyrical references to the classic years. The album title and title track harken back to 1977's Taken by Force album and the song Steamrock Fever. The chorus of that old song goes, "Steamrock fever / Screaming rock believer", while Rock Believer's chorus goes, "Scream for me screamer / I'm a rock believer / Just like you". You'll also notice in the opening track, "Gas in the Tank" the line, "Black me in and black me out," which seems to direct our attention quite intentionally to 1982's Blackout album.

While there are surely more Easter eggs in the lyrics, at least two of the songs also derive from those older albums. Shining of Your Soul has a reggae-like riff that sounds like Is There Anybody There? from Lovedrive. And the slow, ominous bass and drum pounding of Seventh Sun sound like China White.

Thankfully, the entire album isn't totally a walk down memory lane. Some of these new songs have a driving energy and heaviness that wouldn't have been found back in the 1979-1984 period. There are also a couple of tracks that remind me of Van Halen, at least for the guitar sound and riffs.

Basically, fans of the classic, Matthias Jabs era Scorpions should really dig this album. This is also a great album for anyone who likes energetic hard rock. Are there are ballads? Actually, not really. When You Know (Where You Come From) is the closest, but it's no Still Loving You or Holiday. If you get the acoustic version as a bonus track, it's a little closer. However, I think the Scorpions were just really ready to rock it out for this album.

My version includes six bonus tracks, so the album does feel rather long. Had this been released in the early eighties, we'd likely have gotten the best eight or nine tracks. It could be fun to make a playlist trimming the running time down to 38 minutes or so for that album feel.

Highly recommended if you enjoy that classic Scorpions sound!


Album · 1992 · Heavy Alternative Rock
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"Core" is the debut full-length studio album by US, California based hard rock act Stone Temple Pilots. The album was released through Atlantic Records in September 1992. Stone Temple Pilots were formed in 1985 by lead vocalist Scott Weiland and bassist Robert DeLeo under the Swing monicker (they later recruited drummer Eric Kretz), but changed their name to Mighty Joe Young (after Robert´s older brother guitarist Dean DeLeo joined in 1989 and suggested a name change). The band recorded a demo under the Mighty Joe Young monicker and made a name for themselves on the San Diego club scene using that name, and Atlantic Records eventually took notice and signed the band. While in the studio with producer Brendan O´Brien recording the material for "Core", the band were told that a blues band existed using the Mighty Joe Young name, and the band were therefore forced to another name change. They settled for Stone Temple Pilots.

Stone Temple Pilots are often lumped in with the contemporary Seattle scene and artists like Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, and Alice in Chains (and were often criticized for it by the contemporary music press), and while there is certainly some truth (ok, a lot of truth) to that Stone Temple Pilots were not a worsphipping clone act. They had a enough original musical elements to stand out and it´s predominantly the voice and singing style of Weiland which point toward Seattle (and especially Alice in Chains lead vocalist Layne Staley). The songwriting is also top notch and "Core" features many standout tracks and it´s through and through a high quality hard rock release.

Radio/music video hits like "Plush" and "Sex Type Thing" are among the best known tracks off the album, but there´s not a single sub par track on the album and I could just as well have mentioned tracks like "Dead & Bloated" or the 8:25 minutes long "Where The River Goes" (which are the two tracks bookending the album), or the hard rocking and faster-paced "Crackermann" as some of the highlights. Stone Temple Pilots can also do melancholic ballads which they prove with "Creep", but their greatest success is actually the tracklist flow. Even the two shorter interlude tracks "No Memory" and "Wet My Bed" serve a breather purpose and work well in transitioning the album to the next phase.

"Core" features a professional, powerful, and detailed sounding production, which suits the material perfectly. The performances are also strong on all posts. hard rocking and sometimes pretty heavy guitar work, organic and powerful drumming (and some pretty nice percussion too), clever bass lines, and the strong voice and passionate delivery by Weiland in front. This does not sound like a debut release at all. There are no odd experimental tracks (save for "Wet My Bed", but that one fits the concept and atmosphere of the album), inconsistent songwriting, or unpolished musical ideas, which don´t fit in. This is an album which works from start to finish and a 4 - 4.5 star (85%) rating is deserved.

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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