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3.27 | 69 ratings | 9 reviews
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Album · 1974

Filed under Hard Rock


1. Finding My Way (5:07)
2. Need Some Love (2:21)
3. Take a Friend (4:27)
4. Here Again (7:36)
5. What You're Doing (4:23)
6. In the Mood (3:36)
7. Before and After (5:36)
8. Working Man (7:09)

Total Time: 40:18


- Geddy Lee / lead vocals, bass
- Alex Lifeson / guitars, vocals
- John Rutsey / drums, vocals

About this release

Studio album
March 1, 1974
Produced by Rush

1974 - Moon(Canada)
1974 - Mercury(US)
1977 - Anthem(Canada)
1997 - Anthem(Canada) CD: remastered
1997 - Mercury(US) CD: remastered
2009 - Universal(Japan) CD: CD sized album replica, remastered

The original pressing had RUSH typed in red letters, the colour was changed to purple on later editions.

Thanks to cannon, Pekka, 666sharon666 for the updates

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Arguably one of the most influential and beloved bands of all time, Canada's Rush came from humble beginnings, with this 1974 self-titled debut, which sees the Canadian three-piece as not much more than a standard hard rock outfit, long before they adopted a more progressive sound that would garner them worldwide fame.

Although it's not really the sort of thing I'd normally listen to, and certainly not the first Rush album I'd reach for, 'Rush' is still a nice little record. It's 40-minute duration makes it an easy listen, and although none of the tracks are notably memorable compared to their later material (with the possible exception of 'Working Man', which was an early hit for the band), they're still fairly catchy and certainly won't cause any harm.

Forming six years prior to the release of this record, it's evident in the music that this is a band that have had time to gel and really develop their own identity with their music. Geddy Lee's powerful voice bellows with a high-pitched passion that has yet to be tarnished by age or years of touring, and Alex Lifeson's guitar work, though not quite as instantly recognizable as it would become in later years, is still confident and impressive.

'Finding My Way', 'Here Again', 'Before and After', 'Working Man' and my personal favourite, 'What You're Doing' are all highlights of this album, though as I've mentioned before, most of them will be overshadowed by the bands later output, and that's not a slight on 'Rush', but a testament to how great this band will become.
Not really progressive yet, but already rocks!

RUSH was a trio formed in 1968, but it was not until 6 years that the band released its first studio album. Therefore this self-titled debut already displays Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson's talents at vocals, bass and guitars. However, this record is a bit of an exception as it doesn't feature Neil Peart yet, but instead original drummer John Rutsey, and lyrics written by Geddy Lee.

Highly influenced by the British rock scene of the early 70's, especially LED ZEPPELIN, the Canadians borrow the hard rock elements for their compositions: direct, punchy and fast. RUSH carries well its name here. The result is neither very personal, original nor progressive, but the songs are energetic, efficient and quite nice.

The hard bluesy rock "Finding My Way" is a powerful opener that immediately sets the tone. Although rather basic, the short dynamic "Need Some Love" is enjoyable, whereas the average "Take A Friend" is anecdotal. Discrete progressive elements can be heard on the soft "Here Again", a pretty and touching ballad with long melancholic guitar soli.

Back to life with the riffing "What You're Doing", which can remind DEEP PURPLE at times. More conventional, "In The Mood" is just a hard rock'n'roll song, while "Before And After" stands for the other slightly prog composition of the disc. Alternating sweet, aggressive and instrumental passages, this track is very good. However, the best track is the heavy and catchy "Working Man", whose style is comparable to BLACK SABBATH.

Despite its lack of originality and personality, "Rush" still remains a promising and rocking debut by talented musicians. The songs have an overall constant quality, the music is energetic, direct and efficient. Although it has not earn success and is rather an exception in the band's career, this a solid and punchy hard rock album. Not revolutionary, nonetheless recommended to early 70's British rock fans!

After this first effort, John Rutsey will leave the trio and be replaced by a man who will inflect RUSH's musical direction and lyrics forever...
"Rush" is the eponymously titled debut full-length studio album by Canadian, Toronto based progressive rock act Rush. The album was released through Moon Records in March 1974. Rush was formed in 1968 when the members were still in high school, but the trio lineup of Geddy Lee (lead vocals, bass), Alex Lifeson (guitars, backing vocals), and John Rutsey (drums, backing vocals), who recorded this album, wasn´t fully established until May 1971. After honing their playing and songwriting skills on the local Toronto scene, Rush recorded the material for the album at Eastern Sound Studios, Toronto in early 1973 - November 1973. As no label showed interest in releasing the album, the band and their management opted to release the album themselves through their own label Moon Records. The original Moon Records vinyl version was only pressed in 3.500 copies. After the track "Working Man" achieved some radio airplay and the Moon Records vinyl copies sold out, Mercury Records picked the album up for a re-release.

Stylistically the music on the album is power trio hard rock. Guitar, bass, drums, and vocals...1, 2, 3, 4 straight ahead blues based rock´n´roll with an attitude. Led Zeppelin´s most hard edged material is a valid reference point. It´s pretty basic vers/chorus structured music, and most listeners into that type of music should be able to appreciate the unpolished rawness and authenticity of the material. Rush were already at this point, a very well playing act. The instrumental part of the music is tight, hard rocking, and organic, and Geddy Lee delivers his high pitched vocals with a convincing snarling attitude.

The album is a self-produced affair and the band have created a raw and organic sound for their hard rocking music, which suits the material well. The songwriting is relatively consistent in quality although not all tracks stand out equally much, but overall it´s a decent and somewhat promising debut album (I´d mention "Finding My Way", "What You´re Doing", and "Working Man" as some of the standout tracks). In retrospect it´s also one of a kind in the band´s discography, as they would already start incorporating progressive rock ideas on "Fly by Night (1975)", which this album is completely devoid of. A 3 star (60%) rating is warranted.
Rush - Rush

"Rush" is the self-titled debut studio album by hard rock/progressive rock band Rush. Today Rush is practically a household name for most fans of rock music, as they are extremely well-known for ground-breaking albums like "2112" and "Moving Pictures", but they didn't start out making complex heavy rock/metal epics and coming up with fascinating and philosophical lyrical themes.

The music heard here is primarily heavy blues rock not dissimilar to bands like Led Zeppelin and Foghat. The lyrics are also what you would expect from a release like this, being about love and daily life as heard in songs like 'Working Man'. There is some variation with songs like 'Here Again', 'Working Man' and 'What You're Doing', while all three are still bluesy the former takes a much slower pace with some dark power chords. 'What You're Doing', which is one of my favorite songs on the album, has some really great heavy riffing. 'Working Man' is another favorite and a crushingly heavy song (For 1974), and certainly what I'd call an early heavy metal song.

Alex Lifeson already conducts some really sweet riffs and solos, just take a listen to almost any song on the album and try not to have the riffs get stuck in your head. Listening to the dark heavy riffing of 'Working Man' makes it easy to see why it's the most popular from the album. Geddy Lee's vocals are great too, being able to sound aggressive at times despite having a higher-pitched vocal range. One big difference from this album and the following releases, is that this album features original drummer John Rutsey instead of the famous Neil Peart. Peart is a fantastic drummer, but Rutsey really deserves some attention too. While not as complex as Peart, he gives some really impressive drum work on the album, especially on 'Before and After', which is probably my favorite from the album.

Overall, this is one great debut album. While it has some weak moments, ('In the Mood' sounds like a rejected Aerosmith song), most of the songs on this debut are not only fantastic heavy blues/rock songs but also a great start for one of the most innovative bands in hard rock. If you're a fan of early heavy blues rock, this makes for one hell of a listen. Hope you found this review helpful.

Feel free to comment!
siLLy puPPy
Now this an album I have a long history with and one of the first albums I owned. It's the first RUSH album that doesn't seem to get a lot of love simply for the fact that it's not progressive and not in the same league with the masterpieces they would churn out just a few years down the road. All I can say is --- SO WHAT!

I find this a splendid specimen of enthusiastic hard rock with well written catchy songs where all three members are playing their hearts out. I simply categorize this first rendition of RUSH as a totally different entitiy than with what they would become just one album later. I put this album in the same category as Foghat, Boston, UFO or any other high energy melodic hard rock act of the 70s. Geddy Lee's vocals are on fire, the guitar and bass play extremely well with other and although he's no Neil Peart, John Rutsley more than gets the job done on this one.

Zeppelin inspired? Yes, but definitely no clone. I actually prefer this to FLY BY NIGHT simply because this is really good at what it is while the next album feels a little weak for what it wants to be. Am I glad Neil Peart joined and took RUSH to a new level of musicianship? Of course. Do I recognize a great sounding hard rock album when I hear it? I do and this is one of them. Not a masterpiece but a great album that I wish would get a little more recognition as such.
Rush's sole album with founding drummer John Rutsey is an object lesson in how much a change in lineup of a tight three-man unit like Rush can change the character of a band. More or less everyone with an interest in progressive metal knows Rush as a technically proficient band who are constantly experimenting with different directions to take their sound in, are blessed with one of the scene's most technically proficient drummers in the form of Neil Peart, and feature the instantly recognisable high-pitched vocals of Geddy Lee. Aside from Geddy's vocals, none of these qualities are in evidence on their debut.

Steeped in Led Zeppelin worship, the album showcases a band which clearly have potential but just aren't pushing themselves to realise it. The point of interest for most Rush fans will be how Rutsey compares to Peart. The answer: not well. It's impossible to tell whether he was simply a less talented drummer who was holding the band back due to his inability to play more technically complex material, or whether the band as a whole were simply not making use of their talent at this point in time, but the overall effect is the same: Rutsey snoozes through all the usual hard rock cliches (complete with cowbell) and does nothing particularly spectacular.

Alex Lifeson turns in the most distinguished instrumental performance here - particularly his solos on the extended numbers Here Again and Working Man - but again he's simply running through the hard rock playbook rather than making any new contribution on here. As for the vocals, whilst Geddy's distinctive voice is in place it is jarring to hear him try an unconvincing impersonation of Robert Plant, and he's hampered by the lack of the witty and articulate lyrics Rush are usually known for (except on Working Man). Again, this is probably a consequence of the different lineup, since Neil Peart would take on primary lyrical responsibility once he joined the band.

Overall, the album's a bit of a disappointment, and the only genuinely memorable song on here is Working Man - which has been given superior live renditions by the current lineup, particularly on All The World's a Stage and Different Stages. Quite simply, unless you are burning with curiosity over Rush's origins, there's no compelling reason to own this album.
Every great band has a beginning...

The first Rush album is nowhere near their virtuoso best as that would develop on subsequent albums such as "2112", "Moving Pictures" or "Hemispheres". However as a debut this is quite an achievement with some of the best heavy prog you will hear. It begins with the blistering heavy riffing 'Finding My Way' that shimmers with strong energy and Lee belts out the words with conviction and power. He had a higher voice in these early days and at times is metal screechy but still a great singer. The guitars on the album of Lifeson are raw but I like that, more like Led Zeppelin but they would develop their own sound and become Rush.

The drums are not Peart of course in this incarnation but John Rutsey is competent. There is little in the way of progressive in this early Rush album but the potential is there and oozes through on gems such as 'Finding My way', 'In The Mood', 'What You're Doing' and the quintessential treasure, 'Working Man'. There are Led Zeppelinesque riffs on this latter track and some cool time sig changes. I love the verses and the riff in the chorus that has haunted me for years.

There are some moments of mediocrity such as the saccharine 'Here Again' and the dull 'Take a Friend'. But there is some heavy blues and boogie wrapped up in 'What You're Doing' which really feels like 'Whole Lotta Love' from the Zeps but it is still original to put a new spin on that classic riff.

'Working Man' is in my top 5 Rush songs and I never tire of it's structure, crazy riffing and innovative rhythmic time sig changes. This one is the only true prog song on the album but it paved the way for greater prog to come. It reminds me of the closing track on Genesis' "Trespass" as this too was the most progressive track, the heaviest and best for Genesis, as 'Working Man' is to this album.

Overall it is worth getting hold of this debut, as long as you are not expecting a prog masterpiece, as any Rushaholic will contest this is simply not the case.

Conor Fynes
'Fly By Night' - Rush (4/10)

Rush can be said to have had a bit of a rough start, at least in terms of being progressive. However, in the matter of a few years, they went from a blues-rock Led Zeppelin clone, to a more musically intelligent body. Although 'Fly By Night' isn't amazing, it's a definite step forward in terms of complexity, and a sharp improvement from their epynomous debut effort.

This new approach to rock music can be attributed to the arrival of their then-new drummer, Neil Peart. It was his lyrics that drove Rush from being rather typical in their content (the majority of Rush's 'love songs' are on their debut, which Geddy and Alex wrote the lyrics for.) Now instead of typical classic rock lyrics, we see ballads about mileaus from the Lord Of The Rings, and commentaries on the work of Ayn Rand. It is this intelligence that upgrades 'Fly By Night' from it's predecessor.

'By-Tor & The Snow Dog' could even be considered the band's first 'epic.' Although compared to their other epics, it's rather short, it still shows an appreciation for the extended song length, which is a characteristic typical of progressive rock. While it's still not stellar, it set the stage for future epics, which would be found in no short supply in this album's excellent successor, 'Caress of Steel.'

While a lot of the songs on this album would still fit into the classic rock category, it's still a better brand of classic rock then was found on the debut. Songs like 'Fly By Night' and 'Anthem' are Rush classics. However, there isn't any material on the album that really shines. It's because of this that 'Fly By Night' is non-essential. Still worth picking up if you're a fan of Rush, though.

Members reviews

A real hard and heavy rocking debut for Rush. Yes they were influenced by Zeppelin and Deep Purple but honestly who wasn't? They showed that they could rock with the best and jam with the best and they delivered. They also had two "ballad" songs with Here Again and Before and After which are average to me but still shows they can slow down time to time. This is a really good album with superb musicianship from all 3 of the guys. To me this gets 3 and a half stars because comparing this with their later work, it doesn't hold up well. Highlights: Finding My Way, What You're Doing, In the Mood, and Working Man

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