RUSH — All the World's a Stage (review)

RUSH — All the World's a Stage album cover Live album · 1976 · Hard Rock Buy this album from MMA partners
3.5/5 ·
Warthur
Cobbled together in a hurry to cash in on the success of 2112, All The World's a Stage is an adequate but not exceptional summary of the early period of Rush. The recording quality is just about acceptable but not stellar, hinting at the band's live power without quite adequately capturing it. The songs from the first three albums are by and large improved by the raw live performance, but the songs from 2112 suffer from the production quality - and from the fact that 2112 itself is trimmed by about five minutes or so, a decision which will enrage purists.

Still, the album is an authentic-sounding snapshot of the Rush live experience at the time, with between-song chat preserved. On balance, though, I'd say it was recorded slightly too early in their career - it relies a bit too much on material from the first three albums to fill out its running time, and they're just not strong enough to carry it. The Different Stages set has a live disc from a 1978 performance, and having an extra album's worth of quality material to balance out the setlist makes all the difference. This is a live album which was probably welcome at the time, but has surely been superseded now by later live releases.
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