Monday, December 27, 2010


I've written before about the Classic Albums DVD series: I really dug the Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers Damn The Torpedoes edition, as well as the Black Sabbath Paranoid episode. Now, I've just watched another one that focuses on two Rush albums, 1976's 2112 and 1981's Moving Pictures.

The timing for this seems a bit weird, as it has only been a few months since the DVD release of Beyond The Lighted Stage, the only real Rush documentary, and certainly the only real authorized one. I am pretty sure that some of the interviews from that film were used here.  And the guest list on that one - there were interviews with Trent Reznor, Billy Corgan, Les Claypool, Gene Simmons, Tim Commerford, among others - isn't improved upon.  The big name commentators here are Taylor Hawkins of The Foo Fighters (who was in Lighted Stage) and Ed Robertson of Barenaked Ladies. The one notable addition - and to me, a very surprising one - was Rolling Stone writer David Fricke. Rolling Stone has traditionally written off Rush, so I was surprised to see one of their best, and most high-profile, writers speaking positively about them.

Of course, both of these albums were pretty well covered in Beyond The Lighted Stage, but they get a bit more detail here.  The Ayn Rand influence on 2112 has been well documented, but it was interesting to hear more of the band's explanation about it.  Particularly where Geddy Lee reacts to accusations that the band are "nazis" - given that he is a child of Holocaust survivors.  And Fricke rightfully points out that just because drummer/lyricist Neil Peart was influenced by Rand, he doesn't necessarily agree with everything she ever said.

As with all the Classic Albums discs, there is fun footage of each member of the band explaining their parts of the songs, and the producer of the album (in this case, Terry Brown) isolating different tracks from the master tapes in the studio, which is always fun to watch. Some of the extras were fun also - I love watching the band talk about their influences (although there was nothing really new there) and they went in depth about the 2112 track "Something For Nothing," which is also a bit Rand-ian, and definitely (and defiantly) anti-hippy-ish, which makes sense, as so many rock critics (particularly of the Rolling Stone ilk) really were a part of the hippy scene.

As No Expiration fans know, I'm a huge Rush fan, and I love seeing any interviews with them. If you were going to watch one non-concert DVD, I'd have to recommend the more comprehensive Beyond The Lighted Stage, but if that's too long for you, or you (like me) just can't get enough Rush, I'd recommend this.

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