Rush - Fly By Night review


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Band: Rush
Album: Fly By Night
Release date: February 1975

01. Anthem
02. Best I Can
03. Beneath, Between & Behind
04. By-Tor & The Snow Dog
    1 - At The Tobes Of Hades
    2 - Across The Styx
    3 - Of The Battle
    4 - Epilogue
05. Fly By Night
06. Making Memories
07. Rivendell
08. In The End

Rush's second album Fly by Night marks the debut of the fantastic progressive rock drummer Neil Peart. Peart also makes it his business to write all the lyrics for vocalist/bassist/keyboardist Geddy Lee, who was previously penning tunes about 'livin' it up'. Peart brings science, philosophy, the human mind and all of its problems to the page.

Hints from the previous album are still available on this album. The bluesy hard rock base still lingers in many guitar melodies. What changes is how the trio has switched over to odd time signatures. Popularized here is the meter of seven. Also noted is how Rush get into many grooves and rhythms that were not possible with Rutsy. Geddy Lee explores his bass guitar a bit more then on their debut album. This adds a whole new dimension to Rush's sound. The band has finally slowed down a bit in order to compose loftier progressive tunes that still touch base with hard bluesy rock.

Peart really does bring so much more to the table. The fast interchanges from snare to tom after verses and choruses, even incorporating hi-hat and the odd cow-bell arrangement into the mixture is a welcome change from the shuffling 4/4 hi-hat/snare/bass drum styling of previous drummer Rutsy. Peart also uses more double-bass work, a technique that was still seldom used.

The crowning moment on Fly by Night is the epic By Tor & The Snow Dog, clocking in at almost nine minutes long. This song shows off the upcoming progressive virtuosity that each member contains and is still holding back on for future albums like 2112 and Hemispheres. By Tor & The Snow Dog is weighed down by several parts that flow seamlessly. Geddy Lee shows off his ability to keep playing and playing and playing, especially in the breakdown in the middle of the song, almost mechanically. Finally, the crowning moment comes at the four-minute mark where all three play a polyrhythmic section of counting down beats from a number in the thirties, following each time with a drum solo then dead silence as the number becomes smaller and smaller.

The title track on Fly by Night went on to become on of Rush's first radio hits and also known now as a classic. The only possible bore on the entire album could be Rivendell, an acoustic piece with some guitar feedback containing no drums. Geddy is very quiet when he sings here, previously screaming over every other song.

Rush still composes down-to-earth catchy tunes on Fly by Night. You can hear the progressive edge to each song served up on the album. Fly by Night is not entirely a progressive rock release. This released was realized by many that Lifeson, Lee and Peart certainly did have the potential to graduate onwards to become on of the biggest and most well known progressive rock bands in the world.

Rating breakdown
Performance: 9
Songwriting: 9
Originality: 8
Production: 9

Written by Horlequism | 07.07.2006


Guest review disclaimer:
This is a guest review, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.


Comments: 1   Visited by: 47 users
23.06.2007 - 18:56
Erotic Stains
The beginning of Rush for me, after this release everything they touced just got better and better! I can't say that I'm the biggest fan of this album, it's still a little too much Hard-Rock for me. But hey, it's the first Rush-With-Neil-Peart-album, possibly the best drummer of all time!

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