Classic Albums: 2112/Moving Pictures

[Eagle Vision]

Most editions of the sterling Classic Albums series examine in detail the creation of a—you guessed it—classic album with the help of the musicians, producers and engineers who made it. So why does Rush’s first entry in the series cover two albums? Certainly, both 1976’s 2112 and 1981’s Moving Pictures represent turning points in the band’s career—but so do several other albums. Jamming the two albums together short shrifts both, as each is deserving of a documentary of its own. That gripe addressed, what we have here is a feast of insights for Rush fans. Bass player Geddy Lee, guitarist Alex Lifeson and drummer Neil Peart are articulate in describing the making of these albums, from the group’s state of mind at the time down to the nitty-gritty particulars of each song addressed. 2112 found Rush pushing forward with long-form concept pieces despite its label’s misgivings, its determination reflected in Peart’s lyrics about the struggle to preserve individuality and clarity of purpose. Moving Pictures, with its more radio-ready arrangements and structures, catapulted the group into the mainstream with hits like “Tom Sawyer” and “Limelight.” A wealth of information about both albums is in the program, and continues in almost an hour’s worth of interesting outtakes. The extras conclude with the group running through its touchstone instrumental “YYZ,” demonstrating with a flourish that it hasn’t lost a bit of the spring in its step since these albums were first laid down. –CN

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