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R40 Live (3CD, 3CD+DVD, 3CD+Blu-ray, DVD, Blu-ray)
Release Date: 4th December 2015

Joe Geesin

joe geesin

rush r40

Canadian progressive rock legends Rush have been recording and touring for over 40 years now. With more Gold and Platinum discs (and other awards) than most can barely dream of, this trio have produced a fine string of top selling albums and explored more keys than a locksmith.

Originally planned as a 40th anniversary of their 1974 eponymous debut, the 2015 tour became a 40th anniversary of drummer Neil Peart joining the band.

This live tour ran from May to August this year and this extensive live set, recorded over two sold-out shows in their native Toronto, Ontario, Canada, spans their 41 year recording career.

Article continues below...

Rush started as a blues/rock band (think British blues power trio) and moved in a more progressive rock direction, influenced by early Genesis and Jethro Tull, but during the 80s the sound was updated with the introduction of polished hard rock, radio friendly power pop and even a hint of reggae in places.

With albums like '2112' (reviewed on MetalTalk here), 'A Farewell To Kings' and 'Permanent Waves', and live sets including 'Exit Stage Left' and 'A Show Of Hands', there's many a polished progressive set that is essential listening.

With trademark high vocals, time and key changes, layered multi instruments and fantasy concepts, the band have built a virtuoso reputation and fan-base to match. Oh, and there might be the odd hit single along the way too.

The show here opens with 'The World Is…. The World is…', the enthusiastic audience response that of a homecoming. 'The Anarchist' from 2012's Clockwork Angels is seven minutes of modern prog rock joy, some serious riffing and driving rhythms.

'Headlong Flight' from the same album, showing confidence in their newer material, continues the modern heavy sound and is slightly extended too, finishing with the band talking to the crowd.

'Far Cry' ('Snakes and Arrow') is a chunkier number with equal polish and layering. With tracks from 'Signals' ('Subdivisions', 'Losing It'), 'Grace Under Pressure' ('Between The Wheels') and 'Roll The Bones', disc one is already mixing material from across the catalogue, across the genres.

The band engage the audience between songs, and the songs themselves are of varied length, not all side-spanning workouts which keeps the interest. 'How It Is' gets a rare live outing too.

There's a thoroughly enjoyable heaviness to much here, and the keyboard peddles add an extra dimension too.

Disc 2 kicks off with 'Tom Sawyer', a fan and radio favourite, and from then on the spread of tracks from across the catalogue continues in a fashion that will have fans drooling.

'XYZ' has always been a personal favourite, likewise 'Spirit Of Radio'. 'Cygnus X-1The Story So Far' includes a drum solo, then 'Xanadu', '2112', 'Distant Early Warning' and a return to 'Losing It', all highlighting both a strength of material across the years and the blend of 70s progressive rock with a more modern technical Art Rock.

From riffing/soloing alternating with guitar/bass interplay, and powerful and intricate rhythms throughout, this trio produce an interesting, encapsulating and intriguing rock that is energetic throughout.

There are thirty one tracks across three CDs, a recording quality that lives up to Rush's usual standards, and visually the numerous cameras capture the band and audience in film-like fashion. The stripped down stage set put the emphasis on the music, and rightly so.

While the band are on top form, the music excellent, the performance tight and energetic, and although organic in places the fairly close adherence to the original album arrangements does sound slightly dry compared to other live sets.

The visuals are done really well, but it's the audio option that will probably be of most interest to the more casual fan.

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Here's a fabulous Aerosmith pictorial document as seen through the lens of famed British photographer Tony Mottram. Tony photographed the band over many years for various magazines and now has a monthly column here on MetalTalk.

As was often the case, only one photo ever got published and in the fast moving world of weekly magazines sometimes entire sessions would be done and left undeveloped.

Tony started shooting Aerosmith from towards the end of the period with Jimmy Crespo and Rick Dufay and onwards through the return of original members Joe Perry and Brad Whitford that resulted in the albums 'Done With Mirrors', 'Permanent Vacation' and 'Pump'.


As well as shooting the band several times in England, this collection includes images from a session at the band's rehearsal room in Boston. Littered throughout is a mixture of live and off stage photos including a selection of photos taken at London's famous Marquee club when they were joined on stage by Jimmy Page.

This limited edition hardback book, presented in a flight case and printed on silk paper, is an opportunity to own a unique selection of photos, most of which have never seen the light of day before.

This unique item is presented in an aluminium flight case and will be published in late November. Earlybird subscribers who order by 31st October will have their name printed within a dedicated page in the book.

To be sure not to miss out on this unique, future collector's item, hit the PayPal button here:

Publication date: 31st November 2017
ISBN: 978-1-908724-81-6
Format: Casebound.
Pages: 128 pages, printed on 170 gsm, silk paper.
Size: A4 landscape.


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