Trio: A musical composition for three voices or instruments

rush 1

BAMMMM!
What was that band’s name again? I forgot.

Rush has been a band for a long time with a sound so distinct and varied that it has enabled them to remain relevant for decades. On this, their self titled first record, we hear tiny glimpses of what they would eventually become.

Born from the often uninspired, commercially safe world of Canada in the early 70’s, Rush were something of an anomaly. Bands like The Guess Who and BTO were simple, mid-tier rock station staples but did very little to experiment or challenge the musical scene. This was partly due to the awfully slim chances of gaining exposure as a Canadian musical outfit. Being in a band wasn’t a viable career unless a hit single could be delivered yet, still that didn’t guarantee airtime outside of the Northern border.

This 1973 self titled debut is very much in vein with popular hard rock albums at the time. Led Zeppelin was seeing success and every band was attempting to cash in by aping their sound. Rush decidedly went their own way from the beginning by opting for a heavier sound than most at the time. It’s crunchy riffs and Lee’s screeching vocals would make them impossible to ignore. Finally, a band with balls was being heard out of Canada.

rush 2

Anthem is RIGHT!

Whereas most early 70’s bands went the way of the Zeppelin or The Who, Rush’s influences were closer to classic blues. From the scales played on Lifeson’s guitar to the poppy rhythm section comprised of Lee and Rutsey, this trio sounded more like a heavier Muddy Waters or a dirtier Cream than a lot of the popular acts at the time. Yes, they were louder than most with a chunkier guitar sound but they didn’t play to the darker side of things as bands like Sabbath were doing.

In a lot of ways, this album is whimsical. Finding My Way starts with a gritty opening guitar track levitated by Lee’s silly shouting. Throughout the entire album it just sounds like three guys having a great time. It is appealing in a way that a lot of music isn’t. The chemistry between all of the members is apparent, even if this would be Rutsey’s only outing behind the kit. There is a sense of communication between them simply through their expert musicianship and while they would go on to grow in many different stylistic ways while continuing to hone their crafts, this is a nice, humble beginning.

rush 3

Good god. What were they thinking?

Track List:

Finding My Way
Need Some Love
Take A Friend
Here Again
What You’re Doing
In The Mood
Before And After
Working Man