Rush – Same (1974)

FrontCover1Rush is the debut studio album by Canadian rock band Rush, released on March 1, 1974 by the band’s own label Moon Records in Canada and by Mercury Records in the United States and internationally. Their first release shows much of the hard rock sound typical of many of the popular rock bands emerging earlier in the decade. Rush were fans of such bands as Led Zeppelin and Cream, and these influences can be heard in most of the songs on this album.Rush is the debut studio album by Canadian rock band Rush, released on March 1, 1974 by the band’s own label Moon Records in Canada and by Mercury Records in the United States and internationally. Their first release shows much of the hard rock sound typical of many of the popular rock bands emerging earlier in the decade. Rush were fans of such bands as Led Zeppelin and Cream, and these influences can be heard in most of the songs on this album.
Original drummer John Rutsey performed all drum parts on the album, but was unable to go on extended tours because of complications with his diabetes and so he retired from the band after the album was released. Rutsey contributed to the album’s lyrics, but never submitted the work to the other members of the band. The lyrics were instead entirely composed by Lee and Lifeson. Rutsey was soon replaced by Neil Peart, who has remained the band’s drummer as well as their primary lyricist.

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Originally the recording sessions were produced by Dave Stock at Eastern Sound Studios in Toronto. They were scheduled late at night during the ‘dead’ time in studios because of the band’s low budget and the rates during this period were the cheapest. Stock had also worked on the band’s debut single (a cover of Buddy Holly’s “Not Fade Away”, with an original composition, “You Can’t Fight It”, on the B-side). “You Can’t Fight It” was to be included on the album but was scrapped. Two of the Eastern Sound recordings, “In the Mood” and “Take a Friend” were included on the final album.

However, Rush were unhappy with the quality of the first sessions. They moved to Toronto Sound Studios and produced the next sessions themselves while achieving a significant improvement in recording quality. They added new overdubs to existing backing tracks of “What You’re Doing”, “Before and After” and “Working Man”. The tracks with the most advanced production were recorded entirely at Toronto Sound: “Finding My Way”, “Need Some Love” and “Here Again”. These new songs took the place of recordings from the earlier sessions. Both studios used 8-channel multitrack recorders, which was quite primitive for 1973, but the group quickly learned to make the best use of the technology that was available.

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The band and its management formed their own company, Moon Records, and released the album in Canada. Only 3,500 copies of the original Moon Records LP (catalogue number MN-100) were pressed. The first version of the LP has a cream-coloured label with a blue Moon Records logo and black type.
The album was soon picked up by WMMS, a radio station in Cleveland, Ohio. Donna Halper, a DJ working at the station, selected “Working Man” for her regular play list. Every time the song was played the station received phone calls asking where to buy the record. Copies of the Moon Records album were imported to the Cleveland area and quickly sold out.

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In the 2010 documentary film Rush: Beyond the Lighted Stage, Halper says that “Working Man” was the perfect song for the Cleveland rock audience, as it was still mostly a factory town in 1974. WMMS later sponsored one of Rush’s first performances in the United States, on August 26, 1974 in Cleveland.
The record’s popularity in Cleveland quickly led to the re-release of the album by Mercury Records. The first Canadian Mercury release on the standard red Mercury label is nearly as rare as the Moon version. It also had the Moon number MN-100 between the run-out grooves, indicating that it was pressed from the same metal stampers as the Moon disc. “A special thank you to Donna Halper” was added to the album credits of this and all later versions.
At this point manager Ray Danniels scraped together an additional $9,000 for producer Terry Brown to professionally re-mix all of the recordings for better sound quality. This remix version was used for later releases most of which used the Mercury “skyline” record label instead of the red label. A later Moon Records version of undetermined origin has a pink label with grey moon craters.
The original album logo was red, but a printing error made it appear more pink in colour. This is one of two Rush albums where the cover artwork had printing errors (the other album is Caress of Steel). (by wikipedia)

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Rush’s self-titled debut is about as uncharacteristic of their renowned heavy progressive rock (perfected on such future releases as Hemispheres, Moving Pictures, etc.) as you can get. Instead of complex arrangements and thoughtful lyrics, Rush sounds almost identical to Led Zeppelin throughout — bluesy riffs merged with “baby, baby” lyrics. The main reason for the album’s different sound and direction is that their lyricist/drummer, Neil Peart, was not in the band yet, skinsman John Rutsey rounds out the original line-up, also consisting of Geddy Lee (bass/vocals) and Alex Lifeson (guitar). It’s nearly impossible to hear the anthemic “Finding My Way” and not picture Robert Plant shrieking away, or Jimmy Page riffing on the jamfest “Working Man,” but Rush was still in their formative stages. There’s no denying that Lee and Lifeson were already strong instrumentalists, but such predictable compositions as “In the Mood” and “What You’re Doing” prove that Peart was undoubtedly the missing piece to the puzzle. While longtime Rush fans can appreciate their debut because they never returned to this style, newcomers should stick with their classics from later years. (by Greg Prato)

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Personnel:
Geddy Lee (vocals, bass)
Alex Lifeson (guitar, background vocals)
John Rutsey (drums, percussion, background vocals)

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Tracklist:
01. Finding My Way (Lee/Lifeson) 5.07
02. Need Some Love (Lee/Lifeson)  2:16
03. Take A Friend (Lee/Lifeson) 4:27
04. Here Again (Lee/Lifeson) 7:30
05. What You’re Doing (Lee/Lifeson) 4:19
06. In The Mood (Lee) 3:36
07. Before And After (Lee/Lifeson) 5:33
08. Working Man (Lee/Lifeson)  7:07

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