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Rush: 2112

Canada’s prog titans redress a classic album

Today Rush are revered as pioneers of progressive metal. But in 1976, when they unleashed what would come to be regarded as their magnum opus, things weren’t quite so rosy. Under pressure from their record company after the progressively inclined Caress Of Steel had bombed, it was suggested they knock the concepts on the head.

So Rush being Rush created an album built around the side-long opening piece, on which lyricist Neil Peart was inspired by philosopher Ayn Rand. It worked a treat, firing the imagination of fans and wowing them with some incendiary prog in the bombastic opening couplet of the 2112 suite and the climactic Grand Finale, offset by the more plaintive Discovery and Soliloquy.

Although often regarded as a concept album, side two featured five separate songs, of which A Passage To Bangkok and Something For Nothing stand out. Here given the remastered 5.1 treatment, the redesigned cover grates, but the music remains timeless and classic.

Writer and broadcaster Jerry Ewing is the Editor of Prog Magazine which he founded for Future Publishing in 2009. He grew up in Sydney and began his writing career in London for Metal Forces magazine in 1989. He has since written for Metal Hammer, Maxim, Vox, Stuff and Bizarre magazines, among others. He created and edited Classic Rock Magazine for Dennis Publishing in 1998 and is the author of a variety of books on both music and sport, including Wonderous Stories; A Journey Through The Landscape Of Progressive Rock, as well as sleevenotes for many major record labels. He lives in North London and happily indulges a passion for AC/DC, Chelsea Football Club and Sydney Roosters.