Rush Rush Through Time album art

Album Review: Rush – Rush Through Time

The Rush album you didn’t know existed.

Ah, maybe you did. Certainly most Rush fans know about Rush Through Time a legitimate compilation album mostly released against the band’s wishes. The German branch of Polygram Records, Rush’s label from their debut album in 1974 through Hold Your Fire in 1987, released Rush Through Time in 1979 on vinyl as a picture disc in Europe which took select tracks from the band’s second through fifth studio albums:

Note that Rush never included Rush Through Time as part of their catalog of releases like they did Archives and Chronicles. Drummer Neil Peart said Rush Through Time was  put together without the band’s input. Be that as it may, Rush Through Time actually offers a satisfying snippet of Rush’s early years with solid song picks from the aforementioned five albums to give the casual consumer a glimpse into Rush the band.

However, Rush Through Time presents more as a collector’s item thanks to the European limited release and picture disc format but if you look hard enough you can find the album online or in a record store. Rush Through Time was re-released in 1982 as a standard vinyl record (and cassette – at least according to the catalog numbers on the rear album cover) sans the picture disc – which sadly is the version of Rush Through Time I have, twice over, and one that’s nearly a dime a dozen. (Should have done my homework!) Both of my copies were printed in West Germany.

Seven years ago today Rush was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame to thunderous applause. Read all about that historic night here.

The album cover doubles as the picture disc featuring a live shot of the band in the background with fans in the foreground leading you to believe, perhaps, Rush Through Time is a live album release. The reverse side on the original picture disc release displays just the Rush studio albums the songs were taken from along with the live album All the World’s a Stage. The re-release from 1982 shows all Rush albums released from the eponymous debut album through Moving Pictures. (Clever marketing!)

Backside of Rush Through Time album
The back side of the 1982 release of Rush Through Time

The track listing for Rush Through Time does not follow a traditional compilation order and in many respects could have served as an alternative blueprint for future Rush compilation albums or any band for that matter.


Rush – Rush Through Time Album Review

Rush Through Time opens with the great “Fly By Night” off the album of the same name, takes “Making Memories” also off Fly by Night  then follows with the only track from Caress of Steel in the hard rock opus “Bastille Day.”

Now it gets interesting, at least in terms of track selection as Rush Through Time follows more of a concert setlist rather than an accurate timeline of song releases. “Something for Nothing,” the final rocking song off 2112 comes next then the easy-going “Cinderella Man” from A Farewell to Kings then back to Fly By Night for that album’s opening hard hitting guitar driven track “Anthem.”

Side Two of Rush Through Time  starts with the classic “Overture” and “Temples of Syrinx” (no “The”) that opens 2112 followed by “The Twilight Zone” off the same album. “Overture” however skips the space ship landing sequence and begins right in with the music. Fly By Night gets more love with “Best I Can” and it was very smart to include female favorite “Closer to the Heart” off A Farewell to Kings. This compilation album closes with “In the End” the final song off Fly By Night.

The audio quality sounds just like you’d expect from a vinyl record

Vinyl Record from Rush Through Time
A nice looking vinyl record but not the Rush Through Time picture disc

An interesting mix of Rush songs and an even more perplexing but perhaps brilliant back and forth of albums that maybe was the record company’s attempt at muddling the listening experience and encouraging the listener to buy all of the representative studio albums. I have no idea but all other Rush compilation albums use an older to newer approach.

Rush Through Time showcases a surprising number of great picks including the great and overlooked “In the End” and “Cinderella Man.” With just 11 songs (12 if you count “Overture” and “Temples…” as two) nearly half come from Rush’s second studio album Fly By Night and those five make up more than half of that album. Of course, many more vintage Rush songs were left off and one could argue removing one of the Fly By Night tracks for perhaps “A Farewell to Kings” as the 10-minute length to “Cygnus X-1” would likely prevent its inclusion.

Overall, Rush Through Time offers an interesting mix of obvious  Rush songs along with solid deep album cuts to offer the consumer an eclectic taste of the early Rush catalog. If you have always wanted to spin some vinyl and get a mix of songs from different albums without routinely changing out the record then Rush Through Time offers this in a condensed package of 1970s era Rush songs.

Rush – Rush Through Time Songs:

  1. Fly by Night
  2. Making Memories
  3. Bastille Day
  4. Something for Nothing
  5. Cinderella Man
  6. Anthem
  7. 2112 Overture/Temples of Syrinx
  8. The Twilight Zone
  9. Best I Can
  10. Closer to the Heart
  11. In the End

6 thoughts on “Album Review: Rush – Rush Through Time

  1. Wow ,never knew this existed which is very cool. Your right its all about marketing. Aerosmiths Rock In Hard Place(1982) the album without Perry/Whitford had pics of there 70’s hey day included not he sleeve as to keep the sales of the back catalog moving.

    Real cool score here Andrew. Totally enjoyed this writeup.

    1. Thanks for reading. Glad you liked this one. Might be the last one at least for a while. Concerts still on hold but I’m finding the longer I’m away from them the more I’m less interested in going.

      1. Yeah true. Where I live we can go months without any decent bands coming through so I’m used to it at times! Lol.

        Toss down some retro reviews, by the way what did you think of the Neurotic Outsiders album?

      2. How did you manage to work when Steve Jones sings the line of ‘Make my ding dong swing!” lol
        That’s impressive!

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