Rush Moving Pictures 40th Anniversary Album Cover

Album Review: Rush – Moving Pictures 40th Anniversary

On a shelf, above my desk, in my “office” sits four boxes filed in like books.

The Rush Rediscovered box set, and the 40th anniversary super deluxe editions of A Farewell to Kings, Hemispheres and Permanent Waves. I opened them once, looked through the contents, boxed everything back up and there they sit on the shelf unopened since they arrived in accordance with the 40 year anniversary of the said album release.

Though it would be neat, I suppose, to eventually have a shelf or shelves filled with all of the planned 40th anniversary box sets of Rush albums those too would likely get the childhood toy received at Christmas treatment. Coooooool! Then, after a round or two of playtime, forever lost somewhere in a closet never to see the light of day again. After the last box set I purchased it dawned on me, again, that I’ve given enough to the Estate of Rush over the years and all these box sets will simply gather dust only to remind me of years gone by.

Thus my reason to pass on purchasing the Moving Pictures 40th Anniversary release commemorating Rush’s biggest selling album. The super deluxe box set features all sorts of goodies with smaller options available and the original album remastered for who knows how many times now. Nothing exceptionally collectible in the Moving Pictures 40th Anniversary box set though if you acted quickly upon its release last week (April 15th) you could have grabbed a very limited edition (I think just 10) model Red Barchetta, sold separately, with the shadow box backing featuring signatures of Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson and Neil Peart. Not sure how they got Peart’s autograph since he passed more than two years ago, however, some language implied facsimile signatures, but the Backstage Club marketed the collectible as authentically signed which is no longer available.

Last year, the actual 40th anniversary of Moving Pictures, I recall some type of minor re-release of the album which I thought odd considering the small hype and promotional merchandise to celebrate the smash album. Then word trickled out that indeed a grandiose release was planned, a year late, but still. Of course, those on a budget could grab just the CDs or records but those wanting it all could shell out $300 for the entire lot.

Live in YYZ 1981 Review

However, the 40th anniversary release of Moving Pictures does come with something worth your while you can enjoy whenever without returning to the box set everyday. Like past 40th anniversary album celebrations, Rush offers no previously unreleased new music found in storage somewhere, instead you get a live concert recording. Live In YYZ 1981 comes on CD and vinyl as part of the remastered version of Moving Pictures. The 19 song live “album” was recorded in Toronto during the Moving Pictures Tour and quite possibly bests Exit…Stage Left, the band’s official live album release from the era. Live in YYZ 1981 keeps all the post production at bay, something Exit…Stage Left embraced, and gives you a live, unaltered version of a Rush concert via 1981.

Though you may find it more of the same, Rush always plays on point and rarely mixes things up to keep with the original studio version, Live in YYZ 1981 offers another testament to the prowess of the band and how well they played less than 10 years into their storied 40 year career. Geddy Lee sings as high as he did in the 70s but with a governor attached, along with the pullback he settled on for the rest of his career. His bass guitar really pops at times offering insight into his one-man rhythm section, Alex Lifeson always plays guitar flawlessly and is dialed in on every solo while you hear nearly every tap and thump Neil Peart lays down on drums.

If you attended the R40 Tour, catch a familiar start to “Working Man,” enjoy “YYZed,” as Lee calls the instrumental off Moving Pictures, a near dead ringer for the version on Exit…Stage Left including the drum solo mid-song, and what’s this new song “Living in the Limelight” which sounds exactly like “Limelight” also off Moving Pictures. The audience reaction to the opening bars for “In the End” (played as part of a six song medley) clues you in on the popularity of that song and a miss on the band’s part for leaving it off the setlist on the latter half of their career.

I need another copy of Moving Pictures like I need a hole in the head. Besides, none of the copies I have nor will the remastered 40th Anniversary version, measure up to the Mexico pressing I found several years ago at a record store with Geddy Lee singing in Spanish. Furthermore, if I were to rank all 20 Rush Albums from Worst to First I’d probably place Moving Pictures 10th, maybe 8th, depending on how I feel.

Be that as it may, since Live in YYZ 1981 comes as an extension to the 40th Anniversary Moving Pictures album release on CD and vinyl, donating to the Estate of Rush the cost to purchase either format (sold separately outside the super deluxe version) offers some listening dividends.

Live in YYZ 1981 is everything Exit…Stage Left was supposed to be.

Grade: A-

Live in YYZ 1981 Setlist:

  1. 2112 – Overture
  2. 2112 – The Temples Of Syrinx
  3. Freewill
  4. Limelight
  5. Cygnus X-1 Book II: Hemispheres – Prelude
  6. Beneath, Between & Behind
  7. The Camera Eye
  8. YYZ
  9. Broon’s Bane
  10. The Trees
  11. Xanadu
  12. The Spirit Of Radio
  13. Red Barchetta
  14. Closer To The Heart
  15. Tom Sawyer
  16. Vital Signs
  17. Natural Science
  18. Working Man / Cygnus X-1 Book II: Hemispheres – Armageddon: The Battle Of Heart And Mind / By-Tor & The Snow Dog / In The End / In The Mood / 2112 – Grand Finale
  19. La Villa Strangiato

7 thoughts on “Album Review: Rush – Moving Pictures 40th Anniversary

  1. “I opened them once, looked through the contents, boxed everything back up and there they sit on the shelf unopened since they arrived in accordance with the 40 year anniversary of the said album release.”

    Same problem. I haven’t even opened sum yet. They’re coming too frequently (from many bands) for me to digest.

    1. glad I’m not the only one! And you’re a much more prolific collector than I so can’t imagine your backlog.

  2. I ordered this on vinyl. Not the super deluxe but the 5 LP set. Should be here next week. I have been streaming that 81 show and simply put its phenomenal as the drums are cranked and the set list is truly mind-blowing.
    Great writeup but I know you will get this as that is the RUSH collector in you! lol

    1. I am probably going to take my own advice and get on CD or vinyl and crank thru the Alex Lifeson speaker. lol

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