All The World's A Stage (1976)

1.Bastille Day
3.Fly By Night / In the Mood
4.Something for Nothing
5.Lakeside Park
7.By-Tor and the Snow Dog
8.In the End
9.Working Man/Finding My Way
10.What You're Doing


Although it was never intentional, this live album started a pattern of live recrods for Rush. After each four studio albums, a live representation would be released highlighting, for the most part, the songs of that particular era. This was a great coincidence since Rush has always been known as a "live" band, never too radio friendly and, with one minor exception, never had a top 40 single.

It seemed a great calculated move since Rush spent most of its time on the road reaching new audiences in new places, and although some argue about the quality of this album, it can't be denied that they did pick their best material to feature on this album. This double album, recorded across North America during their tour of 1976, is pretty rough around the edges, but that's mostly forgivable since technology was nowhere near it is today. Nor did the band yet have funds to tidy all the loose ends.

What would become a given at all live shows (and, consequently, on their live releases) was an outstanding drum solo by Neil Peart. This has always been the highlight for many a fan, and although it doesn't compare to later releases, its pretentiousness makes it more special.

Highlights include most of 2112 (they wouldn't be able to perform the whole piece until 20+ years later because of time restraints) on side two and a great medley from their first album on side four (including the above mentioned drum solo). The rest is well featured as well and serves as a "greatest hits" type package for the "early years". The guys sound young, a bit inexperienced, but very hungry. It's a perfect "first" live album from a band that would release many many more in their long career.

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