With the announcement last year that drummer and songwriter Neil Peart no longer wanted to tour and the subsequent R40 farewell tour over, Rush fans have not had the best of years. To fill the gap and ease the pain slightly, the band have released a 40th Anniversary edition of their commercial breakthrough album 2112.
The release features the original recording re-mastered at Abbey Road Studios, and what a job they have done. Completely reinvigorating the original 6 songs, not that they were shabby in the first place, but now the nuances of Geddy Lee’s intricate bass lines can be distinguished in the mix. Alex Lifeson’s soloing was always fairly prominent but the way this has been re-mastered makes it sound immense.
As well as some live tracks the second disc features a number of artists covering songs from the album, including Dave Grohl and Taylor Hawkins from Foo Fighters with long time Rush producer Nick Raskulinecz who play the ‘Overture’. Other artists featured are Billy Talent, Steve Wilson and Canadian Singer/songwriter Jacob Moon. The covers are all well executed, though some lack a little bit of ardour. The one nice surprise amongst them however is Alice in Chains’ version of ‘Tears’. Not a band you would immediately associate with progressive rock, but their vocal harmonies and guitar style lend themselves easily to this particular song from the extensive Rush catalogue.
It comes as a 2CD DVD set, 3 LP 200 gram vinyl edition and a Super Deluxe Edition which features the LPs, DVD and a host of exclusive extras. The DVD features live footage from a concert at the Capitol Theatre shot in 1976.
The live tracks and cover songs are a nice added bonus, but ultimately the real treasure here is how good these songs sound, and how well they have stood the test of time. The re-mastered songs are well worth the asking price for this album and makes for a glorious return of the STARMAN.