Eagle Vision continues its fine Classic Albums series with this double bill Blu-Ray of Rush's 2112 and Moving Pictures albums. Seeing as the Canadian legends are out touring and playing all of Moving Pictures as we speak, this is a pretty timely release.
Featuring expert commentary from Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson, and Neil Peart, as well as Producer Terry Brown, journalist David Fricke, and Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins, a close look at both influential albums is taken, each one signaling a turning point in the career of Rush when they were originally released. 2112 followed the ambitious but critically and commercially disappointing Caress of Steel album, which almost became the end of the band, and saw Rush quickly become one of the more popular heavy rock/progressive rock acts on the scene with songs like the epic side-long "2112 Overture" suite, "Passage to Bangkok", and hard rocking "Something for Nothing". This album kick-started a period of intense experimentation and challenging music, which continued through albums like A Farewell to Kings and Hemisperes, considered by many to be the bands 'prog' years. Though they don't mention it at all here, the more commercial period that really arrived with Moving Pictures actually started on the album that came just before it, Permanent Waves, but it was Moving Pictures that made Rush rock stars.
The insightful interview segments with Terry Brown and the band themselves really is eye opening, as they take a deep look into the creation of many of these songs, plus there's a boatload of live clips from throughout their career spread around the documentary, some of which is of sub-par quality, but you can't deny the importance of their inclusion regardless of the nature of the footage. I would have thought the high-definition format would have improved the quality of some of these clips, but that's not the case here. Seeing as they are squeezing 2 albums into one 60 minute show, they don't look at each and every track on both albums as they normally do in this series but focus on just the more famous songs, like the already mentioned pieces from 2112, and "YYZ", "Tom Sawyer", "Red Barchetta", and "Limelight" from Moving Pictures. Those who have followed the Classic Album series and are fans of the other songs from these albums might be a bit disappointed in the fact that these tracks are not analyzed or even mentioned here, but due to time contrains there was probably no other choice.
There is close to 60 minutes worth of bonus segments filmed for the show that was edited out, so you get extra commentary from the folks involved, as well as the band showing up close and personal how many of the parts to these songs are played. Despite a few minor flaws which I've mentioned above, this is still a very informative and enjoyable documentary that looks at two stellar albums in the Rush discography, and if you are a fan of the band you'll need to have this in your collection. As a little side note, there's a funny story that Peart tells here of a dinner meeting the band had recently after not seeing each other for close to a year, as they planned to talk about upcoming tours as well as a new album. The actual footage of that dinner is included on the excellent bio DVD Beyond the Lighted Stage, and it's just as hilarious as Peart explains it.