RUSH is a band that lures me into their progressive Hard Rock world, like an insect flying into a backyard bug lamp. The main difference between me and an insect, (besides my being a human being), is that once I get zapped by the electrifying sound of Rush, I don’t turn crispy and bite the dust. Rush could very well release an album every year and I would buy it. This ultra iconic band’s albums brings back memories and makes new memories for me, on a consistent basis. Metal truth be told, the older I get, the more I have taken a stronger liking to the music of Rush. (I cannot figure this out, therefore, I won’t try to). Rush has released a total of nine live albums over their brilliant career, (counting Working Men), with All The World’s A Stage from 1976 starting this chain. Working Men will never go down as being the greatest live Rush album ever… yet it will not be considered sub standard either. This legendary band can’t compete with themselves, each live album they release, is a signature of where they are as elite musicians. What Rush does best, is give their fans consistency over the decades, while not sacrificing integrity in their musical product. Working Men exemplifies this integrity, with songs that are the most popular from their extensive album catalog.
Geddy Lee, (lead vocals, bass guitar & keyboards), Alex Lifeson, (guitar & vocals) and Neil Peart on drums, possess the uncanny abilities to keep their songs relevant and vibrant. It’s refreshing reality to know that Rush continues onward, entering their fourth decade of creating Progressive Hard Rock, in which they laboriously and consistently helped catapult into a beyond legitimate genre.
All 12 songs are taken from previously released live DVD’s, with the exception of One Little Victory, which is stated as previously unreleased. I come to the conclusion, that this “particular” live version of One Little Victory has never been released, it has appeared on Rush In Rio Live. The studio version of One Little Victory is the opening track for the 2002 Rush album – Vapor Trails. (A tad confusing as to the exactness of the previously unreleased meaning).
Working Men does meld the classics of Rush past, embarking on decades of gems… this live album opens with Limelight, (1981′s Moving Pictures) and Far Cry, (2007′s Snakes & Arrows), is track number six. Having Far Cry in the mix, is a standing true reminder, that Rush is ever the creative trio in recent years. The Snakes & Arrows studio album is an exemplary offering of modern day, Rush Progressive Hard Rock. To acknowledge such a recent Rush song like Far Cry, amidst this vintage lineup of live tracks, was the right move. How can any fan of Rush or such songs as Limelight, Tom Sawyer, Freewill, Working Man or Closer To The Heart resist such a classic compilation of live and Progressive Hard Rock excellence? I can’t resist, no matter how many live go rounds Rush gives these songs.
* The live DVD’s from which these Rush songs were taken from, to compile Working Men: Rush In Rio (2003), R30 (2005) and Snakes & Arrows Live (2008).
The Spirit of Radio, 2112, Dreamline, Subdivisions, and YYZ are the remaining tracks heard on Working Men.
Rush – Working Men was released on November 17, 2009, on Anthem/Atlantic Records.