Rush's fifth studio album has been long considered a landmark release, showing an already curious international audience that the trio were capable of a focused outing as essential as Yes's Fragile
, Led Zeppelin's Houses of the Holy
, and Jethro Tull's Aqualung
, to name three. The musical risks taken on their previous album, 2112
, paid off--the audience had developed beyond their straight-ahead hard-rock beginnings and embraced the band's unique, grandiose approach to creating pieces that balance progressive song structures with heavy metal bombast. The opening--and title--track could very well function as a Rush primer for the uninitiated, while the faithful can rejoice that the mini-epic concept is further explored on both "Xanadu" and "Cygnus X-1." "Closer to the Heart," meanwhile, remains as a fan favourite and one of their concert staples. --Eric Wilson
Japanese only SHM paper sleeve pressing. The SHM-CD [Super High Material CD] format features enhanced audio quality through the use of a special polycarbonate plastic. Using a process developed by JVC and Universal Music Japan discovered through the joint companies' research into LCD display manufacturing* SHM-CDs feature improved transparency on the data side of the disc* allowing for more accurate reading of CD data by the CD player laser head. SHM-CD format CDs are fully compatible with standard CD players. 2009.