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Presto [Original recording remastered, Import]

Rush Audio CD
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (104 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 13.97 & FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25. Details
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Frequently Bought Together

Presto + Roll the Bones + Test for Echo
Price For All Three: CDN$ 45.74

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Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought

Product Details

1. Show Don't Tell
2. Chain Lightning
3. The Pass
4. War Paint
5. Scars
6. Presto
7. Superconductor
8. Anagram
9. Red Tide
10. Hand Over Fist
11. Available Light

Product Description


A Rush album based on groove? Strangely enough yes, and what's even more astonishing is how well it works. Rush have always been known more for technical flash than for straight-ahead rock but Presto achieves a synthesis of the two that's accessible without compromising. It's strong lyrically, without the heavy-handed symbolism that makes, for instance, "Trees" so difficult to listen to, and the band often gets into a rhythmic groove that's positively infectious; check out "Scars" or "Superconductor". Presto is also the first Rush album where the incorporation of electronics and synthesizers truly works, instead of sounding like an additional layer artificially added to existing music. This album marked something of a creative rebirth; Rush has turned out consistently strong efforts ever since. --Genevieve Williams

Product Description

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Rush Make Magic On 'Presto' Oct. 27 2003
By Wil
Format:Audio CD
After spending much of the '80's exploring synthesizers as a main instrument, Rush took a brief hiatus after their 1987 album Hold Your Fire to reassess the direction the band was heading. Thankfully for fans, that new direction was away from the dominance of the synths. And that new direction starts with a unique album in the Rush catalog, Presto.
As already mentioned, the relegation of the keyboards out of the spotlight and into the background is one noticeable feature of this album, but they aren't gone all together, and still figure quite prominently in a few selections (old habits die hard).
This change allows Geddy Lee's bass playing to shine once again. With the drums and bass more integrated and freer, a certain feel and groove can be sensed in many songs, something for which Rush was not really known.
However, guitarist Alex Lifeson's guitar work remains the same as on recent albums: thin, atmospheric and toned down. This, along with the slick, almost polite production of Rupert Hine (his first production work on a Rush disc), make Presto sound about as adult contemporary as ever and closer to a Steely Dan album sonically speaking than a Rush album.
Another feature fans will notice is the prominence of backing vocals, which had begun cropping up sparingly on previous discs, but here they become a main part of the songs. It adds to the sound of the band, and songs such as Show, Don't Tell and Superconductor are the catchiest and arguably the most radio friendly tracks ever laid down by the band.
Drummer Neil Peart had also created some of his best, most mature and accessible lyrics ever here as well.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Presto Not All That Magical June 12 2003
Format:Audio CD
As a long time Rush fan I hate to say negative about the band. However to give this a five star rating and talk about how wonderful it is would be a major fib. Except for The Pass, which is a wonderful song, Presto is a collection of forgettable tunes by a talented band. Like all albums before and since, Presto does display impressive musicianship on behalf of Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson, and Neil Peart. The problem here is the songwriting and compostions. The album starts off interesting enough with Neil tapping and then a bombastic intro to Show Don't Tell. Then Geddy starts singing. The problem is what he is singing about. A song about cynicsm. If you want cynism check out any of the works by Pink Floyd or Roger Waters. Superconductor is a nice rocker but it's chorus is hideous. The major problem is the sound. This album sounds to polished. It's at the opposite end of the spectrum from Vapor Trails, which sounds too raw. The band sounds best when it finds a nice balance with producers such as Terry Brown or Peter Collins. Rush is capable of much more than this.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD
1989's "Presto" shows Rush continuing to evolve, pushing in different directions and moving forward as a group rather than rest on tried and tired formulas. As with a lot of work by Rush, one needs to take repeated listenings and read the lyrics to get acquainted with the work. Listen to this one on headphones and you'll be hooked.
The music strikes a great blending of the three musicians' instruments, full of throbbing bass, snappy drums and layers of guitars. Things that stood out for me on this recording were the great dynamics between loud/quiet and hard/soft. "Chain Lightning is a good example of this. I agree that the keyboard sound so pervasive through their 1980s releases really works here, both in sound and atmospherics. The same can be said of the guitars, as Alex Lifeson achieves a variety of sound from track to track often missing in previous disks. I like that he used a lot of acoustic guitar on this release. "Scars" is a good example of this sonic quality.
There is also some genuine piano type playing, like on "Red Tide." Rush revives a bit of their fusion/math-rock on "Show Don't Tell" with tricky rhythms and start/stop attack.
Each track sounds different and has its own voice, and I liked the overlapping vocals by Geddy Lee on "Chain Lightning."
The lyrics also have social relevance. "The Pass" takes on teen suicide. "Chain Lightning" is a dare to dream and spread hope. Neil Peart continues to urge the listeners to push themselves, chase their dreams and live life both for the present and future.
I liked the direction of this disk and where it was heading in terms of the Rush sound.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Rush universe evolves yet again... May 28 2002
Format:Audio CD
To me, "Presto" is the same album as "Roll The Bones" but without the added benefit of sure-fire radio-friendly hits. Both were produced by Rupert Hine, and his sparse treble-heavy approach (guitars chime more than cruch, drums click more than thump, bass is audible but muted, synths are present but not overwhelming) defined the sound of both of those albums. But where as RTB contained some instantly catchy tunes like "Dreamline", "Ghost of a Chance" and the title track, the material on "Presto" has to be listened to a few times to fully absorb this new 90's-model Rush. For that reason, it probably appeals to longtime Rush fans more than it's made-for-radio successor (I happen to prefer RTB myself).
Overall, Rush has emphasized melody more with each passing release since their first big mainstream breakthrough "Permanent Waves" back in 1980. This album seems to continue that streak, focusing more on quality songwriting than simply using a song strucutre as a foundation for the intricate multi-time-signature jamming that they've been known for. It's these kinds of shifts in direction that divide fans of Rush old and new, but it's also these shifts that ensure the band will always HAVE fans both old and new, and not just the former.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
I am very happy with my purchase
Published 2 months ago by Chad McConachie
5.0 out of 5 stars Another one of the greats
Has a lot of great music on it. I love Rush! My favorite is The Pass. The 80's was their best decade!
Published 3 months ago by Ellen
5.0 out of 5 stars Magic!
I'm a lifelong Rush fan and as this album came out when I was 16 it was one of four 'cassettes' that I learned to drive to (along with Pump, Appetite for Destruction & Dr. Read more
Published on Dec 20 2010 by Buck Upton
4.0 out of 5 stars Strangely underrated
New producer Rupert Hine brought a sonic clarity to `Presto' at the expense of dynamic range. Electric piano is used in place of synths. Read more
Published on April 18 2009 by Matthew West
2.0 out of 5 stars Rush fan from Calgary, Alberta
Not one of Rush's better albums, nor not one of my favorites by them; but this album does have one of Rush's better 80's songs which in my opinion is track 2, Chain Lightning. Read more
Published on Aug. 23 2008 by Dave Moser
2.0 out of 5 stars Desapointing one
This album has been a big desapointment for me, in regards to all the great previous ones like "Moving Picture", "Signals" or "Power Window". Not really recommanded.
Published on March 31 2008 by H. MARCHAL
5.0 out of 5 stars My personal pick for best Rush album
After the quartet of albums that featured heavy emphasis on synths during the 80's, Rush finally seemed to rediscover the balance of synths and guitar that they did on Moving... Read more
Published on June 23 2004 by Seth Nelson
5.0 out of 5 stars Start of new phase for Rush on new label
Rush's 16th album Presto was released in November of 1989. The album was the start of the band's fourth phase and the first for Atlantic in the US, although it's technically on the... Read more
Published on June 20 2004 by Terrence J Reardon
1.0 out of 5 stars very unpopular shtuff
TRu prog is old. peeps, this stuff is fairly good compared to other prog but it still is old and will never be seen on TRL with the likes of more popular shtuff dat da informed... Read more
Published on June 3 2004 by tupac wayne gacy
5.0 out of 5 stars The great beginning to phase four of Rush
Rush's 16th album Presto was released in November of 1989. The album was the start of the band's fourth phase and the first for Atlantic in the US, although it's technically on the... Read more
Published on May 20 2004 by Terrence J. Reardon
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