1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
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. Feelgood). With no cassette player anymore, having not listened to this album in so long I recently upgraded to the CD. One of my top 3 favorite Rush songs is on this album - The Pass. Love it...
Published on Dec 20 2010 by Buck Upton
3.0 out of 5 stars Rush Make Magic On 'Presto'
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.
Published on Oct 27 2003 by Wil
Most Helpful First | Newest First
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Magic!,
This review is from: Presto (Audio CD)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. Feelgood). With no cassette player anymore, having not listened to this album in so long I recently upgraded to the CD. One of my top 3 favorite Rush songs is on this album - The Pass. Love it! Solid from track 1 through 11, this is a very balanced and even album with great hooks that's easy to get into. Just be careful not to do too much air drumming when you're behind the wheel.
4.0 out of 5 stars Strangely underrated,
This review is from: Presto (Audio CD)New producer Rupert Hine brought a sonic clarity to `Presto' at the expense of dynamic range. Electric piano is used in place of synths. On bass, Geddy focuses on the mid-range of the instrument at the expense of the bottom end. Alex is pushed ever higher as the bass and piano, and Peart's drums, intrude on his space.
To me, this is a great album for the car stereo. Many of the audio limitations are not as apparent on a standard car stereo as they are on a decent home stereo. Also, I really got into this album driving back and forth to work back when I lived in London and commuted to St. Thomas, so it always reminds me of the road.
Some general comments about the sound of this album, particularly in the original, non-remastered release: The drums have no kick and they sound kind of wet or, at times, clattery. The guitar sound is very wiry. The bass pedals purr instead of roar. All the instruments seem to have a limited dynamic range.
I have done back to back comparisons between the original release and the remastered versions that appear on `Retrospective III', and they are distinctly better, but by no means perfect.
I like the intro to "Show Don't Tell". The tribal drum bit, then what sounds to me like the musical equivalent of someone falling down the stairs. Alex teases a lot of different, but wiry, sounds out of his Signature guitar. This song features some outstanding playing. I think the reason that it never became popular with Rush fans or with the general public is that the lyrics seem a bit too obvious.
The snare drum on "Chain Lightning sounds great! I love the minor key of this song, and I love the way that the drums and guitar seem to flash like lightning. Lyrically, I love the tie in of the astronomical and atmospheric effects with the communication of ideas and energy.
The more I hear it, the more that I think that "The Pass" is gorgeous. For some reason, I used to hate the bass line and riff--now I really like it, but think that it was played on the wrong bass. If you listen to this same song from `Rush in Rio' you will note an overall improvement in the bass sound. To me, this song has a real Peter Gabriel feel to it in places--maybe it's the synths. Alex's guitar solo is fantastic! It is very imaginative and emotive.
"War Paint" is a good song with simple music and great lyrics.
"Scars" is funky and cool. I like the atmosphere that they create. This song has a better dynamic range than the other songs on the album. This is one of my favourites from both the album and the tour. I have always thought that this would have made a great single.
The title track, "Presto", is one of those songs that really grows on you. Rush have been pushing this song in a subtle way for a long time. It's inclusion on the `Retrospective III' disc is a testament that they are still behind it. They could have chosen many other more obvious tracks for the latest retrospective. There is no doubt that this is a great song. It has a nice use of acoustic guitars, great lyrics, amazing singing, and a beautiful arrangement.
The use of cowbell on "Superconductor" always makes me laugh! This song is pretty straightforward pop-metal. This song may have done better as a single if they had not done that horrible music video. Elements of this song remind me of Genesis from this same era, but a little harder.
"Anagram" features both a very cool tune and some fun wordplay in the lyrics. This song would have fit well on their `Roll the Bones' album. I find the lyrics really stimulating for the imagination.
"Red Tide" features a fantastic arrangement with a great sound. The lyrics are a bit obvious at times, but they say things that should be said--this is another protest song like "Second Nature" from `Hold Your Fire'.
"Hand Over Fist" is an interesting song. It is fun to listen to all the changes and tricks.
Everything comes together on "Available Light". It combines powerful words and some of Geddy's best singing ever. The arrangement and playing are first rate. This song features an exciting mixture of textures. You haven't really heard Rush until you have heard this song.
2.0 out of 5 stars Rush fan from Calgary, Alberta,
This review is from: Presto (Audio CD)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. This is a beautiful track and for me, is very Canadian as it wasn't an international hit.
I have been researching for years why this album was not included in the Rush remasters series and still have yet to find any concrete evidence. I have the original of course and although as mentioned, not my favorite album by them, I would buy the remastered version for Chain Lightning.
5.0 out of 5 stars My personal pick for best Rush album,
5.0 out of 5 stars Start of new phase for Rush on new label,
5.0 out of 5 stars The great beginning to phase four of Rush,
5.0 out of 5 stars A lyrical masterpiece? Yes, it's true...,
The title track nears splendor. Listening to it on airplane that was taking off, I was nearly blown away. Geddy's voice is clear, ringing. Alex's guitar is shimmering and bright (to borrow a phrase from another Anglo-Saxon band). The fantastic interweaving of bass and drums is still there.
The polyphony that so marked "Signals," "Grace Under Pressure" and "Hold Your Fire" is backburnered. While in now way "add-ons" to the "orginial" music (whatever thatis supposed to mean), the synthesizers are more complementary than integral. The music would have been just as beautiful if done acoustically.
Oddly enough, this was the last tour I went to. With Alex up on felony charges, we haven't bought tickets this time. I'm afraid if I do and he's unable to make the shows, the promoters and management will say, hey, "You bought 'em knowing the risk; no refund!" And here in the Vegas Valley, we have the highest ticket prices in the world! Hopefully, the whole mess'll straigthen out and we'll get to see them.
This album represents the last excellent studio efforts on my favorite band's part these last fifteen years. Obviously Neil's tragedies clearly impacted the band's quality as well as quantity.
"Roll the Bones" had a few bright spots, "Counterparts" and "Test for Echo" were simply forgettable. Only with "Vapor Trails" has their aesthetic moved closer to something I can identify with--tho' I find the live performances on RIR to be better than the studio versions--still too muddy (the musical flavor of color these last ten years or so)for me, "...Trails" at least shows they've come back to life. The magnificent "Rush in Rio" should have put any rumors of Rush's demises firmly to rest (at least from creative exhaustion).
But the boys have always said they make music for themselves; if no one else likes it, the hell with it. And that attitude is the reason Rush has, with two and a half exceptions, remained one of the most creative and most popular arena acts in North America.
BTW: the reviewer's grammar indicates a Brit. Apparently, Ms. Williams is unaware of "affirmative action." This is the subject that Neil was sp brilliantly satirizing in tje marvelously clear, easily understood "Trees" (one of their many masterpieces). A case of cultural ignorance we can forgive her for. (Though we probably shouldn't; everywhere it's been tried racial quotas--the Left's euphemism is "affirmative action" have utterly failed from India to Indiana).
But the album is as focused and tight as "Power Windows" and avoids the, at times, meandering musically and lyrically of "Hold Your Fire."
If you're just being introduced to Rush, this would be an excellent work.
1.0 out of 5 stars Part Deux: Fools 'Rush' In,
1.0 out of 5 stars Presto...,
5.0 out of 5 stars One awesome album....,
Most Helpful First | Newest First
Presto by Rush (Audio CD - 2004)