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Albums Of The Week: Rush | Moving Pictures 40th Anniversary Edition

If you want Rush drumsticks, guitar picks, posters & luggage tags, this version of the band's 1981 landmark is right up your alley. Looking for studio outtakes? Sorry, pal.


THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Moving Pictures, Rush’s eighth studio album, was originally released on Feb. 12, 1981, and its adventurous yet accessible music catapulted the forward-thinking Canadian band to even newer heights as it began navigating the demands of a new decade. The album’s seven songs expertly blended Rush’s intrinsic prowess for channeling its progressive roots into radio-friendly arrangements, a template the band had mastered to a T throughout its previous album, 1980’s deservedly lauded Permanent Waves. Moving Pictures was also the second of many Rush recording sessions at Le Studio in Morin-Heights, Quebec, which was ultimately nicknamed the trio’s own personal Abbey Road recording studio.

The album’s leadoff track Tom Sawyer became one of Rush’s most cherished FM favorites in addition to taking its rightful place as a perpetual concert staple for decades to come. Next, the band shifts into the multi-generational dreamscape of Red Barchetta, which chronicles the thrills and chills of a high-stakes backroads car race. The instrumental barnburner YYZ, lovingly named after the airport identification code for Toronto’s Pearson International Airport, runs the gamut of the band’s forever impressive progressive chops in under four minutes flat. Side A closes out with the observational luminescence of Limelight, a timeless, if not prescient look at how introverted artists grapple with public demands while trying to maintain a personal level of earned privacy.

Side B commences with the expansive palette of The Camera Eye, a multi-layered, 10-minute-long travelogue that takes a bird’s eye view of the inherent hustle and bustle of New York City counterbalanced with the intense energy and deep-rooted history of London. Witch Hunt (subtitled as being Part III of Fear) offers a grim view of prejudice and mob mentality, while the album wraps up with the angular, cutting-edge Vital Signs, a propulsive track that clearly foreshadows a number of the more adventurous musical directions Rush would undertake as the ever shifting 1980s continued to unfold.

The new Super Deluxe Edition includes three CDs, one Blu-ray Audio disc, and five high-quality 180-gram black vinyl LPs. The set encompasses the Abbey Road Mastering Studios 2015 remastered edition of the album for the first time on CD, along with two discs of previously unreleased and newly restored bonus live content newly mixed from the original analog live multi-tracks by Rush’s original producer Terry Brown, featuring the band’s complete unreleased concert from Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto, on March 25, 1981 (designated here as Live In YYZ 1981). The fourth bonus disc is a Blu-ray Audio disc with the core album newly mixed from the original multi-tracks in Dolby Atmos (a Rush catalog first!), Dolby TrueHD 5.1, and DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 surround sound as done by noted producer/engineer Richard Chycki, alongside the previously available PCM Stereo mix. Also included on the Blu-ray are four bonus videos: a brand-new video for YYZ plus three remastered vintage promo videos for Tom Sawyer, Limelight and Vital Signs. Additionally, all of the vinyl in the Super Deluxe Edition has been cut via half-speed Direct to Metal Mastering (another Rush catalog first!) on five 180-gram audiophile LPs.


The Super Deluxe Edition of Moving Pictures-40th Anniversary will also include several exclusive items, including a 44-page hardcover book with unreleased photos and new artwork by original album designer Hugh Syme, along with new illustrations for each song; extensive liner notes by Kim Thayil (guitarist, Soundgarden), Les Claypool (bassist/vocalist, Primus), Taylor Hawkins (drummer, Foo Fighters), Bill Kelliher (guitarist, Mastodon), and Neil Sanderson (drummer, Three Days Grace); a Red Barchetta model car mounted on a black perch with an MP40 nameplate; two Neil Peart signature MP40 branded drumsticks; two metal-embossed guitar picks, one each with Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson’s respective signatures engraved on them; a replica of the Moving Pictures 1981 official tour program; an MP40 logo enamel pin; a 3D lenticular Moving Pictures in motion lithograph; an 18×24-inch Toronto 1981 concert poster; a replica concert ticket from the 1981 show; a 12×36-inch Rush Through The Years 1973-1981 poster; a YYZ luggage tag; and an All Access World Tour ’81 insert. All contents are housed in a premium lift-top box, which features movingly reimagined cover artwork by Hugh Syme.

Rush — bassist/keyboardist/vocalist Geddy Lee, guitarist/vocalist Alex Lifeson and drummer/lyricist Neil Peart — maintain a large and uniquely passionate worldwide fanbase that acknowledges and respects the band’s singular, bold, and perpetually exploratory songcraft that combines sterling musicianship, complex compositions, and distinctive lyrical flair. Rush have sold more than 25 million albums in the U.S. alone, with worldwide sales estimated at 45 million (and counting), and have been awarded 24 gold, 14 platinum, and three multi-platinum album distinctions. Rush have received seven Grammy nominations, and the band were inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame in 1994 and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2013.”