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Here we have a live album from legendary prog-rock stalwarts Rush. Rather than a straight live concert, this is more a live anthology, or a 'best of' live compilation if you will, with tracks drawn from three DVDs/CDs - 'Rush in Rio'; 'R30' and 'Snakes & Arrows Live'. However, the inclusion of a previously unreleased recording from the 'R30' DVD (albeit included on the Blu-Ray version), 'One Little Victory', means there is at least a little something new on offer for some seriously diehard Rush fans out there. And there lies this album's solitary market as I cannot see any worth beyond the Rush completist who will no doubt revel in any 'new' release from the Canadian trio. Well, perhaps a younger generation who are discovering the band anew in recent years might find some merit in such an album to warrant its purchase, but there is certainly an air of 'cashing in' here. The quality of the material itself is fortunately, and expectedly, of the high standard one would expect from the band with the recordings and mix perfectly capturing Rush's live sound in the twelve tracks that constitute the compilation. In fact, I would score the recordings alone a solid nine out of ten, but the questionable 'worth' of releasing such a live anthology loses a couple of points. All that said, it's still thoroughly enjoyable listening to these tracks compiled together on one CD and, if nothing else, serves as a reminder why Rush remain prog-rock hegemonists in 2009. There you are, maybe 'Working Men' is a statement of hegemony rather than a 'cashing in' release. The cynic in me sways towards the latter although I'm sure this will find its way into many a stocking this Christmas.
Atlantic Records
Review by Mark Holmes
16th Nov 2009
1) Limelight
2) The Spirit of Radio
3) 2112
4) Freewill
5) Dreamline
6) Far Cry
7) Subdivisions
8) One Little Victory
9) Closer to the Heart
10) Tom Sawyer
11) Working Man
12) YYZ
"...maybe 'Working Men' is a statement of hegemony rather than a 'cashing in' release. The cynic in me sways towards the latter..."