Album Review: Power Windows (RUSH)

The legendary rock & roll power trio RUSH (L-R: Neal Peart, Alex Lifeson, Geddy Lee)

Nine years ago today I wrote a brief Amazon review “Power Windows,” a 1985 gem in the Rush album catalog that I think deserves re-consideration, and has been often maligned. If you’ve never listened to it, give it a listen on a nice summer drive and see if you don’t agree with some of what I share below. Enjoy! – Ben

“I am a big Rush fan and believe they are still in possession of most of their creative and musical powers. The issues of comparing this album to Moving Pictures or 2112 aren’t really fair in that the album production and head space of the band are wildly different in each case. If some people are narrow minded enough to think that all synths are inherently anti-rock, there’s nothing really to argue about.

As a drummer, though, I have to say that I think a transcription of Neil‘s drum parts would reveal 1975 to 1985 as his golden years of creativity and prowess, with Power Windows its apogee. The fantastic drum arrangements on this album, all so inventive, purposeful, difficult and yet perfect for each song, are an education for any aspiring rock drummer. That they are all performed on the candy apple red Tama/Simmons/Zildjian kit that thousands of drummers identify as quintessential Peart, is icing on the cake. And if that weren’t enough, these lyrics are some of the finest in Neil’s career, coming off his period of being influenced by the greats of American literature (Hemingway, Steinbeck, Dos Passos, et al).

I won’t say following records go downhill. I will say they go down a different path. More groove-oriented, less musical stretching. (Note Rush purists, I didn’t say NO musical stretching, just LESS). Nothing wrong with that. That’s just the way they chose to go.

But I would like to tip my hat to this crowning gem of Neil’s super-creative years. It has brought me endless enjoyment over the years and now my young sons, budding musicians themselves, have listened and seem to understand this album’s intuitive appeal to the mind of anyone who can appreciate well-crafted rock music.”

Note: For those of you that aren’t familiar with RUSH, here are a few songs I’d recommend listening to:

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