YEAR RELEASED: 1974
CHART ACTION: #105 US, #86 Canada
SINGLES: Finding My Way, In the Mood (#31 Canada)
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Working Man (of course)
LINEUP: Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson, John Rutsey
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: The journey begins, but really this is just kind of a generic 70’s hard rock album with a couple of great songs.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: Everyone knows “Working Man”, which is just a stellar, stellar hard rock song. “Finding My Way” is pretty darn good, too. “What You’re Doing” has an interesting guitar riff.
Amongst those are some real clunkers. Well, clunkers for Rush. They’d probably be decent REO Speedwagon songs (or Triumph, heh), but there’s nothing progressive or RUSH-like about them except Lee’s vocals. (“In the Mood” especially, a good rock tune but it’s not really Rush, is it? Be honest….) A couple of these songs didn’t make their 1974 tour – so you know the band really didn’t like them either.
The sound isn’t as clear and precise as other Rush recordings, but it’s what they had at the time. They were just winging it. Thanks to WMMS in Cleveland playing “Working Man”, they got their break. Then they got Neal Peart and started to write Fly By Night and there…you…go.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: John Rutsey was the drummer, not Peart, as you see. Rutsey wrote some lyrics but didn’t share them around – so basically Geddy and Alex wrote the lyrics. No snow dogs or aliens coming to destroy music or anything like that here.
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: No.
GRADE: B-: A fifty-fifty record. Normally that’d be in the C range but when one of the songs is Working Man I gotta raise it up a couple of ticks.