Rush: Rush

Right from the hard-left pan of Alex's guitar on "Finding my Way" the average Rush fan would know they're in for something different on Rush's self-titled debut album than all of the subsequent albums that followed. Indeed, this album has more "yeah"s and "baby"s than any Rush album since. That's not necessarily bad thing. The debut album shows a potent band ready to break out of the confines of Canada to show the world what they're made of. As a rock album I could see this album sneaking its way into several classic rock playlists without much trouble.

The album is uncomplicated in its approach. You can listen to the album straight through with all eight tracks in around 40 minutes. It doesn't over-stay its welcome in the slightest and feels fresh each time I listen to it. And unlike some artists that disavow their earlier work several songs have appeared in Rush's setlists including What You're Doing, In the Mood, and their breakthrough hit Working Man.

Most Rush fans pick up this album as a kind of bookend for their Rush collection but rarely listen to it. I think that's a bit harsh. Sure, Neil Peart wouldn't join until John Rutsey left the band due to musical differences, health concerns related to his diabetes, and dislike for touring. Neil was clearly a better fit for the band but Rutsey was definitely a competent, solid drummer who got Rush onto the map.

The debut album also highlights the power of the local DJ, where Donna Halper knew her Cleveland audience well enough to know that a song like Working Man would be a hit with a factory town like Cleveland. No Working Man, no quick sales of the album, and possibly no Rush.

And that would be a damn shame.

So raise your glasses high on this album. Every musical journey starts somewhere.