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RUSH A Farewell To Kings - 40th Anniversary

By Charlie Steffens aka Gnarly Charlie, Writer/Photographer
Thursday, January 18, 2018 @ 2:30 PM


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RUSH
A Farewell To Kings - 40th Anniversary

Ume/Anthem




Canadian rock luminaries RUSH have released an expanded edition boxset of their fifth studio album, A Farewell To Kings, commemorating its fortieth anniversary. The newly-released offering is available in four different formats including the Super Deluxe Edition, the three-CD Deluxe Edition, the four-LP Deluxe Edition, and the Deluxe Digital Edition.

The Super Deluxe edition includes three CDs, one Blu-ray audio disc, and four vinyl LPs. RUSH fans and audiophiles alike will dig the Abbey Road Mastering Studios 2015 remastered edition of the album, made available for the first time on CD. Three original promo videos from a newly-found 2-inch quad video sweeten the deal, with other exclusive goodies such as a 40th Anniversary King’s ring with velvet pouch and neck chain, a 1978 A Farewell To Kings tour program, and lithos of artist Hugh Syme’s cover sketch and one of a crown, drawn in 1977. Vinyl aficionados will love the 12-inch turntable mat with artwork by Syme. A prolific creator of famous album art from renowned artists, Syme conceptualized the imagery to design every RUSH album cover since 1975’s Caress Of Steel.

Four songs, “Xanadu”, “Closer To The Heart”, “Cinderella”, and “Madrigal” are covered by DREAM THEATER, BIG WRECK, THE TREWS, and ALAIN JOHANNES respectively. The DREAM THEATER cover is an unoriginal copy of RUSH, with subpar vocals by James LaBrie, and the only reason this review gives four, instead of five stars.

Grammy award-winning rock historian Rob Bowman wrote the liner notes for the package, which give an intriguing, in-depth look into the making of A Farewell To Kings, with clarifying retrospectives from the band.

While each of the four configurations of A Farewell To Kings - 40th Anniversary offer distinct features, best of all is the live material captured at London’s Hammersmith Odeon on February 20, 1978, near the end of their extensive A Farewell To Kings tour. (RUSH heads will recall that several tracks from this show were on the Different Stages live album from 1998.) The complete concert, newly remixed by Terry Brown, features, for the first time ever, “Lakeside Park”, “Closer To The Heart”, the complete 2112 suite, and an outstanding drum solo—over 34 minutes of previously unissued material. The concert captures vocalist and bassist Geddy Lee, guitarist Alex Lifeson, and drummer Neal Peart in their mid-twenties, performing with the reckless exuberance that garnered droves of fans over the years.

4.0 Out Of 5.0


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