“Retrospective 3: (1989-2008)” by Rush

Artist: Rush
Title: “Retrospective 3: (1989-2008)”
Label: Atlantic Records
Release Date: 3/3/2009
Genre: Progressive Rock
Rating: 4/5

About twelve years ago we found the earliest and middle years of the band Rush being examined and revisited on two very tasty compilations which covered each part of the bands career. Delivered originally as “Retrospective” parts 1 and 2, the contents on these now out of issue CD’s can be found in one volume entitled Rush “Gold”. Since the time of the other chapters Rush has continued to inspire fans of the Progressive Rock style with another six albums and this volume picks up where the others left off by giving us music from “Presto” through “Snakes And Arrows”. What caught me immediately was the premise that how close in proximity of musical vibe the two book ended albums actually are and while they did not lose any fans between them, there were moments where the band caused their hard core fans to scratch their heads a little bit. It’s been well documented about how fans felt about “Vapor Trails” and even some who had issues with “Test For Echo”. I admit some level of guilt about finding the minor detail being a problem here and there for me as well, but that’s primarily based on my overall allegiance to the bands most classic era of material To be honest, I actually liked “Vapor Trails” a lot more than many of my friends did and was happy to see “Earthshine” being one of the included tracks. It is remixed on the “R3” album here as is “One Little Victory”, the other amazing tune from that release and its second most memorable tune. I was glad they pulled “Nobody’s Hero” out of hiding because that was an impressive number based on its lyrical drive and of course “The Pass” from “Presto” remains one of my very favorites from that release. The new album has been receiving some critical acclaim and while I felt it was very good, I was surprised and impressed for Rush that it caused them such attention. For me it was another quality piece of music from a great band, and I guess that more people “in the places of musical power” were finally paying attention to them again. That much can be viewed as a very good thing as the band deserves nothing less than induction into the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame at this point in their career.

I was a little surprised that they featured four tracks from “Roll The Bones” because at one CD that only left the space for ten more from five other releases and this is why I have always had an issue with Rush compilations being one single disc as opposed to two. “Show Don’t Tell” and “Cold Fire” were among the two glaring omissions as far as my “fan of that which is Rush” mind is concerned and while it was nice for them to include a live track they should have left the studio one in place for more consistency with the previous releases. Perhaps the future will find the band doing what KISS did a few years ago and presenting a “Best Of – Live Recordings” and if this is something on the planning table may I make an advance suggestion about designing this as a double CD effort based on the lengthier numbers. This one is nice to have for the car or the office like most of its greatest hit brothers and sisters and of course the Rush completeist. The packaging is unfortunately rather limited in terms of visuals but it is an “eco-friendly” digipak. The foldout booklet is pretty much only album artwork in a gallery much like its predecessor’s had. My reservation about those were that it should have offered some reflective commentary about the particular years in Rush’s opinion. Of course, one cannot have everything.

Important: The release comes in two different editions. The standard single CD one which we have reviewed above and what appears to be a more special edition that comes with a bonus DVD. The DVD features thirteen tracks and some of them are live. Choose your weapons carefully.

Track Listing:
1. One Little Victory (remix)
2. Dreamline
3. Workin’ Them Angels
4. Presto
5. Bravado
6. Driven
7. The Pass
8. Animate
9. Roll The Bones
10. Ghost Of A Chance (live)
11. Nobody’s Hero
12. Leave That Thing Alone
13. Earthshine (remix)
14. Far Cry

Official Website: www.rush.com

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