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Rush – 2112 (1976)

December 30, 2015

Music of the World_Canada

exemplary artwork by sarca @ caughtmegaming

Made in Canada Artist #1: Neil Young

Made in Canada Artists #2 & #3: Leonard Cohen & Joni Mitchell

Made in Canada Artist #4: Rush

[Album 442/1001]

Always bet on Rush.

Years ago, our local library had a contest.

Six paperbacks were bound together and contestants had to guess the sum of the pages from the six books, the closest guess would win the pile of books.

Naturally, I guessed 2112 pages.

And betting on Rush paid off, I won the books!


I think everyone agrees that the members of Rush are superb musicians.220px-Rush_2112

That being said, while everyone likely appreciates Neil/Geddy/Alex’s talent, not everyone likes Rush.

In fact, I’ve had colleagues go so far as to say, “I’d rather chew on cardboard than listen to Rush.”

While I found that (totally unprompted) would-you-rather ‘chew-cardboard-vs.-listen-to-Rush’ scenario a bit perplexing, I don’t think this person was being intentionally contrarian.

I’d argue Rush has a unique ability to attract and repel in equal quantities.

For every die-hard Rush fan, there’s probably a polar opposite that claims to die a little inside upon hearing Rush.

Despite the seemingly rigid dichotomy, it’s possible to switch extremes.

In high school, my aforementioned colleague lived for Rush; I’m not sure what sent him running the other way.

For years, I would have taken the cardboard too!

But these days, sometimes only Rush will suffice.


When my 2112 cassette stopped working, I turned to more newfangled technology.

The iTunes store search results could not have been more fitting:




Want to buy the title track? You need to buy the album.

There’s nothing halfway about Rush (have you seen them multi-task on stage?).

There’s also nothing halfway about their fans, and now it appears, their digital copies.

With 2112, you can’t just, sort of, buy Rush: You get the whole thing, or you don’t get side A.

Much like how you can’t just, sort of, like Rush: You get them, or you don’t. You buy in, or you don’t.

After this one & Moving Pictures, I bought in big time.

While I bet 2112 sounds glorious on vinyl, I may stick to enjoying this record digitally.

I wouldn’t want my non-Rush friends to be tempted by the LP cover cardboard.

From → 1970s

  1. This is awesome Geoff! Hahaha….great story on guessing the Paperbacks! 2112 when I seen the pic of the cover a quick click! Nice play on the iTunes as well! Ha..what s dirty Apple move on the pricing hahaha….
    I’m glad you brought this album up as I’m gonna have to review it someday as I have a interesting apple story in regards to 2112! Well not that interesting …hahaha…
    U Have Assumed Control!

    • Thanks Deke – I’d be keen to read a review of yours on the newly-renamed site!

      • Sure will Geoff but the fact that it took me about 3 parts to finish R40 I need a wee break on writing Rush so I have it sitting with about 30 half started no where finished blogs..ha..I totally enjoyed this one!

      • Oh I know the feeling Deke – that ‘draft’ section in wordpress seems to keep getting bigger for me too!

  2. Always bet on Rush!

    Life advice everyone needs.

  3. In answer to your love/hate discovery, I’ve found more people who love Rush than those who hate them. Very rarely are people ambivalent towards them, it’s all or nothing. Also, most people I’ve met who dislike them are female.

  4. This is a super-cool post. I think I did 2112 on the KMA, but it was probably mostly WAHOO!

    Well done, sir. I’m glad you dug it.

    PS: Did you get that first track, or do you need me to send it to you?

    • Wahoo would be an appropriate summary! And no need to send, 2112 has been procured, thanks Aaron!

  5. I’m just starting to dig Rush. Moving Pictures is the ‘in’ … this one sounds like it should be my next trip … and it appears if I’m not so keen there’s always the sleeve! 😉

  6. Funnily enough I did progress from hate to live with Rush… with no period of ambivalence in between either! So it must be true. And this album was my “in”. Shame the band are getting “out” just as you’re getting “in” though…

    • Supporting evidence for the theory, nice!
      If this is the end for Rush, I’m glad I got to see them live – they can play!

  7. “I wouldn’t want my non-Rush friends to be tempted by the LP cover cardboard.”

    Not sure if you are (also) referring to the picture on said cardboard. Perhaps very tempting, for some:

    Kimonos? Check. Huge ‘tache? Check. Looking very serious? Check. Long hair? Check. Scarves? Check. Big rings? Check.

    One thing I find interesting about Rush is that Alex and Geddy are still together with their girlfriends they had as teenagers. (Peart started a bit later, but stuck with his girlfriend until she died, shortly after their daughter had died.) Maybe this is the reason there are practically no Rush songs about girls; why sing about what you already have? Alex and Geddy are grandparents now. Alex was a father at 17. Nancy, Charlene, and Jacqueline. What other progressive-metal (or whatever) band prints the names of their girlfriend in the liner notes? (These are from Hemispheres.)

    I lost Rush, or they lost me, when they became too 1980s. Recently, there’s been something of a return to form. The classic phase is still up through Moving Pictures, which I would rate as their best, although the three before it are also very good. 2112 is actually one of the classic albums I don’t like very much, in part because of the overt Ayn Rand influence (which even Peart has now disowned), but also because side 2 isn’t really that good. I also like the four albums which followed better.

    • Thanks for your comments Phillip – they seem like genuine guys, nice to hear that they’re family men too. Another example of true greats being gracious and humble!

  8. ianbalentine permalink

    What a great story, Stephen! This record is an interesting one, for me. If I were to rank Rush albums (and I have, I’m sure…haven’t we all?) this wouldn’t make the top 5. And, maybe now that I have caught up with their 90’s and 00 output it may not even make my top 10! But I think that has more to do with Side 2 than it does anything else, because the title track still thrills every time I hear it.

    • What a title track!
      I wonder if that’s a defining characteristic of these albums with one side-length song and a second side of regular tracks. Interesting to put the 2112 on side 1, the second side can’t help but feel anticlimactic.

  9. jprobichaud permalink

    I know there are legions of Rush fans out there but this is one group I can’t get into at all.

    • That’s OK JP – as long as you didn’t say you’re ‘sort of’ into Rush, my theory stays intact!

  10. Love the Library story, enjoy your creating of space for a range of responses to this most polarising of (so-called) ‘progressive bands’. Now pass me that cardboard.

  11. Ah, 2112. I’m so glad this is on the list.

    Chewing carboard…yeah…a lot of folks complain about Rush and Geddy’s voice. I understand. But even the most ardent Rush haters can be tricked. Rush have such a vast catalogue. If you play an unsuspecting Rush hater one of their more pop moments from the 80’s like Time Stand Still, can you catch them by surprise.

    2112 is not for beginners that is for sure. The title track alone, well, that’s a monster. However I think it’s about as close to perfect as a 20 minute track can be. The story is distinct and easy to follow. The breaks between sections are also easy to follow, and there are enough recurring riffs, hooks and solos to keep you rockin’. I think it’s brilliant!

    • Nice call Mike on the challenge of hating a band outright.
      I was talking about that with my folks over Christmas, for someone who says “I hate the Beatles” – play them the white album. I get that the entire album won’t appeal to everyone but there has to be something in those wildly diverse 90 minutes that will appeal to anyone!

      • Tomorrow Never Knows — the most brilliant Beatles track ever in the eyes of some! — can really surprise people. “Is this the new Chemical Brothers?”

        2112 is admittedly a harder sell than a lot of the accessible songs on the White Album, but even something like Tears can be enjoyed by many.

  12. ianbalentine permalink

    Mike, just wanted to chime in and say BRILLIANT observation re: Tomorrow Never Knows and the Chemical Bros. Great connection, made my day.

  13. Apart from the first side of 2112, I have never, ever ‘got’ Rush at all. My uncle is a complete fanatic too.

    • Not to worry, the people either love/hate rush* theory still holds then, albeit with an asterisk!

      *non-fans may still appreciate side A of 2112

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