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Rush - Not Fade Away - 20%

ConorFynes, August 23rd, 2011

Now this would be enough to turn me off of one of my favourite bands if I hadn't heard any of their other recordings before. Now granted, this is one of their earliest demos and can't be taken under the microscope of scrutiny like their more involved pieces of music, but are there ever a lot of sour points on this.

'Not Fade Away' is one of the best songs from the classic era of rock n' roll. The last song that Buddy Holly ever performed before his fateful plane crash, it has solidified its place in rock history. While the original is almost always better as a rule, Rush really seems to especially butcher it here. Maybe it's the overmuzzled guitar tone or the dreadful recording quality, or maybe it's most likely the screechy vocals that ruin it for me. I've always been a fan of Geddy's vocal work (even in some of the earlier releases), but his vocal talents weren't harnessed yet at this point, it seems.

The b-side seems like it might be of more interest to a Rush fan seeing as it's an original they penned themselves, but there's certainly a reason very few fans have ever heard the track before. It's definitely a more enjoyable listen than the first track here, but it's utterly forgettable and therefore perfectly understandable why the band decided to leave this one in the vault.

All of this harsh criticism aside, it's still cool to see what one of my favourite bands sounded like before they even had an album out.