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To my knowledge, this is the only compilation of Rush's earlier material that more or less gets it right. The idea of a 'best-of' playlist isn't to single out the most commercial and easy listening and put it on a new record. It is quite surprisingly to show over the course of a single disc what the band can do. Pulling out beautiful pieces like 'La Villa Strangiato' and 'Xanadu' is the right thing to do if a band wants to get new fans.
The first album seems a little under-represented here (where is 'Working Man' or 'In The Mood'?) but that doesn't cross me as being a huge issue due to the fact it wasn't a great album to begin with. From these first five albums are mixed up for the sake of flow, which is also a great thing to have that most compilations disregard entirely.
This is one of the better Rush compilations out there. A perfect thing to check out if you're not sure whether or not you like Rush or are just a casual fan.
Rush have had a immensely successful career for a three man prog band from Toronto. Over the years the prog rockers have released a string of spectacular albums to the delight of their fans. Rush's career has spaned over thirty years. Countless brilliant albums have been released over these thirty glorious years including "Fly by Night", "2112", "Moving Pictures" and "Signals" to name a few. With this in mind, Rush could easily make several compilations to showcase their talent from various eras. They took advantage of this with "Retrospective I".
"Retrospective I" covers all the of Rush's work from 1974-1980. This means, only material from the self titled album to "Permanent Waves" is included on this compilation. The 1990 compilation "Chronicles" had to cover every Rush album up to that date so it was bound to miss a couple essential tracks but with "Retrospective I", it can focus on only one decade. This compilation demonstrates the brilliance of Rush with songs like "Xanadu", "Bastille Day", "La Villa Strangiato" and "2112 Overture/The Temple Of Syrinx". These songs showcase Rush's great lyrics and ability to produce some of the best progressive music around. The great songs don't stop there, "Retrospective I" also has the best, catchiest and most popular Rush songs like "The Spirit Of Radio", "Closer To The Heart", "Fly By Night" and "Anthem". This compilation has everything.
In conclusion, "Retrospective I" is more for new fans so they can get properly introduced to the band, while the die hard fans would go with the more complete compilation in "Chronicles". This compilation could have been a little bit better maybe if there would have been the inclusion of one or two live tracks but that is nothing to fuss about. "Retrospective I" demonstrates the three geniuses who call themselves Rush at their best by featuring their legendary work in songs like "The Trees", "Something For Nothing", "Finding My Way" and "Freewill". All and all, a great introduction point.