...And The Meek Shall Inherit The Earth
5 Out of 5 Stars
Rush jumped a creative canyon in 1976, when they released their science-fiction epic "2112." It was pretty much the moment when drummer Neil Peart mastered his writing skills, basing the entire first side on a socialist empire taken down by a guitar slinging rebel. It was more adventurous and ambitious than anything on the band's initial three albums, and also finally put the spotlight on Rush's virtuoso musical chops. Even with the dopey dedication to 'the genius of Ayn Rand' on the cover, the first half of the album was brilliant. A perfect lure for teenagers who thought prog-rock was to arty and not loud enough.
In fact, that side one suite is so amazing that it even saves the album from dropping below a five star rating. Because like it or not, side two is mostly run-of-the-mill hard rock, down to the obligatory stoner anthem ("A Passage To Bangkok"). "Twilight Zone" fares little better. The ballad "Tears" is probably the best of the second half of the album, and Geddy Lee's lyrical contribution to the disc. The stadium ready "Something for Nothing" is exactly the kind of 'raise your fist and yell' concert pleaser, and ends the song on a high note.
"2112" is still the gateway Rush album. It took them a couple more tries to make another brilliant album ("Moving Pictures"), but this was the moment it was obvious that this trio was on to something bigger than the sum of the trio.