To the younger generations, the 1970s are a time of disco, Nixon, and an oil crisis. This was also a decade of great rock ‘n’ roll music. Rush is a Canadian rock group who got their start in 1971. In 1976 they released their fourth album, “2112,” named after their 20-minute epic song.
The title track is divided into seven parts that tell the story of a man living in a dystopian world in the year 2112. In this world, The Priests of the Temples of Syrinx control every aspect of life, which means the people “never need to wonder how or why.” The man finds a guitar made by “the elder race of man,” learns to play it, then presents his music to the priests, who do not like it.
“2112” surpasses previous Rush songs as well as many they have written since. It also demonstrates the talent and intelligence of the band in creating complex music without sounding over the top.
Anyone can appreciate this epic.
Though “2112” dominates over half the album, the other five tracks are almost as good. “The Twilight Zone” has a psychedelic nature, typical of most of the rock music of that time, with an odd and sometimes eerie sound. The track includes concentrated shifts in tempo and mood, with lyrics that reflect the theme of “The Twilight Zone” TV series.
The final song, “Something for Nothing,” is one of the heaviest on the album in terms of style and use of guitar. It also has a clear message tagged by the lyrics “you don’t get something for nothing; you can’t have freedom for free.” “Lessons” has a lighter feel due to the acoustic-sounding electric guitar. This song relates more closely to Rush’s earlier hits like “Fly by Night.”
“2112” is one of Rush’s best-known and defining albums. Though the band may not be the best remembered or most important product of the 1970s, this album is definitely worth listening to and includes some of the greatest rock music of the time
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