Exposé Online banner

Rush — Replay x3
(Anthem B0006649-50, 2006, 3DVD+CD)

by Paul Hightower, Published 2007-03-01

Replay x3 Cover art

Rush fans have been salivating for these early concert videos to see the light of day in DVD format for ages, so to have all three in one collection is manna from heaven. Other than a few promos, the Canadian trio had never committed a live performance to film or video before 1981’s Exit... Stage Left and for many this was their first exposure to the band, thanks to frequent airings on MTV and other nascent music video outlets (remember Night Flight?) How many fledgling rock musicians cut their teeth on this music is hard to know, though this period is often regarded as Rush’s finest hour and they’ve never been so jaw-droppingly studly before or since. There’s Alex Lifeson the goofball guitarist, reeling off riffs and licks with a happy-go-lucky air. Geddy Lee, the master rock bassist with that killer Rickenbacker tone second only to Chris Squire (and in some respects superior). And of course Neil Peart, one of the few lead drummers in rock music—and one of the most influential. Originally shot to film, the digital transfer has been lovingly handled, though nothing can overcome some occasionally gloomy lighting. Sonically, equal care has been devoted to ESL, which has been remastered for 5.1 surround (with standard stereo the default setting, as is the case with all three DVDs). Three years and two albums later found the band sounding more like The Police and looking more like Duran Duran, though there’s no denying that Grace Under Pressure, as a piece of concert filmmaking, was superior to ESL. Fortunately, the material on the newer albums has aged well, a good thing since a bonus fourth disk in this package is the entire soundtrack from this DVD (perhaps Rush wants to fill the void since a live album had never been released at the time). Despite shoulder padded jackets and occasions where Geddy seems to be singing toward the fire escape due to the awkward positioning of the vastly enlarged synth rig, this is another film which leaves the viewer with nothing but admiration for the group’s abilities on stage. Rounding out the video set is 1988’s A Show of Hands, shot on the Hold Your Fire tour. This is the weakest of the DVDs in terms of material and the band was still wrestling with the same visual issues as P/G (nice singing to the fire escape during “Tom Sawyer,” Geddy). That said, the band — if this is any indication — gave audiences their money’s worth on this tour, and as a live music documentary there’s no faulting this release. The legions of Rush fans around the globe need little incentive to add this to their collections, though the inclusion of reproductions of tour programs from all three concerts is a very nice extra touch. Perhaps a telling sign of their lasting admiration is that, so many years later, Rush are doing such a quality job of presenting their old concert films to the consumer.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 34, 2006 releases

Related artist(s): Rush, Geddy Lee

Latest news

2017-11-16
Celebrate 10 Years of Fruits de Mer – As a special celebration for a decade of cool vinyl releases, our friends at Fruits de Mer records have prepared a limited edition reissue of an album by the first band ever to appear on the label: Schizo Fun Addict. The band is known for unusual release strag » Read more

2017-11-02
Mega Dodo Presents New Charity Album – Our friends at Mega Dodo have put together a lovely compilation of their artists performing new arrangements of nursery rhymes, and all the profits from sales of the album will benefit Save the Children. It features a number of artists we've covered. » Read more

2017-10-18
Phil Miller RIP – Sad word reaches us today of the passing of another of the great musicians of the Canterbury Scene — guitarist Phil Miller. His distinctive sound added greatly to Matching Mole, Hatfield and the North, and National Health, and he also contributed to albums by Caravan, Dave Stewart & Barbara Gaskin, and many others. He was 68. » Read more

2017-10-13
Moonjune to Distribute Tony Levin's Back Catalog – It has been announced that Moonjune will now handle distribution for Tony Levin's catalog of releases. These great albums will now be a bit easier to get hold of, so check out the site and see what you're missing. The veteran of King Crimson and Stick Men worked with a host of great players on these albums, and we've reviewed most of them over the course of the years. » Read more

2017-09-26
Bandcamp Shines Light on Niches We Like – Bandcamp has developed into one of the best places to discover new music, and even a lot of old music is showing up there. In addition, their staff has been producing periodic articles spotlighting some interesting stylistic areas. On 20 September, they published one called "The New Face of Prog Rock" which bears checking out. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Andreas Akwara - Synthetic Horizon – When I first listened to this new effort from the German composer Akwara I immediately had to turn the treble far down, because the sharpness of the sound was just ear-splitting. Synthetic Horizon is...  (2006) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues