Moving Pictures (Remastered 2013)
This album is Mastered for iTunes. Rush’s eighth studio album, 1981’s Moving Pictures, hoisted the trio out from its progressive rock trappings and exposed it to the radio-listening world at large with such groundbreaking hits as “Tom Sawyer” and “Limelight.” The former song sets the stage for the album, showing a cool fusion of new wave synths sprawled across a hard rock soundscape as drummer Neil Peart takes his otherworldly drumming to previously uncharted levels. Peart’s lyrics (cowritten with Pye Dubois) reimagined Mark Twain's character of Tom Sawyer as a modern, free-spirited rebel whose defense mechanisms mirror those of society. Where “Tom Sawyer” mused on the discontent of an imagined character, “Limelight” reflects the vexation of Peart, who was becoming uneasy with Rush’s snowballing success and the burdens of fame. The song boasts an incredible guitar solo that Alex Lifeson has claimed is his favorite to play live. The eerie “Witch Hunt” is the third part of Rush’s “Fear Series”: four songs focusing on aspects of life ruled by fear. “Vital Signs” closes, ambitiously braiding prog rock with reggae.