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If you buy one album out this week, make it...

Rush - R40

If you love Rush, you’ll like this. No hesitation – you’ll get on splendidly. And if you’ve never really listened to them, this makes an enlivened overview; a passionate, rocky alternative to a regular compilation CD. Forty years (yes, forty) of bold progressive rock – via myriad shifts and rich ventures – has been crystallised in one enormous farewell tour.

Seemingly very aware that this could be their last hurrah, the much-adored Canadian trio have covered all bases. You’ve got options – all the options. 3-disc CD and DVD combo, 3-disc CD and Blu-Ray, Blu-Ray only, CD only, Rush Backstage Club combo with T-shirt, Best Buy package with Starman flashlight, your own singing Geddy Lee figurine… OK we might have made up the last one, but the devotion among Rush’s fanbase is such that – who knows? – it could become a reality.

The R40 crowd, captured here, adds to the atmosphere. The powerful, unrelenting affection is palpable. You can't really blame them; harking back to the 70s right through to 2012’s Clockwork Angels, every piece of the great Rush pie is represented in some way. Triumphant synth blasts and guitar in (1991’s) Roll The Bones. New age-tinges and old-school prog in 11-minute colossus Xanadu (1977). Soaring Alex Lifeson axework in the likes of Between The Wheels... With 20 studio albums on file, they did a pretty bloody good job of tapping into as much as humanly possible.

Of course, they might end up returning (it’s been suggested that Geddy would be up for it, and Alex has said he wishes the final tour had been a little longer). If this is the last we hear of Rush, however, it’ll be a comprehensive, glorious way to bow out. Not a bad Christmas present either...

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