Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Rush Complete (2 volumes) and Deluxe Anthology

Rating: 3
Date: 1986
Genre: Music
Read Again? Yes

Gotta say first off, by "Complete" all the author(s) meant was "We did arrangements of all their albums through Power Windows," not "Every song in its completion."

Keep in mind that Rush is a "power trio"--drums, bass, and guitar.

Now consider that the books are arranged for vocal and piano, with chord symbols for guitar. Heh.

There's no TAB, so I was at a big disadvantage when I started learning songs from these books. I can read music notation...very slowly. I suck at it. Fortunately, those chord symbols are there and they helped a lot.

The arrangements themselves are best treated as sketches of the actual songs; they're heavily simplified and edited, with no solos or any of the badassery a Rush fan would be looking for. I knew this when I bought them, though--they're Rush memorabilia--and they were all there was in 1990, as far as I knew. While I learned by ear most of what I can play, I had the books just in case there was a phrase or chord I couldn't quite figure out (assuming it was in one of the books).

Another fun thing to do would be to program each song as written into Cakewalk or a similar music-writing program, just for something to do, and for something to laugh at. I wish I could rate these books higher, but they just don't make the cut, especially when compared to the arrangements in Guitar Magazine or some of the newer music books on today's shelves.

Volume 1:
Fly By Night
Caress of Steel
A Farewell to Kings

Volume 2:
Permanent Waves
Moving Pictures
Exit...Stage Left
Grace Under Pressure
Power Windows

The Deluxe Anthology is just 27 songs culled from the two-volume set. Same arrangements, so the same comments. My copy's pretty heavily annotated, which tells me that I depended more on this book than on the other two.

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