Album Cuts – RUSH: Moving Pictures


All lyrics written by Neil Peart except where noted, all music composed by Alex Lifeson and Geddy Lee except where noted.

Side 1:

  1. “Tom Sawyer” (Neil Peart & Pye Dubois) – 4:37
  2. “Red Barchetta” – 6:12
  3. “YYZ” (Neil Peart & Geddy Lee) (Instrumental) – 4:25
  4. “Limelight” – 4:23

Side 2

  1. “The Camera Eye” – 10:58
    • I: New York – 6:44
    • II: London – 4:12
  2. “Witch Hunt” (Part III of Fear) – 4:46
  3. “Vital Signs” – 4:47

Rush is a Canadian rock band formed in August 1968 in the Willowdale neighborhood of Toronto, Ontario. Since the release of the band’s self-titled debut album in March 1974, Rush has become known for its musicianship, complex compositions, and eclectic lyrical motifs drawing heavily on science fiction, fantasy, history, and philosophy. Rush’s music style has changed over the years, from a blues-inspired hard rock beginning, later moving into progressive rock, and including a period with heavy use of synthesizers. Its musical style returned to a more guitar-oriented sound in 1989.

Geddy Lee – Keyboards, Bass, Lead Vocals

Alex Lifeson – Guitars, Backing Vocals

Neil Peart – Drums, Percussionist, Lyricist

Moving Pictures is the eighth studio album by Rush. It was recorded and mixed from October to November 1980 at Le Studio located in Morin Heights, Quebec, Canada, and released on February 12, 1981 on the Mercury label in the USA. The album was 40:07 minutes in length. Produced by Rush & Terry Brown.

Moving Pictures became the band’s biggest selling album in the US rising to #3 on the Billboard charts and remains the band’s most popular and commercially successful studio recording to date. The album was one of the first to be certified multi-platinum by the RIAA upon establishment of the certification in October 1984, and eventually went quadruple platinum.

Following the formula of their previous album, Permanent Waves, Moving Pictures follows a more radio-friendly format and includes several of the band’s signature tracks, including the hits “Tom Sawyer” and “Limelight“, the FM rock radio standard, “Red Barchetta“, and the band’s highly praised instrumental, “YYZ“.

Moving Pictures is one of two Rush albums listed in 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die (2112 is the other). Kerrang! magazine listed the album at #43 among the “100 Greatest Heavy Metal Albums of All Time”. In 2012,Moving Pictures was listed as the #10 ‘Your Favorite Prog Rock Albums of All Time’ by Rolling Stone.

The album cover art is a visual pun of movers physically carrying paintings, while several songs from the album are connected to motion pictures, with “moving pictures” meaning movies. This second meaning is explicitly shown on the back of the album, where a movie crew is seen filming the scene from the front cover. A third meaning is taken from bystanders who are watching the movers and are visibly emotionally moved by the paintings, making them “moving pictures”.

Work on the album began in August 1980 at Stony Lake, Ontario. “The Camera Eye” was the first to be written, followed by “Tom Sawyer”, “Red Barchetta”, “YYZ” and “Limelight”. “Tom Sawyer” grew from a melody that Lee had been using to set up his synthesizers at sound checks.

At Phase One Studios with producer Terry Brown, they began recording demos. “Tom Sawyer” and “Limelight” were polished in October by playing them live on a warm-up tour and then they started the main recording at Le Studio in Quebec. “Red Barchetta” was recorded in one take, while others took many. There were problems with equipment failures and they finished three days behind schedule.

Moving Pictures was played live in its entirety to open the second set during each show of Rush’s 2010-11 Time Machine Tour.  This was the first time Moving Pictures was played live in its entirety.

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