Cover Image: Limelight


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Martin Popoff’s follow up to ‘Anthem: Rush in the ‘70s’ he now covers the band’s 80’s albums – both studio and live. Different from the ever expanded ‘Track By Track’ books in that although Martin Popoff critiques each song, there is a wealth of interviews with the band members, namely Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson and Neil Peart, along with the producers Terry Brown,  and Rupert Hine. Plus other assorted music biz people, in a mixture of interviews conducted by the author (some of which are published for the first time in this book) and from previously published interviews from the likes of Kerrang! Hit Parader and more.

For me the decade produced some classic Rush albums including ‘Signals’ and ‘Grace Under Pressure’, along with memorable album covers. Interesting to see how regular guys the members of Rush are, with other bands and tour managers stating how kind the band were to support bands (unlike how Aerosmith’s management treated Rush when they supported them). Fascinating band and producer interviews give the insight to each album’s recording process, along with how the band were doing in the music world at that time.

Popoff writes as a fan, but never goes ‘fanboy’, covering the great, good and not so memorable music the band made during the course of the 80’s. Reading the book whilst listening to the album in question is a great way to combine a love of books and music.

Recommended read for any fan of the band and already looking forward to Rush in the 90’s!
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Well written, easy to read. Popoff books are always a great read for a fan of any band that he decides to write about it. Highly recommended!
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I'll read anything about Rush. This book did not disappoint, though I found it relied a little too heavily on quotes from band members and others. Looking forward to the third installment of this series.
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Limelight: Rush in the '80s by Martin Popoff is a detailed account of the group during this period. Filled with facts and opinions (both his and those of the band members), this work really makes these albums come alive again.

I admit to being one of the fans who prefer their earliest records. My first album of theirs was Fly By Night while I was in high school. I then found their first album, bought it, and bought every one through Grace Under Pressure when they released. While I still liked them, GUP was the album that made me decide not to buy their albums immediately upon release any more, and I only bought a few more after that. So now you know where I am coming from.

Popoff goes into detail on every album as well as the influences that helped form the later Rush sound(s). I think that reading this has given me a better appreciation of what they were doing with the albums I liked less. As expected, I was particularly interested with reading about their albums early in the decade and I was not disappointed.

It is funny how as listeners we often only pay attention to one or two aspects of an artist's music when it is first released. Reading this made me remember some of my thoughts during those years and how, in some respects, they were quite ignorant of many fine points. I also never really bought into genre names too much, I either liked something or I didn't, so liking Rush or Yes didn't conflict with my liking Sabbath or Judas Priest, or even The Eagles for that matter. Progressive was a term I knew then but simply disregarded as being a way to divide music and listeners into warring camps. Anyway...

I recommend this to fans of Rush (whether the 80s was your favorite period or not) as well as readers with an interest in rock history.

Reviewed from a copy made available by the publisher via NetGalley.
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