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I have often thought about getting a Rush album but hadn't heard enough and wasn't sure what to get. Being a Manic Street Preachers fan and recently reading the band were fans I searched out what was available. This collection seemed a good starting point. A couple of songs I immediately recognised (The Spirit of Rock, Working Man) The first CD is the better of the two in my opinion and more rocky (Deep Purple, Led Zep) with the second CD being quite synth driven (Tears for Fears)
I would give the first CD 4/5 and the second CD 3/5.
Again, I'de never listened to Rush before Planet Rock and enjoyed the tracks they played. So I decided to buy the album and, to be honest, was slightly dissapointed. With bands such as AC/DC, Led and even the mighty Motorhead there is a consistency (although, eventually all motorhead tunes sound the same.......sorry Lemmy) and you can expect the same quality throughout. So that Back in Black is as good and Black Ice. However, Rush never seem to know what they are and move from sounding like Led Zepplin through Thin Lizzy to, of all things, something reminicent of the New romantics!. I was dissapointed with the first CD but enjoyed the second a little better.
When I had decided that I would like to have a Rush compilation cd I was originally was going to purchase the seemingly more popular "Spirit Of Radio" 16 track single cd. Then I saw this 2 cd set which actually included all of the 16 tracks found on the "Spirit Of Radio" disc plus an additional 13 tracks for only $1.00 more.
Both discs are loaded, If I recall at app. 74 and 78 minutes each. Song selection is great...but as several others have mentioned the sound is a bit lacking.
It's not that the sound is bad. The volume and clarity is fine, however it is lacking any depth and seems to be very flat and sterile sounding. The low end (bass) seems to be missing and the high end (treble) seems to be too prominent. Sounds like a better equalization job was needed. I'm sure if you play around with your bass and treble or equalizer settings you can much improve on the sound.
If you're going to listen to this cd on say a boombox or in your car it would probably satisfy your needs. If your going to listen to it on a high end audio system you may want to check out the previously mentioned "Spirit Of Radio" cd.
Overall I am pretty happy with cd. Close to 2 1/2 hours of music at a pretty cheap price. But you must decide which is more important to you...Quality or Quantity.
This 2006 compilation highlights tracks released during the 1974-1987 timeframe, which captures the 1976-1982 timeframe that I consider the groups highest point. I got this compilation because it has tracks from albums released outside of my favorite period that I do not own (Caress of Steel , Power Windows  etc.). This is not a bad compilation, although I generally prefer the brevity and track listing of the Rush: Icon (2010) compilation.
I liked Disc 1 but did not like Disc 2 very much. I enjoyed listening to By-Tor and the Snow Dog (from Fly by Night, 1975) on Disc 1; this is a song I have not listened to since at least 1981. Fly by Night was my first Rush record as I recall. Disc 1 has other tunes on there that are "done to death" in my opinion like Free Will, Xanadu etc. I will be honest - I lost interest in Rush around 83-84 when they released Grace Under Pressure (1984), so I can't say that I liked Disc 2 very much at all. In fact, I think it overstays its welcome by 35 minutes or so. Apart from the tunes from the excellent Moving Pictures (1981) and the very good Signals (1982), the tracks on Disc 2 sound the same and feature dated production choices: electronic drums, marshmallowy synth tone colors etc. As an FYI for the new fan, the 1980s is generally referred to as the "synth" period. Albums representative of this period include Grace Under Pressure, Power Windows, and Hold Your Fire (1987).
The production quality is pretty good. The liner notes are a bit lacking - for the new fan, it might have been nice to have a short bio, or some general thoughts on the recording of this music. After all, it was their late 1970s-early 1980s material that put this group on the map as a force to be reckoned with.
All in all, you can't go wrong with the price of this compilation - this is a great deal. I also think that this is a good introduction for the new fan. For those of you that are new to the group, I would recommend the following albums: 2112 (1976); Farewell to Kings (1977); my favorite Hemispheres (1978); Permanent Waves (1980); Moving Pictures (1981); the live album Exit...Stage Left (1981); and Signals (1982). I think these albums defined the Rush sound and certainly benefitted from the skills of the best producer Rush ever had (Terry Brown).
I liked Rush's hits album Spirit of Radio and this album has all those songs plus a dozen more so I tried Gold. I liked that 2112 was it's own song instead of the medley version. Mystic Rhythms is the song I like best of the songs not on my other hits album. If you have Rush's albums you don't need this album. For a big sample of their early work this is a good choice but several of the long songs I don't care for. There are about six songs not on Spirit of Radio that I like. If you want a small concise package of hits Spirit of Radio is the better choice.
Haven't heard the music. Can't get the CDs out of the case. The CD is sealed to the hub. No amount of pressure on the hub will release the CD. Afraid of breaking the CD by bending it too much with force. How can you mess up a jewel-case after all these years?