TITLE: Fly By Night
YEAR RELEASED: 1975
CHART ACTION: #113 US (#9 in Canada)
SINGLES: Fly by Night (#45 in Canada), Making Memories
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Anthem, By-Tor and the Snow Dog, Beneath, Between & Behind
LINEUP: Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson, Neal Peart
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Rush moves toward progressive rock with some lyrics evoking fantasy and a long, excellent suite about a pitched battle.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: After parting ways with their original drummer, Rush found Neal Peart (or he found them, whatever) and set out on their long, storied partnership.
Peart immediately improved their lyrical content (Lee wrote the words to a couple of songs, and Peart’s are just so much better). Peart’s drumming also adds another dimension – he allowed Rush to expand their sound and their rhythms and really get into a progressive rock phase. In effect he allowed Lee and Lifeson plenty of room to explore their musical abilities much like Bill Bruford did for Yes and King Crimson. There’s no doubt that Peart is the reason they were able to pull off a great track like “By-Tor and the Snow Dog”.
We still have some issues, though. There’s one song that is just deadly deadly dull, side two is rather superfluous after the title track. Still, the first five tracks (never mind the lyrics to “Best I Can”) are improvements to their first album and showed Rush the way to the future.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: At the end of “By-Tor and the Snow Dog”, if you had the vinyl and a manual record player, the chimes would continue until you stopped the album.
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: No
GRADE: B+: Four great cuts, one good cut (save the lyrics), two average cuts and one, well, not so good cut. (No, I really hate it…) It’ll do, Rush. Up a notch for “By-Tor”. That song rules.