Limelight: Rush in the ’80s

ECW. (Rush Across the Decades, Bk. 2). Oct. 2020. 375p. ISBN 9781770415362. $34.95. MUSIC
Continuing his planned trilogy about Canadian band Rush, Popoff follows up Anthem: Rush in the ’70s with this next installment covering the 1980s. Relying almost exclusively on interviews with Rush musicians Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson, and Neil Peart, he again treats each album granularly, exploring the songs with even more attention devoted to engineering and production. He also examines Rush’s inclusion of keyboards and electronics, the creation of videos for outlets such as MTV, and increasing evidence of socially conscious lyrics. The author discusses the inevitable shake-ups in personnel, how the band toured to ensure financial stability, and Rush’s new role as influencers to a variety of other musical groups.
VERDICT Popoff’s treasure trove of enlightening and entertaining glimpses into the workings of three complex individuals combined into a cohesive unit will appeal to anyone with even a casual interest in Rush. One misses some of the familial and folksy connections in volume one, but readers will eagerly await the conclusion of this impressive endeavor.
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