SRM-2-7001 Exit... Stage Left
Produced by Rush and Terry Brown
Released on October 1981
UK CHART POSITION #6 . . . US CHART POSITION #10
Find it at GEMM
SRM-2-7001 cover  

Knit, knit, knit, knit, purl. Rush followed the pattern begun with All The World’s A Stage: four studio albums followed by a live double album to recap the whole period. But what a difference four albums can make when they’re called Farewell To Kings, Hemispheres, Permanent Waves and Moving Pictures. Exit… Stage Left captures the band at the height of their popularity, and arguably at the height of their technical skills. It also marks the end of an era, as Rush shifted toward more synthetic music on subsequent albums; the fiery guitar work of Alex Lifeson, Neil Peart’s bells, blocks and tiny toms, and Geddy Lee’s warm vocals would grow noticeably colder by the time A Show of Hands appeared. As a last hurrah for the band’s “classic” period, you couldn’t ask for more. The drum solo on “YYZ,” a guitar introduction that morphs gracefully into “The Trees,” the crowd participation for “Closer to the Heart,” these arguably outclass the original album versions. Although the band throws in a few early nuggets (“Beneath, Between And Behind,” “A Passage To Bangkok”), they avoid duplicating anything from All The World’s A Stage. The real winners here are the album tracks like “Jacob’s Ladder,” “YYZ,” “La Villa Strangiato” and “Xanadu.” In these cases (and especially on “The Trees”), the band has no trouble shaking the original genie out of the bottle and making it dance. Because the band didn’t release a widely available greatest hits compilation until 1990’s Chronicles, their live albums often functioned as abbreviated entrees into their catalog. I wouldn’t have any trouble recommending Exit… Stage Left as the best of the live albums (given the works it covers), and thus a good way to get acquainted with the band or get re-acquainted with their best music in a single sitting. There are very few live albums I listen to, and enjoy, as much as this.

SRM-2-7001 back cover SRM-2-7001 gatefold
SRM-2-7001 back cover SRM-2-7001 gatefold

TRACK LISTING

    record one...
  1. THE SPIRIT OF RADIO    (Geddy Lee/Alex Lifeson/Neil Peart)    5:15
  2. RED BARCHETTA    (Geddy Lee/Alex Lifeson/Neil Peart)    6:45
  3. YYZ    (Geddy Lee/Alex Lifeson)    7:44 A PASSAGE TO BANGKOK    (Geddy Lee/Alex Lifeson/Neil Peart)    3:43
  4. CLOSER TO THE HEART    (Geddy Lee/Alex Lifeson/Neil Peart/Talbot)    3:06
  5. BENEATH, BETWEEN AND BEHIND    (Alex Lifeson/Neil Peart)    2:31
  6. JACOB'S LADDER    (Geddy Lee/Alex Lifeson/Neil Peart)    8:39

    record two...
  7. BROON'S BANE    (Alex Lifeson)    1:35
  8. THE TREES    (Geddy Lee/Alex Lifeson/Neil Peart)    4:30
  9. XANADU    (Geddy Lee/Alex Lifeson/Neil Peart)    12:33
  10. FREEWILL    (Geddy Lee/Alex Lifeson/Neil Peart)    5:31
  11. TOM SAWYER    (Geddy Lee/Alex Lifeson/Neil Peart/Dubois)    4:58
  12. LA VILLA STRANGIATO    (Geddy Lee/Alex Lifeson/Neil Peart)    9:37

CREDITS

GEDDY LEE -- bass guitar, vocals, synthesizers, bass pedal synthesizer and occasional rhythm guitar
ALEX LIFESON -- electric and acoustic guitars, bass pedal synthesizer
NEIL PEART -- drums and percussion
Andy Rose -- engineer
Broon -- engineer
Paul Northfield -- mixing
Hugh Syme -- art direction, graphics and cover concept
Deborah Samuel -- photography

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REGION RELEASE DATE LABEL MEDIA ID NUMBER FEATURES
US October 1981 Mercury 2LP/2CS SRM-2-7001 gatefold cover
UK/GER/NET October 1981 Mercury 2LP/2CS 6619 053 gatefold cover
US April 1987 Mercury CD 822 551  
US July 1, 1997 Mercury 2CD/2CS 534 632 original master recording

 

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