There's nothing like it in the Rush catalog—or, indeed, in the entire prog-rock canon. Stylistically expansive and intellectually ambitious, 1981's Moving Pictures was a landmark release, one that helped define the progressive genre and that ensured Rush's place in the rock pantheon. In this definitive account of the album's creation and legacy, author Will Romano explores the rare alchemy behind a record that continues to inspire musicians and listeners even today.
While Permanent Waves and Hemispheres were important releases in Rush's evolution as a band, Moving Pictures marked a turning point for the Canadian trio in more ways than one. It was not only a creative triumph but a commercial one, with sales and airplay that blasted them into the stratosphere of rock stardom. Beyond the individual power of its seven songs, however, the key to its lasting significance is the distinctive overarching vision that Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson, and Neil Peart brought to the album. As Romano shows, Moving Pictures reconciled opposing creative sensibilities to a remarkable degree, giving the record real thematic depth while at the same time rendering it the very antithesis of a "concept album." Each track was carefully layered with cinematic and multisensory meaning, paradoxically using music to evoke experiences beyond the strictly aural.
Consistently insightful and frequently surprising, this book is filled with behind-the-scenes details based on new research and interviews, and it guides readers through the album's dizzying array of allusions and inspirations. Newbies and fervent Rush fans alike will find this an illuminating exploration of one of the band's most enduring achievements.
Will Romano is the author of seven books, including Close to the Edge: How Yes's Masterpiece Defined Prog Rock, the critically acclaimed Mountains Come Out of the Sky (with a foreword by iconic drummer Bill Bruford), and the award finalist Big Boss Man: The Life and Music of Bluesman Jimmy Reed. Romano's work has appeared in a variety of publications, such as New York Post, NY Daily News, American Way, Guitar Player, Modern Drummer, Sound on Sound, VH1.com, and others. He spent most of his life in New York and recently moved to Rockford, IL.