Saturday, May 9, 2020

Anthem: Rush In The '70s- Martin Popoff (ECW Press)

Anthem: Rush in the 1970s (Rush Across the Decades): Popoff ...

There's no shortage of Rush books from Martin. He did Contents Under Pressure with the co-operation of the band, a couple of years ago he followed that up with beautiful coffee table books Rush: The Illustrated History and Rush: Album By Album featuring guest reviews of all their releases. In other words a wealth of reading and opinions. So after all that what is really left to tell? That is why I approached this book with caution, I thought it would be rehashed material bound in a new cover. How wrong I was.

For those who don't know Martin was involved with Sam Dunn and Scot McFadyen at Banger Films on the documentary Rush: Beyond The Lighted Stage. We all know how good that was, in my opinion it was superb. Award winning. With something like that there are edits and lots of them, some interviews make the bonus features of the dvd, most are never used. So Martin got access to all of it to flesh out the story. Think of this book as holding the unedited script of the documentary. Or the finished version with 20 hours of bonus extras. None of it crap.

This is the first book in a trilogy and is all about the band's beginnings up to Hemispheres. It features contributions from all three band members, their family members, manager Ray Daniels, producer Terry Brown, road crew members, Cliff Burnstein and many more. Each album is given a chapter, the band's early years over 60 pages and the debut album over 100!

You learn how friendship, loyalty and determination made the band and how touring nearly killed them. The real ingredients to the songs. The work back then was insane, no time off. Album tour album tour album tour in dodgy vehicles yet they somehow made it all work. You also find out what bands were nice to them when they opened (Kiss) and who were not (Aerosmith) and the lessons they learned when it came to their treatment of openers when they headlined.

All the text is housed in a beautiful leather bound hard back book with two color photo sections. If you are a fan of the band this is a must read, I loved the book and this is shaping up to be some of Martin's best work. It's released on May 12th and you can get it at the links below. The next installment of the story Limelight: Rush In The '80s is released in September and that is my favorite era of the band, the closing Driven book to finish the story is out in April 2021.


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