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A Farewell to Kings
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Product Description

Japanese only SHM paper sleeve pressing. The SHM-CD [Super High Material CD] format features enhanced audio quality through the use of a special polycarbonate plastic. Using a process developed by JVC and Universal Music Japan discovered through the joint companies' research into LCD display manufacturing* SHM-CDs feature improved transparency on the data side of the disc* allowing for more accurate reading of CD data by the CD player laser head. SHM-CD format CDs are fully compatible with standard CD players. 2009.

Customer Reviews:

  • The start of phase two for Rush and one of Rush's classics
    Canadian power trio Rush released their sixth album A Farewell to Kings in September of 1977.
    A Farewell to Kings was the band's first to be recorded in England at Rockfield Studios in Wales (and would not be their last).
    I first heard this album in the summer of 1987 as an 11 year old on the radio and loved it at first listen and sent me to the record store looking for this album. I have the remastered CD today.
    This album had matured musicianship and Rush experimenting with synthesizers (with bass player/singer Geddy Lee using them more and more) even more than on 1976's classic 2112 (which went Gold on the same day as Farewell to Kings and All the World's a Stage by the way).
    The album begins with the title cut which sounds like it is gonna be a folk song thanks to guitarist Alex Lifeson's classical guitar work but then BANG into a full hard rock with electric guitars, drummer Neil Peart's lyrics about politicians being hypocrites and bigots and Geddy's voice wailing away. Next is the first of two epics, the 11-minute "Xanadu" (not the Olivia Newton John track but a grand epic) which is arguably one of Neil's best drum performances and Geddy starting the song at a lower octave in his singing then going to the high registers and Alex's guitar work just being excellent.
    The second half kicks off with "Closer to the Heart", which was the first Rush track to get massive radio airplay, and some complained said the band sold out with this track but is a classic. "Cinderella Man" and "Madrigal" follow, both songs are great with Geddy writing lyrics for a change on the former and the latter a love song in disguise but beautiful. The album concludes with "Cygnus X-1 (Book One: The Voyage)", which starts off as if you were going into a spaceship and each instrument coming to life and rocking out for five minutes before the first vocal part appears and Geddy's just wailing on here and Alex's guitar just was amazing. Just when you thought it would get soft, they come in full throttle for the finale with Geddy's screaming like he is being pulled through a black hole and Alex's closing, ringing guitar chords being a reminder that this story would continue on 1978's follow-up Hemispheres.
    A Farewell to Kings was their first album to hit the US Top 30 hitting #24 and going Gold in 1977. Because of this, its predecessors 2112 and All the World's a Stage would go Gold as well. A Farewell to Kings would subsequently hit Platinum in US sales.
    This remaster buries the original CD released in the 80s. Bob Ludwig did a great job with the remastering and Mercury I commend for repackaging it just like the original album.
    A great disc and highly recommended! ...more info
  • A great progressive rock album
    This album is often overlooked, even though it contains some of the best Rush classics--Closer to the Heart, and Xanadu.

    Closer to the Heart is one of the all time Rush Classics--great melody and inspiring lyrics flowing seemlessly in a beautiful song. If you've ever experienced this song live in concert, you understand that it can be an emotional experience listening and signing along to this track.

    Cinderella man is a great story perserverance, and the title track has a great baroque quality to it. The only bad part is a track called Madrigal. Even all these years later, it sounds terrible-I don't know what they were thinking.

    Cygnus X-1, is an incredible epic song that is continued on the entire first side of their next album-Hemispheres. Cygnus X-1 and Hemispheres represent the peak of Neil Peart's fantasy concept album epics-a bit difficult to digest and take in all at once, but the creativity and the music are top notch.

    This album is a must for any real Rush fan if only for the inclusion of the epic Xanadu. Although dated from an instrumental standpoint (old school synth etc), this song represents a culmination of the early efforts of Rush, screaming vocals, heavy guitars, complex drumming and percussion, coupled with an ambitious undertaking in presentation and songwriting. Xanadu will take you far away, and spark your imagination. That is what art does. And that is why Rush is one of the premier artists of all recorded music....more info
  • Masterpiece
    This is not only one of Rush's best albums, but one of the greatest progressive rock albums of all time. The mix & mastering are great, and the songwriting is incredibly creative. You can tell that these guys were really having fun and enjoying their creative work. This album also set the bar high for future works, some of which equal this album, but none surpass it.

    Now for the songs:

    FAREWELL: Intriguing opening with the classical guitar, great riffs into the verses, and a driving yet catchy chorus. Glad they included this on Chronicles and Different Stages.

    XANADU: What can you say? This is the best song on the album, and perhaps their best song, period. It's certainly the best progressive rock song of all time, building from the soft nature setting to some of the best riffs and counter-melodies they've composed. Sparing use of keyboards accents the chorus parts perfectly. You really can't put it into words. It's an essential track for any prog-rock lover.

    CLOSER TO THE HEART: Fun little song. Yes, overplayed, but for a reason -- it's great!

    CINDERELLA MAN: A really driving song with a neat tempo-change in the chorus, and a really fun instrumental section before the second chorus. Rather experimental for Rush at the time, and they nailed it. Great song.

    MADRIGAL: A love-ballad. Hard to tell if it was written to a woman, a homestead, or simply to a previous way of life (or all three!). Great change of pace.

    CYGNUS X-1: The most incredible, not-to-be-believed song ever written by these guys. A space fantasy that really works musically (only these guys could have pulled this off so masterfully). The final vocals are so over-the-top, they actually work. Incredibly creative, fun, and never tiring to listen to again.

    Progressive rock at its best -- easily 5+ stars....more info
  • The best album from a great band
    A Farewell To Kings is to me Rush's most mature and enduring work. It remains as emotionally powerful today as it was back when I was a stoned teenager listening to Cygnus X-1 late at night in my headphones. Its a masterpiece, no filler, all killer. Simply said this album contains some of Rushs' finest performances both musically and lyrically. Xanadu is perhaps the best song they've ever done. Combine that with Farewell to Kings, Closer to the Heart, the beautiful ballad Madrigal, the excellent acoustic guitar driven Cinderella Man and the science fiction epic Cygnus X-1 and you've got yourself an amazing album. It rocks, its emotional, its complex, its moving. The synths which came to dominate the sound after Moving Pictures are used to good effect here, i.e. they're not overdone. AFTK is still essentially a guitar album filled with great electric and acoustic playing not to mention the virtuoso level bass and drums. 70 stars....more info
  • A Classic Prog Hard Rock Masterpeice
    This is part two of a comprehensive four part series of Music Reviews of the Progressive Rock band Rush. When a band has been around as long as RUSH has (30 years), their styles will change just as their clothing and hairstyles. I group the bands second five releases into what I call their "Mid-Era Progressive" phase. These albums include: A Farewell to Kings (1977), Hemispheres (1978), Permanent Waves (1980), Moving Pictures (1981) and Exit Stage Left "Live" (1981)

    A Farewell to Kings kicks off Rush's foray into full progressive rock, which began with "2112", and eventually culminates with Moving Pictures. On Kings, Alex Lifeson continues to use more acoustic guitars. Neil creates more interesting percussion sounds, and Geddy's bass-lines improve to some of their most distinct. Two of the bands's most progressive tracks are included here. Coming in at over ten minutes each, Xanadu and Cygnus X-1 are classic examples of 70's progressive hard rock. The album also contains one of Rush's all-time fan favorites: Closer to the Heart.

    A Farewell to Kings is one of my favorite Rush albums from this era and many fans put it in the top 5 of all Rush releases. Even discerning Prog-Rock fans put this album in their Top 50 of all-time progressive rock titles. It's only second to the ever popular Moving Pictures in ranking (currently #18). Go to [...] for more info.

    Best Tracks: A Farewell to Kings and Xanadu
    ...more info
  • The Night My Sorry Life Changed Forever
    It's 1:00 am on some late-70's weekend, I'm 13 years old, Saturday Night Live has just ended, and it's time for Don Kirshner's Rock Concert (or Rawwk Kawwn-saht as he pronounced it.) I'm a real-life character out of the movie "Dazed and Confused" with musical tastes beginning and ending with Kiss. My best bud Kevin and I stayed up to watch SNL 'cuz in those days you didn't dare show your face at school on Monday morning if you weren't up on all the "new" skits.

    Ol' Don introduces some Canadian band called "Rush." "Hey," I think to myself, "I live 5 minutes from the Canadian border. Maybe these guys are cool and when I get older I'll go see them."

    Rush comes onstage and plays 3 songs from their new album, "A Farewell to Kings," with the title track followed by "Closer to the Heart" and "Xanadu." And my little 13-year-old world changed forever. It wasn't the effects of ditchweed on my feeble little mind either. This music showed me possibilities that I didn't even know existed, but instantly knew I'd wanted all along. The fact that only three guys could produce such a vast array of sounds blew my mind. The fact that rock music could be entertaining and artistic at the same time shaped my musical view to this day.

    The next morning I threw away my Kiss records and went off to the mall to buy this album and then-new "Going for the One" by Yes, who I had also heard described as "progressive." They were the first two "adult" albums I ever bought. I began expanding my electric guitar skills (goodbye Tony Iommi riffs!) and learned to finger-pick acoustic guitar like Lifeson and Howe. I taught myself organ and piano. I discovered Genesis, ELP, Pink Floyd, King Crimson and many, many more.

    With all that personal attachment to this record, I can even overlook the absolute clinker that is "Cinderella Man."(Geez,Even typing that title makes me shudder.) But that's nothing folks, you get the stunningly great title track (one of my all-time favorite prog songs) plus the amazing epics "Cygnus X-1" and "Xanadu." And, classic-rock overkill aside, "Closer to the Heart" is one of the best prog singles ever with a truly great guitar solo. For prog fans, it rarely gets better than this.

    The greatest export from our Northern neighbors since Molson Canadian-the best beer ever, baby!!!...more info
  • A slight drop off from their best work
    A Farewell To Kings is Rush's followup to their landmark 2112 album and is arguably the dark horse of the band's catalog. Riding on the momentum of 2112, this album would be their first to reach the U.S. Top 40 and would yield their first top 100 single in "Closer To The Heart." While this album is probably the least successful musically from their most fruiful period of 1976 to 1981, it still is a very strong album showcasing the band's improving songwriting skills and exceptional musicianship.

    Without a doubt, the most successful tracks here are the aforementioned "Closer To The Heart", one of the simplest songs they ever penned and the long epic "Xanadu" which is one of the best songs of the progressive era. A track with several movements and changes in momentum, it simply captures the listener and never grows old or stale. Geddy Lee's vocals show a maturity, changing tones throughout to reflect the mood of the track. "Cygnus X-1" is the second epic here and works nearly as well, concentrating more on heavier riffs and Neil Peart's frantic drumming than on "Xanadu." The title track is one of their most underrated tracks and spotlights Alex Lifeson whether it's his mellow classical guitar intro or wild electric soloing. "Cinderella Man" is one of their few tracks with lyrics penned by Lee and is pretty straight forward save for the solo. "Madrigal" is the obligatory mellow track carried by its whistling synth. All told, a very strong effort with the difference between this album and their best material (2112, Hemispheres, Permanent Waves, Moving Pictures) being that the lesser known tracks aren't as consistent as the rest of the album. However, it's still one of their better albums and definitely worth purchasing. ...more info
  • NERDIEST BAND EVER
    You have to hand it to Rush: they weren't gonna use the recent success of "2112" to go more mainstream.

    "Xanadu"? "Cygnus X-1"?? What were these dudes handing around when they came up with "Cygnus X-1"?

    Altogether, we have maybe the ballsiest salute to unabashed, D&D-inspired Nerdhood ever conceived, rehearsed to unlikely precision, and jammed to the +4 magic-sword hilt. Well, that's at least until you go back to their earlier albums and uncover even *nerdier* material -- "The Necromancer"? "Rivendell"? "By-tor & the Snowdog"?? (By-tor? Don't ask...) Anyway it's a good thing most of it friggin' rocks, man, or I'd be too busy laughing hysterically.

    If you're not old enough to have outgrown Neil Peart's jejune poetry, you'll probably award this five stars and play it repeatedly, as I may or may not have done at that age. How about four stars for fearlessly different song-writing, good melodies/riffs and tight musicianship. Painfully nerdy, yes; but "A Farewell to Kings" at least stood out in a sea of popular mediocrity and selloutry. Yeah, well, so did the Village People, huh.

    So shoulder your lute, light one up and enjoy. (Watch out for that black hole, though.) Let's call this Rush's best album -- it's short, it's trippy, it's musically interesting, it's not ridiculously grandiose like "2112" or "Hemispheres", and it's not a totally synthed-out, preachified wankfest like most of their later stuff....more info
  • Crushed Nuts
    This record's been around the block a couple of times and even a quick glance here at the other reviews tells me folks out there think the world of Rush but I gots to say first off the dude up front comes way too close to sounding like a cross between a chipmunk and a Muppet. And it's not just the cut-rate-Marc-Bolan-on-helium vocal delivery either, the lyrics themselves made me get up and rummage round for alternative footwear. Shoes really if you must know--very nearly brown ones. I honestly don't think I'm kidding about this--Hemispheres too I've bunged in the Toshiba more than once, well away from that unspeakable cover--but if we could somehow selectively expunge Geddy Lee's excruciatingly cartoonical bleating we might just have ourselves here a right crunchy bunch of Canuckleheads....more info
  • Take your mind on a musical journey.
    Rush is a band more unique than any other. The music, the singing, everything. But more unique than anything are Rush's lyrics. It was at this point in their career that Rush started basing more and more of their songs on fantasy and mythology. Their songs make you think while rocking you. In my opinion, that is what makes a great band. Just rocking out to good music is fine, but when you finish listening and begin thinking about what you've heard, the real fun is experienced. I don't care what anyone says about Geedy Lee's voice, I personally love it. Anyway, A Farewell To Kings is one of Rush's finest moments. It starts out with "Farewell to Kings" which quickly goes from a folk-sounding acoustic piece to a hard rocking classic. This song is about bigotry and two-faced "leaders" full of hatred and greed. This song flows nicely into the epic "Xanadu", an eleven minute piece based on a poem about "Kubla Khan". This song features amazing guitar riffs, smooth time changes, and great use of the moog synthesizer. In my opinion, this is one of the best songs of Rush's entire career. Next comes "Closer to the Heart", the radio hit of the album. The song starts off quiet and slow, but turns into an pretty hard song somewhere in the middle. Alex Lifeson plays a rippin' guitar solo in this song. "Cinderella Man", the album's fourth song, is based on an old comedy called "Mr. Deeds Comes To Town". It tells of a Mandrake man's new-found wealth and his struggles along the way. Everything about this song is very good. The chorus, though the softest part, was probably the best. The next song, "Madrigal" is where the album seems to fall short. It's an okay song, but seems like filler compared to all the other songs on the album. Finally, the album ends with another epic, "Cygnus X-1 Book One- The Voyage". The song begins with what sounds like a spaceship and a creepy robot voice speaking of the black hole of Cygnus X-1. The vocals don't even start until five minutes into the song, which gives each member of the band time to do their thing. When the vocals do start, it's a full-out energetic rocker straight until the end. This song was to be continued on Rush's next album, Hemispheres.

    I highly recommend this album to newcomers to Rush and big fans alike. It's worth the price alone just for "Farewell to Kings", "Xanadu, and "Cygnus X-1", but the other songs are great as well. ...more info
  • Continued evolution.
    After four albums of being essentially a heavy metal band, Rush begins a new phase in their career. Gone are the dominance of loud guitars and screamed lead vocals (they're still there, mind you, just not as many), instead we get something else, melodic invention, the first heavy use of synthesizers on a Rush album, and some great material.

    Really, its the way the band has been headed since Neil Peart joined, but this album must have come as quite a shock in its time, opening with classical guitar and percussion, even as "A Farewell to Kings" moves into its riffs, its a much more open sound, much cleaner, much less noise, and Lee's taken his voice down a notch and sings in a more comfortable tone. The results are stunning, capped off by a blazing solo from Lifeson.

    The album moves into the extended work, "Xanadu"-- lacking the titled sections that previous long-form pieces have had, it nonetheless succeeds as much if not moreso than any of them. Opening with delicate percussion and muted guitars, eventually awakening into a triumphant piece, "Xanadu" shows just how far the band has come over the years. The composition is almost sparse-- not a note is wasted, and it works in ways none of their earlier suites, including "2112" did. This is followed by ecstatic slow-fast ballad "Closer to the Heart", a live favorite and just all around superb song.

    Unfortunately, that's about it for this album, "Cinderella Man" is pretty lifeless (although with a cute reprise of a "2112" theme) and "Madrigal" is totally unmemorable. The album's closer, "Cygnus X-1" does somewhat better, but invariably comparisons to "Xanadu" are made. It doesn't hold together as well, being more in the form of the long songs from the last couple albums-- nonetheless the synchronized playing on the opening (particularly Lee's killer bass tone) and the power of the final movement make this a worthwhile listen.

    Overall, a mixed effort, worth having certainly for the first half of it....more info
  • a majestic album fit for kings
    farewell to kings is one of the greatest rush albums after 2112 and contains my favourite rush songs like xanadu,cygnus x1 and closer to the heart.hugely recommended.five stars....more info
  • Rush RULES!
    I`ve been a RUSH fan since the band first came out. "Xanadu" is my favorite one on this CD.Also"Cygus X-1" is my second favorite."Closer To The Heart" STILL hear it on the radio. I love is CD. Alex, Geddy and Neil Peart make ME feel like leasons I allready have learnd....more info
  • Excellent album and follow up to the classic "2112"
    With "A Farewell to Kings", Rush achieved a new level of maturity in their songwriting, arrangements, and recording that they lacked on their previous albums. Every song on this album is very good, with "Xanadu" and "Closer to the Heart" being the best of the group. Most bands can't follow up a classic album this well, and Rush deserves a lot of credit for putting out a strong record like "A Farewell to Kings" after "2112". If I had to find one negative about this album, it would be that it doesn't have the same raw intensity of "2112". Every Rush fan will already own this, but still a strong recommendation to non-hardcore fans that want to own a few Rush albums....more info
  • Excellent progressive hard rock/metal
    I really enjoyed this 1977 album (way back when) and along with the excellent Hemispheres (1978), Farewell to Kings finds the band at a proggy peak. The overall sound of Farewell to Kings borrows heavily from English progressive rock, yet with a healthy dose of hard rock and heavy metal styles. Overall, I find the combination pretty exciting and the album makes for a great listen.

    The lineup on Farewell to Kings includes Geddy Lee (lead vocals, Rickenbacker 4001 bass, Taurus bass pedals, mini-moog synthesizer, and 12-string acoustic guitar); Neil Peart (drums and percussion); and Alex Lifeson (6 and 12 string electric and acoustic guitars, classical nylon guitar, and Taurus bass pedals). I think that of all the bands in the progressive hard rock/heavy metal genre (e.g. Kansas, Styx), Rush had the finest musicians. Geddy Lee is a superb bassist and along with incredible drummer Neil Peart made up one of the finest rhythm sections around. I recall listening to Neal's drumming in particular and loving the thunderous fills on his roto toms and the excellent double bass drum attacks here and there. Neal also happened to be a superb lyricist and his lyrics on Farewell to Kings are exceptional.

    The six tracks on the album range in length from 2'33" to the lengthy 11'05" Xanadu suite. Musically, this album borrows heavily from English progressive rock and the epic length pieces, odd time signatures, dense ensemble work, virtuoso performances, vaguely experimental sections, and sharp acoustic/electric contrasts are plastered all over the album. Synthesizers are used a lot too, which makes the comparison with the English prog bands unavoidable. There is also a prominent hard rock/heavy metal element present too - Geddy's vocal style really makes this come across, but the heavily distorted electric guitar also contributes. Although I really enjoy all of the tracks, my favorites include Xanadu and the lengthy 10'21" Cygnus X-1 suite (which was continued on Hemispheres). This track, along with Xanadu features some nice spacey, acoustic passages and the muscular riffs that featured prominently in a lot of their compositions. Cygnus X-1 also has it's crazy moments too, particularly on the frenzied closing passage whereby "sound and fury drowns my heart, every nerve is torn apart..." Of course, although I have been obsessing over the prog component of the album, there are some nice "songs" on the album too including Closer to the Heart and the delicate track Madrigal. The title track and Cinderella Man are concise, yet complex prog statements.

    This remastered album features great sound quality and restored cover art.

    All in all, this album is highly recommended along with the excellent Hemispheres. Other albums that might prove enjoyable include a few by Kansas including Song for America (1975); Leftoverture (1976); and Point of Know Return (1977). ...more info
  • Pure Rush at their finest
    A Farewell To Kings is Rush in their purest form. This album has it all. Great guitar, great keyboards, great synthesizers, great percussion, and great vocals. The album's songs also vary in subject matter. Everything from the end of kings, to a tropical paradise, to a semi-ballad, to a sinister sounding space song. Short songs and long songs. There are only six songs on the album, but all are great. The best three songs in my opinion are Xanadu, Cinderalla Man, and Cygnus X-1. Xanadu is epic length, full of keyboards and synthesizers. Great sound effects and awesome percussion by Neil Peart. I saw Rush play this live in 1994 and was blown away. During that same concert Rush teased the crowd a little by playing a brief part of Cygnus X-1, Geddy Lee's bass line near the beginning of the song. Cygnus X-1 is a song that has everything. It is actually quite scary sounding. Combine Lee's high pitched vocals with heavy guitar mixed with keys, synths, sound effects, Neil Peart's masterful drumming and Lee's familiar classic bass line at the beginning of the song, and you've got one terrifying sounding song. It is one of my favorite Rush songs ever. Do yourself a favor and buy this album. If you want to hear Rush in their purest form and arguably their finest hour, get this album.

    ...more info
  • Top 3
    Farewell is classic Rush. Xanadu is one Rush's best songs of all time. The title track, Farewell to Kings is also outstanding and shows the bands versatility. I would rank this release as a top 5 in the bands long history. My ranking would be Hemispheres and 2112 are 1 and 1A. With Farewell coming in at 3rd or 4th at the worst if youre going to go with Moving Pictures in 3rd. Either way, this is one of Rush's best, and should not be missed by any Rush fan. ...more info
  • 'Rush' out and get this album.
    I haven't heard 2112 but this is yet another great release from Rush that I've listened to more recently. The music on this album was very atmospheric and sounds very good especially Cygnus x-1 which has a sci-fi fantasy theme to it which also has a followup called cygnus book2 or something like that which is found on Hemispheres which is the next album after this, I just ordered these two albums from Amazon since I'm turning into a Rush fan. A Farewell To Kings starts of with a slow acoustic intro then the guitars and 70's sounding keyboards as well as the rest of the instruments start to progress and then become heavier, the next song Xanadu is about a guy who goes through a journey searching for Kubla Khan and it sounds like a long and epic track its also one of my favorites then theres Closer to the heart which is the single track that was released for this album and its quite good. Anyway you need to get this if you like progressive or classic rock music cause Rush are the best and are cleary one of the most talented and innovative musicians to play this type of music that I have ever seen. ...more info
  • Another Great Effort By The Boys From Toronto
    After the initial success of 2112, Rush took another step forward with A Farewell To Kings. Where 2112 was ambitious and sprawling, Kings is more concise and less gradiose, but still better musically than it's predecessor. You can feel Rush getting more mature, more comfortable with themselves, more cofident to honing their sound. The compositions here have reached a point where their song construction is clever, adept, and precise. The classical guitar on Kings, the intro to Xanadu, the acoustic phrasings of Closer To The Heart. You can feel Rush has evolved.



    A Farewell To Kings - I quoted this song in my High School yearbook back in the day. Great tune. Very mature. Alex shines.



    Xanadu - Epic! The intro is great with the birds and all the different percussion instruments Neil throws in. One of my personal favorites. Excellent. I scaled the frozen mountaintops of Eastern lands unknown....



    Closer To The Heart - A Rush classic along the lines of Spirit Of Radio or Tom Sawyer. Short, sweet and to the point. Perfect.



    Cinderella Man - An often overlooked song. Geddy wrote the lyrics to this tune and it works well. Solid.


    Madrigal - Probably the weakest song on the album. Not bad, just short and very reflective. Moody. Sounds like side two of 2112 Lessons or Tears. Not filler, just not spectacular Rush.



    Cygnus X-1 - The ten and a half minute vastly superior bastard son of The Necromancer. In the last few years Rush has started to perform this song live again. It is a killer tune, just throws me off a little bit with the distorted intro voice that makes me flash back to Caress of Steel. Defiinitely jams.





    Overall, you can feel that Rush has reached a point in their career where they actually feel in control of themselves and their music. The polished feel of these songs speaks volumes for them as perfectionists and muscians. One of the string of truly great Rush albums that span from 2112 to Moving Pictures on the older side of the Rush catalog.



    Dig it!...more info
  • A Farewell To Kings, one of Rush's best
    A Farewell To Kings was Rush's 5th studio album (6th overall album), which was released in September of 1977. Here is the song list:

    1. A Farewell To Kings) This song has great guitar work by Alex and a very fast tempo. Good lyrics by Peart. A+
    2. Xanadu) Although it's 11 minutes long, it's still a wonderful song. The first 5 minutes are instrumental followed by some singing by Geddy. A+
    3. Closer To The Heart) This song is one of the shorter Rush songs and is often played on the radio. Good pace and good singing. A+
    4. Cinderella Man) This is the only song on the album written by Geddy Lee. This song is not my favorite because of the song's tempo. B
    5. Madrigal) This is not a fast song like Cinderella Man, so again not my favorite. C+
    6. Cygnus X-1) Like Xanadu because of the length and the instrumental start. This song has a great start and has great singing in the later half of the song. A+

    Great Album, 5 Stars!...more info
  • One of the Best Rush Albums Ever!
    One of the greatest moments of Rush was the album "2112". After that they made this "A Farewell to Kings". The title track is a great rockin' track. The next track "Xanadu" has it all - the slow moments, the rough moments. It was also quite a popular in live concerts. "Closer to the Heart" is probably one of the most memorable tracks from this album. It is peaceful and very touching. "Cinderella Man" is also a great song although not as great as the three first tracks. "Madrigal" is probably the worst track on this album but it is also a great song. It is only two and half minutes. At first I didn't even notice it but after that I started to like it. "Cygnus X-1" is the goofiest Rush song ever made - but still...an awesome song. It is the first part - the second part can be found in the album "Hemispheres".
    Stars: Cygnus X-1, Xanadu, Closer to the Heart...more info
  • Happy birthday "Farewell To Kings" you're 30 years young!!! This album is a classic made even better with awesome remastering!!!
    What a great album by Rush!!! It still sounds as good as the day it came out!!! I Can't beleive this classic release is 30 years young and counting!!! I had this on LP(got scratched!),8 Track(got eaten!),audio cassette(got worn out!) and now on CD!!! Incredible playing from all!!! A classic in evert sense of the word!!! Every song is great!!! A masterwork!!! Great job Neil Peart,Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson!!! Great remastering job by Mercury Records!!! One great CD!!! ...more info
  • This underrated album is also Rush's Best.
    The title of this album says it all. In this album, Rush finally manages to finally distance themselves from their blatant Led Zeppelin roots heard in previous albums. The Hard Rocking riffs still appear without shame, but here Rush mixes in synth and complex time signatures and inventive song structures. And while they've continued to evolve since this release I still believe this to be their best.
    In terms of songwriting this album kills. Xanadu, based on the opium-induced Samuel Taylor Coleridge poem Kubla Khan is in my mind unquestionly the best song this band ever penned. It opens with ethreal moog synthesizer sounds, and builds up into a complex 11 minute rocking tale of the search for immortality. The lyrics are mindblowingly vivid and the musicianship is absolutely stellar. Elsewhere the title track with its crazy solos and classical guitar opener are excellent. Cygnus X-1 has one of the greatest Rush intros ever, and Closer to the Heart and Cinderella Man are both excellent short rockers, something which Rush up until this point struggled with.
    While their Early 80s releases where their most popular, most fans of true "progressive rock" actually prefer their late 70s output. And this is probably the pinnacle of Rush's progressive era, even with stiff competition from other LPs like 2112 and Hemispheres...more info
  • A Farewell To Kings, one of Rush's best
    A Farewell To Kings was Rush's 5th studio album (6th overall album), which was released in September of 1977. Here is the song list:

    1. A Farewell To Kings) This song has great guitar work by Alex and a very fast tempo. Good lyrics by Peart. A+
    2. Xanadu) Although it's 11 minutes long, it's still a wonderful song. The first 5 minutes are instrumental followed by some singing by Geddy. A+
    3. Closer To The Heart) This song is one of the shorter Rush songs and is often played on the radio. Good pace and good singing. A+
    4. Cinderella Man) This is the only song on the album written by Geddy Lee. This song is not my favorite because of the song's tempo. B
    5. Madrigal) This is not a fast song like Cinderella Man, so again not my favorite. C+
    6. Cygnus X-1) Like Xanadu because of the length and the instrumental start. This song has a great start and has great singing in the later half of the song. A+

    Overall it is a great album. The CD booklet contain some early photos of the band and the lyrics to every song. This is the remastered edition of the CD so it sounds a little better than the original.

    Great Album, 5 Stars!...more info
  • Rush CD
    It's a Rush cd. What else needs to be said. Excellent vocal and music. Perfect for driving or just listening to. ...more info
  • A True Progressive Rock/Metal Masterpiece
    I bought Rush's 1977 release "A Farewell to Kings" just last month, and I've really been listening to it alot since then, it's just simply amazing, I really love it. Rush have really become one of my favorite progressive rock bands lately, they're also one of the best bands in rock period. I own eight Rush albums (including their 1974 self-titled debut, Fly By Night, Moving Pictures, 2112, Permanent Waves, Presto, and Counterparts), and I've become a bigger fan of Rush with each album that I listen to, and "A Farewell to Kings" is definately an acception, no questions asked. This album is just absolutely brilliant from start to finish, and it's also Rush's strongest and best album from the 70's in my opinion. Their breakthrough release from 1976 "2112" is an outstanding album, as well as one of the band's best, but it's this album that takes Rush's sound to a whole new different level of pure progressive musical brilliance, and it also shows the band at their peak as well. This album is also the first to feature the use of synthesizers, which really add to the band's progressive sound.

    The production on here is once again handled by Terry Brown, and his producing never fails. Frontman Geddy Lee's trademark high ranged vocals are top notch as always, and his bass playing is just totally unreal and amazing. I know that I've said it before in some of my previous Rush reviews here, but Geddy is definately one of rock's all time best bassists, no questions asked. He also uses Mini-Moog and bass-pedal synthesizers as well, and they really add to the progressiveness of the album here as I mentioned before. Alex Lifeson is an awesome guitarist, and he's also been regarded as one of rock's most underrated guitarists, and I really find that to be a shame, but he's awesome nonetheless. His riffs are just awesome and his solos are even better especially on "Closer to the Heart" and the 11 minute epic "Xanadu", and he also experiments with classical and twelve string guitars as well. Neil Peart's drumming is just outstanding and breathtaking and perfectly timed throughout. His percussioning is also diversified on here as he adds different kinds of percussion including cowbells, orchestra bells, wind chimes, triangle, bell tree, vibra-slap, tubular bells, and temple blocks. His is simply without a doubt one of rock's greatest drummers of all time, and when it comes to writing lyrics, this guy truly takes the cake.

    There are only six songs on AFTK, but hey, I'm not going to complain, seeing that they're all awesome, so let's check them out shall we. The opening title track starts off with a nice peaceful acoustic guitar intro until going into a hard rocking barrage that features excellent riffing and soloing, powerful basswork and drumming, and strongly executed vocals, all before ending with an acoustic outro, while track two "Xanadu" is a phenomenal 11 minute sci-fi/fantasy epic that is lyrically based on Samuel Taylor Coleridge's poem "Kubla Khan". This is my personal favorite song on this album. Words just cannot even describe how much I love this song. It's also one of my favorite Rush songs as well. The first five minutes of this song is instrumental which features some nice atmospheric synths and wind chimes until Alex cuts in with a cool, addicting melodic guitar riff which is later followed by more heavier muscular riffage, sharp basslines, and fantastic drumwork. Geddy's vocals finally come into play around the 5 minute mark with these great opening lyrics: "To seek the sacred river Alph, to walk the caves of ice, to break my fast on honey dew, and drink the milk of paradise..." Neil's drumming is just fantastic throughout, and Alex's riffing is just catchy and mindblowing, and there's a sweet, killer guitar solo from him around 9:32 before going into an addicting epic finale. This song is definately an epic that you must hear to believe. Next up, we have "Closer to the Heart" which is the album's big hit single, as well as a favorite among Rush fans that features a great acoustic intro, along with great vocals from Geddy, and a fantastic guitar solo by Alex to boot.

    The next song "Cinderella Man" (which was written by Geddy) is a great, catchy guitar driven rocker that boasts a nice and catchy sing-a-long chorus that has some nice acoustic guitar backing it up, and there's also some killer thumping bass work by Geddy as well. This is another great song I thought. Next up, track five "Madrigal" is a short but dreamy, mellow acoustic piece that leads up to the incredibly unpredictable 10+ minute sci-fi epic "Cygnus X-1" which is written in three movements. It lyrically tells of an astronaut's journey through outer space into the black hole of the constellation known as Cygnus. The song starts off with a cool digitized speech and creepy droning synth effects, and before you know it, you are in for one serious hard rocking thrillride. The band's musicianship is just absolutely jaw-dropping, madly insane, and off the hook throughout this song. The riffs are massively heavy and muscular, the bass just thumps like crazy, the time signatures are outstanding, Neil's drumming is just incredible and it's some of his most complexed and madly insane on here, and of course Geddy really lets loose with some sweet, out of control wails near the end. This is definately without question one of the most insane sounding songs that Rush have ever written, and one of their best songs as well.

    Favorite songs: ALL OF THEM OF COURSE!!

    Overall, "A Farewell to Kings" is definately one of Rush's best and most important albums in their catalog, and it's also their strongest and best album from the 70's era as I said earlier, and this is coming from a guy who enjoys listening to Amon Amarth, Death, Atheist, Behemoth, Origin, Nile, Deicide, Cannibal Corpse, Meshuggah, Suffocation, Decapitated, etc. I've always been a fan of classic/progressive rock as well, and Rush are truly one of the best I've ever heard in my life. If you're new to Rush, AFTK would really be a great album to start with along with Moving Pictures (1981), Permanent Waves (1980), and 2112 (1976). If you're already a fan of Rush like I'am, then by all means I highly recommend this classic progressive rock/metal masterpiece. Trust me, it does good justice to a classic album like this. Enjoy!!...more info
  • Inconsistent, but worth getting if you like progressive rock
    This is the record where Rush officially became a progressive rock band. And of all the Rush albums I have, this one has to be the least consistent, albeit not the least successful. If we ignore the first three records, this one has Rush's most successful (Xanadu) and least successful (Cygnus X-1) extended compositions. It also has one of their most memorable (Closer to the Heart) and one of their least memorable (Madrigal) songs. Add a pretty good opener (the title track) and another average track (Cinderella Man) and you have the definition of a three-star album. I am glad that I got this, because the good stuff makes it worth the price of admission. XANADU in particular is just marvelous and worthy of all the praise I've seen heaped upon it by Rush fans over the years. However, if you're new to Rush, any of the next three records (Hemispheres, Permanent Waves, or Moving Pictures) would be a better place to start. ...more info
  • Rock Kings
    Could there be any band that embodies rock epics more than Rush? "Xanadu" was the very first Rush song I heard, and it remains at the top of my favorite Rush songs. Close behind is "Cygnus X-1", the tale of a space voyager traveling through a black hole. (Scientific fact: Cygnus X-1 IS believed to be the first black hole discovered -- it was deteced in the early seventies by orbiting X-ray telescopes; Rush practically smmed up what science knew about these mysterious objects.) The shorter, radio-friendly tracks are all worthy of course; but they can easily be overlooked when sanwiched between "Xanadu" and "Cygnus X-1". This is a Rush essential!...more info
  • FYI: the origin of Cinderella Man.
    This is a great CD and one of my favorites from Rush and I really can't add anything that hasn't already been said. I would however like to point out one thing: the origin of the song Cinderella Man. I looked over most of the reviews (not all) to see if anyone else mentions it but I don't think so. I really like Cinderella Man and it sort of bothers me when I read that people think it's the weakest track on the CD, or that Geddy didn't know what he was thinking, or as one reviewer put it, "it just freaks me out." . The truth is the song is based on an old 1936 Frank Capra movie titled "Mr. Deeds goes to Town". It's a really fun screwball comedy that stars Gary Copper as Mr. Deeds (The Cinderella Man) and furthermore it was quite popular in its day. So, if you're ever in the mood for a fun classic movie, check it out. Hopefully you'll then have a whole new appreciation for Geddy's song. RUSH has never done anything stupid therefore if the song doesn't make any sense to you just check out the film....more info
  • not as good as people make it out to be
    this cd is not their best, but it consistently places high on Rush fans' lists of their best albums. Personally I don't really like the well-known songs, because I think the arrangements aren't very well done, and Geddy's voice still annoyed me a bit at that time. I wouldn't recommend buying it, instead you should get Different Stages because that has an old Hammersmith Odeon concert from the tour after this album, and the best songs from this cd are on the live set. The only reason to get this cd is for Xanadu, which is one of their best full-length songs. If the songs "farewell to kings" and "closer to the heart" are of your liking, go ahead and get the cd, because then it is worth it. But the 2 aforementioned songs are also on Chronicles, so consider that in your purchases. ...more info
  • THE rush album
    I remember the first time I heard "A Farewell to Kings," I was 14 years old and the album had just come out, my older brother went out and got it, but I immediately siezed it for myself, I remember sitting by the speakers for hours captivated by Geddy Lee's sexy, seductive voice. Then there's Neal Pert's amazing drumming, and the blazing guitar riffs, they're all in tip-top shape on this masterpiece. I've been a HUGE Rush fan ever since I got this album, and it has remained my favorite ever since. Who can blame me? It just rocks so hard. Tracks like the title track and Xanadu are hard for any rocker to ignore. My favorite thing about this album though, is Geddy Lee. Her voice is so sultry that I can't help but be a bit attracted her. Geddy if you're looking for a man, gimme a call!

    -Roger...more info

  • Love RUSH
    Excellent Rush album, as always. In BRAND NEW condition, great price, quick service. Thank you....more info