Okay, so this is the box-set for all those Rush albums I’ve been listening to. I thought I’d just do a quick round-up of my thoughts on the set as a whole. The set is, of course, remastered and, having not heard the originals, all I can say is that the sound is genuinely superlative. Given the fact that I didn’t really love the albums, it brings to mind the old joke: I have heard many better albums; I have seldom heard any albums better. The set contains a DVD with a “DVD-Audio” mix of A Farewell to Kings. I played it on my big sound system at home through my BR player and I couldn’t tell any appreciable difference between the DVD and CD of the album, but whatever. The set definitely worked for my purposes, as in giving me several albums to listen to at one go and also to really catch a transitional period. It was cool to go hear A Farewell to Kings and Hemispheres back to back and get the whole Cygnus thing and to see them really push the experimentation to extreme levels. And then to pop out the wildly experimental Hemispheres and immediately pop in Permanent Waves and hear the band go as pop as they did on that album was also really cool; it really helped me kind of see the progression of the band over a fairly tumultuous five year period of their career and the contrasts in the sound stood out really sharply because of that. Unfortunately, I ended up not caring for the music that much, but viewed as a box set, it’s a good one. Still, with five albums under my belt, I feel I’ve given them a fair chance. I did a straight average of the ratings I gave the albums and came up with an overall rating of 1.8. That would round up to two, not down to one-and-a-half, I suppose, so that seems fair. Taken as a whole, this box set is pretty well just average. I’d say don’t bother. 2 stars.
tl;dr – box set is well put together and gives a solid overview of the band’s evolution over five years, but, unfortunately, it’s hard to care when the music is, by and large, bland. 2 stars.