This one goes out to Rich from KamerTunesBlog, a great, informed site that you should check out.
RUSH – Sector 2 (2011 box set, 5 CD + 1 DVD)
Damn you Rush. Damn you!
If it wasn’t for the fact that I liked their past 5.1 mixes so much, I wouldn’t have bought each of these albums again in this box set. And the fact that only one album (A Farewell To Kings) has been mixed in 5.1 really grinds my gears. Because you know more is coming. 2112, recently released as a part of Sector 1, in normal stereo, is now coming again in 5.1. It’s obvious Rush are going to continue to issue 5.1 mixes of their albums, in seemingly random order, which will probably make these box sets completely redundant in the future.
Rich Chycki did the 5.1 mix once again, and once again, it’s a pleasure to listen to. In particular I found “Cygnus X-1” to really benefit from the treatment. The swirly opening section made me feel as if I too was aboard the Rocinante, wheeling through the galaxies. The album sounds three dimensional, clear, shimmery. I’m very happy with the 5.1 mix.
Farewell is included on a standard stereo remastered CD, and also in stereo on the DVD. I have read online that there are flaws with the stereo mix of this DVD but I’ve never played it. I’m not that much of an audiophile that I would really care to, when I already have a CD.
The other CD’s included in the set, aside from A Farewell To Kings, are:
- Permanent Waves
- Moving Pictures
- Exit…Stage Left
…all of which I have now bought more than once. In Moving Pictures‘ case, three times now, since they just issued that as a deluxe edition with a 5.1 surround blu-ray last year! (Reviewed here.) Bastards.
I’m not going to review each individual album in this set. That comprehensive task would require separate blog entries of their own. They’re all great, of course. Some (Moving Pictures) more so than others (Hemispheres) in my own personal opinion. And of course, within this box set you will get such classics as “Closer To The Heart”, “The Trees”, “The Spirit of Radio”, “Freewill”, “YYZ”, “Limelight”, and “Vital Signs”. In addition there are plenty of brilliant album tracks like “La Villa Strangiato” and “Natural Science”.
The box itself is attractive enough, and if you’re sucked into buying all three, then they all fit together on your shelf as one handsome library. But you already own some of these albums, if not all, don’t you? The bait is that 5.1 mix of Farewell. And it pisses me off that Rush would treat their fans in that way. Why not just remaster and re-release these albums on their own and in a box set?
The individual album packaging is nice enough too, mini record sleeve reproductions, with a nice booklet with lyrics and liner notes for the whole shebang, all taken from the albums. As far as the booklet goes, there’s no exclusive essays or other content that is new to me.
And as for the new remastering? I can’t tell the difference between this and the 1997 remasters. I can’t. Sorry. I’m sure an audiophile would call me an idiot for saying so.
I probably won’t buy Sectors 1 and 3, not unless the prices drop dramatically. I was able to re-gift my original Rush remasters off to other people, which is one way of dealing with the duplicates, but I’m not going to be getting rid of my deluxe Moving Pictures, since it has the blu-ray and a David Fricke essay. So I’ve got two copies of that, and people who collect 5.1 mixes and have Sector 1 will end up with two copies of 2112. Nice eh?
A Farewell To Kings 5.1 mix: 5/5 stars
Sector 2 box set: 1/5 stars