Geddy Lee - Lead Vocals & Bass
Alex Lifeson - Guitars & Vocals
John Rutsey - Drums & Vocals
Road Crew - Ian Grandy & Liam Birt
All music published by Core Music Publishing (SOCAN)
All songs composed by Lee & Lifeson except 'In The Mood' composed by Lee
*Recorded at Toronto Sound Studios
^Recorded at Eastern Sound
Remixed at Toronto Sound, Remix Engineer-Terry Brown
Mastered at Masterdisk
Produced by RUSH
Photographs by BIC Photography
All arrangements by RUSH
Album cover design by Paul Weldon
For best results play at maximum volume.
Moon Records Release:
Special thanks to: Abbey Road Pub and Staff, Doc Cooper, Mr. & Mrs. G. Grandy, Cousin Glenn McLaren, Hal Greeson, Kalua Music, Drew Metcalf, Music Shoppe International, Sheila Posner, R.P.M., Peter Taylor, Paul Weldon
Mercury Records Release:
Special thanks to-Denny Rosencrantz/Cliff Burnstein/Charlie Fach
Of course not to forget all those who have made this possible. Jeff Franklin - Ira Blacker - Sol Saffian - Greg McCutcheon - Wally Meyrowitz - Marsha Weiss - Joe McHugh - Lezlee Monchak - Bob Roper - Peter Taylor - Glenn McLaren - Thanks to Mike & Jules Belkin for their early belief.
With Special Thanks to Donna Halper of WMMS in Cleveland for getting the ball rolling
A Moon Production Inc/Personal Direction: Ray Daniels & Vic Wilson of S.R.O. Productions, Toronto, Canada.
Moon Records, March 1974 / Mercury/Polygram, August 10, 1974
© 1974 Mercury Records © 1974 Anthem Entertainment
"The version features a never before heard guitar solo that Alex Lifeson did during the original recordings back in the 70's. The song was re-mixed by Rich Chycki who is known for his work on R30 and Snakes & Arrows. A great addition to the Rush song library!" - Rush.com, July 21, 2008
"Most of the material on the first album had existed for five years-the band had played it around bars and high schools in Ontario." - Neil Peart, Circus Magazine, November 25, 1976
"If their first album, set to be released sometime this month on the Moon label, is a success, they will really be on their way. The album, which contains only original material, was first recorded last April at Eastern Sound. They weren't quite satisfied with this version, so they went to Toronto Sound and redid the album. It was then planned to be released at the first of December, but because of the vinyl shortage, and other typical hassles in the record industry, it was held up." - Eye, March 21, 1974
"Part of the album was recorded at Eastern Sound in early 1973 and in November of the same year they went over to Toronto Sound to re-record some of it and totally remix it." - Billboard, November 9, 1974
"We'd start playing at nine and finish at one in the morning; we played three or four sets a night. Afterwards, we'd take all our gear out of the bar and move it into an 8-track studio. We'd set up and then record from 2:30 to 8:00 in the morning. In addition, the producer didn't know what he was doing. It was just crazy...After we finally heard the original mixes, we went, 'Wow! There's something wrong with this. It doesn't sound good.' You know, it sounded really dinky and wimpy. And we were disappopinted. So we figured that the guy in charge of the production just didn't know what he was doing. He was a good engineer, I guess, but he was no producer. Se we were freaked out, and our managers were freaked out because we'd spent all this money and it didn't sound right. So one of our managers knew an engineer/producer named Terry Brown who'd come over from England; he had his own studio in Toronto. We took the takes to him, and after listening to them he couldn't believe how poorly recorded the stuff was. So we made a deal that we'd work 48 hours straight in this studio in an effort to fix up the tapes-that's all the money we could afford. So in that 48 hours, we redid three songs from top to bottom, and fixed up all the other tracks as best we could, and then remixed them. It made quite a difference-it's still a real raw-sounding album, but at least it has some balls to it." - Geddy Lee, Guitar Player, June 1980
Released in early September, Rush's debut single "Not Fade Away", a cover of the Buddy Holly original, backed by the Rush original "You Can't Fight It", debuted at #99 on the Canadian Top 100 singles chart. As explained by Geddy, after reviewing the initial recordings made for the album, three songs were re-recorded with Terry Brown. Although it is unclear, it appears that those three songs replaced three previously recorded songs, two of them being the songs originally recorded for the debut single:
"The newly formed Moon label has released its first single through London 'Not Fade Away' by Rush." - Billboard, September 15, 1973
"'Not Fade Away', not too many people have that. That was honestly a very limited run of records, and that particular record was done with the original producer, David Stock, who produced the first album in about two hours and it sounded like it was maybe done in two or three minutes. We just did a version of it that sounded good! It was real powerful, nothing like the Rolling Stones version or the original version. It was a lot more powerful. It was a lot of fun to play! And playing the bars, it was a song that always went over really well. We use to close with it or we close a set with it." - Alex Lifeson, "A Total Access Pass To Rush", The Source, NBC's Young Adult Network, June 8, 1984
"'Finding My Way', 'Need Some Love' and, I think, 'Here Again' were the songs that we rerecorded for the record. So we dropped 'Not Fade Away', 'Can't Fight It', and there may have been another one*...'In The Mood' was probably at least two years old, if not three, when we recorded the first record." - Geddy Lee, Contents Under Pressure
*The third song Geddy mentioned as being dropped from the original tracklist was likely "Fancy Dancer", another Rush original performed in the early '70's which during a performance on November 19, 1974, was introduced as "one that will probably be on our next album". Another pre-Peart original from the early days, "Garden Road", was last performed less than a month after Neil joined the band (before being resurrected in 2015 on the R40 Tour). In the 1988 "Rush Backstage Club Newsletter", when asked why "Fancy Dancer" and "Garden Road" were never officially released, Neil replied:
"... two original songs written before I joined the band... Well, why do you think we never recorded them?"
Terry Brown remembers the three re-recorded songs as being different from those that Geddy recalls:
"I first got involved with Rush when they were doing their first album [1974's Rush]. They'd recorded a bunch of eight-tracks on the graveyard shift in a studio in Toronto, but they didn't know what to do with them or how to mix it. They called me up; we added three new tunes, What You're Doing, Before And After and Working Man, and mixed the album in three days. We had such a good time they asked me to get involved on a long-term basis." - Terry Broon, Classic Rock Special Edition, June 11, 2012
Although Rush had been performing many of these songs for years on the bar circuit, apparently many of the lyrics were never finalized until the recording of the album.
"The funny thing is, John was the lyricist in the band at the time, and he wouldn't submit the lyrics for any of these songs. So Geddy had to quickly put some lyrics together for it. I wrote the lyrics to 'Here Again,' but everything else was just sort of thrown together. And I think John probably regrets that, you know, to this day." - Alex Lifeson Contents Under Pressure
"I was going through a real struggle at this time with the band. I said to myself, 'I feel like quitting.' I was just a mixed-up kid and I began writing all sorts of additional lyrics for the songs, because most of the lyrics we had at the time were just whatever rhymed, whatever fitted in, 'cause we never really spent much time at all on the lyrics. So then finally we said, 'We've got to get some decent lyrics. This is silly, just saying whatever pops into your head and then trying to remember it the next night.' So we made a conscious effort and I started writing some lyrics. I was really having a hard time with myself and what I wanted to do with the band. I was very mixed up, I'd written a lot of lyrics and then I tore them up and never presented them. So when we went in and did the album all the old lyrics were sung. It's funny, because to this day I still can't remember why I did that. All I can attribute that to was that, at the time, I was just very confused about what I wanted to do. I really regret it because it was an incredibly selfish, stupid thing to do. But when you are young, unfortunately you do things like that. My mood would change from day to day, I had spent a lot of time on them and some of them were decent." - John Rutsey, Visions
Alex Lifeson has recently discussed the possible existence and future release of some pre-1974 recodings which were recently discovered in his archives:
"I was up at my studio - I'm upgrading and changing my control room around a little bit. Rich [Chycki] and I have sort of 'moved in together' in there. And I was cleaning up the back room...and I just found a case that was way up on the top shelf, and at the bottom of this box were a bunch of reel-to-reel, unlisted, unmarked, recordings - and I can only imagine that they're pre-'74. So, they would probably be from between '70 and '73...recordings from that period. So, they would probably have songs like 'Run Willie Run,' and 'Slaughterhouse,' and 'Garden Road,' and all of those early songs that we wrote and played during our bar days...I'll see what sort of shape they're in. I know a couple of the reels were...you know those small reels, and I've got to think that even spooling them might be a problem, never mind me playing them. Anyway, I just discovered them, so who knows? There may be something in the near future." - Alex Lifeson - Guitar International, January 23, 2009
John Rutsey passed away peacefully in his sleep on May 11, 2008, from a heart attack due to complications from his lifelong affliction with type-1 diabetes.
"RUTSEY, John Howard - It is with deep sadness that John's family announces his untimely passing due to complications from his lifelong affliction with diabetes, at age 55. Donations may be made in John's memory to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, 7100 Woodbine Avenue, Suite 311, Markham, ON, L3R 5J2 (online: www.jdrf.ca, by phone: 905-944-4631). Online Condolences: firstname.lastname@example.org. Published in the National Post on 5/15/2008."
"Our memories of the early years of Rush when John was in the band are very fond to us. Those years spent in our teens dreaming of one day doing what we continue to do decades later are special. Although our paths diverged many years ago, we smile today, thinking back on those exciting times and remembering John's wonderful sense of humour and impeccable timing. He will be deeply missed by all he touched." - Alex & Geddy, Rush.com, May 16, 2008
"I'm very glad that the documentary qualified once and for all that, no, [original drummer] John Rutsey was not a drug addict. He didn't have to leave the band because of heroin or all of these horrible things that were being said about the guy. He had severe diabetes. Which today, you can test yourself in the morning. You can administer your own shot of insulin. But in 1974, not so much. You had to go to a hospital. And if you were in a rock band and you had to stop down every four hours while your guy went to the hospital-it just wasn't working out. Whether you're a little band in Toronto-yeah sure, they'll wait around four hours while John goes and gets tested. But in the real world, they were kids. They had something on their mind. They wanted to plan. They wanted to dream. And when they got older, they needed the flexibility to be able to travel. And John couldn't do it. And I know how bitter he became. I know how sad he was. Not bitter at the guys; he understood what happened. But bitter at the hand he was dealt. And I think years later he would have been dealt an entirely different hand. There are diabetic musicians who are out there, and are very successful. But back then, he was kind of born too soon.." - Donna Halper, TheClevelandSound.com, April 6, 2011