Retrospective I & II

Bass guitar, bass pedals, synthesizers, vocals

Electric and acoustic guitars, synthesizers

Drums, percussion, electronic percussion

Drums on "Finding My Way"

Compiled by Bas Hartong and Bill Levenson in association with Rush and Anthem Entertainment
Mastered by Bob Ludwig and Brian Lee at Gateway Mastering Studios, Portland, Maine
Art Direction and Design by Hugh Syme

Retrospective I
Cover Painting by Dan Hudson
Produced by Rush (14), Rush and Terry Brown (1-13)

Retrospective II
Cover Painting by Hugh Syme
Produced by Rush & Terry Brown (2,3,6,11,13,14), Rush & Peter Henderson (7,9,12), Rush & Peter Collins (1,4,5,8,10,15)

© 1997 Mercury Records © 1997 Anthem Entertainment


  • Retrospective I was released May 6, 1997, the same day as the remasters of RUSH through Permanent Waves. Retrospective II was released June 3, 1997, along with the remasters of Moving Pictures through Hold Your Fire. The remasters of the live albums All The World's A Stage, Exit Stage Left and A Show Of Hands were released on July 1, 1997.
  • Combined, Retrospective I & II were the second North American compilations from Rush's first 12 studio albums from their Mercury years (1974-1987). Unlike the previous compilation, Chronicles, these contain remastered tracks. Gold, a reissue of Retrospectives I and II as one package using the same remastered tracks, was released in 2006 with a reworking of the Retrospectives covers, and the same track listing as the combined Retrospectives disks with the exception of "Something for Nothing" being deleted and "Working Man" being added.
  • These collections sold poorly, and did not make the Billboard Top 200. The first volume sold only 5,556 it's first week, and the second only 3,717, in an era when it takes 6,000 to 8,000 the first week to crack the bottom of the Billboard Top 200. Rush would break the Top 200 six years later with a single disc compilation covering the same era of material, The Spirit Of Radio Greatest Hits, which was released shortly after the Vapor Trails tour and supported by a big marketing push.
  • Retrospective I includes nearly the same songs found on disc 1 of Chronicles, but drops Working Man, What You're Doing (live) and A Farewell to Kings, and replaces them with By-tor and the Snowdog, Something for Nothing and Xanadu.
  • Retrospective II includes nearly the same songs found on disc 2 of Chronicles, but drops three songs (A Passage to Bangkok [live], Manhattan Project and Show Don't Tell), and replaces them with four others (The Analog Kid, The Body Electric, Marathon and Mission).
  • Click here for the 'Retrospectives' Transcript Archive.

In Their Own Words

"I got a little bit involved because I didn't want [Mercury Records] doing what they had done the last time they did a thing like that [Chronicles]. Last time they did it, I thought they did a really shoddy job in terms of the song order...purely chronological, and the artwork was lame. So I got involved myself and made sure the artwork was decent and I made up a setlist of the songs of the two different periods of those retrospectives-I made up the title too (laughs) if it were a live show. So it's a much nicer representation of the material for anyone who does want to get a sampler like that, which I often do as a consumer. If there's a band which I don't really love well enough to buy all of their records...I'd rather really just have the finer points. I don't mind if they put together a nice package of material like that. So, I just tried to make it a little better." - Neil Peart,, June 5, 1997
"It was a deal that we came up with between us and (Mercury). They wanted to put together the greatest hits packages. We agreed to that if they would remaster all the albums beforehand and release them in their original packaging for our fans to listen to them how we would have liked them to. They did a great job. They were very cooperative with us. Bob Ludwig remastered all of them and I approved all of them once he was done. The people at Polygram were just fantastic in dealing with all of that, they really pulled it off. I think all the remasters series sound great in their new form. We are very happy with them ourselves." - Geddy Lee, Spirit of Rush, Winter 1999
"Maybe I unwittingly or subconsciously thought 'Chronicles was a bit too retiring, let's do something that celebrates a little bit more.' We brought the man in the red back because Moving Pictures had red janitorial overalls and it was enough time [after Chronicles] that I got to kind of, in a self-serving way, create a gallery of my own work. Which was not a bad place to be for someone who's been so fortunate to have the loyalties of a band like Rush." - Hugh Syme,, September 2021


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