Rush - '2112' (Deluxe Edition)

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Rush - '2112' (Deluxe Edition)

At over £40 it's a tad expensive and one for die-hards only.

OK, so there's absolutely no need to review the music here as any fan who would even consider buying this would already be intimately acquainted with it, especially as all three of the versions released (CD/DVD, CD & Blu-Ray or Super Deluxe Box) are the most expensive of the different formats available of Rush's breakthrough release.

Just to get the complaints out of the way first. Most will be buying this to get the 5.1 mix of the album, right? So why hike up the price by including the same re-mastered CD that we already got in last year's 'Sector 1' box set? Secondly, why change the iconic artwork? The original wasn't a masterpiece by any means but has forever become associated with one of Rush's most important releases, so why change it? Even though Hugh Syme has designed it, I don't think it's as classy as the original. Also, as good as the three bonus live tracks sound, 'Overture' and 'Temples Of Syrinx' were recorded in 1981 and 'A Passage To Bangkok' in 1980 (at a show I was at in Manchester no less!), so they're not even from the same period as the album and had started to evolve from the original versions.

As the main selling point, the 5.1 mix is pretty damn good with the album's many acoustic guitar parts ringing out like never before and the various other production features, like the waterfall in 'Soliloquy' and Neil Peart's percussion in 'A Passage To Bangkok', all sounding remarkably vibrant and clear. However, as enjoyable as it is I don't think the bottom end kicks with quite the intensity that it did on the 'A Farewell To Kings', 'Moving Pictures' and 'Signals' remixes, although admittedly the album probably wasn't recorded as well as those were. It does show up extra layers on some of the tracks from the second side, with 'Twilight Zone', 'Lessons' and 'Tears' all sounding better than ever before. Should you want to shell out for the Super Deluxe version you get some nice book-style packaging and a well illustrated comic, along with links to an iBook with preliminary drawings for the comic and unpublished photos, but at over £40 it's a tad expensive and one for die-hards only. It's worth the price of one of the cheaper versions for the 5.1 mix but I do worry about how much it's all going to cost if they start remixing the albums in between what's already available.

Phil Ashcroft

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