Mercury Records continue their extensive Rush 40th anniversary album series with new expanded editions of the band's groundbreaking 1981 record Moving Pictures, embodying its well-deserved classic album status.
Rush's eighth studio album Moving Pictures was originally released in 1981, and its adventurous yet accessible music catapulted the forward-thinking Canadian band to even greater heights than imagined, even with the prior success of albums like 2112 and Permanent Waves.
The album's seven songs expertly blended Rush's intrinsic prowess for channeling its progressive roots into radio-friendly arrangements, a template the band had mastered to a T all throughout 1980s deservedly lauded Permanent Waves. Moving Pictures was also the second of many recording sessions at Le Studio in Morin-Heights, Quebec, which was ultimately nicknamed the trio's own personal Abbey Road.
The album's lead track, "Tom Sawyer," became one of rock music's most cherished FM favorites - one of those songs people know even if they don’t know who Rush is - in addition to taking its rightful place as a perpetual concert staple for decades. Next, the band shifts into the multi-generational dreamscape of "Red Barchetta," which chronicles the thrills and chills of a high-stakes backroads car race. The instrumental barnburner "YYZ," lovingly named after the airport identification code for Toronto's Pearson International Airport, runs the gamut of the band's forever impressive progressive chops in under four minutes flat. Side A closes out with the observational luminescence of "Limelight," a timeless, if not prescient look at how introverted artists grapple with public demands while trying to maintain a personal level of earned privacy.
Side B commences with the expansive palette of "The Camera Eye," a ten-minute-long travelogue that takes a bird's eye view of the inherent hustle and bustle of New York City counterbalanced with the intense energy and deep-rooted history of London. "Witch Hunt" offers a grim view of prejudice and mob mentality, while the album wraps up with the angular, cutting-edge "Vital Signs," a propulsive track that clearly foreshadows a number of the more adventurous musical directions Rush would undertake as the ever shifting 1980s continued to unfold.
Moving Pictures 40th Anniversary is available in six distinct configurations, including the Super Deluxe Edition, 3 CD Deluxe Edition, 5 LP Deluxe Edition, single LP Edition, Digital Deluxe Edition, and Dolby Atmos Digital Edition.
The Super Deluxe Edition includes three CDs, one Blu-ray Audio disc, and five high-quality 180-gram black vinyl LPs. The set encompasses the Abbey Road Mastering Studios 2015 remastered edition of the album for the first time on CD, along with two discs of previously unreleased and newly restored bonus live content newly mixed from the original analog live multi-tracks by Rush's original producer, Terry Brown, featuring the band's complete, unreleased Toronto concert from Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto, Ontario, on March 25, 1981. The fourth bonus disc is a Blu-ray Audio disc with the core album newly mixed from the original multi-tracks in Dolby Atmos (a Rush catalog first!), Dolby TrueHD 5.1, and DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 surround sound as done by noted producer/engineer Richard Chycki, alongside the previously available PCM Stereo mix. Also included on the Blu-ray are four bonus videos: a brand-new video for "YYZ" plus three remastered vintage promo videos for "Tom Sawyer," "Limelight," and "Vital Signs." Additionally, all the vinyl in the Super Deluxe Edition has been cut via half-speed Direct to Metal Mastering (DMM) (another Rush catalog first!) on five 180-gram audiophile LPs.
The Super Deluxe Edition of Moving Pictures 40th Anniversary also includes several exclusive items, including a 44-page hardcover book with unreleased photos and new artwork by original album designer Hugh Syme, along with new illustrations for each song; extensive liner notes by Kim Thayil (guitarist, Soundgarden), Les Claypool (bassist/vocalist, Primus), Taylor Hawkins (drummer, Foo Fighters), Bill Kelliher (guitarist, Mastodon), and Neil Sanderson (drummer, Three Days Grace); a Red Barchetta model car mounted on a black perch with an MP40 nameplate; two Neil Peart signature MP40 branded drumsticks; two metal-embossed guitar picks, one each with Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson's respective signatures engraved on them; a replica of the Moving Pictures 1981 official tour program; an MP40 logo enamel pin; a 3D lenticular "Moving Pictures in motion" lithograph; an 18x24-inch Toronto 1981 concert poster; a replica concert ticket from the 1981 Maple Leaf Gardens show; a 12x36-inch Rush Through The Years 1973-1981 poster; a YYZ luggage tag; and an All Access World Tour '81 insert. All contents are housed in a premium lift-top box, which features reimagined cover artwork by Hugh Syme.
The second configuration of Moving Pictures 40th Anniversary is a three-CD Deluxe Edition digipak that includes the newly remastered original album on CD 1 and the entire, unreleased 1981 Toronto concert on CDs 2 and 3. Extras include a 24-page booklet with unreleased photos and reimagined artwork by Syme, along with the aforementioned liner notes by Kim Thayil, Les Claypool, Taylor Hawkins, Bill Kelliher, and Neil Sanderson.
The third configuration is a five-LP Deluxe Edition, all of it housed in a slipcase including a single-pocket jacket for the remastered original Moving Pictures on LP 1, and two gatefold jackets for LPs 2-5 that comprise all 19 tracks from the complete, unreleased 1981 concert. Extras include a 24-page booklet with unreleased photos, Syme's reimagined artwork and new illustrations, and the complete liner notes.
The fourth configuration is a one-LP eCommerce exclusive edition, featuring the first-ever half-speed DMM vinyl pressing. It comes newly wrapped in a limited-edition premium tip-on style gatefold jacket with printed sleeve, and each pressing comes with one of six randomly inserted Neil Peart hand-drawn lyrics sheets.
The fifth configuration, the Deluxe Digital Edition, features the original album and all 19 bonus live performances from Toronto, and is the digital equivalent to the three-CD Deluxe Edition.
Finally, the sixth configuration, the Dolby Atmos Digital Edition, is the digital equivalent of Richard Chycki's masterful Atmos mix of all seven tracks from the original album.
Rush — bassist/keyboardist/vocalist Geddy Lee, guitarist/vocalist Alex Lifeson, and drummer/lyricist Neil Peart — maintain a large and uniquely passionate worldwide fanbase that acknowledges and respects the band's singular, bold, and perpetually exploratory songcraft that combines sterling musicianship, complex compositions, and distinctive lyrical flair. Rush has sold more than 25 million albums in the U.S. alone, with worldwide sales estimated at 45 million (and counting), and has been awarded 24 Gold, 14 Platinum, and three Multi-Platinum album distinctions. Rush has received seven Grammy nominations, and the band was inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame in 1994 and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2013.