AKD's Rush: Exit... Stage Left page
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AKD's guide to Rush: Exit... Stage Left     (1981)

Name of musician

Instruments played

Geddy Lee (aka Gary Lee Weinrib)

Bass guitar, synthesizers, bass pedal synthesizer, occasional rhythm guitar, vocals

Alex Lifeson (aka Alex Zivojinovich)

Electric and acoustic guitars, bass pedal synthesizer

Neil Peart

Drums and numerous percussion instruments

Produced by Terry Brown

Above graphic (by Hugh Syme) borrowed until I can create my own at a later date!

Comments · Personal Views · Genre · Recipe · Table


Simply put, this is Rush's masterpiece! Even though, this is a live album; it is Rush's best work! Every single person on this planet who can afford a cd player should own this album! There has never been a greater "art-rock" album ever released! The remastered cd version is absolutely awesome! This cd borders the asymptotic limit of perfection! This cd showcases Rush's best work from the middle period! The songs chosen for this document are all representative of the best songs released on each of the 4 previous cd's with the inclusion of a live version of"A Passage To Bangkok" and "Beneath, Between & Behind." The true presence of perfection is found in that piéce de resistance--which begins with "Jacob's Ladder" proceeds through "Broon's Bane"-a classical guitar intro to "The Trees," proceeds through "The Trees" and segues its way (like a beautiful meandering river) into the greatest version, yet recorded of Rush's magnum opus-"Xanadu!" Ah, never has there been written a better art-rock masterpiece!! I'm sorry folks, but this beats every single composition ever written by several other groups! This could be considered the rock equivelant of "Beethoven's Ninth Symphony!" Additionally, Exit showcases "Red Barchetta," "YYZ" and "Tom Sawyer" from Moving Pictures. Also, "The Spirit Of Radio" and "Freewill" from Permanent Waves and to close "La Villa Strangiato" from Hemispheres. An absolutely awesome disc!


Nearly 23 years ago, I purchased my first copy of this double album! Since then, I have owned cassette versions, cd versions and digitally remastered cd versions. I regard this recording so highly, due to the fact that this meisterwerk has never ever disappointed me, in any shape or form. In fact, each and every single time that I listen to the digitally remastered compact disc version of this epic work, I hear something completely new. I have used this album on numerous occasions in order to study for tests and as a result have aced those tests! If there is a certain amount of truth in the existence of the "Mozart Effect," then surely there must be some credence to the notion that this album is indeed a "mind-expanding" one! This album is so great that in my opinion, the digitally remastered version of this cd should be listed as the best "art rock" recording of all time. Certainly, if I were to pick one cd which represents the true embodiment of Rush, this would be it! It is always sophisticated, never passe- (perfection revisited). Exit is that album which represents the best of the "art rock" genre in all of its glory!


In order to really appreciate this recording, you would have to understand what kind of band Rush really is. Rush has always been a progressive, inventive thinking man's "art rock," (note that I didn't say "hard rock") band. I have never and will never consider this tremendously talented group of musicians- a heavy metal group! To me, this conjures up images of horrible noises, such as: cats claws against chalkboards, banging trash can lids or talentless high-decibel groups which have never ever created a song without loud, filthy, sexist lyrics.

In order to really understand Rush, you have to realize that they have a far greater similarity with the "art rock" groups, such as: Yes, Genesis, Emerson, Lake & Palmer, Jethro Tull, The Moody Blues, King Crimson, Gentle Giant, Renaissance and Pink Floyd.


If a recipe for this recording could be given, it might say:
  1. Take about a cup of Yes and to that add about 1/2 cup of a three equal-part mixture of Genesis, EL&P, and King Crimson.
  2. Stir in a liberal mix of Pink Floyd, The Moody Blues and reggae, possibly even Talking Heads,
  3. Then mix it all up with the instrumental virtuosity of Procol Harum.
  4. After that you will begin to understand just how awesome this highly underrated recording is!


From the beginning notes of "The Spirit Of Radio" through the last crashing chords of "La Villa Strangiato," this is Rush's epic work.

Track No.

Song Title

Track Timing



The Spirit Of Radio


One of Rush's best compositions; it is energetic, complex and has a very interesting reggae-like beat throughout!


Red Barchetta


A thoroughly moving experience!




A fantastic Rush instrumental which encompasses many different world-beat styles.


A Passage To Bangkok


A trip around the world to some of the major drug producing locations.


Closer To The Heart


One of Rush's most beautiful songs; a signature song with a choral accompaniment.


Beneath, Between & Behind


I question it's inclusion; I consider it a short intermission between the two sides of this epic work!


Jacob's Ladder


An emotionally charged, instrumentally virtuosic work of art; the song imparts the power of a thunderstorm in all of it's glory


Broon's Bane


A magnificent classical guitar piece; a segue into The Trees.


The Trees


One of Rush's greatest works




Rush's magnum opus; a song which will never be outdated! This epic work combines jazz-fusion, spacey ethereal Pink Floyd-like keyboard work, Classical & Baroque styles, Oriental and African percussion and resolves it with melodic intensity, instrumental virtuosity and rock grandeur. Volumes could be written about this meisterwerk!




An exemplary work which defines Rush's credo!


Tom Sawyer


Quite possibly, Rush's most famous aor track; a work which marries psychedelia with minimalism!


La Villa Strangiato


A fourteen movement piece which encapsulates complex time changes, instrumental virtuosity and extraordinary energy and intensity!

This is my take on EXIT; arguably art rock's greatest cd. Although Xanadu is listed on the cd as being 12:09 long; it is in actuality (including the segue) nearly 12:42 long!

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This webpage was last updated on September 26, 2004.

This page © by A. Keith Davis

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