The debut album from the Canadian rock band Rush was considered the second coming of Led Zeppelin. A three piece band equipped with a heavy blues rock sound and a singer whose voice sounded like a castrated Robert Plant. But when it came to the band’s sophomore album Fly By Night, the band had already moved onto different sounds and made a completely different beast.
Looking at Fly By Night, there is very little similarities to the same band that released Rush the year before. With exception of the opening riff in Anthem, the album title track Fly By Night and a couple of moments in the closing In The End there are no exceptionally heavy riff driven songs on this record. In its place however is a band clearly maturing as musicians with a greater sense of melody and improving as song writers. It is clear with the addition of Neil Peart as a primary song writer that the lyrical content not only sounded more mature but improved considerably. There is also a lot more diversity coming out of Geddy Lee’s vocals. He uses his trademark wail on multiple occasions but also takes the time to sing in a lower key making for a more bearable listen for those who dislike the ear piercing shriek from the debut album.
In terms of the music, Fly By Night is a lot more melodic. The acoustic guitars really come out to play here providing the album with some much needed variety, that of which was lacking on the previous record. The drums also improved with the decent John Rutsey now gone and replaced with the soon to be legendary Neil Peart. Though Peart and his fellow musicians aren’t the master musicians that we know today, you can hear how they’ve improved in the space of a year with the more complicated rhythms challenging Alex and Geddy to approach their music with some extra thought.
Fly By Night is not Rush’s finest moment nor is it an instant classic. But it definitely holds its own against the bands later material. With exception of the cringe worthy Rivendell, each song is very well recorded, well played and sounds great by 2017’s standards. This was clearly a band moving up in the world and that progressed with the follow up Caress of Steel.
Where to buy :
Track Listing :
- Best I Can
- Beneath, Between & Behind
- By-Tor & the Snow Dog
- Fly By Night
- Making Memories
- In the End