Contents Under Pressure
Rush - “Contents Under Pressure” – Authorized Autobiography - Martin Popoff
Publisher: ECW Press 2003 reviewed by: Ken Pierce
When one thinks of Rush, one of the first things that comes to mind is the lengthy and diverse musical expertise that they possess. They are probably one of the most talented bands to ever exist in modern music no matter how you look at it. They are often referred to as the “Fathers Of Progressive Metal” and this truly applies given the time that Rush first provided us with music. Their rich and unique style eventually gave bands like Dream Theater, Queensryche and Fates Warning a niche to apply their talents. In recent years their World tours (billed as “An Evening With Rush”) have sold out consistently and given their legions of fans a reason to return again and again.
This Autobiography by Martin Popoff takes the bands history and presents it in an album by album manner. Each chapter is essentially a title of one of the bands albums and runs from their premiere release of “Rush” and ends with “Rush In Rio” as well as making brief comment on the eve of their 30th Anniversary Tour. At first I was put off by this, since I am used to the more day by day histories that one gets with a book like “The Dirt” by Motley Crue, or “KISS and Tell” by Gene Simmons. However, as it dawned on me that Rush was not the type of crash-bang lifestyle as these others I looked beyond that and really enjoyed the way Mr. Popoff presented the band.
Scattered throughout the chapters the band outlines the many bands who either opened for them, or who they had opened for during their career. As a fan of the live shows, I enjoyed seeing this as an inclusion. It was also very interesting to hear the members of Rush add their commentary to some of these bands. I felt this added a more personal touch to something that most fans will never really be all that privvy to.
As referenced already, the chapters are the album titles. The diehard as well as someone who is a casual listener is able to get an inside look to what was on Rush mind when the particular album was released. You hear of production issues and personnel who helped them create some of the masterpieces. You also find out some of the bands personal favorite albums as well as songs to play in the live scenario. It is also interesting to see what songs Rush themselves are not happy with and overall what was in their head at the time of the release. There are many tour highlights for one to enjoy and given its chapter by album setup, someone who only cares for “Moving Pictures” and “Hemispheres” can refer easily to these sections.
The book is also a quick and easy read. Filled with photos from the bands thirty years. Some are absolutely terrific and made this all the more enjoyable. Check it out.
--Ken Pierce 1.20.05