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Counterparts

4.2 out of 5 stars 232 customer reviews

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Audio CD, August 31, 2004
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Editorial Reviews

RUSH COUNTER PARTS
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (August 31, 2004)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Atlantic
  • ASIN: B0002NRQTI
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (232 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #7,949 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Michael Stack VINE VOICE on March 23, 2005
Format: Audio CD
I am often in the minority in my view of this, but I feel "Counterparts" is the Rush masterpiece of the '90s, and may well be their best album. I've often heard of it referred to as Rush's stab at alternative, which I really don't agree with either-- certainly, the band was influenced by a return of guitar-based rock music to the forefront of popular consciousness, and no doubt that assisted in this album fully embracing the guitar as main driver behind the music, but this is the direction the band had been heading for the past several albums-- after the synth wash of "Grace Under Pressure" and "Power Windows", "Hold Your Fire", "Presto", and "Roll the Bones" all walked the path of guitar based performance. What may have been more alternative influenced on this record was the focus on rock rhythms rather than the budding focus on funk and even hip hop rhythms that was so present on "Roll the Bones".

As a result of this sonic shift, this album features some of the most inspired playing by guitarist Alex Lifeson in a long time-- Geddy Lee's bass, so often the most interesting component in Rush material on the past few albums, moved into a more traditional rock roll, freeing Lifeson to fill space better (mind you, Geddy Lee still has one of the most distinctive voices on the bass guitar in rock music, and is instantly recognizable). I also find that Lee's singing is superlative, perhaps the best he's done-- his confidence as a vocalist allows him full control over his range and he fills each song with an investment of emotion I don't feel we'd heard from him in the past. Lyrically, the album also continues the evolution of previous records-- Neil Peart's early albums were fantasy/science fiction influenced, often allegorical or parable.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Apparently the folks who bought this hybrid SACD were under the erroneous impression that is was released by RUSH, and would follow the pattern set by the Sector boxes, Moving Pictures, and 2112 most recently. Nope. Should have read the description closer. However, those who have followed the Audio Fidelity (AF) releases for the last ten years, and the gold discs pioneered in the 1990s under the DCC label, you already know this is two-channel audiophile heaven all the way, at least we hope so. A year or two ago, AF released Roll the Bones, one of the Atlantic period albums, and generally from digital sources as was common in the late 1980s and 1990s. Nothing wrong with that really, but unless you could afford a DAC (digital analog converter) you had a bright, sometimes harsh and cold-sounding playback on the typical mass market CD players that nearly everyone could afford by 1993. AF farms out the mastering to two technology geniuses usually, in this case, Kevin Gray (the other being the honorable Steve Hoffman). The old days of DCC's tube mastering may have evolved to computer usage more these days, but that is what they have to do as "Original Master Tapes" are not always what they claim to be, or, in the case of Rush's Mercury era catalog, too degraded from years of storage and mishandling to loan out anymore. And this is where we are today, and how to approach this review and listening to this very recently released SACD of Rush's 1993 CD Counterparts. There was some limited vinyl released in Brazil and Germany, but good luck winning those auctions on eBay. For the rest, CDs seemed to be the direction music was heading, and very few bands insisted on a vinyl option through the early 2000s.Read more ›
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Format: Audio CD
When I started listening to Rush two years ago (only 18, cut me some slack on that one), I started with their early stuff, 2112 (still my favorite), A Farewell to Kings, Fly By Night, etc. Then I progressed (pun intended) to their "middle" era, of Permanent Waves and Moving Pictures. I finally picked up Counterparts when the remaster was released, and was surprised to hear such a solid album. I enjoy Signals, but Presto didn't impress me all that much, and neither had Test for Echo. Counterparts, however, is a gem. Nobody's Hero, Between Sun & Moon, Alien Shores, and Double Agent are the standouts for me, but it is truely a sold album. I highly recommend it.
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Format: Audio CD
Ok, let's "cut to the chase" (rim shot please). Was it not for the fact that I'm so attached to Moving Pictures for all the obvious reasons (great songs; 25 years of saturation, etc.) I just might rank 1993's Counterparts as my favorite Rush album. Time and resonance are the only things working against that and not by much, I might add. But even those things aside, it just might be the BEST record in their catalog from top to bottom. (And considering that it's a lengthy 11 songs long - by Rush's usually brief song selection history that is - that says even more).

I'm going to get the stuff I didn't like out of the way first.

Ok, there. That's pretty much it. GOODNIGHT CLEVELAND..!

Really, I can't peg an appreciable or mentionable weak spot without lying to myself or digging into the ridiculous minutia.

Oh, sure...I like some songs better than others, naturally, but I must say there isn't a skip-worthy one in the bunch. Whereas previous albums (and I just did a trio of listens, from Presto to Counterparts this morning) have their share of filler, some more irksome than others but all still usually quite listenable, Counterparts didn't have a single song that I wouldn't have considered a top 5 song on most other records since and including Moving Pictures. I hesitate to say Between Sun & Moon, Alien Shore, and The Speed Of Love qualify, because I'm afraid that automatically implies something less-than-good. But moreso than maybe any other Rush record, these "weakest" tunes are very, very good and would be in the top third on most albums after 1981.

The album is full of life and vitality....from the two most accessible songs Animate and Cold Fire (both excellent...
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