After being slagged off for the electronic ambience of its predecessor releases such as 1985's Power Windows and 1984's Grace Under Pressure, Rush bounced back with their 13th release, Presto. Yet again the prog-rock trio proved that their tight guitar work and lyrical originality was not long lost or overlooked in an attempt to secure the latest technical flash. Rupert Hine's production work totally brings things to the forefront by molding solid piano breaks instead of the typical adventure-like synthesizers into Alex Lifeson's spellbinding guitar work. The sound quality is strong and thick, making the sounds of Presto complete. Neil Peart also makes headway with his natural percussion power, and Geddy Lee's trademark delivery of Peart's lyrical complexities shine like signature Rush perfectionism. Songs like "Scars" and "Superconductor" are sonically firm, but "Show Don't Tell" is the album's infectious standout that's heightened thanks to Lee's stunning vocal wizardry. Presto intelligently leads Rush into the '90s without musical bleakness. They weren't ones to be blinded by such creative mediocrity anyway.
- Release Date:
Performance CreditsRush Primary Artist
Rupert Hine Keyboards,Background Vocals
Geddy Lee Synthesizer,Bass Guitar,Vocals
Alex Lifeson Acoustic Guitar,Electric Guitar
Neil Peart Drums,electronic percussion
Jason Sniderman Keyboards
Technical CreditsRush Arranger,Producer
Rupert Hine Arranger,Producer
Hugh Syme Art Direction
Stephen W. Tayler Engineer
Val Azzoli Executive Producer
Liam Birt Executive Producer
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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This is a good solid CD as far as it goes, although it is probably doomed to be an overlooked latter-day Rush release forever. The songs are laden with hooks and even the occasional prog trick, and are generally on a par with the previous album Hold Your Fire. What makes Presto an improvement is the production, which brings out Lifeson's now-ambient, now-scorching guitar, and the keyboards sound sharp and defined. Highlights include the title track, 'Show Don't Tell' (which features a massive riff) and the moving mini-epic 'The Pass'. Perhaps not an essential disc, Presto will nevertheless appeal to true Rush fans.
I'm not really sure how the game works with radio. I envision that some pompous so-and-so has his hands greased and dictates to the program director what songs the DJ's must spin for the unwashed multitude that must be appreciative of whatever they send across the airwaves. So often the Brainiacs that say track #4 or #7 or whatever is the hit and that is all we'll play. So often they miss the boat and Presto is no exception. "Superconductor" got the nod in the market where I live, but I must say that it is the weakest of the lot. This album is truely enjoyable from aye to zed. Often on a Sunday morning after I have downed the first few cups of coffee listening to something of an easy nature and am ready to kick it up a notch but want to stay within the cerebral frame of mind, I will throw on "Presto". It evokes questions to me on how I can effect my individual universe in a positive manner with those that share a common space and time with me. Songs like "The Pass" say we walk a razor's edge, but don't slam the door on me. "War Paint" & "Scars" tells you to take the rose colored glasses off and question those that try to govern your life. I just love to get lost in the music. The production is excellant and one of Rush's best efforts. I highly recmmend this album to anyone that fancies Rush or wants an album that rocks but doesn't scream.
During the 1980's, esp the late 80's Rush experimented with a very progressive sound. This album, I believe is the best out of the three attempts (Hold Your Fire, Power Windows). I say that b/c this album better integrates the keyboard and guitar--a great progressive rock album--go pick it up!!
Presto has great guitar riffs,strong synthesizers,and of course Neil Peart's excellent drumming.Geddy Lee's bass and keyboards really jump out at you.Plus Alex Lifeson's guitars are strong as usual.Overall Rating:99.8
All Rush albums are great, some are better than others. Get this one and get all of them.