Choice Cuts: Rush – Rush

Rush are one of the biggest, and most beloved rock bands in the world, but their beginning was just as humble as any band looking for a break. After several line-up changes, the first official incarnation of the band was formed, featuring Alex Lifeson on Guitar, Geddy Lee on bass/vocals, and John Rutsey on drums. Struggling to find a label and management, Rush formed their own independent company, Moon Records, and prepared to release their debut album.

The self-titled album would be released on March 1st 1974 in Canada through Moon Records, and only 3500 copies were pressed with the MN-100 catalogue number. Original copies can be distinguished by white labels with a blue Moon Records logo at 12 O’clock and black text below the spindle hole. The sleeve on original pressings also has the Rush logo in red on the front and rear of the sleeve.

Two singles were released from the album, Finding My Way and In the Mood, but it was Working Man that became the sleeper hit for Rush, and gave way to the album being picked up by WMMS Radio in Cleveland, Ohio. The popularity of the album in the area led to it being reissued by Mercury, with very early, red label pressings almost as hard to find as the Moon Records version and was pressed from the same MN-100 stampers as the original release.

Subsequent pressings that followed were remixed for better sound quality and released on the blue and silver Mercury labels. A printing error meant that the bands logo on the front and rear of the sleeve appeared more magenta than red on the previous issues.

The rest, they say, is history, and Rush would be on their way to stardom, and would go on to become one of the most influential rock bands of all time.

This article appeared in issue 38 of Long Live Vinyl magazine, available now.

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