The reason I'm leading off with the lead track, instead of talking about the album is very simple. Moving Pictures is about the music, not the silly bull assosciated with albums and Tom Sawyer makes that very clear. It's one of Rush's most over hyped songs, but because the song earned it, not because "they" made it that way.
Red Barchetta, the second song, is an ode to a car and the freedom it brings. The 6:06 song takes you on a trip through the coutry side and winding roads, with the wind in your hair. The music propels you like petrol in the tank of the car that the song is all about.
My favourite song on the album is YYZ, which is the code for Toronto's Pearson International Airport. Not a word is spoken in the drum driven beauty, with great bass lines weaving and riding through. Then there's Alex Lifeson's guitar work. It makes you go "Yeah!!! Yeah!!! Yeah!!! Don't stop. Don't you ever stop." It is the one Rush song I always crank.
Limelight is kind of your typical song about dealing with life as a celebrity, or as typical as Rush can do it. The music isn't overly crazy by the bands standards, but more complicated than most songs of it's type. Escpecially the lyrical content, but only thanks to Neil Peart's uncomprimising word usage. The man writes like everyone has a brain, something that is very rarely seen in other musical acts.
Those four tracks make the first half of the album. It's the commercial half that deserves the over play, if Rush can in anyway have a commercial side. The second half of the album is a little more Rush like from the older days with it's experimental explorations.
The Camera Eye comes in sounding like a slightly more synthesized version of songs from Caress of Steel or A Farewell To Kings. Long instrumentation, deep meaning, carefully crafted story, and a play time of 10:56.Is this a great song? Nope, it is not. However, it is worth flipping the original vinyl it came on, to side two.
Witch Hunt is a song that to this day I can't decide how much I like it. It's probably the most unique song on the album, and actually sounds decades ahead of it's time. Which is to say that it sounds like it could have been on Vapor Trails, Rush's 2002 release. It's so interesting that the synth abuse can easily be over looked.
Then there's the Vital Signs, to finish off the album. It's a good ending track with a raggae kind of feel and groove to it. It's very well layered and seasoned, like Rush, Pink Floyd, and only a few other Prog bands honestly understand how to do.
At this point Rush has made it pretty clear that synthesizer overuse and abuse is going to be around for a while. In fact this would continue until the end of the 1980's, which is why at my time of writing this review the only albums I have from the 80's, from this great Canadian Power Trio, is Moving Pictures and Exit Stage Left. I didn't pick up another album from them until Counterparts in 1993. I did however pick up live video from those periods, because those are more worth it.
My only real complaint about this album is the thin sounding production, but I'm not sure if that's from the time in which the album was released, or just the way it was produced. It's the only thing that really hurts the album for me.
8/10 - content
6/10 - production
7/10 - personal bias