Rush are on a roll at the moment, on the back of last year's incredibly well-received live album Rush In Rio, so it was only a matter of time before Island dressed their 1990 Chronicles video collection in DVD clothing. The set is a document of Rush from 1977 to 1987, but at just over an hour is remarkably short and poor value for a band with such an extensive recording history.
Nor do the videos represent a reason to buy this for the cinematography alone. With the exception of a few imaginatively choreographed visuals, this is basically a play through of some of the big hits. That said, when you have musicians of the calibre of Geddy Lee, Neil Peart and Alex Lifeson there's bound to be something worth watching - a monster drum fill from Peart (of which there are many entertaining instances) or one of Lee's big bass riffs. And of course the guitar of Lifeson, often in a world of its own.
Of the live cuts, Red Barchetta suffers from being shamefully cut short at its close, the crowd not permitted to register their response, while Closer To The Heart and The Trees appear to come from a TV show - both superbly performed to an empty venue.
The genuine videos are dated now, with the customary disregard for style and content you'd expect from such a source. There are some powerful images however, such as the boy astride a missile on Distant Early Warning, or the clever integration of the band into a Monopoly board for The Big Money. Chance, anyone?
Time Stand Still plays around with visual effects to have the band literally walking on water, while Limelight finds them holed away in a recording studio that looks like it's a good week's walk from civilization. The wolf outside seems impressed though... Fans will welcome the addition of The Enemy Within and Afterimage.
The music continues to impress, the virtuosity of the three musicians beyond question. But it's fair to say that Rush are not a band best represented in visual terms (with all respect) and make a much stronger impact in the course of a full studio album or live set. The disregard for any special features implies the band were not involved in the reissue concept.