Released: 2004, ECW Press
As veteran Rock bands like AC/DC, Aerosmith and Rush enter the twilight years of their career the period between albums becomeS farther and farther apart as the artists need to work diminishes. It has been years since the last Rush album and although not a regularly featured band on Metal-Rules.com, there is some respect for the old Canadian dogs. Accordingly, to commemorate the pending release of CLOCKWORK ANGELS in June, I’ve written a trio of book reviews about the band, but there are many more Rush related titles to explore. Feel free to read my reviews of MIDDLETOWN DREAMS (McDonald) CONTENTS UNDER PRESSURE (Popoff) and TRIBUTE: MERELEY PLAYERS (Telleria).
When it comes to tackling a bands catalogue and tours in depth, Popoff is one of the best. Using his familiar album-by-album, tour-by-tour technique, Popoff essentially has written one of the best biographies of the band. Published in 2004 it coincided with the bands 30th Anniversary. The book is lovely to look at. Nice glossy paper, very readable and over 270 colour photos of the band. It’s almost an illustrated history clicking in at 236 pages. Linear and chronological Popoff starts at the beginning and takes us from Day One to the 30th Anniversary Tour. The photos are a blast. They look so young back then! It’s interesting to observe the visual evolution of their fashion style.
The stories of the classic albums have been told but it was pleasing and refreshing to see Popoff give equal care and attention to later era albums like COUNTERPOINTS and VAPOUR TRAILS. Even the live albums got due care and attention, analysis and praise. Popoff’s quirky’ fun with words’ prose makes CONTENTS UNDER PRESSURE a fun, easy read.
A huge amount of information has been drawn from Popoff’s own dozens and dozens of interviews with the band over the years. The script and information is authoritative and definitive. There is a lot of detail but I would suggest this is not the most meticulously detailed account of the band; that book would be 600 pages long! CONTENTS UNDER PRESSURE is more like the most comprehensive overview you can hope to find.