• Anthem: Rush in the 1970s

  • Rush Across the Decades, Book 1
  • By: Martin Popoff
  • Narrated by: Michael Butler Murray
  • Length: 11 hrs and 9 mins
  • 4.7 out of 5 stars (179 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The definitive biography of the rock 'n' roll kings of the North

With extensive, first-hand reflections from Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson, and Neil Peart, as well as from family, friends, and fellow musicians, Anthem: Rush in the '70s is a detailed portrait of Canada's greatest rock ambassadors. The first of three volumes, Anthem puts the band's catalog, from their self-titled debut to 1978's Hemispheres (the next volume resumes with the release of Permanent Waves) into both Canadian and general pop culture context, and presents the trio of quintessentially dependable, courteous Canucks as generators of incendiary, groundbreaking rock 'n' roll. 

Fighting complacency, provoking thought, and often enraging critics, Rush has been at war with the music industry since 1974, when they were first dismissed as the Led Zeppelin of the north. Anthem, like each volume in this series, celebrates the perseverance of Geddy, Alex, and Neil: three men who maintained their values while operating from a Canadian base, throughout lean years, personal tragedies, and the band's eventual worldwide success.

©2020 Martin Popoff (P)2020 HighBridge, a division of Recorded Books

What listeners say about Anthem: Rush in the 1970s

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

What a Biography Should Be!

Unlike 99% of the rock biographies I have read, this one is NOT about drink, drugs and debauchery. RUSH was not a band that indulged in alcohol, hardcore drugs and scantily clad groupies; maybe a bit of marijuana and a beer. That being said, all the time wasted in other bios on the raunchy details of the parties, the girls, the overdoses, is spent on truly telling the history of the band, it's members and their albums through the 1970's.

We learn a lot about the life of the band members; from Geddy's and Alex's lifelong friendship, to the 6 years with their first drummer John, to their struggles getting into the American rock scene to their first gig in the USA. Geddy's mother shares a lot about her support of her son to her meeting Geddy's dad in the Nazi concentration camps.

There is never a slow or dull moment; you can tell Mr. Popoff spent time talking with all band members, their families, record producers, and the disc jockey in Cleveland who gave them their big break in America.

The chapters are titled by the albums produced during this time frame. It is a very refreshing change from the same old, same old biography. Like most of the bands of the late 60's, early 70's, they played the clubs, high schools and struggled for many years before making it big. The meaning behind the albums, the stage of their music genre development, and the highs and lows of these are outlined in detail, but not so much that is it boring or repetitive. Rush was always trying to fine tune their sound and produce albums with meaning.

You will not be sorry you purchased this book. The narrator has a bit of high pitched voice, but I got used to it pretty quickly; just give it a few minutes. He does read with a lot of expression and seems to be enjoying himself. He mispronounces some words, the worst being (Neil) Peart. He pronounces it more like Pier or Pear, but thankfully he calls him Neil most of the time; God Rest His Soul. I do wish there had been a tribute to Neil, but I surmise this book was written before Neil's untimely death.

I plan on listening to this again. I am a longtime RUSH fan and have read about them, watched the various shows on TV and been to several concerts, but even if you are not, you will want to take a listen to some of the albums once you are through!

Excellent, Excellent Book! ENJOY!

15 people found this helpful

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Must read for any Rush fan

This book had me hooked from beginning to end. All of the different viewpoints from certain times in history was very interesting. The way each album in each song was broken down was very helpful in answering all of the questions I have had over the years of being a fan.

7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

even the oldest of fans will learn something.

been a fan since the early 80s one of my top three bands and even I learn something I never knew. This is a great listen. The narrator's little goofy LOL but it's still fantastic

5 people found this helpful

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Do yourself a favour: get this book!

A fabulous and entertaining journey through the early years of an amazing group. Detailed and yet never bogging the reader/listener down.

3 people found this helpful

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Must for a Rush Fan

Lot of repitician at times. Editing is what drops a star for me. Otherwise very entertaining for a Rush fan.

1 person found this helpful

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Narration.

Narrator ends sentences on a high note,literally. Am I being picky? Seems common these days. On the news and younger folks. I thoroughly enjoyed the books. Love Rush. Just annoyed by the up note ending almost every sentence. I listen to a lot of books. Bought all three, very happy!

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Narration. It's not for everyone.

I was annoyed by the amount of repetitive information. I have read a previous book by the same author and forgot how disappointing it was. Too many quotations. The narrator was very sub par. His attempts at English accents was particularly bad. And he often read as if he was speaking to children. I hope he didn't give up his day job. And, yes, I could have done it better.

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What more could you want. I'm impressed.

This story is very compressive for the time frame detailed.
It uncovers a lot of the day to day details you'd never think of.

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SO repetitive!

Great, detailed history of the bands early years, but SO repetitive! We hear the same stories, told nearly identically, from numerous characters. A little more judicious editing would have helped. I did not care for the narrator. He didn't differentiate vocally between characters very well (unless they had a noticeable accent), making it difficult to know who was talking, and MUCH of his intonation came off as oddly smug and/or condescending. I'm hoping things improve over the course of the next two books in this series.

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Strange Repetition But Good Info

First, it is a great book. The performance is very good despite leaning on an endearing, "down home" delivery at times.
The reason for the lost star is the very strange habit the author has for quoting people, then immediately have them repeat themselves. Could it be the subjects speech pattern? Sure. But not when it happens so often to so many people quoted in the book. I commend Mr. Popoff for his work, but would prefer that he present the quotes "as is" instead of adding the weird repetition.
The book is well researched and truly gives the reader a feeling of being on the journey with the band as they grow up and become RUSH. I personally can't stand music critics reviews of albums, however the book is very good at not influencing the reader/listener and presents the music in a way that inspires curiosity.
I look forward to future installments of the bands story when available.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 08-04-21

A fascinating history with a couple of flaws

This book is a great history of the band which suffers from a mediocre narrator and badly needed a better editor.
Overall enjoyable if you can get past the repetition and the narrators laughable attempt at accents.

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  • Wildschwein
  • 11-12-21

Great listen for sure -- onto Book 2

Very comprehensive history of '70-era Rush. You do get an impression of how hard they worked for their success. I like that the different personalities recall the same events in different ways -- this is very true to life.