Rush: Working Men

RIYL: Throwing your money away

Word on the street is that Rush has parted ways with longtime label Atlantic to sign with Roadrunner, and with Working Men, Atlantic’s flogging of their slice of Rush’s catalog (the band signed with the label in 1989) has officially gone from ridiculous to hilarious. It’s a collection of tracks from the band’s live albums Rush in Rio, R30, and Snakes & Arrows Live, and since live albums are essentially a compilation of a band’s hits, that makes Working Men a one-CD compilation of two two-CD compilations and one three-CD compilation. In other words, this might be the most unnecessary album ever made, the Rush equivalent of those budget Super Hits compilations that clog the counters of the Gas ‘n Sips on the highway. There is one unreleased track, a version of “One Little Victory” from the R30 tour. But since “One Little Victory” appears on the Rush in Rio DVD and the R30 Blu-ray, the word “Unreleased” should come with an asterisk.

The performances of these songs, of course, are fantastic – though the audio on the DVD for the Rush in Rio and R30 tracks sounds positively awful – but chances are, if you’re a Rush fan, you own them already, and if you’re not, well, you’re not buying this album anyway. One of the more puzzling releases we’ve seen all year. (Anthem/Zoe/Rounder 2009)

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