Retro Spins: Rush - Rush


Before the classic lineup of Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson, and Neil Peart, there was another iteration of Rush.

Front man and bassist Jeff Jones, lead guitarist Alex Lifeson and drummer John Rutsey were the initial incarnation of the band in the summer of 1968. However, by fall of that same year, Geddy Lee would replace Jones, and this line up of Lee, Lifeson and Rutsey would record and release the debut self titled album in 1974.

Though Rutsey was credited with the overall success of Rush creating its first album, being the man who often pushed Lee and Lifeson to practice and stay focused, he would end up leaving the band shortly after their first album. This was a decision based on concerns with his health, due to his diabetes, a difference in musical direction, and an overall dislike of touring. His absence was filled by drummer Neil Peart, and with that, the classic lineup of Rush which would go on for forty years was in place.

Peart would not only provide a unique percussion sound to the band, but also be credited as the main writer of lyrics. His lover for science fiction would often result in rock opera style albums, which would remain a recurring theme through the 70's, intertwining many of their records with a continuous story.

It's long been disputed as to whether or not Rush was better in the 70's versus the 80's. To this, I can only say that I suppose it varies based on your own personal tastes. If nothing else, Rush certainly continued to evolve in their music, starting with a hard rock style, which eventually moved into prog rock for the majority of the 70's, before transitioning to synth led tracks, and even a little commercial mainstream. The band never really seemed to stay still long enough to really label them as any one particular style. I think this is what not only led them to such a successful career, but also one that helped keep them relevant in an ever changing industry over the decades.

With that said, I can also understand that Rush is one of those groups that people tend to love or hate. I've heard it many times from people when I ask them, "Do you like Rush?" They either say, "I love them," or "I can't stand them." The usual answer for why people don't like them typically goes like this, "The music sounds great, but I hate the singer's voice." I totally get that. Geddy Lee's vocals can be cringe worth to people not expecting such a shrill noise. It's an acquired taste.

For me, my journey with the band began in the early 90's, when I heard a song on the radio, but had no clue what it was. Being young and naive, I thought that going down to my local Waxie Maxie, telling the clerk I had heard a song recently from them, and briefly trying to explain what it was would lead me to getting the album. Not so much. The clerk handed me the 1980 released Permanent Waves, and said, "It's probably on here. This is the album most people ask for." For the record, that song was Nobody's Hero from the 1993 released Counterparts. However, this wasn't a bad thing. Getting my hands on Permanent Waves introduced me to The Spirit Of Radio, Freewill, Jacob's Ladder, and Natural Science, which in turn led me to wanting to here more from the group. As my collection of Rush albums grew, I eventually stumbled across Counterparts, and got the song I was initially after.


Now that I've gotten that out of the way, today's Retro Spin takes us back the bands 1974 self titled debut, where we hear the origins featuring the (somewhat) original lineup. Sadly, my overall impression of the album can be summed up much quicker than the above.

Things spring into high gear with Finding My Way, a classic staple of the groups many greatest hits albums. However, from there, the remaining tracks kind of fall into obscurity as noise. That is until things wrap up with Working Man, another iconic song often found on their various hits albums.

Overall, it's okay as an album, but it certainly doesn't scream forty year veteran band, which I suppose isn't uncommon. It's just unfortunate, considering who the are. Most of the times when someone gains an appreciation for a group, they can go back to their earlier works and view it through stain glassed eyes, finding more joy out of it than your casual listener. With Rush, I don't get that. The album's decent, but it's not rave worthy.

Most of the songs just don't make the cut. For me, I'd rather just pull the two off of it I like, add them to my shuffle, and move on. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but it is admittedly a little disappointing.

Do I still like Rush? Absolutely. I think they're a great bad. They never necessarily went mainstream, but at the same, they have a distinct sound to them, that when you hear it, you can immediately say, "That's a Rush song." I think that's one of the things I like most about them. They're familiar, which in and of itself is a good thing.

Click "HERE" to go back to the home page. For more posts related to this one, please click the labels below.

Disclaimer: They Toy Box does not endorse or contribute to piracy. Retro Spins posts are intended for educational and entertainment purposes only. None of the music discussed here is available for sale, downloading or distribution.

File That One Under "Oops"


While going through my archives, I noticed something was awry with my Retro Spins posts. There was a very sporadic notation of comments for the ones based on the 80's albums I wrote about, but a fair amount for the 70's albums. This seemed odd, so I went in to investigate closer.

Well, turns out that I had comments disabled on all these posts for the past two + years. So, I guess that's my bad. I went ahead and fixed all of them, which was a long and drawn out chore.

Not that this will happen, but if anyone had a comment they wanted to post, feel free to go through the archives and drop one. Retro Spins posts are all HERE.

Click "HERE" to go back to the home page. For more posts related to this one, please click the labels below.

Retro Spins: Aerosmith - Permanent Vacation

Aerosmith may have been around for two hundred years, but in the late 80's they were brand new to me. My brother got into them big time with their 1989 released Pump, and I don't think a day went buy that he didn't blast one or more of their albums through his stereo on any given day. Personally, I didn't see the appeal - Certainly not to the extent he did. Cassette, vinyl and CD. He had them all. For every album. Then there were the "limited" releases, such as the leather bound Pump, felt adorned Get A Grip and so many more.

Fast forward to around 2002.

It took another decade+ for me to finally come around to the band, and it was all because of a whim of picking up a cassette of Permanent Vacation - Yes, I still listened to cassettes in 2002. That thing went with me everywhere I went. I think I went through a good month or two long stint of listening to it everyday as I traveled up and down the road in my truck.

From there, I branched out into a little more Aerosmith, listening to albums such as Pump, Get A Grip, Nine Lives and Just Push Play. What I found myself liking the most about the band was their non commerical tracks. I preferred the "freshness" to them vs. what the radio had pummeled me with - Especially during the Get A Grip years when you couldn't swing a stick without hearing the likes of Crazy, Amazing, Cryin' or Living On The Edge.

But I'm getting a little off track. Today, I want to talk about the 1987 album, Permanent Vacation. The one which started it all for me.

To me, the record is crafted to perfection by the band. I can't imagine one track without the other. It just wouldn't work if Rag Doll and Dude (Looks Like A Lady) weren't separated by Simoriah - Even though the aforementioned tracks became hits off the album on their own merits. Equally, you can't jump straight into Angel from Dude. You need that transition through St. John, Hangman's Jury, and Girl Keeps Coming Apart.

This album also holds a special place in my music history because it got me through a lot of confusing times during my young adult life. Despite all the changes which were happening around me at the time, good or bad, Permanent Vacation was always there, and was always the same. It was essentially my one consistent. An old friend who wanted to do nothing more than cheer me up. And it did.

While I never really got into the "older" stuff of Aerosmith, I would eventually inherit it all from my brother when he moved on from the band and CD's in general. These days, while I'm by no means their biggest fan, it means a lot to me to be the keeper of his collection. I know how much it meant to him when he was growing up, and it will be here if he ever wants it back.

Click "HERE" to go back to the home page. For more posts related to this one, please click the labels below.

The History Of The Titanic (Exclusive Premiere)

The History Of The Titanic
Exclusive Premiere

Ever seen one of those toy lines where you find yourself scratching your head, asking, "Who is this for?" Well...Welcome to today's post.

I've talked about Exclusive Premiere dolls in the past. Quality wise, they're not terrible. However, logical wise, none of the dolls they released seemed to make much sense. They were so niche based that I can't imagine the company ever sold many. Considering they lasted only three years (1997 - 1999), my theory seems to be sound.

Take today's look at their last line. The History Of The Titanic.

Seriously, who wants these? I'm sure there are avid Titanic historians out there. But do they collect dolls? I can't imagine many of them do. Even so, I can't imagine too many people even knew about this line. Not only was it obscure, but it was a Sears exclusive.

Talk about a toy company that just didn't get it. It's no surprise they were so short lived. It's all the more ironic that their dolls based on the Titanic were the last. What a disaster their company must have been. They just didn't choose good licenses to pursue, constantly catering to a non-existent market.

Well, Exclusive Premiere may not have done their research before throwing something out there, but I do. So let's dig in for a closer glimpse at one of histories most tragic accidents. Though unfortunate in every way, I think you'll find it to be far more interesting than the actual dolls themselves.

At twelve o'clock noon on April 10th, 1912, the RMS Titanic set sail for its maiden voyage from Southampton, England. Its destination, New York, USA. The voyage was estimated to take approximately 137 hours. However, at approximately 11:40 PM on April 14th, 1912, an iceberg was spotted far too late. The Titanic struck it, causing serious hull damage. Within a mere two hours and forty minutes, the ship had sunk to the ocean on April 15th, 1912.

 Captain EJ Smith
Captain of the Titanic

Captain EJ (Edward James) Smith served as a naval officer before taking the position as the captain of the Titanic. He perished in the disaster, going down with his ship.

 Thomas Andrews

Andrews was the head designer of the Titanic, and ultimately blamed for the ship sinking. It is believed that the sixteen watertight compartment on the ship were not built to the correct height, and doing so may have prevented the  disaster. Mr. Andrews was last seen on the ship by Steward John. He noted Mr. Andrews was standing silently in the First Class Smoking Room, his lifebelt discarded. His remains were not recovered, nor has anyone confirmed seeing him alive since.

John Jacob Astor

More appropriately, John Jacob Astor IV, was a business man and passenger on the Titanic. During the maiden voyage, he was traveling with his then pregnant wife, Madeline Force. They boarded the ship because they wanted their child to be born in America. Though he asked to accompany his wife aboard the lifeboat, because women and children were to be evacuated first, his request was denied. Astor saw his pregnant wife and her handmaids off to safety, but was unfortunately among the many who lost their life that night.

Margaret Brown (Limited to 500 Pieces)

Margaret (Molly) Brown was one of the few survivors of the Titanic. While vacationing with her daughter Helen in Europe, she received news that her grandchild was ill. This prompted Molly to board the ship to return to America, leaving her daughter behind in London. In her biography she stated that she unsuccessfully pleaded with the members of lifeboat number six to return to the Titanic for more passengers.

Of the 3,300 people on board, only 705 survived. The tragedy of this was that even with the lifeboats, their capacity would have only been sufficient for 1,178 people, less than half of those aboard. Meaning regardless of whether they were fully loaded, 2,122 people would have still been left behind to perish.

The maiden voyage of the RMS Titanic remains one of the most tragic events in human history.

Click "HERE" to go back to the home page. For more posts related to this one, please click the labels below.

Order of Battle: Nintendo Entertainment System II - The Loose Cartridges

This will be an ongoing post of my loose Nintendo Entertainment System games and accessories, as I obtain them. 

Nintendo Entertainment System
with Two (2) Controllers, Nintendo Zapper, RF Switch and A/V Cord


10-Yard Fight


1943: The Battle Of Midway


A Boy And His Blob

Adventures Of Bayou Billy (The)

Adventures Of Dino Riki

Adventures Of Lolo (The)




Back To The Future

Bad Dudes

Balloon Fight




Bionic Commando

Blades Of Steel

Blaster Master

Bubble Bobble


Captain America And The Adventures


Castlevania II: Simon's Quest

Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse

Caveman Games

Chip 'N Dale: Rescue Rangers





Demon Sword

Dig Dug

Double Dragon

Double Dragon II: The Revenge

Double Dribble

Dr. Mario

Dragon Warrior

Dragon Warrior II

Duck Hunt

Duck Tales


Elevator Action




Fester's Quest

Final Fantasy


Galaga: Demons Of Death


Gauntlet II


Ghosts 'N Goblins


Golgo 13

Goonies II (The)

Gotcha! The Game

Guardian Legend (The)

Gun Smoke



Hogan's Alley

Hudson's Adventure Island


Ice Climber

Ice Hockey

Ikari Warriors

Ikari Warriors II: Victory Road

Iron Sword: Wizards And Warriors II





Journey To Silius



Karate Champ

Karate Kid


Kid Icarus

Kirby's Adventure

Knight RIder

Kung Fu

Kung-Fu Heroes


Legend Of Kage (The)

Legend Of Zelda (The)

Legendary Wings

Life Force

Little Mermaid (The)


Mach Rider

Maniac Mansion

Marble Madness

Mega Man

Mega Man 2

Mega Man 3

Mega Man 4

Metal Gear


Mike Tyson's Punch-Out!!


MTC Remote Control



Ninja Gaiden

Ninja Gaiden II: The Dark Sword Of Chaos


Operation Wolf

Original Donkey Kong (The)

Original Donkey Kong 3 (The)






Pro Wrestling


Punisher (The)




R.B.I. Baseball

R.C. Pro-Am

Rad Racer

Rad Racer II




Rescue: The Embassy Mission

Ring King

River City Ransom


Rolling Thunder

Rush 'N Attack



Section Z



Simpsons (The): Bart Vs. The Space Mutants

Skate Or Die

Sky Shark


Smash T.V.

Snake's Revenge



Spy Hunter

Spy Vs. Spy

Star Wars

Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back

Star Tropics


Super C

Super Bowl

Super Dodge Ball

Super Mario Bros.

Super Mario Bros. / Duck Hunt

Super Mario Bros. 2

Super Mario Bros. 3

Superspike V'Ball


T&C Surf: Wood & Water Rage

Tecmo Bowl

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Arcade Game

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Manhattan Project



Top Gun

Top Gun: The Second Mission

Track & Field II


Twin Cobra


Uncanny X-Men (The)

Urban Champion




Wheel Of Fortune

Wheel Of Fortune: Family Edition


Win, Lose Or Draw

Wizards & Warriors







Yo! Noid


Zelda II: The Adventure Of Link

Zoda's Revenge: Star Tropics II

Click "HERE" to visit my collection of boxed Nintendo Entertainment System collection.

Click "HERE" to go back to the home page. For more posts related to this one, please click the labels