Canada, 1976, progressive rock / hard rock
Rush – 2112: The only dip in quality on this album is the opening of side B, “Passage to Bangkok”. Please, for the love of Buddha’s butthole, stop trying to make songs sound Asian! It’s cringey and stupid. Other than that, this is an excellent concept album. Side A is a masterpiece Rush only equals with “Cygnus” (all parts combined). For anyone who’s been living on Mars and doesn’t know what this album is about, I’ll give an overview: in the future, you’re not allowed to be creative or think for yourself. Such individualism is a crime, punished under the authoritarian control of the priests of Syrinx. There is no music in this dystopian setting (similar to themes expressed in Zappa’s Joe’s Garage). One day a man finds an artifact from another time and place, and he discovers through experimentation that this device can make music. It’s a guitar, something unknown to the people of the future. This device helps the man express himself, his creativity, and his individuality. The priests seize and destroy the guitar and banish the man, and the man, disillusioned and unable to go on without music, kills himself.