Seven years in and their ninth release, Rush released their critically acclaimed Moving Pictures, often considered one of the greatest hard rock albums of all time. Taking some cues from the new wave movement they superbly blend their progressive hard rock approach, all honed to perfection. This release is chalk full of classics, and the band performs several songs regularly in concert and classic rock radio often pulls from this album too. While other hard rock bands at the time experimented unsuccessfully with other musical styles, Rush were one of the few to successfully cross over. Rush proved with Moving Pictures that there was still uncharted territory to explore within the hard rock format and were rewarded with their most enduring and popular album.
In May of 2011 Moving Pictures was released as a 5.1 surround sound deluxe set in two formats: 1) a digitally remastered CD plus DVD and 2) a digitally remastered CD plus Blu-ray Audio disc.
The stunning 5.1 surround sound mix was supervised by the band's Alex Lifeson using the original multi-tracks and the stereo mix was remastered from the original analog master tapes. Both DVD & Blu-ray formats boast the 5.1 surround sound and stereo audio in 96kHz/24-bit high-resolution audio, and the Blu-ray discs upgrade the audio codec to feature DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 surround sound. Remastering was done by Andy VanDette at MAsterdisk, where Moving Pictures was mastered originally, and it absolutely sounds full and warm.
The DTS-HD version on the Blu-ray disc digs in on the low end while smoothing the bright tops that are predominant in the mix. Synths pull the listener towards the back on the first track “Tom Sawyer,” while second guitars fill the rears on “Red Barchetta,” a powerful sound desired by all Marshall stack rockers. Get ready to be whipped on the third track, “YYZ,” where Neil Peart's drums circle around the sweet spot, as this instrumental track shows off the talents of this Canadian power trio. While the stereo mix offers some excellent depth, and is a perfect companion when traveling, the surround mix places the listener into a cavernous space well utilized by all channel reverb, panning of instruments among the five main channels, with some sweet movements from front to rear, and a wide spreading of the drum kit.
Update 2024: Back when this article was written, this edition was clearly the choice version for surround enthusiasts. However, a Dolby Atmos remix was released as part of a 40th Anniversary Super Deluxe Box set in April of 2022 which dramatically improved the audio quality, which has also been reviewd.
This edition released April 5, 2011.
Blu-ray with 96kHz / 24-bit 5.1 surround sound DTS HD Master Audio and Audio CD (OOP). Also available for streaming.
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About the Author
Wesley is a lifelong music enthusiast. He started his career in the recording industry in New York City as an audio engineer, producer, and studio manager. Subsequently he toured across America as a guitarist with the short-lived band Land's Crossing. After many years in the technology sector and amassing a substantial vinyl and CD collection, he delved into immersive audio and created Hi-Res Edition to share with other listeners about the sound quality and discrete mixes available on many formats. He recently upgraded his system to 5.1.4 Dolby Atmos and continues to seek out and share about the best sounding releases.