Last night during it’s concert at the USANA Amphitheatre, Rush played the full track-list from the 1980 blockbuster album “Moving Pictures.”
The adrenaline surged as the band went through “Tom Sawyer,” “Red Barchetta,” “YYZ,” “Limelight,” “Camera Eye,” “Witch Hunt” and “Vital Signs,” in order.
All of a sudden, that segment of the concert was over.
Even though the live versions are, by default, longer than the recorded songs found on the album, I couldn’t help but how short the album is.
I mean, “Moving Pictures” clocks in a roughly 40 minutes. And that, of course, includes listening to side A and turning it over to listen to side B.
In 1980, that was just a bit more than the average 35 minute single, vinyl-disc release.
By comparison, Styx’s “Pieces of Eight,” which was released in 1978, ran just under 43 minutes, and the band, from what I’ve heard in the past, admitted to having a load of technical problems keeping it a single album.
It would have been interesting to see what “Pieces of Eight” would have been if it was a double album, but I digress.
What I’m trying to say is this:
In this digital age, a CD can run up to nearly 80 minutes, and an mp3 track can, theoretically, run forever.
That means there is so much room for throwaway filler.
And while there are vinyl albums that have some throwaway tracks, in most cases, the songs had to be good because of limited space.
When hearing “Moving Pictures” within a 3-hour concert context, it just hit me how strong the songs were, even if they only took up a fraction of the show.