Rush’s ‘Moving Pictures’ Gets a 40th Anniversary Treatment

Rush’s 40th-anniversary albums series continues with an extended release of Bruges’ groundbreaking 1981 release, The Motion Pictures, cementing the album’s well-deserved classic status. The album, released on April 15, is available to fans in a few premium configurations, including the Super Deluxe Edition, the 5LP Deluxe Edition, and the single LP edition. It can also be found in 3CD Deluxe Edition, Digital Deluxe Edition, and Dolby Atmos Digital Edition.

Comprised of guitarist/keyboardist/vocalist Jedi Lee, guitarist/singer Alex Levson and drummer/vocalist Neil Burt, Rush’s always-exploratory song has combined outstanding musicians, intricate compositions and distinctive lyrical flair that has attracted fans around the world. “Moving Pictures” was the band’s eighth studio album and was originally released on February 12, 1981. It was adventurous, yet accessible, music that drove the forward-thinking Canadian band to newer heights as they began navigating the demands of a new decade.

The seven songs on “Moving Pictures” brilliantly blended the group’s ingenuity at turning their progressive roots into wireless arrangements, as evidenced by songs like “Limelight” and “Tom Sawyer.” The latter open LP and became one of Rush’s most favorite songs as well as being an enduring concert for decades to come.

The seven songs on “Moving Pictures” brilliantly blended the group’s ingenuity at turning their progressive roots into radio arrangements, as evidenced by songs like “Limelight” and “Tom Sawyer.” (Photo courtesy of Michael Christopher)

The Super Deluxe Edition of “Moving Pictures” includes three CDs, one Blu-ray audio disc and five 180-gram black vinyl discs. The collection includes a remixed version of Abbey Road Mastering Studios’ 2015 debut album on CD, along with two discs of previously unreleased and newly restored live content freshly mixed from the original analog live multitrack by original Rush producer, Terry Brown. The live show features the band’s full Toronto unreleased concert from Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto, Ontario, on March 25, 1981, dubbed “Live in YYZ 1981.”

The fourth additional disc is Blu-ray Audio with the newly mixed base album of original multitracks in Dolby Atmos, Dolby TrueHD 5.1 and DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 as done by renowned producer/engineer Richard Cheeky, along with a previously available PCM stereo mix. . Also on Blu-ray there are four additional videos; An all-new video for “YYZ,” plus three old remastered promotional videos for “Tom Sawyer,” “Limelight,” and “Vital Signs.” Plus, all vinyl in the Super Deluxe Edition was cut at half speed Direct to Metal Mastering – in what is Rush’s catalog first – on five of the 180-gram audiophiles.

The Super Deluxe Edition of “Moving Pictures-40th Anniversary” also contains many exclusive items, including a 44-page hardcover book with unreleased photos and new artwork by original album designer Hugh Syme, along with new illustrations for each Song. There are extensive notes by Soundgarden guitarist Kim Thayil, bassist and vocalist Primus Les Claypool, the late Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins and Mastodon guitarist Bill Kelliher and Three Days Grace Drummer Neil Sanderson.

Other collectibles in the collection are a “Red Barchetta” car mounted to a black perch with an MP40 plate, a Neil Peart MP40 brand drum stick, and two metal-engraved guitar picks, one of which has the autographs of Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson with them.

In addition, there is a 1981 “Moving Pictures” official tour program replica, an enameled pin with the MP40 logo, a “Moving Pictures” 3D lithograph, an 18″ x 24″ 1981 Toronto party poster, a ticket replica 1981 Concert Show Maple Leaf Gardens, “Rush Through the Years 1973-1981″ 12″ x 36” poster, YYZ luggage tag and “All Access World Tour ’81” accessory. All contents are housed in a deluxe box top featuring cover art reimagined by Syme.

Upon its release, “Moving Pictures” topped the charts in the group’s home country, breaking into the top five here in the US and UK reaching number three on both points. It went on to become a bestseller all over the world. During the 2010 – 2011 “Time Machine” world tour, Rush was playing the entire record to open his second group, marking its 30th anniversary at the time. After Peart’s death in early 2020, surviving members Lee and Liefson decided to end the band.

To contact music columnist Michael Christopher, email [email protected] Also check out his blog at

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