Retrospective, Vol. 1 (1974-1980) was designed to replace the double-disc set Chronicles, and it is, in fact, a better compilation than its predecessor. By concentrating on Rush's earliest albums -- from 1974's Rush to 1980's Permanent Waves -- the album draws an excellent portrait of the group's artiest work, leaving their hard rock radio hits for Retrospective, Vol. 2. Meanwhile, Vol. 1 contains nearly all of the highlights from their '70s albums, including "Closer to the Heart" and "Fly by Night," making it a nearly flawless encapsulation of their early career.
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AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine