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For Once The Music Industry Got It Right With Rush's Moving Pictures Album on Blu-ray

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Rush_Bluray.gifNobody is more critical than me about how the record industry has blown what was once a $33,000,000,000 per year domestic music business in the early 1990s and turned it into a low-resolution $11,000,000,000 business dominated by Apple's iTunes, MP3 files, ring tones and convenience over sound quality. With that said - I just found what I have been looking for (which isn't a U2 album but that would be good too) in the form of Rush's 25th Anniversary re-release of their epic, progressive rock record: Moving Pictures on Blu-ray, released by Mercury.

Additional Resources
• Read more original commentary in our Feature News section.
• See similar stories in our Music Industry News section.
• Explore even more stories in our Blu-ray Software News section.
• Search for a Blu-ray player to play the Rush Blu-ray on.

Moving Pictures is one of the best records of its genre including hit songs like "Red Barchetta," "Limelight," and "Tom Sawyer" as well as an overall concept to the record that makes the other songs more meaningful than the filler that is part of most other albums. The performance from the Canadian trio is absolutely fantastic if not historic. Nobody questions if Rush can play their instruments, but what's so absolutely fantastic about the Moving Pictures re-release is the fact that it comes with both a remastered Compact Disc of the record as well as a Blu-ray. A remastered CD of a record that I bought back in the day isn't going to get me to write a feature story about the album, but the additional Blu-ray is. This Blu-ray to me represents the way records should be sold today. There is a stereo mix, a 5.1 mix and a DTS Master Audio mix, much like you'd expect from a blockbuster Hollywood movie on Blu-ray. Uncompressed audio sounds much more like master tape than a lower resolution 16 bit Compact Disc and in casual comparisons between the CD and the Blu-ray - it's easy to hear that the Blu-ray is better sounding, more dynamic and more open.

Rush's Moving Pictures does do a few things wrong in that the packaging is in a traditional CD-style paper case, not in a Blue plastic box like you would expect from a Blu-ray disc. The navigation is a little tricky, especially if you are trying to get to the three HD music videos included on the disc. But for whatever the record does wrong - it does so many things right that you can finally see a path to why you'd buy your music back all over again.

Will studios embrace music on Blu-ray? I am not sure, as so many of the big label executives actually believe that you, the consumer, simply cannot hear the difference. You absolutely can. In return for higher resolution stereo and surround sound versions of our favorite records - we will trade out playing these Blu-ray discs in a copy-protected format. Compact Discs are not copy-protected, thus can easily be stolen as opposed to music on Blu-ray which is far harder to swipe.

How do you tell the labels that you love music in HD? Buy the disc or download the HD version of the album. I'd say in this case - buying the Blu-ray is better. Make Moving Pictures a success all over again, much like Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon on 5.1 SACD was a resounding success while almost every other DVD-Audio and SACD didn't sell nearly as well.

Back catalog records are very profitable for a label to sell in new formats, especially ones like Blu-ray. When the music business was cranking north of 30 billion per year domestically - back catalog CD sales made up close to 80 percent of the overall sales. Blu-ray alone likely can't return the music business back to 30 billion per year in sales, but it can help make up some of the losses, abate music piracy and pay tribute to the art recorded in the major labels' back catalogs. The truth is - all of the majors have their back catalogs just sitting there in 24 bit 96 kHz HD-Audio resolutions, but they don't think we will buy it from them. They think consumers only care about how many files they can cram onto an iPod Nano. That's crap. People care about music as well as audio quality and will pay for it. I am suggesting that you start by buying Rush's Moving Pictures re-release on Blu-ray.

Additional Resources
• Read more original commentary in our Feature News section.
• See similar stories in our Music Industry News section.
• Explore even more stories in our Blu-ray Software News section.
• Search for a Blu-ray player to play the Rush Blu-ray on.

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