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Audio 26 August 1974 - Agora Ballroom, Cleveland, Ohio [Soundboard]

Rush Archives

Syrinx Computers


Track Listing:

01 - Intro​
02 - Finding My Way​
03 - Best I Can​
04 - Need Some Love​
05 - In The End​
06 - Fancy Dancer​
07 - In The Mood​
08 - Bad Boy / Guitar Solo​
09 - Here Again​
10 - Working Man​
11 - Drum Solo​
12 - What You're Doing​
13 - Garden Road​


  • Originally recorded and broadcast by WMMS FM radio in 1974.
  • This is the second earliest recording with Neil Peart, who had only joined the band less than one month prior (29 July 1974).
  • This features one of three known rare recordings of non-album Rush song Fancy Dancer.
  • This is the only known recording of non-album Rush song Garden Road.
  • This recording features an early live version of In The End.
  • Early pieces of By-Tor And The Snow Dog can be heard during the middle section of Working Man.


Agree. This whole concert is super raw - Geddy's bass and voice most so. Does anyone know the story of the audio that is available? Are there "master" tapes somewhere, or is what we all have descended from a recording of the original broadcast?

I remember having this whole show for years from Finding My Way through What You're Doing and thinking it was complete. And then, one day, many years ago, the version with Garden Road dropped and it blew my (and my Rush friends') mind(s). Not only was Garden Road an unheard Rush original - it was among the heaviest of all Rush tracks. As heavy as What You're Doing, but faster.

Thank the gods of rock that shows like this were recorded and preserved, so that those of us young enough not to have seen Rush in the 1970s can have some insight into what they were about. Good lord, to have seen them in a packed club at high volume would have been a peak moment in a life.

Have any of you all seen shows that impacted you so deeply that you remember them to this day with an emotional clarity? I have, but maybe that's a different thread...
@rocky chains
I do know the basic story, but I may be missing some specific details.

The Agora in Cleveland regularly recorded many of the bands/artists who performed at the venue and would then broadcast the tapes on WMMS FM. That is why we have three different performances archived of Rush at the Agora, all originally recorded from the soundboard. The bootlegs that have been circulated for decades were sourced from a fan's home recording of the broadcast from the 1970s. In the year 2000, the Agora master tapes were dug out and rebroadcast for the first time in 25 years. A Rush collector friend of mine who experienced this rebroadcast told me that when Garden Road started playing, it blew everyone's mind, because apparently no one had ever heard it before (unless you were at a concert) nor expected it. What he theorized is that either, a, Garden Road was omitted from the original broadcast, or b, the taper of the home recording missed capturing the song for some reason.

I do believe the December 16 Agora show was also rebroadcast around 2000, but I'll have to ask about that at some point to confirm. Either way, the master tape for this show was also recovered around this time, so these two 1974 Agora shows managed to get a proper digital transfer from the masters, I believe by some fans who were into Rush bootlegs/collecting. Again I'd have to confirm the exact details. For both this August 26 and the December 16 recordings, my recommended downloads and the ones labeled "Sirius Master" are those versions direct from the master tapes.

Unfortunately the master tape of the Agora show from the FBN tour on April 7 of 1975 appears to have been lost forever, but luckily some fan did at least record the broadcast in the 1970s. My theory about that show is By-Tor seems a very odd omission from the actual setlist, and that perhaps the master tape would reveal the song was only omitted from the broadcast to save time. Sadly we will never know (unless by crazy chance an audience recording pops up). From what I think I recall reading, a lot of the Agora's master tapes were destroyed in a fire at some point before 2000, which is why some could not be recovered. I need to double check those details as well, because I recall another instance where master tapes were destroyed in a fire, those recorded for the King Biscuit Flower Hour (they recorded Rush in Toronto Sept 11, 1974, but the recording has been long lost to time).
Thank you for that super informative post, which makes sense.

Seems like a lot of tragedy happened to a lot of recordings of a lot of bands over the years. I'm a Zeppelin fan too, and there is a story about one of the great Zeppelin fan recordings from Berkeley, Sept 14, 1971. The recording was done on reels, using a high end tape deck and quality microphones. It was edited to fit onto a 2 LP set, called "Going to California". Amazing sound and a pretty great concert, but frustratingly incomplete due to the time limitations of 2 LPs. Although the full show existed - according to legend - on the master reels, the reels were lost overboard on a boat trip along with many other illicit recordings, I heard, during a potential bust. Not sure how true the story is, but the it is seemingly true that the underlying reels were lost for all time many years ago.

There was of course a huge fire at a warehouse packed with master tape in CA some years back. There are loads of stories about shows being taped over by the original taper because they didn't really dig the show. And so on...

Does anyone know if the KBFH recording from 9/11/74 was ever broadcast before it was destroyed?