For RUSH fans, or drum music fans in general, this is a crazy and awesome surprise. Neil Peart played in a band called J. R. Flood in the late 60’s and early 1970’s and wrote about some of his memories here. Based on the YouTube comments, it sounds like Neil Peart found the recording of their full demo album and burned copies for a few friends, and then the album recently found itself on the Internets for all of us to enjoy.
Neil Peart’s drumming is exceptional for an 18-year-old. You can hear Neil’s historical use of increasing the complexity of his drum fills as the song progresses. He starts out with a simple drum fill and each fill afterwards is based on the rhythm of that initial drum fill, but becomes more complex. His single stroke rolls are evident throughout the album, but his trademark ride cymbal pattern is yet to be found. As the album progresses, Neil’s drumming style and feel is pretty loose compared to some of the maybe more stiffer playing on a few RUSH albums.
Neil Peart’s first album with RUSH, Anthem released in 1975, doesn’t seem as difficult for a 23-year-old Peart once you his playing at only 18. This is most likely the earliest known recording of Neil Peart’s drumming. Just like the album, pretty groovy!