I went through a brief Rush phase, though even then I would only single out a couple of really great songs amidst some pretty boring prog meanderings. Give me any random '70s Yes album (except Tormato) over any random '70s Rush album any day.
No that doesn't sound backhanded at all. It's an apt description. That's why I rarely prefer Buddy covers to the originals — since they're already well written and arranged given the limits of the 1950s — unless they radically change things or significantly improve production (the latter most obvious on the more rocking take of "Not Fade Away" from the Stones or the delightful jangle on "Words of Love" from the Beatles).
TMR is pretty great, but I probably needed to hear it 20 times before it clicked.