I have never really been a big Rush fan.
Not that I was ever against them, but sort of like Masters of the Universe, I was born too late for them.
By the time Rush hit what Wikipedia refers to as the band’s “Mainstream Success” years (1977-81) I had run from the Arena rock of ELO and Queen to the Punk bands from England and New Wavers out of New York.
Furthermore, Rush was a Prog Rock band, and I had already grown weary of Yes, not that I did not respect the musical chops of Steve Howe and his mates. Yes’ music just seemed a bit on the forced/overwritten side to me compared to the visceral guitars of the Pistols and Eddie and the Hot Rods and the Records, et al.
Actually, the real bottom line was that the Prog Band of my adolescence was The Moody Blues, and then Pink Floyd, both of whom were cutting edge in the late 60’s, before Yes and Rush and even Fripp and Eno (there was Roxy Music out there too, though they were more Pop/Art Rock than Prog in my opinion).
I was given a copy of Rush’s single, New World Man when it came out in the mid-80’s, and it was OK, but I more remember a photograph of a Dalmatian on the cover (our family had one as I was growing up) than the actual song.
Over the years, I have heard songs by Rush on the radio waves, and with their distinct style and Geddy Lee’s falsetto vocals, they are pretty easily recognizable. And, they are not bad in any way. I never turn them off or change the channel: I just never crave more.
Except for the tune The Spirit of Radio which I have heard from time-to-time on said radio, and which I thought was a really great cut, but which I had never really listened to, if that makes a lick of sense. And, I certainly did not know the title of the tune.
However, I did catch the Band’s live performance as part of their introduction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and lo and behold the band played a red hot version of said song.
Again, I noted I liked it a lot, but I still did not know the title till the other night when I was returning from band practice, and the local hard rock station (the Bone at 107.7) played the original album track from the 1981 album Permanent Waves.
Of course with its unmistakable Alex Lifeson riff that runs through the tune, it is pretty hard to miss, but the truth is, since I heard it that last time, I cannot stop hearing in my head.
For now, that is a good thing.
I liked Rush as a rockin’ Led Zep rip-off band (i.e. the first album and, for the most part, the second). From there, they got “progressively” shittier and shittier.