Rush

Rush consists of Geddy Lee (vocals, synth, bass), Alex Lifeson (guitar), and Neil Peart (drums).

The first time I heard Rush was in 9th grade when my history teacher played "Bastille Day" during the French Revolution unit. I thought it sounded dumb. The only Rush song I would tolerate for the longest time was "Tom Sawyer," although I grew to like "YYZ" and "The Spirit of Radio." But there was no way I was ever going to ACTUALLY LIKE this band, they sounded dumb. During college, I decided to listen to "Different Stages" on my uncle's recommendation. Alright, it didn't sound too bad. I kept listening, and listening, and found I couldn't stop. I needed more. I picked up more live albums, each one had a different sound and excellent songs. It took almost 10 years, but I finally became a Rush fan. Unfortunately it was in 2015, so I guess karma punished me by making me miss their last tour. However, I have seen a local cover band (Distant Signals) who were awesome. Better late than never.

Rush has a unique sound that can't really be compared to any other band. Some of their music fits into prog rock, new wave, and even just early 90's alternative. They've always made music for the fans, it's not about selling records. Almost all the lyrics are written by Peart, and they touch on everything including the purpose of life, war, and society. Rush is super popular with people that consider themselves "different," because the lyrics speak to them more so than the average pop song, which I think is true. Rush has put out albums over 40 years, and there are hints of blues, reggae, and synth-heavy music during different eras. All three musicians are extremely skilled and acclaimed, and many consider Neil Peart to be the best drummer of all time. I'm a big fan partially because of the number of live albums they've produced, with each having a different feel and style, but all having a few of the classic songs. Importantly, they never use other musicians in their live shows (except for a string orchestra on the Clockwork Angels tour) and have to switch between the different instruments and added sounds themselves. Because of all this, they're now one of my favorite bands.

Nate's Epic Rush Playlist

  1. The Camera Eye (Moving Pictures 1981)
  2. Animate (Counterparts 1994)
  3. Far Cry (Snakes and Arrows 2007)
  4. Between the Wheels (Grace Under Pressure 1984)
  5. Xanadu (A Farewell to Kings 1977)
  6. Turn the Page (Hold Your Fire 1987)
  7. La Villa Strangiato (Hemispheres 1978)
  8. Manhattan Project (Power Windows 1985)
  9. Force Ten (Hold Your Fire 1987)
  10. Test For Echo (Test For Echo 1996)
  11. Marathon (Power Windows 1985)
  12. Freewill (Permanent Waves 1980)
  13. Natural Science (Permanent Waves 1980)
  14. The Trees (Hemispheres 1978)
  15. Subdivisions (Signals 1982)
  16. Tom Sawyer (Moving Pictures 1981)
  17. YYZ (Moving Pictures 1981)
  18. 2112 (2112 1976)
  19. Cut to the Chase (Counterparts 1993)
  20. Working Man (Rush 1974)
  21. Alien Shore (Counterparts 1993)
  22. In the End (Fly By Night 1975)
  23. The Weapon (Signals 1982)
  24. Lakeside Park (Caress of Steel 1975)
  25. The Spirit of Radio (Permanent Waves 1980)
  26. Stick it Out (Counterparts 1993)
  27. Show Don't Tell (Presto 1989)
  28. Distant Early Warning (Grace Under Pressure 1984)
  29. The Garden (Clockwork Angels 2012)
  30. Roll the Bones (Roll the Bones 1991)
  31. Time Stands Still (Hold Your Fire 1987)
  32. Caravan (Clockwork Angels 2012)
  33. Neurotica (Roll the Bones 1991)
  34. Finding My Way (Rush 1974)
  35. By-Tor and the Snow Dog (Fly By Night 1975)
  36. Heart Full of Soul (Feedback 2004)
  37. Wish them Well (Clockwork Angels 2012)
  38. One Little Victory (Vapor Trails 2002)

Rush (1974)

rush

The first Rush album, it lacks a lot of the progressive rock and harder edge of future albums, demonstrating a blues style. My personal favorites are Finding My Way and Working Man.

Finding My Way: The album opens with this straight rock groove with strong guitar riffs. The instrumental section in the middle is a nice change, with the sound quieting down before jumping back into the chorus. A live version can be found on the "Grace Under Pressure" tour.

Need Some Love: I really like the quick pace of this song, with the choruses switching to a half-time feel. And c'mon, who doesn't need some love?

What You're Doing: Another straight rock song, it just has a nice groove.

In The Mood: This song almost has a southern rock feel, especially with the cowbell and guitar riffs.

Working Man This song is powerful, with a strong opening guitar part. The lyrical sections would be great alone, but the song has a middle instrumental section in double-time that's super awesome. I love the way it's introduced by the solo bass line. I think I like the R30 live version the best.

Fly by Night (1975)

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The first album of two from 1975, there is still the bluesy feel from the first album. There are some more progressive tones added in, such as the sci-fi theme of By-Tor. My personal favorites are By-Tor, Fly By Night, and Making Memories.

Anthem: This song has a really cool 12/8 beat with an interesting drum beat supporting the instrumental section.

Beneath, Between, and Behind: I just like the fast pace of this song, with some nice drum fills.

By-Tor and the Snow Dog: This song has definitely grown on me over time. I love the instrumental section. I really like the part where they play one note repeatedly, interspersed by drum fills. I also enjoy the guitar during the chorus. There's a good live version on "Different Stages."

Fly By Night: This song would fit well on the first album. It has a nice straight beat with a good guitar solo.

Making Memories: I feel like this song is the Rush version of Over the Hills and Far Away by Led Zeppelin, especially with the acoustic guitar.

In the End: I've gotten hooked on this song from the live version on "All the World's a Stage." There's something simplistic about the guitar and lyrics, but I also like how the song picks up speed with the addition of the drums. I think this is honestly one of my favorite guitar solos.

Caress of Steel (1975)

caress

I'm not as huge a fan of this album as previous ones, mostly because it has two longer songs on it that just haven't "caught my fancy" yet. The longer run time definitely reflects the greater inclusion of prog rock into their writing. Personally I enjoy Bastille Day and Lakeside Park.

Bastille Day: This song holds a special place in my heart, it's the first Rush song I ever remember hearing. My 9th grade social studies teacher played it for us during the French Revolution unit. I thought it was a weird song...I was an unappreciative child. Fortunately I changed my mind. I like the live version on "Different Stages."

Lakeside Park: I find this song has a very upbeat, happy sound. I really like to play this one during the summer while cruising in the car with the windows down, it has the perfect feel. There's a nice version of this combined with Anthem on "R40."

2112 (1976)

2112

One of their most famous albums, mainly because of the title track which takes up one whole album side. In fact, it's considered one of the greatest prog rock albums of all time. Aside from the title track, my other favorite is The Twilight Zone and Something for Nothing.

2112: This is Rush's longest song at 20:33 (not 21:12). It's an excellent prog rock song, with themes of sci-fi and dystopian futures, changing styles throughout the song...and of course the long run time. I personally don't listen to it much just because it's so long, and there's some quieter sections. I much prefer the live versions, which are much shorter. "Time Machine" has a good version.

A Passage to Bangkok: Switching it up, this song has very "eastern" motifs, demonstrated by both the guitar and the pitched bells. The guitar solo is neat because its at a much slower tempo than many other songs.

The Twilight Zone: There's a lot of Rush songs that seem kind of strange when you listen the first hundred times, but they grow on you. This is definitely one of them. I would describe the sound as "dissonant," almost jarring, but that's what makes it reminiscent of the Twilight Zone I guess.

Something for Nothing: I really like the duet between the vocals and guitar. I also like the lyrics, saying that you need to put in the work to get something out of it.

A Farewell to Kings (1977)

kings

An excellent follow-up to 2112, Rush continues the prog trend with out-there songs like Xanadu and Cygnus X-1. Xanadu is one of my favorite songs ever, and Closer to the Heart is always good. I do enjoy A Farewell to Kings and Cygnus X-1, but I haven't had a chance to listen enough to comment.

Xanadu: One of my personal favorites. I love the opening, it reminds me of Sirius by the Alan Parsons Project (and would also make an epic sport team entrance theme). The rest of the song doesn't disappoint either, with fast instrumentals and slower lyrical sections. I really like the use of the high pitched synthesizer, which sounds similar to the vocal parts. I have no idea what the lyrics mean, but they're great too. The best versions are on "Different Stages" and "Exit...Stage Left."

Closer to the Heart: This is a great Rush sing-a-long. I like the lyrics, the solo section, and especially the use of chimes. The best live version is on "A Show of Hands" with "Different Stages" not far behind.

Hemispheres (1978)

hemi

This album has one of my favorite instrumentals, La Villa Strangiato. There's a good amount of acoustic guitar on this album, often building a foundation for the songs before jumping into the typical all-out Rush sound. I'm a big fan of Side-B, and Cygnus X-1 Book II is good too, though I haven't listened to it much.

Circumstances This song is great. It has a fast-paced beat with offbeat drum rhythms which only get better with the halftime chorus. I like the line "the more that things change the more they stay the same." And I can't forget the use of the glockenspiel towards the end.

The Trees: The lyrics tells the story of the maples and oaks fighting over sunlight in the forest. Some people think it's a metaphor for Canada and USA, although Rush denies this (plus isn't Canada one of the few countries that maintains a good relationship with America?). The ending has a nice twist, but I won't spoil it for you. The bass-heavy instrumental section is excellent. The song quiets after the vocal section, then builds back up until the guitar solo. The best versions are on "Exit...Stage Left" and "Different Stages."

La Villa Strangiato: I love this song. I used the beginning as my alarm for a while because it starts off quiet with an acoustic guitar and slowly builds up. There are multiple rhythmic motifs and they're all great. I like when the volume drops back down and it's pretty much just the drums playing a syncopated rhythm. I also enjoy the guitar part right before there's a china cymbal-heavy interruption. You may even recognize part of the song from old Looney Tunes cartoons; it's Raymond Scott's "Powerhouse." There is an excellent live version on "Exit...Stage Left."

Permanent Waves (1980)

waves

This album has some really great songs, perhaps foreshadowing what's to come with "Moving Pictures" one year later. These songs definitely have the "Rush sound," which I'm really bad at describing but you'll know it when you hear it. The Spirit of Radio gets a lot of airplay, my other favorites being Freewill and Natural Science.

The Spirit of Radio: One of Rush's most well-known songs. I really like how the song flows even as the drum beat changes throughout. There are some noticeable reggae themes, with emphasis on the upbeats. You'll just have to give it a listen. The best version is probably on either "Exit...Stage Left," "Grace Under Pressure," or "Different Stages."

Freewill: This is one of my favorite songs lyrically. I love the chorus, but my favorite line is "a prisoner in chains" (it comes through really well on live recordings). The song would be good enough as is, but there is an epic guitar instrumental with a killer bassline that makes the song 10x better. I like the "Different Stages" live version.

Jacob's Ladder: This song is mainly an instrumental with some lyrical sections thrown in. The guitar is almost vocal in nature, cutting through perfectly. I think the "R40" version is pretty good.

Entre Nous: I like the disco drum beat of this song as well as the guitar throughout.

Natural Science: I have no idea what this song means, but I do like natural science. I love how the guitar starts after the intro and builds straight into the main song; it has a perfect halftime feel. Personally I think the "Different Stages" version is the best recording, it sounds more raw.

Moving Pictures (1981)

moving

This is by far the best Rush album. Every song on this is excellent both on their own and listened to straight through. It's the perfect combination of complex rhythms, melodies, and lyrics. Tom Sawyer and YYZ are familiar to most as they get the most airplay. My personal favorite is The Camera Eye.

Tom Sawyer: Probably the most famous Rush song of all time, practically recognizable from the first note. It has the perfect blend of guitar, synthesizers, bass, and drums. The synth solo is amazing, followed by an even better guitar solo with a killer bassline laid down underneath. The best live versions are probably on "Exit...Stage Left" or "Snakes and Arrows."

Red Barchetta: This is another very recognizable song from the first few notes. The song is all about a dystopian future where use of cars has been banned. The guitar solos conjure up imagery of a futuristic car chase. I like the "Time Machine" version, mainly for the Daffy Duck soundbite in the middle, or the "Exit...Stage Left" version as well.

YYZ: This is the most recognizable Rush instrumental. The song gets its name from the Toronto airport Morse code designation (YYZ), which is played at the beginning of the song in 13/8. The song maintains an overall musical theme, but I really like how the drumbeat changes throughout, from a rock beat to a syncopated rhythm, with a disco beat at times. The guitar solo is awesome, with an "out-there" sound; I especially like the whip-cracks interspersed within. I really like the "Clockwork Angels" version which has an accompanying orchestral part, or "Exit...Stage Left" which has an included drum solo.

Limelight: This is a little more of a straight rock tune, but it changes up the rhythms throughout to create a halftime feel, especially during the guitar solo. The best live versions are on "Different Stages" and "Time Machine."

The Camera Eye: I love this song. I love how it slowly makes an entrance, piece by piece. I love the way the drums start with a march-like beat. I love how it switches to a doubletime instrumental. I love the lyrics. And I especially love how halfway through the song, it stops...and everything starts all over again with an even better off-beat drumbeat. The only thing that makes this song better is a live version, which you can hear on "Time Machine" or "R40," both exceptional.

Witch Hunt: This song is sooper creepy, startin' out with some spooky bells and switching to a spookier guitar line. I like the use of tom-toms by Neil in the first half. The lyrics reflect persecution of groups of people, hence the name. I think the "Grace Under Pressure" version is the best.

Vital Signs: I think this song shows the reggae feel that can be found in many of their songs. The drums demonstrate this at times during fills, and also give a weird feel by accenting the first beat of some of the measures.

Signals (1982)

signals

There's a lot more synthesizer in this album, and I think there's more of a reggae feel. They definitely build on Moving Pictures. My personal favorites are Subdivisions and New World Man.

Subdivisions: A song about the the divisions found in high school, and even in society as a whole. I really like the lines "be cool or be cast out" and "conform or be cast out." The synthesizer instrumentals parts are great as well. This has been played on multiple tours, I don't have a preference on which is the best.

The Analog Kid: This song is fast-paced, but I like how the chorus drops to half-time with delayed accents on the beats, making the song "pull back." There are good versions on "Clockwork Angels" and "Different Stages."

Digital Man: I think this is one of the most reggae-heavy songs in their collection. I like the chorus (the part about Zion and Babylon). The song completely switches up the feel about halfway through, when it turns into a techno-ish straight halftime beat.

The Weapon: This song is pretty good. Not great, but pretty good. However, the live version on "Grace Under Pressure" blows everything else out of the water. It's the perfect example of what a live version should be: raw, in your face, and with much more emotion than the studio version. The voice at the beginning is Count Floyd; for the full experience, see the video below. It's the epitome of the 80s.

New World Man: Another reggae-sounding song, it has some nice political undertones (new world vs old world vs third world men). The song is nice and chill up until the chorus where it speeds up to rock out. Of course, my favorite part is during the second verse with the china cymbal. I can't get enough of that offbeat china cymbal. There's a good live version on "Grace Under Pressure."

Countdown: I just really like the synthesizer part interspersed with quotes from the first Columbia shuttle launch. It sounds really happy, plus there's china cymbal.

Grace Under Pressure (1984)

grace

Distant Early Warning: One of the first Rush songs I ever listened to besides Tom Sawyer and YYZ. There's some in-your-face synthesizer parts and lots of pro-environment, anti-nuclear war lyrics. I really like the line "You sometimes drive me crazy / but I worry about you." I think the best live version is on "Grace Under Pressure."

Afterimage: With an offbeat china cymbal...how could I not like this song? Otherwise it's a typical 80s synth-heavy Rush song.

Red Sector A: I enjoy this song but I wouldn't say it's a favorite. I put it on the list because of the lyrics, which Neil wrote after reading the stories of Holocaust survivors. There's a really good live version on "Grace Under Pressure."

The Enemy Within: This song sounds similar to The Weapon, which makes sense because they're two of the "Trilogy of Fear" (also includes Witch Hunt). I like the section after the chorus with mainly a tom-tom rhythm. There are some reggae influences as well.

The Body Electric: This song is weird, but I like it anyways. There's a weird marching beat, a great guitar solo, and some binary lyrics...1001001.

Between the Wheels: This is one of my favorite songs ever. There's this ominous harmony, self-reflective lyrics, and of course, china cymbal. My favorite lines are "you know how that rabbit feels / going under your speeding wheels" and "down to brother can you spare / another war / another wasteland / another lost generation." There's an amazing guitar solo after the second chorus. The best live version is probably on "Snakes and Arrows."

Power Windows (1985)

windows

This album definitely has some interesting songs and keeps with the 80s trend of more synthesizer and mullets (see music video below). My personal favorites are Marathon and Manhattan Project.

The Big Money: A very 80s song, it also wins the award for one of the most 80s music videos (see below). It honestly just has all the usual Rush characteristics: halftime/doubletime, offbeat rhythms, synthesizers with guitar licks. And who can argue with a winning formula?

Manhattan Project: This song switches things up, Neil uses a splash cymbal for his effects instead of a china cymbal (gasp). I like the synthesizer part, I think it fits the theme of the song (nuclear war and whatnot) well. There's a great live version on "A Show of Hands."

Marathon: This song has a fast pace, giving the feel of running a marathon. This is one of my favorite Rush songs, lyric-wise. My favorite line is "You can do a lot in a lifetime / if you don’t burn out too fast," especially because it's followed by a musical run on the bells. The instrumental section in the middle is so amazing I don't have the vocab to describe it, so you'll just have to go listen to that guitar solo yourself. Both the "Time Machine" and "A Show of Hands" versions are great.

Territories: This song has a great guitar part and a nice syncopated drum beat during the chorus, and that's all I have to say about that.

Hold Your Fire (1987)

fire

I'm not really sure how to describe this album. It's less 80s than many of the previous albums, but still maintains that unique Rush sound. I think many of the songs have a very inspirational feel, more so than other albums. My personal favorites are Force Ten and Turn the Page.

Force Ten: There's just something about this song that I love. Maybe it's the ratchet (literally sounds like a ratchet) at the beginning, the parts where it's just Geddy with some quiet drums and synth, or maybe part at the end with the OFFBEAT CHINA CYMBAL. Or maybe just all of it. I love the line "Look in / to the eye of the storm / look out / for the force without form." All live versions, "A Show of Hands," "Clockwork Angels," and "R30," are awesome.

Time Stands Still: This song reminds me of something they would play at senior prom, if anyone actually played Rush at senior proms. I really like the line "experience slips away," which says more by itself than any interpretation I could offer. Don't forget about the ridiculous music video, which is just amusing. Not necessarily bad, just amusing.

Prime Mover: This song embodies that inspirational feel. One of my favorite parts is "The point of the journey / is not to arrive / anything can happen." The music is typical Rush (AKA awesome). There's a nice part near the end with some added synthesizer during the chorus.

Mission: This song's opening line gives the name to the album. The halftime during the chorus is what does it for me, as well as the open hi-hat beat later on in the song. There's also a nice xylophone run after the guitar solo. I think the "Snakes and Arrows" live version is the best.

Turn the Page: Whenever this song comes on, I can't help doing a little head nodding with the beat. The song is good, but the parts with dat china cymbal doe? Epic. The chorus builds perfectly up until the last line, "We turn the page." The guitar solo is awesome, really screams out at you. I was so happy the day I purchased "A Show of Hands" because I finally had a live version of this song.

Presto (1989)

presto

I like this album, but I wouldn't say it really stands out. It's just another 1980's Rush album to end the decade. A lot of songs sound similar to those on previous albums, and they sound similar to each other. My personal favorites are Show Don't Tell and Available Light.

Show Don't Tell: This is a total Rush song, with the tempo changes and and syncopated beats. The part towards the end with the guitar solo sounds like something out of a dream sequence in a sitcom (or maybe it's just me). There's a great live version on "Different Stages."

Chain Lightning: I like the lyrics in this song, all about energy and whatnot. Plus you can't help but nod your head with the beat, especially during the chorus.

The Pass: This is one of the most emotional Rush songs. I think it's about feeling alone against the world, and realizing that you're not alone, and more importantly you don't have to be alone in your struggles. I think it's an inspirational song, and really represents why so many people like listening to Rush, especially with lines like "All of us get lost in the darkness / Dreamers learn to steer by the stars." There's a live version on "Clockwork Angels."

Presto: I like the use of acoustic guitar and the minimal drums through most of the song. But I also like when it switches up during the guitar solo.

Superconductor: This song reminds me of Marathon off "Power Windows," mainly the fast pace. It's a great song.

Hand Over Fist: I don't know why but there's something I like about the rock/paper/scissors lyrics.

Available Light: I really like the use of acoustic piano and the 16th note hihat beat at the beginning. The parts where the instruments cut out and he sings "any available light..." is also great.

Roll the Bones (1991)

bones

I think this is where Rush started jumping on the harder rock bandwagon of the 1990's. It still has the vibe of many of the 1980's albums, especially Power Windows (to me), but it's definitely a transition to the heavy sound of Counterparts. My personal favorites are Roll the Bones and Neurotica.

Dreamline: Such a strong way to open an album, you're thrown right into the layered instruments before the lyrics begin. There's a reason this song is often used to open live performances. I don't know what the lyrics mean but they paint a great mental picture.

Bravado: I just like the drum beat on this song, that's pretty much it.

Roll the Bones: I love this song for its rockin' beat and the lyrics about how you just need to take a chance (roll the bones) in life, because why not? Also, not gonna lie, I love the rap part. It just cracks me up. The live versions are even better because there's usually some nice drum fills at the end along with a couple great Geddy Lee screams, my personal favorite is "R30," I think the sound is stronger.

Face Up: I like the combination of the piano and ride cymbal, with the occasional china cymbal thrown in. Just another quick-paced Rush song.

Where's My Thing?: The album's instrumental track, it sums up the entire sound of the album. I like the synthesizer sound which I can only describe as "fairy dust magic" - you'll know it when you hear it.

Ghost of a Chance: This song makes the list because of when Geddy sings the chorus and the guitar answers a response (no idea what it says since I can't speak guitar).

Neurotica: If you don't like this song...well, "you just don't get it." That's all I've got.

Counterparts (1993)

counter

Not the first album of the 90s, but it shows influences of the grunge and punk movements. There's a move away from synth-heavy songs and towards straight rock beats with guitar-heavy riffs. My personal favorites are Animate, Stick it Out, Cut to the Chase, and Alien Shore.

Animate: This song is beautiful. I think it's one of the straightest, hardest rocking songs in the whole Rush collection. Just the way the drums are makes me want to pump my fist with the song. The bass lays down a perfect line for the guitar and vocals. I love how the drum fills get more and more intense throughout the song, which is why I love playing this on my set at home. Although the guitar solos are short, they fit in perfectly. The "Different Stages" live version is amazing, and "R40" is pretty good. Not as big a fan of "R30," I think it's a little slower.

Stick it Out: Kind of a dark, ominous sounding song. It continues the hard rockin' trend. The guitar solo is short but super kewl, with its high pitched squeals. I like the "Different Stages" live version.

Cut to the Chase: The guitar riff at the beginning of this song is niiiiice. The only thing nicer is the killer guitar solo. And who doesn't love cutting to the chase?

Alien Shore: This is one of my favorite inspirational songs. The whole message is about reconciling differences, realizing that we all have more in common than makes us different. I think this song is underappreciated, and offers an important message no matter where or when it's played. My favorite line is "we hold these truths to be self-evident...we'd elect each other president," which is made even better by the fact that Rush (a Canadian band) is quoting the Declaration of Independence. Of course, it also has an excellent musical quality. The drum beat is all over the place, it's indescribable.

Leave That Thing Alone: I think this instrumental is second to YYZ. It has a nice party groove goin' for it. The guitar part is just awesome throughout the song.

Test for Echo (1996)

echo

I'm not as big a fan of this album, there's just not many songs that do it for me. I do like Test for Echo, I think that's an excellent song, one of my personal faves, if you will.

Test for Echo: I think this song is underappreciated. There's a nice groove throughout the song, even when the rhythms switch up. The chorus has a big buildup of sound before it drops the "TEST FOR ECHO" on your eardrums. The drums are just all over the place with the sick beats, especially when he just plays on the tom-toms. The live version on "Different Stages" is awesome, although occasionally you hear the crowd screaming a little loud.

Driven: I like the guitar riff and how it fits with the drums during the verses, then how the drums switch to halftime during the chorus but the guitar remains at the same tempo. Then, halfway, when the tempo slows and song pulls back...sweet stuff. There's a good live version on "Different Stages."

Vapor Trails (2002)

vapor

After a hiatus, Rush came back with this album. It's not their best, and there's not many songs I enjoy, but it's still a good album. My personal favorite is One Little Victory.

One Little Victory: The perfect way to open an album, in my opinion, is with a sick drum beat. And yeah, that's what we've got ourselves here. It's just a great song, even the part when everything just stops and Geddy says "one little victoreeeeeeee." I love it. There's great live versions on "R40" and "Snakes and Arrows Live."

How It Is: I'm not sure what it is that I like about this song. Maybe it's the alt-rock feel. It's a good song.

Earthshine: There's a good amount of odd-time rhythms, some strong guitar, and a l'il bit o' yodeling (at least it sounds like it).

Feedback (2004)

feedback

So Rush decided to do a cover album of songs they enjoyed listening to when they grew up. I always liked these kind of albums (Big Bang Theory by Styx) because sometimes they offer a new twist on an old song. My favorites on here are Heart Full of Soul, For What It's Worth, and The Seeker.

Summertime Blues: A song originally recorded by Eddie Cochran, I think this version is more reflective of The Who's cover. In The Who's version, there are spoken parts, but Rush replaces it with a short instrumental solo.

Heart Full of Soul: I think Rush does a good job reproducing the Yardbirds teenage-angsty sound. I also like the l'il tom-tom hits. The guitar solo is a nice hard version of the original. There's a great live version on "R30."

For What It's Worth: I think this is a great update of the original by Buffalo Springfield. I like how the song starts off chill, but quickly gets unchill (in a good way).

The Seeker: Another Who cover, they definitely give it their own Rush sound. And such a good guitar solo. There's a great live version on "R30."

Crossroads: A frequently covered song originally by Robert Johnson, I definitely like this bass-heavy version. Just a great song. There's also an awesome guitar solo on this one too.

Snakes and Arrows (2007)

snakes

There's a lot of fast-paced songs on this album, Rush is definitely not messing around. I think they've incorporated a darker sound to many of the songs as well. My personal favorites are Far Cry and Workin' Them Angels.

Far Cry: One of my favorite all-time Rush songs. The sound switches up throughout the song, but each time is different and better. There's the grungy guitar sound, a disco drum beat, and syncopated chorus. The lyrics are Rush-level amazing, with lines like "One day I feel I'm on top of the world / And the next it's falling in on me / I can get back on." Powerful stuff. There are live versions on multiple albums, but I think the cleanest sound is on "R40" or "Time Machine."

Armor and Sword: It's pretty much an entire intro of china cymbal. How can I not like this? The rest of the song is good too I guess. I also like the "dirty" staccato sound during the chorus.

Workin' Them Angels: I like the guitar parts throughout this song, especially around when he says the line "workin' them angels."

The Main Monkey Business: This is the album instrumental, and just like every other Rush instrumental, it's awesome. There are multiple parts where it seems like every note gets its own accent. And there's nothing wrong with that.

Faithless: I really like the combination of the drum beat, the dark guitar sound, and the addition of string parts. The live version on "Snakes and Arrows Live" is great too.

Clockwork Angels (2012)

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Now that Rush has decided to retire, this is their last studio album. I think it continues the trend of "Snakes and Arrows" with a darker sound. My personal favorites are Caravan and Wish Them Well.

Caravan: Such a spooky opening song, I really like the dissonant sound. I love the way the song keeps building, like a speeding caravan, then suddenly stops and changes tone as he sings "I can't stop thinking big." It gets even better when he adds "In a world where I feel so small / I can't stop thinking big." I think that's pretty inspirational. A great live version on "Clockwork Angels Live."

BU2B: I just like the super hard rock sound of this song, that's all.

The Anarchist: Just one of those songs where the guitar and bass are added on top of the drum beat. And what a great drum beat, with emphasis on the tom-toms. A great live version is on "Clockwork Angels Live."

Wish Them Well: This is the kind of song they play while rolling the montage sequence or end credits during a movie. I love the parts where he echoes himself with "wishhhhh themmmm welllllll." I like the live version on "Clockwork Angels Live."

The Garden: This is the last song in the Rush studio collection, and although it's about the "measure of a life," I think it's also about the measure of Rush themselves. There's a beautiful piano interlude, leading into quite the memorable guitar solo (even I agree). There's an excellent live version on "Clockwork Angels Live."