CONFORM OR BE CAST OUT
Is there really any doubt that Canada's RUSH should be in the actual Rock'n'Roll Hall of Fame? They're consistently among the top-drawing concert acts, and still churning out the digital stubs in their fourth decade (they recorded a triple CD set in RIO recently, and about, oh, a million people came out for it -- possibly the greatest thing in recent history: Brazilians listening to Geddy Lee screach 'I will choose free will!').
Known for overworked time signatures, overly thought out lyrics and themes, and album covers with kids and a naked-buttocked man, RUSH deserves the hall for making reasonably unique music -- occasionally inspired, never not sounding as something fashionably unlike their reasonably unique music, allowing scientific nerds a soundtrack, and delighting Canadians for decades.
According to Wikipedia:
Rush boasts 23 gold records and 14 platinum (3 multi-platinum) records, making them one of the best-selling rock bands in history. These statistics place Rush fifth behind The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, KISS and Aerosmith for the most consecutive gold and platinum albums by a rock band.How can a band without a pop hit -- OK, 'New World Man' made #38 for a week in 1982 -- and those numbers not have some credibility? Particularly with Jackson Browne and Bob Seger in the Hall?
RUSH's Five Best Songs
1981's 'Tom Sawyer' is generally their best-known song but their best five songs are:
1) "Spirit of the Radio" (1980). There is no doubt this is number one, with the absurd burst of Van Halen lift-offs in the opening lick, and the reggae break, and Geddy generally not screaming too much. It's energetic and compact. People who don't like Rush tend to like this.
2) "The Body Electric" (1984). Alex Lifeson got a hipster haircut for this very under-appreciated album with nods to acid rain (before REM did it), a fake U2 solo or two, and a ska break-down. This underrated song's ending -- where Geddy sings 'the mother all machines!' the second time -- is a spine chiller, and the whole build-up part sounds a little like Pete Townshend's 'Rough Boys,' which is of course good ground to borrow from.
3) "Subdivisions" (1982). This mall-culture, teenage-wasteland single shocked us Rush fans back in '82. Not so much for the synths, but that someone other than Geddy got vocal duties. Alex Lifeson leaned to the mic in the video to speak 'subdivisions...' but -- the FBO hears -- it was actually Neil Peart doing the honors. **Note: Relistening to the song after the post, the FBO Admin regrets placing this so high. Consider 'Limelight' from '81 as an obvious replacement. --FBO Admin, 7/16**
4) "Cygnus X-1 (Part II)" (1978). Recently, in a California bar, FBO Admin heard the opening notes of the full vinyl-side song -- records were so good for that: 'cool, there's only one track on the whole SIDE!' -- and saw a bearded bartender air-drumming the Peart fills. The overlooked Hemispheres album inspires such. Imagine starting a five-song album with a 18-MINUTE SEQUEL to an already sprawling song ABOUT A BLACK HOLE. I wouldn't think there was that much to say about one -- it's weird, sprawling, consuming; avoid at all costs -- but Peart knew better.
5) "Fly By Night"(1975). Rush with a little three-minute song. If you play the D/D-suspended notes with a little swing (impossible with Peart on drums) it can almost pass as alternative rock.
Hall, put them in now (or apologize for Lawyers in Love).
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