With 18 original studio albums spanning over 30 years, there is no shortage of Rush songs to draw from for this list. In fact there are almost too many songs. With such a large catalogue of material it is easy for some Rush songs to slip into the realm of the forgotten. But do not fret, here are 10 Forgotten Rush songs from the last 36 years which will not stay Forgotten.
1. “What Your Doing” Rush (self titled)-1974.
This hard rocking song off of the debut album from Rush holds down a thick chunky rhythm while launching into hook after hook of guitar riffs and vocalized wailing that echoes the youthful rebellion of high school. Hard to believe this song could be forgotten, but if it has go ahead and roll the windows down and crank the volume up to this song on a mid-summer nights drive to enjoy the forgotten memories.
2. “Anthem” Fly By Night-1975
From the moment the needle hit the vinyl, this song comes shooting out the speakers in full force. Anthem marks Neil Pearts debut as John Rutsey’s replacement on drums. Although replacement may not be the correct term to use here, successor may be more suiting. With Pearts addition to Rush, the group hit their stride and began producing a trademark sound that can be immediately recognized by Rush fans from this song forward and will never be forgotten.
3. “The Fountain of Lamneth” Caress of Steel- 1975
Clocking in at an mind bending 19:59 long, this song is perhaps Rush’s most ambitious song to date. This album marks Rush’s first foray into developing a multi-act symphonic sound which would later be put to use in 2112 and the Cygnus X-1 series. Many rock critics claim this song is lacking direction and is actually several incomplete projects haphazardly put together. However, these critics are overlooking that the song is actually one giant allusion to Homer’s Odyssey. As such each act is representative of a different life stage. This song takes the listener on a journey from life to death, experiencing different emotions and sounds in each act while searching for the meaning of life. Truly an ambitious project which is hard to forget.
4. “Natural Science” Permanent Waves-1980
An early example of Rush beginning to experiment with synth driven songs, Natural Science is the final song off of Permanent Waves. While beginning at a slow pace this song slowly builds to a fast and faster tempo as the three acts progress. Masterfully matching lyrics to sound, Rush brings the listener to observe a newly formed tidal pool. Upon observation Rush goes about breathing life into this simple pool. Personifying the pool as a living breathing representation of the world while the building tempo sets forth a call to action. Just be careful if your driving while listening to this song, the steadily increasing pace can actually make you forget to watch your speed.
5. “Losing it” Signals-1982
With a slow steady synth pushing this Rush song along this homage to the tragic final days of Earnest Hemingway is perhaps the saddest Rush song ever written. Not a song filled with hope or joy, but then again not all art should elicit that response. Sometimes we as people need to be reminded of the more depressing side of life to better appreciate and cherish the good things we may have forgotten.
6. “Between the Wheels” Grace Under Pressure-1984
While Lee’s pulsing synth and Lifeson’s squirming guitar riffs open this song up soliciting a sense of impending urgency. Peart’s lyrics on the other hand use both allusion and allegory to dance between action and apathy. With Allusions to works such as John Updike’s Rabbit, Run and T. S. Eliot’s Wasteland, this song’s meaning can open up the listener the more they learn about those works. This is a great song to revisit year after year to pluck out additional previously overlooked or forgotten content.
7. “Where’s My Thing?, Pt 4: The Gangster of Boats Trilogy ” Roll The Bones-1991
Where is his thing? And how can a trilogy have four parts? Who cares, forget about it and just listen. If “Roll The Bones” is Vegas, then this is the jazz lounge. This is the only instrumental to make the list. Guitar check, Bass check, drums check, synth check, horns check……wait horns?, nevermind, that was still synth. While Rush would still use keyboard synths from time to time, this album marked the end of synth driven songs for Rush.
8. “Double Agent” Counterparts-1993
With an ominous bass line and a guitar that flickers between relaxing and frantic, Rush’s Double Agent brings to music the final thoughts one has before falling into slumber. To further drive home the duality between the logic of the waking world and the fantasy of slumber this song combines both a sung chorus and spoken word monologues. If listened to closely one can pick out heavy influences from T. S. Eliot’s “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock”.
9. “Time and Motion” Test For Echo-1996
Heavy chunky tuned down guitar riffs anchor this song firmly to the ground while occasional synth riffs go along to compliment Lee’s vocal throughout this song. Forgotten are the synth driven songs of the last ten years as”Time And Motion” is the heaviest rock song Rush has produced since the 70’s. This song gives a tease to sound of Rush that would eventually come out with the 2007 album release “Snakes and Arrows”.
10.”Bravest Face” Snakes and Arrows-2007
Perfection in flaw. Not only do the lyrics to “Bravest Face” suggest this duality, but also Lee’s vocals and Lifeson’s guitar work. Throughout “Bravest Face” Lee dances around the breaking point of his voice often enough to display the control it takes, while not too much as to become overbearing. Likewise, Lifeson’s acoustic guitar work features a few carefully placed buzzes and scratches uncharacteristic for a guitar player of his caliber. These elements of flaw go along way in echoing the theme of the song and combining both lyric and song into one. Overall, “Bravest Face” is a reflective piece of music that shows Rush has not forgotten what it takes to craft superb songs.