We asked you, the Classic Rock reader, to choose your favourite Rush songs. You came, you voted in very large numbers, we calculated the results using a giant, futuristic abacus, and at the end of the day a list was compiled that features a lot of amazing music and quite a few surprises. Here are your Top 50 Rush tracks.
50. Different Strings - from Permanent Waves
49. The Big Money - Power Windows
48. Distant Early Warning - Grace Under Pressure
47. Between The Wheels - Grace Under Pressure
46. Here Again - Rush
45. Anthem - Fly By Night
44. One Little Victory - Vapor Trails
43. Manhattan Project - Power Windows
42. A Passage To Bangkok - 2112
41. Entre Nous - Permanent Waves
40. Lakeside Park - Caress Of Steel
39. Headlong Fight - Clockwork Angels
38. In The End - Fly By Night
37. Vital Signs - Moving Pictures
36. The Necromancer - Caress Of Steel
35. Dreamline - Roll The Bones
34. Witch Hunt - Moving Pictures
33. 2112: VII. Grand Finale - 2112
32. Mystic Rhythms - Power Windows
31. Jacob’s Ladder - Permanent Waves
30. Fly By Night - from Fly By Night
29. Losing It - Signals
28. Marathon - Power Windows
27. Red Sector A - Grace Under Pressure
26. Bravado - Roll The Bones
25. The Pass - Presto
24. The Analogue Kid - Signals
23. Time Stand Still - Hold Your Fire
22. A Farewell To Kings - A Farewell To Kings
21. The Garden - Clockwork Angels
20. By-Tor & The Snow Dog - from Fly By Night
19. Bastille Day - Caress Of Steel
18. Cygnus X-1 Book I: The Voyage - A Farewell To Kings
17. Closer To The Heart - A Farewell To Kings
16. Freewill - Permanent Waves
15. YYZ - Moving Pictures
14. 2112: I. Overture - 2112
13. The Camera Eye - Moving Pictures
12. Working Man - Rush
11. The Trees - Hemispheres
10. Red Barchetta - from Moving Pictures The song was inspired by the futuristic story A Nice Morning Drive by Richard Foster, which imagines a world where certain cars are banned. The Barchetta, an Italian sports car, was one such vehicle, and the song deals with the narrator secretly taking it for drives every Sunday.
9. Natural Science - from Permanent Waves The album’s final track. It tells people that they shouldn’t take nature for granted as technology becomes increasingly dominant, and that we must respect the planet and its resources. To get the wave sounds on the Tide Pools segment of the song, Lifeson and Peart splashed their hands in the bitterly cold lake by the studio, Le Studio.
8. Cygnus X-1 Book II: Hemispheres - from Hemispheres The album’s opening track, it follows on from Cygnus X-1 Book 1: The Voyage, the closing track on previous album A Farewell To Kings. A science fiction story with Greek mythological implications, it alludes to the constant conflict in humans between logic and emotion. The entire cycle was first played live on the Hemispheres tour.
7. 2112: The Temples Of Syrinx - from 2112 This is the second part of the epic, and tells the story of how the temple priests control the Federation through computers, expunging all feelings of individuality. A syrinx is a water nymph in Greek mythology.
6. Subdivisions - from Signals Subdivisions deals with the pressure people are under to conform to society’s attitudes and mores. It was inducted into the Canadian Songwriters Hall Of Fame in 2010. Finnish band Omnium Gatherum covered it on their 2013 album Beyond.
5. Limelight - from Moving Pictures Peart expressing discomfort with the band’s growing profile and his inevitable loss of privacy. It’s based on the famous ‘All The World’s A Stage’ speech from Shakespeare’s As You Like It.
4. The Spirit Of Radio - from Permanent Waves Reaching number 13 in the charts, this is the biggest single the band have ever had in the UK. The title comes from the slogan used at the time by Toronto radio station CFNY, while the final lines in the song pay homage to Simon & Garfunkel’s The Sound Of Silence.
3. Tom Sawyer - from Moving Pictures Named after the Mark Twain character, the lyrics were co-written by Peart with Pye Dubois, who was closely associated with fellow Canadian band Max Webster. It’s based on Dubois’ poem Louis The Lawyer.
2. La Villa Strangiato (An Exercise In Self Indulgence) - from Hemispheres Unusually, this is an instrumental that actually tells a story, and is based on nightmares Alex Lifeson had when he was a child. The track is divided into 12 parts.
1. Xanadu - from A Farewell To Kings This is the first Rush song to use synthesisers as an integral part of the overall arrangement. Neil Peart’s lyrics are inspired by the Samuel Coleridge Taylor poem Kubla Khan.