Rush, who recently released the R40 box set grace the cover of the latest issue of Prog, and in the same issue we called upon 40 famous Rush fans to reveal their favourite Rush songs…
Over the next few weeks we’ll be bringing you some of those choices. Today it’s the choice of Rush fan and Manic Street Preachers bassist Nicky Wire, who has opted for the title track of the band’s 1977 album A Farewell To Kings (a big hit here in the Prog office too).
“A Farewell To Kings is my favourite Rush album, along with Moving Pictures. Xanadu is one of the greatest instrumental sections of all time. The drumming’s phenomenal and the bass playing is as funky and cool as anything. Geddy’s got the strongest fingers, it sounds like he’s whacking the shit out of that Rickenbacker, the hardest bass to play.”/o:p
Xanadu proved popular with Def Leppard singer Joe Elliott too, who told us: “I saw Rush play Xanadu live at their first ever UK gig. This was at the Sheffield City Hall back in 1977. It was the solitary new song they played on that tour, and as I already had the live album All The World’s A Stage, which is pretty much what they played, the only thing I wasn’t familiar with. But it stood out as an epic piece. It’s 11 minutes long and musically meandering from quiet to very loud all the way through… amazing stuff.”
And also with John Wesley, who had this to say:“I had some friends introduce me to Rush via All The World’s A Stage in middle school. Right about that time, I was trying to find a musical path. I had recently bought my first Les Paul for 300 bucks… a Cherry Sunburst Deluxe, and was really getting into the live Rush record. Around that time, A Farewell To Kings came out… I was blown away… But the track that captured me was Xanadu. It was the first Rush track I tried to learn from beginning to end. I wasn’t very good at learning from albums then, my turntable was not the kind you could slow down. It took me ages, but I got it close enough. I dragged that Les Paul and that album everywhere. One day a few years later, I had a chance to audition for a band. They knew Xanadu… and so did I! I got the gig, and 35 years later, I still play with that same drummer, Mark Prator. Xanadu was a huge turning point for me as a player. And Rush are a lifelong musical influence.”