With every nerve aware, here are my Top 50 Rush songs of all time

September 07, 2012 | Nestor Aparicio

25. Red Sector A — A dark song but I’ve always loved the keyboard energy in this one

24. Passage To Banghok — Great opening riff, one of Rush’s best.

23. One Little Victory — “A certain measure of tolerance, a willingness to rise above…”

22. Limelight — “Living on a lighted stage approaches the unreal for those who think and feel…” Lotta truth in those lyrics.

21. YYZ — Just watch live version of this from Rio and thank me later.

20. Subdivisions — “Be cool or be cast out!”

19. Force Ten — “Tough times demand tough hearts…

18. Dreamline — “Wondering what our dreams might be worth. Learning that we’re only immortal for a limited time…”

17. Natural Science — They busted this out a tour a few years and I rediscovered what I loved about it on the first cassette tape I ever bought — Permanent Waves

16. The Trees — An ode to being Canadian, as in maple trees in the shade of the oak…

15. Time Stand Still — In general, I’m an Aimee Mann fan. And the words to this one stands the test of time. “The innocence slips away…”

14. Resist – “I can learn to resist anything but temptation…”

13. Xanadu – Not much for the lyrics but Neil Peart’s use of percussion in this was groundbreaking.

12. Ton Sawyer – “He gets high on you…”

11. Show Don’t Tell – Results, the world wants evidence. “You can twist perceptions, reality won’t budge…”
10. The Camera Eye – A song about New York and the sense of possibilities.

9. Closer To The Heart – “The men who hold high places must be the ones who start…” Try telling our politicians that!

8. Distant Early Warning – “The world weighs on my shoulders but what am I to do? I’ve seen the tip of the iceberg and I worry about you…” Great video with bi-level haircuts.

7. Spirit Of Radio – “All this machinery making modern music can still be openhearted…One likes to believe in the freedom of music. But glittering prizes and endless compromises shatter the illusion of integrity…” Trust me, this is all true!

6. Vital Signs – “Unstable condition, a symptom of life…”

5. New World Man – The band’s biggest “hit” record, this is an underappreciated and almost forgotten peon to technology and the evolution of man.
 “He’s got a problem with his poisons but you know he’ll find a cure…”

4. Freewill – If you choose not to decide you still have made a choice. This classic rocker from Permanent Waves featured Geddy’s shrill falsetto at its finest.

3. Cold Fire – Relationships. Everybody’s got them, now what do we do with them?

2.  Marathon – “Got to pick up the pace, if you want to stay in the race.”

1. Red Barchetta – The story about a car, a boy and a vision of a summer drive in the country on the lam. The kinetic rhythm and play between Geddy and Alex make this Rush’s best song. I never get tired of listening to it. Even 32 years later…

5 Comments For This Post

  1. Bruce Says:

    Nice list, Nestor. I think you put Manhattan Project, A Passage To Bangkok, and Subdivisions too low, but I’m happy to see you giving some love to Vital Signs! That’s probably their most underrated song. I’d put Witch Hunt much higher too. My #1 would probably have to be a tie between Red Barchetta and Limelight. I know Limelight was really overplayed by 98 Rock in the early 80s, but it’s such a great song it doesn’t matter.

  2. Bruce Says:

    Oh, and by the way, Working Man is a great song, but I’ve yet to come across a really good quality copy of it. I know it’s off their first album, so a great copy probably doesn’t exist. But it’s rather annoying listening to such a great song with such muffled guitar chords and drums.

  3. tsnamm Says:

    I would have certainly included Cygnus X-1,Bastille Day,Hemispheres and A Farewell to Kings…Losing It is also a classic as well…

  4. tsnamm Says:

    BTW as far as the “lyrics” to Xanadu are concerned,the city was described by Marco Polo, and in this particualr song Neil relates to the famous poem by Coleridge; Kubla Khan. Having had to read it in English Lit in college its rather surprising and refreshing to find it as a subject in a prog rock song. But of course that was always Rush, great intricate music, deep and interesting lyrical topics…never about chicks, partying etc. A passage to Bangkok was as close to a “drug” song as they got, and its pretty hard to compare it to any of the usualsex, drugs and rock and roll stuff that others wrote. An intelectual take on a base subject.

  5. Rick Moore Says:

    I agree with your No 1 Nestor. I still get chills listening to that song especially driving down a country road with the top down!

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