Updated: Jan 21, 2020
Rush sprang into my mind at Christmastide 2019 having been drawn to the live guitar solo of Alex Lifeson on "Passage to Bangkok" which inspired me to write a feature on this legendary band.
Rush are incredible live with a plethora of songs which tackle the big questions in life whilst embodying a commanding presence which filled stadiums across the world.
You only have to look at the lyrics across their 170 songs to appreciate the cutting-edge genius; a lot to read, but worth it! Their biggest hit was strangely enough "Spirit of Radio" which was rather apt with very clever lyrics (2008 live video featured at the end of the article) but it was their consistency and prolific 20+ albums which made them the phenomenon that they are.
Rock or Prog rock, it doesn't matter, as the melding of three tremendous musicians created so much original material of lasting value thanks to Geddy Hughes’ vocals and bass reigning supreme with finely balanced keyboard wizardry from the multi-instrumentalist with a gargantuan sound that fused beautifully with Alex Lifeson’ guitar-range; layered infectious joy unshakably supported by the masterful drumming of Neil Peart with a drum kit the size of Toronto – who I am shocked to discover sadly passed away on 7th January 2020.
I just have to highlight the solo in "Passage to Bangkok" as it displays such live mastery which subtly blends all effects and just the right notes into one short sequence - a solo I always look forward to and never want it to end!
Music Eye’s mission is to try and capture the butterfly of that live, spontaneous performance in “the great present” where nothing is ever repeated exactly, and so I have decided to feature two videos of "Passage to Bangkok" which do just that: a live soundtrack from a 1980 UK tour – the best version in my opinion and then a later live video so you can compare them. I’m also offering a third video which features "Ghost of a Chance", poignant and a rarely performed live song penned by Neil Peart.
You don't get as big as Rush just by luck – it was their talent that conquered the world and inspired folk but radio-play helped massively and Music Eye hopes to play its part in that for similarly passionate emerging talent…