Rush: the band; not the conservative talk show personality

Ok, any Rush fans out there? (I own all their studio releases and most of their live releases…Ok I’m a fan :smiley: ).

I’m curious if anyone has heard their new album Snakes & Arrows and what they think of it. I’m unsure of what to make of the lyrics for this album.

Attached are the lyrics of all their albums. The album at the bottom of the page is for their new release:

azlyrics.com/r/rush.html

What do you think of the music and lyrics compared to other albums they have released?

One last thought: What’s your take on Rush regarding Father Vinent Serpa’s latest “Ask an apologist” Q&A:

forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=174125

My thoughts:

(1) Snakes & Arrows is an ok album but isn’t one of my favorite releases. It does have some new sounds that I think are impressive. Overall, I don’t really care for the darker tone of the lyrics for the album. IMHO, it doesn’t put a very positive spin on Christianity although I wouldn’t call it an anti-Christian album. It does seem to take an anti-organized religious stance however.

(2) I’m not sure what to make of Father Vicent’s comments as it pertains to Rush. They aren’t an in your face anti-Christian band, yet they certain aren’t pro-Christian either. Thoughts?

I enjoy Rush to the max. I don’t let it bother me whether or not they are Christian. They certainly don’t come across as anti chrisitian. Is the only music we are allowed to listen to by Christian bands? That would be rather limiting.

I love Rush! I used to play bass guitar, and let me tell you, Geddy Lee is my hero. All 3, Geddy, Alex, and Neil, are some of the most talented musicians I’ve ever heard. I’ve been to several concerts. Not for a few years though, got little ones now.

As for lyrics, while they definitely aren’t Christian, there is nothing anti-Christian in them either, definitely nothing satanic. I see nothing wrong with it, since it is not anti-Christian.

Complete Rush fan here. The only song that I really have a problem with lyrically is “Faithless”, don’t like the song musically much anyway. Either way it seems that Peart is really stating his own beliefs and isn’t really attacking Christianity as much as he is stating his own agnosticism I believe. Overall, musically, I think the album is stronger than some of their previous albums like Vapor Trails but still not that good as 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s Rush and it definitley has a different musical quality and much more acoustic but, hey, they are a “progressive” band and they definitley progressed with this album.

I have never heard or seen anything satanic things in Rush’s music. They have some of their stories that pull on mythology(Hemispheres) and classic poetry(Xanadu) but nothing promoting satanic or even really promoting mythology. Personally I think that Peart is a genius in writing lyrics of which “Xanadu” and “2112” show quite well. And overall they are one of the few rock bands that manages to have no cursing in their lyrics, and they are not hard partying and you never really here anything bad about them in the news. And of course there is their musical prowess. Lifeson on guitar is by far not recognized as much as he should be, one only has to listen to “La Villa Strangiato” once to realize how great he is. Geddy Lee is one of the most talented rock bassists to ever live if not the most talented, the fact that he plays bass so well while playing pedals and singing is phenomenal. And Neil Peart, need I say more, most definitley the greatest rock drummer to ever play. Combined, Lerxst, Dirk, and Pratt form one of the most talented rock groups ever. I would say for those who have never heard them to listen to these songs to see their range and ability:

La Villa Strangiato
YYZ
Working Man
The Trees
Red Sector 'A’
By-Tor and the Snow Dog

Sorry if that was long, just can’t ever get bored about talking bout Rush though. I’m sure Cygnus will post here:D

[quote=goofyjim]Is the only music we are allowed to listen to by Christian bands? That would be rather limiting.
[/quote]

I would say no (obviously since I’m a big Rush fan myself).

[quote=Teakafrog]…while they definitely aren’t Christian, there is nothing anti-Christian in them either…
[/quote]

In some ways, Rush had helped me in my Catholic Christian walk. I can point to several albums where Neil integrates very Christian concepts in his writing whether he’ll openly admit this or not:

Examples include:

A Farewell to Kings
Cities full of hatred, fear and lies
[FONT=Verdana]Withered hearts and cruel, tormented eyes
Scheming demons dressed in kingly guise
Beating down the multitude and
Scoffing at the wise
Can’t we raise our eyes and make a start?
Can’t we find the minds to lead us
Closer to the heart?[/FONT]

Entre Nous
Just between us
I think it’s time for us to recognize
The differences we sometimes fear to show
Just between us
I think it’s time for us to realize
The spaces in between
Leave room for you and I to grow

Marathon
It’s a test of ultimate will
The heartbreak climb uphill
Got to pick up the pace
If you want to stay in the race
More than just blind ambition
More than just simple greed
More than just a finish line
Must feed this burning need
In the long run…

War Paint
All puffed up with vanity
We see what we want to see
To the beautiful and the wise
The mirror always lies

Red Tide
Now’s the time to turn the tide
Now’s the time to fight
Let us not go gently
To the endless winter night
Now’s the time to make the time
While hope is still in sight
Let us not go gently
To the endless winter night

Everyday Glory
If the future’s looking dark
We’re the ones who have to shine
If there’s no one in control
We’re the ones who draw the line
Though we live in trying times
We’re the ones who have to try
Though we know that time has wings
We’re the ones who have to fly…

Half The World
Half the world cares
While half the world is wasting the day
Half the world shares
While half the world is stealing away

Secret Touch
A healing hand, a secret touch on the heart
There is never love without pain
Life is a power that remains

I like Nobody’s Hero on the Counterparts CD. I’m sure we are familiar with the lyrics so I won’t type them in here.

I always liked that tune as well. It’s yet another song that I think has inherent (although probably not intended) Christian undertones to it. It’s a reminder that we are to remember the down-trodden of society. The nobodys that are out there in the world that society says aren’t worthy enough to be heros for anyone. It reminds me of Jesus really, who as hanging on the cross was nobody’s hero either according to Roman and Jewish society.

Of course, Neil doesn’t have that Christian world-view, but I see it in his lyrics even though songs like Faithless state otherwise. Perhaps he’s a closet Christian…ok wishful thinking perhaps. :wink:

Of course, then there are songs like Anthem which is completely self-centered. :ehh:

La Villa Strangiato is IMHO the best instrumental song ever made. My understanding is that it is based on a nightmare Alex had.

Perhaps he’s a closet Christian…ok wishful thinking perhaps.

He at least used to be a Christian. He used to always where a Cross around his neck when drumming and earlier interviews showed him as fairly spiritual. However, leading up to the 90’s I think he grew more agnostic thinking and the loss of his wife and daughter drew him further into that agnostic thinking due to depression of some sort I think. Vapor Trails felt more like a recovery album for Peart and his lyrics, such as Ghost Rider and Secret Touch, and Snakes and Arrows feels more of him kind of angry in the song Faithless. That is just my take on it though. I know Lee was raised Jewish I believe and I don’t know anything about Lifeson’s religious background.

La Villa Strangiato is IMHO the best instrumental song ever made. My understanding is that it is based on a nightmare Alex had.

I would have to agree about that. It is phenomenal. It is so diverse with the almost Spanish guitar in the beginning, then the buildup, the slow part overlayed with some extreme guitar playing, and then the fast-paced Acme theme that Lifeson had in there. And yes, it is loosely based on Alex’s nightmares and I think he did that as kind of a joke type thing too. If you look at the titles of the parts of the song:

I-- Buenos Nochas, Mein Froinds!
II-- To Sleep, Perchance To Dream
III-- Strangiato Theme
IV-- A Lerxst in Wonderland
V-- Monsters!
VI-- The Ghost of the Aragon
VII-- Danforth and Pape
VIII-- The Waltz of the Shreves
X-- Never Turn Your Back on a Monster!
X-- Monsters! (Reprise)
XI- Strangiato Theme (Reprise)
XII-- A Farewell To Things

They are sort of humorous, and the fact that after part X every concert he does a edge of conciousness musical rant is quite hilarious. He is quite the jokster and managed to make a musical rant into a little song about how he was glad he wasn’t Paris Hilton but every musical rant is different.

With a moniker like mine, I guess I better chime in here! :smiley:

Rush has always been my favorite band. I am, however, disappointed with S&A; the tone of it makes Vapor Trails sound like the Carpenters.

As far as Neil in songs like “Faithless”, I think what frustrates fans like us is that Neil seems thisclose to getting it; he’s definitely not anti-spiritual. But it seems like he’s either trying to convince himself of his own (non-)beliefs, or telling everyone else to shut up and stop evangelizing him. Although if Neil did find God, I wouldn’t want Rush becoming a CCM band! :eek:

(BTW, here’s a thread just discussing S&A.)

I also wonder what influence his second wife, photographer Carrie Nuttall, has been on him.

I’ll be in Toronto next month for the first time, and I hope to find some Rush landmarks to photograph, such as the corner of Danforth and Pape.

We can walk our road together
If our goals are all the same.
We can run alone and free
If we pursue a different aim.
Let the Truth of Love be lighted,
Let the Love of Truth shine clear. Sensibility,
Armed with sense and liberty,
With the Heart and Mind united in a single
Perfect
Sphere.

[quote=Cygnus X-1]I think what frustrates fans like us is that Neil seems thisclose to getting it…
[/quote]

God’s still working on him. :slight_smile: Yes, it is frustrating though. :frowning:

[quote=aj830]I know Lee was raised Jewish I believe and I don’t know anything about Lifeson’s religious background.
[/quote]

I read recently that Red Sector A is a sort of reflection of Geddy’s Jewish relations experiences during the holocaust. The article said that Geddy has struggled with belief in God as a result of tragedies such as that.

As far as Lifeson? I have his solo album Victor. It’s kind of scary lyrically. :eek:

[quote=aj830 from S&A thread]So anyone going to see them this summer?
[/quote]

September 6th in Milwaukee! :thumbsup:

I read recently that Red Sector A is a sort of reflection of Geddy’s Jewish relations experiences during the holocaust. The article said that Geddy has struggled with belief in God as a result of tragedies such as that.

Red Sector ‘A’ is one of their stronger songs I believe. It really gives you the horror that victims of the Holocaust.

*I hear the sound of gunfire
At the prison gate,
Are the liberators here?
Do I hope, or do I fear?
For my father and my brother,
It’s too late,
But I must help my mother
Stand up straight *

As far as Lifeson? I have his solo album Victor. It’s kind of scary lyrically.

Really? I have never convinced myself to buy their solo albums nor heard any of the songs so I will take your word for it.

Musically, it’s not bad (and lyrically in parts it isn’t bad). I particularly like Start Today and Strip and Go Naked (instumental that is pretty awesome IMHO). Of course the bassist and drummer aren’t nearly as good as the Rush trio. Les Claypool from Primus did the bass work and some other vocalists contributed. I can’t recall who did drums.

But the songs Victor and Don’t Care make me wonder a bit more about that silent guy (Alex) that doesn’t say much from Rush.

Alex used the solo experience and utilized some of what he learned in Rush’s Test For Echo release.

Geddy’s solo was pretty good too. Again, it lacks Neil & Alex so it’s not as good as a Rush release. However, I particularly like the songs Present Tense and Home on the Strange. I think it’s better than Alex’s solo album. I think the song Angels’ Share is partly a reflection of Neil’s tragedies. Geddy’s not a bad lyricist, but Neil is definitely better at it.

Cool, I might pick one up sometime. Does Alex sing on any of the songs? Personally I like his voice when he sings backup and wonder why he has never sung lead.

Yeah, Lerxst probably isn’t quite as good at lyric writing at Neil but, suprisingly, Neil finds him a genius at writing drum parts. Usually Lerxst and Geddy sit down before and start writing the music before Neil and they have a drum machine and Alex supposedly writes some pretty good drum parts for the songs before Neil gets there. Peart even said he has used some of the parts in some of their songs, with variation of course on his own part.

As far as Neil in songs like “Faithless”, I think what frustrates fans like us is that Neil seems thisclose to getting it; he’s definitely not anti-spiritual. But it seems like he’s either trying to convince himself of his own (non-)beliefs, or telling everyone else to shut up and stop evangelizing him.

I think you put into words better than I could about Neil.

I like both of them;) .

Total Rush newbie…might have to give 'em a try, after hearing these recommendations. I like a lot of other old prog bands, like the Moody Blues, older King Crimson and ELP. I, too, like it when I find traces of Christian sympathies in this kind of music; I can only wish that one of the bands had gone Catholic while continuing to generate high-quality material; I would finally have a band I could whole-heartedly cheer for!

For getting into Rush, what is “the” album to start with?

Big fan of the Counterparts album from the release. It is one I can listen all the way through.

Stick it Outand

Nobody’s Hero
are two of my top favorites on it.

For getting into Rush, what is “the” album to start with?

Hmmm…

That is a tough one. I would say the top three actual “albums” for me might be:

A Farewell to Kings
2112
Hemispheres

In no particular order. However to get into Rush I would suggest buying a compilation or live album. Look for one of these:

Rush in Rio(Live 3 disc)
Different Stages(Live 3 disc)
Exit Stage Left(Live 1 disc)
Chronicles

I would say it would be better to get one of those that way you get a good mix of their sound through the ages. They really are a changing band so their music ranging from the 70’s to the 00’s are very changing but have that distinct Rush feel to it.

“The” album to start with in my humble opinion would be Moving Pictures. It is the type of album that has great energy and superb workmanship. It also has familiar songs you may have heard on the radio such as Tom Sawyer and Limelight, yet also gives you a taste of Rush’s concept mentality with **The Camera Eye. **

I like to characterize Rush as having gone through six phases thus far. I suggest you start with Moving Pictures and then start expanding to the older and newer stuff from there:

Phase I (Early: harder edge, raw talent “finding their way”)

Albums: Rush, Fly By Night, Caress Of Steel

Phase II (Concept: deeper progressive concepts “they have assumed control” over)

Albums: 2112, A Farewell to Kings, Hemipheres

Phase III (Definitive: more airplay tunes maybe you heard on radio while “living in the limelight”)

Albums: Permanent Waves, Moving Pictures, Signals

Phase IV (Refined: new directions as their “peak is never past”)

Albums: Grace Under Pressure, Power Windows, Hold Your Fire

Phase V (Expanded: newer concepts answering “why they are here, because they are here”)

Albums: Presto, Roll The Bones, Counterparts

Phase VI (Back to basics: moving towards their roots yet new ways to keep it real as the “ceiling’s unlimited”)

Albums: Test For Echo, Vapor Trails, Snakes & Arrows

I just downloaded Snakes and Arrows off of iTunes today. I like it. I’ve always been a fan of Rush. I saw them on the Presto tour. I gave a presentation about philosophy in their songs for my Philosophy of Man course in college. The prof was a nun. I mentioned the influences of Ayn Rand and Nietzsche in Rush’s lyrics. I also played some samples. I got an A+ on the presentation. :cool:

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