Rush – The Spirit Of Radio

'70s/'80s best-of from Canadian progressive rockers

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There’s a genuinely transgressive thrill in liking Canadian prog trio Rush. Although critically damned early on due to drummer/lyricist Neil Peart’s appreciation of right-wing allegorist Ayn Rand, their Zep/Yes-inspired techno-rock nevertheless attracted huge audiences of marginalised ’70s teens.

By 1980 their music had evolved into a unique hybrid of Philip Glass synth fanfares, chiming McGuinn riffs and, er, white reggae, with a more mature Peart revealing himself to be an incisive lyricist with an acute and compassionate understanding of his band’s fan base (“Subdivisions”) and a wry attitude towards showbusiness (“Limelight”). All of this would count for nothing if Rush didn’t rock; but check the insane “2112 Overture”, the jazz-pop-reggae fusion of “The Spirit Of Radio” and the oozing Moogspace of “Tom Sawyer” for emphatic proof they do. Embarrassingly great.

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