Rush was a rock band that was formed in 1968 in Toronto. In the early days, there were several configurations of the band before settling on the trio of musicians that are the best-known members of the group. The lead vocalist for the group was Geddy Lee, who was also a composer, bassist, and keyboardist for Rush. The other two members were guitarist and composer Alex Lifeson and Neil Peart, a drummer, percussionist, and lyricist. Initially, the band rose to fame during the 1970s, and their popularity continued throughout the 1980s and 1990s. Although the band has not released a studio album together since 2012, they continued to perform together until 2018. During their career, Rush has released 19 studio albums, 11 compilation albums, 11 live albums, 13 video albums, ten box sets, two EPs, and 38 singles. Here are the 10 best Rush songs of all time.
10. Roll the Bones (1992)
‘Roll the Bones’ is the title track from Rush’s 1992 album. Peart wrote the lyrics for this track while Lee and Lifeson composed the music. The term ‘Roll the Bones’ is another way of saying throwing the dice, and the song is about taking chances in life. The song is not typical of Rush’s work, as it has a rap section performed by Lee. For five years, this song was included in every concert playlist.
9. The Big Money (1985)
‘The Big Money’ was the only single Rush released in 1985, and it features on the album ‘Power Windows. It peaked at number four on the Mainstream Rock Tracks chart in the United States and number 45 on the Billboard Hot 100. This track has been included on several compilation albums, including ‘The Spirit of Radio: Greatest Hits 1974-1987’ and ‘Retrospective II.’
8. The Spirit of Radio (1980)
‘The Spirit of Radio’ was the first of two singles released from the 1980 album ‘Permanent Waves,’ and the second was ‘Entre Nous.’ This song was most successful in the UK, where it reached number 13 on the charts. In Canada, it peaked at number 24, while it only reached number 51 on the Billboard Hot 100. It was written by the three main band members, who also produced the single with Terry Brown. The track was inspired by a Toronto radio station.
7. Tom Sawyer (1982)
Rolling Stone lists ‘Tom Sawyer’ as one of the best Rush songs of all time. It was released in 1981 and was the last single from the album’ Moving Pictures.’ Rush’s lead vocalist Geddy Lee once described this track as the band’s defining piece from the early 1980s. Rush played this song at every concert tour after it was released.
6. Time Stand Still (1987)
Rush is known for being an albums band rather than a singles band, so it is not surprising that some years they only released one single. 1987 is one example, as the only single they released this year was ‘Time Stand Still.’ It was one of only two singles released from Rush’s album ‘Hold Your Fire.’ Peart used his time being part of Rush as inspiration for the lyrics to this track.
5. Subdivisions (1982)
The second single released from the album ‘Signals’ was ‘Subdivisions.’ It was a number five hit on the Mainstream Rock Tracks chart in the United States. Although the single’s success in the UK was limited, it received significant airplay. This single also became a staple on the band’s playlist for their live concerts.
4. Ghost of a Chance (1992)
The second single released from the album ‘Roll the Bones’ was ‘Ghost of a Chance,’ which peaked at number two on the Mainstream Rock Tracks chart. Other than when the band performed this song on their 2008 Snakes & Arrow Tour, Rush has rarely performed the track live. The lyrics of the song are about finding love and about how love is stronger than any other force or emotion.
3. Limelight (1981)
‘Limelight’ was one of the best Rush songs. The music for this song was written by Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson, while the lyrics were written by Neil Peart. It is about Peart’s discomfort with being in the limelight following Rush’s success. This single charted at number four on the US Billboard Top Tracks chart but only reached number 55 on the Billboard Hot 100.
2. Show Don’t Tell (1989)
‘Show Don’t Tell’ was a single released in 1989 that featured on the album ‘Presto.’ It was the second of five singles released by Rush to top the Mainstream Rock Tracks chart. The track marks a change from the heavy use of synthesizer in Rush’s previous work to using more acoustic guitar sounds in their tracks. At the same time, the music produced by Rush began to have funk and groove influences. The lyrics are about a man who has been fooled once too often by another person.
1. New World Man (1982)
‘New World Man’ was Rush’s only number one hit in Canada, and it was also their only number one hit on the US Mainstream Rock chart. It was the first of three singles from the 1982 album ‘Signals.’ However, it was the last single composed for the rock album, and it was also the most quickly written by Neil Peart, Geddy Lee, and Alex Lifeson. The band wrote the track in just one day, then recorded it the next.