Woke up with Rush‘s “New World Man” this morning. It is the second time I have woken up with Rush in my head and it makes me think of summer camp from something like 27 years ago.
The first Rush song I ever heard was “Tom Sawyer”. It was 1982, I think, and I was at summer camp. That was the same summer I first heard Van Halen. I probably didn’t know much about music before that. I think my exposure to mainstream rock and roll at that point consisted of some MTV and the Styx album my oldest brother won at some high school function.
I remember liking the music but it was, in my mind, of the long-haired hippie variety and I wasn’t really into that. Even at that early age, I was into more alternative music. I don’t know how that can be as I’m pretty sure we didn’t get MTV until October of that year. I distinctly remember having that feeling, however.
I have tended to appreciate Rush whenever they came on the radio through the years. “Tom Sawyer” is awesome and I remember seeing the videos for that and “Limelight” on MTV way back when. I didn’t really become a real fan, however, until I saw a clip of “Anthem” on YouTube a few months ago. From Geddy Lee’s voice to his bass playing to Alex Lifeson’s jamming on the guitar to Neil Peart wailing on the drums…the whole song just rocks. I watched that video 10 times at least. They took the good copy down because of copyright infringement but I have linked a poorer quality version.
I can’t say that I really enjoy much of Rush’s stuff after “Moving Pictures”. It seems they lost something of the edge with which they played. Maybe it’s too much synthesizer. Lee doesn’t seem to use the bass as much and he seems to forget his voice is just as much of an instrument as anything. Whatever the difference, I certainly prefer the older stuff.
Maybe it’s just because it takes me back so far.