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Donna Halper's Top 20 Rush Song List


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#1 Greg

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Posted 24 October 2018 - 04:38 AM

I follow her on FB as I'm sure many here do.  She posted this to her blog a few weeks ago, thought it was interesting...

 

The Twenty Rush Songs That Mean the Most to Me-- Eddie Trunk Edition
 
Several weeks ago, I was surprised to receive an email from a nice guy who is the producer for Eddie Trunk's satellite radio show.  The reason I was surprised?  In August 2017, I blogged about an internet rumor that started on Eddie's show, about Alex and Geddy (allegedly) reuniting; it wasn't true, as I confirmed when I contacted Alex to make sure.  After that, I noted in my blog the importance of fact-checking and not just sending out rumors to everyone you know, even when it's a rumor you like. http://dlhalperblog....act-check.html 

So, yes, I was surprised when Eddie's producer contacted me, asking if I would submit my top-20 favorite Rush songs for a show about Rush that Eddie was going to do; and he asked if I'd be part of the show, calling in to read my list.  As I've done with other interviewers, I explained that I don't think in terms of "favorite" Rush songs-- these are my friends, and I love them dearly. Asking me to pick favorites is like asking a mom "who's your favorite kid?" Obviously, there are days when one kid or other can be annoying, but over all, most moms love all their kids-- although, perhaps, in different ways.  I'm like that about Rush songs. Yes, there are some that resonate with me more than others.  But "favorites"? Not really.  I love all their songs, although in different ways; and I'm so proud of what Rush accomplished during their long career. 

With that said, I agreed to compile a list of twenty songs that have special meaning for me, and I did call in to read the list. (I also was glad I could give a shout-out to female Rush fans, of which there are many.)  Eddie was courteous and it was fun to be on his show. After it was over, several fans who had heard it (or heard part of it) contacted me to ask if I'd publish my list. So, for anyone who is a Rush fan, I'm happy to share what I read to Eddie.  And of course, feel free to let me know some Rush songs that would be on your list.   

1.  (as you might expect) Working Man -- the song that started it all, back in the spring of 1974, and resulted in a more-than-four decade friendship with the band (and members of their families) 

2.  Finding My Way (part of the same time frame-- the other song we got a lot of requests for at WMMS... to this day, hearing the opening chords, I get chills...it reminds me of those early days when Rush first were becoming popular in Cleveland) 

3.  The Spirit of Radio (as a long-time deejay, as well as someone who has seen radio change-- and not always for the better-- this song has always brought up mixed emotions & nostalgia for me) 

4.  Freewill (I often quote the lyrics about "if you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice.") 

5.  Limelight (more lyrics I love; it's a window into Neil's view of celebrity, and what many fans expect from their favorite rock stars-- "I can't pretend the stranger is a long-awaited friend.") 

6.  Driven (my interpretation may be different from some people's, but I hear this song as being about taking control of one's life: "It's my turn to drive.") 

7.  The Garden (I often recommend this to anyone who stereotypes Rush as just another hard rock band; this song is a very moving piece of music) 

8.  Tom Sawyer (more great lyrics that I often quote, about thinking for yourself -- "his mind is not for rent to any god or government...") 

9.  The Big Money (I read this as a song about the excesses of capitalism and the down-side of globalization-- "Big money got a heavy hand, Big money take control, Big money got a mean streak, Big money got no soul.") 

10. Closer to the Heart (more lyrics that could apply as much to current events as to the era when they were originally written... "And the men who hold high places, Must be the ones who start, To mold a new reality, Closer to the heart...") 

11. Distant Early Warning (I always loved hearing this performed live...the music video was cool too...) 

12. Fly By Night (again, this just brings back great memories-- the first studio album with Neil on drums and writing lyrics... I was so excited to hear the guys growing and expanding their musical style) 

13. Time Stand Still (some insightful advice about appreciating this present moment, being grateful for what you've got, before it's gone:   "Freeze this moment, A little bit longer, Make each sensation, A little bit stronger, Experience slips away..." 

14.  Entre Nous (some absolutely amazing lyrics about love and relationship and being afraid to trust... "We are secrets to each other, Each one's life a novel, No-one else has read, Even joined in bonds of love, We're linked to one another, By such slender threads...") 

15.  Show Don't Tell (another song I always enjoyed hearing in concert, and another with very practical down-to-earth lyrics about thinking for yourself and not being swayed by others: "You can twist perceptions, Reality won't budge, You can raise objections, I will be the judge, And the jury...") 

16.  Roll the Bones (I just think this is a very creative and catchy song to listen to... something a little different... but a good message about being willing to take risks..."We go out in the world and take our chances, Fate is just the weight of circumstances, That's the way that lady luck dances, Roll the bones...") 

17.  New World Man (I was glad this song got some top 40 airplay, back at a time when pop radio was totally resistant to playing any Rush songs at all, and even many album rockers avoided them-- for reasons I never understood...) 

18. Anthem (a song from back when Neil was still influenced by Ayn Rand; he ultimately walked away from those beliefs, but some fans still refuse to believe he changed...I felt this song was another example of the progress Rush had made since Neil joined the band... and it sounded good in concert when they played it) 

19.  Red Barchetta (I liked the science-fiction influences in the lyrics, plus the song sounded really good on the radio... it still does) 

20.  Subdivisions (some people tell me they find the video a bit disconcerting; but the lyrics are insightful, warning us about the dangers of conformity, and what happens when one does not obey society's expectations... "conform or be cast out..." another fine example of Neil's songwriting prowess...)

SO, that is what I read to Eddie Trunk when I was on his show last Friday.  As I said, I have more than four decades of great memories and a deep appreciation for Rush, as musicians and as human beings; but these songs are the ones that have stood the test of time for me.  What do you think of my list?  


#2 Moving Target

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Posted 24 October 2018 - 06:50 AM

Take out Show Don’t Tell and Roll the Bones, stick in Xanadu and Freeze, and I broadly agree.

#3 Slim

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Posted 24 October 2018 - 08:30 AM

Nothing in there from Hemispheres, but at least no absolute dross.



#4 chemistry1973

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Posted 24 October 2018 - 10:23 AM

The video for subdivisions is incredible.

#5 fenderjazz

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Posted 24 October 2018 - 01:51 PM

I would never be critical of someone else's favorite Rush songs.  Listen to what you enjoy, but she did pick mostly the short songs, I'm sure from being in radio.  That said, DJs certainly love the epics when they've got to take a long bathroom break.



#6 Three Eyes

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Posted 25 October 2018 - 12:54 PM

I would never be critical of someone else's favorite Rush songs.  Listen to what you enjoy, but she did pick mostly the short songs, I'm sure from being in radio.  That said, DJs certainly love the epics when they've got to take a long bathroom break.

 

Yeah man. Taco Bell. 

 

Why did I just soil this thread?  :wacko:


Hey there goes Alex. He's loaded with money. Wow he's really set himself up great.


#7 Three Eyes

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Posted 25 October 2018 - 12:59 PM

 Listen to what you enjoy, but she did pick mostly the short songs, I'm sure from being in radio.

 

Yes, she's definitely thinking like a top 40 music programmer with that list.

 

Biggest surprise from her list, at least for me, is Entre Nous. I've always loved that song but have wondered if other Rush fans see its epic beauty.


Hey there goes Alex. He's loaded with money. Wow he's really set himself up great.


#8 fenderjazz

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Posted 25 October 2018 - 01:57 PM

Yes, she's definitely thinking like a top 40 music programmer with that list.

Biggest surprise from her list, at least for me, is Entre Nous. I've always loved that song but have wondered if other Rush fans see its epic beauty.


I find it to have garnered quite a bit of FM radio play both in it's day and now. I don't know if that's just a northeast regional thing or not. In terms of what Northeast FM rockers play here, this is what a top ten would look like

1. Tom Sawyer
2. The Spirit of Radio
3. Closer to the Heart
4. Freewill
5. Entre Nous
6. Limelight
7. New World Man
8. Red Barchetta
9. Working Man
10. YYZ

#9 chemistry1973

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Posted 25 October 2018 - 03:00 PM

Interesting. I have never heard Entres Nous on the radio.

#10 fenderjazz

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Posted 25 October 2018 - 03:03 PM

Interesting. I have never heard Entres Nous on the radio.

 

I've traveled around and only hear it on the classic rock stations in the NYC suburbs



#11 Rick N Backer

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Posted 25 October 2018 - 03:59 PM

The bigger surprise on her "top 40" list is DRIVEN at #6 !  Nice to see a T4E tune gettin' some luv amidst "obvious" song choices.  I know a lot of folks here hate T4E but I kinda like some of it and find it more listenable than the previous 3 albums.



#12 Three Eyes

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Posted 26 October 2018 - 08:47 AM

I find it to have garnered quite a bit of FM radio play both in it's day and now. I don't know if that's just a northeast regional thing or not. In terms of what Northeast FM rockers play here, this is what a top ten would look like

1. Tom Sawyer
2. The Spirit of Radio
3. Closer to the Heart
4. Freewill
5. Entre Nous
6. Limelight
7. New World Man
8. Red Barchetta
9. Working Man
10. YYZ

 

I don't think I've ever heard Entre Nous on the radio either out here in SoCal or in Wisconsin where I grew up and you have it at #5 over very popular FM radio hits. Man alive, the Northeast likes Entre Nous. lol.


Hey there goes Alex. He's loaded with money. Wow he's really set himself up great.


#13 fenderjazz

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Posted 26 October 2018 - 01:38 PM

I don't think I've ever heard Entre Nous on the radio either out here in SoCal or in Wisconsin where I grew up and you have it at #5 over very popular FM radio hits. Man alive, the Northeast likes Entre Nous. lol.

 

I'm guessing it caught the fancy of some program director around here.  As luck would have it I heard it this morning on i95FM on my way in.



#14 grep

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Posted 26 October 2018 - 03:27 PM

Ahh. Entre Nous. One of my obscure four.

Entre Nous

Different Strings

Lessons

Tears


falconext.png


#15 AsIfToFly

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Posted 26 October 2018 - 07:46 PM

I have never heard EN (one of my faves) on the radio here in the NW.  The local classic rock station regularly plays:

 

TS

TSOR

CTTH

Freewill

Limelight

FBN

Working Man

 

Sometimes I hear Subdivisions or NWM.  That's pretty much it.



#16 Greg

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Posted 26 October 2018 - 07:52 PM

I've heard EN on the radio...but I don't listen to classic rock stations very often.  Seems like it's always Limelight, TS, Freewill.  But I've def heard EN before...it's one of the best songs on an amazing album (my fave album of theirs).



#17 cygnusx1jg

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Posted 27 October 2018 - 12:18 AM

Two songs that would be in my top 25 and that (I'm guessing) the majority of Rush fans don't care for too much are Emotion Detector and Carve Away the Stone.

#18 SpaceGhost2112

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Posted 02 November 2018 - 11:34 PM

Not a fan of the 1st song, but LOVE Carve Away the Stone!! :)






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