Song of the Day #2,971: ‘The Spirit of Radio’ – Rush

rush_permanent_wavesRush is another band totally off my radar. The most immediate association I have with their music is its inclusion in the hilarious 2009 film I Love You Man, best captured in the immortal “slappin’ da bass” scene. Doesn’t hurt that the scene features my biggest female crush (Rashida Jones) and male crush (Paul Rudd).

Apart from that movie, I can’t say I’ve ever heard a song by the Canadian prog rock band in full. I know ‘Tom Sawyer’ by name but couldn’t hum its chorus if you paid me.

Rush released their seventh studio album, Permanent Waves, in 1980 and followed it a year later with their most acclaimed album, Moving Pictures. These albums signaled a shift from hard rock to progressive rock and brought them their biggest commercial success.

Permanent Waves contains only six tracks, the last of which (‘Natural Science’) is split into three movements. Opening track ‘The Spirit of Radio’ sold well and remains their biggest UK hit.

I can see why a song like this would be catnip to a couple of guys jamming in a man cave, but it’s not really my cup of tea.

Begin the day with a friendly voice
A companion unobtrusive
Plays that song that’s so elusive
And the magic music makes your morning mood

Off on your way, hit the open road
There is magic at your fingers
For the Spirit ever lingers
Undemanding contact in your happy solitude

Invisible airwaves crackle with life
Bright antenna bristle with the energy
Emotional feedback on timeless wavelength
Bearing a gift beyond price, almost free

All this machinery making modern music
Can still be open-hearted
Not so coldly charted, it’s really just a question
Of your honesty, yeah, your honesty

One likes to believe in the freedom of music
But glittering prizes and endless compromises
Shatter the illusion of integrity, yeah

Invisible airwaves crackle with life
Bright antenna bristle with the energy
Emotional feedback on timeless wavelength
Bearing a gift beyond price, almost free

For the words of the profits were written on the studio walls
Concert halls
And echoes with the sound of salesmen
Of salesmen
Of salesmen!

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One thought on “Song of the Day #2,971: ‘The Spirit of Radio’ – Rush

  1. Dana says:

    I have disliked Rush for as long as I can remember. In fact, the scene from “I Love You Man” may be the only positive association I have with the band.

    For me, the disdain begins and ends with Geddy Lee’s voice. It’s like nails on a chalkboard to me. The never-ending self-aggrandizing musical opuses don’t help either.

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