Sunday, March 8, 2015

Rush - The Spirit Of Radio

Sunday, time for a classic.

"The Spirit of Radio" is a song released in 1980 by Canadian rock band RUSH from their album Permanent Waves.

The song's name was inspired by Toronto radio station CFNY's slogan. The song was significant in the growing popularity of the band. It is also the first song of the 1980s (for the band as well as in general), since Permanent Waves was released on January 1, 1980, and it was the opening track on the album. The band had grazed the UK Top 40 two years earlier with "Closer to the Heart", but when issued as a single in March 1980. It remains their biggest UK hit to date (the 7" single was a 3:00 edited version which has never appeared on CD to date).

"The Spirit of Radio" was named one of The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll, RUSHs only such entry. The song was among five Rush songs inducted into the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame on March 28, 2010.

Promotional 12-inch copies were released in the United States late 1979 with the B-sides of "Working Man" and "The Trees", and the song being incorrectly titled "The Spirit of the Radio"

The final lines of the song ("For the words of the profits were written on the studio wall.../Concert hall/And echoes with the sounds of salesmen") are an allusion to the famous final lyrics from the Simon and Garfunkel classic "The Sound of Silence": "...the words of the prophets/Are written on the subway walls/And tenement halls/And whispered in the sounds of silence.

One of the lines of the song references the composition Morning Mood, which bears a strong musical similarity to the opening guitar riff.

The album version includes the sound of a cheering crowd just after Lee sings "concert hall." It has since become a tradition in live shows for the arena lights to come up at this point and the audience to cheer, mimicking the effect, as shown on every live DVD from Grace Under Pressure Tour forward.

On performances during the 1981 tour, the line "one likes to believe in the freedom of music" was changed to "one likes to believe in the freedom of baseball" as a commentary on the 1981 Major League Baseball Players Association strike. Geddy Lee still occasionally drops this change into the song when performing live.

The live version recorded in June 17th, 1980 at the Apollo in Manchester, England appeared as a playable song in the 2009 video game Guitar Hero 5 where it is considered one of the hardest songs on guitar in the game.

The song is sampled on the 1993 track, "Conchita Martinez", by Saint Etienne.

Enjoy todays tune!

First Video is an unofficial music video for Rush's Spirit of the Radio that I pieced together from concert footage of the 1984 Grace Under Pressure Tour.

Second Video is a Live version from the "Snakes and Arrows - Tour"

More info @

Official Rush Web

spotifyListen to "Rush- The Spirit Of Radio" on Spotify here!

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