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Rush - The Spirit of Radio CD (album) cover




Heavy Prog

4.14 | 50 ratings

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Symphonic Team
3 stars This Rush single is promoting the wonderful "Permanent Waves" album. The edited radio friendly 'The Spirit of Radio' was the reason to purchase this at the time. These days it is more of a curio as all Rush fans and non Rush fans who love prog have no doubt got this somewhere. 'The Spirit of Radio' was a massive hit for the band and it is easy to see why. It has some of the most endearing and memorable guitar work from Alex Lifeson. Listen to that phased out lead work in the intro, and the way the time signature instantly changes only to kick into a standard 4/4 riff. Geddy Lee's high soprano vocals have never been better and you have to love the lyrics: "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." This example of crazy alliteration that evokes a quirky sense of humour has defined the Rush sound.

The track works effectively as a radio jingle promoting the medium, no wonder it was a top 20 UK hit in 1980, one of the greatest rock singles ever. It even features a startling reggae breakdown towards the end that shouldn't work but Rush makes it work because they are masters of song structure. After the words "Concert hall" we hear a crowd roaring, which really adds to the overall effect of the track. Lifeson's wah wah guitar solo is amazing. A short blast of the opening riff and then it ends abruptly.

On the flip side is the more forgettable 'Circumstances' that works as a B side though was a weaker point on the actual album. Overall this vinyl is a real find, if you are fortunate to see it in a second hand store or fair these days, especially with that picture sleeve showing a closer view of the smiling lady with the Marilyn Monroe blow up dress, standing in front of the explosion. Collectors need only apply, though the single is one of Rush's best.

AtomicCrimsonRush | 3/5 |


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