Today is the first introduction to Canadian progressive rock band, Rush, and their second album, “Fly By Night”. That said, it is their first album with drummer and lyricist (you don’t see that combination often) Neil Peart, so as far as I’m concerned, this is their first album with their classic lineup. I know of at least one person who reads this blog who isn’t a big Rush fan, and I get that for some they are an acquired taste, but I definitely think that as far as hard rock bands, and certainly trios, there are few acts with as much musical talent as these three. Another interesting observation on Rush before we dive in, as a trio, they have to be one of the few rock acts where the lead guitarist, Alex Lifeson, is probably the least hyped and celebrated of the three. Neil Peart is among rock music’s Mount Rushmore of drummers, and Geddy Lee can literally play anything, and has a distinctive and powerful voice as well.
I listened to the album twice, and the second time through was on a much better sound system. This was an important adjustment, as it fully allowed me to appreciate the magic of Geddy Lee on bass and Neil Peart on drums. On songs like “Best I Can”, “Beneath, Between & Behind”, and one of my discovered favorites on this album, “Making Memories” these two absolutely kill it. Naturally, the title track is a well-recognized Rush classic, and the two chords that open the track are among the very few I still remember how to play on a guitar. Oddly enough, those same two chords re-emerge in the last song, “In The End”, tying it all together. Of course, it wouldn’t be a Rush album without some bizarre lyrics or song titles, and for this album’s representative, we have “By-Tor And The Snow Dog”. It’s not a bad song, if a bit long, but I have no idea what Neil and Geddy are talking about here.
As you can see, I do enjoy Rush and really appreciate the gifts this trio has to offer. Sadly, like many acts, we recently lost Neil Peart, and they are definitely on my list of regrets for never seeing them live. Thankfully we still have their recorded works, and this was a solid first offering from them.