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20 April 2012 @ 09:46 pm
Bp's Song of the Week #150: Rush "Headlong Flight"  


Rush "Headlong Flight"


Having released the first 30-seconds last week as a tease, the full 7:20 of new Rush has been unleashed on the world this week. Their upcoming release, Clockwork Angels, via their new partnership with Roadrunner, is slated to arrive on June 12th and needless to say, anticipation in the Rush world is very high for this steampunk-inspired concept record, their first new full length since 2007's Snakes & Arrows.

You can't argue with the nod to 1975''s By-Tor & the Snow Dog, Anthem, and Bastille Day, and shades of the mid-80s in the guitar work during the outro of the solo section, combined with the harmony vocals of their more recent work. The combination works tremendously well together. The Neil Peart drum break at 4:30 that leads into the ripping Geddy Lee bass riffing is exquisite, but when Alex Lifeson comes in full boar with the wah-pedal, moving into a screaming guitar solo, bliss is achieved!

From a press release that announced their upcoming tour and single, Geddy and Neil give further detail into the genesis of the song:

Singer/bassist Geddy Lee remarked, "'Headlong Flight' was one of those songs that was a joy to write and record from beginning to end. Alex [Lifeson] and I had blast jamming in my home studio one day before the 2nd leg of the Time Machine Tour and I did not revisit that jam until a year later. Alex and I assembled the song to be an instrumental and its original title was 'Take that lampshade off yo head!' but once we saw the lyrics Neil had written for 'Headlong Flight,' I knew that the spirit of the lyrics matched the instrumental perfectly and it was just a matter of making them fit and writing the melodies."

Drummer and lyricist Neil Peart explained, "In late 2011, my drum teacher Freddie Gruber, towards the end of his long and adventurous 84 years, was reminiscing among friends and former students. Often he would shake his head and say, 'I had quite a ride. I wish I could do it all again.' That is not a feeling I have ever shared about the past -- I remain glad that I don't have to do it all again. While working on the lyrics for 'Headlong Flight,' the last song written for Clockwork Angels, I tried to summarize my character's life and adventures. My own ambivalence colored the verses, while Freddie's words inspired the chorus 'I wish that I could live it all again.'"

They've been putting out albums for almost 40 years and they haven't lost a step. They haven't conformed to the hit parade. They haven't compromised their sound or style. They're still writing and performing brilliant music, not resting on their laurels. They've been the soundtrack to my life for almost thirty years and I've met so many wonderful people as a result of our shared love of this band.

Crank this one up and enjoy!