Mr Geddy Lee (though not really) (mrgeddylee) wrote,
Mr Geddy Lee (though not really)

The Spirit of Radio

Is there a more iconic guitar riff in the entire Rush discography? Three notes instantly generate extreme rocking out. Millions of people work hard and accomplish less.

Alex's guitar part displays his typical habits but also a lot of single note bending (a whole new type of bending - someone alert Aang!) and of course the aforementioned riff, without which the song would a hollow shell.

Geddy does Geddy stuff and does it well, but this is a guitar song, not a bass song. Neil really grabs my attention more with his deft work on cymbals and bells, or whatever crazy thing drummers use when they want to get tremble as all get-out. The sibilance of the high-hat and the high-pitched ringing of the whatever help create the soundscape for Alex's guitars, and the glockenspiel fills in the blanks in the chorus, and yet the man still finds time to keep on the toms to make sure no section of the audio spectrum gets ignored. I really like the way Neil starts laying into it just when Geddy sings "almost free" around 2:51. Because the metal percussion isn't especially loud, it doesn't crowd anybody out, but it nonetheless cranks up the energy of the song. During the solo/bridge/whatever right after that chorus, I can't even break down everything that goes on - there's some serious bionic man action there.

Musically, I could take or leave the reggae part, but the lyrics more than make up for any lack of prog insanity. "Salesman" definitely makes the list of essential Geddy-isms. Neil's little substitution of profits for prophets breaks no new literary ground, but the entire song stands up beautifully as an expression of his dislike for the way that the freeform world of FM began to acquire a disturbing corporate outlook. Is it really "just a question of your honesty?" I'm honestly not sure that radio is, but I believe honesty counts a full ten points in songwriting. To like a band, and not just a few of their songs, I need a sense that the guys in that band really feel the music they're writing, and didn't just turn out another set of 4:4 chord progressions because their producer said it would sell. Not that 4:4 equals selling out - I think prog without inspiration turns out to be much crappier and less honest than old U2 or any Vertical Horizon album. Hrm, I'm off on a rant here - perhaps all this machinery making modern LJ posts can be open hearted, but I struggle. Ah well. Rock on, Alex.
Tags: rushppd
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