Best Opening Track on a Rush Album

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Rush albums almost always start with a killer track. My personal favorites may not be terribly controversial - "Spirit of Radio," "Subdivisions" - but they are awesome. I'm also a big fan of "Far Cry," and "Show Don't Tell" is a sentimental favorite. So what say you nerds? Will "Tom Sawyer" be the one to top? Will Rush traditionalists go "Overture?" Let's find out!

Poll Results

OptionVotes
"Subdivisions" 10
"The Spirit of Radio" 9
"Tom Sawyer" 7
"Anthem" 4
"Overture" 4
"Cygnus X-1 Book II: Hemispheres" 3
"Bastille Day" 2
"Dreamline" 1
"Finding My Way" 1
"Animate" 1
"Show Don't Tell" 1
"The Big Money" 1
"Distant Early Warning" 1
"A Farewell to Kings" 1
"Force Ten" 0
"Test For Echo" 0
"One Little Victory" 0
"Far Cry" 0
"Caravan" 0


Josh in Chicago, Tuesday, 6 June 2017 14:54 (six months ago) Permalink

2112 is all one track on my old cd so that if it counts. otherwise subdivisions

ciderpress, Tuesday, 6 June 2017 14:58 (six months ago) Permalink

Yeah, I thought about that, but having seen the band Live a bunch of time Overture+Temples is almost treated like a standalone thing.

Josh in Chicago, Tuesday, 6 June 2017 14:59 (six months ago) Permalink

Hah, the band Live. I have no idea why my phone randomly capitalizes words.

Josh in Chicago, Tuesday, 6 June 2017 14:59 (six months ago) Permalink

'dreamline' is pretty good for something that will likely get no votes. one of the better tracks on their 90s records.

ciderpress, Tuesday, 6 June 2017 15:01 (six months ago) Permalink

"We're only at home when we're on the run" is a great line.

Josh in Chicago, Tuesday, 6 June 2017 15:03 (six months ago) Permalink

I have a soft spot for "Bastille Day", which was generally the go-to opener in the days when I was a big fan, and would see them live.

henry s, Tuesday, 6 June 2017 15:24 (six months ago) Permalink

one of these:
"Cygnus X-1 Book II: Hemispheres"
"The Spirit of Radio"
"Tom Sawyer"

will probably end up flipping a coin on June 19

Dominique, Tuesday, 6 June 2017 15:26 (six months ago) Permalink

they knew how to open an album

was thinking "Bastille Day" that's such a rocker
have a soft spot for "Force 10" for a song that will get no votes

Universal LULU Nation (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Tuesday, 6 June 2017 15:54 (six months ago) Permalink

This is 'Anthem' vs. 'The Spirit of Radio' vs. 'Tom Sawyer' for me, and I can't decide. I'd love to vote for the Hemispheres opener, but it's like 50% of the LP!

The Anti-Climax Blues Band (Turrican), Tuesday, 6 June 2017 16:05 (six months ago) Permalink

"Anthem" is great, isn't it?

Josh in Chicago, Wednesday, 7 June 2017 17:45 (six months ago) Permalink

It's one of my favourite things this band has ever done, absolute perfection - there is nothing, absolutely nothing that I would change about the track. Sure, it's more "Rush as hard rock band" than "Rush as progressive rock band" - but even though it lacks the trademark time signature changes etc. it rocks HARD and everyone is playing at the absolute best they possibly could at the time. Peart's drumming on it is superb and it's a great, catchy songs with plenty of memorable musical parts and riffs.

The Anti-Climax Blues Band (Turrican), Wednesday, 7 June 2017 18:14 (six months ago) Permalink

"The Spirit of Radio"
"Tom Sawyer"
"Subdivisions"
"Distant Early Warning"

So unfuckwithable and it's four albums in a row and doesn't include "Bastille Day."

Torn between Radio and Subdivisions... Radio bristles with energy but Subdivisions was one of the songs that a teenage NYCNative had to help him through being a teenaged NYCNative (that song and Minor Threat).

Loud guitars shit all over "Bette Davis Eyes" (NYCNative), Wednesday, 7 June 2017 18:15 (six months ago) Permalink

cool and remote like dancing girls

the Rain Man of nationalism. (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 7 June 2017 18:27 (six months ago) Permalink

sprawling on the fringes of the album

mookieproof, Wednesday, 7 June 2017 18:32 (six months ago) Permalink

My criterion for answering this poll is: does the song grab your attention and make a statement of intent. First thing I thought of on seeing the thread title was "Anthem", but "Overture", "The Spirit of Radio", "Show Don't Tell", "One Little Victory" and "Caravan" are all impeccable album openers and tick that box. Nothing against e.g. "Tom Sawyer" but it could fit comfortably almost anywhere in the Moving Pictures running order.

Jeff W, Wednesday, 7 June 2017 18:34 (six months ago) Permalink

"Tom Sawyer"
"Subdivisions"
"Distant Early Warning"

One of these is gonna be my pick.

grawlix (unperson), Wednesday, 7 June 2017 18:34 (six months ago) Permalink

I've decided I'm not gonna vote for it, but 'Tom Sawyer' will probably top this poll - it's not only one of their best known tracks and still one of their most popular songs, but also it's the opening track of what is probably their best loved album, and the way it opens Moving Pictures powerfully with that drums and synth combination. There's no messing around with that song.

The Anti-Climax Blues Band (Turrican), Wednesday, 7 June 2017 18:45 (six months ago) Permalink

subdivisions!

ToddBonzalez (BradNelson), Wednesday, 7 June 2017 19:48 (six months ago) Permalink

cool and remote like dancing girls

― the Rain Man of nationalism. (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, June 7, 2017 11:27 AM (one hour ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

true i would also vote for "force ten"

ToddBonzalez (BradNelson), Wednesday, 7 June 2017 19:49 (six months ago) Permalink

I love "Force Ten." I got into Rush as a real-time buyer c. "A Show of Hands," which explains in part my love of "Hold Your Fire" and "Power Windows," not to mention "Presto," the first Rush album I bought the day it came out. Of course, those are all good albums, too.

Josh in Chicago, Wednesday, 7 June 2017 20:30 (six months ago) Permalink

To my surprise, I am really, REALLY feeling "Anthem" right now

PJD PDJ DPJ (DJP), Wednesday, 7 June 2017 20:30 (six months ago) Permalink

(not because it's a bad song but because I expected this to be "Tom Sawyer" vs "Overture" for me and am surprised by how much I'm looking at "Anthem", "Bastille Day" and "A Farewell to Kings")

PJD PDJ DPJ (DJP), Wednesday, 7 June 2017 20:33 (six months ago) Permalink

See?! It's hard, the band is great!

Josh in Chicago, Wednesday, 7 June 2017 20:35 (six months ago) Permalink

Like, even if *only* the first song on every album were great, that's almost 20 songs!

Josh in Chicago, Wednesday, 7 June 2017 20:36 (six months ago) Permalink

last time i listened to dreamline i starting singing like a maniac while washing the dishes, i rly might give it my vote.

but Rush were ridiculously good at firing the first shot across the bow, these are almost all A+

or at night (Jon not Jon), Wednesday, 7 June 2017 20:58 (six months ago) Permalink

A Farewell To Kings is a seriously underrated track, but if only they'd opened the record with Xanadu...

めんどくさかった (Matt #2), Wednesday, 7 June 2017 21:35 (six months ago) Permalink

Couldn't make it through all Test for Echo the album today, as usual, but of course I heard the opening track, and it's okay. Animate is a relatively weak starter as well, though Counterparts I find very underrated. At least, I have come around to it more.

Josh in Chicago, Wednesday, 7 June 2017 22:26 (six months ago) Permalink

"cygnus x-1 book ii: hemispheres" - "close to the edge" / "gates of delirium" level

reggie (qualmsley), Wednesday, 7 June 2017 22:46 (six months ago) Permalink

"Spirit of Radio" for me all the way. I love the whole song, but the intro in particular, Alex's cascading finger-tapped 16ths and the synchronized bass-drums building into the actual tune. It sounds like the sun rising.

a man often referred to in the news media as the Duke of Saxony (tipsy mothra), Wednesday, 7 June 2017 23:03 (six months ago) Permalink

for the words of the prophets were written on the studio wall - concert hall

reggie (qualmsley), Wednesday, 7 June 2017 23:31 (six months ago) Permalink

"cygnus x-1 book ii: hemispheres" - "close to the edge" / "gates of delirium" level

― reggie (qualmsley), Wednesday, June 7, 2017 10:46 PM (yesterday) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

Agreed - it's the best side-long epic they ever did!

The Anti-Climax Blues Band (Turrican), Thursday, 8 June 2017 16:08 (six months ago) Permalink

Wow. I could see a case for everything from "Overture" through "Distant Early Warning". Even "Big Money" and "Show Don't Tell" are real highlights of that period.

Tomorrow Begat Tomorrow (Sund4r), Thursday, 8 June 2017 16:11 (six months ago) Permalink

Voted for 'Anthem'

The Anti-Climax Blues Band (Turrican), Thursday, 8 June 2017 16:15 (six months ago) Permalink

It has been a while since I spun Fly by Night but I mostly remember that one having a really great riff/intro and an OK song? Lyrics were also the most Randian they ever got iirc.

Tomorrow Begat Tomorrow (Sund4r), Thursday, 8 June 2017 16:28 (six months ago) Permalink

I want to vote for a chord instead (that one)

Master of Treacle, Thursday, 8 June 2017 17:07 (six months ago) Permalink

I mean 'that' one. The infamous one.

Master of Treacle, Thursday, 8 June 2017 17:11 (six months ago) Permalink

'distant early warning' has aged real well imo

ciderpress, Thursday, 8 June 2017 17:27 (six months ago) Permalink

xpost F sharp major with the added 4th and the flat 7?

Josh in Chicago, Thursday, 8 June 2017 20:50 (six months ago) Permalink

F#7 add11 ?

Josh in Chicago, Thursday, 8 June 2017 20:54 (six months ago) Permalink

I had to look up what those are called, but I know those kinds of chords pop up all over Rush, even as late as "Far Cry."

Josh in Chicago, Thursday, 8 June 2017 20:57 (six months ago) Permalink

Definitely Hemispheres.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Thursday, 8 June 2017 23:01 (six months ago) Permalink

Yeah, that's it.

lifeson's use of suspended chords etc is the best.

Master of Treacle, Thursday, 8 June 2017 23:16 (six months ago) Permalink

this is spirit, tom sawyer, or subdivisions. not sure which. fuck it it's obviously tom sawyer.

akm, Thursday, 8 June 2017 23:34 (six months ago) Permalink

Automatic thread bump. This poll is closing tomorrow.

System, Monday, 19 June 2017 00:01 (five months ago) Permalink

we will call you "cygnus" -- the god of balance, you shall be!

reggie (qualmsley), Monday, 19 June 2017 00:17 (five months ago) Permalink

Is "Anthem" their first foray into the land of 7/8 time? (Doesn't matter, it still gets my vote)

Wet Pelican would provide the soundtrack (Myonga Vön Bontee), Monday, 19 June 2017 01:16 (five months ago) Permalink

Distantly Early Warning. First side of Grace Under Pressure is what I put on most these days.

sciatica, Monday, 19 June 2017 04:19 (five months ago) Permalink

Automatic thread bump. This poll's results are now in.

System, Tuesday, 20 June 2017 00:01 (five months ago) Permalink

Pleasant surprise! Worthy, too, because Rush rules.

Josh in Chicago, Tuesday, 20 June 2017 00:04 (five months ago) Permalink

poll otm

ToddBonzalez (BradNelson), Tuesday, 20 June 2017 00:12 (five months ago) Permalink

Aw force ten deserved votes

or at night (Jon not Jon), Tuesday, 20 June 2017 00:55 (five months ago) Permalink

ILM got this right. Good job.

Loud guitars shit all over "Bette Davis Eyes" (NYCNative), Tuesday, 20 June 2017 00:58 (five months ago) Permalink

Subdivisions woulda gotten mine too

Charles "Butt" Stanton (Neanderthal), Tuesday, 20 June 2017 01:59 (five months ago) Permalink

wack

j., Tuesday, 20 June 2017 05:11 (five months ago) Permalink

the only really good part of that song is when lifeson says SUBDIVISIONS

j., Tuesday, 20 June 2017 05:15 (five months ago) Permalink

How did I miss this poll?

Moodles, Tuesday, 20 June 2017 06:08 (five months ago) Permalink

I like 'Subdivisions', but it's the wrong answer.

(It's Peart that says SUBDIVISIONS! during the song, btw.)

The Anti-Climax Blues Band (Turrican), Tuesday, 20 June 2017 08:26 (five months ago) Permalink

my $0.02 -- "subdivisions" is a great little suburban prog-pop ennui ditty a la the police's "omega man" or "synchronicity ii", whose lyrics were super-cathartic late junior high / early high school, but these days i'd rank it fourth, between "the spirit of radio" and "show don't tell"

reggie (qualmsley), Tuesday, 20 June 2017 12:24 (five months ago) Permalink

I def. think they're some of Peart's most pointed lyrics outside of "The Pass." One of my fave drum parts, too. Just constantly shifting and changing.

Josh in Chicago, Tuesday, 20 June 2017 13:40 (five months ago) Permalink

all of us do time in the darkness -- dreamers learn to steer by the stars

reggie (qualmsley), Tuesday, 20 June 2017 13:57 (five months ago) Permalink

huh, i watched the video last night, they focus prominently on lifeson saying it. maybe he was just faking for the camera

j., Tuesday, 20 June 2017 14:28 (five months ago) Permalink

How did you vote, j.? I voted for "Tom Sawyer" in the end. (It's an obvious pick and overplayed but there's a reason for that.) Some of the late 70s ones were pretty tempting, though, esp "A Farewell to Kings"?

No purposes. Sounds. (Sund4r), Tuesday, 20 June 2017 14:31 (five months ago) Permalink

(I always thought it was Lifeson as well?)

No purposes. Sounds. (Sund4r), Tuesday, 20 June 2017 14:31 (five months ago) Permalink

Live in '90: https://youtu.be/Q7fOYIMg4tg?t=1m54s

No purposes. Sounds. (Sund4r), Tuesday, 20 June 2017 14:34 (five months ago) Permalink

He's miming, but triggering Neil's voice. Neil also does the "Roll the Bones" rap, which is clearly the same voice. Honestly, while Alex has a mic I'm not sure I can ever pick out his voice. There's also that bit in "A Show of Hands" where he is singing/talking and they jokingly mute him. Like right at the beginning of this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lQ9Rw7SWTgY

Josh in Chicago, Tuesday, 20 June 2017 14:55 (five months ago) Permalink

I recall back n the early days Alex used to do backing vocals on "In The Mood" during shows. I used to think it was strange that he had his own mic stand for that little part.

henry s, Tuesday, 20 June 2017 15:05 (five months ago) Permalink

TOM SAWYER RULES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

j., Tuesday, 20 June 2017 15:11 (five months ago) Permalink

I've always suspected he is singing into his bandmates monitors to make them smile.

Josh in Chicago, Tuesday, 20 June 2017 15:11 (five months ago) Permalink

I made a Spotify playlist for the songs. I added "Summertime Blues" off the covers album and used a live version of "Overture" because Spotify has the whole of 2112 on the studio album.

http://open.spotify.com/user/nyc_native/playlist/3Do853pqpbECyPNtfl5m3E

Loud guitars shit all over "Bette Davis Eyes" (NYCNative), Wednesday, 21 June 2017 12:55 (five months ago) Permalink

NYCNative there's like a five-minute edit of the opening of "2112" on 'chronicles' if you want it

reggie (qualmsley), Wednesday, 21 June 2017 15:02 (five months ago) Permalink


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