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Why Tom Sawyer?


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#21 Red3angel

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Posted 05 March 2018 - 09:30 AM

I think it’s like van Halen‘s running with the devil. Not necessarily my favorite song but the best opening

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#22 JARG

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Posted 05 March 2018 - 09:44 AM

In thinking about all the previous album openers from Rush (Finding My Way, Anthem, Bastille Day, Overture, AFTK, Prelude, TSOR), Tom Sawyer was the first opener to drop into the groove (such as it is) almost immediately. That may have had something to do with how readily the song was digested.

#23 Geddyleegenes

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Posted 05 March 2018 - 10:44 AM

View PostEntre_Perpetuo, on 04 March 2018 - 07:31 PM, said:



Why is Tom Sawyer automatically a teenager? I thought I remembered him being like 12 in the books or something.

Only because I was a teenager when the song came out.  He's 37 years older, now.

#24 toymaker

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Posted 05 March 2018 - 10:57 AM

Drums.  Completely infectious.

#25 Relayer2112

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Posted 05 March 2018 - 11:37 AM

As with just about any "hit" song, the timing of it's release is as important if not more so than anything else.  It struck a "chord" with the youth of 1981, so to speak.

#26 KenJennings

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Posted 05 March 2018 - 11:59 AM

I've never understood why Tom Sawyer is their seminole track either. It's easily my least favorite of their 'radio hits' (except maybe Fly By Night); and there are much better tracks (Circumstances, A Farewell to Kings, The Analog Kid, even Kid Gloves) that I would think are Radio friendly, yet receive almost no play...

#27 JARG

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Posted 05 March 2018 - 12:06 PM

View PostKenJennings, on 05 March 2018 - 11:59 AM, said:

I've never understood why Tom Sawyer is their seminole track either. It's easily my least favorite of their 'radio hits' (except maybe Fly By Night); and there are much better tracks (Circumstances, A Farewell to Kings, The Analog Kid, even Kid Gloves) that I would think are Radio friendly, yet receive almost no play...

I've always thought of TS as their Cherokee track, personally.

#28 Ron2112

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Posted 05 March 2018 - 01:24 PM

I think for those of us who "got on the bus" with MP in 1981, there was (and still is) a freshness about Tom Sawyer.  Honestly, I'd never heard anything like it......from the synth to the way the song builds, to that guy's crazy voice.  It really made a generation of middle-schoolers sit up and take notice.  

I've got plenty of Rush songs I like better, but it's hard to argue that TS is the quintessential Rush song.

#29 Bhawk2112

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Posted 05 March 2018 - 03:22 PM

In many ways it's the quintessential Rush song, and highlights all the things that make Rush unique.

It also seems to be their most popular song with women, which, as far as Rush tunes go, is quite an accomplishment.

#30 rftag

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Posted 05 March 2018 - 07:06 PM

I think Tom Sawyer is a great song, but I've never thought of it as their best.

One of the reasons why I might not have loved it quite as much as so many others is that I had heard ABOUT Tom Sawyer many many times before I actually HEARD Tom Sawyer.

I was just becoming aware of Rush at the time it came out. As I've written here several times before, I had first heard Rush in 1980 (TSOR) and loved that song immediately, but had no idea who the band was.

I was familiar with Rush from concert T-shirts kids wore, but didn't realize that THAT was the band that did TSOR. It was in the period after MP was released and gaining popularity that I eventually realized this was the band that did TSOR.

I kept hearing people talk about Tom Sawyer; how awesome it was. Even my older brother, who hated Rush, was saying how awesome it was.

People would even lamely attempt to emulate the signature 'riff' (i.e. "wee-yoo wee-yoo wee-yoo, wee-yoo wee-yoo-yoo... wee-yoo wee-yoo wee-yoo, wee-yoo wee-yoo-yoo... da da da DAH!... da da da DAH!" etc).

When I eventually heard the song I was like "Ah! That's what those sounds they were making we're supposed to be".

At that time in Staten Island (a suburban borough of NYC) the youth culture was sharply divided between so-called "critters" and "guidos"; the former loved hard and classic rock and the latter were into dance music/disco (think Saturday Night Fever era John Travolta).

Even many of the guidos, who hated rock music, loved Tom Sawyer.

It seemed like EVERYONE loved Tom Sawyer.

I thought it was a great song when I eventually heard it, but it couldn't ever possibly live up to the hype.

That is the only Rush song which I had that experience with.

I really wish I could have had the chance to hear Tom Sawyer without having heard so much hype about it first; I'm sure I would have had a different impression of it.

Edited by rftag, 05 March 2018 - 07:11 PM.


#31 Wil1972

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Posted 05 March 2018 - 07:44 PM

View PostRelayer2112, on 05 March 2018 - 11:37 AM, said:

As with just about any "hit" song, the timing of it's release is as important if not more so than anything else.  It struck a "chord" with the youth of 1981, so to speak.

True but there must be more to it; my step daughters latched onto it 8 years ago when they were 10 and 5 respectively. I think those mentioning the groove and that gnarly growling bass pedal thing that defines the song are part of it's appeal. Timing could be part of it but there is something else going on that still works in the 21st century.

Edited by Wil1972, 05 March 2018 - 07:48 PM.


#32 ReRushed

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Posted 05 March 2018 - 07:59 PM

It's a great song.

#33 JohnnyBlaze

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Posted 05 March 2018 - 08:03 PM

View PostReRushed, on 05 March 2018 - 07:59 PM, said:

It's a great song.

Mind control mantras/subliminal messaging imbedded in the grooves

View PostReRushed, on 04 March 2018 - 07:21 PM, said:

It's a great song.

View PostJohnnyBlaze, on 03 March 2018 - 08:43 PM, said:

Mind control mantras/subliminal messaging imbedded in the grooves


#34 RUSHHEAD666

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Posted 05 March 2018 - 08:37 PM

View PostJARG, on 04 March 2018 - 02:57 PM, said:

View PostRUSHHEAD666, on 04 March 2018 - 01:08 AM, said:

View PostJARG, on 04 March 2018 - 12:37 AM, said:

View PostJustus_2112, on 03 March 2018 - 07:27 PM, said:

I would like to say right off the bat that there is nothing wrong with "Tom Sawyer." It's a great song that can definitely be counted as one of Rush's best.

That being said, I wouldn't say it's their ABSOLUTE best. I don't understand why, of all Rush songs, Tom Sawyer became their big hit.

I can remember when it came out and people who had previously written off Rush as "too weird" were suddenly going on about how "badass" TS was. For whatever reason, the song broke right at a time when people were hungry for what it delivered.

That's interesting.  I was 13 years old when the record came out.  it was "Tom Sawyer" that got me into the band.
The great thing for me about falling in love with Rush when Moving Pictures came out is that I had the luxury to go back and explore every record prior to "Moving Pictures."

I sill remember when I was a kid picking up all the Mercury Rush used cassettes at my local record shop.

Pure Bliss.

My parents thought I was crazy blasting "Hemispheres" in my room circa 1981.

Then my poor parents had to listen to my wailing on the drums for 7 more years learning every Rush song.

My parents ROCK!

I can relate. AFTK was the latest release when I got into Rush.

Lucky!

#35 Xanadoood

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Posted 06 March 2018 - 01:14 PM

They ripped the keyboard riff off from Journey!



#36 goose

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Posted 06 March 2018 - 01:30 PM

View PostJARG, on 05 March 2018 - 12:06 PM, said:

View PostKenJennings, on 05 March 2018 - 11:59 AM, said:

I've never understood why Tom Sawyer is their seminole track either. It's easily my least favorite of their 'radio hits' (except maybe Fly By Night); and there are much better tracks (Circumstances, A Farewell to Kings, The Analog Kid, even Kid Gloves) that I would think are Radio friendly, yet receive almost no play...

I've always thought of TS as their Cherokee track, personally.
That took me a while.  :lol:

#37 goose

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Posted 06 March 2018 - 01:32 PM

View PostWil1972, on 05 March 2018 - 07:44 PM, said:

View PostRelayer2112, on 05 March 2018 - 11:37 AM, said:

As with just about any "hit" song, the timing of it's release is as important if not more so than anything else.  It struck a "chord" with the youth of 1981, so to speak.

True but there must be more to it; my step daughters latched onto it 8 years ago when they were 10 and 5 respectively. I think those mentioning the groove and that gnarly growling bass pedal thing that defines the song are part of it's appeal. Timing could be part of it but there is something else going on that still works in the 21st century.
The head-bobbing Presto bunnies explain it all.  It's the groove, baby!



#38 JARG

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Posted 06 March 2018 - 01:49 PM

View Postgoose, on 06 March 2018 - 01:30 PM, said:

View PostJARG, on 05 March 2018 - 12:06 PM, said:

View PostKenJennings, on 05 March 2018 - 11:59 AM, said:

I've never understood why Tom Sawyer is their seminole track either. It's easily my least favorite of their 'radio hits' (except maybe Fly By Night); and there are much better tracks (Circumstances, A Farewell to Kings, The Analog Kid, even Kid Gloves) that I would think are Radio friendly, yet receive almost no play...

I've always thought of TS as their Cherokee track, personally.
That took me a while.  :lol:

Man, if SOCN has taught me anything, it's that my humor is very often not successfully communicated.

Edited by JARG, 06 March 2018 - 01:49 PM.


#39 Fordgalaxy

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Posted 06 March 2018 - 01:59 PM

View PostJARG, on 06 March 2018 - 01:49 PM, said:

View Postgoose, on 06 March 2018 - 01:30 PM, said:

View PostJARG, on 05 March 2018 - 12:06 PM, said:

View PostKenJennings, on 05 March 2018 - 11:59 AM, said:

I've never understood why Tom Sawyer is their seminole track either. It's easily my least favorite of their 'radio hits' (except maybe Fly By Night); and there are much better tracks (Circumstances, A Farewell to Kings, The Analog Kid, even Kid Gloves) that I would think are Radio friendly, yet receive almost no play...

I've always thought of TS as their Cherokee track, personally.
That took me a while.  :lol:

Man, if SOCN has taught me anything, it's that my humor is very often not successfully communicated.
The communication was successfully received but it you didn't know the correct spelling of that particular word, it might not ever be. Just words, blowing in the seminal wind. (if you don't get that mixed up reference, I'll clear it up later).

#40 goose

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Posted 06 March 2018 - 02:13 PM

View PostFordgalaxy, on 06 March 2018 - 01:59 PM, said:

View PostJARG, on 06 March 2018 - 01:49 PM, said:

View Postgoose, on 06 March 2018 - 01:30 PM, said:

View PostJARG, on 05 March 2018 - 12:06 PM, said:

View PostKenJennings, on 05 March 2018 - 11:59 AM, said:

I've never understood why Tom Sawyer is their seminole track either. It's easily my least favorite of their 'radio hits' (except maybe Fly By Night); and there are much better tracks (Circumstances, A Farewell to Kings, The Analog Kid, even Kid Gloves) that I would think are Radio friendly, yet receive almost no play...

I've always thought of TS as their Cherokee track, personally.
That took me a while.  :lol:

Man, if SOCN has taught me anything, it's that my humor is very often not successfully communicated.
The communication was successfully received but it you didn't know the correct spelling of that particular word, it might not ever be. Just words, blowing in the seminal wind. (if you don't get that mixed up reference, I'll clear it up later).





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