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All 156 songs, ranked and reviewed by Deckiller


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#1 Deckiller

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Posted 27 August 2010 - 10:14 PM

(I probably counted wrong.)

Well, here it is. I'm going to rank all 156 original/studio recorded Rush songs, starting from my least favorite. I'll add a brief description for each song. Hopefully we can all discuss these songs and have fun. Feel free to bash me for my placements, as there will be some controversial placements smile.gif

My first two picks, though, are pretty conservative.

156. “You Can’t Fight It”

GameFAQs rating: N/A
My rating: 2.5/10

I guess it’s fitting to start from the very beginning. This song feels trapped in the early 60s, heavy guitar aside. There is not an ounce of impressive musicianship in this song, though the harmonies are almost Beatles-esque. The guitar riff is simple and effective, but there is nothing notable in the rhythm section aside from a few machine-gun Rutsey fills.

The lyrics are simple and rooted in basic “rock ‘n roll” (i.e. “rock ‘n roll till you lose control!”). Lifeson’s solo feels like a straight rip-off of Jimmy Page. The production is horrible, especially in the chorus; the harmonies feel like they’re being sung into a 2-dollar microphone. I wonder if Geddy used the same mic as that show in 1968, lamp stand and all?

I feel like this is a conservative choice, and rightfully so. Next song, not so much...

155. “Rivendell”

GameFAQs rating: 4.07/10
My rating: 3/10

A lot of people are going to either love me or hate me for this placement. My problem with Rivendell is that it tries to be soft and sweet, but it just falls flat and strikes me as boring. There is very little color in this song; it’s just acoustic guitar and electric guitar effects. Not only that, but it drags on for five minutes. Rush made far more concise “slow” songs in later years, and - better yet - integrated "cute" acoustic sections into more complex, progressive arrangements. Rivendell was a nice learning experience, but not much else.

The lyrics are cute and hobbity, but at the same time cheesy and not really fitting for this medium (I.E. “a place you can escape the world / where the Dark Lord cannot go”). I’m not a big fan of fantasy lyrics in a progrock setting, unless they have a deeper meaning (I.E. “2112”, “Hemispheres”, "Clockwork Angels" thus far). These lyrical deficiencies can be attributed to both Peart’s newness to writing and the band’s Zeppelin obsession. Zeppelin didn’t do it any better.

Maybe Peart just liked hobbits.

Fly By Night in general suffers because of Peart’s lyrics; songs are dragged needlessly long (“Rivendell”, “In the End”),  and choruses are overly cluttered because of his inexperience with the craft (“Beneath, Between & Behind”). Sadly, Snakes and Arrows occasionally suffers from the same issues, but by then the band was excellent at maintaining the listener’s interest through repeated sections.

On the bright side, I feel that this song leads nicely into In the End. Plus, a band can’t be bad if a cute little acoustic ditty like this is ranked below ONE-HUNDRED FIFTIETH, eh? How many bands can even boast 80+ songs, let alone 150+?

Edited by Deckiller, 27 August 2010 - 10:16 PM.


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#2 tkdryan

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Posted 27 August 2010 - 10:24 PM

Dude this is going to be a beat down or Epic Post,   ohmy.gif  Um i watch a few more posts before I chime in

#3 Tarkus406

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Posted 27 August 2010 - 10:26 PM

There's no way Rivendell is that low, dude. It's a kick-ass song.  

#4 Deckiller

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Posted 27 August 2010 - 10:29 PM

Yeah, it's probably a bit too low, especially since I just had to endure this song for the first time in two years:

154. “Dog Years”

GameFAQs rating: N/A (haven't reached it yet)
My rating: 3/10

I can’t stand this song. The only reason it’s higher than Rivendell is the nice basswork from Geddy and the better production. The lyrics are abysmal:

Dog years -- It's the season of the itch
Dog years -- With every scratch it reappears
Dog years -- For every sad son of a bitch
Dog years -- With his tail between his ears

I'd rather be a tortoise from Galapagos
Or a span of geological time
Than be living in these dog years



It seems to me
As well make our own few circles 'round the block
We've lost our senses
For the higher-level static of talk


I kind of get what Peart’s going for here, but it just doesn’t work. It falls flat. The guitarwork is heavy yet cheesy, and the chorus is almost embarrassing (“DOOOOOGGGGG YEARS”). “Kid Gloves” did a much better job with the frantic, up-beat, playful, innocent rock feel. And it actually had a real Lifeson solo.

This song is just an embarrassment to the boys, and one of the main reasons a lot of people dislike Test for Echo.

And then came “Virtuality”, but we’ll get to that in a little bit.


#5 tkdryan

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Posted 27 August 2010 - 10:34 PM

I figured dog years was going to be in here.  Where does Tai Shan fit in? tongue.gif  

#6 Deckiller

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Posted 27 August 2010 - 10:44 PM

It'll definitely be in the bottom 30.

153. “Take a Friend”

GameFAQs rating: 4.38/10
My rating: 3/10

You know, I’m actually finding this a lot more difficult than I thought. I generally like at least one part of every Rush song, whether it be the lyrics, guitar, bass, intro, outro, solo, keyboard…

I actually think this song has a cool fade-in intro. The problem is that there is nothing else unique in this song. The guitar work is blatantly Jimmy Page, and the style of harmonies (“it makes you feel so good”) just strike me as too old-fashioned for this band. It IS their debut, after all! Ironically, the song is formulaic and unoriginal, yet still devoid of any type of hook outside of that intro. That's a recipe for disaster. You can be a copycat with catchy songs (early 70s bands) or a copycat with great musicianship (Dream Theater), but neither? Yelp! Good thing they stamped this stuff out!

Geddy has some prominent but uncreative bass moments in this song. Rutsey’s fills are about as straightforward as you can get, but he does display some speed and precision at points in this song. Lifeson has a nice little guitar outro, but it’s just a faster repeat of the main riff.

Overall, it just feels like a formulaic rock song that tries to be energetic, but comes across as bland and unoriginal. The lyrics are injected with random “yeah yeah!” outbursts, and there’s absolutely no point to them. “Friends to the end!” Fantastic.

It’s a really good thing Peart joined this band!

Edited by Deckiller, 27 August 2010 - 10:47 PM.


#7 Deckiller

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Posted 27 August 2010 - 10:58 PM

152. “Madrigal”

GameFAQs rating: 4.90/10
My rating: 3.5/10

People are going to eviscerate me for this one, as well. Like Rivendell, it’s a sweet little slow song. Unlike Rivendell, it’s less than 3 minutes. So it should be a lot higher, right?

Not exactly.

I don’t mind the lyrics. There are actually some nice parts, such as:

When life becomes as barren
And as cold as winter skies
There's a beacon in the darkness
In a distant pair of eyes…

It’s well written and sweet…but it lacks a bit of sincerity. It could be that the band was taking themselves too seriously at this point – I don’t know. There's just not enough emotion in Geddy's singing here.

And then there’s the keyboard. I believe Geddy’s using his moog here, but it’s just plain cheesy. The guitar, bass, and drums are simply forgettable, and the combination of the three doesn’t do enough to stamp out the annoying drone of the keyboards. This song needs a stronger instrumental backdrop to convey the emotion. I'm just not feeling it! They had already shot their wad in "Xanadu" and "Closer to the Heart."

Ironically (yes, more irony!), I’m a huge fan of their synthesizer era. Go figure!

Edited by Deckiller, 27 August 2010 - 11:00 PM.


#8 Deckiller

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Posted 27 August 2010 - 11:11 PM

151. “I Think I’m Going Bald”

GameFAQs rating: 5.43/10
My rating: 3.5/10

It probably doesn’t help that I’m actually going bald at 22. Oh yeah, that was the band’s age when they wrote this song! Cool!

This is a song from the third Rush album (Caress of Steel); at this point in their career, a song like this is pretty much unacceptable. The music is uninspired blues-rock (though very fitting of the title!), and I just don’t feel any spark from the composition. The riff is basically a rehash of “In the Mood” – I actually get the two riffs mixed up a lot. The difference is that “In the Mood” had a nice chorus (and equally cheesy lyrics).


I looked in the mirror today
My eyes just didn't seem so bright
I've lost a few more hairs
I think I'm going bald

I think I'm going bald

No creative songwriting here; there is no clever relationship between the lyrics and the music. No complex songwriting. No catchy hooks.

Why is this song higher than, say, Rivendell and Madrigal? These lines right here:

My life is slipping away
I'm aging every day
But even when I'm gray
I'll still be gray my way

Rush are pushing 60 – Alex is literally going bald – and they are still doing things their way. That says something.


#9 Xanadu93

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Posted 27 August 2010 - 11:14 PM

QUOTE (Tarkus406 @ Aug 27 2010, 11:26 PM)
There's no way Rivendell is that low, dude. It's a kick-ass song.

...but you feel that way about EVERY Rush song. tongue.gif

#10 Mr. Not

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Posted 27 August 2010 - 11:22 PM

  so far so beathorse.gif  

#11 Deckiller

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Posted 27 August 2010 - 11:24 PM

150. “You Bet Your Life”

GameFAQs rating: 5.33/10
My rating: 3.5/10

There are about 10-15 songs that could have gone into this slot, and I’ve looked at each one pretty carefully.

What makes this one “stand out”? The horrible, horrible middle section.

anarchist reactionary running-dog revisionist
hindu muslim catholic creation/evolutionist
rational romantic mystic cynical idealist
minimal expressionist post-modern neo-symbolist

Armchair rocket scientist graffiti existentialist
Deconstruction primitive performance photo-realist
Be-bop or a one-drop or a hip-hop lite-pop-metallist
Gold adult contemporary urban country capitalist

What the heck, Neil! And the boys say they were high during Caress of Steel? Roll the bones, roll the bones. Geddy sounds like a robot while singing those lyrics; I kid you not.

And then there’s the horrible “THE ODDS GET EVEN”! It doesn’t even sound like the band sung that part; it just feels so out of place.

And then there’s the production. I feel that Rupert Hine was Rush’s weakest producer, as everything he did sounds paper-thin and flat. Maybe I should be blaming the engineers, but the producer usually takes the credit for the overall sound. For example, let’s put Alex’s guitar work on this song into the limelight. I’ll just let the lyrics do the talking:

“Just another gypsy with a plastic guitar…”

Sorry, Alex! Your guitar sounds plastic on this song.

The music isn’t too bad, but it’s nothing notable. It’s as competent and well constructed as any mid-career Rush song, but the above mistakes can’t bring it out of 3.5/10 territory. A very lackluster closer for a very inconsistent album.

#12 Deckiller

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Posted 27 August 2010 - 11:26 PM

And you know something? I just realized, after being a Rush fan for most of my life, that "Roll the Bones" means "Roll the Joints".

#13 Deckiller

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Posted 27 August 2010 - 11:42 PM

149. “What You’re Doing”

GameFAQs rating: 4.64/10
My rating: 3.5/10

I knew it was time for another debut listing, and this song just doesn’t do it for me. It has a nice, heavy Zeppelin guitar riff, but I don’t feel the song in any way, shape, or form. The lyrics are a dud to me, and the song just repeats way too much. It’s the same riff, over and over, aside from the occasional instrumental break. Rutsey’s fills are nice and tasteful, though he certainly isn’t a powerhouse like Peart. Lerxst delivers a nice solo, but it’s once again a blatant Page ripoff.

There really isn’t much to say with this song. It feels like a rock anthem, especially with Geddy’s vocal echoes. I just don’t listen to it all that much. And like I said, the instrumental breaks are nothing flashy – they’re just there. The outro is reasonably intense and effective, but not noteworthy. Meh.

Edited by Deckiller, 27 August 2010 - 11:48 PM.


#14 Deckiller

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Posted 27 August 2010 - 11:47 PM

148. “How It Is”

GameFAQs rating: N/A
My rating: 3.5/10

I’m going to get a lot of flak for this one as well. First of all, we all know that the production on this entire album is bad, and it really screws with the rankings for these songs.

It’s a sweet little folk rock song. Honestly, it would probably fit somewhere on Snakes and Arrows…but it just doesn’t work that well. Nothing is memorable to me, and I usually skip it when it pops up. Geddy’s little “oh oh ah oh” filler melodies are, as with many songs on this album, completely pointless. The music itself is just plodding and pedestrian; nothing stands out, even the aggressive guitar parts.

And it goes on a bit too long. It’s 4:05, but it could probably be cut to 2:50.

It actually sounds like Geddy is singing through a microphone at parts, to be honest. But isn’t that How It Is…with the rest of the album? How it’s going to be…on Clock—oh no, no way! Not with Nick producing!

Another “Meh” track for me.

Edited by Deckiller, 27 August 2010 - 11:47 PM.


#15 PuppetKing2112

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Posted 27 August 2010 - 11:49 PM

You lost me with "How it Is" being this low.

#16 Middle Kingdom

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Posted 27 August 2010 - 11:54 PM

Rivendell is right where it should be.
Madrigal and How It Is would be higher, in my opinion.

#17 Deckiller

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Posted 27 August 2010 - 11:55 PM

147. “Virtuality”

GameFAQs rating: N/A (we're almost there, and it will probably supplant Rivendell as the lowest-rated song)
My rating: 3.5/10

It’s not that bad a song; it’s just forgettable. The guitar work is nice, heavy, and packed with riffs, and there’s even cowbell in places, but…meh.

I think a lot of it has to do with the lyrics.

Net boy, net girl
Send your signal 'round the world
Let your fingers walk and talk
And set you free

Net boy, net girl
Send your impulse 'round the world
Put your message in a modem
And throw it in the Cyber Sea

These lyrics were probably really cool in 1996. Eh…not so much in 2010. Neil was getting his nerd on, that’s for sure!

Speaking of the cowbell…I love it! I think it gives the song a bit of color, which is nice. But there’s another problematic aspect of this song: Geddy’s singing. It just seems a) cheesy and cool.gif uninspired. I think the melodies are a little bland, which is very rare for Rush. The chorus itself is somewhat catchy, but it does little to mask my opinion of the lyrics. It's almost annoying!

Let’s just be thankful they didn’t name this album “Rush.com”. How many prog bands were naming album titles after their websites? Jethro Tull? Marillion?

Thank you for not going there, Rush!


#18 Deckiller

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Posted 27 August 2010 - 11:56 PM

Yeah, "How It Is" might be a little low. I have a whole slew of 3.5/10 songs, so sorting them out is hard.

The list so far:

156. You Can't Fight It
155. Rivendell
154. Dog Years
153. Take a Friend
152. Madrigal
151. I Think I'm Going Bald
150. You Bet Your Life
149. What You're Doing
148. How It Is
147. Virtuality

Edited by Deckiller, 27 August 2010 - 11:59 PM.


#19 Deckiller

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Posted 28 August 2010 - 12:05 AM

146. “Lakeside Park”

GameFAQs rating: 5.50/10
My rating: 3.5/10

Kill me now! This is probably the Rush song I’ve listened to the least. I guess the reason I’m putting it this high is because it’s got a really nice riff and vocal melody. Geddy does a great job singing on this song! Lyrics are nostalgic and descriptive – typical of a mid-70s Peart song. The song still falls into my “meh” category, but I can definitely see why people like it.

I don’t see anyone pointing to this song when they think of Rush’s musicianship, though. Nevertheless, I will give them credit for giving us a brief glimpse of that “upbeat prog metal,” as I call it, that we’ll see on albums like Permanent Waves.

We're now out of that whole slew of 3.5/10s.

Edited by Deckiller, 28 August 2010 - 12:14 AM.


#20 PuppetKing2112

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Posted 28 August 2010 - 12:09 AM

QUOTE (Deckiller @ Aug 27 2010, 08:55 PM)
Let’s just be thankful they didn’t name this album “Rush.com”. How many prog bands were naming album titles after their websites? Jethro Tull? Marillion?

Thank you for not going there, Rush!

user posted image

Edited by PuppetKing2112, 28 August 2010 - 12:10 AM.





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