Rush Reboot – Spirit of the Radio (1980)

OK…I have been sitting on this one for a bit…wondering when the time was right. It is one of the band’s most iconic songs. It is also one of their most danceable. Don’t take my word for it…watch their HOF induction performance. Not only does the audience in general go nuts, you can probably make out Flavor Flav from Public Enemy (inducted the same night) seriously boogieing in front of the stage. He’s in a white tuxedo.

This song definitely influenced me with Neil’s use of alliteration. Having grown up in the years before streaming, and CDs, radio was our musical source. Now, I believe the lyrics speak plainly enough, so without further ado….please feel free to dance to this one…I know I always do. From the album Permanent Waves, this is Spirit of the Radio.

Music: Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson
Lyrics: Neil Peart

Begin the day
With a friendly voice
A companion, unobtrusive
Plays the song that’s so elusive
And the magic music makes your morning mood

Off on your way
Hit the open road
There is magic at your fingers
For the Spirit ever lingers
Undemanding contact
In your happy solitude.

Invisible airwaves
Crackle with life
Bright antennae bristle
With the energy
Emotional feedback
On a timeless wavelength
Bearing a gift beyond price –
Almost free…

All this machinery
Making modern music
Can still be open-hearted
Not so coldly charted
It’s really just a question
Of your honesty

One likes to believe
In the freedom of music
But glittering prizes
And endless compromises
Shatter the illusion
Of integrity

“For the words of the profits,
Are written on the studio wall,
Concert hall –
Echoes with the sounds…
Of salesmen.”

21 comments

  1. A brilliant masterpiece to be sure!

    But glittering prizes
    And endless compromises
    Shatter the illusion
    Of integrity

    And this stanza in particular describes much of what I see in the writing world as well….so many caught up in writing for profit or glory instead of just writing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It does it does.

      I believe this song is a statement how Rush was able to avoid that. They were willing to risk it all and lose it by writing and publishing 2112, when the execs told them they needed a radio friendly album.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I love this song. A thinking man’s band. Their vocabulary probably threw a lot of people off even as it drew me in. Even when I wasn’t a Rush fan (and even an anti-Rush man for a few years in the 80’s; sorry!) I dug this tune. Even now, when I hear it, there’s something magical for me. The final stanza, and line, are especially relevant to my own life, where I balance integrity with sales. That’s harder to do in this modern era than one might think. I like to think I pull it off, but definitely understand the stigma involved with the word.

    Excellent share, brother!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah…no apology needed, my brother. I will be sharing something in the coming weeks to explain. And yes…the thinking man’s metal band they were called.

      And another thing that cements us as the same…As the Gen Sls Mgr I preach that all the time. We are to be sales counselors. Advisors. We do not mis-lead or misrepresent. Integrity is paramount. Once you lose that, you lose.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I was a drooling Rush fan back in the day. Saw them 3 times live. I’ve always loved this song above most. I love the lyrics and Neil was just a beast. I heard it the other day on Spotify for the first time in a while and it blew me away. Now I check out a blog and he did a piece on it… That’s a sign man

    Liked by 2 people

        1. I like that one a lot as well. It is so hard for me to fave things with them, but probably Permanent Waves as best overall album. Signals has one of my favorite songs in Losing It.

          Some have commented that they see the influence of of Neil in some of my phrasings, and I would have to agree.

          Like

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