Continuing on with my look at instrumentals, we move forward to Rush’s most well known album. Moving Pictures exploded onto radio with format friendly songs like Limelight, Red Barchetta, and their best known song Tom Sawyer, that propelled the band to new heights and widened their audience. The instrumental track off this album is so popular, that…well you’ll see it in the video.
Title and composition
YYZ is the IATA airport identification code of Toronto Pearson International Airport, near Rush’s hometown. The band was introduced to the rhythm as Alex Lifeson flew them into the airport. A VHF omnidirectional range system at the airport broadcasts the YYZ identifier code in Morse code. Peart said in interviews later that the rhythm stuck with them. Peart and Geddy Lee have both said “It’s always a happy day when YYZ appears on our luggage tags.”The piece’s introduction, played in a time signature of 10/8, repeatedly renders “Y-Y-Z” in Morse Code using various musical arrangements.
|“YYZ” rendered in Morse code|
|– . – –||– . – –||– – . .|
The video I selected is from their Rush in Rio tour. I could have used the studio track, but there is something about watching these fans reaction, and then the band’s reaction to the fans. I could not say it any better.