Rush Reboot – Camera Eye (1981)

This week’s Reboot is from Rush’s most well known and commercially successful album. It is a truly amazing collection, and one that played a significant part in a significant time of this Wulf’s life. This song, however, is not one that was played on the radio due to 10:56 length. It remains my favorite, and one I was finally able to see/hear live when Rush played the entire Moving Pictures album live back in 2011 on their Time Machine tour.

An interesting note about the cover of the Moving Pictures album:


The album cover is a monument to triple entendre. Movers are physically moving pictures, people are crying because the pictures passing by are emotionally “moving,” and the back cover depicts a film crew making a “moving picture” of the whole scene.

This song, to me, tells the tale of two cities viewed through Neil’s personal lens. Their similarities. Their differences. What does it say to you?

Please sit back, get out of your routine for 10 minutes and 56 seconds, and enjoy The Camera Eye.

Music: Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson
Lyrics: Neil Peart

Grim-faced and forbidding
Their faces closed tight
An angular mass of New Yorkers
Pacing in rhythm
Race the oncoming night
They chase through the streets of Manhattan
Head-first humanity
Pause at a light
Then flow through the streets of the city

They seem oblivious
To a soft spring rain
Like an English rain
So light, yet endless
From a leaden sky, yeah

The buildings are lost
In their limitless rise
My feet catch the pulse
And the purposeful stride

I feel the sense of possibilities
I feel the wrench of hard realities
The focus is sharp in the city

Wide-angle watcher
On life’s ancient tales
Steeped in the history of London
Green and Grey washes
In a wispy white veil
Mist in the streets of Westminster
Wistful and weathered
The pride still prevails
Alive in the streets of the city

Are they oblivious
To this quality?
A quality
Of light unique to every city’s streets

Pavements may teem
With intense energy
But the city is calm
In this violent sea

I feel the sense of possibilities
I feel the wrench of hard realities
The focus is sharp in the city


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