Rock musicians aren’t always known for being the most punctual people in the world. Just ask any Guns N Roses or Tool fan and they’ll tell you the horror stories that come with waiting years, if not decades, to hear decent new music. Sometimes it can be a headache, but sometimes having to wait a little longer pays off in the long run.
During the recording of each of these albums, it was the songs that had to wait until the 11th hour before finally being recorded on tape. Usually this is recorded when you need a disposable track or when the label just wants one more song before they get the finished product. Most people could just phone it here, but these songs managed to be the tunes the entire album would be based on once it hit the airwaves.
Part of the beauty that comes with being in the studio is that you’re already in that creative headspace, and something that’s invented on the spot like this actually brings a breath of fresh air when you watch the rest of the songs that need to be on file. You’re not aiming to write the best song in your catalog here, but some of your best tracks often come when you don’t have that high benchmark. There are no real blockages here, and what you get is a pure snapshot of what the band’s headspace looked like during those sessions.
As Rush worked their way into the 80s, they finally seemed to be relaxing on some of the longer songs. While Moving Pictures tracks like Camera Eye still had that old school progressive bent in taking you on a journey, the draw was more geared towards songs like Tom Sawyer, taking the same progressive aesthetic and putting it in a package. more palatable. So for all the success they were able to derive from this record, how did one of the most beloved songs come from a simple goofy instrumental?
When the band was returning to the Toronto airport on tour, the Morse code beat ended up sticking to Neil Peart, who started jamming to this beat one day while Geddy Lee was still warming up his fingers on bass. . Originally starting out as a simple drum and bass jam session, the riffs here were too good to spend on noodling, with Alex Lifeson doubling down on Geddy’s lines throughout the song and also adding different extensions, like his oriental-inspired guitar solo and reggae scratches occur throughout the breakdown.
For all the hooks they’ve crammed into a single song, there’s no real way to call this a pop hit by any stretch. A lot of songs have to spend years finding the right mix, but this kind of jamming with friends is about as pure as it gets in the rock world.