The Rush song Geddy Lee said was intended to be “nonsensical”


Anyone who has read Rush lyrics knows that their brain does a couple of backflips. While the band began with meatheaded blues rock songs reminiscent of Led Zeppelin, the addition of Neil Peart saw them embark on bold new explorations. This included lyrics about magical worlds and how humans interact with one another. Despite having a few cerebral tracks in their catalog, they also had a funny side.

The band, on the other hand, was always aware that they got too complex for the average person. Following their catastrophic tour for their third album, Caress of Steel, the band realized they were in danger of alienating their following. They had composed songs over ten minutes long, dealing with enormous themes that frequently went nowhere.

The band’s next album, 2112, would feature a wonderful balance of amusing and serious tracks. Many recall the space federation story, but tracks like ‘A Passage to Bangkok‘ highlight the band’s lighter side. They sing about the pleasures of tourist locations where they would get high.

However, as the Rush began to go in a synthesized direction in the 1980s, they began to include even more dark elements in their music. Outside of songs on the human condition, Peart would continue to write about dark subjects. An example is ‘Red Sector A‘ from Grace Under Pressure, depicting the trials in concentration camps.

Geddy Lee recalls the band wanting to expand a little bit on tunes like ‘Anagram‘ when putting together material for the album Presto. Even while the song has a great melody, most of its attractiveness stems from its unusual use of wordplay. This includes Peart employing various letter combinations numerous times in the same line.

While a brilliant idea in theory, Lee stated they weren’t concerned with a cohesive narrative throughout their creation. He added, “It doesn’t really say one thing; it says a bunch of little things, and I think that’s OK as long as it sounds good.” You know, as long as it sounds good on the tongue? To some extent, I believe different songs are distinct exercises. If they feel like exercising, something’s wrong with the music. You want it to be startling, fragmented, and senseless at points.”

Even though the song was a healthy way for the group to experiment, the accompanying album was not well received by fans. Despite feeling uninspired by the project, Rush’s following phase of their career would see them embrace current sounds with ease. They produced the huge auditory landscapes with the track ‘Animate‘ from the album Counterparts.

Despite its critical reception at the time, ‘Anagram‘ remains a solid experiment from a band that was always interested in trying new methods of songwriting. Rush could easily have crafted another epic track if they wanted to. However, if there’s one thing they’ve learned in their years of performing together, it’s that no musical suits them.

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