The Rush song Geddy Lee thought was too “self-indulgent”

Geddy Lee

Every artist who has ever played progressive rock has always rejected the notion of being a little self-centered. For all the great music a band creates, in prog-rock, they must assess if a song brings onstage joy. It’s a consideration beyond the enjoyment of the audience who paid to see them perform. Although Rush has written several songs that go well beyond the typical accessible single, Geddy Lee considered that one of the songs featured them disappearing up their ass just a little bit.

However, Rush was never reluctant to put their audience’s limitations to the test. Even though they began by playing the same blues-soaked rock and roll as their peers in 1974, it didn’t take long for them to expand. With Neil Peart, they started pulling off enormous exercises that frequently lasted more than ten minutes.

Despite casual fans’ time constraints, the power trio cultivated a dedicated fanbase who connected with their profound messages. This propelled their album 2112 to new heights. It provided them with a creative golden ticket when they turned the record into their label. With so much wiggle room in the studio, the band was ready to release one of their oddest albums yet.

Across projects such as Hemispheres, the band constructed tracks that were practically impossible to play in their entirety. They had to break the instrumental ‘La Villa Strangiato‘ into distinct portions rather than playing it from top to bottom. It’s not as if they didn’t know what they were doing; Peart even subtitled the instrumental ‘An Exercise in Self-Indulgence‘.

While most fans embraced the journey, the band’s introduction of synthesizers in the 1980s bewildered die-hard supporters. Recording albums like Hold Your Fire and Grace Under Pressure, the band’s sound palette shifted predominantly to keyboards. This shift caused a creative schism between Alex Lifeson and the rest of the band.

Although Lee was still proud of the majority of the band’s work, Counterparts marked the point at which the band began to come together again. Songs like ‘Animate‘ would become highlights of the band’s catalog and continue on their live setlists during their final tours. Lee believed they had crossed a boundary when working on ‘Double Agent‘.

Geddy Lee pushed the boundaries during recording, even admitting afterward that they might have gone a little too far. He added, “‘Double Agent’ was a total exercise in self-indulgence, and really, it was one of the last things we wrote on the record. We had composed all these tunes that were strongly constructed, crafted, and methodically worked on: this note, that note. And, honestly, it’s one of the goofiest songs I believe we’ve ever written, but I’m quite pleased with the outcome.”

The band worked hard to perfect the song, marking the beginning of them changing their sound once more. They became more feral with age on later albums such as Test For Echo and Vapor Trails. ‘Double Agent’ may not be one of Rush’s best-known songs, but the band was never afraid to take on a challenge when they entered the studio.

Leave a Reply

You May Also Like