9 Greatest Neil Peart Songs With Rush
Neil Peart live with Rush - lifesticks / Youtube
Neil Peart, known for his virtuosic drum skills, is also an excellent songwriter. In the years he’d spend as a member of the progressive band Rush, he became the principal songwriter, assuming the role right at the moment he was proclaimed a member by both Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson. And following his approach to drumming, Peart’s lyrics were proficient, poetic, with attention to detail.
Two years since Peart’s death, we celebrate the professor’s talents with these 9 songs that define Rush’s legacy. Songs that marked the greatness of Peart that only he could do.
“2112” – 2112 (1976)
Caress of Steel, Rush’s 3rd album, was a major disappointment and their label wanted to get rid of them quickly. However, through their manager’s negotiations, they were allowed to release one album, thus 2112 was born. Here, Peart embraced wholly the idea of progressive rock, using sci-fi themes as the backbone of its titular track, cementing their status as emerging prog-rock gods.
“Subdivisions” – Signals (1982)
Rush remained pure with their intentions to create music, even though most of their fanbase are labeled as nerds. Who cares, anyway? Peart created “Subdivisions” for that type of feeling, relinquishing the sameness to go forth and live with your authentic self.
“La Villa Strangiato” – Hemispheres (1978)
Continuing with the sound of progressive rock, Rush’s Hemispheres contained some of the technically-proficient songs you’d ever find in your entire life. Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson’s bass and guitar are superb here, but Peart grabbed everyone’s attention.
“Fly By Night” – Fly By Night (1975)
Rush’s Fly By Night marked Neil Peart’s debut in the band, replacing John Rutsey on drums. He left a lasting impression to both Lee and Lifeson with his skills on the drumkit, while also managing to provide one of the unforgettable songs from the Rush’s catalog.
“Ghost Rider” – Vapor Trails (2002)
Still recouping from the loss of his daughter and wife, Peart went on a journey to heal and discover himself more; at this point, Rush went on a hiatus. In 2002 then, he came back, and gave one of the most compelling songs the band has ever created, “Ghost Rider.”
“Limelight” – Moving Pictures (1981)
“Limelight” signifies the Peart’s struggles of newfound fame and notoriety, and the pressure the band were experiencing at that time. The irony of it was, after the release of Permanent Waves, Rush catapulted into a bigger sensation.
“Driven” – Test for Echo (1996)
“Driven” is captivating, and stood out best out of all the Rush’s 90s material. Peart, fresh from his apprenticeship from jazz teacher Freddie Gruber, started to think outside the box and rearranged his style of playing.
“The Spirit of Radio” – Permanent Waves (1980)
Exploring vast genres while still bringing the authenticity and precision to every song, Rush’s Permanent Waves gave the guys an outlet for that kind of appeal. “The Spirit of Radio” saw the band playing to utmost perfection.
“Tom Sawyer” – Moving Pictures (1981)
“Tom Sawyer” is a central masterpiece of Rush; the song that creatively define who they are as a band. Fortunately, the song happens to rightfully contain a drum solo— a rare occurrence— to which Peart took advantage, of course. Albeit a staple to every concert, the drummer didn’t get tired playing it all over again, simply because it’s almost always different when played.