Song: "Tom Sawyer"
Writers: Geddy Lee, Neil Peart, Alex Lifeson and Pye Dubois
Original Release: February 12, 1981
Album: Moving Pictures
When I was in high school, I developed a theory not unlike Quentin Tarantino's Elvis/Beatles theory. Basically people, by which I meant teenage boys, could be divided into two camps: Led Zeppelin people and Rush people. The Led Zeppelin people could enjoy Rush just as surely as Rush people could enjoy Zeppelin. But no one liked both equally. It simply wasn't possible. I was definitely a Led Zeppelin person. It wasn't until much later that I truly learned to appreciate Rush.
The two groups are on a very short list of the most technically accomplished rock bands of all time, along with Cream and the Jimi Hendrix Experience. The Beatles wrote better songs. The Stones, The Who and Queen had greater stage presence. But if what you want is instrumental masters, there's no topping those four.
Rush, more than any of the others, is built from the bottom up. Neal Peart, master of the toms, is legendary for the size of his drum kit alone. Geddy Lee's is certainly one of rock's stranger lead voices but his bass work is beyond question. Alex Lifeson is the rare lead guitarist who is overshadowed by his rhythm section but he's still plenty good.
And of course as always, I am a sucker for any and all allusions to the work of Mark Twain.
Want to hear all of the songs I have featured in a convenient playlist?
Enjoy: A Window Above
What are you listening to these days?