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Steve Peake

This Week's Forgotten Gem of the '80s - Rush - "Red Barchetta"

By December 26, 2012

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I know it's a day late, but I wanted to present a special holiday gift to all the Rush fans out there, who must be pleased with the band's recent Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction but may be less than enthusiastic about the omissions found in my Top Rush Songs of the '80s list. Upon revisiting that piece, I notice a number of favored Rush tunes that are glaringly absent, the classic rock airplay champion "Tom Sawyer" as well as another one or two album tracks from 1981's Moving Pictures. Perhaps a greater insult, however, could be that I dared leave this highly popular group off my list of Top 10 Canadian Artists of the '80s.

So, in lieu of overhauling these lists in earnest (at least for the moment), let me offer up a more modest holly-trimmed olive branch by spotlighting "Red Barchetta," a 1981 tune that celebrates the band's progressive rock roots as well as its arena rock fluidity. No one has ever accused Rush of being anything other than unfailingly precise in its musicianship, but until now critics and rock music aficionados have not necessarily recognized the power trio's multi-faceted gifts. I may stand by my general distaste for the lead vocal style of frontman Geddy Lee, but I must admit that from drummer Neil Peart's spare but piercing lyrics to the complex compositional artistry of Lee and guitarist Alex Lifeson, this is a band that never fails to exercise an intensely challenging sense of imagination. In the past I may have been guilty of underselling Rush as a vital rock music artist, but perhaps the holiday spirit has a way of thawing for a time even the iciest critic hearts.

Album Cover Image Courtesy of Mercury

Comments

December 27, 2012 at 12:29 am
(1) jomap says:

Thanks for the shout out to Rush!. Nice to see my favorite band getting their due.

January 7, 2013 at 8:07 am
(2) Shemp9971 says:

I may not agree with some of Neil Peart’s politics, but I will say that he is a masterful drummer and musician.

February 20, 2013 at 10:07 am
(3) Zipi says:

This band is perfect, this song is perfect, the lyrics are perfect. I’ve nothing more to say.

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