Songs I like by Artists I Don’t- ‘The Spirit Of Radio”- Rush. I have always wanted to like Rush. The band always seemed to me like they were great guys- and I have listened to them and they are outstanding musicians. I just can’t get by Geddy Lee’s voice. This is one of their songs I do like- The Spirit Of Radio from their 1980 album Permanent Waves. The song was written by the three members of Rush- Neil Peart, Getty Lee and Alex Lifeson. Released as a single it went to #51 on the US Billboard Top 100. It peaked at #22 in their native Canada. I was surprised when I looked it up that Rush has only had one Top 40 hit in their careers in the US- New World Man #21 in 1982.
Rush drummer and lyricist Neil Peart explained this song in an interview with Billboard magazine: “The Spirit of Radio was actually written as a tribute to all that was good about radio, celebrating my appreciation of magical moments I’d had since childhood, of hearing ‘the right song at the right time.’ However, [the song’s] celebration of the ideals of radio necessarily seemed like an attack on the reality – on the formulaic, mercenary programming of most radio stations, with music the last of anyone’s concerns. And yes, it was really ironic that such a song became popular on radio, though it was a kind of litmus test. Some radio guys who ‘got it’ could hear the song and think, ‘That’s the way it ought to be,’ while others – the shallow, swaggering salesmen-of-the-air – could be oblivious to the song’s meaning and proudly applaud themselves, ‘That’s about me!'”