Rush Songs Ranked

Rush was a Canadian rock band consisting of Geddy Lee (bass, vocals, keyboards), Alex Lifeson (guitars), and Neil Peart (drums, percussion). Formed in 1968, the band went through several configurations until arriving at its longest and classic line-up when Peart replaced original drummer John Rutsey in July 1974, two weeks before the group’s first tour of the United States.

Rush is known for its musicianship, complex compositions, and eclectic lyrical motifs drawing heavily on science fiction, fantasy, and philosophy. The band’s musical style has changed several times over the years, from a blues-inspired hard rock beginning, later moving into progressive rock, and including a period marked by heavy use of synthesizers. In the early 1990s, Rush returned to a guitar-driven hard rock sound, which continued for the rest of their career. Rush announced plans to cease large-scale touring at the end of 2015, following the conclusion of their R40 Live Tour. After nearly three years of an uncertain future, Lifeson reluctantly announced in January 2018 that the band was not going to continue. Here are all of Rush’s songs ranked.

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20. A Farewell to Kings (A Farewell to Kings, 1977)

“Why talk about the music, cause they’re great. It is early rush. It’s the lyrics that do it. Most complete song I think they’ve done. A farewell to kings should be respected, many people love this song I mean great amazing acoustic intro, its gotta be respected, great guitar, bass its wonderful.

19. Bastille Day (Caress of Steel, 1975)

“It’s amazing how a band like Rush can write pseudo-metal songs throughout the seventies, (Bastille Day, 2112, Working Man), write synthesizer-heavy songs during the eighties, and alt. rock songs in the nineties. Little to no bands have been as consistent as Rush, while also having changed their style that many times.”

18. A Passage to Bangkok (Exit…Stage Left, 1981)

“My dad is a huge fan of Rush, but I was never into their music much until recently and this song is a major reason why. I think Geddy is at his best here, and the guitar solo is awesome. The big moments in the middle of each verse are just epic”

17. The Garden (Clockwork Angels, 2012)

“This song is pumping music. For sure just intense hard rock. Geddy really has some vocal talent, his style really suits hard rock. Even though this piece is 1974, Alex’s guitar solo is one of his best. This song was also a fairly common song that hardcore fans like. Go rush! Such a skillful masterpiece. Nicer with Neil peart as a drummer though. Do not care for John rutsey. So yeah. Go rush!”

See more: Rush Albums Ranked

16. The Trees (Hemispheres, 1978)

“These lyrics are not weird. If you listen no I really mean LISTEN it is about,iIt’s about the Canadian separatist movement in Quebec. The general consensus is that Canada has become too British, and the French separatists (represented by the Maples – I.E. Toronto Maple Leaves) want their independence. The lyric “so the Maples formed a union, and demanded equal rights, they say the Oaks are just too lofty, and they grab up all the light” implies that the French Canadian minority wishes to secede, but they can’t because the majority won’t allow it. The song continues to state that the “oaks just shake their heads”, implying that the majority cannot understand the separatist’s choices”

15. Natural Science (Permanent Waves, 1980)

“Of their more progressive pieces, this is definitely the most technically proficient. Abandoned the sixties jam band feel for a much more modern format that was way before it’s time. For me, the pinnacle of Rush. Moving Pictures is awesome but this is where it’s at. I really think this is Progressive rock at it’s finest.”

14. Cygnus X-1 Book II – Hemispheres (A Farewell to Kings, 1977)

“There is no doubt in my mind that this is not only Rush’s crowning achievement, but the best song to come out in the latter days of progressive rock. Hemisphere’s complexity and lyrical mastery was a final hoorah for the whole prog genre before it finally faded into obscurity. This song should be at the top because for me it is the only Rush album that truly encompasses the bands true musical talent into four songs. There is not another epic, perhaps besides Supper’s Ready by Genesis, that even touches the artistic merit of Cygnus X-1.”

13. Red Barchetta (Exit…Stage Left, 1981)

“This is definitely the Rush best Song! The guitar work is great, the bass lines are the best, there are multiple tempos and a great solo in 7/4! And the drums… Well, it’s Neil Peart… For sure the most underrated Rush song, and easily their best… Not just for the complex structure of the song, but for the incredible fit of all the instruments… It’s really genial and also sweet and hard at the same time, just to make you rock! And don’t forget about the lyrics, very beautiful, tricky and funny at the same time! And also a pleasure to play at guitar!”

12. Fly by Night (Fly by Night, 1975)

“Fly By Night is a classic rush song. This song and its parent album signify Neil Pearts addition to the band. The lyrics are beautiful and Alex’s guitar playing is tight. Without this song Rush would never have become the great band they officially became”

11. Working Man (Working Men, 2009)

“Their first true masterpiece, at the beginning of their recording career. Amazing guitars, drums, and some of Geddy’s most incredible vocal work. It’s not his most impressive bass work, but the rest of the instrumentation is as good here as it would ever be.”

10. Closer to the Heart (Exit…Stage Left, 1981)

“Such an amazing song. In my opinion, this is one of their best songs, I’d easily put this in my Top 5 favorite songs for these guys. Such an amazing band. In my opinion, Rush is one of the Staples for Rock N’ Roll music!”

9. Freewill (Exit…Stage Left, 1981)

“This song really highlights the entire band’s talent. It is my favorite song on Rush’s “Permanent Waves” Album and to be honest it should be between Tom Sawyer and The Spirit Of Radio (which by the way are two awesome songs as well)”

8. Subdivisions (Signals, 1982)

“All the best that RUSH has to offer is in this song. Time signatures, key changes and incredible playing are the hallmarks of RUSH and in this song they demonstrate the pinnacle of each. A combination of different styles are in all the songs on the “Signals” album, but this is simply the best.”

7. Xanadu (A Farewell to Kings, 1977)

“Xanadu takes me back to 1978 when I discovered my favourite ever band, so I may be biased but no other song even from Rush has had the same impact. It’s the first song I ever heard in 7/8 time and I just love that time signature. The structure of the song, the words (thank you Coleridge), the suspense, the dynamics are all just a masterpiece. its one of those songs like Stairway to Heaven that you can only listen to once or twice a year. Thank you Neil, Alex & Geddy for all your music.”

See more: All the World’s a Stage (Rush Album) Live

6. YYZ (Exit…Stage Left, 1981)

“This song is a great instrumental. Who knew the morse code for the Toronto Airport of all places would be this great?!?! It is incredibly difficult on all parts, but also very catchy and pleasing to the ear. The bass riffs are great, the guitar solo is twisting and melodic, and the drum part, as always, is ‘ mind-blowing! “

5. La Villa Strangiato (Exit…Stage Left, 1981)

“It starts out light and Mexican-style, which you don’t really hear a lot in rock. The intro is a masterpiece in and of itself. Then it goes with the synth and light electric guitar, and it’s just so soothing. Then it hits it hard with the riffs 1 & 2, which are so awesome and just make me feel like I’m doing sports or something. Then it goes serious, and it’s some of the most moving instrumentation I’ve ever heard. Listening just to the solo proved to me that Lifeson is the best guitarist of all time.”

4. Limelight (Moving Pictures, 1981)

“Best non-super-prog-rock song by Rush. It’s guitar and bass both intertwine really well. And what can be said about Neil Peart that hasn’t been said before. The lyrics are also very prominent in this song, being some of Peart’s best, talking about how he is shy and doesn’t like to meet fans and be in the spotlight, or, should I say, limelight, because of it.”

3. The Spirit of Radio (Exit…Stage Left, 1981)

“This song is my all time favorite Rush song because it always makes me feel like I’m in a good mood and I always have to put it on in the morning because the “magic music makes my morning mood. ” I just love this song. Period.”

2. Tom Sawyer (Exit…Stage Left, 1981)

“Thoughtful lyrics, unusual time signatures, Alex’s wailing guitar work, Geddy’s weird keyboard sound and signature bass driving things and the Professor’s brilliant drum work framing everything. I know everyone considers this their mainstream commercial success but really, how many bands could create such an unusual (perhaps bizarre is an even better word) tune and find its way onto classic rock radio? Just another reason to celebrate the genius of this band.”

1. 2112 Overture / The Temples of Syrinx (Exit…Stage Left, 1981)

“2112 is not only the best Rush song of all time but THE best song of all time. Period. The first 4 and a half minutes of instrumentals is purely insane technically in it’s complexity. The next few minutes is so powerful with the chorus “We are the Priests of the Temples of Syrinx! ” Then Alex’s beautiful guitar solo’s that send shivers up my spine every time I listen to it. The rise of the protagonist against the priests is really felt in the power of the Grand finale in the last minutes of the son. The dystopian theme of this song speaks to me. This song is no doubt unlike any other song ever written, a masterpiece.”