9. Signals - Rush
Every step that Rush took in the ‘80s seemed to be inching closer and closer to the world of pop music. As much as they may have been a little too much to take in back in their prog heavy days with 10 minute songs, records like Permanent Waves and Moving Pictures were examples of them trying to distill that kind of technical prowess into the radio rock format. This was radio rock in the early ‘80s, and it was only a matter of time before the synths fully took over.
Though Rush would lean on synths pretty heavily on Moving Pictures, Signals is where things really started to get integrated properly, like on a song like Subdivisions where the whole song is driven on Geddy Lee’s massive keyboard hook. Just because the synths are present doesn’t mean that all hope is lost. Going through every single song on here, you can still hear the band trying to push themselves out of their comfort zones, like Alex Lifeson turning in one of his most fiery solos committed to tape on The Analog Kid or letting the song sprawl out a little bit more like on Losing It and Countdown.
Even when the god Neil Peart is reduced to using electronic drums, you can still hear the human underneath it all, bringing in different world rhythms to create a unique spin on the kind of straight ahead rock and roll that they were adopting. The Rush that we all recognized from Tom Sawyer and Limelight were still in there somewhere…they were just trying on different musical outfits this time around.