REVIEW: Neil Peart – “The Hockey Theme” (2010 single)

NEIL PEART – “The Hockey Theme” (2010 single, iTunes)

For my international friends and readers, you’re just going to have to take my word for it that this little tune is one of the most iconic pieces of music in our nation’s great history.  Mike Myers called it “Canada’s second anthem”.  If you’re home on a Saturday night, it’s a given that any true hoser is watching Hockey Night In Canada.  That theme song was the anthem that said, “Alright fans, go get your beer and your jerseys, the action starts now.”

I won’t get into the details of why this song isn’t the theme to Hockey Night In Canada anymore, but the song was picked up by another network, and it still kicks off hockey games every week — just not on Hockey Night in Canada.

In 2010, Neil Peart did a drum and horns version of the theme song, and put it up for sale on iTunes.  People bitched that they had to pay $1.29 for a song that was barely over a minute long.  All I can say to those people is, don’t buy it.  It you’re really huffing and puffing about paying $1.29 for a simply incredible piece of music by the world’s greatest drummer, then it is possible that you may in fact have no soul.

If you’re familiar with Neil’s work on the Burning For Buddy albums, then you already know that he tends to really kick traditional arrangements in the nuts.  And that’s what he does here.  He turns “The Hockey Theme” into a stomping, fill-laden anthem that is perfect for kicking off just about any mix CD that you have in mind.

Now, if we could only get an actual hockey season happening this year, we’d be talkin’!

5/5 stars


  1. I remember this! Niiice. I love the little arm-crossing bit he does there. What a show-off. Haha.

    Here’s a story for you: In June, 2008, the All-Knowing And Generous Internet Wizard James came to visit us from Regina. And, on top of R.E.M. tickets he’d scored for while he was here, he also got tickets for us to sit in on a taping of The Hour, with George Stroumboulopoulos at the CBC. That was cool. And afterwards, we got to go meet George. Very nice guy, is George. We got to sit in the chairs, and we took pictures with him. And I remember admiring his gigantic SLAYER belt buckle, which he’d worn for the taping (and which would appear on air). He lamented openly that SLAYER had not been chosen to be the band to create the new HNIC theme song. Now, all deference to Peart, for his version is very showy and basically what you’d expect from him, but I side with Strombo on this one. It should have been SLAYER! Can you imagine? Their music totally lends itself to the energy and violence of hockey. What an intro that would be!


    1. The arm-over-arm stuff (don’t know the technical name) is AMAZING to watch. As is anything Neil does.

      My wife had a crush on Strombo!

      What a cool story man. You think Slayer are hockey fans?


      1. Strombo is a handsome man. And super-nice to talk to, hung around until everybody got a chance to meet him.

        Slayer, hockey fans? Who knows? Maybe? Do they have an email? We should email them that very question. I would guess that they ARE hockey fans.


  2. Did you see the short film Peart made about the recording of this number and the creation of the drum set (as pictured on the cover up the page)? Pretty good stuff if you’re a bit of a Peart Freak.

    Liked by 1 person

Rock a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s