VHS Archives #84: Neil Peart on lyrics (1990)

I enjoy this interview with Neil Peart, because it touches on something that I love about music:  A good lyric is open to vast interpretation by the listener.  Inevitably, we are going to derive our own meaning from the lyrics regardless of what the writer intended.  Take this review by my buddy Aaron Lebold.  “Distant Early Warning” had a meaning completely unique to him.  Meanwhile, it had a very different meaning to me.

In this clip from the Presto tour, Neil Peart discusses crafting lyrics with MuchMusic. It’s a brilliant lesson from The Professor so pay attention!


  1. Listening to Presto now, and it’s a much better record than I ever remember it being. Really cool to hear them strip back the polish like so many bands were in 1989, going back to a more rock based sound, but in a totally different way than their previous outings. “The Pass” has always been a favorite. And like all Rush albums, it stirs up a certain period in my life. Man, I think I’m going to spin the whole thing.

    When I was talking about the bass on Presto and Roll the Bones earlier, I meant the bass frequencies, not the bass guitar. Geddy’s bass sounds fine, I just think the mixes on both albums are really weak and lack any oomph. Super snappy and clear, but it just sounds wimpier than it should to these ears. I’ve definitely heard worse production jobs (see Vapor Trails and Clockwork Angels), but the two Rupert Hine produced records just sound like something is messing. Gel, the bass, analog recording equipment? Minor gripe when the songs are still great, but I feel like they could hit even harder if you know what I mean.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I get what you mean, I’m just not sure that I agree. I love the bass on Counterparts. It’s big and thick and in your face. The other two albums were of their times though. You just didn’t hear that kind of bass very often in 1989, just ask Jason Newsted! I get what you mean though and who knows, maybe stuff will be remixed for future use.


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