5 Best Alex Lifeson Rush Songs
Rush guitarist Alex Lifeson turns 58 years old today (Aug. 27), and as we anxiously await the release of the band's history-spanning 'Time Machine' live DVD and their upcoming studio album 'Clockwork Angels,' we thought it would be fun to take a quick look back on his storied career. So, here's our list of the Five Best Alex Lifeson Rush Songs:
What's the best way to get back to the rawness of the early Rush music? That's simple — knock out half an album's worth of cover songs that the band performed at the start of their career. That's what Alex and his bandmates did with the very worthy 'Feedback' EP in 2004. Our list of the best Alex Lifeson Rush songs detonates with a balls-out cover of 'The Seeker' that would make even Pete Townshend happy. Lifeson's riffing is 100% windmill-worthy.
Perhaps it's sometimes hidden, but it's easy to believe that Lifeson is a big Who fan, especially after hearing his playing on the distortion-riddled beginning of 'Cold Fire.' The 'Counterparts' album found Rush noticeably toughening up their sound of 1991's 'Roll The Bones' album. Was any part of that change an an attempt to stay relevant with the onset of grunge? Rush purists would likely say no, but it doesn't matter – 'Counterparts' definitely had some great, heavy moments, and Lifeson gets a lot of great tones on the album.
Speaking of “heavy,” with the way Lifeson's guitar just smashes our collective faces on 'BU2B,' we couldn't be more excited to hear the rest of the band's forthcoming 'Clockwork Angels' album. 'BU2B' puts Lifeson's guitar right at the front of the mix, center stage where it belongs. He takes full advantage, rumbling with the intensity of an angry velociraptor that hasn't eaten for about 80 million years. Don't let the fact that this is a recent recording keep you from considering this as one of Lifeson's finest moments ever.
Alex Lifeson intensifies the already-frenzied pace of 'Bastille Day,' from 1975's 'Caress of Steel,' by tearing through one of his most awesome guitar solos ever. The song demonstrates Rush's ability to tackle a complex subject relatively quickly, without taking up a full album side. Of course, they still had a couple of really, really long songs later in the album with the far-reaching 'The Necromancer' and 'The Fountain Of Lamneth.'
Lifeson made a huge initial statement to the music world with his guitar parts on 'Working Man' from the band's debut album. Even now, it's not hard to hear why Rush were able to make such an impact in the U.S. with this song. Lifeson's opening riff sounds completely massive, with no need for the modern day studio trickery that sometimes pumps up lesser bands nowadays. And that solo, wow! It's straight-out shredding that is textbook testimony to the importance of guitar solos….when they're done right. We're happy to surrender seven minutes of our work day to 'Working Man' anytime.