Odd Couples: How Aimee Mann Ended Up Singing on a Hit Rush Song
Rush's 12th album, Hold Your Fire, began in bits and pieces.
In the fall of 1986, drummer Neil Peart had started writing lyrics in a cottage, bassist Geddy Lee was tinkering with musical compositions using new software on his Macintosh computer and guitarist Alex Lifeson was experimenting with tapes at home.
Their previous album, Power Windows, focused on the theme of power, but this time Peart turned his attention to the idea of time — the abundance of it and the occasional lack of it. The first song Peart wrote, "Time Stand Still," wrestled with these thoughts.
"I'd been thinking about this for some time now," Peart later said. "How so often the richness of a period of time or an experience seems to lie in looking back at it. Or conversely, sometimes you might know that you are enjoying a wonderful time, but just wish you could make it last longer."
Once the song's foundation was in place, Lee sang lead on the track, but the band felt what it needed was a female voice. Aimee Mann, singer and bassist for the new wave band 'Til Tuesday, came to mind.
Mann's band had just released its second album, Welcome Home, for which she had written the majority of songs. The LP was a commercial disappointment, so Mann had little to lose when Rush called her to ask if she was available to sing on "Time Stand Still."
You can learn the whole story in the below video from our "Odd Couples" series.