WCSX Classic Cuts
Rush: “Closer to the Heart”
The Hook: Their first live version was a bit more successful than the original studio recording. Geddy Lee thinks it was almost a different song by then.
Album: A Farewell to Kings (studio), Exit…Stage Left (first live recording)
Year: 1977 (studio), 1981 (live)
Writers: Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson, Neil Peart and Peter Talbot
Stats: The studio version peaked at number-76 on the Billboard Hot 100, while the live version peaked at number-69 on the Hot 100 and number-21 on their Rock Albums and Top Tracks chart.
Background: “Closer to the Heart” was just the second Rush single to chart on the Billboard Hot 100, peaking at number-76 in 1977. When the band put out its second live album, Exit….Stage Left, four years later they released it again and it charted slightly higher. Singer and bassist Geddy Lee explains why the band prefers the first live version of “Closer to the Heart” to the original studio recording.
Rush singer-bassist Geddy Lee explains why the band prefers the first live version of “Closer to the Heart” to the original studio recording. OC:…a song. :25
“Because that was the version we thought was better, had grown into something different. That song, ‘Closer to the Heart’ had become something different than it was originally written and I think only playing that live so many times could make that happen. Usually, that happens due to a number of accidents — you accidentally play this kind of riff and that sounds good and then somebody else takes the cue, so you start improv-ing and before you know it you have a new version of the song.”