Best Rush Songs

Self-explained. just vote for your favorite Rush song.
The Top Ten
1 2112 Overture / The Temples of Syrinx

OK, OK, you caught me, I didn't vote for 2112. I know that I'm a sinner and that I belong burning in hell and don't belong in the Rush fanbase. But let me elaborate. I voted for La Villa Strangiato, which tops this song by just a slight bit. Except for the fact that I love this song! I love every second of it, and the story, as always when we're talking Neil Peart, is amazing and really detailed. "Overture" and "Temples of Syrinx" really get me in the mood for this song, with Geddy's high pitched, screeching vocals, as well as his incredibly catchy basslines, Alex's guitar, with its feedbacky, almost Hendrix-esque sound. And of course. Neil Peart. OH MY GOD! As always Neil Peart is incredible. The only exception between this and other, more normal Rush songs is that we get to enjoy it for 20 MINUTES! YEAH!

2112 is not only the best Rush song of all time but THE best song of all time. Period. The first 4 and a half minutes of instrumentals is purely insane technicly in it's complexity. The next few minutes is so powerful with the chorus "We are the Priests of the Temples of Syrinx! "
Then Alex's beautiful guitar solo's that send shivers up my spine every time I listen to it. The rise of the protaginist against the priests is really felt in the power of the Grand finale in the last minutes of the son. The distopian theme of this song speaks to me. This song is no doubt unlike any other song ever written, a masterpiece.

Literally the song that brought Rush to the masses (even if it wasn't on the radio in it's 20 minute entirety that often). Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson and Neil Peart are all in top form throughout the 20 minute long epic, which at the end of it all is about and contemplates the concept of a world without musical individuality in the 22nd century, a prospect which resonates with all Rush fans as a horrific envisioning of our world. It all makes for a fantastic song, and the best Rush has ever produced.

A very deep emotional song, that totally redefined Rush, and set the stage for everything that was to come. Those willing to listen for over 20 minutes will be rewarded with a masterpiece that absolutely changes everything. Rush fires on all cylinders, with Lee's screeching lyrics Neil's drumming is at its best, and guitar solos that simply blow the mind. This song is the true and rightful reserved of the title of best Rush song.

2 Tom Sawyer

Not my choice for best - by a long way actually. For me, it's La Villa Strangiato leading the pack. Leading like another legend from the 70's... Secretariat at the Belmont, 31+ lengths in front.

That said, the song really has all the things that make Rush the unique treasure they are. Thoughtful lyrics, unusal time signatures, Alex's wailing guitar work, Geddy's weird keyboard sound and signature bass driving things and the Professor's brilliant drum work framing everything. I know everyone considers this their mainstream commercial success but really, how many bands could create such an unusual (perhaps bizarre is an even better word) tune and find its way onto classic rock radio? Just another reason to celebrate the genius of this band.

The song that got me into Rush and the song that won't let me get out of Rush. One of my favorite songs ever. Amazing drumming by Neil Peart, beautiful bass line, awesome guitar solo, and awesome synthesizers and effects. This the best Rush song ever written and it defines this legendary band.

It really proves a band's talent when they have three guys do what I probably wouldn't be able to do with 10. I personally think Neil Peart is the most talented and greatest drummer of all time. Bet you probably didn't know it but Neil wrote all of The Rush songs.

Excellent, wonderful, catchy song. Although, in my opinion, it should be somewhere between 10 and 5. It shows the bands rocking section, and also tells a good story, but the prog-rock stuff from earlier in their career should have more recognition than this.

3 The Spirit of Radio

This song is my all time favorite Rush song because it always makes me feel like I'm in a good mood and I always have to put it on in the morning because the "magic music makes my morning mood. " I just love this song. Period.

Whenever I introduce someone to the beauty that is Rush, I play them this song first. It's Rush in their prime and I guarantee that even kids of this generation would jam along. It's one of my favorites of all time.

First song I heard from Rush and Spirit of Radio is still my favorite song after all this time. I just love everything, the instruments, the lyrics. Every time I hear the song I have to sing along!

Granted, the other songs are great but there's just SO many great Rush songs that it's kinda unfair to select just 10.

But at the end of the day, SoR is thoughtful, has feeling, is upbeat, interesting musically and most of all ROCKS!

4 Limelight

Best non-super-prog-rock song by Rush. It's guitar and bass both intertwine really well. And what can be said about Neil Peart that hasn't been said before. The lyrics are also very prominent in this song, being some of Peart's best, talking about how he is shy and doesn't like to meet fans and be in the spotlight, or, should I say, limelight, because of it.

Can't say I've heard that much Rush, but I really love this one, the lyrics are great, the riff is one of their best. It's an excellent representation of Rush at their best.

One of their absolute best, however their top songs are not hits such as The Trees, Cygnus X-1 and possibly the most perfect rock song of all time, Natural Science.

Not just my favorite Rush song, but my favorite song of all time. The intro, the lyrics, and instrumental prowess, and the solo all make Limelight a masterpiece.

5 La Villa Strangiato

It starts out light and Mexican-style, which you don't really hear a lot in rock. The intro is a masterpiece in and of itself. Then it goes with the synth and light electric guitar, and it's just so soothing. Then it hits it hard with the riffs 1 & 2, which are so awesome and just make me feel like I'm doing sports or something. Then it goes serious, and it's some of the most moving instrumentation I've ever heard. Listening just to the solo proved to me that Lifeson is the best guitarist of all time. Then it goes into a gloomy 7/4 section, hits it hard with the riff from another song (what song was that? ), and everything becomes sporty again. It tells such a wonderful story, no words needed. Also, it's awesome how they've been able to transform it to their pleasing at all of the live shows. All of this from a dream.

La Villa Strangiato is amazing. Not only is it the best Rush song, it's the best instrumental of all time as well. Although it is an instrumental, it tells a story. The song was originally written as a soundtrack to a dream that Alex Lifeson had had. However, the song can be interpreted to fit any dream of any person. The first two movements describe the listener falling into a deep sleep. Everything after that, all the way to the end, describes their adventures through their dreams, such as a melodic, yet chaotic, guitar solo, a blues-inspired bit, a weird jazz fusion section, etc.. It is a variety pack of excellent-ness. The best Rush song, in my humble opinion, and one of the best songs ever written. Signed: lavillaof2112

La Villa Strangiato is a masterpiece. Clocking in at just under ten minutes long, it starts out very folk-rock like, which is quite interesting. This first movement, "Buenas Noches, Mein Froinds" is very beautiful and helps to immerse the listener. The following section, "To sleep, perchance to dream" is a soft and almost trippy section that is meant to sound like falling asleep. The guitar riff and drum part slowly get louder and louder as the listener slowly gets entranced. Next up comes "Strangiato theme," the epic riff that is the centerpiece of the song. It is extremely energetic and propels the song forwards. The middle section of the riff is very jazzy and provides a slight bit of calm. Next up after that is my favorite movement, "A Lerxst in Wonderland." It starts out by fading away from the loud and raucous riff, before completely disappearing except for a drum beat from Peart. Then Lifeson starts the amazing guitar solo, one of the best ever. He really builds up the tension ...more

This song can make me sad, happy, excited, aroused, pumped, scared... I think I ran out of emotions here. What I'm saying is if I had to pick one song to choose from before I die... It would be this piece of music that should only be labeled as a "masterpiece" and nothing short of a masterpiece. If Rush only published this song... They would still be my favorite band.


This song is a great instrumental. Who knew the morse code for the Toronto Airport of all places would be this great?!?! It is incredibly difficult on all parts, but also very catchy and pleasing to the ear. The bass riffs are great, the guitar solo is twisting and melodic, and the drum part, as always, is ' mind-blowing! Signed: lavillaof2112

Very surprised this is at #6. The bass by Geddy Lee is fantastic and is easily Rush's best instrumental. As always, Peart's drumming is sick awesome, which he doesn't have to try hard to make that statement true

Amazing song, it's almost impossible to choose the best Rush song but when you get down to it it just has to be YYZ! Pert's drum solo is absolutely legendary the guy is unbelievable!

This is undoubtedly for me the signature songof Rush. It describes Rush music in every aspect. The instrumentality is very perfect. One of the greatest musical masterpieces of all time.

7 Xanadu

Xanadu takes me back to 1978 when I discovered my favourite ever band, so I may be biased but no other song even from Rush has had the same impact. It's the first song I ever heard in 7/8 time and I just love that time signature. The structure of the song, the words (thank you Coleridge), the suspense, the dynamics are all just a masterpiece. its one of those songs like Stairway to Heaven that you can only listen to once or twice a year. Thank you Neil, Alex & Geddy for all your music.

This song takes me on a journey every time I hear it. Just when you think you've reached the end of the trip at the bottom of the valley, you climb to a new peak. Rush were my musical guides in finding Xanadu! The sweet milk of paradise never tasted so good!

The first of the "modern" rush epics that also include Natural Science and The Camera Eye. This is my favorite. The live version from Exit... Stage Left may be the greatest live version of any song ever.

This song sounds so beautiful every time I listen to it. It is and forever will remain my favourite Rush song and I hope someday I get to hear them play it in concert.

8 Subdivisions

All the best that RUSH has to offer is in this song. Time signatures, key changes and incredible playing are the hallmarks of RUSH and in this song they demonstrate the pinnacle of each. A combination of different styles are in all the songs on the "Signals" album, but this is simply the best.
RUSH is the most talented rock band of all time, bar none and this song shows it.

Talk about knowing your audience! Like someone else said, almost anyone can relate to this song in some way. This song so eerily hits someone to their core and you realize how powerful music can really be when its true and done right!

This is my absolute favorite Rush song. Subdivisions tells the story of my high school life, not to mention I was one of the first songs I heard. The bass line and keyboard riffs are amazing.

Eh... I'm not the biggest fan of this song. I've always thought of it as being a bit cheesy. However, it is still a great song by all means, and deserves a spot in the Top 20. (And don't think I'm one those people who was super popular and can't relate to the song. I used to have two friends.)

9 Freewill

The message of this song is perfect…don't be a victim and make your own breaks in life; we're all responsible for ourselves. Plus musically it is pretty perfect.

Alex's best, most skillfully displayed solo ever. Some of Neil's most thought provoking writing ever. And you gotta love Geddy's shredding just before the guitar solo...

I feel like this song is almost as good as Spirit of Radio. Which means that, if you've seen my comment on it, this song should be lower. I've never been a huge fan of this song.

This song really highlights the entire band's talent. It is my favorite song on Rush's "Permanent Waves" Album and to be honest it should be between Tom Sawyer and The Spirit Of Radio (which by the way are two awesome songs as well)

10 Closer to the Heart

Although Tom Sawyer is definitely my favourite. Got to give this a vote. The guitar work by Lifeson is so underrated. That guitar piece in the beginning is so great and than when the song kicks in it's a headbanger. Just because it's one of the more radio friendly short ones doesn't mean it's not a great song..

This is not my favourite Rush, but since my favourite Rush song is already decently high in this top 10, I am voting for "Closer To The Heart" because it deserves to be higher. This band was always able to give the public what they wanted and never steer away from what they loved.

Such an amazing song. In my opinion, this is one of their best songs, I'd easily put this in my Top 5 favorite songs for these guys. Such an amazing band. In my opinion, Rush is one of the Staples for Rock N' Roll music!

Wow... wasn't expecting to see this song this low on the list. Although it is one of Rush's shortest songs, it packs a punch, and is Rush's catchiest tune. I can never get it out of my head.

The Contenders
11 Working Man

Their first true masterpiece, at the beginning of their recording career. Amazing guitars, drums, and some of Geddy's most incredible vocal work. It's not his most impressive bass work, but the rest of the instrumentation is as good here as it would ever be.

I don't know any other hard rock song that comes close to Working Man except 2112, but Working Man has the blistering guitar solos and catchy riff elevate it above any other Rush epic in my humble opinion.

The Robert Plant-style lyrics with Mitch Mitchell-style drumming and a Tony Iommi-style guitar riff make an amazing combination. Even though Neil Peart is not on here, the drummer on this is AMAZING.

This is the song that spawned generations of rush heads... Going to the show in cleveland tomorrow night, since the song was originally debuted on WMMS cleveland its safe to assume what the encore is going to be...

12 Fly by Night

Fly By Night is a classic rush song. This song and its parent album signify Neil Pearts addition to the band. The lyrics are beautiful and Alex's guitar playing is tight. Without this song Rush would never have become the great band they officially became

Would be in my top 5. It's really an awesome one, I wonder why it's so low, maybe because it's not so, you know, "progressive" but I love the times when rush were rocknrollin', it's also the debut of Neil Peart who is the best drummer in the world

Can't believe its not higher, its probably not their most famous song, but is has everything rush stood for in the early days, love the main riff overall AWESOME SONG!

Reminds me of the foo fighters song learn to fly, to absolutely amazing songs, this sounds absolutely amazing and Geddy's voice is perfect for this type of song.

13 Red Barchetta

This is definitely the Rush best Song! The guitar work is great, the bass lines are the best, there are multiple tempos and a great solo in 7/4! And the drums... Well, it's Neil Peart... For sure the most underrated Rush song, and easily their best... Not just for the complex structure of the song, but for the incredible fit of all the instruments... It's really genial and also sweet and hard at the same time, just to make you rock! And don't forget about the lyrics, very beautiful, tricky and funny at the same time! And also a pleasure to play at guitar! :D

The best of Rush: Amazing musicianship; fantastic stand-alone story (albeit borrowed from another author); fluidly changing time signatures; and a pure rock feel. Besides, how much more rock can you get than a song about driving an awesome car?

How can you not like this song? In my opinion, the greatest song by ANY band. It's a great mixture of hard rock and progressive rock. It has a guitar solo. And, it's about a ' CAR. What is there not to like about this masterpiece of a song?

Red Barchetta just stands out among some great songs of theirs. Neil Peart is the best drummer in the world. Should definitely be in the top five. It is classic rock at its finest.

14 Cygnus X-1 Book II - Hemispheres

This was not an easy decision. If any other band had written Hemispheres, it'd have been a shutout decision - but Rush has many possible candidates. My decision was based on the following observations: Hemispheres not only tells an inspired, wonderful, intellectually stimulating story in prose - the lyrical genius is matched by the intricate composition, which tells a grand story in its own rite. Unlike 2112 (also a brilliant song), which exits as it reaches the height of crescendo (coinciding with the despair and demise of the rational voice), Hemispheres crescendos into an electrically charged Apollonian / Dionysian dichotomy, but concludes in a harmonious + victorious meditation, leaving the listener both fulfilled and relaxed. This structure is similar to 'The Necromancer' (another fantastic song), but for that pairing, Hemispheres readily comes out on top due to superior imagery, relevance, and musical variety / ingenuity. My vote goes to Hemispheres for #1, 2112 #2, and Xanadu, ...more

There is no doubt in my mind that this is not only Rush's crowning achievement, but the best song to come out in the latter days of progressive rock. Hemisphere's complexity and lyrical mastery was a final hoorah for the whole prog genre before it finally faded into obscurity. This song should be at the top because for me it is the only Rush album that truly encompasses the bands true musical talent into four songs. There is not another epic, perhaps besides Supper's Ready by Genesis, that even touches the artistic merit of Cygnus X-1.

Seeing Tom Sawyer as far and away number one is frustrating because that's not even nearly their best song. Hemispheres has so many parts of musical GENIUS. The intro sets the tone, the next to sections are brilliant with the timely pauses (hopefully you know what I'm talking about) the next builds up, then there's the spacey effect that gives me chills every time, the following is such a powerful solo then the ending is a nice closing to the masterpiece

Rush had finally perfected their 20 minute song writing by the time they wrote hemispheres. You take songs like fountain of lamneth and 2112. They are incredible songs, but they don't have the same fluidity of cygnus x1 book ii hemispheres. the riffs fade in and out instead melding the way they do in hemispheres. fountain and 2112 are both great, but they are a different kind of great. hemispheres was done so well because rush already had experience with 20 minute songs after recording 2 already and by 1978, there musical abilities were off the charts. aside from the last minute, the song flows cycling through all the different licks and riffs over a course of 18 minutes and finishes off with a little acoustic jam. the fluidity and complexity of the song is what makes it the best.

15 The Trees

These lyrics are not weird. If you listen no I really mean LISTEN it is about,iIt's about the Canadian separatist movement in Quebec. The general consensus is that Canada has become too British, and the French separatists (represented by the Maples - I.E. Toronto Maple Leaves) want their independence. The lyric "so the Maples formed a union, and demanded equal rights, they say the Oaks are just too lofty, and they grab up all the light" implies that the French Canadian minority wishes to secede, but they can't because the majority won't allow it. The song continues to state that the "oaks just shake their heads", implying that the majority cannot understand the separatist's choices. The lyric about keeping them equal by "hatchet, axe, and saw" implies that despite their differences, they all are susceptible death. The song actually created quite a stir in Canada during the 70's when it was released, and many radio stations actually refused to play it out of fear of rousing separatist ...more

This song is great! If you see someone who talks about it having a "deeper inner meaning", well, it doesn't. Neil Peart said that he read a comic with trees arguing like people and proceeded to write the song. The comment below is complete crap, it's just a story by Peart that has nothing to do with anything.

Liberal Rush fans just say that this song has no deeper meaning, but they know it does. Neil did write it based on cartoon and he thought "What if trees acted like people? ", implying that this is the way he thinks people act. People who don't realize that government-mandated equality kills.

I hate this song. It tries to sound all deep and meaningful when the analogy of comparing the big oak trees to the wealthier people and the small maples to the poorer people is a completely stupid analogy. And the singer of this song sounds like a chipmunk

16 The Garden

Just an amazing modern arrangement of Rush's skills, made all the more significant (I imagine) that it was fave of a young person close to the band who recently passed away.

Flew from Australia to see The Garden played live at Dallas and Houston and it was worth every minute of the 25 hour trip there & the 34 hour trip back home again. This song is a stand out in my mind of those performances.

This song is pumping music. For sure just intense hard rock. Geddy really has some vocal talent, his style really suits hard rock. Even though this piece is 1974, Alex's guitar solo is one of his best. This song was also a fairly common song that hardcore fans like. Go rush! Such a skillful masterpiece. Nicer with Neil peart as a drummer though. Do not care for John rutsey. So yeah. Go rush!

Very rarely will you see a song from a band like Rush that is considered a masterpiece that is from their latest album. Just goes to show that Rush is always pushing the creative boundaries of music and aren't slowing down any time soon.

Songs like these make me wonder what these songs mean, and I've looked at the lyrics for this song, but they make absolutely no sense. All I've done is randomly made a Videogame plot around a lyric here and there.

17 A Passage to Bangkok

Just amazing you know these guys just rock it here, its in my top 20 rush songs, Neil Peart is epic just epic, Alex has a guitar solo, that every time I hear it I find myself playing air guitar. I love Geddy's Rickenbacker here great.

Great riff and another typically great performance by al players. I have always found lyrics that use innuendo rather than simply putting it right out there to be the most interesting, and this one has it in spades!

A passage to Bangkok is a rocking masterpiece of sweet ricky, neil's pro drumming and gotta love alex's solo it if fantastic! Please vote for this, or if you doubt my comment buy it on itunes and see for yourself!

My dad is a huge fan of Rush, but I was never into their music much until recently and this song is a major reason why. I think Geddy is at his best here, and the guitar solo is awesome. The big moments in the middle of each verse are just epic

18 Natural Science

Of their more progressive pieces this is definitely the most technicaly proficient. Abandoned the sixties jam band feel for a much more modern format that was way before it's time.

For me, the pinnacle of Rush. Moving Pictures is awesome but this is where it's at. I really think this is Progressive rock at it's finest.

Real Rush not cotton candy Rush

Tom Sawyer at number ones also makes me want to puke.

The best and most progressive rush song...
It takes me in another world!

19 Far Cry

This song is melodic, chaotic, psychotic, etc. etc. That heavy metal riff throughout the song knocks me dead every time I hear it. Whoever put Tom Sawyer in the top three and not this was obviously not a true Rush fan and hadn't ever listened to this masterpiece.

My top 5 Rush songs goes as follows:
#5: Red Barchetta (tells an interesting story)
#4: Prime Mover (another unheard-of masterpiece someone obviously never listened to)
#3: Spirit of Radio (just like this list)
#2: 2112 (tells of a post-apocalyptic satanist Communist future where music has been banned. A guy finds a guitar, becomes a musician and is rejected by the tyrannic dictatorship that is governing the dysfunctional planet. The guy retreats, goes into depression and commits suicide. Pretty moving stuff. What could possibly top this masterpiece? )
#1: THIS. This song is melodic, chaotic, psychotic, etc. etc. That heavy metal riff throughout the song knocks me dead every time I hear it. Whoever put ...more

Truly amazing one. Can't believe its down so low at 19. Jeez, who made tom sawyer rank one! This is such a splendid song, it deserves a lot more than rank 19.

20 A Farewell to Kings

Why talk about the music, cause they're great. It is early rush. It's the lyrics that do it. Most complete song I think they've done.

A farewell to kings should be respected, many people love this song I mean great amazing acoustic intro, its gotta be respected, great guitar, bass its wonderful

This one is a great one

I have no idea why this isn't known as one of their greatest songs

21 The Analog Kid

My favorite song by RUSH. I've heard every piece of music ever recorded by them. I have so many favorites. Being a drummer it's hard to choose. But this song moves me like no other. It's quick, catchy and incredibly difficult to play. At least for me. And I can play quite a bit of RUSH. All the songs listed are my favorites. Let's get real, their worst is better than most bands best.

A very energising song with it's fast-tempo boisterousness and poetically thought of lyrics. Definitely one of Rush's underrated gems, such a shame to see it so low.

100% agreed with the previous comment, this song was the highlight of what might be one of Rush's poorest albums.

That one part at the end is so awesome!

22 Anthem

30th? Is this a joke. This song is awesome. It's heavy and progressive. The guitar solo is pure beauty, it changes from sketchy shredding to a beautifully epic passage. The song by itself is wonderful.

Definitely in my personal top 10. I see many other songs here between 30-40 that should be at least within the top 20, such as The Necromancer. Why not cut some slack and rate songs like this one (Anthem) up?

I cannot believe anthem isn't on the list! It's easily one of my top 10 favorite rush songs! If you haven't heard this song, you're not a true rush fan!

What a joke! How low is this song? 20! Say again? 20! OHMYGOD.9% votes. That's just insane. Why? Such a great song!

23 Distant Early Warning

I was shocked to see this was #50, it's the first rush song I heard and I knew this band was awesome when I heard this song, this deserves a place much higher then 50 it's the reason why I like rush

Should be higher.

24 Bastille Day

It's amazing how a band like Rush can write psuedo-metal songs throughout the seventies, (Bastille Day, 2112, Working Man), write syntheziser-heavy songs during the eighties, and alt. rock songs in the nineties. Little to no bands have been as consistent as Rush, while also having changed their style that many times.

This song is by far my favorite. The guitar work, the drum runs, the unique chord progressions, the power of the music. There are better radio songs I'm sure, but this song is Rush to me.

Let 'em eat cake... Brilliant lyrics, brilliant licks, genius drumming... The last seconds on this song are incredible. Short, sweet, and incredible.

This song is simply amazing, I love the drums. I only discovered Rush when rockband 1 came out and can't believe how many awesome songs they have. Rock on!

25 Jacob's Ladder

Deserves to be higher, a real masterpiece, it reminds me of earlier Rush's songs.

It was a toss up between this, Xanadu, and Working Man. Actually, so many are close.

How is this song so far down? People need to listen to this from Exit Stage Left.

Everything I love about Rush can be found in this one song...

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