- The Spirit of Radio - Probably the live version that kicks off Exit... Stage Left and starts off, "This is The Spirit of Radio." I don't know if I had the live version back then, but I do now, and it's remastered like a motherfuck and is beautiful and right. "Begin the day with a friendly voice..." is the way I've always wanted this tape to start. [5.11/5.11]
- Red Barchetta - Taken from Richard S. Foster's A Nice Morning Drive. Enigmatically, it's always the second track, on any Rush album where it appears. Go figure. This song is about driving, and is roughly one year younger than I am. I love this song like a brother, only with more feeling. It's also right after The Spirit of Radio on Exit..., so that makes for an easy dub. [6.46/11.57]
- At this point, I'm going back from my side ending time of 41.04, and looking for a less than four minute Rush song (not an easy task) to round out the first side. Immediately, I was drawn to Fly by Night, because it's very easily a travelling song. I wanted to save this one for later, so it would more likely come on after dusk, but I'm trying to put all the early Rush on side one (with Driven as a notable and noteworthy exception). Actually, that's a good thing. I was going to make Driven song #3, but now I am changing things around. You, the reader, are scratching your head, but no, it was not always down there in the second half of this post. A moment while I recalculate my runtime. [3.21/15.17]
Yes, I can stick an 8 or nine minute long song in here, or Fly by Night and a five minute song. I think I will leave Fly by Night and put in a five minute song.
- I want to work in Working Man, but it's seven minutes long, and I have only six left. If you've heard Working Man, you know it doesn't need to be seven minutes and ten seconds long (not that I complain, normally, but I'm pressed for time). HOWEVER, and this was a stroke of fucking genius (on the band's part, not mine); on Disc 3 of Different Stages, there is a little quasi-melody of Working Man/Fly by Night/In the Mood which is roughly nine minutes long. Take out the album version of Fly by Night and the six minutes becomes nine. [4.00+2.05+3.23=9.28/21.25] Perfect! Side one is now complete. For me. For you, you have to keep reading to see what I wrote earlier. Ha ha. Sucker.
Umm... please keep reading?
- We come back to my list with Lakeside Park, originally slated at #3. It's a good, Zepplinesque song of good times and memories, and it takes us to Caress of Steel, which is one of my all-time favorite albums. [4.07/25.32]
- The Bacchus Plateau was on the original list as #4, but very sceptically. Fuck that, I've decided to throw the entirety of Side II from Caress of Steel (love that title) on the tape, since the whole Fountain of Lamneth story arc is an allegory for life. My original idea for my custom license plate was "LAMNETH", and I'll still get that, if "SILKY" is unavailable, as I fear it might be. Especially No One at the Bridge, the whole side is about the attainment of goals, only to find that they were just one more step along a journey. In the end, the point is not to arrive, something they came back to later in Prime Mover. I thought the license plate was wonderfully ironically prophetic, plus it's a vanity plate only a Rush fan (and now you guys) will get. It beats "GEDFAN" or "ILUVNEIL". [19.44/45.16]
- Driven - Now, this list was started before Rush's last studio album (Test for Echo, not the upcoming Vapor Trails), but this song contains the line, "It's my turn to drive." Come ON, how could I not? The bassline is already killer, but since I am supar Rush 1337, I will probably grab the live version from Different Stages because it has Geddy's stop-start solo, which kicks your ass and the ass of all the monkeys you've ever owned or dreamt of owning. An absolutely killer way to start the new Rush side. [5.16/5.16]
- Now that I'm done pasting in the description I wrote earlier for Driven (if you're lost, it's because you are SKIMMING! Caught ya!), I can come to Dreamline. This song is all about hitting the road and being young and learning to be free and stuff. "Wandering the face of the earth, wondering what our dreams might be worth." Yeah. [4.38/9.54]
- Bravado - Comes right after Dreamline on Roll the Bones. Normally, I don't listen to much Bones; in fact, it's in my bottom five Rush albums; but for driving music, it's actually pretty good. I'll come back to it later for Where's My Thing?, while I will neglect albums like Presto! and Hold Your Fire, because they really don't have drivable tunes. This one is one of Rush's most beautiful bittersweet ballads, but it's still got a good driving beat, if you'll witness Neil's ever-incredible cymbal syncopation. Oooh, yeah. [4:35/14.29]
- Xanadu - What? Xanadu? But that's early Rush! HA HA HA NOT IF I CHEAT AND GET IT OFF DIFFERENT STAGES IT'S NOT!%!@%!!! But really, this song has that kind of adventurous rambling countryside-ness to it that defined my drives as a child. It's mandatory. [11.06/25.35]
- Where's My Thing? - Part one of Rush's jazz instrumental one-two punch. It only took a second to think of it, but when I did, I realized that these two were essential. [3.49/29.24]
- Leave That Thing Alone! - Part two. I really don't have any exciting description-ness left. [4.06/33.30]
- Marathon - Yay, running. Long drives. Good tempo song, and a good place (near the end of the tape) for it. [6.02/39.32]
- I was listening to Grace Under Pressure when I started this list, and Beneath the Wheels came on. It occurred to me that not only was it a perfect way to end that album, but it was also a perfect way to end this tape (wheels, DUH!). It is therefore last. Yay. I am done. Except I am not, because I wrote this part third (on this side) and now I have to go back and fill in the rest of the songs. Like Marathon. All I have up by Marathon is Marathon. But then, it's pretty self-explanatory. [5.44/45.16]
Holy shit, the side lengths match. Fuck, I'm good.
I guess that's it. It's pretty hard to narrow things down; Rush has so many good songs, and a lot of them could rock a drive. Some of them don't. I know I completely ignored 2112, Hemispheres, Signals and others. There were bound to be casualties. Still, I think it's a pretty good mixtape. Maybe you're asking, "Where's the YYZ?" It's there. It's stuck in my head, as it has been since I was eighteen months old.