Review Summary: It’s a spirit that ever lingers.
So the other day I was off on my way to work on the open road with my unobtrusive companion, that friendly, undemanding voice, the gift beyond price.
I'm talking about music.
My morning mood satiated by invisible airwaves full of life, I asked myself a deep, trenchant, life altering question. Is “The Spirit of Radio” the best song ever? My first thought was no, as it seemed like an endless compromise to single out a subjective creation such as a song as the greatest of all time. Then I had to really question my honesty, this objective illusion of integrity I was upholding. Then I promptly punched myself in the f*cking face for not being open hearted, for not following what I instinctively knew to be inherently true. I work as a salesman for a living.
Ah, The Spirit of Radio. The opening salvo on the first record released in the 1980s. It was a tumultuous time. An age of excess. An era personified by greed, repugnant fashion, and miles of cocaine. A co-mingling of unabashed tomfoolery, of unbridled skullduggery, of unmitigated ballyhoo. The track was a soothsayer. Released on the first day of the decade, it accurately predicted the scope of the pop-cultural and socio-economic mores of the time. It’s a song about riffs and how riffs make you feel. A song about how riffs are the best things in life. Without fear of retribution, it brilliantly scathes the notion how some exploit riffs for profit. How "prophets" is code for studio walls and concert halls and abusing the purest aspects of them. It perfectly encapsulates human nature, courageously calling out the corrupt aspects of life and telling us to ignore them anyway. To embrace the things that are inherently perfect despite their scars. We’re talking about music. The power and freedom of music. One of the few entities that carries across generations, that can inspire a timid man to hate rape a grizzly bear, or an evil man to hug puppies and sh*t rainbows. It’s that powerful, that inspiring, and that meaningful. It’s a spirit that ever lingers.
The remainder of “Permanent Waves” rules too. It was the bridge between mega-nerd Rush and bombastic synth era Rush. It doesn’t rock as hard as the pre-Peart days, and it doesn’t prog as hard as Rush progged in their prog heavy era. It’s a perfect balance. A statement that Rush can do whatever the f*ck Rush wanted.
And it has the best song ever.