Rule number one for Rush is to do whatever the hell you want.
Though the critics may have hated them, the Canadian power trio explored every kind of style that they wanted, from progressive hard rock to synth pop.
Somewhere around the ‘80s, Geddy Lee mentioned the one song where they lost the plot.
When speaking during an interview, Lee singled out the song “Tai Shan” from Hold Your Fire as his least favorite Rush tune saying,
“It’s just one of those songs that Alex [Lifeson] and I used to make fun of. We should have known better.”
Some of Neil Peart’s flowery language was a bit too much for Lee, riffing [in reference to the song’s chorus] that
“I wasn’t standing on a mountain top while recording it.”
Although the track features some different percussion and Eastern instrumentation, Lifeson wasn’t much of a fan either saying,
“It’s one of the worst.”
While the band doesn’t look back on it fondly, Lee had mentioned finding the humor in the situation saying,
“Guys in bands really need all the ammunition we can get to make fun of each other. It just sort of landed on ‘Tai Shen.’ I recognize that some people love that song, and I don’t feel as harshly about it as I may have. It’s really a good reason to kid Neil.”
Despite the band’s love of synths, the classic Rush songs aren’t safe either, with Lifeson adding that he doesn’t like “The Fountain of Lamneth” from Caress of Steel saying,
“It was an attempt at something that didn’t really work out. It was…innocent.”
Regardless of the song’s quality, “Tai Shan” is still part of Rush’s mission statement. Even if a song goes horribly wrong, Rush was about breaking new ground, and this song is all about stretching into new musical territories.