Rush’s Clockwork Angels is set to drop on June 12, 2012. A few months later the band will embark on a 30-plus date tour of North America to support its release. Now get this, Clockwork Angels is their 20th studio album (19 LPs and 1 EP). That’s an amazing amount of music and a milestone few rock artists have ever achieved.
Releasing 20 albums is especially amazing when you consider that Rush isn’t your average rock band. They are, and we mean this as a compliment, “The Big Bang Theory” of rock and roll. Thanks to their interest in science fiction, fantasy, and the like, as well as their tremendous longevity, the Toronto-based Rush has written a bunch of songs with very cool titles. Below, This Is Music lists the 10 coolest song titles in the Rush catalog. Keep in mind, the songs on our list are there because of their titles and their titles only. We’ve also listed the tracks chronologically. We’ll let you arrange them in order of coolness.
“I Think I’m Going Bald” – Caress of Steel (1975)
You probably won’t hear “I Think I’m Going Bald” with Rush tickets to their Sept. 15 show in Chicago or with Rush tickets to their Oct. 12 concert in Philadelphia. It’s a fairly rare track from their collection. The chortle inducing title was inspired by Alex Lifeson’s obsession with losing his hair and the KISS song “Goin’ Blind”
“The Twilight Zone” – 2112 (1976)
We know what you’re thinking, this is a really cool title but Rush obviously appropriated it from the iconic television show. That’s absolutely true but we don’t care because “The Twilight Zone” is one of our all-time favorite shows. By the way, this song is about two of our favorite episodes: “Will the Real Martian Please Stand Up?” and “Stopover in a Quiet Town.”
“Cygnus X-1” Duology – A Farewell to Kings (1977) & Hemispheres (1978)
“Cygnus X-1 Book I: The Voyage” and “Cygnus X-1 Book II: Hemispheres” sound more like cool science fiction novels than rock songs—yes, that’s a good thing. In fact, it’s an awesome thing. Together these two songs, with their ultra-cool titles, span more than 28 minutes. The duology tells an epic story that involves a block hole and Greek gods.
“YYZ” – Moving Pictures (1981)
You’ll definitely hear this classic Rush track with tickets to their Auburn Hills concert scheduled for Sept. 18 or the Rush concert planned for Brooklyn, New York on Oct. 22. The band performs “YYZ” at just about every show. Heck, it’s even on Guitar Hero II. “XYZ” is okay. “ZYX” is interesting. But neither is as cool as “YYZ.”
“Red Sector A” – Grace Under Pressure (1984)
If “Cygnus X-1” sounded like a science fiction novel then “Red Section A” sounds like a science fiction B-movie—yes, that’s a good thing too. This song title is actually taken from a launch area at the Kennedy Space Center. While the lyrics are purposely abstract, they were inspired by the concentration camps of the Holocaust.
“Mystic Rhythms” – Power Windows (1985)
You can’t simply utter “Mystic Rhythms.” You have to say it like you’re performing a magic trick while wearing a top hot and a cape. The song was a minor hit for the band and then used as the theme song to an NBC news program called “1986.” Sadly, you won’t hear this song on their upcoming tour, not even when Rush plays Las Vegas on Nov. 23.
“Where’s My Thing? (Part IV, “Gangster of Boats” Trilogy)” – Roll The Bones (1991)
Like our first entry, “Where’s My Thing? (Part IV, “Gangster of Boats” Trilogy)” makes us smile. Not only is the “Where’s My Thing?” part kind of funny but Rush also jokes that the song is the fourth part of a set containing just three entries (a trilogy). This song with a cool title was nominated for a Grammy Award in 1991.
“Test for Echo” – Test For Echo (1996)
“Test for Echo” is the only song title on our list that’s also the name of a Rush album. The single went to number one on the Billboard Hot Mainstream Rock tracks. It was composed by Geddy Lee while the lyrics were penned by Neil Peart and Pye Dubois. We just like the way this title rolls off the tongue: “T… e… s… t… F… o… r… E… c… h.. o.” You should try it.
“Malignant Narcissism” – Snakes & Arrows (2007)
“Malignant Narcissism” was a term Rush borrowed from the film “Team America: World Police.” The makers of the film, Trey Parker and Matt Stone, gladly gave Rush permission to use the phrase. The song was the last track recorded for Snakes & Arrows and yet another on our list that was nominated for a Grammy Award.
“BU2B” – Clockwork Angeles (2012)
“BU2B,” which stands for “Brought Up To Believe,” is from the band’s latest album, Clockwork Angels, and was performed during Rush’s “Time Machine Tour” of 2010-2011. Some fans—for example those that had Rush Boston tickets or those that had purchased Rush Dallas tickets—have already heard this awesome song in concert. Expect to hear it again during Rush’s upcoming trek.