Sometimes you just have to go back to the source.
The first time that I heard of or indeed heard anything by the Canadian rock band Rush it was their song, Closer To The Heart.
Closer To The Heart had been released as a single in the UK in January 1978 and by February had reached the giddy height of number 36 in the singles chart, therefore it was getting some radio play and it must have been on the radio that I first heard it.
Being a budding or at least wannabe lyricist, I was taken by the words of the song.
And the men who hold high places,
Must be the ones to start,
To mould a new reality,
Closer to the heart…
After hearing the song a few times, and in spite of (still) having a shoebox full of 7″ singles, I decided that the thing to do would be to buy the album from which the song came. I was always first and foremost an album person so at the earliest opportunity I rushed down to the local record shop did just that.
Rush A Farewell To Kings it said across the top left hand of the cover which showed a marionette king sitting on a throne amidst the rubble of a ruined building.
The rear cover had the track list and the marionette’s strings and crossbar.
Where was Closer To The Heart? Side 2, track 1. OK, so I’d have to play side 1 before I got to Closer To The Heart but no matter, that’s how I always played albums, from start to finish, none of this picking and choosing tracks.
Inside the gatefold cover were the song lyrics and a photo of three skinny hippies, the authors of the album.
I was already sold on Closer To The Heart, it just remained to be seen if the other tracks on the album were anyway as good.
I’ve never been that good at critiquing music, I know what I like and I like what I know (and wardrobe – obviously). I’ve tried before to be a music critic, here in these very web pages but I’ve never been particularly happy with the results so I’m not going to try again here and now but let me just say that with A Farewell To Kings, expectations were met and exceeded.
Then of course I had to buy Rush’s back catalogue, A Farewell To Kings was their fifth studio album and was released in 1977, I had come late to the party, but the previous albums were procured and then later in 1978 Rush released the follow-up album to A Farewell To Kings; Hemispheres, and I was well and truly hooked.
And what prompted this?
This morning on the wireless they played Closer To The Heart and it prompted me to get my original vinyl album out and play it.
In my humble opinion, it’s still very good.