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Classic Album Review: Rush | The Spirit of Radio: Greatest Hits 1974 – 1987

The Canadian prog legends' anthology has plenty of hits. Too bad it stops there.

This came out in 2003 – or at least that’s when I got it. Here’s what I said about it back then (with some minor editing):


There are some bands whose careers can’t be summed up in a single best-of CD.

With about 30 years and 20 albums under their belt, Canuck prog-rock legends Rush are obviously one of them. Especially since their songs tend to be longer than the average three-minute pop fluff. Given all that, it’s hard not to be disappointed by the hits set The Spirit Of Radio, which collects 16 CanCon mainstays including Closer To The Heart, Freewill, Limelight, Tom Sawyer, Red Barchetta, New World Man and Subdivisions. Trouble is, so many of Rush’s best tunes were never hits — Finding My Way, Anthem, A Passage To Bangkok, Bastille Day, Xanadu, Lakeside Park, Something For Nothing, Cygnus X-1, By-Tor And The Snow Dog, La Villa Stran … sorry, I geeked out for a sec there. Anyway, you won’t find any of those songs here. Curiously, you won’t even find their first single In The Mood, which was a hit by anybody’s measure. No matter how you slice it, The Spirit Of Radio is poorly programmed.