7 Incredible Facts You Probably Didn’t Know About Rush’s “2112”
When Rush released their magnum opus, 2112, rock music was never the same. The album cemented their spot in the rock ‘n roll pantheon, and it propelled them to god status.
Taking up the entire side one of the LP is its title track, which is nothing short of epic. It runs for 20 minutes, and let’s just say, there’s not one boring moment. Here are facts about it:
1. Considered a suite, the song is divided into seven parts.
The chapters are as follows: I) Overture, II) The Temples of Syrinx, III) Discovery, IV) Presentation, V) Oracle: The Dream, VI) Soliloquy, VII) Grand Finale. In the album’s printed lyrics, each one starts with a story that describes the events.
2. Primary lyricist and drummer Neil Peart revealed that the inspiration behind it was the book “Anthem” by Ayn Rand, one of his favorite authors.
“The inspiration behind it was . . . It’s difficult always to trace those lines because so many things tend to coalesce, and in fact it ended up being quite similar to a book called Anthem by the writer Ayn Rand,” Peart told Rockline in 1991. “But I didn’t realize that while I was working on it, and then eventually as the story came together, the parallels became obvious to me and I thought, ‘Oh gee, I don’t want to be a plagiarist here.’ So I did give credit to her writings in the liner notes.”
3. For over two decades since its release, there was no complete live recording.
It was only in 1998 when it was featured in full on the Different Stages: Live three-disc set.
4. Guitarist Alex Lifeson said, “It was done in pieces”.
“We were still quite young, 22 years old, when we did that. We were touring so much that we wrote it mostly in arena dressing rooms, and in the car and the van,” he told Rolling Stone. “It was done in pieces. The great thing was that we had a chance to rehearse it during soundchecks, so we were well prepared by the time we got into the studio.”
5. It was adapted into a comic booklet.
The lyrics were used as the lines for the characters and the intros were from the narrations from the cover.
6. It took Rush two weeks to record it and mix.
“I remember it being a lot of fun,” Lifeson said, “and we felt really positively about it.”
7. Lifeson’s reaction to Peart’s lyrics was, “I thought they were very serious.”
“He was reading some Ayn Rand at the time. I was not a big Ayn Rand fan; I read Anthem — I think that was the only book of hers I’ve read,” Lifeson recalled. “Neil and Geddy read The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged, and that was an inspiration. What appealed to us was what she wrote about the individual and the freedom to work the way you want to work, not the cold, libertarian perspective. For us, it was striving to be a stronger individual more than anything, and that’s how the story came together.”