Rush released a new animated video for their 1980 hit “The Spirit of Radio” in celebration of Permanent Waves’ 40th anniversary. Paying tribute to famous FM radio DJ’s and late band member Neil Peart, the animation reflecting nostalgia of the ‘80s radio format.
The new video showcases each radio DJ spinning Rush’s record on their show, the airwaves showing each member listening to their song as Lee drives around, Peart practicing his drums. Lee leads the stage in dance during each chorus, Bob Goburn and Jim Ladd appearing among other radio DJs. Donna Halper holds a Rush album in her hand, getting ready to play it for her audience. Fans around the world listen to Rush’s song, Alex Lifeson playing a guitar with FM radio dials on the guitar strings. Incorporating neon lights and comic book strips with the animation imagery, Lee, Peart and Lifeson appear in their 1980s forms.
“The Spirit of Radio” first came out on 1980s Permanent Waves, the group’s seventh studio album. Rush has recently released a new expanded edition of the album for its 40th anniversary, including a Super Deluxe Edition, a two-CD Deluxe Edition, a three-LP Deluxe Edition and a Deluxe Digital Edition. Permanent Waves had been a turning point for the band, diving them into progressive rock.
Peart, Rush’s drummer, passed away last January after battling glioblastoma, an aggressive form of brain cancer for three and a half years. Peart had contributed to most of the band’s songwriting and had retired in 2015, remaining good friends with Lee and Lifeson after Rush disbanded. Surviving members of the band refer to Peart as their “good friend and soul brother.”
Primus had been planning a Rush tribute tour prior to the coronavirus, hoping to perform Rush’s 1977 album A Farewell to Kings. Members of Anthrax and Suicidal Tendencies have done a number of Rush covers throughout the COVID-19 quarantine, including songs “Freewill” and “La Villa Strangiato.”