Fly by Night: Background

“‘Fly by Night’ offers a hint of the kind of melodic song structure that the band would eventually evolve.”—John Swenson, Rush Chronicles

Neil wrote a short prologue to the piece that isn’t in the song: “airport scurry / flurry faces / parade of passers-by / people going many places / with a smile or just a sigh / waiting, waiting, pass the time / another cigarette / get in line, gate thirty-nine / the time is not here yet.”—Robert Telleria, Merely Players

The theme of being suspended between places, waiting to move, as featured in this song, is weaved throughout the band’s work. Neil talks about the feelings evoked specifically by airports, as environments that are both grounded in place and not grounded in place, in “YYZ.”—Rob Freedman, Rush Vault

“Fly by Night” and a few other of the first songs with lyrics written by Neil made an appearance before the second album was recorded in a WQIV (New York City) radio concert at the end of 1974. In this concert, ‘Fly by Night’ “was very different,” with “By-Tor and the Snowdog” tacked onto its end, among other things. In its final version, as recorded, it was considered the most pop-like piece on the album. “The second side opens on a high note with ‘Fly by Night,’ a really potential hit single.”—Bill Banasiewicz, Rush Visions

Martin Popoff calls it a “progressive pop” piece.—Contents Under Pressure

More about “Fly by Night”

See “Fly by Night” used in VW Passat commercial.

Three “Fly by Night” tribute versions.

Back to Rush Vault

~ by rvkeeper on January 11, 2011.

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