New World Man

Background and Commentary

The new world man is enlightened and powerful, but still “human, all too human.”—Rob Freedman, Rush Vault

“‘New World Man’ speaks of the need to start over, building a better society from the ground up, using self-assured individualists as the building blocks.”—Carol Selby Price and Robert Price, Mystic Rhythms

The piece was known as “Project 3:57” during the recording period because the band had that much time to fill on the album before they could call the album done. “What it really boiled down to was that we’d worked so hard getting all these slick sounds that we were all in the mood to put something down that was spontaneous. In the end, the whole song took one day to write and record. It’s good to put together something like that.”—Geddy in Merely Players

It “continues the band’s experiments with exotic rhythms. Even more than on ‘The Spirit of Radio,’ reggae infiltrates the music. Some of the sonic problems of the other tunes [guitar pushed too far back in the mixing] are toned down on the piece; the song is a little sharper than most of the material.”—Bill Banasiewicz, Rush Visions

It “was the first single that we ever had that had a quite wide appeal, especially on radio where it wasn’t only those kind of stations that played harder stuff. As a musical piece it was a departure for us, something a little poppier, I think.” (Up Close, 1994)—Alex in Merely Players

“It was almost compulsory to do solos at that time, but I didn’t want to feel that every song had to have that kind of structure. I wanted to get away from that, and to this day I feel that way. I enjoy playing solos and I feel that my soloing is quite unique to my style, but I’m bored with that structure. . . . I used a Tele for the whole song. I played it through the Hiwatts with a little bit of reverb and chorus.”—Alex in a 1996 Guitar World interview

Three “New World Man” tribute versions.


He’s a rebel and a runner
He’s a signal turning green
He’s a restless young romantic
Wants to run the big machine

He’s got a problem with his poisons
But you know he’ll find a cure
He’s cleaning up his systems
To keep his nature pure

Learning to match the beat of the Old World Man
Learning to catch the heat of the Third World Man

He’s got to make his own mistakes
And learn to mend the mess he makes
He’s old enough to know what’s right
But young enough not to choose it
He’s noble enough to win the world
But weak enough to lose it
He’s a New World Man

He’s a radio receiver
Tuned to factories and farms
He’s a writer and arranger
And a young boy bearing arms

He’s got a problem with his power
With weapons on patrol
He’s got to walk a fine line
And keep his self-control

Trying to save the day for the Old World Man
Trying to pave the way for the Third World Man

He’s not concerned with yesterday
He knows constant change is here today
He’s noble enough to know what’s right
But weak enough not to choose it
He’s wise enough to win the world
But fool enough to lose it
He’s a New World Man


By sir p (

Excerpted from Ultimate Guitar.

Synth intro. arranged for guitar


Riff-B Play 4x Play Riff-A 2x Play Riff-B 3x


Rhy.1 x x x x x . x x x x x . x x x x x . x x x

Play Rhy.1 x x x x x x . Play Rhy.1 x x x

For complete tab, go to Ultimate Guitar.


“New World Man” guitar cover (acoustic)

“New World Man” bass cover

“New World Man” drum cover

Back to Rush Vault

~ by rvkeeper on February 6, 2011.

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