Emotion Detector

Background and Commentary

“We thought ‘Emotion Detector’ would be a breeze but it was the killer. It was very difficult to get the mood right. I’m still not really sold on the song. It never ended up sounding the way I hoped it would. Half of ‘Emotion Detector’ was done in one pass. Actually, that song had a whole different solo that took quite a bit of work. We left it, went ahead with some other parts, lived with it for four or five days, and Neil didn’t feel quite right about it. He didn’t think that it made the proper kind of statement to the song, so we re-examined it and I gave it another whirl. That was tough. It’s one thing to rewrite a rhythm guitar part—you’ve got stuff to lock onto. But it was so hard to divorce what had been in my head as a solo for three months and come up with something that was a totally different feel. But I am satisfied with the results.””(Guitar Player)—Alex in Merely Players and on Songfacts

The piece, called “stirring” by Martin Popoff and the sole ballad on Power Windows, “can be seen as the shattering of illusions and dreams. ‘Sometimes our big splashes are just ripples in the pool / feelings running high.'”—Bill Banasiewicz, Rush Visions

All of the songs on Power Windows with the exception of “Emotion Detector” would be played live on the band’s 1985-86 tour.


When we lift the covers from our feelings
We expose our insecure spots
Trust is just as rare as devotion
Forgive us our cynical thoughts
If we need too much attention
Not content with being cool
We must throw ourselves wide open
And start acting like a fool
If we need too much approval
Then the cuts can seem too cruel

Right to the heart of the matter
Right to the beautiful part
Illusions are painfully shattered
Right where discovery starts
In the secret wells of emotion
Buried deep in our hearts

It’s true that love can change us
But never quite enough
Sometimes we are too tender
Sometimes we’re too tough
If we get too much attention
It gets hard to overrule
So often fragile power turns
To scorn and ridicule
Sometimes our big splashes
Are just ripples in the pool


Feelings run high

Tablature (Chords)

By Jimmy Pena (jimmy@walrus.com)

Excerpted from Fretplay.

Chord legend:

Gm : [355333]
Am7 : [x02010]
Bb : [x13331]
Bbmaj7 : [x1323x]
F : [133211]
F/A : [x03211]
Bb(addC) : [x33331]
C : [x30210]
G : [320033]
Dm : [xx0231]
Am : [x02210]

Song Progression:

Gm Am7 Bb x4
Gm9 [353335] Am7 Bbmaj7 F Gm sus4
When we lift the cover from our feelings, …
F/A Bb Bb(addC) Gm sus4
Trust is just as rare as devotion…
Am7 Bb Bb(addC) Gm
If we need too much attention, …
Am7 Bb Bb(addC) Gm
We must throw ourselves wide open, ….
Am7 Bb Gm Am7 Bb
If we need too much approval, ….

C C C C F G Dm Am G
Right to the ….
C C C C F G Dm Am G
Right to the ….
C C C C F G Dm Am G C
Illusions are painfully ….
F G Dm Am G C
In the secret wells ….

F G Dm Am G

Bb Am7 Bb(addC)

Gm Am Bb(addC)
It’s true that love can ….
Gm Am Bb(addC)
Sometimes we are too tender, ….
Gm Am Bb(addC)
If we get too much attention, ….
Gm Am Bb(addC)
So often fragile power ….
Gm Am Bb(addC) Gm
Sometimes our big splashes….

For complete tab, go to Fretplay.


“Emotion Detector” guitar cover

“Emotion Detector” bass cover

“Emotion Detector” drum cover

Back to Rush Vault

~ by rvkeeper on February 7, 2011.

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