Background and Commentary

“Superconductor” expands on a similar theme [as “The Spirit of Radio”], but more directly portrays the entertainment industry as deceptive. The song describes pop celebrities as “packaged” and targeted to certain segments of the market; their aim is to “orchestrate illusions” and manipulate reactions.” The chorus captures the distraction and mesmerization that mass culture putatively engenders, as we are invited to “watch [the pop star’s] every move and the pop star stares back, “hoping you’ll believe/designing to deceive.” I have found no evidence that Peart ever read [Theodor] Adorno [German-born philosopher who saw mass culture strangling individuality] (and he would not have to, since the basic points of the mass-culture critique have circulated so widely), but I found it intriguing that Rush mentions dancing as part of the deception (“A strong and simple beat/That you can dance to”), echoing Adorno’s equation of social conformity with dancing to popular songs’ repetitive rhythms.—Chris McDonald, Rush, Rock Music, and the Middle Class

Record companies know which buttons to push to elicit the required schoolgirl maudlin sentimentality, the same pre-teen leather-jacket, pseudo-rebellious swagger.—Carol Selby Price and Robert Price, Mystic Rhythms

This song is about pop music icons who target markets, orchestrate illusions, and manipulate reactions on and off the stage. “That’s Entertainment” refers to a film on musicals.—Robert Telleria, Merely Players


Packaged like a rebel or a hero
Target mass appeal
To make an audience feel
He really means it

Package the illusion of persona
Careful to conceal
The fact that she’s only too real
She’s got to screen it

Hit you in a soft place
A melody so sweet
A strong and simple beat
That you can dance to

Watch his every move
Orchestrate illusions
Watch his every move
Hoping you’ll believe
Designing to deceive
That’s entertainment

He can put a target on the market
Bask in your applause
Reality withdraws
Now he believes it

The role becomes the actor
She’s addicted to applause
The stage a world because
She never leaves it

Hit you in a soft place
With sentimental ease
They know the fantasies
That you romance to

Watch her every move
She can manipulate reactions
Watch her every move
Pin the donkeys on her tail
Fantasy for sale
That’s entertainment


By Tony Zimmermann (

Excerpted from Fretplay.

(7/4) Rhy.Fig.1
snare Q=quarter step bend




Rhy.Fig.5 (4/4 time)

Rhy.Fig.5 (cont.)

Rhy.Fig.6 (4/4) Rhy.Fig.7 slight trem vibrato

For complete tab, go to Fretplay.


“Superconductor” guitar cover

“Superconductor” bass cover

“Superconductor” drum cover

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~ by rvkeeper on February 9, 2011.

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