Stick It Out

Background and Commentary

“It’s just a play on the words, really. ‘Stick It Out’ meaning both a kind of arrogant display, ‘stick it out’, but also the endurance thing; if you have a difficult thing to endure, stick it out and you get to the end. It was the pun on both of those, really, so again the duality in the song is a bit leaning both ways. The sense of forbearance, of holding back, and also the idea of fortitude: stick it out, you know, survive. But that was more of a piece of fun. That song, I would say, both lyrically and musically, verges on parody, and that was one I think we just had fun with, and lyrically I certainly did, too. ‘Stick it out’ and ‘spit it out’ and all that was just a bit of word play.” (Radio Special)—Neil in Merely Players

“I love the riff. It’s a great riff song. I love playing it, and it’s a very bass-heavy song, which always makes me happy. Lyrically, it’s kind of so-so. I don’t know. I think the best thing about it is the vibe and that it’s stripped down to a trio, back to doing riff rock. ‘Animate’ is more of what we were after, this combination of bringing in different rhythmic attitudes while trying to add a bit more funk but still being big-bottomed and aggressive.”—Geddy in Contents Under Pressure

“How could I approach that song properly and yet give it a touch of elegance that I would want a riff-rock song to have? I don’t want it to be the same type of thing you’d hear on rock radio. So I started bringing in Latin and fusion influences. There’s a verse where I went for a Weather Report-type effect. I used some tricky turn-arounds in the ride cymbal pattern, where it goes from downbeat to upbeat accents—anything I could think of to make it my own. That song verges on parody for us, so we had to walk a careful line. We responded to the power of the riff, yet still found some ways to twist it to make it something more.” (Modern Drummer, 1994)—Neil in Songfacts

“We had gone back to working with Peter Collins, who produced Hold Your Fire. We used a much more direct approach to recording, moving back toward the essence of what Rush was about as a three-piece. In retrospect, Counterparts didn’t work as well as we’d hoped, but it led us in the right direction. We’re much more satisfied with Test for Echo, which we view as a progression from Presto. I used a Peavey 5150 and a 100-watt Marshall JCM800. I had a [Roland] JC-120 as well that I used for some clean things, but primarily everything was done on the Peavey and the Marshall. The guitar was a ’72 Les Paul Standard that I had used on certain songs in the past. I used a dropped-D tuning and ran the guitar straight into the amp with no effects.”—Alex in a 1996 Guitar World interview

“Like other songs with ‘action’ titles (‘Show Don’t Tell,’ ‘Face Up’), the song is quick witted in its wordplay.”—Robert Telleria, Merely Players

The music video of the song was lampooned on Beavis and Butthead. Watch here.


Trust to your instincts
If it’s safely restrained
Lightning reactions
Must be carefully trained

Heat of the moment
Curse of the young
Spit out your anger
Don’t swallow your tongue

Stick it out
Don’t swallow the poison
Spit it out
Don’t swallow your pride
Stick it out
Don’t swallow your anger
Spit it out
Don’t swallow the lies

Natural reflex
Pendulum swing
You might be too dizzy
To do the right thing

Trial under fire
Ultimate proof
Moment of crisis
Don’t swallow the truth


Each time we bathe our reactions
In artificial light
Each time we alter the focus
To make the wrong moves seem right

You get so used to deception
You make yourself a nervous wreck
You get so used to surrender
Running back to cover your neck


Tablature (Bass)

By Joe White and Sean Jones

Excerpted from Ultimate Guitar.

This song is in dropped D tuning (DADG low to high).

e e e e e +w +Q e e e e e +w +Q e e e e e 4x +e e e q e e e

+e e e e e e e e +e e e q e e e +e e e e e e e e +e e e q e e e

+e e e e e e e e +e e e e h q e e e e e e e e e q s s s s s s 8x

w +Q e e e e e +w +Q e e e e e +w +Q e e e e e +w +Q e e e e e

+e e e q e e e +e e e e e e e e +e e e q e e e +e e e e e e e e 2x

+e e e e e e e +e e e e e e e e e e e q s s s s s s 8x

e e e q q e 3x e e e q q e +e e e q s s s s s s

For complete tab, go to Ultimate Guitar.


“Stick It Out” bass cover

“Stick It Out” drum cover

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~ by rvkeeper on February 13, 2011.

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