Start Today: Background
The piece is from the perspective of a vulnerable but also tough-minded woman who’s seen the best and the worst of her lover. She needs her man to love her like a man, but she’s also determined not to be taken advantage of. At the same time, she’s ready to comfort him. The vocals, by Canadian singer Lisa Dal Bello (who later went by Dalbello), brings a kind of Tina Turner-like, I’ve-seen-it-all worldliness to the piece, which is backed by a classic ’90s Rush rhythm and evocative crystalline single-note lines during the verses.—Rob Freedman, Rush Vault
Lisa Dal Bello says she jumped at the opportunity to sing on the album. “Alex is a complete sweetheart. I was just finishing mixing the Whore CD at a studio where as it happens Alex was recording his solo record, and not long after I was finished with my record, I got a call from him asking if I’d be interested in coming in and having a listen to one of his songs with the idea of having me sing the lead vocal and hey—I said yeah right away. It was a great day and the song is intense and personal for Alex and being given the privilege step inside of his world and allowed to be his ‘voice’ and represent his feelings by singing ‘Start Today’ was something I’ll not forget. What a rush—no pun intended.”—Lisa Dal Bello in a 2001 rockreunion.com interview.
“If you want to hear how Rush would have sounded in the 90’s with the 70’s Geddy Lee’s young voice, here you have an opportunity. Lisa Dal Bello’s singing on this song is really similar to Geddy’s on albums like Fly by Night or 2112. And it’s just spectacular! A very recommended track.”—The Crow on Prog Archives.
“‘Start Today’ is amazing! Lisa Dal Bello is on vocals and she sounds so much like 70’s Geddy with her screaming vocals, it’s eerie. Instrumentally, this sounds like 90’s Rush, so there is a nice blend of styles here. The rhythm section does an incredible job on this song.”—Mellotron Storm on Prog Archives.