Rush Tribute Singles

“Tom Sawyer” is the most popular single by far among Rush tribute bands, with eight tribute versions recorded between 1996 and 2010, followed by “The Trees,” “Freewill,” and “Red Barchetta,” with five each. Other popular tribute singles are “Closer to the Heart,” “The Spirit of Radio,” Limelight, and “Subdivisions,” basically all of Rush’s radio hits.

Perhaps the most unlikely tribute is “Tears” by Capital 2 on the Red Star album, a collection of tribute pieces by bands that fall into various metal categories like black, death, and thrash. The most well-known of them might be Blood Coven, which, in its cover of “The Temples of Syrinx,” makes the priest sound like a frog-throated ogre who lives in a slimy bog. Many of the comments on Red Star on Amazon are negative, but the album actually does what a tribute album should do: offer a unique interpretation of someone else’s music. Against that goal, Red Star is excellent.

Another unlikely cover is the Vitamin String Quartet’s “A Passage to Bangkok.” It’s a charming take on Rush’s trip around the world sampling bong hits.

To compare the different versions, click on the link for each piece. It’ll take you to Amazon, where you can click the sample button.

Nov. 4, 2011, update: In yet another tribute to “Tom Sawyer,” rapper/producer EL-P has taken samples from the song and made a Rush version of his piece, “Drones Over BKLYN.” Sale proceeds from the piece, called “Rush Over BKLYN,” are going to help rap producer and DJ Mr. Dibbs, who’s battling a tough illness.

NOTE: The list leaves off many one-off tributes, such as Anthrax’s version of “Anthem” and Cyril Neville’s version of “Working Man” or Gregorian Chant’s version of “Bravado.” These one-off tributes have increased so much that it’ll be another day’s work to gather them all up. And that day isn’t today!

Listen to Rush tributes just from 2013. 

Tom Sawyer, Moving Pictures, 1981 (8 versions)

Tom Sawyer, Disarray (Red Star, 1999) 

Tom Sawyer (Exit Stage Right, 2002) 

Tom Sawyer (Baroque Tribute, 2004) 

Tom Sawyer, Sebastian Bach (Subdivisions, 2005) 

Tom Sawyer (Piano Tribute, 2006) 

Tom Sawyer (Run for Cover, 2007) 

Tom Sawyer, I, Omega (New World Man, 2010) 

Tom Sawyer, Alex Skolnick Trio (New World Man, 2010) 

The Trees, Hemispheres, 1978 (5 versions)

The Trees"", Mike Baker (Working Man, 1996) 

The Trees (Exit Stage Right, 2002) 

The Trees (Baroque Tribute, 2004) 

The Trees (Piano Tribute, 2006) 

The Trees (Run for Cover, 2007) 

Freewill, Permanent Waves, 1980 (5 versions)

Freewill, Gregoor van der Loo (Working Man, 1996) 

Freewill, Mythiasin (Red Star, 1999) 

Freewill (Exit Stage Right, 2002) 

Freewill (Piano Tribute, 2006) 

Freewill (Run for Cover, 2007) 

Red Barchetta, Moving Pictures, 1981 (5 versions)

Red Barchetta, James LaBrie (Working Man, 1996) 

Red Barchetta, Prototype (Red Star, 1999) 

Red Barchetta (Exit Stage Right, 2002) 

Red Barchetta (Piano Tribute, 2006) 

Red Barchetta (Run for Cover, 2007) 

Closer to the Heart, A Farewell to Kings, 1977 (4 versions)

Closer To The Heart"", Fates Warning (Working Man, 1996) 

Closer to the Heart (Exit Stage Right, 2002) 

Closer to the Heart (Baroque Tribute, 2004) 

Closer to the Heart (Piano Tribute, 2006) 

The Spirit of Radio, Permanent Waves, 1980 (4 versions)

The Spirit of Radio, Premonition (Red Star, 1999) 

The Spirit of Radio (Exit Stage Right, 2002) 

The Spirit of Radio, Kip Winger (Subdivisions, 2005) 

The Spirit of Radio (Piano Tribute, 2006) 

Limelight, Moving Pictures, 1981 (4 versions)

Limelight (Baroque Tribute, 2004) 

Limelight, Kip Winger (Subdivisions, 2005) 

Limelight (Piano Tribute, 2006) 

Limelight (Run for Cover, 2007) 

Subdivisions, Signals, 1982 (4 versions)

Subdivisions, Hostile Intent (Red Star, 1999) 

Subdivisions, Randy Jackson (Subdivisions, 2005) 

Subdivisions (Piano Tribute, 2006) 

Subdivisions (Run for Cover, 2007) 

Working Man, Rush, 1974 (3 versions)

Working Man, Sebastian Bach (Working Man, 1996) 

Working Man, Killingfield (Red Star, 1999) 

Working Man, Murder 1 (Lush, 2007) 

Fly by Night, Fly by Night, 1975 (3 versions)

Fly by Night (Piano Tribute, 2006) 

Fly by Night (Baroque Tribute, 2004) 

Fly by Night, Sal Marrano (New World Man, 2010) 

Overture and Temples of Syrinx, 2112, 1976 (3 versions each)

The Temples of Syrinx, Blood Coven (Red Star, 1999) 

Overture/The Temples of Syrinx, Jani Lane (Subdivisions, 2005) 

The Temples of Syrinx (String Quartet, 2005) 

Overture (String Quartet, 2005) 

A Passage to Bangkok, 2112, 1976 (3 versions)

A Passage to Bangkok, Scary German Guy (Red Star, 1999) 

A Passage to Bangkok (Exit Stage Right, 2002) 

A Passage to Bangkok (String Quartet, 2005) 

Jacob’s Ladder, Permanent Waves, 1980 (3 versions)

Jacob’s Ladder"" Sebastian Bach (Working Man, 1996) 

Jacob’s Ladder (Exit Stage Right, 2002) 

Jacob’s Ladder (Run for Cover, 2007) 

New World Man, Signals, 1982 (3 versions)

New World Man (Piano Tribute, 2006) 

New World Man (Run for Cover, 2007) 

New World Man, Robert Berry (New World Man, 2010) 

Distant Early Warning, Grace Under Pressure, 1984 (3 versions)

Distant Early Warning (Baroque Tribute, 2004) 

Distant Early Warning, Randy Jackson (Subdivisions, 2005) 

Distant Early Warning (Run for Cover, 2007) 

What You’re Doing, Rush, 1974 (2 versions)

What You’re Doing, Hate Theory (Red Star, 1999) 

What You’re Doing, Ed Mundell (Lush, 2007) 

Bastille Day, Caress of Steel, 1975 (2 versions)

Bastille Day, Shallows of the Mundane (Red Star, 1999)

Bastille Day, Jani Lane (Subdivisions, 2005) 

Anthem, Fly by Night, 1975 (2 versions)

Anthem, Mark Slaughter (Working Man, 1996) 

Anthem, Engrave Speed Death (Red Star, 1999) 

Tears, 2112, 1976 (2 versions)

Tears, Capital 2 (Red Star, 1999) 

Tears (String Quartet, 2005) 

Xanadu, A Farewell to Kings, 1977 (2 versions)

Xanadu (Exit Stage Right, 2002) 

Xanadu (Run for Cover, 2007) 

Natural Science, Permanent Waves, 1980 (2 versions)

Natural Science"", Devin Townsend (Working Man, 1996) 

Natural Science (Run for Cover, 2007) 

YYZ, Moving Pictures, 1981 (2 versions)

YYZ"", James Murphy (Working Man, 1996) 

YYZ (Exit Stage Right, 2002) 

Force Ten, Hold Your Fire, 1987 (2 versions)

Force Ten (Baroque Tribute, 2004) 

Force Ten, Robert Berry (New World Man, 2010) 

 Click here for a look at the frequency with which Rush songs are compiled, recorded live, and recorded for tribute albums.

~ by rvkeeper on April 30, 2011.

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