‘Working Man’ Riff Finds Permanent Home in ‘By-Tor’
I was just listening to the 1974 Rush ABC live version of “Working Man” the other day and realized Alex’s solo included one of the riffs that later shows up in the 1975 studio version “By-Tor and the Snow Dog.” I put the two versions side by side and they’re identical, suggesting Alex had developed the riff while playing “Working Man” live on their debut tour and wanted to find a permanent place for it, so he parked it in “By-Tor,” where it works great. In fact, it’s one of the most memorable parts of the song. To give it that “By-Tor” feel, they added in that growling sound that makes it sound like one of the dogs is getting the better of the other.
In any case, in this 30-second video I put together, you can hear the two versions next to each other. I also charted the tabs, so you can follow along with a bouncing red ball to see how the riff is played.
Credit for the tablature of the riff goes to Jimmy Pena, whose work is on Ultimate Guitar.
What makes Alex’s playing unique? You decide!