The Spirit of Radio


About The Spirit of Radio

"The Spirit of Radio" is a song released in 1980 by the Canadian rock band Rush from their album Permanent Waves. The song's name was inspired by Toronto radio station CFNY-FM's slogan. It was significant in the growing popularity of the band.


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Begin the day
With a friendly voice
A companion, unobtrusive
Plays that song that's so elusive
And the magic music makes your morning mood 

Off on your way
Hit the open road
There is magic at your fingers
For the spirit ever lingers
Undemanding contact
In your happy solitude 

Invisible airwaves 
Crackle with life 
Bright antennae bristle 
With the energy 
Emotional feedback 
On a timeless wavelength 
Bearing a gift beyond price 
Almost free

All this machinery
Making modern music
Can still be open-hearted
Not so coldly charted
It's really just a question
Of your honesty, yeah your honesty 

One likes to believe
In the freedom of music
But glittering prizes
And endless compromises
Shatter the illusion
Of integrity, yeah

Invisible airwaves 
Crackle with life 
Bright antennae bristle 
With the energy 
Emotional feedback 
On a timeless wavelength 
Bearing a gift beyond price 
Almost free

For the words of the profits 
Were written on the studio wall 
Concert hall
And echoes with the sounds, of salesmen, of salesmen, of salesmen

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Rush is a Canadian rock band formed in August 1968, in the Willowdale neighbourhood of Toronto, Ontario. The band is composed of bassist, keyboardist, and lead vocalist Geddy Lee, guitarist and backing vocalist Alex Lifeson, and drummer, percussionist and lyricist Neil Peart. The band and its membership went through a number of re-configurations between 1968 and 1974, achieving their iconic lineup when Peart replaced original drummer John Rutsey in July 1974, two weeks before the group's first United States tour. Rutsey's departure stemmed primarily from health concerns regarding his diabetes. In 2015 the band played their final show due to Peart's declining health. more »

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Written by: Alex Zivojinovich, Gary Lee Weinrib, Neil Elwood Peart


Lyrics Licensed & Provided by LyricFind

10 facts about this song

Release Date
"The Spirit of Radio" was released as a single by Rush in 1980. It's the first track on their album "Permanent Waves."
The song's title was inspired by Toronto radio station CFNY's slogan, which was dubbed as "The Spirit of Radio".
The song was written by all three members of Rush - Geddy Lee, Neil Peart, and Alex Lifeson.
Chart Performance
When it was released as a single, "The Spirit of Radio" peaked at #51 on the USA Billboard Hot 100, making it the band's second highest charting single in the country. In the UK, it reached #13, becoming Rush's biggest hit in the country.
Music Style
The song is known for its mix of progressive rock and reggae styles, showcasing Rush's musical diversity.
Lyric Theme
The lyrics lament the commercialization of radio broadcasting, veering away from the creativity and artistry it initially embodied.
It was amongst five Rush songs inducted into the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame on March 28, 2010.
Cover Versions
"The Spirit of Radio" has been covered by a number of artists. Notably, British rock band The Foo Fighters covered the song in their second studio album "The Colour and the Shape" as a bonus track.
In Popular Culture
This track is also featured in the video game "Guitar Hero 5" as a playable song, amplifying its recognition among younger audiences in the 21st century.
Signature Song
Despite its moderate chart performance at the time of its release, "The Spirit of Radio" has since become one of Rush's most popular and beloved songs. It is often lauded as one of the best examples of their musicianship and intricate songwriting style.

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    The Spirit of Radio

    14,119     560

    Top Hot 100 Songs 1980

    Billboard #51



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