Alex Lifeson, the guitarist for Rush, has achieved absolute success. He was not only a vital member of one of the greatest and most influential bands of all time, but he is also one of the all-time greatest guitarists. Lifeson’s accomplishments don’t end there; he is a renowned multi-instrumentalist and has had a successful career outside of the Canadian trio. Lifeson and Rush teammates Geddy Lee and Neil Peart were elected into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2013 as a testimonial to their greatness as a unit.
Rush has released a number of critically praised albums, ranging from 1976’s 2112 to 1991’s Roll the Bones, so it seems natural that the issue of which is Alex Lifeson’s favorite has persisted for so long. He eventually responded to it in 2021. Alex Lifeson cited one of their most well-regarded albums, Moving Pictures, in an interview with Create Weird Music, stating unequivocally that it “was by far the greatest record that we made.”
Moving Pictures was a lot of fun for the three to create, and Alex Lifeson recalls that everything “fell into place” at that time. In the end, he thinks the positive energy he experienced while creating and recording the song contributed to its popularity. After all, the CD has timeless songs like “Tom Sawyer” and “YYZ.” More specifically, Lifeson stated:
“Moving Pictures was by far the greatest record that we made. And, from our perspective, we had such a great time making that record. We were in a great space, we spent the summer working fairly close to Toronto – to home – writing it.”
He added, “When we went to the studio and started recording, everything about it fell into place. We really, really enjoyed the experience. I thought the material was strong and all that stuff. But the recording process itself was really a lot of fun, and for the most part quite smooth. And that doesn’t happen really very often. I could tell you horror stories about Grace Under Pressure — that was so difficult to make, and Vapor Trails.”
Lifeson followed by elaborating on what made seeing moving pictures such a thrill. “But Moving Pictures was really a delight. When we came to ‘Vital Signs’ song, and I have to jog my memory. We had songs on the record like ‘YYZ’ and ‘Limelight’ and ‘Tom Sawyer’ that were pretty big, rock, traditional rock songs. Maybe a little more concise than our previous writing as we were moving into that kind of writing economy that we sort of moved into from the late ’70s.”
“But when we came to that, it was just really different in the way we arranged it and put it together. Starting with the sequencer and having that part, and working out a guitar part above that, around that, and Neil was really into that kind of a drum approach. To that ska sort of thing, more reggae-ish. And when I say reggae, I mean modern white reggae.”
The guitarist concluded, “He was really looking forward to that, and he was messing around with electronic drums at the time too. So it all became a part of this little exploration, and it touched on certain things that were coming to the world from that point forward. So that’s really it, I don’t really remember too much else about it.”