The Rush album Geddy Lee found most difficult to sing

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In the world of rock bands, singers often face the challenge of maintaining their vocal prowess as the years roll by.

While musicians can tune or replace their instruments, singers solely rely on their vocal cords. This becomes harder with age. Geddy Lee of Rush is a prime example.

Though he managed to shine in all of Rush’s phases, there’s one album he’s hesitant to revisit.

Even before Rush’s rise to fame, many were captivated by Lee’s unique voice, which rested somewhere between Robert Plant’s sharp notes and a piercing shriek. His high-pitched voice always stood out, providing a stable anchor for the band’s progressive rock sound.

However, not all critics appreciated Lee’s distinctive vocals. In the documentary “Beyond the Light Stage,” Rush mentioned some colorful descriptions of Lee’s voice, comparing him to “Mickey Mouse on helium” and more extreme comparisons.

Yet, criticism never held Lee back. He continued to evolve his singing style. From the intense “Fly By Night” to the mellowed “Nobody’s Hero”, Lee’s voice remained a consistent presence.

When it came to performing live, Lee confessed that their “Hemispheres” album was a tough one. Renowned for its progressive rock brilliance, this album pushed Lee’s vocals to their limits. He revealed to Rolling Stone that the songs were composed without much thought to vocals, leading to challenges in the studio.

Recording wasn’t smooth for the rest of the band either. During the instrumental piece “La Villa Strangiato,” the band spent weeks perfecting the track, eventually splitting it into three parts.

Though Rush did perform some tracks from the album live, they recognized their songwriting at times exceeded their performance abilities. This realization led to a shift in their subsequent albums, where they leaned into more accessible tunes, yet maintaining their intricate sound, as heard in hits like “The Spirit of Radio” and “Tom Sawyer.”

Lee was a purist in many ways. While it would’ve been simpler to lower the pitch of their songs for live performances, he was against it, believing it would be too significant a compromise.

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