Closer to the heart

"Closer to the Heart"
B-side Madrigal (USA)
Released October 1977
Format 7" / 12"
Recorded June 1977 at Rockfield Studios in South Wales, UK
Genre Progressive rock, hard rock
Length 2:53
Label Mercury
Writer(s) Music: Alex Lifeson, Geddy Lee
Lyrics: Neil Peart, Peter Talbot
Producer Rush, Terry Brown
Rush singles chronology

"Fly by Night" (Live)
"Closer to the Heart"
"Cinderella Man"

"Tom Sawyer" (Live)

"Closer to the Heart" (Live)

"New World Man"

"Closer to the Heart" is a single by Rush, released in 1977, from the album A Farewell to Kings. It was the first Rush song to have an external co-writer, namely Peter Talbot, a friend of drummer and lyricist Neil Peart. It was issued as a single for Christmas 1977, and after two near misses with "Fly By Night" and "Bastille Day" in 1975, it finally gave Rush their first hit single in the United Kingdom, reaching No. 36 in the UK Singles Chart in February 1978. "Closer To The Heart" was one of five Rush songs inducted into the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame on March 28, 2010.[1]

It is one of Rush's most popular recordings, receiving a fair amount of radio airplay still to this day. The song has also been part of the set list on nearly every tour since 1977. The band decided to drop "Closer To The Heart" for the bulk of their 2002 Vapor Trails Tour and the entire R30: 30th Anniversary Tour in 2004 because, according to Peart, "we got sick of it." The song was also not played during the 2007 and 2008 legs of the Snakes & Arrows Tour, but was brought back for the 2010 Time Machine Tour.

On their live albums A Show of Hands and Different Stages, Rush appended some jam type playing at the end of the performance. The version on the 1981 live album Exit...Stage Left ends with a segue into "Beneath, Between and Behind," and the one on Time Machine 2011: Live in Cleveland shifts into a triplet feel for the last verse.

On the original track and live performances from October, 1977 to May 1983 and then again from November 1996 to January 2005, Peart played his acoustic drum kit but used a Simmons (then later Drum) electronic drum kit in live performances of the track from June 1984 to May 1994. A 12-string guitar is also used.

During the third season of the Canadian television show Trailer Park Boys, Alex Lifeson makes an appearance, as well as the song. At the end of the episode, Lifeson and Bubbles play the song together. The R30 DVD includes a clip of the band playing the song with Bubbles and Barenaked Ladies member Ed Robertson.


  • Progressive band Fates Warning contributed a cover of "Closer To The Heart" on the Rush tribute compilation album Working Man, released November 30, 1995.
  • The introductory chords provided the basis for Landon Pigg's 2009 hit "Falling in Love at a Coffee Shop."
  • An orchestrated version of "Closer to the Heart" appears on Exit...Stage Left. The single release reached #69 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Track listing UK version

A Side

  1. "Closer to The Heart" - 2:53 (Lee/Lifeson/Peart/Talbot)

B side

  1. "Bastille Day" - 4:37 (Lee/Lifeson/Peart)
  2. "Anthem" - 4:10 (Lee/Lifeson/Peart)
  3. "The Temples of Syrinx" - 2:13 (Lee/Lifeson/Peart)

See also

  • List of Rush songs


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