Closer to the Heart

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"Closer to the Heart"
Single by Rush
from the album
A Farewell to Kings
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(s) 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 a credited writer who was not a band member in Peter Talbot,[1] 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.[2]

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. The song was brought back for the 2010 and 2011 legs of the Time Machine Tour, but it was dropped again for the 2012-2013 Clockwork Angels Tour. It has been re-added for the 2015 R40 Live 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. The band performs a polka rendition during the closing credits for the latter DVD.

Although the original recording and most live performances feature acoustic drums, Peart used an electronic drum kit to play the song in concerts from 1984 to 1994.

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 (Mike Smith) play the song together. In 2005, the band performed the song with Smith (in character as Bubbles) and Barenaked Ladies frontman Ed Robertson as part of a CBC telethon for the Canadian Tsunami Disaster Fund; this performance is included on the R30: 30th Anniversary World Tour DVD.


  • The introductory chords provided the basis for Landon Pigg's 2009 hit "Falling in Love at a Coffee Shop."

Track listing UK version[edit]

A Side[edit]

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

B side[edit]

  1. "Bastille Day" - 4:37 (Lee/Lifeson/Peart)
  2. "Anthem" - 4:10 (Lee/Lifeson/Peart) [only on 12"]
  3. "The Temples of Syrinx" - 2:13 (Lee/Lifeson/Peart)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Rush "Retrospective" release 1997
  2. ^ Infantry, Ashante (2010-01-20). "(News) New home a place to sing praises of our songwriters". The Toronto Star. Retrieved 2010-06-16.