Manhattan Project is a 1985 song by Canadianprogressive rock band Rush, named for the WWII project that created the first atomic bomb. Lyricist Neil Peart read ten books about the Manhattan Project before writing the lyrics so that he had a proper understanding of what the project was really about. This song appeared on the 1985 album Power Windows, Rush's eleventh studio album. "Manhattan Project" is the third track on the album, and clocks in at 5:07. It consists of four verses, addressing:
The chorus refers to the explosion as "the big bang", in allusion to the start of a new universe following the singular event (although the absolute reference is the use of Big Boy and Little Boy, America's two nuclear bombs to bring an end to the Pacific conflict with Japan, which only happened after both were dropped) repeating the theme of the verses marking when and/or where "it all began". While nuclear warfare may be seen as the ultimate pinnacle of human fear, lyricist Neil Peart does not include this song as being part of Rush's Fear series. Rush performed the song live on their Power Windows, Hold Your Fire, Presto, and Clockwork Angels tours, and in fact, on all tours since its release.