Mission (song)

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Rush Mission.jpg
Single by Rush
from the album Hold Your Fire
Released 1989[1]
Format 12" promo
Recorded 1987
Length 5:16
Label Anthem Records, Mercury Records
Songwriter(s) Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson, Neil Peart
Producer(s) Peter Collins and Rush
Rush singles chronology
"Time Stand Still"
"Show Don't Tell"
"Time Stand Still"
"Show Don't Tell"

"Mission" is a song by Canadian rock band Rush from the 1987 album Hold Your Fire.

Writing and structure[edit]

"Mission" was inspired from a conversation Neil Peart and Geddy Lee had about people who were not satisfied with the lives of people in their age group. Peart said that the lyrics are related to a tendency that people have for idealizing the lifestyle of others. People tend to imagine that those who are rich and famous are to be viewed as people who have fewer personal issues than ordinary people. However, he argues that every life has its own level of "toughness." As an example of this idea, he recounts that people used to refer to him as someone who has the best job in the world. He claims that he is very proud of being a musician, which was a job that he dreamed of in his youth. However, he claims people tend not to realize that being away from family for several months while on tour is not as easy as others make it sound. A key verse to express that concept says "We each pay a fabulous price for our visions of paradise," referring to personal sacrifices he had to make to achieve his dream.[2]

A Sputnikmusic review gave a description of "Mission" as a "rocky ballad."[3] It plays in a D major key, though key changes into Bmajor occur in certain parts of the song. Most of the song is played at a moderate tempo in a time signature of common time. However, the musical interlude between the second chorus and final verse is played in 5
.[4] The song features prominent keyboard parts played by Geddy Lee.[citation needed] When working on the song in Britain, producer Peter Collins added brass and choir instrumentation.[5][6] The brass was performed by the William Faery brass band, and was recorded in Oldham, England.[5] Collins also suggested that new verses be added to the song.[7] A marimba solo is played in the song, in unison with the snare drum and bass.[8] The marimba was a KAT mini-marimba sampled in the AKAI S-900 sampler.[9]

Critical reception[edit]

Music critics gave "Mission" good reviews. Metal Storm considered the song, along with "Lock and Key", a classic moment from Hold Your Fire.[10] The song was called by Allmusic a "sheer beauty".[11]

Live performances[edit]

"Mission" was performed live during the Hold Your Fire tour (1988), the Presto tour (1990), and the Snakes & Arrows tour (2007-2008).[citation needed]


Chart Peak
US Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks (Billboard)[12] 33


  1. ^ Rush Mission Canada Promo 12" vinyl single. Eli.com. Accessed from June 21, 2013.
  2. ^ Peart, Neil (2004). Traveling Music: The Soundtrack to My Life and Times. ECW Press. pp. 198–199. 
  3. ^ Rush - Hold Your Fire (album review 2). Sputnikmusic. December 28, 2005. Accessed from June 23, 2013.
  4. ^ Mission Sheet Music. onlinesheetmusic.com. Accessed from June 21, 2013.
  5. ^ a b Collins, Jon (2010). Rush: Chemistry. Helter Skelter Publishing. ISBN 1905139284.  Info from book adopted by 2112.net Archived 2009-11-21 at the Wayback Machine..
  6. ^ Popoff, Martin (2004). Contents Under Pressure: 30 Years of Rush at Home and Away. ECW Press. p. 132. ISBN 1550226789. 
  7. ^ Peart, Neil. Firework: The Making of "Hold Your Fire" Archived 2013-10-04 at the Wayback Machine.. 2112.net. Accessed from June 21, 2013.
  8. ^ Parisi, Deborah (February 1988). Fire in the Hold. Music Technology. Accessed from June 21, 2013.
  9. ^ Neil Peart Archived 2014-03-05 at the Wayback Machine.. effingham.net. Accessed from June 17, 2013.
  10. ^ Espiau, Olivier (23 April 2010). "Rush - Hold Your Fire". Metal Storm. Retrieved 2011-11-20. 
  11. ^ Rivadavia, Eduardo. "Hold Your Fire - Rush". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 2013-06-23. 
  12. ^ Rush - Chart History: Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks. Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Accessed from June 21, 2013.

See also[edit]