The Necromancer (song)

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For other uses, see Necromancer (disambiguation).
"The Necromancer"
Song by Rush from the album Caress of Steel
Released September 1975
Recorded June–July 1975
Genre Progressive rock, hard rock
Length 12:30
Label Anthem Records (Canada)
Mercury Records
Writer(s) Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson
Lyrics by Neil Peart
Producer(s) Rush & Terry Brown
Caress of Steel track listing
"Lakeside Park"
(3)
"The Necromancer"
(4)
"The Fountain of Lamneth"
(5)
"The Necromancer: Return of the Prince"
Single by Rush
from the album
Caress of Steel
Released 1976
Recorded June–July 1975
Genre Progressive rock
Length 3:52
Writer(s) Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson
Lyrics by Neil Peart
Rush singles chronology
"Making Memories"
(1975)
"The Necromancer: Return of the Prince"
(1976)
"Lakeside Park"
(1976)

The Necromancer is a song by Rush from their 1975 album Caress of Steel subtitled "A Short Story by Rush." It was one of Rush's first attempts at writing an epic progressive rock piece, along with "The Fountain of Lamneth." The two songs are often blamed for the commercial failure of Caress of Steel. Part III, titled "Return of the Prince", was released as a single in some countries. No official live recordings of the song have been released, but it appears on a bootleg entitled "Rush: Caught In The Act," which was recorded with an 8mm video recorder on May 15, 1975 in Rochester, New York by an audience member.

The song is heavily inspired by the high fantasy legendarium of author J.R.R. Tolkien. Many parallels can be drawn between the song's tale and the stories of Tolkien, and several references are made to characters and locations in Tolkien's stories. In particular, the title and antagonist of this song were inspired by a character in Tolkien's The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings: the Necromancer (a pseudonym for Sauron).

In the third part of the song, titled "Return of the Prince", a character from their previous album, Fly by Night, named By-Tor, returns. In By-Tor and the Snow Dog, By-Tor is a villain, and attempts to take over the overworld. However, By-Tor is a hero in The Necromancer, supposedly having freed the prisoners from the necromancer's lair. This has not been explained by Rush.

Parts[edit]

The song consists of three parts:

  • I. Into the Darkness - 4:20
  • II. Under the Shadow - 4:25
  • III. Return of the Prince - 3:51

Personnel[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]