Time Stand Still (song)

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"Time Stand Still"
Rush TIme Stand Still Single Cover.jpg
Single by Rush featuring Aimee Mann
from the album Hold Your Fire
B-side "High Water" (USA)
"Force Ten" (UK)
Released October 19, 1987
Length 5:07
Label Anthem (Canada)
Mercury (USA)
Writer(s) Neil Peart (lyrics)
Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson (music)
Producer(s) Peter Collins and Rush
Rush chronology
"Marathon"
(1986)
"Time Stand Still"
(1987)
"Mission"
(1988)

"Time Stand Still" is a single by the progressive band Rush that was featured on their 1987 album Hold Your Fire.[1] A music video for the song was directed by Zbigniew Rybczyński. Released as a single in 1987 credited to "Rush (featuring Aimee Mann)", "Time Stand Still" peaked at No. 3 on the U.S. mainstream rock charts. It was also a minor hit single in the United Kingdom, peaking at No. 42 on the Singles Chart. The song received positive reviews from critics and remains a fan favorite.

Development and composition[edit]

"Time Stand Still" was the first track Peart wrote for Hold Your Fire.[2] According to Peart, he wrote the lyrics of "Time Stand Still" based on his time with Rush. According to Peart:

"All through the '70s our lives were flying by; we spent so much time on the road that it became like a dark tunnel. You start to think about the people you're neglecting, friends and family. So the song is about stopping to enjoy that; with a warning against too much looking back. Instead of getting nostalgic about the past, it's more a plea for the present."[3]

"Time Stand Still" is played in the key of E major at a moderately fast rock tempo. The song starts in 7
4
time signature before going to common time by the first verse.[4] Former 'Til Tuesday member Aimee Mann briefly sings in each chorus of the song, marking Rush's first collaboration with another artist.[5] Alex Lifeson said that the band thought a female singer "would suit the song." Initially, they hoped for Cyndi Lauper, then later approached Chrissie Hynde because, according to Lifeson, "we thought she'd be perfect. But Chrissie was unavailable at the time..." Rush later called Mann to be featured,[6] and paid her $2,000 to sing in the song.[7] Lifeson said that "her voice blends with Geddy [Lee]'s perfectly and I think it creates the right atmosphere for the song. It's just something new for Rush..."[6]

Critical reception[edit]

In 2013, Popmatters writer Adrian Begrand listed "Time Stand Still" #8 on his "10 Songs That Will Make You Love Rush," calling it "Rush’s best pop moment."[8]

Music video[edit]

Zbigniew Rybczyński directed the video.

The song's music video was directed by Polish filmmaker Zbigniew Rybczyński. According to the editor of the video, Glen Lazarro:

"Zibig had shot footage of country landscapes for Rush. The idea was to shoot short pieces of Rush performing the song against green screen, then composite them together. When we started working, Zbig decided he loved the stage and wanted to composite Rush over that instead. I suggested that we shoot them live in the stage, but Zbig wanted everyone to “float” around it. He also insisted that everything had to happen “live.” Each new layer would be placed on top of the preceding layer without making protection copies or “laying off” a copy, as we used to say. The green screen footage was shot with the same giant studio camera Aimee Mann is using in the video. Zbig would give some vague direction to Rush; I would set up the effects, play the audio track and press record, causing multiple one-inch tape machines to roll up on the third floor."[9]

Aimee Mann appears with the band in the video, which was filmed over the course of an entire day.[10]

Live performances[edit]

The song was performed on the tours for the albums Hold Your Fire, Presto, Roll the Bones, and Counterparts. After not being played live for 16 years, it was included in the set list for the 2010-2011 Time Machine Tour. Live recordings of the song appear on the albums A Show of Hands (1988) and Time Machine 2011: Live in Cleveland (2011).

Chart positions[edit]

Chart (1987) Peak
position
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[11] 42
US Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks (Billboard)[12] 3
Canadian Chart (RPM)[13] 52

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Rush Gets In The Way Of Its Music". Los Angeles Daily News. February 6, 1988. Retrieved February 27, 2010. 
  2. ^ Peart, Neil. Fireworks: The Making of "Hold Your Fire. 2112.net. Accessed from June 21, 2013.
  3. ^ Milano, Breit (November 19, 1987). The Down-To-Earth RUSH. Boston Globe. Accessed from June 20, 2013.
  4. ^ Time Stand Still Digital Sheet Music by Rush. Sheet Music Plus. Accessed from June 21, 2013.
  5. ^ Strauss, Duncan (February 6, 1988). "Rush Delivery: They Could Have Mailed It In". Los Angeles Times. p. 6. Retrieved February 27, 2010. 
  6. ^ a b Putterford, Mark (October 17, 1987). Lifeson Times. Kerrang!. Accessed from June 21, 2013.
  7. ^ Klein, Joshua (November 15, 2000). Interview - Aimee Mann. The A.V. Club. Accessed from June 21, 2013.
  8. ^ Begrand, Andrian (April 17, 2013). 10 Songs That Will Make You Love Rush. Popmatters. Accessed from June 21, 2013.
  9. ^ Lazarro, Glen (August 11, 2011). Rush Job: Rush & Mr. Mister. 99tigers.com. Accessed from June 1, 2013.
  10. ^ Greene, Andy (2013-10-07). "Geddy Lee Dives Into Rush's Video Timeline". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2016-01-24. 
  11. ^ "October 1889/ Archive Chart: 31 October 1889" UK Singles Chart. Retrieved June 19, 2013.
  12. ^ Rush - Chart History: Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks. Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Accessed from June 19, 2013.
  13. ^ "Top Singles - Volume 47, No. 9, December 05 1987". RPM. Retrieved 2012-03-23.