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"Closer to the Heart" is a song by Canadian rock band Rush. It was released in October 1977 as the lead single from their fifth studio album A Farewell to Kings. It was the first Rush song to feature a non-member as a songwriter in Peter Talbot,[1] a friend of drummer and lyricist Neil Peart. It was Rush's first hit single in the United Kingdom, reaching number 36 in the UK Singles Chart in February 1978. It also peaked at number 45 in Canada and number 76 on the US Billboard Hot 100. It was inducted into the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame on March 28, 2010.[2]

"Closer to the Heart"
Closer to the Heart.jpg
Single by Rush
from the album A Farewell to Kings
ReleasedOctober 18, 1977
Format7-inch single
RecordedJune 23, 1977
StudioRockfield Studios, South Wales, UK
Composer(s)Alex Lifeson, Geddy Lee
Lyricist(s)Neil Peart, Peter Talbot
Producer(s)Rush, Terry Brown
Rush singles chronology
"Fly by Night"
"Closer to the Heart"
"Cinderella Man"

A live version of the song was released as a single in 1981 as the lead single from their live album, Exit...Stage Left which peaked at number 69 on the US Billboard Hot 100.

The band's frontman, Geddy Lee, said of the song:

I remember when we had to bring it back into the set for the Rio shows, as there was such a demand to hear it and we’d stopped playing it for a while. It's always resonated with people for some reason, and it was a hit as far as we've ever had a hit. It got us on the radio, the kinds of radio that would never normally associate with us, so it was as close as we ever came to a pop song, especially at that point. Over here in the UK it had that effect, and in the US too.[3]



One of Rush's most popular songs, it has been performed live regularly since its release. It was not played for the bulk of the Vapor Trails Tour (2002), the R30 Tour (2004), and the Snakes & Arrows Tour (2007–08).[citation needed] The song returned to Rush's setlists during the 2010–11 Time Machine Tour. After not being performed on the 2012–13 Clockwork Angels Tour, it was brought back for the 2015 R40 Live Tour.

The live albums A Show of Hands and Different Stages feature performances of the song with jam-style playing after the last verse. On the 1981 live album Exit...Stage Left, the song segues into "Beneath, Between and Behind", and on Time Machine 2011: Live in Cleveland, it shifts into a triplet feel for the last verse. On the DVD release of the latter album, a polka rendition of the song is played during the end credits.

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.[citation needed]

In 2005, Rush performed the song with Mike Smith (in character as Bubbles from Trailer Park Boys) and Ed Robertson of Barenaked Ladies as part of a CBC telethon for the Canadian Tsunami Disaster Fund. This performance is included on the R30: 30th Anniversary World Tour DVD.

Track listing UK versionEdit

A SideEdit

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

B sideEdit

  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)


Weekly chartsEdit

Chart (1977–78) Peak
Canada Top Singles (RPM)[4] 45
US Billboard Hot 100[5] 76
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[6] 36
Chart (1981–82) Peak
US Billboard Hot 100[5] 69
US Mainstream Rock (Billboard)[7] 21

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Rush "Retrospective" release 1997
  2. ^ Infantry, Ashante (2010-01-20). "New home a place to sing praises of our songwriters". The Toronto Star. Retrieved 2010-06-16.
  3. ^ Rush "Retrospective" release 1997
  4. ^ "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". Archived from the original on March 15, 2012. Retrieved February 3, 2019.
  5. ^ a b "Rush Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved February 3, 2019.
  6. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company.
  7. ^ "Rush Chart History (Mainstream Rock)". Billboard. Retrieved February 3, 2019.