The Only Rush Song Geddy Lee Ridiculed

Almost every band goes through a period when they feel like being experimental with their music which often ends with a triumph masterpiece or an epic disaster as there’s no in-between. When the consequence is the latter, it’s always nice to see the creators of this bizarre music come forward about their past mistakes.

In Rush’s case, they had their fair share of trying out new infusions with their 1987 album, ‘Hold Your Fire.’ While it’s questionable if it worked out for them, bassist Geddy Lee thinks one song, in particular, was easily one of their worst records ever. Let’s take a look at the story behind the track named ‘Tai Shan‘ and why Lee makes fun of it.

Rush Released ‘Tai Shan’ With ‘Hold Your Fire’

Rush released its twelfth studio album named ‘Hold Your Fire‘ on September 8, 1987. It was not as commercially successful as most of the band’s releases of the 1980s since the record only peaked at no. 13 on Billboard charts which was the lowest chart peak for a Rush album since 1978’s ‘Hemispheres.’

Though the album later led to the creation of a cult despite its poor commercial success, there’s one song in it that’s up to question if Rush should’ve recorded it in the first place. That is the ninth song entitled ‘Tai Shan,’ which was an experiment in composition.

The song was influenced by classical Chinese music, and its title was a reference to Mount Tai in China. Drummer Neil Peart first became aware of the mountain during a bicycle trip in China and decided to write a song about his discovery.

Geddy Lee Made Fun Of The Song ‘Tai Shan’

In a 2009 interview with Blender, Geddy Lee expressed regret in including ‘Tai Shan’ on the album after a fan referred to him as the greatest musician of all time who plays in the greatest band in history. According to the musician, the band made mistakes in the past, like that song, which he humorously referred to as an ‘error.’

About the song, Lee said:

“What drugs are you taking, Stale? Sometimes I listen to my voice when I was really young, and it makes me laugh because I was so cartoony. It’s like looking at an old photograph: ‘Holy fuck, what was I thinking?’ You’re supposed to be crappy when you make your first three or four records.

But even in our middle period, we did this song called ‘Tai Shan,’ using a poem Neil wrote about climbing a mountain in China, and when I listen to that, it’s like, ‘Bzzt. Error…’ We should have known better.”

Apparently, Lee isn’t the only member who talks ill about the song, as guitarist Alex Lifeson also had a hard time liking the track. In fact, the rocker said that ‘Tai Shan’ is easily one of the worst songs they ever recorded during a conversation with Classic Rock back in 2016.

Lifeson’s pick of the worst Rush song follows:

“‘Tai Shan’ is one of the worst, easily. And Panacea. It was an attempt at something that didn’t really work out. It was… innocent.”

Fast forward to 2019, the Rush bassist was asked about the things he doesn’t like on ‘Tai Shan’ during a Q&A session. Apparently, the song was particularly important to Neil Peart, whereas Lee and Lifeson couldn’t connect to its storyline as they didn’t record it while they were standing on top of a mountain.

As a result, Geddy Lee and Neil Peart only made fun of the song‘s one-of-a-kind tune, which doesn’t resonate with many other people as well. Furthermore, the musician said that the band members really need all the material they could get to make fun of each other, and ‘Tai-Shan’ gave them the perfect excuse for it.

The musician explained:

“It’s just one of those songs that Alex and I like to make fun of. At the time I was singing it, I wasn’t standing on a mountain top. Because it was such a personal song for Neil, and it was such a great moment for me, Alex and I had a hard time putting ourselves in it. And guys in bands really need all the ammunition we can get to make fun of each other. It just sort of landed on ‘Tai-shan.'”

You can check out ‘Tai Shan’ by Rush and the Q&A session mentioned below.