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The 5 songs Geddy Lee listed as some of his favorites of all time

Geddy Lee
Images from CBC and Rush's Instagram


The 5 songs Geddy Lee listed as some of his favorites of all time

Rush’s co-founder, bassist, keyboardist and singer Geddy Lee was a crucial part of the band and alongside Alex Lifeson and Neil Peart made the group one of the most successful of all time. Mixing Progressive and Hard Rock, Rush became an inspiration for countless musicians worldwide and showed on their sound all the different influences they had.


Over the decades, Lee always praised the groups he liked and in an interview with Rolling Stone magazine (Transcribed by Rush is a Band) in 2013, he listed some of his favorite songs of all time. To show a little more about his love for those groups, Rock and Roll Garage also added to that list some other interestings things Lee said about them.

The 5 songs Geddy Lee listed as some of his favorites of all time

The Who “My Generation”

“So much of what I wanted to do when I was growing up was fashioned after listening to The Who. The bass is almost the lead instrument here, and that speaks to me, obviously,” Geddy Lee told Rolling Stone.

His love for The Who really started in the 60s and he was lucky enough to have seen them playing live in Canada back then not once, but several times. He also mentioned several times The Who’s guitarist and main songwriter Pete Townshend as one of the songwriters who inspired him the most. He even chose in an interview with Classic Rock in 2020, the album “Who’s Next” (1971) as the best of all time. According to him, that record has all the best things about Rock and Roll music, also saying that almost every track is a classic.

He is right since some of the songs of the album are “Baba O’Riley”, “Going Mobile”, “Behind Blue Eyes” and “Won’t Get Fooled Again”.

Fleet Foxes “Your Protector”

“I’ve spent so much time listening to this. I’m moved by the unusual melody and harmony structures, the production and the great singing,” Geddy Lee told Rolling Stone. The youngest band listed by Geddy Lee, Fleet Foxes was formed in Seattle, Washington in 2006 and is often described as an Indie Folk group.

Until now they have released four studio albums, the most recent one being “Shore” (2020), but Geddy’s favorite is their self-titled debut album released in 2008. That’s the album on which the song “Your Protector” was featured and at the time peaked at number 3 on the UK albums chart and 36 on the United States Billboard 200 charts.

In an interview with The Quietus in 2012, he had already listed that record as one of his favorites of all time. He said he admired the group because they had no desire to appear “trendy” and that they really were “genuine”. Lee also said that everything on the album was “old” but when everything was put together was “truly groundbreaking”.

Björk “Isobel”

“This is a beautiful song. Björk‘s voice just slays me. I love how much emotion she brings to her songs. Even when I don’t understand what she’s singing about – which is quite often,” Geddy Lee said to Rolling Stone. Not many Rush fans would expect the musician to say he likes the kind of music the Icelandic musician Björk makes. But he is really a big fan of her work and had praised her many times since the 90s.

Although she is a successful artist, Lee even believes she is underrated. That’s what he told The Quietus in 2012 when he picked her 1995 album “Post” as one of his favorites. He said that she doesn’t get the credit she deserves and that she was never afraid to try new things. Something that is not easy for pop stars, since they usually prefer to follow the trends. Lee described her work as “Just great music powered by an immense imagination.”

By 2018 she had sold an estimated amount of more than 22 million records worldwide. But besides being a musician, Björk is also an actress. She appeared in the movies: “The Juniper Tree” (1990), “Dancer In The Dark” (2000), “Drawing Restraint 9” (2005) and “The Northman” (2022).

Led Zeppelin “Communication Breakdown”

“I’ll never forget us sitting around my room in 1969, listening to this song. We were blown away. Zep started a heaviness that didn’t really exist before that,” Geddy Lee told Rolling Stone.

Led Zeppelin is another legendary British band that Geddy Lee saw playing live when he was still a teenager. He saw Page, Plant, Jones and Bonham when they were still promoting the band’s debut album. They played in a small theater in Canada and Lee saw them up close. He even said many times that they literally made parts of the ceiling fall that night.

In an interview with CBC (Transcribed by Rock and Roll Garage), the musician also said that Page “floated” on stage. “(Watching them) had a tremendous impact. Musicians talk about life-changing moments and I mean, lots of people talk about life-changing moments. It’s hard to take that expression seriously. But I can say in all honesty that for me and Alex Lifeson, my bff and my partner in crime for a million years. Also for John Rutsey who was our drummer at the time it was a life-changing experience.”

He continued:

“We sat there in the second row and Jimmy Page didn’t walk on stage. He floated on stage, I’m sure there was a cloud under his feet. It was such a profoundly intense Rock experience. The raptors were literally shaking and plaster was literally falling off the ceiling. They really brought the house down. It was a kind of Rock music that we had never really heard or felt in that way,” Geddy Lee said.

Jethro Tull “Thick as a Brick”

“I know this betrays me as the progger I am. But it was such a favorite piece of music for so many, many years. It was just pure prog magic. To me, it was the ultimate thing to aspire to,” Geddy Lee told Rolling Stone.

He always have been a huge fan of Jethro Tull and is one of the Progressive Rock groups which inspired him the most. During his spoken-word tour to promote his autobiography “My Effin Life” in 2023, he said that the band should have definitely be in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He noted that is was terrible that Rush for example was inducted before them.

He said (Transcribed by Rock and Roll Garage) ““There are a lot of bands that come to mind. But the first band of course is Jethro Tull. I mean, I love Jethro Tull so much. They were so inspirational to me and I talk about this in the book. (…) So the fact that they are not in the Hall of Fame is just plain wrong. The fact that we are there before them is just plain wrong. So I hope they will correct that one day,” Geddy Lee said.

I'm a Brazilian journalist who always loved Classic Rock and Heavy Metal music. That passion inspired me to create Rock and Roll Garage over 6 years ago. Music has always been a part of my life, helping me through tough times and being a support to celebrate the good ones. When I became a journalist, I knew I wanted to write about my passions. After graduating in journalism from the Pontifical Catholic University of Minas Gerais, I pursued a postgraduate degree in digital communication at the same institution. The studies and experience in the field helped me improve the website and always bring the best of classic rock to the world! MTB: 0021377/MG

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