A true fan favourite, the song is one of the band’s most radio-friendly tunes and is such an unforgettable and enduring rock anthem that over three decades later, it is still heard on the radio airwaves.
Neil Peart, considered by music fans, critics, and fellow musicians alike as one of the most articulate lyricists in the music industry, put some of his most moving thoughts down on paper in Closer to the Heart. Peter Talbot, a musician friend of Peart’s, co-wrote the lyrics to the track, with Lee and Lifeson composing the music.
Released on the 1977 album “A Farewell to Kings,” the song was Rush’s first hit single in the U.K., reaching number 36 on the charts in February 1978 and certified gold in album sales. “A Farewell to Kings” was also Rush’s first gold-certified album in the U.S. and reached number 33 on Billboard’s album charts. Soon after, it reached platinum-certified status in both the U.S. and Canada.
On the original recording of the song and in live performances, Peart played on an acoustic drum set, except between the years 1984 and 1994, where he used an electronic drum set.
The track has appeared on nearly every set list for most of Rush’s tours and subsequently on most of the band’s live albums, including “Exit…Stage Left” (1981), “A Show of Hands” (1989), “Different Stages” (1998), “Rush in Rio” (2003), “R:30 30th Anniversary World Tour” (2005), and “Grace Under Pressure Tour” (2006).
In the third season of the famed Canadian comedic television series “Trailer Park Boys”, Alex Lifeson makes a guest appearance and plays “Closer to the Heart” with Bubbles, one of the show’s main characters, at the end of the episode. In the “R:30” DVD, a clip is included of the entire band playing with Bubbles and Barenaked Ladies front-man Ed Robertson during the Tsunami Relief concert.