rushtimeRush – Time Stand Still (Peart/Lifeson/Lee) b/w Force Ten (Peart/Dubois/Lifeson/Lee) 1987

As good as anything released in a vintage year for rock this lead single from the forthcoming record Hold Your Fire was about as commercial as you’ll ever get from the Canadian prog masters.

Short, surprisingly sweet and with a chorus you could almost describe as singalong this was the trio’s answer to the MTV generation even if it, and the remainder of the album it called home, was never fully embraced by Rush traditionalists.

It may not have made much of an impression Stateside but a peak of 41 in the UK singles chart demonstrates the marketability of a tune which took little getting used to. Housed in a seven inch sleeve which would turn out to be a mini version of the Hold Your Fire packaging, the striking white name on a deep red background meant this was one single which would look good in any vinyl collection.

The fact that it sounded great simply added value and there’s no doubt this song alone opened up Rush to the 80s hair metal generation just as it appeared there was no longer a place for complicated subject matter and mind-boggling time signatures.