“It was the first kind of ‘bass solo’ I’d been allowed to throw on a Rush song. I wanted to trade off with Alex, but he didn’t want to get into that”: Geddy Lee offers his track-by-track guide to Vapor Trails – the album that saved Rush

SEPTEMBER 08: WEMBLEY ARENA Photo of Geddy LEE and RUSH, Geddy Lee performing live onstage, playing Fender Jazz Bass guitar
(Image credit: Getty Images)

When you've been recording nearly an album a year since the mid '70s, how do you come up with something fresh? Try taking five years off. That's what Geddy Lee and Rush did before getting back together in 2001 to record Vapor Trails, the band's 17th studio album. 

In the down time, Lee remained musically active by producing local artists in Toronto and recording a solo album, 2000's My Favorite Headache. Far from stagnating, he evolved significantly as a bassist. “My bass playing has gone into such a weird zone,” Lee told Bass Player in 2002. “I’ve carried that on to a ridiculous degree.”

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Karl Coryat was Deputy Editor of Bass Player magazine in the 1990s. In the 2000s, he wrote two music books: Guerrilla Home Recording and The Frustrated Songwriter’s Handbook, the latter with Nicholas Dobson. In 1996, he was a two-day champion on the television game show Jeopardy!. He works as a comedian and musician under the pseudonyms Edward (or Eddie) Current.