Listen to Geddy Lee’s isolated bassline on Freewill. The Rush song Alex Lifeson said was their “most ambitious”

Alex Lifeson (L) and Geddy Lee of Rush perform in concert at The Frank Erwin Center on April 23, 2013 in Austin, Texas.
(Image credit: Photo by Rick Kern/WireImage)

Interviewed in 1999 for Bassist magazine, Rush legend Geddy Lee singled out Freewill from the band's 1980 studio album, Permanent Waves, as a song that helped redefine who and what Rush were as a trio. “The body of the song is not difficult,” said Geddy. “Alex and I wrote that part together and we kind of mimic each other on that. What makes it really interesting is when I lock in with the drums, which leaves Alex free to play around the rhythm with chordal patterns – that's what makes it such a great trio piece.”

Speaking to MusicRadar, guitarist Alex Lifeson said the song was "probably one of the most ambitious pieces of music Rush has ever done." He also revealed that his guitar solo was spontaneous. “Recording it, I didn’t have anything planned; I was just responding to what the other guys did. In a sense, everybody’s soloing at the same time. It’s so frenetic and exciting – Geddy and Neil are all over the place. I was just trying to keep up!”

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Nick Wells

Nick Wells was the Editor of Bass Guitar magazine from 2009 to 2011, before making strides into the world of Artist Relations with Sheldon Dingwall and Dingwall Guitars. He's also the producer of bass-centric documentaries, Walking the Changes and Beneath the Bassline, as well as Production Manager and Artist Liaison for ScottsBassLessons. In his free time, you'll find him jumping around his bedroom to Kool & The Gang while hammering the life out of his P-Bass.