Rush – Middletown Dreams

Prog rockers Rush, at their concerts, probably see a lot of grey pony tails in the audience. They were inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame this year after decades of their complicated, and often philosophical, recordings being adored by a passionate, even cult-like following.

This song, from their 1985 album, Power Windows, is a deep cut with many musical and melodic niceties, though now perhaps dated by the keyboard sounds. It appears to be about suburbia.

We often read and hear how modern life is a an urban one, but it may be more apt to call it a suburban existence: most people don’t live in the downtowns of their city, but on its peripheries. The suburbs are typically criticized for a sameness most famously articulated by folkie Pete Seeger, with Little Boxes. They are also the bane of progressive urban planners who highlight the economic, social and environmental costs of sprawling cities.

Rush nonetheless notes that “life’s not unpleasant” in these neighbourhoods, so long as one holds onto their dreams, whatever they may be.

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