Deep Dive: Geddy Lee, MY FAVORITE HEADACHE
Today we celebrate the birthday of a true Canadian icon: Geddy Lee, lead singer of Rush. To commemorate the occasion, we’ve decided to bypass the usual look back at the band’s Atlantic Records catalog and instead do a deep dive into Lee’s lone solo album...or at least the lone one so far. (Here at Rhino HQ, we’re nothing if not optimistic!)
MY FAVORITE HEADACHE – or if you’re Canadian, MY FAVOURITE HEADACHE – came into existence predominantly as a result of Lee’s Rush bandmate Neil Peart taking a hiatus from music after the death of both his daughter (in a car crash) and his wife (from cancer) in less than a year. Lee had long said that he had little to no interest in “going solo,” as it were, explaining in the album’s electronic press kit, “I satisfy so much of my musical self in the context of Rush, so I don’t have any great frustrations from that point of view.” That said, he also admitted, “Once in awhile, you’d wonder, ‘What it like out there? What’s it like to work with other people?’”
And so Lee found out, collaborating with Ben Mink – formerly of the band FM, who’d toured with Rush back in the day – on the the album’s eleven tracks, The songs were written predominantly on bass, but in doing so, he was both writing melody lines and playing chords, occasionally multi-tracking basses into different layers of the songs’ final arrangements.
Three singles were released from MY FAVORITE HEADACHE: the title track, “Grace to Grace,” and “Home on the Strange,” with the first two tracks both ending up as top-20 hits on Billboard’s Mainstream Rock Singles chart. The album itself, however, only made it to #52 on the Billboard 200, after which it quickly began its descent, hence its status as a Deep Dive, but if you’ve never heard it, it’s a solid LP and one any Rush fan should appreciate.
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