RUSH released their second studio album Fly By Night on February 15, 1975 through the Anthem/Mercury label. Unlike their debut album, Fly By Night was the first to showcase elements of the progressive rock for which the band was known. It was also the first release to feature lyricist and drummer Neil Peart.

After the departure of John Rutsey, who retired from the band due to diabetes and dislike of touring, the band recruited Neil Peart as his replacement. As such, this album marks Neil Peart’s first recording with the band.

Peart also became the band’s main lyricist, leading the band to adopt more literary-style lyrics that differed significantly from their self-titled debut album. The songs “By-Tor & the Snow Dog” and “Rivendell” are examples of the fantasy themes in Rush’s music.

“By-Tor & the Snow Dog” was inspired by a story from Rush roadie Howard Ungerleider where he was staying at the home of Anthem Records manager Ray Danniels, where Danniels’ German Shepherd barked at him, and a small dog also owned by Danniels tried to jump on him. Ungerleider told the band members about this incident, which they loved.

“Anthem” features lyrics inspired by elements of Ayn Rand’s philosophy, which became an influence on Peart’s writing that culminated in Rush’s 1976 album 2112. The album title track’s autobiographical lyrics are based on Peart’s experiences moving from Canada to London as a young musician (before joining Rush).

The original hand-written lyrics for “Anthem” and “Fly By Night” feature different or additional lyrics that were not sung in the original songs. The original lyrics of “Fly By Night” feature a prologue that is not found in the recorded version of the song.

Fly By Night was recorded at Toronto Sound Studios on Overlea Boulevard in Toronto. Rush also recorded part of their first album at the same studio.

Fly By Night was the band’s first album to be produced by Terry Brown, who had already remixed the band’s debut album. Brown would serve in this role until the 1982 album Signals. The singles from Fly By Night were “Fly By Night” and “Making Memories”.

The album received positive reviews from music critics, with Allmusic giving it 3 out of 5 stars and Music Emissions giving it 4 out of 5 stars.

Tracklist: (1). Anthem, (2). Best I Can, (3). Beneath, Between & Behind, (4). By-Tor & the Snow Dog, (5). Fly By Night, (6). Making Memories, (7). Rivendell, (8). In the End.

Personnel: – Geddy Lee – vocals, bass guitar, classical guitar, – Alex Lifeson – guitars, – Neil Peart – drums, percussion. [sources/photo special]