Leave That Thing Alone




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Leave That Thing Alone is a biweekly podcast where podcasting pros (from I Don't Even Own a Television) and pro-prog activists J.W. Friedman and Chris Collision laugh through the catalog of legendary Canadian power trio Rush, one album at a time, in order.  We love Rush without taking them, or ourselves, too seriously.

Mar 29, 2019

Presto? More like "Depresssed Tho". Heh. It's a joke. And not entirely accurate, as J. W. likes a lot of this album, although the general tone of this episode is somewhere between "retroactive disappointment" and "cautious admiration". Presto is an interesting album, and we did our best to have an interesting discussion about it. Please put mental scare quotes around all of those "interestings".

Aug 16, 2018

Hold it. HOLD IT. HOLD IT! Absolutely do not send us any emails or tweets or Facebook messages about "when is the next episode of the Rush podcast coming out", cuz the answer is "right now."

Join J.W. and Collision as we discuss (and mostly enjoy) one of Rush's most radio-friendly endeavors in their recording history, 1987's "Hold Your Fire". Just pretend "Tai Shan" doesn't exist.

Jun 8, 2018

We were gone for a real long time, but now we're back, and this time we're talking about the synthiest of Rush's "synth-era" records, "Power Windows".

Get ready for good times that devolve into okay times that devolve into exhausted times, cuz this is a record with eight songs that sound almost identical to one another. Come for Collision's inevitable "Geddy is actually named Gary" story, and tick around for J's sudden and shameful realization that maybe this isn't his favorite Rush record after all. It's Leave That Thing Alone, and we're back on our business, bay-beeeee.

Aug 5, 2017

It's the album you probably forgot exists! We both did. Here's the thing though -- while J. wishes he could have permanently erased it from his memory, Collision exhibits a bit of a soft spot for the synth noodlings and Cold War-era bummerizing that happens on this record, Grace Under Pressure.

Come for the music critique, stay for the weird tangents about Kabblah Deer Hunter. It's "Leave That Thing Alone", and if you make it through this episode, you'll wish you followed our advice.

Jun 21, 2017

It's time to enter the most controversial period of Rush's existence, the much-aligned "synthesizer era". This means that J. is super-happy, Collision is sort of on the fence, and 95% of the music media is still like "full ALL this shit." Despite what you may have heard or read from the type of guys who wear sweatpants with a Marshall logo down one leg, Signals is a great album, provided you can ignore the lyrics about Babylon and Zion and you enjoy stilted white-man reggae (spoiler: we sorta do).

Also, it's got fucking SUBDIVISIONS on it, that should be enough for anybody, right?

May 6, 2017

One of us loves this record. The other does not. OH MY GOODNESS, it's controversy. Tune in as we literally tear each other limb from limb as we discuss the album that contains classics like "Limelight", "Tom Sawyer", and... uh... "Vital Signs".

Mar 30, 2017

Permanent Waves is Rush's first obvious attempt to dial back some of their maximalist prog rock tendencies, their first release with a breakout hit single everybody on the planet has heard, and is also their first record with a weird upskirt photo on the album cover. We discuss all this and more as we refuse to Leave That Thing Alone™ and continue to blaze our trail through the catalogue of these wonderful Canadian Boys

Feb 28, 2017


ah yes, hemispheres. a half-forgettable album with exactly four songs on it that somehow inspires no end of "no true scotsman" arguing between men with black t-shirts and unkempt ponytails. some consider this to be the last gasp of rush's "pure prog era". which raises the question, of course, of whether or not that's actually a bad thing.

drop us a line at leavethatthingalonepodcast@gmail.com

Feb 9, 2017

It's time for a big first -- Here's a Rush album that both J. and Chris think is pretty friggin' good! It's concise, energetic, and contains several songs that are less than five minutes long (which is pretty rare for the Boyz From Toronto™).

Join us as we talk "A Farewell to Kings", Rednex (for some reason), and the debut of a new gimmick, "Reading Shit From Songfacts Dot Com". Stick around for the moment where J. breaks Chris's heart in a discussion of the philosophical content of "Closer to the Heart"

Couple points of order:

#1) We've been giving out a bad email address on the show. Because we rule. The correct address to reach us is leavethatthingalonepodcast@gmail.com

#2) J. promises to never drink something labelled "Triple IPA" during a recording session ever again. In his own words, "Whoo. That's rough."

Jan 26, 2017

Side B of 2112 is five songs that definitely exist. Maybe. I forgot two of them already. It's almost unavoidable that the back half of a record would be a little flat when the first half is an obvious idea dump like the 2112 suite. But nothing will explain the decision to record two limp attempts at out-of-genre radio hits and a song that is built around the patently racist "oriental riff" from Carl Douglas' "Kung Fu Fighting". Join us as we try to figure it out.

We still love Rush but sometimes it gets a little hard.

[NOTE: Hey! This is the second part of our discussion of 2112, so if you haven't listened to the prior episode about Side A of the record, you probably should. Mostly because several conversations in this episode pick up from discussions there, but also because Side B of 2112 is notorious for being not very good. If you only hear this part, you're probably going to think all three of us are giant grumpy assholes.]

Jan 13, 2017

This time around, we're joined by Party World Rasslin's Tim Faust as we embark on the first of a two-part excursion through Rush's fourth studio album, 2112. The entirety of side a of this record is one song, divided into seven parts, and is nothing if not ambitious in its scope. It's also worth noting that the album functions surprisingly well as fanfiction about Rush, by Rush.

The song (or "suite", depending on how many of your jackets have patches on the elbows) tells the story of our hero, Canadian Future Boy Gord, and his brave fight to re-introduce rock and roll to a future dystopia as he comes head-to-head with Father Tom and the Priests of Syrinx. Only some of that sentence is made up. Only like two words, really.



Dec 30, 2016

It's always darkest before the dawn, and while next episode's album will showcase Rush in the act of defining their legacy, this time around we're dealing with a glaring misstep that even the band doesn't like -- 1975's "Caress of Steel".

This record has a misprinted cover which has been frozen in time. It also has a metric shit-ton of "hobbit-humping bullshit" in the lyrics, and contains exactly three songs (plus two very lengthy hodge-podges of half-finished ideas). Not an impressive deal, but an arrested spiel.

Put on your robe and wizard hat and get ready to "rock" in a decidedly beard-stroking fashion.



Dec 16, 2016

"Fly By Night" is Rush's second album and includes a lot of lyrics about elves and elf shit. There's also some hobbits. Tune in for all the hottest elf and hobbit-related discussion in the world of rock and roll podcasting.

Dec 3, 2016

This episode is somewhat non-canonical; an introduction to the show and a review of 1974's almost-Rush debut album, misleadingly entitled "Rush", despite sounding like a completely different band than what comes later.