Rush Wiki
Fly by Night
Album by Rush
Released February 15, 1975
Recorded Toronto Sound Studios, Toronto, Ontario, 1974
Genre Prog-Rock
Length 37:18
Label Mercury Records
Producer Rush and Terry Brown
Professional reviews
Rush chronology
Fly by Night
Caress of Steel

Music and lyrics[]

This was the first Rush album to feature drummer Neil Peart. In addition to drumming duties, Peart also took on the job of lyricist by default, leading the band to adopt a more literary lyrical style that differed significantly from the debut album. The songs "By-Tor and the Snow Dog" and "Rivendell" are examples of the inclusion of fantasy themes into Rush's music.

"By-Tor and the Snow Dog" was inspired by Rush roadie Howard Ungerleider's story of him staying at Anthem records owner Ray Danniels' house, where Danniels' German Shepherd growled at him, and a tiny dog also owned by Danniels tried to jump on him. Ungerleider told Rush about it and they thought it was hilarious.

"Anthem" features lyrics inspired by the philosophy of Ayn Rand, whose influence on Peart's writing would reach its apogee on the band's 1976 album 2112. "Anthem" features a riff like the one in last albums "Finding My Way", but speeded. Alex Lifeson plays a high speed solo in the song. Geddy Lee does 2 screams and Neil Peart does a skilled drum solo. The autobiographical "Fly by Night" is based on Peart's experience of moving from Canada to London as a young musician (before joining Rush). The original hand-penned lyrics for both "Anthem" and "Fly by Night" include different or additional lyrics not sung in the original songs. The original lyrics to "Fly By Night" include a prologue which is not found in the final song.

Production details[]

Fly by Night was recorded at Toronto Sound Studios in Toronto. Rush also recorded parts of their first album at the same studio. However, since the first album sessions the studio was updated from 1 inch 8-track to 2 inch 16-track master tape recorders, allowing the group to have far more flexibility in overdubbing and mixing. Pictures shown on the album artwork indicate that the studio used a Studer 16 track recorder and a Neve mixing console, a combination that was widely considered to be state of the art by audio engineers, and was also used by many other top studios worldwide up through the early 1990s. Fly by Night is the band's first album to be produced by Terry Brown, who had remixed the band's debut album. Brown would maintain this role until 1982's Signals.

Track listing[]

  1. "Anthem" (Lee, Lifeson, Peart) – 4:36
  2. "Best I Can" (Lee) – 3:24
  3. "Beneath, Between, & Behind" (Lifeson, Peart) – 2:59
  4. "By-Tor and the Snow Dog" (Lee, Lifeson, Peart) – 8:36
    • I. At the Tobes of Hades
    • II. Across the Styx
    • III. Of the Battle
      • 1. Challenge and Defiance
      • 2. 7/4 War Furor
      • 3. Aftermath
      • 4. Hymn of Triumph
    • IV. Epilogue
  5. "Fly by Night" (Lee, Peart) – 3:21
  6. "Making Memories" (Lee, Lifeson, Peart) – 2:58
  7. "Rivendell" (Lee, Peart) – 4:57
  8. "In the End" (Lee, Lifeson) – 6:48

Song information[]

The lyrics of "Anthem" are heavily influenced by novelist and objectivist Ayn Rand, whose ideas heavily influenced Rush lyricist Neil Peart at the time. The song's title is the same as Rand's novella Anthem. "Beneath, Between & Behind" is the only song in Rush's catalog that is written by only Peart and Lifeson, without Lee's influence, and is about the discovery of America and the birth of the nation. It refers to the rapid growth, immigration, wars, and the American Dream. According to Geddy Lee on VH1-Classic's "Hangin' With", this was the first Rush song with lyrics contributed by Neil Peart. "Making Memories" is one of the few examples that all three members of Rush contributed to the lyrics, written while they were on tour riding around in a rental car near St. Louis. The song portrays the bands' feelings about touring. "Making Memories" has never been performed live. "Rivendell" is notable for being one of the few Rush songs to feature Geddy Lee on classical guitar, as well as one of the few Rush songs not to feature drums. This song is an example of the inclusion of fantasy themes into Rush's music. It is inspired by the works of J.R.R. Tolkien, and refers to the fictional elven city of the same name featured in the novels The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. It is one of two references to Tolkien's writings in the band's catalog.


  • Geddy Lee (By-Tor) – Bass guitar, classical guitar, vocals
  • Alex Lifeson (Snow Dog) – Electric guitars, six and twelve string acoustic guitars
  • Neil Peart – Drums and percussion


  • Terry Brown - Engineer
  • Rush and Terry Brown - Arrangements
  • John Woloschuk - Assistant engineer
  • Howard "Herns" Ungerleider - Road master, By-Tor character inspiration
  • Ian Grandy, Liam Birt and J.D. Johnson - Road crew
  • Gilbert Kong - Mastering
    • Mastered at Masterdisk, New York
  • Bob Ludwig and Brian Lee - Remastering
    • Remastered at Gateway Mastering Studios, Portland, Maine
  • Rush - Cover concept
  • Eraldo Carugati - Cover artist
  • Jim Ladwig - Art direction
    • AGI Chicago
  • Joe Kotleba - Designer
  • Richard Fegley - Photographer
  • Mr. O. Scar - Belated mention
  • Cliff Burnstein, Donna Halper and Don Shafer (and to all who have helped) - Thanks

  • Mixed at Toronto Sound Studios, Toronto, Canada
  • For best results, play this album.

Chart positions[]

Country Chart Position Date
U.S. Top LPs & Tapes (Billboard 200) 113
Canada RPM 100 Top Albums 37

Sales certifications[]

Country Organization Sales Date
U.S. RIAA Gold (500,000) December 1, 1993
U.S. RIAA Platinum (1,000,000) December 1, 1993
Canada CRIA Gold (50,000) January 4, 1976
Canada CRIA Platinum (100,000) August 1, 1981


A remaster was issued in May 6, 1997.

  • The tray has a picture of the star with man painting (mirroring the album cover of Retrospective I) with "The Rush Remasters" printed in all capital letters just to the left. All remasters from Rush through Permanent Waves are like this.
  • The packaging of the remastered CD reinstates the original back cover and inner sleeve (including Neil Peart's handwritten lyrics and credit sheet) absent from the first CD issue.

Compact Disc[]

Country Label Catalog Year
United States Mercury 822 542-2 1987
United States Mercury D-103184
United States Mercury P2-22542
United States Mercury 314 534 624-2
United States Mercury D-118697
United States Mercury P2-34624
Canada Anthem ANC-1-1002
Canada Anthem WANK-1002
Canada Anthem ANMD-1002
Canada Anthem ANMD-1076 1997
Canada Anthem D-108203
Brazil Mercury 822 542-2
Brazil Mercury 534 624-2 1997
Germany Mercury 822 542-2
Germany Mercury 534 624-2
Russia RSHCD 04000405
Japan Atlantic AMCY-315
Japan Atlantic AMCY-2290
Japan Atlantic WPCR-13473 2009

Vinyl Record[]

Country Label Catalog Year
United States Mercury SRM-1-1023 1975
United States Mercury 6338 561 1975
Canada Anthem ANR-1-1002 1977
Canada Mercury SRM 1-1023 1977
Canada Anthem ANR 1-602
United Kingdom Mercury 9100-013 1975
Brazil Mercury 6338 561 1975
Japan Mercury RJ-7012 1975
Japan Mercury BT-5185 1978

Cassette Tape[]

Country Label Catalog Year
United States Mercury 822 542-4 1975
Canada Mercury MC4 1-1023
Canada Anthem 4AN 1-1002
Canada Anthem 4AN 1-602
Indonesia BM 038


Country Label Catalog Year
Canada Mercury MC8 1-1023
Canada Anthem 8AN 1-1023


"Fly by Night"
  • Released: May 1975
  • Written by: Geddy Lee & Neil Peart
  • Produced by: Rush and Terry Brown
  • Chart positions:
"Making Memories"
  • Released: May 1977 (Canada)
  • Written by: Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson & Neil Peart
  • Produced by: Rush and Terry Brown
  • Chart positions: