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, although the latter was penned by Geddy Lee.
"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 his two dogs, a German shepherd growled at him, and a tiny dog 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. The autobiographical "Fly by Night" is based on Peart's experience of moving from Canada to London as a young musician (long before joining Rush), while "Making Memories" appears to be an account of experiences from the band's first tour. The original hand-penned lyrics for both "Anthem" and "Fly by Night" include different or additional lyrics not sung in the original songs. Although the original lyrics for "Anthem" include the line "carry your head", they are sung as "hold your head", as well as other minor changes such as a change from "anthem of the heart and mind" to "anthem of the heart and anthem of the mind". The original lyrics to "Fly By Night" include a prologue which is not found in the final song.
|"Fly by Night"|
|Canada||Mercury||8 Track||MC8 1-1023|
|Canada||Anthem||8 Track||8AN 1-1023|