UPDATE - 4/5@1:37PM: Here are some comments about the track from DJ_Carter, who was played the radio-edit of the song:
... The opening chords sound almost EXACTLY like a heavier version of Bastille Day. ... There's some Bastille Day rhythms, a more raw guitar tone that sounds less polished and more Hemispheres-y, an absolutely bone-shattering drum break in the middle that sounds like a modern version of Neil's break in By-Tor, and some really audible and fun shifts in the structure of the song, a la the transitions in Natural Science. If I had to encapsulate the sound in just a few words, it would be Caress of Steel crossed with Vapor Trails. Headlong Flight doesn't feel as heavy as BU2B; it's very much Vapor Trails-y, but with much more tasty bass. Truly, the bass in this song is killer. I think we can count on seeing a lot more of the Leave That Thing Alone live solo stuff on this record. ... One thing that was really encouraging about this track was the fact that Neil's drumming was very fast in certain places. BU2B was ... heavy but plodding, not challenging or rhythmically complex. Headlong Flight is totally different. This is Neil at his best, and the break I mentioned earlier feels like his classic fills. There is indeed a guitar solo, towards the end of the track. But it's a solo in the sense that Alex's solo from Caravan was a solo. He's shredding, no doubt about it, but it isn't like a Freewill type of shredding that has a pattern and a resolution. Very frenetic and exciting, though! ...
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UPDATE - 3/30@7:30AM: Roadrunner continues to shop the Headlong Flight single around the radio community. Grover Collins is the Program Director at WUBE/WYGY in Cincinnati, OH and tweeted the following yesterday evening:
Just heard new RUSH single from upcoming CD "Clockwork Angels" called "Headlong Flight"...Old school RUSH fans rejoice! It ROCKS 74-77 era!
@rushtheband New RUSH single from upcoming CD called "Headlong Flight"...Old school RUSH fans rejoice! It ROCKS 74-77 era! Just awesome!!
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UPDATE - 3/29@5:46PM: And here's a Facebook post from Mike Hsu who works the mid-day shift at WAAF in Boston (thanks Snaked):
Just listened to the new Rush song "Headlong Flight". My pants are tight!..and moist from losing control of my bladder during the massive Alex Lifeson solo. @rushtheband
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UPDATE - 3/28@8:51PM: There's a lot of conflicting information out there regarding when the single will get released, and I'm trying to sort it all out. In this day and age, a release can mean many things - which just adds to the confusion. We might get a short 30-second or 90-second clip, or it may be released for listening online, or it may get an early release on satellite radio, or it gets released to radio in general, or it gets release for purchase... you get the picture. Suffice it to say that we should get a chance to finally hear Headlong Flight sometime in the next few weeks - the sooner the better!
UPDATE - 3/28@7:51PM: Another tweet from Dominic Nardella:
New Rush song sounds like updated "By-Tor." Epic, cool guitar break downs. "I stoke the fires of the big steel wheels..."
And there's this from Sniglets at Counterparts:
Sorry I have been unable to post on here as I have been busy with work. Listening party happened a bit later than scheduled yesterday as it was more after 1 pm. I wasn't there but my friend was and he said if you would have wanted Rush albums in the 80s to have a harder edge then this is your record. The songs are like a winding journey and definitely has a more modern day concept feel to them. Keyboards are present on the record so if you loathe them, sorry! He didn't compare it to any particular album and that was a relief. He said just take 80 to 91 in a blender and that was it. Single should be out on or about April 1st. It is being sent to radio this weekend. My guess is this one doesn't leak. More as I hear more. It was basically a text conversation about it and I haven't had really the time to get in touch with him as he has other assignments.
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UPDATE - 3/28@4:48PM: I have also received confirmation that Headlong Flight will indeed be the first single and that a 5.5-minute edit will be hitting radio on April 19th. The listening party did indeed take place yesterday, and Roadrunner is keeping a very tight lid on the track, so it's unlikely that it will leak. Although there's a possibility we'll get to hear a sample online sometime before the radio release.
A couple of weeks ago I reported a rumor that Roadrunner Records would be hosting a listening party for journalists and industry executives on Tuesday March 27th where they'd be playing Rush's upcoming Clockwork Angels album. Well, March 27th was yesterday and I can now confirm with reasonable certainty that this Lunch and Listen party did actually happen - although it's possible that it was today rather than yesterday. I don't have much information myself, but the Twittersphere is starting to buzz with some leaked information. Lou Brutus of Sirius XM tweeted the following just a short time ago:
In studio right now w Mark from Roadrunner listening to new tune from @RushIsABand called "Headlong Flight." It's awesome. #ByTorIsASnowDog
And there were these two tweets from Dominic Nardella (also at Sirius XM) earlier this afternoon:
Just heard new Rush song "Headlong Flight" ..... Holy F**king Shit!!!!! 7 and a half minutes of pure genius!!!!!! @rushisaband
I haven't had goosebumps like this in years. This is Rush at their finest. Seriously. F**k this is amazing. @rushisaband
So there you have it - one track from the new album is called Headlong Flight, and it's over 7 minutes long! More as I learn it.
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