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Album: SignalsReleased: 1982Charted:
This song is about how narrow-minded and judgmental people can get when they are confined to certain groups - a common occurrence in the suburbs. This is spelled out in the chorus:Subdivisions
In the high school halls
In the shopping malls
Conform or be cast out
It tells of how when you don't meet a certain standard you are basically shunned.
Rush's drummer/lyricist Neil Peart said this song is "an exploration of the background from which all of us (and probably most of our audience) have sprung.'"
Peart grew up reading adventure stories and science fiction, which for him were an escape from the confines of suburbia. As he got older, he took full advantage of his freedom, embracing travel and exploring other cultures.
Mark Dailey, evening newscaster and "The Voice" of Toronto television station City-TV and also MuchMusic, is the voice that repeats the chorus line "Subdivisions."
This song marked a turning point for Neil Peart, whose early Rush lyrics were based in fantasy. "I didn't believe yet that I could put something real into a song," he told Rolling Stone. "'Subdivisions' happened to be an anthem for a lot of people who grew up under those circumstances, and from then on, I realized what I most wanted to put in a song was human experience."