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Entre Nous by Rush

Album: Permanent WavesReleased: 1980
  • Entre Nous is the name of a European magazine for sexual and reproductive health - it's French for "Between Us." This song, however, is about relationships and how each person perceives the other.
  • Ayn Rand's 1943 novel The Fountainhead repeats the phrase "Entre Nous" several times throughout. This may be an influence on this song's title - Neil Peart is a big Ayn Rand fan. (thanks, Mike - Mountlake Terrace, Washington, for above 2)
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Comments: 17

I don't think I have ever heard a song about relationships approached in such a way as Neil Peart has done so here. He hits the nail right on the head and does it with such economy of words. And, Lifeson's tone quality has a great balance of crisp fullness and attack. I think Rush did a great job on this one.Mike - Kumamoto, Japan
Hey...KWC in Rocky Mount.. you need to quit freaking out over someone expressing their ideas about Rush songs. That is exactly the kind of thing Rush is not about. Do you think Neil Peart would accuse someone of "being an expert of their own opinion"? To the contrary, he would consider that a ringing endorsement, considering that most people have opinions but do not exercise authority over them... i.e., have not formed them through a conscious effort and rational process.

I was really into Rush from their first album up until Grace Under Pressure. After that, I gradually lost interest. How else should I respond to music, other than personally. Should I filter it through a series of personally detached critical perspectives? Should I reject their early work and mainstream period of success (which might just have been their Golden Age) so that can I posture (as you seem to) as a marginalized know-it-all of a band whose best days have passed them by?

Don't you know that it is the biggest cliche of the musical connoisseur to endorse either the very early work, or the declining later work… simply so they can position themselves in opposition to the mainstream audience, and thereby achieve an "outsider" exclusivity? Which puts the connoisseur in the strange position of actually disliking work that the rest of the world loves… and which the band loves too… and which the band publicly refers to as possessing that which they want to get back to… musically or lyrically, or both.

On the issue of Mainstream-ism… Do you think that their most mainstream successes (for instance) Permanent Waves and Moving Pictures are better, worse, or the same as (take your pick) any album since 1985? Answer that, and tell me why. Don't simply cozy up with a bunch of latter day, forgettable Rush tunes and hurl accusations at me from your pseudo-connoisseur posturing as a lover of the obscure. Drop the affectation.

Do you honestly prefer Test for Echo over Moving Pictures. Just be honest.. you're allowed to prefer one over the other. Just tell everyone here why it is that the mainstream success of Spirit of Radio makes it a song which, if one likes it… that one can be put down as a mainstreamer. Just spread your arms wide and let us see your phony-ness in all it's glory.
Michael - Philadelphia, Pa
Lackluster?? I think your assessment of the Rush library since the the mid-80's says more about Michael in Philadelphia than it does about Rush. Rush had a very brief "mainstream" appeal during the mid-80's. Some of Neil's most profound writing was written post-Show of Hands. Whether its because you are a mainstreamer or an Ann Rynd ideologue, you certainly are NOT an authority on anything but your own opinion. The fact that Rush has remained a relevant force in music without any significant airplay speaks to just how much their music and their message still reaches people. I find your unstimulating intellectual drivel quite lackluster.Kwc - Rocky Mount, Nc
This song is a microcosm of Rush's best work, in general. The musical integration of the various components of the band is, in a way, a metaphor for the way that we all interact with one another. Despite the fact that we might make what sounds to be highly complex interactive music, in reality we are merely no more than a guy playing a guitar, a guy playing a bass, and a guy playing drums. We no more know what goes on inside one another than Geddy knows what Neil is thinking about in the middle of a concert.
This is a perfect representation of Ayn Rand's view of reality and perception, and makes for perfect irony.
One of the main reasons Rush has stood the test of time is songs like this one, which, in addition to having great musicianship and a nice tune, also double as art that is open to broad interpretation.
Joel - San Antonio, Tx
Regarding Peart's connection to Ayn Rand's work... Anyone who has a connection to the uber-controversial Rand runs the risk of being swallowed up by those who either love or hate Rand. This is unfair, especially to an artist who pursues his individual view of things. By his own admission Peart has read Rand, and been influenced by it. To what degree... we can debate, and Peart can deny. But the proof is in some of the very best songs. The strong themes of the individual vs. the collective, the individual vs. religion, the issue of free will, the issues of integrity... these are all strong themes in Rand and in Rush. These themes power the lyrical and musical strength of their best stuff. Though these themes pre-exist Rand, the power of their presentation real rings through for those who have read Rand. Peart distances himself from this influence with his public statements, but he can no more deny the influence than he can insist that Entre Nous is a song about a blue cat that plays the violin. The point being, his statements cannot erase the truth of what his songs contain. As Peart has gotten older, and suffered as we all do the slings and arrows of time, I suspsect he has moved away from Rand's intellectualism and idealism, and substituted in it's place a grimmer sort of pragmatism. I believe that this is the fundamental reason that their output since the mid-1980s has been lackluster.Michael - Philadelphia, Pa
Was great to hear this tune done live. While it's not my favorite, it's quite good...and its inclusion to the setlist was very fresh.John - Asheville, Nc
when my wife and I were first dating, we bonded over Entre Nous. She is just a cursory fan of Rush and when she said this song was her favorite, my jaw hit the floor. This song, out of all others possible?

we discussed the lyrics at length and our "dating dance" roughly followed the expressions of this song. after our previous relationship trials and tribulations, we gave each other enough room to grow individually and together too!

we went to the Snakes and Arrows tour concert this summer, and were shocked to hear it played. made our night, right off the bat.
Todd - St. Louis, Mo
Brendan From Easton

If u looked it up Neil is a big Ayn Rand Fan and he did write 2112 from Anthem
Hugo - Okc, Ok
They played this song second on the set list of a concert of theirs, and it was mesmerizing. The message is so true. Also, although Ayn Rand wasn't a big influence on Peart, he had to have read Anthem (at least) to realize how close it was to 2112. I've read Rand's entire catalog, and I have to say, although lot of their ideas seem fairly coincidental, they are different.Brendan - Easton, Ct
Yes, it was good to hear this at the recent Rush concert. A song adjacent to my favorite, which is Natural Science. So glad someone cleared up the fact that Neil is not adherent to Rand's beliefs. I am a bit tired of hearing misconceptions about that, too.Heidi - North Tonawanda, Ny
This song is notable for lacking a guitar solo, back in the days when Rush was still proving themselves to the music world.Kent Lyle - Cincinnati, Oh
This is my favorite Rush song. I always love listening to this song. And whats even better is that they are playing it live for the first time during the Snakes and Arrows Tour.Chris - Spencerport, Ny
I've always thought it was obvious this song is about the nature of intimate relationships, the difficulty in getting to know someone, and how each person can grow through that process ... one of my all time favorite Rush songsMark - Boston, Ma
Interesting that this song got almost as much airplay as Freewill and SOR when the album came out- but it's been overly neglected by all since.Richard - Las Vegas, Nv
This song may also be about Neil's relationship to his fans. He's always wanted to keep his distance. He went into greater depth on the topic on Limelight from the next album.

Neil also wasn't a "big Ayn Rand fan", his support of Rand's beliefs is often overstated. After 2112 he tried to distance himself from Rand's beliefs, saying that he was "no-one's disciple". The media has largely ignored this however, and the belief persists that Neil is largely inspired by her.
John - Newmarket, Canada
The first song I heard on WDVE Pittsburgh from the Permanent Waves album. It was a snow day from school and made my folks take me to get the album. An underrated song to say the least. Neils perceptions and reflections are right on target " acting well rehearsed routines or playing from the heart its hard for one to know"Robert - Schaumburg, Il
Though this song was never performed for an audience by the band, they did play it at soundchecks, sometimes.Jesse - L.a., Ca