“Closer to the Heart” is a single by Rush, released in 1977, from the album A Farewell to Kings. It was the first Rush song to feature a non-member as a songwriter in Peter Talbot, a friend of drummer and lyricist Neil Peart. It was issued as a single for Christmas 1977 and was Rush’s first hit single in the United Kingdom, reaching No. 36 in the UK Singles Chart in February 1978. “Closer to the Heart” was one of five Rush songs inducted into the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame on March 28, 2010.
“Closer to the Heart” is one of Rush’s most popular songs, and has been performed live regularly since its release. It was not played for the bulk of the Vapor Trails Tour (2002), the R30 Tour (2004), and the Snakes & Arrows Tour (2007–08). The song returned to Rush’s setlists during the 2010–11 Time Machine Tour. After not being performed on the 2012–13 Clockwork Angels Tour, it was brought back for the 2015 R40 Live Tour.
The live albums A Show of Hands and Different Stages feature performances of the song with jam-style playing after the last verse. On the 1981 live album Exit…Stage Left, the song segues into “Beneath, Between and Behind,” and on Time Machine 2011: Live in Cleveland, it shifts into a triplet feel for the last verse. On the DVD release of the latter album, a polka rendition of the song is played during the end credits.
Although the original recording and most live performances feature acoustic drums, Peart used an electronic drum kit to play the song in concerts from 1984 to 1994.