“We were into the idea of putting some of that reggae feel into this song, but with a little more ‘oomph’ to it. Dynamically, it was pretty different from the rest of the record, but I think that’s part of the allure of the album: None of the songs sound or feel the same. There’s a lot of diversity.
“Part of me thinks we were working on the song in the studio, as if we started recording the album and we didn’t have Vital Signs totally finished. I believe that was the case.
“Neil was a keener listener of reggae than perhaps Geddy was, and I was probably the least. I enjoyed it. I liked Peter Tosh and Bob Marley; I liked what The Police were doing. We were coming at reggae in a more Anglo way, which is how The Police approached it, too. It’s like the way English bands like The Yardbirds and Led Zeppelin worked the blues.
“As an album closer, lyrically it spoke well. It was a nice sentiment to end the record. The way it fades, it was quite dramatic. The Camera Eye almost ended Moving Pictures, but we finally decided on Vital Signs. It was all about being aware of your surroundings and rising to your highest level. That said something important to us.”