I love both songs. In fact, in every one of these polls I have been doing I have liked both songs. Most of the polls have been pretty close to even and I interpret that as evidence most other people also like both songs. I never really considered that there would be significant numbers of people who liked one and disliked the other but this specific thread may prove different.
Both amazing tunes though much different songwriting style. Though I am way more of a VH fan then Rush and much of an EVH fan then a Lifeson fan I would give the props to Limelight for a much better solo. I never really cared for the solo in Unchained. Song for song I'd have to go with Unchained.
It's a little interesting that you'd pick these two to compare, since the songs AND the bands are so different from each other. It's almost hard to know where to start.
Both kick ass bands and both kick ass songs, but it's really dependent on which style you relate to.
Straight forward, in your face, kick ass, 4/4 time, good time rock 'n roll...or more polished, cerebral, technical in it's nature, but no less kick ass, rock 'n roll.
For me it's "Limelight" by miles, mainly because of how I feel about the level of pure musical talent in the entire band (man, what a unbelievably stellar rhythm section), and how/why I relate to their music.
I love both bands and tunes.I've seen both bands live in their hey day prime.
Van Halen on the Fair Warning tour and Rush on the Moving Pictures tour.
I've got to pick Limelight for it's solo alone.
One of my all-time fav solos.