Rush is a Canadian rock band composed of Geddy Lee (bass guitar, vocals, keyboards), Alex Lifeson (guitar, vocals) and Neil Peart (drums, percussion, lyrics). The band formed in 1968 and went through several reconfigurations between then and 1974, achieving its current line-up when Peart replaced original drummer John Rutsey in July 1974, two weeks before the group's first tour of the United States.
Rush is known for its musicianship, complex compositions, and eclectic lyrical motifs drawing heavily on science fiction, fantasy, and philosophy. The band's musical style has changed several times over the years, from a blues-inspired hard rock beginning, later moving into progressive rock, and including a period marked by heavy use of synthesizers. In the early 1990s, Rush returned to a guitar-driven hard rock sound, which has continued to the present.
“Music is all about wanting to be better at it.” - Geddy Lee
According to the RIAA, Rush ranks 80th with sales of 25 million units in the U.S. Although total worldwide album sales are not calculated by any single entity, several industry sources estimated Rush's total worldwide album sales at over 40 million units as of 2004. The group has been awarded 24 gold, 14 platinum, and 3 multi-platinum albums.
Rush has received nominations for seven Grammy Awards. The band has won several Juno Awards, won an International Achievement Award at the 2009 SOCAN Awards, was inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame in 1994, and inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2013. Over their careers, the members of Rush have been acknowledged as some of the most proficient players on their respective instruments, with each band member winning numerous awards in magazine readers' polls. Rush announced plans to stop large-scale touring at the end of 2015.
Rush's musical style has changed substantially over the years. Its debut album was strongly influenced by British blues-based hard rock: an amalgam of sounds and styles from such rock bands as Black Sabbath, the Who, Cream and Led Zeppelin. Rush became increasingly influenced by bands of the British progressive rock movement, especially Genesis and Jethro Tull. In the tradition of progressive rock, Rush wrote extended songs with irregular and shifting time signatures, combined with fantasy and science fiction-themed lyrics. In the 1980s, Rush merged their sound with the trends of this period, experimenting with new wave, reggae and pop rock. This period included the band's most extensive use of instruments such as synthesizers, sequencers, and electronic percussion. In the early 1990s, the band transformed their style once again to harmonize with the alternative rock movement.
The members of Rush have noted people "either love Rush or hate Rush", resulting in strong detractors and an intensely loyal fan base. In 1979 the Rolling Stone Record Guide called it "the power boogie band for the 16 magazine graduating class." A July 2008 Rolling Stone article stated "Rush fans are the Trekkies/trekkers of rock". They have been cited as an influence by various musical artists, including Alice in Chains, Anthrax, Fishbone, Foo Fighters, Jane's Addiction, Manic Street Preachers, Metallica, No Doubt, Pixies, Porcupine Tree, Primus, Queensrÿche, Rage Against the Machine, Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Smashing Pumpkins, Elliott Smith and Soundgarden as well as progressive metal bands such as Meshuggah, Prototype, Dream Theater, Puya, Tool, Cynic and Symphony X. Trent Reznor considers Rush to be one of his favourite bands in the 2010 documentary Rush: Beyond the Lighted Stage and has particularly cited the album Signals as a major influence on how to incorporate keyboards and synthesizers into hard rock.
- Geddy Lee – lead vocals, bass guitar, keyboards, synthesizers! (1968–present)
- Alex Lifeson – guitar, backing vocals! (1968–present)
- Neil Peart – drums, percussion! (1974–present)
The members of Rush share a strong work ethic, desiring to accurately recreate songs from their albums when playing live performances. To achieve this goal, beginning in the late 1980s, Rush has included a capacious rack of digital samplers in their concert equipment to recreate the sounds of non-traditional instruments, accompaniments, vocal harmonies, and other sound "events" in real-time to match the sounds on the studio versions of the songs. In live performances, the band members share duties throughout most songs. Each member has one or more MIDI controllers, which are loaded with different sounds for each song, and use available limbs to trigger the sounds while simultaneously playing their primary instrument(s). It is with this technology the group is able to present their arrangements in a live setting with the level of complexity and fidelity fans have come to expect, and without the need to resort to the use of backing tracks or employing an additional band member. The band members' coordinated use of pedal keyboards and other electronic triggers to "play" sampled instruments and audio events is subtly visible in their live performances, especially so on R30: 30th Anniversary World Tour, their 2005 concert DVD.
Rush has released 24 gold records and 14 platinum records (including 3 multi-platinum), placing them third behind The Beatles and The Rolling Stones for the most consecutive gold or platinum studio albums by a rock band. As of 2005, Rush had sold about 25 million albums in the U.S. (ranking them 79th among recording acts) and 40 million worldwide. As of 2012, Moving Pictures was the band's highest-selling album (4.4 million units).
- Rush (1974)
- Fly By Night (1975)
- Caress Of Steel (1975)
- 2112 (1976)
- A Farewell To Kings (1977)
- Hemispheres (1978)
- Permanent Waves (1980)
- Moving Pictures (1981)
- Grace Under Pressure (1984)
- Power Windows (1985)
- Hold Your Fire (1987)
- Presto (1989)
- Roll The Bones (1991)
- Counterparts (1993)
- Test For Echo (1996)
- Vapor Trails (2002)
- FeedBack (2004)
- Snakes And Arrows (2007)
- Clockwork Angels (2012)