Some preliminary facts for you to consider:
- Formed in August 1968.
- Inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame in 1994.
- 24 gold records and 14 platinum (3 multi-platinum) records.
- Sales statistics place them third behind The Beatles and The Rolling Stones for the most consecutive gold or platinum studio albums by a rock band.
- Rank 79th in U.S. album sales, with 25 million units.
- Although total worldwide album sales are not calculated by any single entity, as of 2004 several industry sources estimated Rush’s total worldwide album sales at over 40 million units.
- Will finally be inducted into the Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame this year (April 18, 2013).
- This makes me wonder what exactly is wrong with the R&RHOF.
Rush – then and now
The band was formed in August 1968, in Toronto. The band went through some personnel changes between 1968 and 1974, but landed on their current form when Peart replaced original drummer John Rutsey in July 1974, two weeks before the group’s first U.S. tour.
They released a debut album in March 1974, and quickly became known for its musicianship, complex compositions, and eclectic lyrics.
Fast forward through 40+ years of touring and recording. The band finished the Time Machine Tour in July 2011 and released their latest studio album, Clockwork Angels in June 2012 with a supporting tour that began in September 2012.
The band’s musical style has changed drastically over the years. Their early work was strongly influenced by British blues rock and showed influences from rock bands as Cream, Led Zeppelin, The Who, and Deep Purple. They eventually became more influenced by progressive rock and unusual time signatures and long songs with lyrics inspired by literature and science-fiction.
This blend of hard and progressive rock continued until the end of the ’70s. In the 1980s, Rush successfully got a little trendier and experimented with pop rock (and even some reggae influence). The ’80’s saw more use of synthesizers and drum machines. The start of the ’90’s saw the band take on a more alternative sound and following 2001 they’ve returned to a more gutsier, original, rock and roll roots sound.
With the wide variety of styles I would suggest going for the Greatest Hits collection if you’d like to add Rush to your music collection. I have “The Spirit of Radio (1974 – 1987) on as I write this and every track is a gem. These guys know how to play and from what I’ve seen on TV, are a friendly bunch of non-self-absorbed rockers who know how to treat their fans.
Geddy Lee — bass, lead vocals, keyboards (September 1968 – present)
Alex Lifeson — acoustic and electric guitars, bass pedal synthesizer, backing vocals (August 1968 – present)
Neil Peart — drums, percussion (July 1974 – present)
Jeff Jones — bass, lead vocals (August–September 1968)
John Rutsey — drums, percussion, backing vocals (August 1968 – July 1974; died 2008)
Some Favorite Lyrics – from ‘The Spirit of Radio” (1980)
All this machinery making modern music
Can still be open-hearted.
Not so coldly charted, it’s really just a question
Of your honesty, yeah, your honesty.
One likes to believe in the freedom of music,
But glittering prizes and endless compromises
Shatter the illusion of integrity.
For the words of the prophets were written on the studio wall, Concert hall
And echoes with the sounds of salesmen.