Rush

Canadian Classic Rock
Biography

Rush

Rush

 

The origins of Rush trace back to 1968 when Geddy Lee & Alex Lifeson formed a garage band and jammed to the sounds of Hendrix, Cream & Led Zeppelin. Along with original drummer John Rutsey, they became an underground favourite and soon made enough to cut their first 45 on their own label "Moon Records". The songs featured were an original collaberation entitled "Can't Fight It" and Bobby & Sue Womack's "Not Fade Away", which has been the band's only cover to date. This 45 is viewed as an extreme collectible, as neither of these tracks have ever appeared on another album.

The band released their self-titled debut lp in 1974 and was like the proverbial night and day from the sound they've evolved into today. Lifeson's searing guitar solos along with Geddy Lee's distinct vocals solidified themselves as one of the most promising local groups of the time. This period is the most crucial in the band's history. It was during this time that the group was noticed by Phonogram Records in the US and Attic in Canada and also saw drummer John Rutsey replaced by a former mythology student named Neil Peart.

The reformed trio released FLY BY NIGHT in 1975 and featured "By-Tor & The Snowdog", the first of what would become trademark epics penned by Peart and his love for Greek & Roman mythology and science fiction. Later that same year saw CARESS OF STEEL, which further made evident the group's natural blending of the ear-piercing chords of metal anthems like "Bastille Day" and the soothing melodies of "Lakeside Park".

Rush released "2112" in 1976, and powered by such classics as "Passage To Bangkok" and "Temples of Syrinx", 2112 is widely viewed as their breakthrough album, opening new avenues for the group's future to an audience that now stretched past North America. The group released "All The World's A Stage" that same year as a showcase of their live show and the record's raw edge captured their heavy but harmonious stage-presence, making it one of the premier live records ever cut.

1977 saw A FAREWELL TO KINGS, and featured the classics "Closer To The Heart" and "Cinderella Man". The airplay given both these tracks on both sides of the Atlantic helped earn Rush the title of bona-fide supergroup.

The group cut HEMISPHERES in '78. For the first time they left the friendly surroundings of Canadian studios and opted to lock themselves in a castle-turned-recording studio in a remote Welsh coutryside. The result was the classics "Circumstances" and "The Trees". The record also saw the title track, the last of 'The great Rush side one epics".

Rush returned to the remote Quebec countrtyside to cut PERMANENT WAVES in 1980, which featured one of radio's biggest hits of the year in "Sprit of the Radio", as well as "Jacob's Ladder" and "Freewill". While still following the course their music was naturally evolving into, The group also performed on Max Webster's "Battle Scar" on the UNIVERSAL JUVENILES record that same year..

In 1981 Rush turned out their biggest selling record to date, MOVING PICTURES, which featured "Red Barchetta", "Vital Signs" and "Tom Sawyer", co-written by Pye Dubois of MAX WEBSTER fame. Geddy Lee also found time to make a guest appearance on Bob & Doug McKenzie's record that year, proudly showing his hoser roots by singing "Take Off".

The group released their second live album, EXIT STAGE LEFT, later that year then came back with SIGNALS in 1982. The record marked a noticeable change in the group's sound. With keyboards and synthesized guitars now prominant, SIGNALS went over with the public like the proverbial lead balloon, though it remains a critic's favourite to this day, backed by "Subdivisions", "The Weapon", and "New World Man".

The slight change of direction also paved the way for 1984's GRACE UNDER PRESSURE. Falling back on more of a mainly guitar-based sound but still following the course laid out by its predecessor, the record featured "Distant Early Warning", "Red Sector A" and "Body Electric".

POWER WINDOWS was released the next year but failed to build on the momentum the group was rebuilding, though "Big Money" and "Mystic Rhythms" remain staples of the groups live show today. By this time, Peart's writing style had also pretty much changed from just writing the epic fantasies and story-telling to more politically and social-conscious numbers. Not withstanding, Rush still stayed true to their fans and released HOLD YOUR FIRE, featuring "Time Stand Still" with Amee Mann and "Force Ten" in 1987.

Again to show their appreciation of the fans, a third live album A SHOW OF HANDS was released in 1989. Later that same year came "Presto", featuring "Show Don't Tell" and "Superconductor". 1991 saw "Roll the Bones", which had the title track and "Dreamline".

1993 saw unquestionably Rush's biggest album in years. Backed by "Stick It out" and "Nobody's Hero", "Counterparts" was the album that brought the group back into the spotlight after losing some of their lustre over recent albums. The group was inducted into the Juno Hall of Fame the next year, in recognition of their truly legendary status in their homeland and the mark they'd humbly but unimistakingly left on the development of Canadian music over the last twenty-some years.

After appearing on I Mother Earth's "Like A Girl" from the "Scenery and Fish" lp, Lifeson become the first member to put out a solo album when "Victor" hit the shelves in '96. Partially based on the works of poet W.H. Auden, the record was met with rave reviews and featured a helping hand from Dalbello, Edwin and some people with first AND last names too. This time of seperation also afforded Peart the chance to release an instructional video called "Modern Drummer". and see his first non-fictional novel published, "The Masked Rider"

The group put out "Test For Echo" the next year featuring "Half The World". All plans were put on hiatus however early in 1997 following the death of Peart's 19 year-old daughter in a car accident. But 1997 also saw some proud moments for the group. On February 27, a humble Lee, Lifeson & Peart were recognized for their exhaustive charity work with the awarding of the Order of Canada, this country's highest civic honour.

While the group took some time off out of the spotlight, with tours and recording on hiatus, Anthem released a 2 disc "best of" set called RETROSPECTIVE in 199 and that same year pumped out the group's fourth live record entitled DIFFERENT STAGES. Already hailed as the definitive live Rush album, it features 2 discs made up from the TEST FOR ECHO world tour, as well as a third disc of re-mastered performances from '77.

Rush has enjoyed more international success than any other Canadian group in history, selling over 35 million copies of 20 studio albums. Though their sound has matured, following a natural progression ... or evolution ... over those 24 years, Rush has always stayed loyal to their fans, never compromising themselves for the sake of a hit record. The elaborate show they put on make their concerts an event, always remembering their early musical roots and filling the arena with lazers and pyrotechnics that are rivalled by no one. They have pioneered so many avenues for so many Canadian artists of so many different sounds, Rush is indeed a one of a kind group, and they've always been proud to say they're from Canada, making them our ambassadors and our greatest contribution to the rock and roll world.

Written by Dan Brisebois of
CanConRox


Discography

Rush
Rush (1973)

Finding My Way
Need Some Love
Take A Friend
Here Again
What You're Doing
In The Mood
Before and After
Working Man

Fly By Night
Fly By Night (1975)

Anthem
Best I Can
Beneath, Between and Behind
Fly By Night
Making Memories
Rivendell
In The End

Caress of Steel
Caress of Steel (1975)

Bastille Day
I Think I'm Going Bald
Lakeside Park
The Necromancer
I. Into Darkness
II. Under The Shadow
III. Return of the Prince
The Fountain of Lamneth
I. In the Valley
II. Didacts and Narpets
III. No One at the Bridge
IV. Panacea
V. Bacchus Plateau
VI. The Fountain

2112
2112 (1976)

I. Overture
II. Temples of Syrinx
III. Discovery
IV. Presentation
V. Oracle: The Dream
VI. Soliloquy
VII. The Grand Finale
A Passage To Bangkok
The Twilight Zone
Lessons
Tears
Something For Nothing

All the World's A Stage
All the World's A Stage (1976)

Bastille Day
Anthem Fly By Night
In The Mood
Something For Nothing
Lakeside Park
2112 (in it's entirety)
By-Tor & The Snow Dog
In The End
Working Man
Finding My Way

A Farewell To Kings
A Farewell To Kings (1977)

A Farewell to Kings
Xanadu
Closer To The Heart
Cinderella Man
Madrigal
Cygnus X-1

Archives
Archives (1977)

Need Some Love
Take A Friend
Here Again
What You're Doing
In The Mood
Before and After
Working Man
Anthem
Best I Can
Beneath, Between and Behind
By-Tor and the Snowdog
Fly By Night
Making Memories
Rivendell
In The End
Bastille Day
I Think I'm Going Bald
Lakeside Park
The Necromancer
I. Into Darkness
II. Under The Shadow
III. Return of the Prince
The Fountain of Lamneth
I. In the Valley
II. Didacts and Narpets
III. No One at the Bridge
IV. Panacea
V. Bacchus Plateau
VI. The Fountain

Hemispheres
Hemispheres (1978)

Cygnus X-1 Book II: Hemispheres
I. Prelude
II. Apollo: Bringer of Wisdom
III. Dionysus: Bringer of Love
IV. Armageddon: The Battle of Heart and Mind
V. Cygnus: Bringer of Balance
VI. The Sphere: A Kind of Dream
Circumstances
The Trees
La Villa Strangiato (An Exercise in Self-Indulgence)
1. Buenas Noches, Mein Froinds!
2. To sleep, perchance to dream...
3. Strangiato Theme
4. A Lerxst in Wonderland
5. Monsters!
6. Danforth and Pape
7. The Waltz of the Shreves
8. Never turn your back on a Monster!
9. Monsters! (Reprise)
10. Strangiato Theme (Reprise)
11. A Farewell to Things

Permanent Waves
Permanent Waves (1980)

The Spirit of The Radio
Freewill
Jacob's Ladder
Entre Nous
Different Strings
Natural Science
I. Tide Pools
II. Hyperspace
III. Permanent Waves

Moving Pictures
Moving Pictures (1981)

Tom Sawyer
Red Barchetta
YYZ
Limelight
The Camera Eye
Witch Hunt (Part III of Fear)
Vital Signs

Exit...Stage Left
Exit...Stage Left (1981)

Spirit of Radio
Red Barchetta
YYZ
Closer To The Heart
Beneath, Between and Behind
Jacob's Ladder
Broon's Bane
The Tree's
Xanadu
Freewill
Tom Sawyer
La Villa Strangiato

Signals
Signals (1982)

Subdivisions
The Analog Kid
Chemistry
Digital Man
The Weapon (Part II of Fear)
New World Man
Losing It
Countdown

Grace Under Pressure
Grace Under Pressure (1984)

Distant Early Warning
AfterImage
Red Sector A
The Enemy Within (Part I of Fear)
The Body Electric
Kid Gloves
Red Lenses
Between The Wheels

Power Windows
Power Windows (1985)

The Big Money
Grand Designs
Manhattan Project
Marathon
Territories
Middletown Dreams
Emotion Detector
Mystic Rhythms

Hold Your Fire
Hold Your Fire (1987)

Force Ten
Time Stand Still
Open Secrets
Second Nature
Prime Mover
Lock and Key
Mission
Turn the Page
Tai Shan
High Water

A Show of Hands
A Show of Hands (1989)

Intro
The Big Money
Subdivisions
Marathon
Turn The Page
Manhattan Project
Mission
Distant Early Warning
Mystic Rhythms
Witch Hunt
The Rhythm Method
Force Ten
Time Stand Still
Red Sector A
Closer To The Heart

Presto
Presto (1989)

Show Don't Tell
Chain Lightning
The Pass
War Paint
Scars
Presto
Superconductor
Anagram (for Mongo)
Red Tide
Hand Over Fist
Available Light

Chronicles
Chronicles (1990)

Finding My Way
Working Man
Fly By Night
Anthem
Bastille Day
Lakeside Park
2112
Overture
Temples of Syrinx
What You're Doing (live)
A Farewell to Kings
Closer To The Heart
The Trees
La Villa Strangiato
The Spirit of Radio
Freewill
Tom Sawyer
Red Barchetta
Limelight
A Passage To Bangkok
Subdivisions
New World Man
Distant Early Warning
Red Sector A
The Big Money
Manhattan Project
Force Ten
Time Stand Still
Mystic Rhythms (live)
Show Don't Tell

Roll the Bones
Roll the Bones (1991)

Dreamline
Bravado
Roll The Bones
Face Up
Where's My Thing? (Part IV, "Gangster Of Boats" Trilogy)
The Big Wheel
Heresy
Ghost Of A Chance
Neurotica
You Bet Your Life

Counterparts
Counterparts (1993)

Animate
Stick It Out
Cut To The Chase
Nobody's Hero
Between Sun And Moon
Alien Shore
Speed Of Love
Double Agent
Leave That Thing Alone
Cold Fire
Everyday Glory

Test For Echo
Test For Echo (1996)

Test For Echo
Driven
Half The World
The Color Of Right
Time And Motion
Totem
Dog Years
Virtuality
Resist
Limbo
Carve Away The Stone

Retrospective 1: 1974-1980
Retrospective 1: 1974-1980 (1997)

The Spirit of Radio
The Trees
Something For Nothing
Freewill
Xanadu
Bastille Day
By-Tor and the Snowdog
Anthem
Closer To The Heart
2112
I. Overture
II. Temples of Syrinx
La Villa Strangiato
Fly By Night
Finding My Way

Retrospective 2: 1981-1987
Retrospective 2: 1981-1987 (1997)

The Big Money
Red Barchetta
Subdivisions
Time Stand Still
Mystic Rhythms
The Analog Kid
Distant Early Warning
Marathon
The Body Electric
Mission
Limelight
Red Sector A
New World Man
Tom Sawyer
Force Ten

Different Stages
Different Stages (1998)

Dreamline
Limelight
Driven
Bravado
Animate
Show Don't Tell
The Tree's
Nobody's Hero
Closer To The Heart
2112
Test For Echo
Analog Kid
Freewill
Roll The Bones
Stick It Out
Resist
Leave That Thing Alone
The Rhythm Method
Natural Science
The Spirit Of The Radio
Tom Sawyer
YYZ
Hammersmith Odeon
London 1978
Bastille Day
By-Tor & The Snow Dog
Xanadu
Farewell To Kings
Something For Nothing
Cygnus X-1
Anthem
Working Man
Fly By Night
In The Mood
Cinderella Man


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