The Canadian power trio Rush attracted a large international following in the mid-1970s with their eclectic brew of metal, progressive rock, and fantasy-oriented lyrics. Since then the group has kept up with the times, gradually developing a more pop-oriented sound, but their career approach has remained more or less the same: bypass the critics and Top Forty radio and sell records by touring constantly. In the wake of their enormous success—a 1991 Maclean’s profile revealed that the trio had been “a multimillion-dollar entity for 15 years”—Rush has earned grudging respect from some of their harshest critics. Perhaps more notably, though, the once unfashionable fusion they pioneered in the 1970s has emerged as an influence on many cutting edge rock acts of the late 1980s and early 1990s, including Faith No More, Jane’s Addiction, and Fishbone. What critics of the 1980s derided as “dinosaur rock” gained a new relevance in the 1990s, causing many fans, musicians, and critics to reassess Rush’s work.
Rush’s success has allowed them to take a more
Members include Geddy Lee (born Geddy Weinrib, July 29, 1953, in Toronto, Ontario, Canada), vocals, bass, keyboards; Alex lifeson (born August 27, 1953, in Surnie, British Columbia, Canada), guitar; and Neil Peart (born September 12, 1952, in Hamilton, Ontario; replaced John Rutsey, 1974), drums.
Group formed in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, 1968; recording and performing artists, 1968—. Released independent debut LP, Rush, 1974; released first Mercury album, Fly By Night, 1975.
Addresses: Manager —Ray Danniels, SRO Management, Inc., 189 Carlton St., Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5A 2K7. Record company —Atlantic Records, 75 Rockefeller Plaza, New York, NY 10019.
relaxed approach to their careers; all three live quiet, domestic lives. As bassist-singer Geddy Lee remarked in Maclean’ s, “it’s a darn good job and we do very well. But now, I’m not afraid to say no to Rush. My family’s extremely important to me.” This mellowed perspective has also permitted Lee, guitarist Alex Lifeson, and drummer-lyricist Neil Peart to demonstrate that their reputation for taking themselves too seriously has been exaggerated. “People have always accused us of being deadly serious, but we all can look back at our albums and see the jokes,” Lee insisted in an interview with Musician’s J. D. Considine, though he admitted this perspective came with time. “It’s funny, when you’re younger you seem to have this intentional furrowed brow when you’re writing your music. It’s like, ‘This is serious music!’ God knows what serious music is, but when you’re a little bit older, you seem to have a lighter hand.”
Lightness of touch would probably not have been the attribute that leapt to the minds of Rush fans or critics of the 1970s who attempted to describe the trio. The group’s early albums featured science fiction opuses and songs based on the work of ultra-individualist writer Ayn Rand, all set to music jammed with complex time changes, extended solos, and bombastic riffing. Lee’s voice, which Rolling Stone’s Michael Azerrad called “a shrill screech,” has had many detractors over the years. With 1980’s Permanent Waves, however, the band turned a corner; the album contained their first radio hit—appropriately titled “The Spirit of Radio”— and drew their first respectful press. Though reviews were mixed over the next decade, the group retained a loyal core of followers and managed to make new converts with each tour and record.
The Rush enterprise began in the late 1960s. Lee and Lifeson met in high school in Ontario, Canada. Influenced by the heavy psychedelic rock of Cream and Jimi Hendrix, the guitarist and bassist began playing together; by 1968 they had formed a group with Lifeson’s friend John Rutsey on drums. The group struggled on the club scene until a major legislative development—the lowering of the legal drinking age to 18 in Canada—increased their schedule threefold. Soon they were playing gigs throughout the week, and were not constrained to dances that required them to play oldies. After several years and numerous frustrated attempts to generate record company interest, they elected to make their own album. Their debut LP, Rush, appeared on the Moon Records label in 1974, sold surprisingly well in the United States—thanks in part to substantial airplay on a Cleveland, Ohio, radio station—and led Mercury Records to sign them. Soon the group had booked a U.S. tour. At that point, however, a falling out led to Rutsey’s departure.
Desperate, Lee and Lifeson auditioned and hired drummer Neil Peart; soon the trio achieved “international band” status by playing in such exotic places as Florida and Pennsylvania. For the first several years their touring schedule would be incredibly rigorous. As Lee explained to Rolling Stone’s David Fricke, “The strategy was, ‘There’s a gig. We’ll go play it.’” Ray Danniels, who managed the band from its inception, elaborated: “It was the drive-till-you-die philosophy.” Peart’s drumming had given breadth and complexity to the group’s sound, and his lyrics were ambitious and unusual, as witnessed by fantasy excursions like “By Tor and the Snow Dog.”
In 1975 Rush released Fly by Night, the first LP with their permanent lineup. But neither Fly by Night nor the subsequent release Caress of Steel sol impressively. According to Fricke, these two records “bear the scars of the group’s naivete.” Rush wasn’t succeeding, at least by rock business standards. “Then we realized how stupid we were,” Lee remembered. “Because of all these people putting pressure on us, we were looking at ourselves through their eyes. From then on, we knew exactly what our direction was going to be, and were determined to have success strictly on our own terms.”
1976’s elaborate concept album 2112, according to John Swenson of Rolling Stone, “marked the band’s evolution into spokesmen for a lost generation of Seventies rockers influenced by groups as disparate as the Who, Cream, Procol Harum and King Crimson.” Featuring songs like “Temples of Syrinx,” 2112 grabbed a whole new audience, as did the subsequent Rush tour, which included the group’s first appearances in the United Kingdom. Melody Maker’s Steve Gett reported that Rush, “for a relatively unknown band, went down tremendously.” Chris Welch, writing for the same publication, noted that the trio “surprised a lot of people by selling out and getting a standing ovation at their gigs— not bad for a band virtually unknown here until recently.” 1976 also saw the release of a double live record, All the World’s a Stage.
The following year the band came out with A Farewell to Kings, which Melody Maker’s Michael Oldfie called “Rush’s best yet.” Oldfie was particularly enraptured by “Cygnus X-1;” he summarized the song as “the story of a doomed journey through the universe to the Black Hole of the title.” This was only “Book One” of a continuing story, however: “for those of us waiting to get to Cygnus X-1, the next album can’t come soon enough,” the reviewer continued.
The sequel to A Farewell to Kings arrived in 1978. Hemispheres, which took longer than the band had anticipated to complete, featured a title track that was meant, according to Rolling Stone’s Michael Bloom, to complete “Cygnus X-1,” although “the musical and thematic references are only tangential.” Bloom approved of much of the record’s musical content—especially the instrumental “La Villa Strangiato,” but had reservations about Peart’s lyrics and Lee’s “often unnecessarily strident” voice.
Rush’s real breakthrough came in 1980 with Permanent Waves. Fricke claimed that “Rush demonstrate a maturity that even their detractors may have to admire,” and expressed particular admiration for the single “The Spirit of Radio;” his review concluded with the contention that “this band is among the very best in its genre.” Soon Rolling Stone ran a feature about the group’s new access to FM radio—thanks to “The Spirit of Radio.” The band members owned that the new album reflected a more earthbound set of concerns; ironically, the single and another Permanent Waves track—“Natural Science”—were critical of the industry that had given the band the cold shoulder in the past. According to Swenson, the two songs “carve up the record industry as a pack of charlatans.”
Peart admitted that the tone of Permanent Waves was “a bit angry,” summarizing its message as “Stop bullshitting.” Years later he told Bob Mack in Spin that he still considered “Radio”—a song that mixed reggae, pop, and metal in a radical new way—“a valid musical gumbo” designed “to represent what radio should be.” Swenson observed that “The Spirit of Radio” in all likelihood had “gotten more airplay than Rush’s entire catalog put together, and it’s brought them a whole new audience.” The album made the Top Five.
The band’s critical popularity, such as it was, didn’t last long. Gett, reviewing 1981’s Moving Pictures for Melody Maker, called the LP “self-indulgent…. The album may be technically superb but it really doesn’t generate much excitement.” He concluded that “A lot of fans will feel betrayed.” Rather than presenting more radio-friendly material, the band had put together longer, more difficult music at a time when critics were hoping for greater simplicity. But, as Fricke had noted, “critics don’t count at all” in Rush’s genre. As Lifeson explained to Brian Karrigan in Melody Maker, “the media isn’t something that we tend to worry about in the band any more. It’s more of a management or record company thing.” 1981 also saw the release of a double live album, Exit… Stage Left, that sold tremendously.
But Rush’s albums always had a substantial audience, whether reviews were favorable or not. Harrigan called Signals of 1983 Rush’s “major breakthrough,” observing that “the album was packed with diverse musical strands and had such an aura of celebration about it that it suggested the band themselves had found a great release and allowed everything they had to come through.” Harrigan reported that British concert audiences “greeted Rush in complete awe.” By 1984, with its new release, Grace Under Pressure, Rush was— according to Derek Oliver of Melody Maker— “one of the world’s most popular rock bands.”
Rush’s new sound was influenced by British new wave pop from the likes of U2, Simple Minds, the Police, and Ultravox. Oliver was struck by Grace Under Pressure’s “accessibility,” while acknowledging that it was “seen by many as Rush’s most adventurous album to date.” And like numerous other interviewers, Oliver commented on how “immensely likeable” he found Geddy Lee.
The following year Rush released Power Windows, which Rolling Stone’s Fricke praised as a record that “may well be the missing link between [English progressive-rockers] Yes and [seminal English punk band] The Sex Pistols.” The reviewer referred to the LP’s single “The Big Money” as “the best of Rush’s Cool Wave experiments to date”; he commented that on Power Windows, as on Grace Under Pressure, the band “tightened up their sidelong suites and rhythmic abstractions into balled-up song fists, art-rock blasts of angular, slashing guitar, spatial keyboards [played by Lee] and hyperpercussion, all resolved with forthright melodic sense.”
1987 saw the release of Hold Your Fire, which contained the single “Time Stand Still,” featuring singer Aimee Mann of the group ‘Til Tuesday on backing vocals. According to a Maclean’s reporter, after the tour for this album the three members of Rush returned to Canada sick and virtually estranged from their families. At that point, according to Lee, he, Lifeson, and Peart “discovered that we didn’t have to be obsessed about Rush 24 hours a day.” They arranged to spend more time doing other things; Lee would get ten days off with his family for every three weeks of touring, while Lifeson and Peart devoted themselves to athletic pursuits.
Hold Your Fire —along with Power Windows —provided the material for 1989’s double live set A Show of Hands. Azerrad panned the record as a sterile, bombastic marathon, observing that “the music has the emotional emptiness of bad jazz fusion.” By this time Melody Maker had fallen out of love with Rush’s sound; Mick Mercer’s acidic review of A Show of Hands revealed the group’s lowered status with the publication: “The removal of Rush from society,” Mercer fantasized, “as with the eradication of tuberculosis, was greeted with the establishment of internationally agreed public holidays.” Though the album was rather unpopular with other critics as well, a People reviewer spoke highly of the 1989 Show of Hands videocassette: “Even those who don’t usually enjoy Rush may find this 14-song concert video by the Canadian power-pop trio to their liking.”
Rush earned some accolades for their 1989 studio album Presto, released by their new label, Atlantic. Stereo Review called the record “proof that progressive rock is alive and well and in capable hands.” The LP included the single “Show Don’t Tell,” the message of which was so popular with some American schoolteachers that the video for the song was actually shown in their classrooms. David Hiltbrand remarked in People that the band’s “rock formalism has never been better realized,” though he had less admiration for “the cartoonishly high pitch and overwrought intensity” of Lee’s voice.
Another Atlantic album, Chronicles, was released in 1990, and by 1991 Rush had a new hit album on their hands, Roll the Bones. The latter LP entered the Billboard album chart at Number Three, and if it didn’t please everyone—Craig Tomashoff of People called it “audible proof that dinosaurs still roam the earth”—it sold faster than any previous Rush album. In addition, the single “Dreamline” was for a time the most requested song on U.S. rock stations, and the concert tour that supported the album was a smash in a dry concert season. The admiration expressed for Rush by a variety of groundbreaking alternative bands of the early 1990s—and the trio’s clear influence even on many bands that did not mention them—gave Rush a new respectability in the music world.
From their days as a teenaged blues-metal act to their international fame as progressive rock’s longest lasting big act, Rush have stuck to their vision; critical attitudes have changed, but the trio’s commitment to themselves and their audience have paid off handsomely. As Lee remarked in a Guitar Player interview, “It’s such a satisfying musical situation that, whenever push comes to shove, we always count our blessings. It’s something you appreciate more the older you get.”
Rush, Moon Records, 1974.
On Mercury Records
Fly by Night (includes “By Tor and the Snow Dog”), 1975. Caress of Steel, 1975.
2112 (includes “Temples of Syrinx”), 1976.
All the World’s a Stage, 1976.
A Farewell to Kings (includes “Cygnus X-1”), 1977.
Hemispheres (includes “La Villa Strangiato”), 1978.
Permanent Waves (includes “The Spirit of Radio” and “Natural Science”), 1980.
Moving Pictures, 1981.
Exit… Stage Left, 1981.
Grace Under Pressure, 1984.
Power Windows (includes “The Big Money”), 1985.
Hold Your Fire (includes “Time Stand Still”), 1987.
A Show of Hands, 1989.
On Atlantic Records
Presto (includes “Show Don’t Tell”), 1989.
Roll the Bones (includes “Dreamline”), 1991.
Guitar Player, September 1991.
Maclean’s, September 30, 1991.
Melody Maker, July 23, 1977; November 5, 1977; May 12, 1979; February 28, 1981; November 7, 1981; May 28, 1983; May 5, 1984; January 28, 1989.
Musician, April 1990.
People, April 24, 1989; January 22, 1990; November 18, 1991.
Rolling Stone, March 22, 1979; May 1, 1980; June 26, 1980; May 28, 1981; January 30, 1986; April 20, 1989.
Spin, March 1992.
Stereo Review, April 1990.
rush1 / rəsh/ • v. 1. [intr.] move with urgent haste: Jason rushed after her I rushed outside and hailed a taxi. ∎ (of air or a liquid) flow strongly: the water rushed in through the great oaken gates. ∎ [intr.] act with great haste: as soon as the campaign started, they rushed into action | shoppers rushed to buy computers. ∎ [tr.] force (someone) to act hastily: I don't want to rush you into something. ∎ [tr.] take (someone) somewhere with great haste: an ambulance was waiting to rush him to the hospital. ∎ deliver (something) quickly to (someone): we'll rush you a copy at once. ∎ (rush something out) produce and distribute something, or put something up for sale, very quickly: a rewritten textbook was rushed out last autumn. ∎ [tr.] deal with (something) hurriedly: panic measures were rushed through Congress | [as adj.] (rushed) a rushed job. ∎ [tr.] dash toward (someone or something) in an attempt to attack or capture them or it: he rushed the stronghold. 2. [tr.] Football advance rapidly toward (an offensive player, esp. the quarterback). ∎ [intr.] gain a specified amount of yardage or score a touchdown or conversion by running from scrimmage with the ball: he rushed for 100 yards on 22 carries. 3. [tr.] entertain (a new student) in order to assess their suitability for membership in a college fraternity or sorority. ∎ (of a student) visit (a college fraternity or sorority) with a view toward joining it: he rushed three fraternities. • n. 1. a sudden quick movement toward something, typically by a number of people: there was a rush for the door. ∎ a flurry of hasty activity: the pre-Christmas rush | [as adj.] a rush job. ∎ a sudden strong demand for a commodity: there's been a rush on the Tribune because of the murder. ∎ a sudden flow or flood: she felt a rush of cold air. ∎ a sudden intense feeling: Mark felt a rush of anger. ∎ a sudden thrill or feeling of euphoria such as experienced after taking certain drugs: users experience a rush. 2. Football a rapid advance by a defensive player or players, esp. toward the quarterback. ∎ an act of running from scrimmage with the ball to gain yardage. 3. the process whereby college fraternities or sororities entertain new students in order to assess suitability for membership: ranking pledges during rush | [as adj.] rush week. 4. (rushes) the first prints made of a movie after a period of shooting. DERIVATIVES: rush·er n. rush·ing·ly adv. rush2 • n. 1. a marsh or waterside plant (genus Juncus, family Juncaceae) with slender stemlike pith-filled leaves, widely distributed in temperate areas. Some kinds are used for matting, chair seats, and baskets, and some were formerly used for strewing on floors. ∎ used in names of similar plants of wet habitats, e.g., flowering rush. ∎ a stem of such a plant. ∎ such plants used as a material. 2. archaic a thing of no value (used for emphasis): not one of them is worth a rush. DERIVATIVES: rush·like / -ˌlīk/ adj. rush·y adj.
Formed: 1968, Toronto
Members: Geddy Lee, bass, lead vocals, keyboards (Gary Lee Weinrib, born Toronto, Ontario, 29 July 1953); Alex Lifeson, guitar (Alex Zivojinovich, born Surnie, British Columbia, 27 August 1953); Neil Peart, drums (born Hamilton, Ontario, 12 September 1952). Former member: John Rutsey, drums (born Toronto, Ontario, 1953).
Best-selling album since 1990: Roll the Bones (1991)
Hit songs since 1990: "Dreamline"
Rush, the progressive rock trio, is the most successful rock group ever to come out of Canada. Since their debut album in 1974, Rush has changed their style several times although the band's personnel has never been altered. Known for their distinctive sound, largely due to bassist/singer Geddy Lee's piercing vocals, Rush endured drummer Neil Peart's devastating personal misfortune in the late 1990s to regroup and record again.
Formed in 1968 by guitarist Alex Lifeson and drummer John Rutsey, Rush started out primarily as a heavy blues/rock band. They added bassist/vocalist Geddy (pronounced with a hard "G") Lee in 1971 and toured throughout Canada prior to finding success when their debut album, Rush (1974), began getting American airplay. Lifeson's heavy guitar riffs and furious solos in addition to Lee's extremely high-pitched vocals reminded many listeners of early Led Zeppelin. Interest in the band grew and they made plans for their first American tour, although Rutsey dropped out for health reasons related to diabetes. In a hurried and fateful audition process, they selected Neil Peart (formerly of a band called Hush) as their drummer, receiving more than they had bargained for as the erudite Peart began actively writing songs and changing the band's direction. Consequently, instead of becoming lost in a sea of blues/rock boogie bands that mostly washed out by the 1980s, Rush went on a fruitful progressive bend with science fiction-styled themes and lengthy songs that flirted with rock opera.
Their fourth release, 2112 (1976), an intricate concept album based on the works of writer Ayn Rand, catapulted the band into stardom and they began filling stadiums with faithful fans. Throughout the 1970s, Rush's albums, despite little radio play and harsh treatment by critics for their over-the-top themes in addition to Lee's shrill voice, sold well, mostly due to their relentless touring. Nevertheless, the band hit their peak in the 1980s by switching gears again, creating synthesized albums containing softer, shorter songs with contemporary themes. This formula produced their best-known songs, standard radio fare like "The Spirit of Radio" and "Freewill" from Permanent Waves (1980) and their biggest hit, "Tom Sawyer," from Moving Pictures (1981), which also included the popular "Limelight."
After a decline in record sales as the 1980s wound down, Rush decreased their use of synthesizers and revisited the heavier sounds of the first albums. They garnered critical acclaim and scored successful sales on their next release, Roll the Bones (1991). The album featured the hit "Dreamline," and the album went on to become Rush's fastest seller ever up to that point. They followed with Counterparts (1993) and another success, Test for Echo (1996), before the band was forced to take a hiatus.
In August 1997, Peart's nineteen-year-old daughter, Selena, his only child, was killed in a car accident. The close-knit band put everything on hold in order for Peart to deal with his grief. Then in July of the following year, Peart's wife, Jackie, died after a short battle with cancer. Both Lifeson and Lee, devout family men themselves, proclaimed that Rush would not work again until and unless Peart felt ready to resume. Replacing him was never an issue. Peart grieved by going on an extended motorcycle sojourn, a spiritual trip that took him all over the North American continent. He recorded this cathartic experience in a published memoir, Ghost Rider: Travels on the Healing Road (2002).
In late 2001 the trio assembled in a studio for the first time in almost six years and began creating the album Vapor Trails (2002). They worked communally during the creative process putting the songs together piece by piece after Lifeson and Lee would gather in one part of the studio working on music and Peart would muse alone in a different studio room creating lyrics. Vapor Trails, the band's twenty-first album, received critical acclaim for its less grandiose, more personally styled lyrics and fresh sound. Rush promoted Vapor Trails with an extensive tour.
In 2003 Rush was getting ready to release a concert DVD of the Vapor Trails tour. Also included is footage from their Test for Echo tour. They postponed the earlier planned DVD from that tour due to Peart's misfortunes. Additionally, in 2003, the band was inducted into the Canadian Music Industry Hall of Fame, a tribute usually bestowed only to music industry insiders. They had earlier received induction into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame in 1994.
Throughout their thirty-year career, Rush, more than any other three-piece rock group, has imaginatively pushed musical boundaries. Their daring commitment to heavy-themed concept music made them a critics' whipping post but also cemented their following with legions of fans worldwide who often question why Rush has not been given entrance into America's Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Further validity of Rush's importance is witnessed in the emulation of their musicianship by alternative rock bands such as Primus, Tool, and Smashing Pumpkins.
Rush (Moon, 1974); Fly by Night (Mercury, 1975); Caress of Steel (Mercury, 1975); 2112 (Mercury, 1976); All the World's a Stage (Mercury, 1976); Permanent Waves (Mercury, 1980); Moving Pictures (Mercury, 1981); Signals (Mercury, 1982); Grace under Pressure (Mercury, 1984); Power Windows (Mercury, 1985); A Show of Hands (Mercury, 1989); Chronicles (Atlantic, 1990); Roll the Bones (Atlantic, 1991); Test for Echo (Atlantic, 1996); Vapor Trails (Atlantic, 2002).
R. Telleria, Rush: Merely Players
(Kinston, Ontario, 2002).
Rush , 1980s progressive rockers. Membership: Geddy Lee (real name, Gary Lee Winery), voc, bs., kybd. (b. Toronto, Canada, July 29, 1953); Alex Lifeson (real name, Zivojinovich), grr. (b. British Columbia, Canada, Aug. 27, 1953); John Rutsey, drm.; Neal Peart, drm. (b. Hamilton, Ontario, Sept. 12, 1952).
Rush started off as a power trio, playing Led Zeppelin-like hard boogie and blues in Toronto-area bars. They cut a self-released single in 1973, a cover of Buddy Holly’s “Not Fade Away.” A year later, their self- titled debut album also came out on their own label, although London Records distributed it. While that first record didn’t sell especially well, it received enough recognition to land them opening slots on tours with The New York Dolls and ZZ Top.
Between its first and second albums, the band was transformed thanks to two major changes. First, Rush changed drummers, bringing on Neal Peart. In addition to his virtuoso playing ability, Peart proved to be a very skilled lyricist. Second, the band signed to Mercury Records. Their next two albums found Rush playing pedestrian hard rock, though the level of musicianship and Lee’s castrato voice gave the band the beginnings of a distinctive sound. They became popular live attraction, and their 1976 live album, All the World’s a Stage, even made the U.S. Top 40, going gold at the time and platinum four years later. This marked a turning point in the band’s career. Not only did this begin their string of gold records; it also saw them taking their musicianship in a more progressive direction.
In 1976 Rush released the concept album 2112. Based on the Writings of Ayn Rand, album combined her philosophy of self-determination with the band’s audacious hard-rock chops. It transformed the group into the thinking person’s hard rockers. With a title track that ran around 20 minutes long, the album went gold on its release, eventually going triple platinum. The follow-up album, A Farewell to Kings, also sold platinum, rising to #33 on the charts. While Hemispheres didn’t crack the Top 40, it also went gold shortly after its release and eventually went platinum. Clearly the band was developing a substantial cult following.
The release of Permanent Waves in 1980 demonstrated just how substantial a cult Rush had built, while expanding on it. The lead-off track, “Spirit of Radio” became a hit on album radio and even went Top 20 in England. The album went to #4 on the charts, again going gold shortly after its release and eventually reaching platinum. The band continued to transform its sound, moving increasingly from its hard-rock roots into a more progressive, radio-friendly style. Rush added synthesizers to their sound, with Lifeson softening his guitar sound with the sort of shimmering effects that permeated 1980s music. These sonic changes informed their next album, 1981’s Moving Pictures. Again, the lead track, “Tom Sawyer,” became a massive album rock hit, and the instrumental “YYZ” and the rock star rumination “Limelight” also earned airplay. The album rose to #3, going platinum shortly after it came out. It eventually sold more than four million copies. Rush followed this with a live album, Exit, Stage Left, which captured the band’s style in transition, but still reached the Top Ten and went gold.
Back in the studio, however, they captured lightning in a bottle again with 1982’s Signals. This album gave Rush something no one (including the band) would have thought possible: a Top 40 hit. The song “New World Man” actually rose to #21; it did not really affect the sales of the album, however. Its profile was almost identical to its predecessor: #10 pop and gold, eventually rising to platinum, as did the next two albums, Grace Under Pressure and Power Windows. With each subsequent album, Rush moved further from hard rock and deeper into synthesizers and effects.
By the 1987 release of Hold Your Fire, Rush’s core of fans started to dwindle slightly; the album reached #13, but has yet to break gold status. With the live album Show of Hands, the band completed its obligation to Mercury. Moving to Atlantic, Rush hoped that the change of venue might energize them. Their first album for the new company, 1989’s Presto, showcased many of the band’s virtues, including the sinew and immediacy that much of their later 1980s output lacked. It sold gold and hit #16. They followed this two years later with the dark Roll the Bones, which tied Moving Pictures as the band’s highest-charting album at #3, but managed to sell only gold. Counterparts (1993) found the band eschewing some of the effects and synths, but in service of songs that even the band concedes were weak.
The group took some time to recharge. Lifeson recorded Victor, an album more informed by Pearl Jam than Rush. Peart, always a drummer with the technique of a surgeon, took swing lessons, putting them to work on his Burning for Buddy project, a tribute to big-band drummer Buddy Rich. Lee took some time out for fatherhood. When Rush reconvened to cut 1996’s Test for Echo, it showed the influence of their side projects in a positive way: Lee let go a little, Lifeson rocked a little harder, and Peart swung. The album rocketed into the charts at #5, going gold. Then Peart suffered tragedy: first, his 19-year-old daughter was killed in an automobile accident in the fall of 1997; less than a year later, his wife died of cancer. Rush released a three-CD live set dedicated to Peart’s late family members, then Lee and Lifeson went about other business. As of the beginning of the year 2000, the band’s future continued to be up in the air.
rush: Rush (1974); Caress of Steel (1975); Fly by Night (1975); All the World’s a Stage (1976); 2112 (1976); A Farewell to Kings (1977); Hemispheres (1978); Permanent Waves (1980); Moving Pictures (1981); Exit…Stage Left (1981); Signals (1982); Grace Under Pressure (1984); Power Windows (1985); Hold Your Fire (1987); A Show of Hands (1988); Presto (1989); Roll the Bones (1991); Counterparts (1993); Test for Echo (1996). alex lifeson: Victor (1995). neal peart: Burning for Buddy (1994).
a group formed by a moving forward with great speed; a stampede of horses or cattle.
Examples : rush of birds, 1901; of blood, 1848; of business, 1849; of dunbirds, 1875; of horses, 1881; of men, 1813; of shyness, 1883; of tears, 1873; of terror, 1865; of tide, 1789; of troops; of water; of wind.