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Rush is a legendary Canadian rock band that has left an indelible mark on the world of progressive rock and hard rock.
Formed in 1968, the band's history is rich and multifaceted, spanning over four decades. Here's a detailed history of Rush:
Formation and Early Years:
1. 1968-1973 - Rush was formed in the summer of 1968 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, by guitarist Alex Lifeson, bassist and vocalist Geddy Lee, and drummer John Rutsey. Initially, the band was known as "The Projection" and played primarily cover songs. They changed their name to Rush in 1969.
2. 1974 - John Rutsey left the band due to health issues, and Neil Peart joined as the new drummer and lyricist. This marked a significant turning point for Rush. The classic lineup of Lifeson, Lee, and Peart was established, and they released their self-titled debut album, "Rush."
Progressive Rock Pioneers:
3. 1975-1976 - Rush released two albums, "Fly by Night" and "Caress of Steel," showcasing a move towards progressive rock and longer, more complex compositions. The band's sound evolved, and Neil Peart's lyrical contributions became a defining feature of their music.
4. 1976-1977 - Rush's breakthrough came with the album "2112." This rock opera-themed album was a critical and commercial success. The title track, "2112," remains one of their most iconic songs.
5. 1978-1979 - "A Farewell to Kings" and "Hemispheres" continued the band's exploration of progressive rock and featured extended instrumental passages, complex song structures, and philosophical themes. The song "Cygnus X-1" was a highlight of this era.
6. 1980-1981 - Rush's album "Permanent Waves" marked a shift towards shorter, more radio-friendly songs. Hits like "The Spirit of Radio" and "Freewill" became staples of classic rock radio. This album established Rush as a force in mainstream rock music.
7. 1981-1982 - The album "Moving Pictures" solidified Rush's place in rock history. Songs like "Tom Sawyer" and "YYZ" showcased their technical prowess and creativity. The album is often considered one of the greatest progressive rock records of all time.
8. 1982-1989 - Rush continued to release successful albums, including "Signals," "Grace Under Pressure," and "Power Windows," which showcased their willingness to experiment with synthesizers and electronic elements while maintaining their progressive rock core.
9. 1990s - Rush's sound evolved again in the 1990s with albums like "Counterparts" and "Test for Echo." They returned to a more guitar-driven sound while still retaining their signature intricate compositions.
10. 2000s - The band released "Vapor Trails" after a hiatus and continued to tour extensively. "Snakes & Arrows" (2007) and "Clockwork Angels" (2012) were well-received albums and solidified their status as one of the greatest rock bands of all time.
Retirement and Legacy:
11. 2015 - After a 40-year career and 20 studio albums, Rush embarked on their R40 tour, which was officially announced as their "last major tour of this magnitude."
12. 2018 - Neil Peart passed away after battling brain cancer, marking the end of Rush as a touring and recording band. Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson have since pursued solo projects.
Rush's impact on the world of rock music is immeasurable. They were known for their virtuosic musicianship, complex and thought-provoking lyrics, and a dedicated fan base. They remain a source of inspiration for countless musicians and continue to enjoy enduring popularity. Rush's legacy as progressive rock pioneers and rock music legends will persist for generations to come.