Donald's Encyclopedia of Popular Music

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

RUSH

Heavy metal trio formed in Sarnia, Ontario '69 by bassist/vocalist Geddy Lee (b 29 July '53, Willowdale), guitarist Alex Lifeson (b 27 Aug. '53, Fernie BC), drummer John Rutsey as school group playing Cream, Iron Butterfly covers. Supported New York Dolls in Toronto '73, decided to record: Rush '74 on manager's Moon label was picked up by Mercury, who'd signed Canadian high-flyers Bachman Turner Overdrive. Rutsey's departure due to ill health introduced Neil Peart (b 12 Sep. '52, Hamilton), itinerant drummer with lyric-writing skills; Fly By Night '75 incl. mythological themes in 'Rivendell' (from Lord Of The Rings) and 'By-Tor And The Snow Dog'; latter story continued on Caress Of Steel '75 by 'Necromancer', with a whole side taken up by 'The Fountain Of Lamneth'. 2112 '76 was based on right-wing novelist Ayn Rand's Anthem (title of a Peart track on Fly By Night) which led to 'crypto-fascist' jibe, enhanced by logo of man fighting a red star (and by rock critics who think that if you're not a Marxist you must be a fascist). 2112 and live All The World's A Stage '76 sold well in USA and on import in UK; encouraged, band recorded A Farewell To Kings '77 at Rockfield in Wales. Mix of Lee's banshee vocals and Peart's thunderous Keith Moon- inspired drumming leavened by more modern influences, even reggae: Hemispheres '78, Permanent Waves '80, Moving Pictures '81, second live set Exit Stage Left '81, Signals '82 all showed some progress; Grace Under Pressure '84 saw new co- producer Peter Henderson take over from long-time collaborator Terry Brown, bringing more influences: 'Distant Early Warning' an example of lyrics more intelligent than usual in the genre. Further albums were Power Windows '85, Hold Your Fire '87, live A Show Of Hands and Presto '89, compilation Chronicles and their biggest yet in US charts, Roll The Bones '91 and Counterparts '93, from a rare HM band with a personality.