Publication date 29th July 2022
Veteran Canadian rockers Rush are something of a musical miracle. They successfully transformed themselves from a Led Zeppelin- and Cream-influenced power trio to progressive band with a serious sci-fi and fantasy fixation, and ultimately to anything they'd ever imagined. Few bands could have so effortlessly navigated, much less survived, these radical transitions - all while moving tens of millions of units across the globe.
Although each member of the band has been heralded for his individual technical prowess, Rush has always been greater than the sum of its parts. A string of studio recording classics from the mid-1970s through to the early 1980s, including 2112, A Farewell to Kings, Permanent Waves, Moving Pictures and Signals, catapulted bassist/vocalist Geddy Lee, guitarist Alex Lifeson and drummer Neil Peart into the upper echelons of rock stardom. In the ensuing years, Rush boldly explored new technology and compositional strategies, shifting musical directions and risking the possibility of alienating much of its fan base.
By the late 1980s and into the 1990s, gone were the programmed, keyboard-laden musical superhighways mapped out for releases Power Windows and Hold Your Fire. In the last days of the 20th Century and into the current era, Rush experienced paradigm-shifting career reconstruction, personal tragedy, professional hiatus, a rediscovery of sci-fi-inspired concepts, and, in 2013, induction into the Rock 'N' Roll Hall of Fame. Analysing both the musical and lyrical content of the band's considerable output, and providing a sprinkling of archival and new interviews, this On Track entry traces all the various sonic sojourns in the decades-long Rush saga.
In the wake of the recent and devastating passing of legendary drummer Peart, we pay tribute as well as provide a useful guide to one of the most revered body of works of the rock musical form.