All About Rush

Rush is often thought of as the musicians' musicians, and have strived to break musical boundaries and limits for over 30 years.

Last Updated: 2005-01-10
Rush was once a small hard rock group from Toronto, Canada. Making their commercial breakthrough in 1976 with 2112, Rush has done nothing but gain the respect and recognition of musicians around the world - not to mention close to 1 million fans in the United States alone. The band was one of the first Progressive Metal bands, one of the most successful Progressive Rock bands, and has 22 gold records, 14 platinum (2 multi-platinum), and- making them one of the best selling rock artists in history.
Rush - 1974 group photo
Rush is:

Neil Peart
Geddy Lee
Alex Lifeson   
Rush - 1977 group photo Rush - 2002 group photo
THE STUDIO ALBUMS (ranked in order of greatness):
1. Moving Pictures (1981)
One of the greatest rock albums of all time, this album shows that Rush's ability to change and play different kinds of music is the reason they are so successful. An essential album for any rock fan, every song as good as the last and every chill as great as the first.

2. 2112 (1976)
Rush's first gold record, and their commercial breakthrough, the album contains a sci-fi piece 20 minutes long, and 5 other masterpieces of hard rock. This is almost entirely essential for fans of 70's hard rock.

3. Permanent Waves (1980)
Rush's second album to gain media attention, considered to be Rush's greatest progressive rock album; containing songs that would qualify as space rock, folk-Prog and fusion.

4. A Farewell to Kings (1977)
Before they were progressive rock of any kind, they were a hard rock band, and this album shows just how damn good they were as one; riffs galore; every song an 'anthem' of the age, and very 'zepplin-esque'. It also contains one of the bands best songs, 'Closer to the Heart'.

5. Fly by Night (1975)
Before they were progressive rock of any kind, they were a hard rock band, and this album shows just how damn good they were as one; riffs galore; every song an 'anthem' of the age, and very 'zepplin-esque'.

6. Signals (1982)
Probably the biggest 'black sheep' of the bands catalog. Keyboards and guitar work together to create a very complex rhythm section, while Drums and Bass through the melodies around. The album is very Dark, and is often seen as Rush's first 'pop' album, but is more experimental than the last two releases.

7. Hemispheres (1978)
Rush direct follow up to AFTK, the album has four long tracks that essentially showcase the abilities of the band. The guitar is extremely prominent.

8. Test for Echo (1996)
The album announces the bands hopeful return to Prog-rock; with perfect meshes, well-thought lyrics and signs of a 'creative' renaissance for the band. The album's lyrics touch on societies growing communication abilities, and technological rise.

9. Presto (1989)
Most say its Rush's best attempt after Signals. The tone throughout the album is very consistent, and some think of it as a concept album. It's a very Jazzy and upbeat CD, and sometimes quite bittersweet.

10. Caress of Steel (1975)
Rush's crossover into Progressive Metal started here. With 2 epics, one full side and one half side, this album is great for fans of fall-out Prog and early progressive metal, and for Rush fans.

11. Rush (1974)
Rush came out of the Toronto bar scene as champions, and into the real rock scene as well... no one knew who they were! This album is actually pretty good, but not very innovative or groundbreaking.

12. Power Windows (1985)
Seen by some fans as a classic, the album is mostly up and down for fans. Songs like 'Marathon' or 'Big Money' are extremely intense, fast and progressive, while others like 'Middletown Dreams' and 'Territories' are slightly 'run of the mill'.

13. Grace Under Pressure (1984)
Thought to be Rush's coldest album, the record contains some of Alex's better riffs and solos, and quite possibly the best arrangements they've ever used. The album was their first in 8 years without Terry Brown producing.

14. Vapor Trails (2002)
This album is very troublesome. The riffs and song are good, but the mix is terrible. If you're going to buy it, buy the import or the remaster. Other than that, this album has some surprisingly very aggressive songs, and some very hardcore drumming.

15. Roll the Bones (1991)
Rush's excuse to go on tour in 1991 actually wasn't that bad. Heavy on synthesizer, and very careful guitar, the album is quite enjoyable even for the casual Rush fan.

16. Counterparts (1993)
Rush had one concept album, this one. The entire album is about love and compassion, and has some excellent song writing. The opening song 'Animate' is a classic Rush song.

17. Hold Your Fire (1987)
The best that can be said sometimes is 'it has its moments', and sadly, it had 2. The album is best turned off after the first two tracks, but shows much progress towards their next album, 'Presto'.
Moving Pictures album cover

2112 album cover

Permanent Waves album cover

A Farewell to Kings album cover

Fly by Night album cover

Signals album cover

Hemispheres album cover

Test for Echo album cover

Presto album cover

Caress of Steel album cover


Power Windows album cover

Grace Under Pressure album cover

Vapor Trails album cover

Counterparts album cover

Rush in Rio album cover

My Favorite Headache album cover
Rush in Rio (2003)
Rush's best live album. A defining showcase, and celebration of a successful return to the business, this album (or DVD) has everything you'd need to hear from Rush (except a few FULL songs and Cygnus part 2) as a casual listener. This album is a monster, and will take on any bootlegs you have.

Feedback [EP] (2004)
Rush has another surprise up their sleeve, Covers! All the covers have been done before by other bands, but I think Rush out did each and everyone. From Jimi Hendrix nods, to doom metal orgies, this is a great collection of songs.

All the World's a Stage (1976)
The band got popular as a great live band from this recording. That is all you need to know.

Exit... Stage Left (1981)
In the third age of Arena Rock bands, this was a necessary part of your collection. You never left home without it, especially if you had a pocket protector.

A Show of Hands (1989)
Despite this being the 'forbidden' live album of Rush, it is an incredibly awesome collection of performances, particularly the recordings of 'The Rhythm Method' and 'Marathon'.

Different Stages (1997)
If you liked 'Rush in Rio', this is one you might consider. It contains 3 CDs, one of a 1978 performance in London, one of a 94 performance, and one of a Test for Echo Tour show. Each CD contains over an hour, 1 from each show, and is just an awesome collection.

Archives (1978)
Copies are hard to come by, and it's not on CD. This is a collection of the first 3 Rush albums. Great compilation, if you can FIND it.

Retrospective; Volumes 1 & 2 (1997)
Very good compilation albums, no bad cuts, and very well chosen songs... still compilations.

The Spirit of Radio (2003)
All about the DVD, no better than the retrospective discs, the DVD has some videos and rare footage, it's pretty cool.

Chronicles (1990)
2-discs or the DVD (very good) have good songs, and nothing from the 90's. They cover everything essential for this one, and if you like old or middle Rush, and don't have a CD burner, get this one.
My Favorite Headache - Geddy Lee
Geddy's solo album.

Commencement - Deadsy
Contains a cover of 'Tom Sawyer', and has lots of obvious Rush influence.

A Work in Progress - Neil Peart (DVD)
Literally an instruction on how to play like Peart.
1. 2112
2. Tom Sawyer
3. The Spirit of Radio
4. Limelight
5. La Villa Strangiato
6. YYZ
7. Freewill
8. Closer to the Heart
9. Working Man
10. Xanadu
100 Greatest Rush Songs
Rock Guitarists - #34
Riff Creator - #25
Solos: #70. La Villa Strangiato, #92. Freewill, #105. YYZ, #112. Working Man, #151. 2112

Rock Frontmen - #97
Greatest Rock Bassist - #8
Bass Performances: #1, #34, #106, #116, #122, #129, #172, #179, #198

Rock Drummers - #1
Most Skilled Drummers - #8
Rock Drum Performances: #5, #14, #39, #62, #64, #101, #111, #130, #134, #176, #179, #180

Whole Band:
Rock Ensembles - #3
Rock Songwriters - #38
Rock Frontmen - #97
Influential Rock Artists - #93
Riffs: - #61. Working Man, #81. Spirit Of Radio, #107. YYZ, #189. Xanadu
Instrumentals: - #4, #13
Rock Albums: - #40, #94, #150
Albums of the 80's: - #3, #35
Albums of the 70's: - #24
Debut Albums: - #82
Rock/Pop artists of 80's: -#19
Rock Artists of the 70's: - #40
Rock Songs: - #96, #188
Rock Artists: - #68
Live Rock Artists: - #28
Progressive Rock Artists: - #6
Subgenre Artists: - #1 Progressive Metal
Progressive Rock Albums: - #8, #16, #23, #79, #91
Progressive 'Live' Albums: - #1, #10, #42, #47
Underrated Albums: - #63

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