Rush was a Canadian rock band consisting of Geddy Lee (bass, vocals, keyboards, composer), Alex Lifeson (guitars, composer), and Neil Peart (drums, percussion, lyricist). Formed in Toronto in 1968, the band went through several configurations until arriving at its classic lineup with the addition of Peart in 1974, just after the release of their eponymous debut album, which contained their first highly-regarded song, "Working Man".
Rush is known for its musicianship, complex compositions, and eclectic lyrical motifs drawing heavily on science fiction, fantasy and philosophy. The band's style changed over the years, from a blues-inspired hard rock beginning, later moving into progressive rock, then a period marked by heavy use of synthesizers, before returning to guitar-driven hard rock since the end of the 1980s. The members of Rush have been acknowledged as some of the most proficient players on their respective instruments, with each band member winning numerous awards in magazine readers' polls.
Rush’s sophomore album, 1975’s Fly by Night, signalled their move into multi-part progressive rock epics, but it was the shorter title track that became a hit. Rush’s fourth album, 2112 (1976), featuring the seven-part title track, became Rush’s first Top 5 hit in Canada and went 3x platinum in the US. Rush hit No. 3 in Canada and the UK, and No. 4 in the US, with their seventh album, 1980's Permanent Waves, which featured more shorter tracks, including the Top 20 UK and Canadian hit, "Spirit of Radio". In 1981, with Moving Pictures, Rush topped the Canadian Album Chart, while hitting No. 3 in the US and UK, and going 4x platinum in both Canada and the US. Two singles, "Limelight" and "Tom Sawyer", were Top 25 hits in Canada and Top 10 hits on the US Rock Tracks Chart. Signals (1982), which showed increased synthesizer usage, was another No. 1 album in Canada, another UK No. 3 and a US No. 10. Its first single, "New World Man" went to No. 1 in Canada and on the US Rock Tracks Chart, while "Subdivisions" became another radio favourite.
Other popular Rush songs, most of which peaked highly on the US Rock Tracks Chart, include: "Closer to the Heart" off A Farewell to Kings (1977), "Distant Early Warning" off Grace Under Pressure (1984), "The Big Money" off Power Windows (1985), "Show Don't Tell" off Presto (1989), "Stick It Out" off Counterparts (1993), and the title track from 1996's Test for Echo. Rush's last five studio albums all made the Top 6 in Canada and the US, with their last, 2012's Clockwork Angels, reaching No. 1 and 2, while also going Top 10 in the Netherlands, Germany and Scandinavia, areas where Rush built up a following beginning in the early 1980s. Since 2000, Rush released seven live video albums, five of which hit No. 1 on Canada's Music Video Chart, with Rush in Rio (2003) going Diamond in Canada and 7x platinum in the US. Rush ceased large-scale touring at the end of 2015, and Lifeson announced in January 2018 that the band would not continue. On January 7, 2020, Peart died of glioblastoma, a type of brain cancer at the age of 67.Rush ranks 88th in the U.S. with sales of 25 million albums and industry sources estimate their total worldwide album sales at over 40 million as of 2017. Rush has been awarded 24 gold, 14 platinum and 3 multi-platinum albums in the US plus 17 platinum albums in Canada. Rush was nominated for seven Grammy Awards, won several Juno Awards, and won an International Achievement Award at the 2009 SOCAN Awards. The band was inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame in 1994 and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2013.