Rush was a Canadian rock band consisting of Geddy Lee (bass, vocals, keyboards), Alex Lifeson (guitars), 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 containing 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 has changed over the years, from a blues-inspired hard rock beginning, later moving into progressive rock including a period marked by heavy use of synthesizers, returning to a guitar-driven hard rock sound since the early 1990s. 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 fan favourite. Rush’s fourth album, 2112 (1976), featuring the seven-part twenty-minute 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, featuring 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 for the first time, while hitting No. 3 in both the US and UK, plus going 4x platinum in both Canada and the US. Two singles, "Limelight" and "Tom Sawyer" were Top 20 hits in Canada and Top 10 hits on the US Rock Tracks chart, with the latter becoming their most well-known song. 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 Album Rock Tracks chart, while the second single "Subdivisions" became another radio favourite.
Some other popular Rush songs include "Closer to the Heart" off A Farewell to Kings (1977), "Distant Early Warning" off Grace Under Pressure (1985), "Show Don't Tell" off Presto (1989), "Stick It Out" off Counterparts (1993) (a No. 2 album in the US), and 1996's "Test for Echo," a No. 6 song in Canada, off the album of the same name. Rush's last six albums, ending with 2012's Clockwork Angels (No. 1 in Canada and No. 2 in the US) all peaked in the Top 6 in Canada and 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 units in the country and several industry sources estimate Rush's total worldwide album sales at over 40 million units as of 2017. The group has been awarded 24 gold, 14 platinum, and 3 multi-platinum albums in the US. 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.