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The Rush History

From its inception, Rush has been one of the most successful prog rock bands of all time. For #ProgLoopRushWeek, let's take a look back on how this Canadian trio became world renowned musicians.

1. Rush (1974)

The self-titled debut shows the hard rock roots of Rush, by then highly influenced by Led Zeppelin. It features the original lineup of Lee, Lifeson and drummer John Rutsey. However due to health issues, Rutsey left the band after the album’s release.

2. Fly By Night (1975)

Looking for a drummer, the band came across Neil Peart. Thus, the Rush we all know and love was born, just two weeks before their first US tour. And with Peart assuming the role of a lyricist, the band leaned more on the progressive aspect of their sound.

3. Caress of Steel (1975)

Intended as a breakthrough for the band after Fly By Night’s success, their third studio album sold below expectations. The band relied more heavily on creating atmospheres and imaginative storytelling. Although it didn’t have commercial success, the album acted as a stepping stone.

4. 2112 (1976)

When the record label was pushing for a commercial album, Rush went the opposite way with a 20 minute opening epic as the title track. 2112 is regarded as the band’s turning point. Their three-night concert in Toronto went on to become their first live album.

5. A Farewell to Kings (1977)

After 2112, the band became more and more influenced by the other prog rock acts of the time. The use of synths, 12 string guitars, and creative percussion expanded the sound of Rush. The band utilized more complex time signatures while continuing the long song structure.

6. Hemispheres (1978)

The band continued to experiment with time signatures and progressive elements, with the full instrumental “La Villa Strangiato” as a culmination of these efforts. By most fans, the album is seen as a continuation of Farewell, with similar number of sales.

7. Permanent Waves (1980)

When the 80’s arrived, the band was ready to delve into a more commercial sound: producing shorter songs with new influences from reggae to new wave. Peart’s lyricism at this point dealt more with humanistic and emotional topics.

8. Moving Pictures (1981)

According to the band itself, Moving Pictures was a turning point for Rush. They transformed from a great band into legends that had to deal with increasing popularity. Continuing a more accessible and commercial sound, the album featured some of the most known songs by Rush.

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