Rush was a Canadian rock band consisting of Geddy Lee (bass, vocals, keyboards), Alex Lifeson (guitars), and Neil Peart (drums, percussion). Formed in 1968, the band went through several configurations until arriving at its longest and classic line-up when Peart replaced original drummer John Rutsey in July 1974, two weeks before the group’s first tour of the United States.
Rush is known for its musicianship, complex compositions, and eclectic lyrical motifs drawing heavily on science fiction, fantasy, and philosophy. The band’s musical style has changed several times over the years, from a blues-inspired hard rock beginning, later moving into progressive rock, and including a period marked by heavy use of synthesizers. In the early 1990s, Rush returned to a guitar-driven hard rock sound, which continued for the rest of their career. Rush announced plans to cease large-scale touring at the end of 2015. After nearly three years of an uncertain future, Lifeson reluctantly announced in January 2018 that the band was not going to continue.
According to the RIAA, Rush ranks 88th with sales of 25 million units in the U.S. Although total worldwide album sales are not calculated by any single entity, several industry sources estimated 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.
Rush has received nominations for seven Grammy Awards. The band has won several Juno Awards, won an International Achievement Award at the 2009 SOCAN Awards, was inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame in 1994 and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2013. Over their careers, 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.
On January 16, 2018, Lifeson told The Globe and Mail that it was unlikely that Rush would play any more shows or record new material. He was quoted as saying, “We have no plans to tour or record anymore. We’re basically done. After 41 years, we felt it was enough.” In October 2018, Rolling Stone published an interview with Lee, who stated, “I’d say I can’t really tell you much other than that there are zero plans to tour again. As I said earlier, we’re very close and talk all the time, but we don’t talk about work. We’re friends, and we talk about life as friends. I can’t really tell you more than that, I’m afraid. I would say there’s no chance of seeing Rush on tour again as Alex, Geddy, Neil. But would you see one of us or two of us or three of us? That’s possible.”