Rush was a Canadian rock band comprising Geddy Lee (bass, vocals, keyboards), Alex Lifeson (guitars) and Neil Peart (drums, percussion, lyrics). Forming in 1968, the band went through several configurations until arriving at its longest and most popular line-up when Peart replaced original drummer John Rutsey in July 1974, two weeks before the group's first United States tour. John Rutsey was the original drummer, later replaced by Neil Peart in 1974, shortly after the release of their first album, and three weeks before their first American tour. Neil Peart also became the band’s lyricist, and wrote the words for many of the band’s best known songs. As a group, Rush possesses 24 gold records and 14 platinum (3 multi-platinum) records. According to the RIAA, Rush’s sales statistics place them third behind The Beatles and The Rolling Stones for the most consecutive gold or platinum albums by a rock band.
Rush also ranks 78th in U.S. album sales with 25 million units. Although total worldwide album sales are not calculated by any single entity, as of 2004 several industry sources estimated Rush's total worldwide album sales at over 40 million units. The band were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2013.
Starting out as a bar band in 1968 in Willowdale, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson and then drummer John Rutsey were perhaps the hardest working unsigned act of the day. Refusing to conform and play top 40 material, they were determined to play what they wanted to play, and on their own terms.
In 1974, after the release of their self-titled debut, Neil Peart took over for John Rutsey and soon proved to be not only an amazing drummer, but also an excellent lyricist. His often epic compositions fit perfectly with the band's playing.
From their metal-edged, more classic rock type material of the early- to mid-70s, Rush were on their way to the top. It wasn't until their late-70's/early-80s material that the band broke through. Rush's 80's output was unlike anything else anyone had produced back then, but still managed to do well. In the 90's, Rush very suddenly changed styles with the release of Counterparts, focusing on a more modern type of rock that was becoming popular right around that time. Most of the albums became similar to hard rock, and arena rock. However, Rush never lost their signature sound, setting them apart from all other bands.
While they have not had many radio hits, few hard rock fans have not heard of the band's bigger hits like "Working Man", "The Spirit of Radio", "Limelight" and of course the enigmatic "Tom Sawyer", which catapulted the band into the limelight in 1981.
Now in their fourth decade of making music together, the hard working men of Rush still continue to wow their audience, and even bring aboard some new fans. In 2005, the band released another DVD concert, filmed in Frankfurt, Germany on their 2004 30th Anniversary tour; Rush still shows no signs of stopping.
Rush's last-but-one album was released on May 1st, 2007, Snakes & Arrows. Its first single was "Far Cry". The single aired on radios and released on the internet on March 12th. The trio began touring to support the album on an international schedule on June 13, 2007.
Rush released two new songs ("Caravan" and "BU2B") on June 1, 2010. In the digital booklet provided on iTunes, they are said to be parts One and Two of "Clockwork Angels", a work in progress.
In 2012 Rush finally released album "Clockwork Angels" and on 7th of September started 1st part of their Clockwork Angels Tour (official dates : September 7 - December 2 2012; May 22, 2013 - June 10, 2013).
During Rush's European leg of the Clockwork Angels Tour, the June 8, 2013 show at the Sweden Rock Festival was the group's first festival appearance in 30 years. The band's performances on November 25, 2012 in Phoenix, Arizona and November 28, 2012 in Dallas, Texas were recorded to make a live CD/DVD/Blu-ray that was released on November 19, 2013.
On November 18, 2013 guitarist Alex Lifeson said the band has committed to taking a year off, following the completion of the world tour in support of Clockwork Angels. "We've committed to taking about a year off", Lifeson says. "We all agreed when we finished this ('Clockwork Angels') tour (in early August) we were going to take this time off and we weren't going to talk about band stuff or make any plans. We committed to a year, so that's going to take us through to the end of next summer, for sure. That's the minimum. We haven't stopped or quit. Right now we're just relaxing. We're taking it easy and just enjoying our current employment."
In September 2014, the R40 box set was announced to commemorate the fortieth anniversary of the release of the band's self-titled debut album. It included five previously released live video albums, as well as various previously unreleased footage from across the band's career. On January 22, 2015, the band officially announced the Rush R40 Tour, celebrating the fortieth anniversary of drummer Neil Peart's membership in the band. The tour started on May 8 at the BOK Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and wrapped up on August 1 at The Forum in Los Angeles.
On April 29, 2015, Alex Lifeson stated in an interview R40 might be the final large-scale Rush tour due to his psoriatic arthritis and Peart's chronic tendinitis. He noted that it didn't necessarily mean an end to the band, suggesting the possibility of smaller tours and limited performances. He also said he would like to work on soundtracks with Geddy Lee. On December 7, 2015, Peart stated in an interview he was retiring. The following day, Lee insisted that Peart's remarks had been taken out of context, and suggested he was "simply taking a break". Lifeson confirmed in 2016 the R40 tour was the band's last large-scale tour. The band's latest documentary, Time Stand Still, was announced in November 2016.
On January 19, 2018 Lifeson said: '"We have no plans to tour or record any more. We're basically done. After 41 years, we felt it was enough."