I've decided to highlight some of my favorite Canadians in a weekly or bi-weekly series called "My Favorite Canadians."
This week we'll have a look at Canadian hard rock band Rush!
Rush is a Canadian rock band comprising bassist, keyboardist, and vocalist Geddy Lee, guitarist Alex Lifeson, and drummer and lyricist Neil Peart. Rush was formed in the summer of 1968, in the neighbourhood of Willowdale in Toronto, Ontario, by Lifeson, Lee, and John Rutsey. Peart replaced Rutsey on drums in July 1974, two weeks before the group's first U.S. tour, to complete the present lineup. Since the release of the band's self-titled debut album in 1974 Rush has become known for the instrumental virtuosity of its members, complex compositions, and eclectic lyrical motifs drawing heavily on science fiction, fantasy, and individualist libertarian philosophy, as well as addressing humanitarian and environmental concerns.
Musically, Rush has changed its style dramatically over the years, beginning in the vein of blues-inspired heavy metal on their eponymous debut to styles encompassing hard rock, progressive rock, a period dominated by synthesizers and, more recently, modern rock. Rush has influenced various modern artists such as Metallica, The Smashing Pumpkins and Primus, as well as many notable progressive metal bands such as Dream Theater and Symphony X.
Rush has been awarded several Juno Awards and was inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame in 1994. Over the course of their career, the individual members of Rush have been recognized as some of the most proficient players on their respective instruments with each member winning several awards in magazine readers' polls. As a whole, Rush boasts 23 gold records and 14 platinum (3 multi-platinum) records, making them one of the best-selling rock bands in history. These statistics place Rush fifth behind The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Kiss and Aerosmith for the most consecutive gold and platinum albums by a rock band. Rush ranks 76th in U.S. album sales according to the RIAA with sales of 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 35 million units.
The band is currently promoting their latest album, Snakes & Arrows. An intercontinental concert tour began June 13, 2007.,