Equal parts Led Zeppelin, Cream and King Crimson, Rush burst out of Canada in the early 1970s with one of the most powerful and bombastic sounds of the decade. Their 1976 magnum opus 2112 represents progressive rock at its grandiose heights, but just a half decade later they had the guts to put epic songs aside in favor of shorter (but no less dynamic) tunes like “Tom Sawyer” and “The Spirit Of Radio” that remain in constant rotation on radio to this day. Absolutely uncompromising in every conceivable way, the trio has spent the last 40 years cultivating the largest cult fan base in rock while still managing to sell out every arena in the country. While they have never gotten the critical respect they so richly deserve, Neil Peart has inspired more young drummers to take up the instrument than any other drummer of the past 30 years. No less impressive is Geddy Lee’s ability to play keyboards and bass in concert while never missing a note of his lead vocals, and guitarist Alex Lifeson is a virtuoso simply without peer. They are a band completely removed from the mainstream music scene, and yet somehow also one of the most popular rock bands in the country. It is a dichotomy that has fueled them from the very beginning. Their newest release, Clockwork Angels, is as bold and ambitious as any of their works of the 1970s, and even though the members are now pushing 60, it is hard to shake the feeling that they are just getting started.
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