Rush began playing hard rock/heavy metal in Toronto bars. After financing a debut LP themselves, Neil Peart (an ingenious lyricist) replaced the band’s original drummer, John Rutsey.
The privately produced LP caught the attention of Mercury Records who released their album and set up a national tour.
Despite criticism that the heavy metal ‘swords and sorcery’ trio relied too much on inspiration from J R R Tolkien (who wrote The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings) and right-wing authoress Ayn Rand, a succession of million-selling LP’s followed.
The ambitious album 2112 (1976) was a milestone in Rush’s career. With this release, the band drastically decided to go ahead with their own thing, no matter what.
The album was well-received by fans at the time, though critics dismissed it as overblown and pretentious.
In 1981, few Heavy Metal bands were outwardly into Talking Heads and New Wave. Rush were. By the time of their eighth album, Moving Pictures (1981), the 20-minute songs and onstage robes had gone, and in came skinny ties and sleek, emotive hard rock.
It’s the definitive Rush album: – Red Barchetta is exhilarating, YYZ an instrumental tour-de-force, and FM radio staple Tom Sawyer (the best track on the album) is beloved of one Dave Grohl.
Bass, keyboards, guitar, vocals