Rush is not only Canada's greatest band but they are also one of the greatest rock bands of all-time. In their genre, only The Beatles and The Rolling Stones have released more consecutive platinum or gold studio albums than Rush. In total, the band has sold 25 million albums in the U.S. and over 40 million albums worldwide. Rush's unique blend of hard and progressive rock has influenced a myriad of diverse artists ranging from Metallica to The Smashing Pumpkins to Dream Theater. Lyrically, Rush draws from science fiction, philosophy, and social issues.
The band is composed of bassist, keyboardist, and lead singer Geddy Lee, drummer Neil Peart, and guitarist Alex Lifeson. Peart joined the band in 1974, prior to Rush's first U.S. tour, and since then the lineup has remained the same. Each member of Rush is considered an expert at their respective instrument; the band is always lauded for their musicianship even when their songwriting fails them.
From their 1974 self-titled debut to 2007's Snakes & Arrows Live, Rush has released 18 studio albums and 8 live albums. The band's seminal work, Moving Pictures, was released in 1981. It went 4x Platinum in the states and featured the hits "Tom Sawyer," "YYZ," and "Limelight." The band's other major albums were 2112 (1976), Hemispheres (1978), and Permanent Waves (1980). The band has never had a top 20 single but their songs "Fly By Night," "Closer To The Heart," and "New World Man" (as well as "Tom Sawyer") have become staples on classic rock radio stations.
Rush is one of rock's most independent bands. Throughout their 40-plus-year history, they've eschewed self promotion so they can focus on their music and their fans. This attitude has created a large loyal fan base, but it has also cost them mainstream recognition. As of 2010, the band has yet to be nominated for induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Rush does not seem to care as they have publically denounced the hall.
As for their fans, Rolling Stone magazine called them "the Trekkies of rock." Rush freely admits that they are a band people either love or hate. Judging by the amount of albums and Rush tickets they've sold, a lot of people love the progressive rock trio from Toronto, Ontario.