As Canadian as a frosty Molson, as pretentious as a room full of Dr. Who fans, Rush, perhaps more than any other prog group, evokes visceral critical reactions from their listeners. People either hail them as the greatest musical combo - of any genre - in human history, or they shrug them off as a tedious bunch of geeks.
Rush began as a high school band in 1968, honing their skills and concentrating their resources until they became the mighty trio we know today: Alex Lifeson (mostly guitars), Geddy Lee (mostly vocals and bass), and Neil Peart (mostly drums). Peart replaced original drummer John Rutsey in 1974, after health problems and creative differences led Rutsey to leave the group on the brink of the group's first tour. Beyond his obvious instrumental prowess, Peart's influence was felt from the band's second LP, Fly By Night, onward when he took on most lyric-writing duties, crafting punning, hyper-literate sociopolitical tales of wonder that, to be honest, don't fear to tread the fine line between clever and stupid.
A string of popular albums throughout the Seventies and Eighties - notably the concept album 2112, A Farewell to Kings (with the hit "Closer to the Heart"), and the massively popular Moving Pictures (containing "Tom Sawyer") - cemented Rush as fave raves for the timeless long-haired, pickup-driving Midwestern classic-rock crowd. Their eminently "quotable" lyrics also guarantee them a perpetual following among the sci-fi-loving misunderstood-teenager crowd who have kept the prog torch burning brightly to this day.
Fine musicians, not without a sense of humor (as Geddy Lee's appearances with Bob and Doug McKenzie of "The Great White North" will attest), Rush are still a major concert draw worldwide.
Our Prog Rock Corner selection for 9/22/96 was "By-Tor and the Snowdog", a four-part song-cycle from the 1975 release Fly By Night.
Prog Rock Corner Index
Our impression of "By-Tor and the Snowdog":
Whoa! This blows! Put us in the "Rush are tedious geeks" category! By the way, Geddy's "By-Tor". Alex is the "Snowdog".
By the way, Geddy's "By-Tor". Alex is the "Snowdog".
Find out more about Rush:
Please report any problems or concerns regarding this site to the webmaster.
This document last modified