Rush is a Canadian rock band formed in August 1968, in the Willowdale neighbourhood of Toronto, Ontario, composed of bassist, keyboardist, and lead vocalist Geddy Lee, guitarist Alex Lifeson, and drummer and lyricist Neil Peart. The band and its membership went through a number of re-configurations between 1968 and 1974, achieving their current form when Peart replaced original drummer John Rutsey in July 1974, two weeks before the group's first U.S. tour.
Since the release of the band's self-titled debut album in March 1974, Rush has become known for the instrumental skills of its members, complex compositions, and eclectic lyrical motifs drawing heavily on science fiction, fantasy, and philosophy, as well as addressing humanitarian, social, emotional, and environmental concerns.
Musically, Rush's style has changed over the years, beginning in the vein of blues-inspired heavy metal on their first album, then encompassing hard rock, progressive rock, and a period with heavy use of synthesizers. They have been cited as an influence by various musical artists, including Metallica, Primus, and The Smashing Pumpkins as well as progressive metal bands such as Dream Theater, and Symphony X.
Rush has won a number of Juno Awards, and was inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame in 1994. Over their careers, the members of Rush have been acknowledged as some of the most proficient players on their respective instruments, with each band member winning numerous awards in magazine readers' polls. As a group, Rush possesses 24 gold records and 14 platinum (3 multi-platinum) records. Rush's sales statistics place them third behind The Beatles and The Rolling Stones for the most consecutive gold or platinum studio albums by a rock band. Rush also ranks 79th in U.S. album sales with 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 40 million units.
The band is currently touring North America on the Time Machine Tour. Upon completion of the tour, the band is scheduled to continue writing and recording their next studio album, Clockwork Angels, for release in early 2011.
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