ALEX LIFESON: LEAD GUITAR
GEDDY LEE: BASS GUITAR, SYNTHESIZERS, LEAD VOCALS
NEIL PEART: PERCUSSION, LYRICS
Debut album, Rush, released in Canada on the band's own label, Moon Records. Import copies begin to surface in America, and several thousand sell in the Cleveland area alone.
Mercury Records signs Rush and releases first album, Rush, in the US to coincide with a debut tour. Neil Peart joins the band as drummer and soon-to-be chief lyricist.
Second LP, Fly By Night, released in February as Rush begins a four month ground-breaking tour as the special guests to Aerosmith and Kiss. Rush receives their first Juno Award (the Canadian Grammy) as Most Promising New Group. Trio records and releases their third album, Caress of Steel.
Group earns first of many Canadian gold LPs for Fly By Night.
Rush releases their breakthrough album in the States, 2112. Group appears for three sold-out nights at Massey Hall in Toronto, and records the shows for a live album. Rush receives two more Canadian gold records for Rush and Caress of Steel, and releases All The World's A Stage, a live, double-album.
Rush plays first tour of England to excellent response. In September, A Farewell to Kings is released, the most adventurous Rush LP to date, and a US tour commences.
Three Rush albums are certified gold on the same day in the United States: 2112, All The World's A Stage and A Farewell to Kings.
A 16-date Rush tour of England sells out two months in advance. The group releases Archives, a deluxe package including the first three Rush albums, in the US, Canada and England.
Rush draws well over a million people on their A Farewell to Kings tour. In June, Rush receives their second Juno award, this time for Best Group Of The Year. At this point, the band has a total of six gold and three platinum albums in Canada.
Hemispheres is released, and goes gold in the US by December. In December the group also sells out three nights at the Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto, setting a Canadian indoor attendance record.
Rush wins second consecutive Juno Award as Group of the Year. The group begins a six week, seven country sold-out tour of Europe. During one of the band's five London dates, they are presented with a silver disc for British sales of A Farewell to Kings. Rush becomes a world-class act.
Rush plays two isolated British dates, drawing over 20,000 fans and turning away thousands more.
Permanent Waves is released, and the LP soon reaches #4 in the Billboard pop album charts three weeks in a row, and climbs to #3 in the UK charts. By March, Permanent Waves goes gold in the US, platinum in Canada, and silver in the UK. Rush becomes the first act to sell out the 12,000 seat Amphitheater in Chicago for four nights. While other acts find their concert attendance down, Rush's tour plays multiple nights in large indoor venues in St. Louis (3), New York (4), Milwaukee (2), Chicago (4), Seattle (2), San Francisco (2), Los Angeles area (4), Detroit (2) and Dallas (2). Consistent sell-outs across a five month tour.
Rush and each individual member place in the Top Ten in every applicable category in Sounds and Melody Maker readers polls in Britain.
Rush records Moving Pictures, their most elaborate venture yet. By now the group has six silver albums in England, including Permanent Waves, 2112, All The World's A Stage, A Farewell to Kings, Hemispheres and Archives, the three-disc compilation set.
Moving Pictures is released, and by now Rush are an AOR radio staple in America, with heavy airplay on 98 percent of the album stations in the US virtually out of the box. The album tops the airplay charts for weeks on end, and Rush embark on another sweep of US concert halls.
Rush becomes the only group to score three US platinum albums (for 2112, All The World's A Stage and Moving Pictures) in 1981, and are also nominated for a Grammy for Best Rock Instrumental for "YYZ." By the year's end, Rush have been seen by over a million fans, who clamor for yet another live album. Rush releases Exit...Stage Left, a live set, in response.
Geddy Lee's guest vocal spot on the single "Take Off" from the Mercury album The Great White North by Bob and Doug McKenzie (alias Second City TV's Dave Thomas and Rick Moranis) is a certified hit, with the single going Top Ten in the US and the album going gold. Rush's Exit...Stage Left is certified platinum; Moving Pictures approaches double platinum. Group is nominated for four Juno Awards (including two nominations for Album of the Year for Exit... and Moving Pictures, and once again for Group of the Year). Group is voted Band of the Year in the Sounds readers poll, while Neil Peart tops the readers polls as Best Rock Drummer in Modern Drummer, Circus and Sounds, and Geddy Lee is voted Best Bass Player in Sounds.
Laserium devotes a full hour show to the music of Rush, the first time Laserium has featured a complete show of one group's material (with the exception of a posthumous Jimi Hendrix presentation in the guitarist's hometown), which becomes the most successful Laserium presentation to date during its run at Seattle's Pacific Science Center. Meanwhile, SelecTV begins airing the Rush concert film, Exit...Stage Left, across America with FM simulcasts in various markets.
"New World Man" is released to immediate and amazing response at FM radio. Trade reports are filled with raves from the programmers and their public as "New World Man" has listeners "clamoring" and "screaming" for Signals, which follows soon after. Laserium mounts yet another Rush presentation in planetariums in Los Angeles, Seattle, Pittsburgh, Louisville, Denver, St. Louis, Montreal, Toronto and London, England - a debut of Signals and totally new laser effects, the first time Laserium has premiered a new group's album simultaneously with entirely new visuals.
to be continued...