Canada's innovative musical leaders, RUSH, are once again on centre stage alter it was announced by the Governor General's office late last week that each of the band's three members will be recognized as Officers of the Order of Canada in a special, upcoming ceremony. This prestigious honour reflects the unique contribution to Canada, and indeed the world, that RUSH have made since their very early origins in Toronto, and throughout their twenty-two year recording career.
As a testament to their uncompromising artistic commitment and visions they have sold over 35 million records worldwide and have received 17 silver albums, 48 gold albums 36 platinum albums, 4 double platinum albums, 2 triple platinum albums and 2 quadruple platinum albums in Canada, the U.S. and the U.K. In addition RUSH have raised over a million dollars for charities such as food banks and the United Way, enhancing awareness in their fans about all of the aspects of society which surround us.
Established in 1967, the Order of Canada is awarded to those individuals "whose contributions cover a wide range of fields from the arts, voluntarism and philanthropy to business, science, education, and public service" and recognizes outstanding achievement and service in various fields of human endeavour". RUSH vocalist bassist, Geddy Lee, reflected on the news "we are very pleased and very proud," while guitarist Alex Lifeson, added, "it is an incredible honour . . . and can something be done about my taxes?" Percussionist and RUSH lyricist, Neil Peart, expressed his own hopeful sentiment:
"When I first learned that we were to receive this honour, I asked our manager Ray Danniels, if this meant that now I could go as fast as I wanted on our nation's highways. He replied. "No it doesn't mean that - but if you're ever charged with a felony, you'll probably get off with probation'. Well that's good, isn't it?"
This September 10, 1996, The group's musical tradition will continue with the release of their twentieth studio album, Test For Echo. Their first since 1993's Counterparts, the upcoming Test For Echo was once again produced by Peter Collins (Jewel, Bon Jovi, Suicidal Tendencies) and Rush, engineered by Clif Norrell Jeff Buckley, REM, Paul Westerberg) and mixed by Andy Wallace (Rage Against The Machines, Sonic Youth, Alice in Chains). Recorded in Toronto and upstate New York, the album release will be preceded by lead single and title track "Test For Echo," and is scheduled for its radio premiere throughout North America on September 5, 1996.