NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire -06/20/12)- Legendary rock band Rush has made a remarkable U.S. chart debut with their 20th studio album "CLOCKWORK ANGELS." The renowned trio's first new collection of original material in over five years and their first studio release via Anthem/Roadrunner Records has entered the SoundScan/Billboard 200 at #2 with sales in excess of 104,000 units, matching the highest chart debut of their illustrious 38-year career.
"CLOCKWORK ANGELS" has also debuted at #1 in the band's native Canada. In other international news, the album has already achieved the band's highest chart debuts in over a decade from Japan - #2, Norway - #10, Germany, Holland - #11, and Switzerland - #21. In addition to the commercial success, "CLOCKWORK ANGELS" has also received a raft of critical acclaim, including Rolling Stone and USA Today who heralded the release as "an ambitious, sophisticated effort by a band that sounds surprisingly vital after 20 studio albums." In the UK - where the album was also released as an exclusive non-chart eligible fan pack format which included a 132 page booklet covering the entire history of the band - "CLOCKWORK ANGELS" garnered a 5 out of 5 review in The Sun, Britain's largest newspaper. Had the 40,000 fanpacks sold been chart eligible, the album would have debuted at #1 in the UK as well.
As previously announced, Rush will support the release of "CLOCKWORK ANGELS" with a full scale North American tour. The Clockwork Angels Tour kicks off at the Verizon Wireless Arena in Manchester, NH, on September 7th. The 33-stop run concludes at the Toyota Center in Houston, TX, on December 2nd (see below itinerary).
The recording of "CLOCKWORK ANGELS" began in April 2010 with Grammy Award winning producer Nick Raskulinecz (Foo Fighters, Deftones) - who also collaborated with the band on their last studio album, 2007's "SNAKES & ARROWS." Rush co-produced both records. The first two songs, "Caravan" and "BU2B," were completed during that first session at Nashville's Blackbird studios and performed nightly during the wildly successful Time Machine Tour, which ran from June 2010 to June 2011. Work on "CLOCKWORK ANGELS" resumed in the fall of 2011 at Revolution Recording in Toronto after the tour's finale, with additional strings (arranged by David Campbell) recorded at Hollywood's Ocean Way Studios earlier this year. Lyrically, "CLOCKWORK ANGELS" chronicles a young man's quest across a lavish and colorful world of steampunk and alchemy as he attempts to follow his dreams. The story features lost cities, pirates, anarchists, an exotic carnival, and a rigid Watchmaker who imposes precision on every aspect of daily life. The novelization of "CLOCKWORK ANGELS" is being written by science fiction writer Kevin J. Anderson in collaboration with Rush drummer and lyricist Neil Peart.
With more than 40 million records sold worldwide and countless sold-out tours, Rush - Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson, and Neil Peart - is not only one of the most inventive and compelling groups in rock history, but remains one of the most popular. The RIAA has certified Rush for the third most consecutive gold/platinum studio albums by a rock band, topped only by the Beatles and the Rolling Stones. Rush's vast catalog includes such classics as 1974's self-titled debut, 1976's "2112," 1981's "MOVING PICTURES," 1996's "TEST FOR ECHO," and 2002's "VAPOR TRAILS." Rush released their 20th studio album, "CLOCKWORK ANGELS," on June 12. The highly anticipated collection marks their first studio recording since 2007's "SNAKES & ARROWS," and debuted at #2 on the Billboard 200, matching the highest chart debut of the band's career (1993's "COUNTERPARTS" entered the charts at #2 as well). In addition to their commercial success, Rush has also been recognized with a number of Juno Awards and multiple Grammy nominations, including one for the acclaimed documentary "Rush: Beyond The Lighted Stage." Enjoying a recent pop culture renaissance, Rush made a rare television appearance - their first in over 30 years - on Comedy Central's "The Colbert Report" and a memorable cameo in the film "I Love You, Man." A career-chronicling Rolling Stone feature summed up the renowned rock trio's continuing artistic vitality by observing, "It's true that Rush doesn't mean today what it did in '76 or even '96. It may mean more."