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'Rock Band 2' is a music video game developed by Harmonix Music Systems, as the sequel to Rock Band. It is the second title in the Rock Band series. The game software was released in North America for the Xbox 360 on September 14, 2008, along with individual instrument peripherals. The software/hardware bundle for the Xbox 360 was made available on October 19, 2008,[1] the same date that the PlayStation 3 versions of the software, hardware, and bundle of the two were released. Versions of the game for the Wii and PlayStation 2 platforms were released on December 18, 2008.[2]

The game allows players to perform in virtual bands by providing up to four players with the ability to play three different peripherals modeled after music instruments (a guitar peripheral for lead guitar and bass guitar gameplay, a drum peripheral, and a microphone). These peripherals are used to simulate the playing of rock music by hitting scrolling notes on-screen. In addition to the 84 songs included on the game disc and 20 free downloadable songs, hundreds of additional downloadable songs are being released for the Xbox 360, Wii, and PlayStation 3 versions; all of these songs, existing and future, are compatible with all Rock Band titles. Rock Band 2 features improved drum and guitar controllers, while supporting older controllers, as well. New features include a "Drum Trainer" mode, a "Battle of the Bands" mode, online capabilities for "World Tour" mode, and merchandising opportunities for the players' virtual bands.

Upon release, Rock Band 2 received very positive reviews from critics, while selling 363,000 copies in the first two weeks.[3]

Gameplay

Each instrument is represented by a different interface: lead guitar (left), drums (middle), bass guitar (right), vocals (top). The Band Meter (green meter on left) measures the performance of each band member, while the Energy Meter (gold meter beneath each interface) tracks each player's Overdrive. This screenshot shows a full band playing De-Luxe - Lush.

The core gameplay in Rock Band 2 is mostly unchanged from the original Rock Band. Players use peripherals modeled after musical instruments to simulate the performance of rock music. Players must play these instruments in time with musical "notes" as they scroll towards them on the screen. Rock Band 2 offers single-player and multiplayer gameplay for lead guitar, bass guitar, drums, and vocals, allowing for any combination of parts to play as a band.

During song performances, the game displays up to three tracks of vertically scrolling colored music notes, one section each for lead guitar, drums, and bass. The colored notes on-screen correspond to buttons on the guitar and drum peripherals. Along the top of the screen is the vocals display, which scrolls horizontally. The lyrics display beneath green bars, which represent the pitch of the individual vocal elements. The remainder of the screen is used to display the band's virtual characters as they perform in concert.

During cooperative play as a band, all players earn points towards a common score, though score multipliers and "Overdrive" are tracked separately for each player. Overdrive is individually collected by players during select portions of a song by successfully playing all white notes (or yellow notes for vocals) within that section (or by using the guitar controller's whammy bar during white sustained notes). Once a player's Energy Meter is filled halfway, they can deploy their Overdrive, resulting in the "Band Meter" (which tracks how well each player is doing) changing more dramatically. This allows players to strategically use Overdrive to raise the Band Meter and pass portions of a song they otherwise might have failed. Overdrive can be used to activate score multipliers, which vary based on a player's note streak. Players can deploy Overdrive independently of each other, as well as collect additional Overdrive while it is deployed and draining.

Each band member can choose the difficulty at which they play (spanning Easy, Medium, Hard, and Expert). If a player does not play well enough and falls to the bottom of the Band Meter, they will fail out of the song and their instrument will be muted from the audio mix. However, any active player can activate their Overdrive to bring failed players back into the song, "saving" the band member. However, a band member can only be saved twice; after the third failure, they cannot be brought back for that song. Failed players continuously drag the band's Band Meter down until they are saved. If the player is not saved before the Band Meter reaches the bottom, the band fails the song. Players can earn Overdrive bonuses from "Unison Phrases" and extra points from a "Big Rock Ending."

Instrument peripherals

Four people play on the Rock Band 2 stage at the Penny Arcade Expo in Seattle, Washington, August 29, 2008. All of the original Rock Band peripherals are compatible with Rock Band 2 for the same console. Similarly, the newly designed peripherals for Rock Band 2 are backwards compatible with the original Rock Band.

The game features Rock Band 2-branded guitar controllers modeled after the Fender Stratocaster. The guitar is nearly identical to the original Rock Band Stratocaster in terms of gameplay. The colored fret buttons corresponding to on-screen notes must be held while the strum bar is silento. The Stratocaster controller has five additional fret buttons of smaller size located higher up the guitar neck, allowing for notes to be played as finger tapping during solos. The controller also features an effects pickup switch that can toggle between five different effects. Overdrive for guitarists can be deployed by holding the controller in a vertical position or pressing the "Select/Back" button. Improvements to the new guitar include a more reliable strum bar and Overdrive accelerometer, a self-timing calibration, and quieter fret buttons. The bass drum pedal from the drum set can also be used with the guitar to activate Overdrive mode.[4]

The bundled drum controller is also similar to the one featured in the original Rock Band. It features four rubber drum pads and a kick pedal. The pads have colored rings around the edges that correspond to the notes on-screen. The kick pedal simulates the bass drum, with on-screen notes represented as orange horizontal lines. To use the drum controller, players must strike the pads with the included authentic drum sticks and/or press the kick pedal in time with the scrolling notes on-screen. Drummers can improvise in special "freestyle drum fill" sections of songs, indicated by the columns for each note turning a solid color. Overdrive for drummers can be deployed by hitting the crash cymbal (green note for right-handed configuration) that appears directly after a freestyle drum fill. New improvements include velocity-sensitive drum pads (the force of the drum hits will dictate the in-game volume) with more rebound and less noise,[5] a metal-reinforced kick pedal,[6] expansion plugs for separately-sold cymbals manufactured by Mad Catz,[5] and wireless capabilities.[5]

Rock Band 2's USB microphone instrument is identical to the microphone from the original game. Singers are judged by pitch, or during "talking parts", their ability to enunciate spoken vocals. The phoneme detection system used for atonal vocal parts has been completely replaced with a new, more lenient engine, and songs imported from Rock Band and pre-existing downloadable content will be converted to use the new phoneme system.[7] Some sections without vocals will display circle notes, allowing for the microphone to be used as a tambourine and cowbell by tapping it or making vocal cues. Overdrive for singers can be deployed by singing in freestyle vocal sections of songs, denoted by yellow artwork in the background of the vocals interface.

Harmonix and MTV Games will also be providing limited edition instruments, including an authentic Fender Squier Stratocaster guitar and Precision Bass retrofitted with the game's input controls by Mad Catz.[8]. Additionally, Ion Audio is selling a "Premium Drum Kit" that not only works within Rock Band 2, but can also be expanded into an electronic drum kit through the purchase of a separately-sold drum brain. The "Premium Drum Kit" features four drum pads, two cymbal pads (with the option of a third), and a bass pedal.[5]

The Rock Band 2 peripherals and Guitar Hero: World Tour peripherals are cross-compatible with other music games on the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3. Sony originally announced that instrument peripherals would be universally compatible on the PlayStation 3[9]; and on November 24, 2008 a patch was released to allow the Guitar Hero: World Tour drums to be properly recognized by Rock Band 2.[10] Microsoft has also stated that instruments on the Xbox 360 will be compatible between the two games, as well as Rock Revolution.[11] The Wii edition of Rock Band 2 is compatible with the Wii drums and guitar for Rock Band and Guitar Hero World Tour as well as the guitar for Guitar Hero III. Rock Band 2 drum and guitar peripherals do not work with Wii Guitar Hero games, however, the microphone does. The GHWT drums on Rock Band 2 will not use the orange cymbal, however on the Wii version, the orange cymbal can be used as blue..[12]

Tour mode

Unlike Rock Band, which segregated the single-player Solo Tour mode and the multiplayer Band World Tour mode, Rock Band 2 features a single "Tour" mode that makes no distinction of the number of players. Any combination of 1–4 players, both online and local, can create a band composed of the player(s)' virtual characters. A band leader is no longer necessary, allowing the characters within the band lineup to change at will, as well as swap instruments. The band must also select a name and hometown before proceeding to their "practice space". From here, the band can choose to "Start Tour", undertake "Tour Challenges", or compete with other bands in "Battle of the Bands."

If the band chooses to "Start Tour", they will enter the game's equivalent of the original Rock BandTemplate:Infobox musical artist Template:Portal Rush is a Canadian rock band originally formed in August 1968, in the Willowdale neighbourhood of Toronto, Ontario, currently 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 definitive form when Neil 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 libertarian philosophy, as well as addressing humanitarian, social, emotional, and environmental concerns.

Musically, Rush's style has evolved over the years, beginning in the vein of blues-inspired heavy metal on their first albums, then encompassing hard rock, progressive rock, a period dominated by synthesizers and, more recently, modern rock. They have influenced various musical artists, including Metallica,[13][14] The Smashing Pumpkins[15] and Primus,[15] as well as progressive metal bands such as Dream Theater[13] and Symphony X.[16]

Rush has won a number of Juno Awards, and was inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame in 1994. Over the course of their careers, the individual members of Rush have been acknowledged as being some of the most proficient players on their respective instruments, with each band member winning several awards in magazine readers' polls. As a group, Rush possesses 24 gold records and 14 platinum (3 multi-platinum) records. According to the RIAA, Rush's sales statistics place them fourth behind The Beatles, The Rolling Stones and Aerosmith for the most consecutive gold or platinum albums by a rock band. Rush also ranks 78th in U.S. album sales with 25 million units.[17] 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 recently finished promoting their latest album, Snakes & Arrows with an intercontinental tour. The second leg began in San Juan, Puerto Rico on April 11, and ended on July 24, 2008 in Noblesville, Indiana.[18]

History

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The early years (1968–1976)

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The original line-up formed in the neighbourhood of Willowdale in Toronto, Ontario, by Lifeson, front man Jeff Jones, and drummer John Rutsey. Within a couple weeks of forming, and before their second performance, bassist and lead vocalist Jones was replaced by Geddy Lee, a schoolmate of Lifeson. After several lineup reformations, Rush's official incarnation was formed in May 1971 consisting of Lee, Lifeson, and Rutsey. The band was managed by local Toronto resident Ray Danniels, a frequent attendee of Rush's early shows.[19][20]

After gaining stability in the lineup and honing their skills on the local bar/high school dance circuit, the band came to release their first single "Not Fade Away", a cover of the Buddy Holly song, in 1973. Side B contained an original composition, "You Can't Fight It", credited to Rutsey and Lee. The single generated little reaction and, due to record company indifference, the band formed their own independent record label, Moon Records. With the aid of Danniels and the newly enlisted engineer Terry Brown, the band released their self-titled debut album in 1974, which was considered highly derivative of Led Zeppelin.[21] Rush had limited local popularity until the album was picked up by WMMS, a radio station in Cleveland, Ohio. Donna Halper, a DJ and music director working at the station, selected "Working Man" for her regular play list. The song's blue collar theme resonated with hard rock fans and this new found popularity led to the album being re-released by Mercury Records in the U.S.[22][23] Image:Starman.png

Immediately after the release of the debut album, Rutsey resigned in July 1974 due to his affliction with diabetes and a distaste for touring. Rush held auditions and eventually selected Neil Peart as Rutsey's replacement. Peart officially joined the band on July 29, 1974, two weeks before the group's first US tour. They performed their first concert together, opening for Uriah Heep and Manfred Mann with an attendance of over 11,000 people at the Civic Arena in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on August 14. In addition to becoming the band's drummer, Peart assumed the role of principal lyricist as Lee and Lifeson had very little interest in writing, contributing to only a handful of song lyrics over the rest of the band's career. Instead, they focused primarily on the musical aspects of Rush. Fly by Night (1975), Rush's first album after recruiting Peart, saw the inclusion of the band's first epic mini-tale "By-Tor and the Snow Dog", replete with complex arrangements and multi-section format. Lyrical themes also underwent dramatic changes after the addition of Peart due to his love for fantasy and science-fiction literature.[25] However, despite these many differences some of the music and songs still closely mirrored the blues style found on Rush's debut.[26][25]

Following quickly on the heels of Fly By Night, the band released 1975's Caress of Steel, a five track hard rock album featuring two extended multi-chapter songs, "The Necromancer" and "The Fountain of Lamneth." Caress of Steel was reported by some critics to be unfocused and an audacious move for the band due to the placement of two protracted numbers back-to-back, as well as a heavier reliance on atmospherics and story-telling, a large deviation from Fly by Night.[27] Intended to be the band's first "break-through" album, Caress of Steel sold below expectations and the promotional tour consisted of small venues which led to the moniker the "Down the Tubes Tour."[28] In light of these events, Rush's record label pressured them into molding their next album in a more commercially friendly and accessible fashion. However, the band ignored the requests and developed their next album, 2112. It was the band's first taste of commercial success and their first platinum album in Canada.[29] The supporting tour for the album culminated in a three night stand at Massey Hall in Toronto, which the band recorded for the release of their first live album titled All the World's a Stage. Allmusic Guide critic Greg Prato summarily reminds listeners and fans of how the album demarcates the boundary between the band's early years and the next era of their music.[30][31]

The progressive rock era (1977–1981)

After 2112, Rush retreated to the United Kingdom to record 1977's A Farewell to Kings and 1978's Hemispheres at Rockfield Studios in Wales. These albums saw the band members expanding their use of progressive elements in their music. Trademarks such as increased synthesizer usage, extended-length concept songs, and highly dynamic playing featuring complex time signature changes became a staple of Rush's compositions. To achieve a broader, more progressive palette of sound, Alex Lifeson began to experiment with classical and twelve-string guitars, and Geddy Lee added bass-pedal synthesizers and Minimoog. Likewise, Peart's percussion became diversified in the form of triangles, glockenspiel, wood blocks, cowbells, timpani, gong and chimes. Beyond instrument additions, the band kept in stride with the progressive rock movement by continuing to compose long, conceptual songs with science fiction and fantasy overtones. However, as the new decade approached, Rush gradually began to dispose of their older styles of music in favor of shorter, and sometimes softer, arrangements. The lyrics up to this point (most of them written by Peart) were heavily influenced by classical poetry, fantasy literature, science fiction, and the writings of novelist Ayn Rand, as exhibited most prominently by their 1975 song "Anthem" from Fly By Night and a specifically acknowledged derivation in 1976's 2112.[32]

Permanent Waves (1980) shifted Rush's style of music dramatically via the introduction of reggae and new wave.[33] Although a hard rock style was still evident, more and more synthesizers were introduced. Moreover, due to the limited airplay Rush's previous extended-length songs received, Permanent Waves included shorter, more radio-friendly songs such as "The Spirit of Radio" and "Freewill", two songs which helped Permanent Waves become Rush's first U.S. Top 5 album; both songs continue to make appearances on classic rock radio stations in Canada and the United States to this day.[34] Meanwhile, Peart's lyrics shifted toward an expository tone with subject matter that dwelled less on fantastical or allegorical story-telling and more heavily on cerebral topics that explored humanistic, social, emotional and metaphysical elements. Template:Sound sample box align left Template:Listen Template:Sample box end Rush's popularity reached its pinnacle with the release of Moving Pictures in 1981. Moving Pictures essentially continued where Permanent Waves left off, extending the trend of highly accessible and commercially friendly pop-progressive rock that helped thrust them into the spotlight. The lead track, "Tom Sawyer", is probably the band's best-known song[35] with "Limelight" also receiving satisfactory responses from listeners and radio stations. Moving Pictures was Rush's last album to feature an extended song, the ten-and-a-half-minute "The Camera Eye". The song also contained the band's heaviest usage of synthesizers up to that point, hinting that Rush's music was shifting direction once more. Moving Pictures reached #3 on the Billboard 200 album chart and has been certified quadruple platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America.[36]

Following the success of Moving Pictures and the completion of another four studio albums, Rush released their second live recording, Exit...Stage Left, in 1981. The album delineates the apex of Rush's progressive period by featuring live material from the band's Permanent Waves and Moving Pictures tours. As with their first live release, Exit...Stage Left identified the margin of a new chapter of Rush's sound. The band underwent another radical stylistic transmutation with the release of Signals in 1982.[37]

The synthesizer period (1982–1989)

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While Lee's synthesizers had been featured instruments ever since the late 70s, keyboards were suddenly shifted from the contrapuntal background to the melodic front-lines[38][39] as evidenced by songs such as "Countdown" and the lead-off track "Subdivisions". Both feature nimble lead synthesizer lines with minimalistic guitar chords and solos. Other previously unused instrument additions were seen in the song "Losing It," featuring collaborator Ben Mink on electric violin.[37] Template:Sound sample box align right Template:Listen Template:Sample box end Signals also represented a drastic stylistic transformation apart from instrumental changes. The album contained Rush's only U.S. top-40 pop hit, "New World Man",[40] while other more experimental songs such as "Digital Man", "The Weapon", and "Chemistry" expanded the band's use of ska, reggae, and funk.[41] Although the band members consciously decided to move in this overall direction, they felt dissatisfied with long-time producer Terry Brown's studio treatment of Signals and parted ways with him in 1983. These diverse styles would come into further play on their next studio album.

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The style and production of Signals were augmented and taken to new heights on 1984's Grace Under Pressure. It was Peart who named the album, as he borrowed the words of Ernest Hemingway to describe what the band had to go through after making the decision to leave Terry Brown. Producer Steve Lillywhite, who gleaned fame with successful productions of Simple Minds and U2, was enlisted to produce Grace Under Pressure. However, he backed out at the last moment, much to the ire of Lee, Lifeson and Peart. Lee said "Steve Lillywhite is really not a man of his word....after agreeing to do our record, he got an offer from Simple Minds, changed his mind, blew us off,..so it put us in a horrible position." Eventually Rush hired Peter Henderson to co-produce and engineer the album in his stead.[42]

Musically, although Lee's use of sequencers and synthesizers remained the band's cornerstone, his focus on new technology was complemented by Peart's adaptation of Simmons electronic drums and percussion. Lifeson's contributions on the album were decidedly enhanced to act as an overreaction to the minimalistic role he played on Signals.[43] Still, many of his trademark guitar textures remained intact in the form of open reggae chords and funk and new-wave rhythms; "Distant Early Warning", "Red Lenses", "Red Sector A" and "The Enemy Within" serve as prime examples.

With new producer Peter Collins, the band released 1985's Power Windows and 1987's Hold Your Fire. The music on these two albums gives far more emphasis and prominence to Lee's multi-layered synthesizer work. While fans and critics took notice of Lifeson's diminished guitar work, his presence was still palpable on "The Big Money", (the album's modest-charting single) with spotlights on "Grand Designs", "Middletown Dreams" and "Marathon." Lifeson, like many guitarists in the late 1980s, experimented with processors that reduced his instrument to echoey chord bursts and razor-thin leads. Hold Your Fire represents both a modest extension of the guitar stylings found on Power Windows, and, according to Allmusic critic Ed Rivadavia, the culmination of this era of Rush.[44] Whereas the previous five Rush albums sold platinum or better, Hold Your Fire only went gold in November 1987, although it managed to peak at number 13 on the Billboard 200.[45]

A third live album and video, A Show of Hands (1989), was also released by Mercury following the Power Windows and Hold Your Fire tours, demonstrating the aspects of Rush in the 80s. A Show of Hands met with strong fan approval, but Rolling Stone critic Michael Azerrad dismissed it as "musical muscle" with 1.5 stars, claiming Rush fans viewed their favourite power trio as "the holy trinity".[46] Nevertheless, A Show of Hands managed to surpass the gold album mark, reaching number 21 on the Billboard 200.[47] At this point, the group decided to change record labels from Mercury to Atlantic. After Rush's departure in 1989, Mercury released a double platinum two-volume compilation of their Rush catalogue, Chronicles (1990).[48]

Returning to their roots (1989–1997)

Template:Sound sample box align right Template:Listen Template:Sample box end Rush started to deviate from their 1980s style with the albums Presto and Roll the Bones. Produced by record engineer and musician Rupert Hine, these two albums saw Rush shedding much of their keyboard-saturated sound. Beginning with 1989's Presto, the band opted for arrangements that were notably more guitar-centric than the previous two studio albums. Although synthesizers were still used in many songs, the instrument was no longer featured as the centerpiece of Rush's compositions. Continuing this trend, 1991's Roll the Bones extended the use of the standard three-instrument approach with even less focus on synthesizers than its predecessor. While musically these albums do not deviate significantly from a general pop-rock sound, Rush stuck to their creative approach of incorporating traces of more exotic musical styles. "Roll the Bones", for instance, exhibits funk and hip hop elements, and the instrumental track "Where's My Thing?" features several jazz components.[49] This return to three-piece instrumentation helped pave the way for future albums in the mid-90s, which would adopt a more straightforward rock formula.

The transition from synthesizers to more guitar-oriented and organic instrumentation continued with the 1993 album Counterparts[50] and its follow-up, 1996's Test for Echo, again both produced in collaboration with Peter Collins. Musically, Counterparts[50] and Test For Echo are two of Rush's most guitar-driven albums. Although the music in general did not meet the criteria for "progressive rock", some of the songs could be considered more adventurous than what one might expect from a standard modern rock band.[51] For instance, "Time and Motion" possesses multiple time signature changes and organ usage, while the instrumental track "Limbo", consists of several relatively complex musical passages repeated throughout. Musically, Test For Echo still retained much of the hard rock/alternative style already charted on the previous record. Lifeson and Lee's playing remained more or less unchanged; however, a distinct modification in technique became apparent in Peart's playing due to formal Jazz and Swing training under the tutelage of jazz instructor Freddie Gruber during the interim between Counterparts and Test For Echo.[52] In October 1996, in support of Test For Echo, the band embarked on an extensive and successful North American tour, the band's first without an opening act and dubbed "An Evening with Rush." The tour was broken up into two segments spanning October through December, 1996 and May through July, 1997 with the band taking a respite between legs.

Hiatus and comeback (1997–2005)

After wrapping up the tour promoting Test for Echo in 1997, the band entered a five-year hiatus mainly due to personal tragedies in Peart's life. Peart's daughter Selena died in an automobile accident in August 1997, followed by his wife Jacqueline's death from cancer in June 1998. Peart took a hiatus to mourn and reflect, during which time he traveled extensively throughout North America on his BMW motorcycle, covering 88,000 km (55,000 miles). At some point in his journey, Peart decided to return to the band. Peart wrote Ghost Rider: Travels on the Healing Road as a chronicle of his geographical and emotional journey. In this book he writes of how he had told his bandmates at Selena's funeral, "consider me retired."[53] On November 10, 1998 a triple CD live album entitled Different Stages was released, dedicated to the memory of Selena and Jacqueline. Mixed by producer Paul Northfield and engineered by Terry Brown, it contained three discs packed with recorded performances from the band's Counterparts, Test For Echo, and A Farewell to Kings tours, marking the fourth officially released live album by the band. Template:Sound sample box align left Template:Listen Template:Sample box end After a time to grieve and reassemble the pieces of his life, and while visiting long-time Rush photographer Andrew MacNaughtan in Los Angeles, Peart was introduced to his future wife, photographer Carrie Nuttall. Peart married Nuttall on September 9, 2000. In early 2001 he announced to his band mates that he was ready to once again enter the studio and get back into the business of making music. With the help of producer Paul Northfield the band returned in May 2002 with Vapor Trails, written and recorded in Toronto. To herald the band's comeback, the single and lead track from the album, "One Little Victory" was designed to grab the attention of listeners due to its rapid guitar and drum tempos.[54] Vapor Trails marked the first studio recording not to include a single synthesizer, organ or keyboard part since the early 1970s. While the album is almost completely guitar-driven, it is mostly devoid of any conventional sounding guitar solos, a conscious decision made by Lifeson during the writing process. According to the band, the entire developmental process for Vapor Trails was extremely taxing and took approximately 14 months to finish, by far the longest the band had ever spent writing and recording a studio album.[54] The album debuted to moderate praise and was supported by the band's first tour in six years, including first-ever concerts in Mexico City and Brazil, where they played to some of the largest crowds of their career.

A triple CD live album and dual Rush In Rio DVD was released in late October 2003 featuring an entire concert performance recorded on the last night of their Vapor Trails Tour, November 23, 2002, at Maracanã Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. To celebrate their 30th anniversary, June 2004 saw the release of Feedback, a studio EP recorded in suburban Toronto featuring eight covers of such artists as Cream, The Who and The Yardbirds, bands that the members of Rush cite as inspiration around the time of their inception.[55] Also in the summer of 2004, Rush hit the road again for the very successful 30th Anniversary Tour, playing dates in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, Sweden, the Czech Republic, and the Netherlands. On September 24, 2004 a Frankfurt, Germany concert was recorded at The Festhalle for DVD (titled R30: Live in Frankfurt), which was released November 22, 2005.

Snakes & Arrows (2006–present)

Here is the complete setlist for Guitar Hero III, which will also include all downloadable content (when released).

Contents


Bold text indicates a master track, all other songs are covers.

Single Player Setlist

1. Starting Out Small

2. Your First Real Gig

3. Making The Video

4. European Invasion

5. Bighouse Blues

6. The Hottest Band On Earth

7. Live in Japan

8. Battle For Your Soul

Co-Op Setlist

1. Getting a Band Together

2. We Just Wanna Be Famous

3. Overnight Success

4. Getting the Band Back Together

5. Jailhouse Rock

6. Battle for Your Souls...

Bonus Tracks

Downloadable Content

Singles

Halo Theme MJOLNIR Mix - Released November 22, 2007 on XBL.

Ernten Was Wir Säen - Released December 20, 2007 on XBL & January 3, 2008 on PSN.

So Payso - Released December 20, 2007 on XBL & January 3, 2008 on PSN.

Antisocial - Released December 20, 2007 on XBL and January 3, 2008 on PSN.

We Three Kings - Released December 20, 2007 on XBL & PSN.

Dream On - Released Febuary 18, 2008 on XBL & PSN.

I am Murloc - Released June 26, 2008 on XBL and PSN.

Track Packs

Companion Pack - Released October 31, 2007 on XBL.

Foo Fighters Pack - Released November 8, 2007 on XBL & PSN.

Velvet Revolver Pack - Released November 8, 2007 on XBL & PSN.

Boss Battle Pack - Released November 15, 2007 on XBL and November 29, 2007 on PSN.

Warner/Reprise Track Pack - Released December 20, 2007 on XBL and January 3, 2007 on PSN.

Classic Rock Track Pack - Released January 24, 2008 on XBL and PSN.

No Doubt Track Pack - Released Febuary 28, 2008 on XBL and PSN.

Modern Metal Track Pack - Released March 6, 2008 on XBL & PSN.

Dropkick Murphys Track Pack - Released March 13, 2008 on XBL & PSN.

Def Leppard Track Pack - Released April 24, 2008 on XBL & PSN.

Guitar Virtuoso Pack - Released July 24, 2008 on XBL & PSN.

DragonForce Track Pack - Released August 21, 2008 on XBL & PSN

During promotional interviews for the R30 Live In Frankfurt DVD, the band revealed their intention to begin writing new material in early 2006. While in Toronto, Lifeson and Lee began the songwriting process in January 2006. During this time, Peart simultaneously assumed his role of lyric writing while residing in Southern California. The following September, Rush chose to hire American producer Nick Raskulinecz to co-produce the album. The band officially entered Allaire Studios, in Shokan, New York in November 2006 in order to record the bulk of the material. Taking the band five weeks, the sessions ended in December. On February 14, 2007, an announcement was made on the official Rush web site that the title of the new album would be Snakes & Arrows. The first single, entitled "Far Cry," was released to North American radio stations on March 12, 2007 and reached #2 on the Mediabase Mainstream and Radio and Records Charts.[56]

The Rush website, newly redesigned on March 12 to support the new album, also announced that the band would embark on a tour to begin in the summer. Snakes & Arrows was released 1 May 2007 in North America, where it debuted at #3 in the Billboard 200 with approximately 93,000 units sold in its first week.[57] To coincide with the Atlantic ocean hurricane season, "Spindrift" was released as the official second radio single on June 1, 2007, whereas "The Larger Bowl (A Pantoum)" saw single status on June 25, 2007. "The Larger Bowl" positioned within the top 20 of the Mainstream Rock and Media Base Mainstream charts, however, "Spindrift" failed to appear on any commercial chart.[58] The planned intercontinental tour in support of Snakes & Arrows began on June 13, 2007 in Atlanta, Georgia, coming to a close on October 29, 2007 at Hartwall Arena in Helsinki, Finland.[59]

The 2008 portion of the tour started on April 11, 2008 in San Juan, Puerto Rico at José Miguel Agrelot Coliseum and culminated on July 24, 2008 in Noblesville, Indiana at the Verizon Wireless Music Center.[60] On April 15, the band released Snakes & Arrows Live, a double live album documenting the first leg of the tour.[61] Those same performances featured on Snakes & Arrows Live filmed at the Ahoy arena in Rotterdam, Netherlands on October 16 and 17 of 2007 was released November 24 as a DVD and Blu-Ray set, which also includes footage from the 2008 portion of the tour, recorded at Verizon Wireless Amphitheater in Atlanta.[62][63] [64]

As the band neared the conclusion of their Snakes & Arrows tour, they announced their first appearance on American television in over 30 years. Rush was interviewed by Stephen Colbert and they performed "Tom Sawyer" on The Colbert Report on July 16, 2008.[65]

Musical style and influences

Rush's musical style has changed substantially over the years. Their debut album is strongly influenced by British-Blues rock: an amalgam of sounds and styles from such rock bands as Cream, Led Zeppelin, and Deep Purple. Over the first few albums their style remained essentially hard rock, with heavy influences from The Who[66] and Led Zeppelin,[21] but also became increasingly influenced by the British progressive rock movement.[67] In the tradition of progressive rock, Rush wrote protracted songs with irregular and multiple time signatures combined with fantasy/science fiction-inspired lyrics; however, they did not soften their sound. This fusion of hard and progressive rock continued until the end of the 1970s. In the 1980s, however, Rush successfully merged their sound with the trends of this period, experimenting with New Wave, reggae and pop rock.[68] This period included the band's most extensive use of instruments such as synthesizers, sequencers and electronic percussion. It is largely agreed that the culmination of this era of Rush was in 1987 after the release of Hold Your Fire.[69] With the approach of the early '90s and Rush's character sound still intact, the band transformed their style once again to harmonize with the alternative rock movement.[70] The new millennium has seen them return to a more rock and roll roots sound, albeit with modern production.[66]

Band members

Former members

  • John Rutsey – drums, percussion, backing vocals (August 1968 – July 1974)
  • Jeff Jones – bass, lead vocals (August 1968 – September 1968)

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Reputation

More than 30 years of activity has provided Rush with the opportunity for musical diversity across their discography. As with many bands known for experimentation, such changes have inevitably resulted in dissent among critics and fans. The bulk of the band's music has always included synthetic instruments in some form or another, and this is a great source of contention in the Rush camp, especially the band's heavy reliance on synthesizers and keyboards during the 1980s, particularly on albums Grace Under Pressure, Power Windows, and Hold Your Fire.[71][72] Still, most fans saw this as nothing less than artistic growth and support for the band remained unwavering through each transitional phase.[69]

The members of Rush have themselves noted that people "either love Rush or hate Rush", resulting in strong detractors and an intensely loyal fan base. To the chagrin of fans, the band has not been nominated for entry into the American Rock and Roll Hall of Fame since their year of eligibility in 1998. The Hall's refusal to induct Rush may be a consequence of the band's insistence on remaining outside the mainstream of rock when it comes to self-promotion, in favor of maintaining a high degree of independence.[73] To this day fans earnestly clamor for the band's inclusion into the Hall by citing noteworthy accomplishments including longevity, proficiency, and influence, as well as commercial sales figures and RIAA certifications. However, Lifeson has expressed his indifference toward the perceived slight saying "I couldn't care less, look who's up for induction, it's a joke".[74] Rush has gained a degree of recognition in popular culture despite any official recognition from the Hall.[75]

As a band, Rush has been nominated for and received various awards throughout its career. Likewise, the individual members have received coverage in various modern music magazines with specific technocratic recognition for instrumental ability. See List of Rush awards for more details on this topic.

Geddy Lee

Image:GeddyLee.JPG

Geddy Lee's high-register vocal style has always been a signature of the band — and sometimes, a focal point for criticism, especially during the early years of Rush's career when Lee's vocals were high-pitched, with a strong likeness to other singers like Robert Plant of Led Zeppelin. Although his voice has softened over the years, it is often described as a "wail".[76][77] His instrumental abilities, on the other hand, are rarely criticized. An award-winning musician, Lee's style, technique, and ability on the bass guitar have proven influential in the rock and heavy metal genres, inspiring such players as Steve Harris of Iron Maiden,[78] John Myung of Dream Theater,[79] Les Claypool of Primus[80] and Cliff Burton of Metallica[81] among others. Lee is notable for his ability to operate various pieces of instrumentation simultaneously. This is mostly evident during live shows when Lee must play bass, supply lead vocals, manipulate keyboards, and trigger foot pedals during the course of a performance, as in the song "Tom Sawyer".[67] Because of this he is required to remain in one place during songs containing complex instrumentation. Lifeson and Peart are, to a lesser extent, responsible for similar actions during live shows.

Alex Lifeson

Image:Alex Lifeson6.jpg

Instrumentally, Lifeson is regarded as a guitarist whose strengths and notability rely primarily on signature riffing, electronic effects and processing, unorthodox chord structures, and a copious arsenal of equipment used over the years.[82][83][84] Despite his esteem, however, Lifeson is often regarded as being overshadowed by his bandmates due to Lee's on-stage multi-instrumental dexterity and Peart's status as a drummer.[85]

During his adolescent years, he was influenced primarily by Jimi Hendrix, Pete Townshend, Jeff Beck, Eric Clapton and Jimmy Page.[86] For versatility, Lifeson was known to incorporate touches of Spanish and classical music into Rush's guitar-driven sound during the 1970s. Taking a backseat to Lee's keyboards in the 1980s, Lifeson's guitar returned to the forefront in the 1990s, and especially on 2002's Vapor Trails. During live performances, he is still responsible for cuing various guitar effects, the use of bass-pedal synthesizers and backing vocals.

Neil Peart

Music

Peart is commonly regarded by music fans, critics and fellow musicians as one of, if not the greatest rock drummers.[87] He is also regarded as one of the finest practitioners of the in-concert drum solo.[88] Initially inspired by Keith Moon, Peart absorbed the influence of other rock drummers from the 1960s and 1970s such as Ginger Baker, Carmine Appice, and John Bonham.[89] Incorporation of unusual instruments (for rock drummers of the time) such as cowbells, glockenspiel, and tubular bells, along with several standard kit elements, helped create a highly varied setup. Continually modified to this day, Peart's drumkit offers an enormous array of percussion instruments for sonic diversity. For two decades Peart honed his technique; each new Rush album introduced an expanded percussive vocabulary. In the 1990s, he reinvented his style with the help of drum coach Freddie Gruber. Image:Neil Peart3.jpg

Lyrics

Peart also serves as Rush's primary lyricist, attracting much attention over the years due to his eclectic style. Known for penning concept suites and songs inspired by literature, music fan opinions of his writing have varied greatly, running the gamut from cerebral and insightful to overly pretentious and preachy. During the band's early years, Peart's lyrics were largely fantasy/science fiction-focused,[90] though since 1980 he has focused more on social, emotional, and humanitarian issues. Peart's lyrics continue to divide audiences today. For example, in 2007, he was placed second on Blender magazine's list of the "40 Worst Lyricists In Rock".[91]

Sales

Over the course of their career, Rush has come to release 24 gold records and 14 platinum records (3 of which have gone multiplatinum),[92] placing them within the top 4 for the most consecutive gold albums by a rock band.[93] Rush ranks 78th in U.S. album sales according to the RIAA with sales of 25 million units.[93] Total worldwide sales approximate 40 million units.[94][95][96][97]

Despite having completely dropped out of the public eye for five years after the gold-selling Test for Echo (which peaked at number 5 on the Billboard 200) and the band being relegated almost solely to classic rock stations in the U.S., Vapor Trails reached #6 on the Billboard 200 chart in its first week of release in 2002 with 108,000 albums sold. It has sold approximately 343,000 units to date. The subsequent Vapor Trails tour grossed over $24 million and included the largest audience ever to see a headlining Rush show — 60,000 fans in São Paulo, Brazil. Nevertheless, Vapor Trails remains their first album not to achieve at least gold status.

However, Rush's triple CD live album, 2003's Rush in Rio, was certified gold by the RIAA, marking the fourth decade in which a Rush album had been released and certified at least gold. Moreover, in 2004 Feedback cracked the top 20 on the Billboard 200 chart and received radio airplay. The band's most recent album, Snakes & Arrows, debuted at #3 (just one position shy of Rush's highest peaking album, 1993's Counterparts, which debuted at #2) on the Billboard 200 selling approximately 93,000 copies in its first week of release.[98] This marks the 13th studio album to appear in the Top 20 and the band's 27th album to appear on the chart regardless of position over the course of their career. The album also debuted at #1 on the Billboard's Top Rock Albums chart, as well as peaking at #1 on the Top Internet Albums chart when the album was released on the MVI format a month later.[99] Still, Snakes & Arrows has yet to accumulate sales that approach or eclipse Vapor Trails or Rush in Rio.

The two consecutive tours in support of Snakes & Arrows in 2007 and 2008 accrued $21 million and $18.3 million, respectively, earning Rush the number 6 and 8 spots among the top ten summer rock concerts.[100][101]

Live performances

The members of Rush share a strong work ethic, desiring to accurately recreate songs from their albums when playing live performances. Toward this goal, beginning in the late 1980s, Rush has included in their concert equipment a capacious rack of digital samplers which the band members use, in real-time, to recreate the sounds of non-traditional instruments, accompaniments, vocal harmonies, and other sound "events" that are familiarly heard on the studio versions of the songs.

In live performances, the band members share duties throughout most songs, with each member triggering certain sounds with his available limbs, while playing his primary instrument(s). Each band member has one or more MIDI controllers that enables him to use his free hands or feet to trigger sounds that have been loaded into the samplers for a particular song.[102] It is with this technology that the group is able to present their arrangements in a live setting with the level of complexity and fidelity that fans have come to expect, and without the need to resort to the use of backing tracks or employing an additional band member.[103]

The band members' coordinated use of foot-pedal keyboards and other electronic triggers to "play" sampled instruments and audio events is subtly visible in their live performances, especially so on R30: 30th Anniversary World Tour, their 2005 concert DVD.

A staple of Rush's concerts is a Peart drum solo. Peart's drum solos include a basic framework of routines connected by sections of improvisation, making each performance unique. Each successive tour sees the solo more advanced, with some routines dropped in favor of newer, more complex ones. Since the mid-1980s, Peart has used MIDI trigger pads to trigger sounds sampled from various pieces of acoustic percussion that would otherwise consume far too much stage area, such as a marimba, harp, temple blocks, triangles, glockenspiel, orchestra bells, tubular bells, and vibraslap as well as other, more esoteric percussion.

Philanthropy

Rush actively participates in philanthropic causes. The band was one of a number of hometown favorites to play Molson Canadian Rocks for Toronto, also dubbed SARStock, at Downsview Park in Toronto on July 30, 2003, with an attendance of over half a million people. The concert was intended to benefit the Canadian economy after the SARS outbreaks earlier in the year. The band has also sustained an interest in promoting human rights. They donated $100,000 to the Canadian Museum for Human Rights after a concert they held in Winnipeg on 24 May 2008.[104] Rush continues to sell t-shirts and donate the proceeds to the museum.[105]

The individual members of Rush have also been a part of philanthropic causes. Hughes & Kettner zenTeras and TriAmps have been endorsed and used by Lifeson for many years. A custom signature amplifier was engineered by Lifeson and released in April 2005 with the stipulation that UNICEF will receive a donation in the amount of $50 for every Alex Lifeson Signature TriAmp sold.[106] Lee, a longtime fan of baseball, donated 200 baseballs signed by famous Negro League players, including Willie Mays, Hank Aaron and Josh Gibson, to the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in June 2008.[107]

The band is featured on the music album Songs for Tibet, appearing with a number of other celebrities as an initiative to support Tibet and the current Dalai Lama Tenzin Gyatso. The album was made downloadable on August 5 via iTunes and was released commercially August 12.[108]

Discography

Here is the complete setlist for Guitar Hero III, which will also include all downloadable content (when released).


Bold text indicates a master track, all other songs are covers.

Single Player Setlist

1. Starting Out Small

2. Your First Real Gig

3. Making The Video

4. European Invasion

5. Bighouse Blues

6. The Hottest Band On Earth

7. Live in Japan

8. Battle For Your Soul

Co-Op Setlist

1. Getting a Band Together

2. We Just Wanna Be Famous

3. Overnight Success

4. Getting the Band Back Together

5. Jailhouse Rock

6. Battle for Your Souls...

Bonus Tracks

Downloadable Content

Singles

Halo Theme MJOLNIR Mix - Released November 22, 2007 on XBL.

Ernten Was Wir Säen - Released December 20, 2007 on XBL & January 3, 2008 on PSN.

So Payso - Released December 20, 2007 on XBL & January 3, 2008 on PSN.

Antisocial - Released December 20, 2007 on XBL and January 3, 2008 on PSN.

We Three Kings - Released December 20, 2007 on XBL & PSN.

Dream On - Released Febuary 18, 2008 on XBL & PSN.

I am Murloc - Released June 26, 2008 on XBL and PSN.

Track Packs

Companion Pack - Released October 31, 2007 on XBL.

Foo Fighters Pack - Released November 8, 2007 on XBL & PSN.

Velvet Revolver Pack - Released November 8, 2007 on XBL & PSN.

Boss Battle Pack - Released November 15, 2007 on XBL and November 29, 2007 on PSN.

Warner/Reprise Track Pack - Released December 20, 2007 on XBL and January 3, 2007 on PSN.

Classic Rock Track Pack - Released January 24, 2008 on XBL and PSN.

No Doubt Track Pack - Released Febuary 28, 2008 on XBL and PSN.

Modern Metal Track Pack - Released March 6, 2008 on XBL & PSN.

Dropkick Murphys Track Pack - Released March 13, 2008 on XBL & PSN.

Def Leppard Track Pack - Released April 24, 2008 on XBL & PSN.

Guitar Virtuoso Pack - Released July 24, 2008 on XBL & PSN.

DragonForce Track Pack - Released August 21, 2008 on XBL & PSN

Studio albums


See also

References

Template:Reflist

Further reading

Books

Scholarly articles

External links

Template:Spoken Wikipedia Template:Commonscat Template:Wikiquote

Template:Featured article Template:RushTemplate:Link FA

ca:Rush cs:Rush da:Rush de:Rush et:Rush es:Rush fr:Rush (groupe) hr:Rush id:Rush it:Rush he:ראש (להקה) lv:Rush hu:Rush mt:Rush nl:Rush (band) ja:ラッシュ (バンド) no:Rush nn:Rush pl:Rush pt:Rush ro:Rush ru:Rush simple:Rush (band) sk:Rush (skupina) fi:Rush sq:Rush sv:Rush tr:Rush (grup) uk:Rush zh:匆促樂團s Band World Tour mode, allowing the band to play gigs and tour a virtual representation of the world. Once setup is complete, the band can begin playing concerts in small venues in their hometown until they unlock vans, tour buses and private jets, which unlock more cities and different continents. Unlocking and completing new gigs unlocks additional songs for play across all game modes. Successful performances also earn the band fans, stars, and in-game cash. Most cities and larger venues require the band to achieve a certain number of fans and stars before they are unlocked. The band must complete unique sets of activities at each venue. Performances consist of single songs, multiple song sets, "make your own" setlists, and mystery setlists. For certain performances, bands are faced with an optional challenge that requires the band to average a certain number of stars for their gig in order to reap the rewards. Bands can also hire personnel, including band managers, roadies, and sound guys.

The second option from the band's "practice space" is "Tour Challenge", which is a set of non-linear challenges. Some of these challenges include completing certain band-specific setlists, sets of songs that are difficult on a particular instrument, or songs all with a common theme. New downloadable songs will be integrated into this mode, allowing the creation of new challenges. Players can save their progress through these setlists and complete them at a later time. Newly purchased songs that will extend the length of a Tour Challenge setlist will also need to be completed in order for the challenge to be completed.[109]

The final option from the band's "practice space" is "Battle of the Bands", only available for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and Wii versions of the game. This mode allows the band to virtually compete against other bands via online scoreboard tracking. This mode is composed of limited-time online tournaments created by Harmonix, with approximately five to ten challenges available any time. Challenges may be made up of one or more songs, and may be geared to one instrument or a full band. The songs will not be limited to those on the Rock Band 2 disc and will include ones that use songs off the Rock Band disc and downloaded content; it is expected that challenges centered around downloadable albums will also be made available. Challenges may also provide special rules, such as turning on the "no fail" mode for a difficult guitar song, or completing a song without activating "Overdrive". While playing the challenge, the band will see the score of the next highest band from the online leaderboard, as well as a "tug of war" meter to show how close they are to the score. If a band's score is surpassed, they will be notified the next time they are online. Challenges participated in and the corresponding scores will be tracked as part of the band's history, with this information also being made available through the game's website.[7][110]

Unlike the original Rock Band, players can designate custom characters as "stand-in musicians" for their band members, which will be available to place in the position of the default musicians created by Harmonix.[109]

Other modes

Also included in Rock Band 2 is a "Training" mode, which will help players learn how to play each instrument. Within this mode is the "Drum Trainer", which will help players improve on the drums through a "Beat Trainer" (with dozens of drum beats to practice), "Fill Trainer" (which will teach players how to perform better drum fills), and a "Freestyle Mode" (which will allow player to freeplay the drums, or play over MP3 songs on their Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3 console).[6][111] The "Extras" menu of the game allows "modifiers" to be activated; some of these include "No Fail Mode," which will allow playing through songs without anyone being able to fail, and a "Breakneck Speed" mode, similar to the Hyperspeed code in Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock which doubles the track's scrolling speed.[112] The "Score Duel", "Tug of War", "Quickplay", and "Tutorial" modes from the original Rock Band are also retained.

Customization

In Quickplay modes, players can assemble variable-length custom setlists, allowing multiple songs to be played in sequence without returning to the song selection menu in between each song.[6] Like the original, Rock Band, players can create and customize their own in-game character, complete with adjustable hair, body physique, clothing, tattoos, piercings, onstage movements, and instruments. Using cash earned within the game, the player may purchase items at the in-game "Rock Shop," with which they can customize their rock star. The game features an art maker where players can combine different clip art elements to create custom face paint, tattoos, clothing designs, instrument artwork, and band logos. The same character is usable to play any of the instruments in the game, unlike in Rock Band where a character was fixed to one specific instrument.[6] Players' characters created in the first Rock Band cannot be transferred to Rock Band 2, although all of the customization options from Rock Band are present in Rock Band 2, allowing characters to be recreated.[113] The Wii version of the game will also receive character customization for Rock Band 2,[114] an upgrade from the previous Wii installment, which used pre-rendered video. The PlayStation 2 version does not have character customization. Through the game's updated website on October 6, 2008, players are able to interact with their virtual characters and band. Using the website's "Merch Booth", users can simulate a photo shoot by posing their characters, choosing a backdrop, and applying visual effects. Any pictures taken can be used to order custom merchandise, including t-shirts, posters, keychains, and stickers. Additionally, the Merch Booth allows users to purchase figurines modeled after their characters.[115] The six-inch-tall figurines are created by the Z Corporation using 3D printing techniques, and will cost $70.[116]

Development

A sequel to Rock Band had been reported as in development for release in late 2008 in a Wired blog by Chris Kohler. According to Kohler, Harmonix was working on improving the instrument controllers, but the current controllers would be forward compatible with Rock Band 2. Kohler's piece also stated that the game would likely include similar features as announced for Guitar Hero World Tour, also planned for release in late 2008.[117]

According to lead designer Dan Teasdale from Harmonix, the game includes many features that players have been asking for, including "first time ever" features.[118] Band World Tour mode allows the use of downloadable content, in addition to on-disc tracks, and there are several new solo play modes that "not only provide new ways for you to experience your music library, but also new ways for you to make the transition from Expert to real instruments".[118]

Eric Brosius, Harmonix's Audio Director, described the process of selecting songs for Rock Band 2 to be organic, allowing the set list to grow as needed with influence from fans' reaction to the first game but without any specific vision of the final list, and knowing that tracks that failed to make the main disc content would end up as content for download.[119] The team often licensed several songs from a single group, and then select one that would be the most satisfying for all players in the game; additional songs not used in the main set list will likely appear as downloadable content in the future, though Brosius stated that the initial twenty songs to be made available immediately after Rock Band 2Template:Infobox musical artist Template:Portal Rush is a Canadian rock band originally formed in August 1968, in the Willowdale neighbourhood of Toronto, Ontario, currently 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 definitive form when Neil 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 libertarian philosophy, as well as addressing humanitarian, social, emotional, and environmental concerns.

Musically, Rush's style has evolved over the years, beginning in the vein of blues-inspired heavy metal on their first albums, then encompassing hard rock, progressive rock, a period dominated by synthesizers and, more recently, modern rock. They have influenced various musical artists, including Metallica,[13][14] The Smashing Pumpkins[15] and Primus,[15] as well as progressive metal bands such as Dream Theater[13] and Symphony X.[16]

Rush has won a number of Juno Awards, and was inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame in 1994. Over the course of their careers, the individual members of Rush have been acknowledged as being some of the most proficient players on their respective instruments, with each band member winning several awards in magazine readers' polls. As a group, Rush possesses 24 gold records and 14 platinum (3 multi-platinum) records. According to the RIAA, Rush's sales statistics place them fourth behind The Beatles, The Rolling Stones and Aerosmith for the most consecutive gold or platinum albums by a rock band. Rush also ranks 78th in U.S. album sales with 25 million units.[17] 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 recently finished promoting their latest album, Snakes & Arrows with an intercontinental tour. The second leg began in San Juan, Puerto Rico on April 11, and ended on July 24, 2008 in Noblesville, Indiana.[18]

History

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The early years (1968–1976)

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The original line-up formed in the neighbourhood of Willowdale in Toronto, Ontario, by Lifeson, front man Jeff Jones, and drummer John Rutsey. Within a couple weeks of forming, and before their second performance, bassist and lead vocalist Jones was replaced by Geddy Lee, a schoolmate of Lifeson. After several lineup reformations, Rush's official incarnation was formed in May 1971 consisting of Lee, Lifeson, and Rutsey. The band was managed by local Toronto resident Ray Danniels, a frequent attendee of Rush's early shows.[19][20]

After gaining stability in the lineup and honing their skills on the local bar/high school dance circuit, the band came to release their first single "Not Fade Away", a cover of the Buddy Holly song, in 1973. Side B contained an original composition, "You Can't Fight It", credited to Rutsey and Lee. The single generated little reaction and, due to record company indifference, the band formed their own independent record label, Moon Records. With the aid of Danniels and the newly enlisted engineer Terry Brown, the band released their self-titled debut album in 1974, which was considered highly derivative of Led Zeppelin.[21] Rush had limited local popularity until the album was picked up by WMMS, a radio station in Cleveland, Ohio. Donna Halper, a DJ and music director working at the station, selected "Working Man" for her regular play list. The song's blue collar theme resonated with hard rock fans and this new found popularity led to the album being re-released by Mercury Records in the U.S.[22][23] Image:Starman.png

Immediately after the release of the debut album, Rutsey resigned in July 1974 due to his affliction with diabetes and a distaste for touring. Rush held auditions and eventually selected Neil Peart as Rutsey's replacement. Peart officially joined the band on July 29, 1974, two weeks before the group's first US tour. They performed their first concert together, opening for Uriah Heep and Manfred Mann with an attendance of over 11,000 people at the Civic Arena in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on August 14. In addition to becoming the band's drummer, Peart assumed the role of principal lyricist as Lee and Lifeson had very little interest in writing, contributing to only a handful of song lyrics over the rest of the band's career. Instead, they focused primarily on the musical aspects of Rush. Fly by Night (1975), Rush's first album after recruiting Peart, saw the inclusion of the band's first epic mini-tale "By-Tor and the Snow Dog", replete with complex arrangements and multi-section format. Lyrical themes also underwent dramatic changes after the addition of Peart due to his love for fantasy and science-fiction literature.[25] However, despite these many differences some of the music and songs still closely mirrored the blues style found on Rush's debut.[26][25]

Following quickly on the heels of Fly By Night, the band released 1975's Caress of Steel, a five track hard rock album featuring two extended multi-chapter songs, "The Necromancer" and "The Fountain of Lamneth." Caress of Steel was reported by some critics to be unfocused and an audacious move for the band due to the placement of two protracted numbers back-to-back, as well as a heavier reliance on atmospherics and story-telling, a large deviation from Fly by Night.[27] Intended to be the band's first "break-through" album, Caress of Steel sold below expectations and the promotional tour consisted of small venues which led to the moniker the "Down the Tubes Tour."[28] In light of these events, Rush's record label pressured them into molding their next album in a more commercially friendly and accessible fashion. However, the band ignored the requests and developed their next album, 2112. It was the band's first taste of commercial success and their first platinum album in Canada.[29] The supporting tour for the album culminated in a three night stand at Massey Hall in Toronto, which the band recorded for the release of their first live album titled All the World's a Stage. Allmusic Guide critic Greg Prato summarily reminds listeners and fans of how the album demarcates the boundary between the band's early years and the next era of their music.[30][31]

The progressive rock era (1977–1981)

After 2112, Rush retreated to the United Kingdom to record 1977's A Farewell to Kings and 1978's Hemispheres at Rockfield Studios in Wales. These albums saw the band members expanding their use of progressive elements in their music. Trademarks such as increased synthesizer usage, extended-length concept songs, and highly dynamic playing featuring complex time signature changes became a staple of Rush's compositions. To achieve a broader, more progressive palette of sound, Alex Lifeson began to experiment with classical and twelve-string guitars, and Geddy Lee added bass-pedal synthesizers and Minimoog. Likewise, Peart's percussion became diversified in the form of triangles, glockenspiel, wood blocks, cowbells, timpani, gong and chimes. Beyond instrument additions, the band kept in stride with the progressive rock movement by continuing to compose long, conceptual songs with science fiction and fantasy overtones. However, as the new decade approached, Rush gradually began to dispose of their older styles of music in favor of shorter, and sometimes softer, arrangements. The lyrics up to this point (most of them written by Peart) were heavily influenced by classical poetry, fantasy literature, science fiction, and the writings of novelist Ayn Rand, as exhibited most prominently by their 1975 song "Anthem" from Fly By Night and a specifically acknowledged derivation in 1976's 2112.[32]

Permanent Waves (1980) shifted Rush's style of music dramatically via the introduction of reggae and new wave.[33] Although a hard rock style was still evident, more and more synthesizers were introduced. Moreover, due to the limited airplay Rush's previous extended-length songs received, Permanent Waves included shorter, more radio-friendly songs such as "The Spirit of Radio" and "Freewill", two songs which helped Permanent Waves become Rush's first U.S. Top 5 album; both songs continue to make appearances on classic rock radio stations in Canada and the United States to this day.[34] Meanwhile, Peart's lyrics shifted toward an expository tone with subject matter that dwelled less on fantastical or allegorical story-telling and more heavily on cerebral topics that explored humanistic, social, emotional and metaphysical elements. Template:Sound sample box align left Template:Listen Template:Sample box end Rush's popularity reached its pinnacle with the release of Moving Pictures in 1981. Moving Pictures essentially continued where Permanent Waves left off, extending the trend of highly accessible and commercially friendly pop-progressive rock that helped thrust them into the spotlight. The lead track, "Tom Sawyer", is probably the band's best-known song[35] with "Limelight" also receiving satisfactory responses from listeners and radio stations. Moving Pictures was Rush's last album to feature an extended song, the ten-and-a-half-minute "The Camera Eye". The song also contained the band's heaviest usage of synthesizers up to that point, hinting that Rush's music was shifting direction once more. Moving Pictures reached #3 on the Billboard 200 album chart and has been certified quadruple platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America.[36]

Following the success of Moving Pictures and the completion of another four studio albums, Rush released their second live recording, Exit...Stage Left, in 1981. The album delineates the apex of Rush's progressive period by featuring live material from the band's Permanent Waves and Moving Pictures tours. As with their first live release, Exit...Stage Left identified the margin of a new chapter of Rush's sound. The band underwent another radical stylistic transmutation with the release of Signals in 1982.[37]

The synthesizer period (1982–1989)

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While Lee's synthesizers had been featured instruments ever since the late 70s, keyboards were suddenly shifted from the contrapuntal background to the melodic front-lines[38][39] as evidenced by songs such as "Countdown" and the lead-off track "Subdivisions". Both feature nimble lead synthesizer lines with minimalistic guitar chords and solos. Other previously unused instrument additions were seen in the song "Losing It," featuring collaborator Ben Mink on electric violin.[37] Template:Sound sample box align right Template:Listen Template:Sample box end Signals also represented a drastic stylistic transformation apart from instrumental changes. The album contained Rush's only U.S. top-40 pop hit, "New World Man",[40] while other more experimental songs such as "Digital Man", "The Weapon", and "Chemistry" expanded the band's use of ska, reggae, and funk.[41] Although the band members consciously decided to move in this overall direction, they felt dissatisfied with long-time producer Terry Brown's studio treatment of Signals and parted ways with him in 1983. These diverse styles would come into further play on their next studio album.

Image:DM Simmons SDS5.jpg

The style and production of Signals were augmented and taken to new heights on 1984's Grace Under Pressure. It was Peart who named the album, as he borrowed the words of Ernest Hemingway to describe what the band had to go through after making the decision to leave Terry Brown. Producer Steve Lillywhite, who gleaned fame with successful productions of Simple Minds and U2, was enlisted to produce Grace Under Pressure. However, he backed out at the last moment, much to the ire of Lee, Lifeson and Peart. Lee said "Steve Lillywhite is really not a man of his word....after agreeing to do our record, he got an offer from Simple Minds, changed his mind, blew us off,..so it put us in a horrible position." Eventually Rush hired Peter Henderson to co-produce and engineer the album in his stead.[42]

Musically, although Lee's use of sequencers and synthesizers remained the band's cornerstone, his focus on new technology was complemented by Peart's adaptation of Simmons electronic drums and percussion. Lifeson's contributions on the album were decidedly enhanced to act as an overreaction to the minimalistic role he played on Signals.[43] Still, many of his trademark guitar textures remained intact in the form of open reggae chords and funk and new-wave rhythms; "Distant Early Warning", "Red Lenses", "Red Sector A" and "The Enemy Within" serve as prime examples.

With new producer Peter Collins, the band released 1985's Power Windows and 1987's Hold Your Fire. The music on these two albums gives far more emphasis and prominence to Lee's multi-layered synthesizer work. While fans and critics took notice of Lifeson's diminished guitar work, his presence was still palpable on "The Big Money", (the album's modest-charting single) with spotlights on "Grand Designs", "Middletown Dreams" and "Marathon." Lifeson, like many guitarists in the late 1980s, experimented with processors that reduced his instrument to echoey chord bursts and razor-thin leads. Hold Your Fire represents both a modest extension of the guitar stylings found on Power Windows, and, according to Allmusic critic Ed Rivadavia, the culmination of this era of Rush.[44] Whereas the previous five Rush albums sold platinum or better, Hold Your Fire only went gold in November 1987, although it managed to peak at number 13 on the Billboard 200.[45]

A third live album and video, A Show of Hands (1989), was also released by Mercury following the Power Windows and Hold Your Fire tours, demonstrating the aspects of Rush in the 80s. A Show of Hands met with strong fan approval, but Rolling Stone critic Michael Azerrad dismissed it as "musical muscle" with 1.5 stars, claiming Rush fans viewed their favourite power trio as "the holy trinity".[46] Nevertheless, A Show of Hands managed to surpass the gold album mark, reaching number 21 on the Billboard 200.[47] At this point, the group decided to change record labels from Mercury to Atlantic. After Rush's departure in 1989, Mercury released a double platinum two-volume compilation of their Rush catalogue, Chronicles (1990).[48]

Returning to their roots (1989–1997)

Template:Sound sample box align right Template:Listen Template:Sample box end Rush started to deviate from their 1980s style with the albums Presto and Roll the Bones. Produced by record engineer and musician Rupert Hine, these two albums saw Rush shedding much of their keyboard-saturated sound. Beginning with 1989's Presto, the band opted for arrangements that were notably more guitar-centric than the previous two studio albums. Although synthesizers were still used in many songs, the instrument was no longer featured as the centerpiece of Rush's compositions. Continuing this trend, 1991's Roll the Bones extended the use of the standard three-instrument approach with even less focus on synthesizers than its predecessor. While musically these albums do not deviate significantly from a general pop-rock sound, Rush stuck to their creative approach of incorporating traces of more exotic musical styles. "Roll the Bones", for instance, exhibits funk and hip hop elements, and the instrumental track "Where's My Thing?" features several jazz components.[49] This return to three-piece instrumentation helped pave the way for future albums in the mid-90s, which would adopt a more straightforward rock formula.

The transition from synthesizers to more guitar-oriented and organic instrumentation continued with the 1993 album Counterparts[50] and its follow-up, 1996's Test for Echo, again both produced in collaboration with Peter Collins. Musically, Counterparts[50] and Test For Echo are two of Rush's most guitar-driven albums. Although the music in general did not meet the criteria for "progressive rock", some of the songs could be considered more adventurous than what one might expect from a standard modern rock band.[51] For instance, "Time and Motion" possesses multiple time signature changes and organ usage, while the instrumental track "Limbo", consists of several relatively complex musical passages repeated throughout. Musically, Test For Echo still retained much of the hard rock/alternative style already charted on the previous record. Lifeson and Lee's playing remained more or less unchanged; however, a distinct modification in technique became apparent in Peart's playing due to formal Jazz and Swing training under the tutelage of jazz instructor Freddie Gruber during the interim between Counterparts and Test For Echo.[52] In October 1996, in support of Test For Echo, the band embarked on an extensive and successful North American tour, the band's first without an opening act and dubbed "An Evening with Rush." The tour was broken up into two segments spanning October through December, 1996 and May through July, 1997 with the band taking a respite between legs.

Hiatus and comeback (1997–2005)

After wrapping up the tour promoting Test for Echo in 1997, the band entered a five-year hiatus mainly due to personal tragedies in Peart's life. Peart's daughter Selena died in an automobile accident in August 1997, followed by his wife Jacqueline's death from cancer in June 1998. Peart took a hiatus to mourn and reflect, during which time he traveled extensively throughout North America on his BMW motorcycle, covering 88,000 km (55,000 miles). At some point in his journey, Peart decided to return to the band. Peart wrote Ghost Rider: Travels on the Healing Road as a chronicle of his geographical and emotional journey. In this book he writes of how he had told his bandmates at Selena's funeral, "consider me retired."[53] On November 10, 1998 a triple CD live album entitled Different Stages was released, dedicated to the memory of Selena and Jacqueline. Mixed by producer Paul Northfield and engineered by Terry Brown, it contained three discs packed with recorded performances from the band's Counterparts, Test For Echo, and A Farewell to Kings tours, marking the fourth officially released live album by the band. Template:Sound sample box align left Template:Listen Template:Sample box end After a time to grieve and reassemble the pieces of his life, and while visiting long-time Rush photographer Andrew MacNaughtan in Los Angeles, Peart was introduced to his future wife, photographer Carrie Nuttall. Peart married Nuttall on September 9, 2000. In early 2001 he announced to his band mates that he was ready to once again enter the studio and get back into the business of making music. With the help of producer Paul Northfield the band returned in May 2002 with Vapor Trails, written and recorded in Toronto. To herald the band's comeback, the single and lead track from the album, "One Little Victory" was designed to grab the attention of listeners due to its rapid guitar and drum tempos.[54] Vapor Trails marked the first studio recording not to include a single synthesizer, organ or keyboard part since the early 1970s. While the album is almost completely guitar-driven, it is mostly devoid of any conventional sounding guitar solos, a conscious decision made by Lifeson during the writing process. According to the band, the entire developmental process for Vapor Trails was extremely taxing and took approximately 14 months to finish, by far the longest the band had ever spent writing and recording a studio album.[54] The album debuted to moderate praise and was supported by the band's first tour in six years, including first-ever concerts in Mexico City and Brazil, where they played to some of the largest crowds of their career.

A triple CD live album and dual Rush In Rio DVD was released in late October 2003 featuring an entire concert performance recorded on the last night of their Vapor Trails Tour, November 23, 2002, at Maracanã Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. To celebrate their 30th anniversary, June 2004 saw the release of Feedback, a studio EP recorded in suburban Toronto featuring eight covers of such artists as Cream, The Who and The Yardbirds, bands that the members of Rush cite as inspiration around the time of their inception.[55] Also in the summer of 2004, Rush hit the road again for the very successful 30th Anniversary Tour, playing dates in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, Sweden, the Czech Republic, and the Netherlands. On September 24, 2004 a Frankfurt, Germany concert was recorded at The Festhalle for DVD (titled R30: Live in Frankfurt), which was released November 22, 2005.

Snakes & Arrows (2006–present)

Here is the complete setlist for Guitar Hero III, which will also include all downloadable content (when released).


Bold text indicates a master track, all other songs are covers.

Single Player Setlist

1. Starting Out Small

2. Your First Real Gig

3. Making The Video

4. European Invasion

5. Bighouse Blues

6. The Hottest Band On Earth

7. Live in Japan

8. Battle For Your Soul

Co-Op Setlist

1. Getting a Band Together

2. We Just Wanna Be Famous

3. Overnight Success

4. Getting the Band Back Together

5. Jailhouse Rock

6. Battle for Your Souls...

Bonus Tracks

Downloadable Content

Singles

Halo Theme MJOLNIR Mix - Released November 22, 2007 on XBL.

Ernten Was Wir Säen - Released December 20, 2007 on XBL & January 3, 2008 on PSN.

So Payso - Released December 20, 2007 on XBL & January 3, 2008 on PSN.

Antisocial - Released December 20, 2007 on XBL and January 3, 2008 on PSN.

We Three Kings - Released December 20, 2007 on XBL & PSN.

Dream On - Released Febuary 18, 2008 on XBL & PSN.

I am Murloc - Released June 26, 2008 on XBL and PSN.

Track Packs

Companion Pack - Released October 31, 2007 on XBL.

Foo Fighters Pack - Released November 8, 2007 on XBL & PSN.

Velvet Revolver Pack - Released November 8, 2007 on XBL & PSN.

Boss Battle Pack - Released November 15, 2007 on XBL and November 29, 2007 on PSN.

Warner/Reprise Track Pack - Released December 20, 2007 on XBL and January 3, 2007 on PSN.

Classic Rock Track Pack - Released January 24, 2008 on XBL and PSN.

No Doubt Track Pack - Released Febuary 28, 2008 on XBL and PSN.

Modern Metal Track Pack - Released March 6, 2008 on XBL & PSN.

Dropkick Murphys Track Pack - Released March 13, 2008 on XBL & PSN.

Def Leppard Track Pack - Released April 24, 2008 on XBL & PSN.

Guitar Virtuoso Pack - Released July 24, 2008 on XBL & PSN.

DragonForce Track Pack - Released August 21, 2008 on XBL & PSN

During promotional interviews for the R30 Live In Frankfurt DVD, the band revealed their intention to begin writing new material in early 2006. While in Toronto, Lifeson and Lee began the songwriting process in January 2006. During this time, Peart simultaneously assumed his role of lyric writing while residing in Southern California. The following September, Rush chose to hire American producer Nick Raskulinecz to co-produce the album. The band officially entered Allaire Studios, in Shokan, New York in November 2006 in order to record the bulk of the material. Taking the band five weeks, the sessions ended in December. On February 14, 2007, an announcement was made on the official Rush web site that the title of the new album would be Snakes & Arrows. The first single, entitled "Far Cry," was released to North American radio stations on March 12, 2007 and reached #2 on the Mediabase Mainstream and Radio and Records Charts.[56]

The Rush website, newly redesigned on March 12 to support the new album, also announced that the band would embark on a tour to begin in the summer. Snakes & Arrows was released 1 May 2007 in North America, where it debuted at #3 in the Billboard 200 with approximately 93,000 units sold in its first week.[57] To coincide with the Atlantic ocean hurricane season, "Spindrift" was released as the official second radio single on June 1, 2007, whereas "The Larger Bowl (A Pantoum)" saw single status on June 25, 2007. "The Larger Bowl" positioned within the top 20 of the Mainstream Rock and Media Base Mainstream charts, however, "Spindrift" failed to appear on any commercial chart.[58] The planned intercontinental tour in support of Snakes & Arrows began on June 13, 2007 in Atlanta, Georgia, coming to a close on October 29, 2007 at Hartwall Arena in Helsinki, Finland.[59]

The 2008 portion of the tour started on April 11, 2008 in San Juan, Puerto Rico at José Miguel Agrelot Coliseum and culminated on July 24, 2008 in Noblesville, Indiana at the Verizon Wireless Music Center.[60] On April 15, the band released Snakes & Arrows Live, a double live album documenting the first leg of the tour.[61] Those same performances featured on Snakes & Arrows Live filmed at the Ahoy arena in Rotterdam, Netherlands on October 16 and 17 of 2007 was released November 24 as a DVD and Blu-Ray set, which also includes footage from the 2008 portion of the tour, recorded at Verizon Wireless Amphitheater in Atlanta.[62][63] [64]

As the band neared the conclusion of their Snakes & Arrows tour, they announced their first appearance on American television in over 30 years. Rush was interviewed by Stephen Colbert and they performed "Tom Sawyer" on The Colbert Report on July 16, 2008.[65]

Musical style and influences

Rush's musical style has changed substantially over the years. Their debut album is strongly influenced by British-Blues rock: an amalgam of sounds and styles from such rock bands as Cream, Led Zeppelin, and Deep Purple. Over the first few albums their style remained essentially hard rock, with heavy influences from The Who[66] and Led Zeppelin,[21] but also became increasingly influenced by the British progressive rock movement.[67] In the tradition of progressive rock, Rush wrote protracted songs with irregular and multiple time signatures combined with fantasy/science fiction-inspired lyrics; however, they did not soften their sound. This fusion of hard and progressive rock continued until the end of the 1970s. In the 1980s, however, Rush successfully merged their sound with the trends of this period, experimenting with New Wave, reggae and pop rock.[68] This period included the band's most extensive use of instruments such as synthesizers, sequencers and electronic percussion. It is largely agreed that the culmination of this era of Rush was in 1987 after the release of Hold Your Fire.[69] With the approach of the early '90s and Rush's character sound still intact, the band transformed their style once again to harmonize with the alternative rock movement.[70] The new millennium has seen them return to a more rock and roll roots sound, albeit with modern production.[66]

Band members

Former members

  • John Rutsey – drums, percussion, backing vocals (August 1968 – July 1974)
  • Jeff Jones – bass, lead vocals (August 1968 – September 1968)

Template:Details

Reputation

More than 30 years of activity has provided Rush with the opportunity for musical diversity across their discography. As with many bands known for experimentation, such changes have inevitably resulted in dissent among critics and fans. The bulk of the band's music has always included synthetic instruments in some form or another, and this is a great source of contention in the Rush camp, especially the band's heavy reliance on synthesizers and keyboards during the 1980s, particularly on albums Grace Under Pressure, Power Windows, and Hold Your Fire.[71][72] Still, most fans saw this as nothing less than artistic growth and support for the band remained unwavering through each transitional phase.[69]

The members of Rush have themselves noted that people "either love Rush or hate Rush", resulting in strong detractors and an intensely loyal fan base. To the chagrin of fans, the band has not been nominated for entry into the American Rock and Roll Hall of Fame since their year of eligibility in 1998. The Hall's refusal to induct Rush may be a consequence of the band's insistence on remaining outside the mainstream of rock when it comes to self-promotion, in favor of maintaining a high degree of independence.[73] To this day fans earnestly clamor for the band's inclusion into the Hall by citing noteworthy accomplishments including longevity, proficiency, and influence, as well as commercial sales figures and RIAA certifications. However, Lifeson has expressed his indifference toward the perceived slight saying "I couldn't care less, look who's up for induction, it's a joke".[74] Rush has gained a degree of recognition in popular culture despite any official recognition from the Hall.[75]

As a band, Rush has been nominated for and received various awards throughout its career. Likewise, the individual members have received coverage in various modern music magazines with specific technocratic recognition for instrumental ability. See List of Rush awards for more details on this topic.

Geddy Lee

Image:GeddyLee.JPG

Geddy Lee's high-register vocal style has always been a signature of the band — and sometimes, a focal point for criticism, especially during the early years of Rush's career when Lee's vocals were high-pitched, with a strong likeness to other singers like Robert Plant of Led Zeppelin. Although his voice has softened over the years, it is often described as a "wail".[76][77] His instrumental abilities, on the other hand, are rarely criticized. An award-winning musician, Lee's style, technique, and ability on the bass guitar have proven influential in the rock and heavy metal genres, inspiring such players as Steve Harris of Iron Maiden,[78] John Myung of Dream Theater,[79] Les Claypool of Primus[80] and Cliff Burton of Metallica[81] among others. Lee is notable for his ability to operate various pieces of instrumentation simultaneously. This is mostly evident during live shows when Lee must play bass, supply lead vocals, manipulate keyboards, and trigger foot pedals during the course of a performance, as in the song "Tom Sawyer".[67] Because of this he is required to remain in one place during songs containing complex instrumentation. Lifeson and Peart are, to a lesser extent, responsible for similar actions during live shows.

Alex Lifeson

Image:Alex Lifeson6.jpg

Instrumentally, Lifeson is regarded as a guitarist whose strengths and notability rely primarily on signature riffing, electronic effects and processing, unorthodox chord structures, and a copious arsenal of equipment used over the years.[82][83][84] Despite his esteem, however, Lifeson is often regarded as being overshadowed by his bandmates due to Lee's on-stage multi-instrumental dexterity and Peart's status as a drummer.[85]

During his adolescent years, he was influenced primarily by Jimi Hendrix, Pete Townshend, Jeff Beck, Eric Clapton and Jimmy Page.[86] For versatility, Lifeson was known to incorporate touches of Spanish and classical music into Rush's guitar-driven sound during the 1970s. Taking a backseat to Lee's keyboards in the 1980s, Lifeson's guitar returned to the forefront in the 1990s, and especially on 2002's Vapor Trails. During live performances, he is still responsible for cuing various guitar effects, the use of bass-pedal synthesizers and backing vocals.

Neil Peart

Music

Peart is commonly regarded by music fans, critics and fellow musicians as one of, if not the greatest rock drummers.[87] He is also regarded as one of the finest practitioners of the in-concert drum solo.[88] Initially inspired by Keith Moon, Peart absorbed the influence of other rock drummers from the 1960s and 1970s such as Ginger Baker, Carmine Appice, and John Bonham.[89] Incorporation of unusual instruments (for rock drummers of the time) such as cowbells, glockenspiel, and tubular bells, along with several standard kit elements, helped create a highly varied setup. Continually modified to this day, Peart's drumkit offers an enormous array of percussion instruments for sonic diversity. For two decades Peart honed his technique; each new Rush album introduced an expanded percussive vocabulary. In the 1990s, he reinvented his style with the help of drum coach Freddie Gruber. Image:Neil Peart3.jpg

Lyrics

Peart also serves as Rush's primary lyricist, attracting much attention over the years due to his eclectic style. Known for penning concept suites and songs inspired by literature, music fan opinions of his writing have varied greatly, running the gamut from cerebral and insightful to overly pretentious and preachy. During the band's early years, Peart's lyrics were largely fantasy/science fiction-focused,[90] though since 1980 he has focused more on social, emotional, and humanitarian issues. Peart's lyrics continue to divide audiences today. For example, in 2007, he was placed second on Blender magazine's list of the "40 Worst Lyricists In Rock".[91]

Sales

Over the course of their career, Rush has come to release 24 gold records and 14 platinum records (3 of which have gone multiplatinum),[92] placing them within the top 4 for the most consecutive gold albums by a rock band.[93] Rush ranks 78th in U.S. album sales according to the RIAA with sales of 25 million units.[93] Total worldwide sales approximate 40 million units.[94][95][96][97]

Despite having completely dropped out of the public eye for five years after the gold-selling Test for Echo (which peaked at number 5 on the Billboard 200) and the band being relegated almost solely to classic rock stations in the U.S., Vapor Trails reached #6 on the Billboard 200 chart in its first week of release in 2002 with 108,000 albums sold. It has sold approximately 343,000 units to date. The subsequent Vapor Trails tour grossed over $24 million and included the largest audience ever to see a headlining Rush show — 60,000 fans in São Paulo, Brazil. Nevertheless, Vapor Trails remains their first album not to achieve at least gold status.

However, Rush's triple CD live album, 2003's Rush in Rio, was certified gold by the RIAA, marking the fourth decade in which a Rush album had been released and certified at least gold. Moreover, in 2004 Feedback cracked the top 20 on the Billboard 200 chart and received radio airplay. The band's most recent album, Snakes & Arrows, debuted at #3 (just one position shy of Rush's highest peaking album, 1993's Counterparts, which debuted at #2) on the Billboard 200 selling approximately 93,000 copies in its first week of release.[98] This marks the 13th studio album to appear in the Top 20 and the band's 27th album to appear on the chart regardless of position over the course of their career. The album also debuted at #1 on the Billboard's Top Rock Albums chart, as well as peaking at #1 on the Top Internet Albums chart when the album was released on the MVI format a month later.[99] Still, Snakes & Arrows has yet to accumulate sales that approach or eclipse Vapor Trails or Rush in Rio.

The two consecutive tours in support of Snakes & Arrows in 2007 and 2008 accrued $21 million and $18.3 million, respectively, earning Rush the number 6 and 8 spots among the top ten summer rock concerts.[100][101]

Live performances

The members of Rush share a strong work ethic, desiring to accurately recreate songs from their albums when playing live performances. Toward this goal, beginning in the late 1980s, Rush has included in their concert equipment a capacious rack of digital samplers which the band members use, in real-time, to recreate the sounds of non-traditional instruments, accompaniments, vocal harmonies, and other sound "events" that are familiarly heard on the studio versions of the songs.

In live performances, the band members share duties throughout most songs, with each member triggering certain sounds with his available limbs, while playing his primary instrument(s). Each band member has one or more MIDI controllers that enables him to use his free hands or feet to trigger sounds that have been loaded into the samplers for a particular song.[102] It is with this technology that the group is able to present their arrangements in a live setting with the level of complexity and fidelity that fans have come to expect, and without the need to resort to the use of backing tracks or employing an additional band member.[103]

The band members' coordinated use of foot-pedal keyboards and other electronic triggers to "play" sampled instruments and audio events is subtly visible in their live performances, especially so on R30: 30th Anniversary World Tour, their 2005 concert DVD.

A staple of Rush's concerts is a Peart drum solo. Peart's drum solos include a basic framework of routines connected by sections of improvisation, making each performance unique. Each successive tour sees the solo more advanced, with some routines dropped in favor of newer, more complex ones. Since the mid-1980s, Peart has used MIDI trigger pads to trigger sounds sampled from various pieces of acoustic percussion that would otherwise consume far too much stage area, such as a marimba, harp, temple blocks, triangles, glockenspiel, orchestra bells, tubular bells, and vibraslap as well as other, more esoteric percussion.

Philanthropy

Rush actively participates in philanthropic causes. The band was one of a number of hometown favorites to play Molson Canadian Rocks for Toronto, also dubbed SARStock, at Downsview Park in Toronto on July 30, 2003, with an attendance of over half a million people. The concert was intended to benefit the Canadian economy after the SARS outbreaks earlier in the year. The band has also sustained an interest in promoting human rights. They donated $100,000 to the Canadian Museum for Human Rights after a concert they held in Winnipeg on 24 May 2008.[104] Rush continues to sell t-shirts and donate the proceeds to the museum.[105]

The individual members of Rush have also been a part of philanthropic causes. Hughes & Kettner zenTeras and TriAmps have been endorsed and used by Lifeson for many years. A custom signature amplifier was engineered by Lifeson and released in April 2005 with the stipulation that UNICEF will receive a donation in the amount of $50 for every Alex Lifeson Signature TriAmp sold.[106] Lee, a longtime fan of baseball, donated 200 baseballs signed by famous Negro League players, including Willie Mays, Hank Aaron and Josh Gibson, to the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in June 2008.[107]

The band is featured on the music album Songs for Tibet, appearing with a number of other celebrities as an initiative to support Tibet and the current Dalai Lama Tenzin Gyatso. The album was made downloadable on August 5 via iTunes and was released commercially August 12.[108]

Discography

Here is the complete setlist for Guitar Hero III, which will also include all downloadable content (when released).


Bold text indicates a master track, all other songs are covers.

Single Player Setlist

1. Starting Out Small

2. Your First Real Gig

3. Making The Video

4. European Invasion

5. Bighouse Blues

6. The Hottest Band On Earth

7. Live in Japan

8. Battle For Your Soul

Co-Op Setlist

1. Getting a Band Together

2. We Just Wanna Be Famous

3. Overnight Success

4. Getting the Band Back Together

5. Jailhouse Rock

6. Battle for Your Souls...

Bonus Tracks

Downloadable Content

Singles

Halo Theme MJOLNIR Mix - Released November 22, 2007 on XBL.

Ernten Was Wir Säen - Released December 20, 2007 on XBL & January 3, 2008 on PSN.

So Payso - Released December 20, 2007 on XBL & January 3, 2008 on PSN.

Antisocial - Released December 20, 2007 on XBL and January 3, 2008 on PSN.

We Three Kings - Released December 20, 2007 on XBL & PSN.

Dream On - Released Febuary 18, 2008 on XBL & PSN.

I am Murloc - Released June 26, 2008 on XBL and PSN.

Track Packs

Companion Pack - Released October 31, 2007 on XBL.

Foo Fighters Pack - Released November 8, 2007 on XBL & PSN.

Velvet Revolver Pack - Released November 8, 2007 on XBL & PSN.

Boss Battle Pack - Released November 15, 2007 on XBL and November 29, 2007 on PSN.

Warner/Reprise Track Pack - Released December 20, 2007 on XBL and January 3, 2007 on PSN.

Classic Rock Track Pack - Released January 24, 2008 on XBL and PSN.

No Doubt Track Pack - Released Febuary 28, 2008 on XBL and PSN.

Modern Metal Track Pack - Released March 6, 2008 on XBL & PSN.

Dropkick Murphys Track Pack - Released March 13, 2008 on XBL & PSN.

Def Leppard Track Pack - Released April 24, 2008 on XBL & PSN.

Guitar Virtuoso Pack - Released July 24, 2008 on XBL & PSN.

DragonForce Track Pack - Released August 21, 2008 on XBL & PSN

Studio albums


See also

References

Template:Reflist

Further reading

Books

Scholarly articles

External links

Template:Spoken Wikipedia Template:Commonscat Template:Wikiquote

Template:Featured article Template:RushTemplate:Link FA

ca:Rush cs:Rush da:Rush de:Rush et:Rush es:Rush fr:Rush (groupe) hr:Rush id:Rush it:Rush he:ראש (להקה) lv:Rush hu:Rush mt:Rush nl:Rush (band) ja:ラッシュ (バンド) no:Rush nn:Rush pl:Rush pt:Rush ro:Rush ru:Rush simple:Rush (band) sk:Rush (skupina) fi:Rush sq:Rush sv:Rush tr:Rush (grup) uk:Rush zh:匆促樂團s release will feature new bands.[119] The final setlist features songs with harder drum and vocal parts compared to Rock Band, given that a "second generation" of such players now exist after getting used to the instruments on the first Rock Band.[119] Songs, where necessary, were censored to achieve the desired game ratings; however, the team did not alter songs that had suggestive themes.[119] Brosius stated that the inclusion of Guns N' RosesTemplate:Infobox musical artist Template:Portal Rush is a Canadian rock band originally formed in August 1968, in the Willowdale neighbourhood of Toronto, Ontario, currently 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 definitive form when Neil 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 libertarian philosophy, as well as addressing humanitarian, social, emotional, and environmental concerns.

Musically, Rush's style has evolved over the years, beginning in the vein of blues-inspired heavy metal on their first albums, then encompassing hard rock, progressive rock, a period dominated by synthesizers and, more recently, modern rock. They have influenced various musical artists, including Metallica,[13][14] The Smashing Pumpkins[15] and Primus,[15] as well as progressive metal bands such as Dream Theater[13] and Symphony X.[16]

Rush has won a number of Juno Awards, and was inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame in 1994. Over the course of their careers, the individual members of Rush have been acknowledged as being some of the most proficient players on their respective instruments, with each band member winning several awards in magazine readers' polls. As a group, Rush possesses 24 gold records and 14 platinum (3 multi-platinum) records. According to the RIAA, Rush's sales statistics place them fourth behind The Beatles, The Rolling Stones and Aerosmith for the most consecutive gold or platinum albums by a rock band. Rush also ranks 78th in U.S. album sales with 25 million units.[17] 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 recently finished promoting their latest album, Snakes & Arrows with an intercontinental tour. The second leg began in San Juan, Puerto Rico on April 11, and ended on July 24, 2008 in Noblesville, Indiana.[18]

History

Template:Details

The early years (1968–1976)

Template:Sound sample box align right Template:Listen Template:Sample box end

The original line-up formed in the neighbourhood of Willowdale in Toronto, Ontario, by Lifeson, front man Jeff Jones, and drummer John Rutsey. Within a couple weeks of forming, and before their second performance, bassist and lead vocalist Jones was replaced by Geddy Lee, a schoolmate of Lifeson. After several lineup reformations, Rush's official incarnation was formed in May 1971 consisting of Lee, Lifeson, and Rutsey. The band was managed by local Toronto resident Ray Danniels, a frequent attendee of Rush's early shows.[19][20]

After gaining stability in the lineup and honing their skills on the local bar/high school dance circuit, the band came to release their first single "Not Fade Away", a cover of the Buddy Holly song, in 1973. Side B contained an original composition, "You Can't Fight It", credited to Rutsey and Lee. The single generated little reaction and, due to record company indifference, the band formed their own independent record label, Moon Records. With the aid of Danniels and the newly enlisted engineer Terry Brown, the band released their self-titled debut album in 1974, which was considered highly derivative of Led Zeppelin.[21] Rush had limited local popularity until the album was picked up by WMMS, a radio station in Cleveland, Ohio. Donna Halper, a DJ and music director working at the station, selected "Working Man" for her regular play list. The song's blue collar theme resonated with hard rock fans and this new found popularity led to the album being re-released by Mercury Records in the U.S.[22][23] Image:Starman.png

Immediately after the release of the debut album, Rutsey resigned in July 1974 due to his affliction with diabetes and a distaste for touring. Rush held auditions and eventually selected Neil Peart as Rutsey's replacement. Peart officially joined the band on July 29, 1974, two weeks before the group's first US tour. They performed their first concert together, opening for Uriah Heep and Manfred Mann with an attendance of over 11,000 people at the Civic Arena in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on August 14. In addition to becoming the band's drummer, Peart assumed the role of principal lyricist as Lee and Lifeson had very little interest in writing, contributing to only a handful of song lyrics over the rest of the band's career. Instead, they focused primarily on the musical aspects of Rush. Fly by Night (1975), Rush's first album after recruiting Peart, saw the inclusion of the band's first epic mini-tale "By-Tor and the Snow Dog", replete with complex arrangements and multi-section format. Lyrical themes also underwent dramatic changes after the addition of Peart due to his love for fantasy and science-fiction literature.[25] However, despite these many differences some of the music and songs still closely mirrored the blues style found on Rush's debut.[26][25]

Following quickly on the heels of Fly By Night, the band released 1975's Caress of Steel, a five track hard rock album featuring two extended multi-chapter songs, "The Necromancer" and "The Fountain of Lamneth." Caress of Steel was reported by some critics to be unfocused and an audacious move for the band due to the placement of two protracted numbers back-to-back, as well as a heavier reliance on atmospherics and story-telling, a large deviation from Fly by Night.[27] Intended to be the band's first "break-through" album, Caress of Steel sold below expectations and the promotional tour consisted of small venues which led to the moniker the "Down the Tubes Tour."[28] In light of these events, Rush's record label pressured them into molding their next album in a more commercially friendly and accessible fashion. However, the band ignored the requests and developed their next album, 2112. It was the band's first taste of commercial success and their first platinum album in Canada.[29] The supporting tour for the album culminated in a three night stand at Massey Hall in Toronto, which the band recorded for the release of their first live album titled All the World's a Stage. Allmusic Guide critic Greg Prato summarily reminds listeners and fans of how the album demarcates the boundary between the band's early years and the next era of their music.[30][31]

The progressive rock era (1977–1981)

After 2112, Rush retreated to the United Kingdom to record 1977's A Farewell to Kings and 1978's Hemispheres at Rockfield Studios in Wales. These albums saw the band members expanding their use of progressive elements in their music. Trademarks such as increased synthesizer usage, extended-length concept songs, and highly dynamic playing featuring complex time signature changes became a staple of Rush's compositions. To achieve a broader, more progressive palette of sound, Alex Lifeson began to experiment with classical and twelve-string guitars, and Geddy Lee added bass-pedal synthesizers and Minimoog. Likewise, Peart's percussion became diversified in the form of triangles, glockenspiel, wood blocks, cowbells, timpani, gong and chimes. Beyond instrument additions, the band kept in stride with the progressive rock movement by continuing to compose long, conceptual songs with science fiction and fantasy overtones. However, as the new decade approached, Rush gradually began to dispose of their older styles of music in favor of shorter, and sometimes softer, arrangements. The lyrics up to this point (most of them written by Peart) were heavily influenced by classical poetry, fantasy literature, science fiction, and the writings of novelist Ayn Rand, as exhibited most prominently by their 1975 song "Anthem" from Fly By Night and a specifically acknowledged derivation in 1976's 2112.[32]

Permanent Waves (1980) shifted Rush's style of music dramatically via the introduction of reggae and new wave.[33] Although a hard rock style was still evident, more and more synthesizers were introduced. Moreover, due to the limited airplay Rush's previous extended-length songs received, Permanent Waves included shorter, more radio-friendly songs such as "The Spirit of Radio" and "Freewill", two songs which helped Permanent Waves become Rush's first U.S. Top 5 album; both songs continue to make appearances on classic rock radio stations in Canada and the United States to this day.[34] Meanwhile, Peart's lyrics shifted toward an expository tone with subject matter that dwelled less on fantastical or allegorical story-telling and more heavily on cerebral topics that explored humanistic, social, emotional and metaphysical elements. Template:Sound sample box align left Template:Listen Template:Sample box end Rush's popularity reached its pinnacle with the release of Moving Pictures in 1981. Moving Pictures essentially continued where Permanent Waves left off, extending the trend of highly accessible and commercially friendly pop-progressive rock that helped thrust them into the spotlight. The lead track, "Tom Sawyer", is probably the band's best-known song[35] with "Limelight" also receiving satisfactory responses from listeners and radio stations. Moving Pictures was Rush's last album to feature an extended song, the ten-and-a-half-minute "The Camera Eye". The song also contained the band's heaviest usage of synthesizers up to that point, hinting that Rush's music was shifting direction once more. Moving Pictures reached #3 on the Billboard 200 album chart and has been certified quadruple platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America.[36]

Following the success of Moving Pictures and the completion of another four studio albums, Rush released their second live recording, Exit...Stage Left, in 1981. The album delineates the apex of Rush's progressive period by featuring live material from the band's Permanent Waves and Moving Pictures tours. As with their first live release, Exit...Stage Left identified the margin of a new chapter of Rush's sound. The band underwent another radical stylistic transmutation with the release of Signals in 1982.[37]

The synthesizer period (1982–1989)

Image:Oberheim OBX.jpg

While Lee's synthesizers had been featured instruments ever since the late 70s, keyboards were suddenly shifted from the contrapuntal background to the melodic front-lines[38][39] as evidenced by songs such as "Countdown" and the lead-off track "Subdivisions". Both feature nimble lead synthesizer lines with minimalistic guitar chords and solos. Other previously unused instrument additions were seen in the song "Losing It," featuring collaborator Ben Mink on electric violin.[37] Template:Sound sample box align right Template:Listen Template:Sample box end Signals also represented a drastic stylistic transformation apart from instrumental changes. The album contained Rush's only U.S. top-40 pop hit, "New World Man",[40] while other more experimental songs such as "Digital Man", "The Weapon", and "Chemistry" expanded the band's use of ska, reggae, and funk.[41] Although the band members consciously decided to move in this overall direction, they felt dissatisfied with long-time producer Terry Brown's studio treatment of Signals and parted ways with him in 1983. These diverse styles would come into further play on their next studio album.

Image:DM Simmons SDS5.jpg

The style and production of Signals were augmented and taken to new heights on 1984's Grace Under Pressure. It was Peart who named the album, as he borrowed the words of Ernest Hemingway to describe what the band had to go through after making the decision to leave Terry Brown. Producer Steve Lillywhite, who gleaned fame with successful productions of Simple Minds and U2, was enlisted to produce Grace Under Pressure. However, he backed out at the last moment, much to the ire of Lee, Lifeson and Peart. Lee said "Steve Lillywhite is really not a man of his word....after agreeing to do our record, he got an offer from Simple Minds, changed his mind, blew us off,..so it put us in a horrible position." Eventually Rush hired Peter Henderson to co-produce and engineer the album in his stead.[42]

Musically, although Lee's use of sequencers and synthesizers remained the band's cornerstone, his focus on new technology was complemented by Peart's adaptation of Simmons electronic drums and percussion. Lifeson's contributions on the album were decidedly enhanced to act as an overreaction to the minimalistic role he played on Signals.[43] Still, many of his trademark guitar textures remained intact in the form of open reggae chords and funk and new-wave rhythms; "Distant Early Warning", "Red Lenses", "Red Sector A" and "The Enemy Within" serve as prime examples.

With new producer Peter Collins, the band released 1985's Power Windows and 1987's Hold Your Fire. The music on these two albums gives far more emphasis and prominence to Lee's multi-layered synthesizer work. While fans and critics took notice of Lifeson's diminished guitar work, his presence was still palpable on "The Big Money", (the album's modest-charting single) with spotlights on "Grand Designs", "Middletown Dreams" and "Marathon." Lifeson, like many guitarists in the late 1980s, experimented with processors that reduced his instrument to echoey chord bursts and razor-thin leads. Hold Your Fire represents both a modest extension of the guitar stylings found on Power Windows, and, according to Allmusic critic Ed Rivadavia, the culmination of this era of Rush.[44] Whereas the previous five Rush albums sold platinum or better, Hold Your Fire only went gold in November 1987, although it managed to peak at number 13 on the Billboard 200.[45]

A third live album and video, A Show of Hands (1989), was also released by Mercury following the Power Windows and Hold Your Fire tours, demonstrating the aspects of Rush in the 80s. A Show of Hands met with strong fan approval, but Rolling Stone critic Michael Azerrad dismissed it as "musical muscle" with 1.5 stars, claiming Rush fans viewed their favourite power trio as "the holy trinity".[46] Nevertheless, A Show of Hands managed to surpass the gold album mark, reaching number 21 on the Billboard 200.[47] At this point, the group decided to change record labels from Mercury to Atlantic. After Rush's departure in 1989, Mercury released a double platinum two-volume compilation of their Rush catalogue, Chronicles (1990).[48]

Returning to their roots (1989–1997)

Template:Sound sample box align right Template:Listen Template:Sample box end Rush started to deviate from their 1980s style with the albums Presto and Roll the Bones. Produced by record engineer and musician Rupert Hine, these two albums saw Rush shedding much of their keyboard-saturated sound. Beginning with 1989's Presto, the band opted for arrangements that were notably more guitar-centric than the previous two studio albums. Although synthesizers were still used in many songs, the instrument was no longer featured as the centerpiece of Rush's compositions. Continuing this trend, 1991's Roll the Bones extended the use of the standard three-instrument approach with even less focus on synthesizers than its predecessor. While musically these albums do not deviate significantly from a general pop-rock sound, Rush stuck to their creative approach of incorporating traces of more exotic musical styles. "Roll the Bones", for instance, exhibits funk and hip hop elements, and the instrumental track "Where's My Thing?" features several jazz components.[49] This return to three-piece instrumentation helped pave the way for future albums in the mid-90s, which would adopt a more straightforward rock formula.

The transition from synthesizers to more guitar-oriented and organic instrumentation continued with the 1993 album Counterparts[50] and its follow-up, 1996's Test for Echo, again both produced in collaboration with Peter Collins. Musically, Counterparts[50] and Test For Echo are two of Rush's most guitar-driven albums. Although the music in general did not meet the criteria for "progressive rock", some of the songs could be considered more adventurous than what one might expect from a standard modern rock band.[51] For instance, "Time and Motion" possesses multiple time signature changes and organ usage, while the instrumental track "Limbo", consists of several relatively complex musical passages repeated throughout. Musically, Test For Echo still retained much of the hard rock/alternative style already charted on the previous record. Lifeson and Lee's playing remained more or less unchanged; however, a distinct modification in technique became apparent in Peart's playing due to formal Jazz and Swing training under the tutelage of jazz instructor Freddie Gruber during the interim between Counterparts and Test For Echo.[52] In October 1996, in support of Test For Echo, the band embarked on an extensive and successful North American tour, the band's first without an opening act and dubbed "An Evening with Rush." The tour was broken up into two segments spanning October through December, 1996 and May through July, 1997 with the band taking a respite between legs.

Hiatus and comeback (1997–2005)

After wrapping up the tour promoting Test for Echo in 1997, the band entered a five-year hiatus mainly due to personal tragedies in Peart's life. Peart's daughter Selena died in an automobile accident in August 1997, followed by his wife Jacqueline's death from cancer in June 1998. Peart took a hiatus to mourn and reflect, during which time he traveled extensively throughout North America on his BMW motorcycle, covering 88,000 km (55,000 miles). At some point in his journey, Peart decided to return to the band. Peart wrote Ghost Rider: Travels on the Healing Road as a chronicle of his geographical and emotional journey. In this book he writes of how he had told his bandmates at Selena's funeral, "consider me retired."[53] On November 10, 1998 a triple CD live album entitled Different Stages was released, dedicated to the memory of Selena and Jacqueline. Mixed by producer Paul Northfield and engineered by Terry Brown, it contained three discs packed with recorded performances from the band's Counterparts, Test For Echo, and A Farewell to Kings tours, marking the fourth officially released live album by the band. Template:Sound sample box align left Template:Listen Template:Sample box end After a time to grieve and reassemble the pieces of his life, and while visiting long-time Rush photographer Andrew MacNaughtan in Los Angeles, Peart was introduced to his future wife, photographer Carrie Nuttall. Peart married Nuttall on September 9, 2000. In early 2001 he announced to his band mates that he was ready to once again enter the studio and get back into the business of making music. With the help of producer Paul Northfield the band returned in May 2002 with Vapor Trails, written and recorded in Toronto. To herald the band's comeback, the single and lead track from the album, "One Little Victory" was designed to grab the attention of listeners due to its rapid guitar and drum tempos.[54] Vapor Trails marked the first studio recording not to include a single synthesizer, organ or keyboard part since the early 1970s. While the album is almost completely guitar-driven, it is mostly devoid of any conventional sounding guitar solos, a conscious decision made by Lifeson during the writing process. According to the band, the entire developmental process for Vapor Trails was extremely taxing and took approximately 14 months to finish, by far the longest the band had ever spent writing and recording a studio album.[54] The album debuted to moderate praise and was supported by the band's first tour in six years, including first-ever concerts in Mexico City and Brazil, where they played to some of the largest crowds of their career.

A triple CD live album and dual Rush In Rio DVD was released in late October 2003 featuring an entire concert performance recorded on the last night of their Vapor Trails Tour, November 23, 2002, at Maracanã Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. To celebrate their 30th anniversary, June 2004 saw the release of Feedback, a studio EP recorded in suburban Toronto featuring eight covers of such artists as Cream, The Who and The Yardbirds, bands that the members of Rush cite as inspiration around the time of their inception.[55] Also in the summer of 2004, Rush hit the road again for the very successful 30th Anniversary Tour, playing dates in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, Sweden, the Czech Republic, and the Netherlands. On September 24, 2004 a Frankfurt, Germany concert was recorded at The Festhalle for DVD (titled R30: Live in Frankfurt), which was released November 22, 2005.

Snakes & Arrows (2006–present)

Here is the complete setlist for Guitar Hero III, which will also include all downloadable content (when released).


Bold text indicates a master track, all other songs are covers.

Single Player Setlist

1. Starting Out Small

2. Your First Real Gig

3. Making The Video

4. European Invasion

5. Bighouse Blues

6. The Hottest Band On Earth

7. Live in Japan

8. Battle For Your Soul

Co-Op Setlist

1. Getting a Band Together

2. We Just Wanna Be Famous

3. Overnight Success

4. Getting the Band Back Together

5. Jailhouse Rock

6. Battle for Your Souls...

Bonus Tracks

Downloadable Content

Singles

Halo Theme MJOLNIR Mix - Released November 22, 2007 on XBL.

Ernten Was Wir Säen - Released December 20, 2007 on XBL & January 3, 2008 on PSN.

So Payso - Released December 20, 2007 on XBL & January 3, 2008 on PSN.

Antisocial - Released December 20, 2007 on XBL and January 3, 2008 on PSN.

We Three Kings - Released December 20, 2007 on XBL & PSN.

Dream On - Released Febuary 18, 2008 on XBL & PSN.

I am Murloc - Released June 26, 2008 on XBL and PSN.

Track Packs

Companion Pack - Released October 31, 2007 on XBL.

Foo Fighters Pack - Released November 8, 2007 on XBL & PSN.

Velvet Revolver Pack - Released November 8, 2007 on XBL & PSN.

Boss Battle Pack - Released November 15, 2007 on XBL and November 29, 2007 on PSN.

Warner/Reprise Track Pack - Released December 20, 2007 on XBL and January 3, 2007 on PSN.

Classic Rock Track Pack - Released January 24, 2008 on XBL and PSN.

No Doubt Track Pack - Released Febuary 28, 2008 on XBL and PSN.

Modern Metal Track Pack - Released March 6, 2008 on XBL & PSN.

Dropkick Murphys Track Pack - Released March 13, 2008 on XBL & PSN.

Def Leppard Track Pack - Released April 24, 2008 on XBL & PSN.

Guitar Virtuoso Pack - Released July 24, 2008 on XBL & PSN.

DragonForce Track Pack - Released August 21, 2008 on XBL & PSN

During promotional interviews for the R30 Live In Frankfurt DVD, the band revealed their intention to begin writing new material in early 2006. While in Toronto, Lifeson and Lee began the songwriting process in January 2006. During this time, Peart simultaneously assumed his role of lyric writing while residing in Southern California. The following September, Rush chose to hire American producer Nick Raskulinecz to co-produce the album. The band officially entered Allaire Studios, in Shokan, New York in November 2006 in order to record the bulk of the material. Taking the band five weeks, the sessions ended in December. On February 14, 2007, an announcement was made on the official Rush web site that the title of the new album would be Snakes & Arrows. The first single, entitled "Far Cry," was released to North American radio stations on March 12, 2007 and reached #2 on the Mediabase Mainstream and Radio and Records Charts.[56]

The Rush website, newly redesigned on March 12 to support the new album, also announced that the band would embark on a tour to begin in the summer. Snakes & Arrows was released 1 May 2007 in North America, where it debuted at #3 in the Billboard 200 with approximately 93,000 units sold in its first week.[57] To coincide with the Atlantic ocean hurricane season, "Spindrift" was released as the official second radio single on June 1, 2007, whereas "The Larger Bowl (A Pantoum)" saw single status on June 25, 2007. "The Larger Bowl" positioned within the top 20 of the Mainstream Rock and Media Base Mainstream charts, however, "Spindrift" failed to appear on any commercial chart.[58] The planned intercontinental tour in support of Snakes & Arrows began on June 13, 2007 in Atlanta, Georgia, coming to a close on October 29, 2007 at Hartwall Arena in Helsinki, Finland.[59]

The 2008 portion of the tour started on April 11, 2008 in San Juan, Puerto Rico at José Miguel Agrelot Coliseum and culminated on July 24, 2008 in Noblesville, Indiana at the Verizon Wireless Music Center.[60] On April 15, the band released Snakes & Arrows Live, a double live album documenting the first leg of the tour.[61] Those same performances featured on Snakes & Arrows Live filmed at the Ahoy arena in Rotterdam, Netherlands on October 16 and 17 of 2007 was released November 24 as a DVD and Blu-Ray set, which also includes footage from the 2008 portion of the tour, recorded at Verizon Wireless Amphitheater in Atlanta.[62][63] [64]

As the band neared the conclusion of their Snakes & Arrows tour, they announced their first appearance on American television in over 30 years. Rush was interviewed by Stephen Colbert and they performed "Tom Sawyer" on The Colbert Report on July 16, 2008.[65]

Musical style and influences

Rush's musical style has changed substantially over the years. Their debut album is strongly influenced by British-Blues rock: an amalgam of sounds and styles from such rock bands as Cream, Led Zeppelin, and Deep Purple. Over the first few albums their style remained essentially hard rock, with heavy influences from The Who[66] and Led Zeppelin,[21] but also became increasingly influenced by the British progressive rock movement.[67] In the tradition of progressive rock, Rush wrote protracted songs with irregular and multiple time signatures combined with fantasy/science fiction-inspired lyrics; however, they did not soften their sound. This fusion of hard and progressive rock continued until the end of the 1970s. In the 1980s, however, Rush successfully merged their sound with the trends of this period, experimenting with New Wave, reggae and pop rock.[68] This period included the band's most extensive use of instruments such as synthesizers, sequencers and electronic percussion. It is largely agreed that the culmination of this era of Rush was in 1987 after the release of Hold Your Fire.[69] With the approach of the early '90s and Rush's character sound still intact, the band transformed their style once again to harmonize with the alternative rock movement.[70] The new millennium has seen them return to a more rock and roll roots sound, albeit with modern production.[66]

Band members

Former members

  • John Rutsey – drums, percussion, backing vocals (August 1968 – July 1974)
  • Jeff Jones – bass, lead vocals (August 1968 – September 1968)

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Reputation

More than 30 years of activity has provided Rush with the opportunity for musical diversity across their discography. As with many bands known for experimentation, such changes have inevitably resulted in dissent among critics and fans. The bulk of the band's music has always included synthetic instruments in some form or another, and this is a great source of contention in the Rush camp, especially the band's heavy reliance on synthesizers and keyboards during the 1980s, particularly on albums Grace Under Pressure, Power Windows, and Hold Your Fire.[71][72] Still, most fans saw this as nothing less than artistic growth and support for the band remained unwavering through each transitional phase.[69]

The members of Rush have themselves noted that people "either love Rush or hate Rush", resulting in strong detractors and an intensely loyal fan base. To the chagrin of fans, the band has not been nominated for entry into the American Rock and Roll Hall of Fame since their year of eligibility in 1998. The Hall's refusal to induct Rush may be a consequence of the band's insistence on remaining outside the mainstream of rock when it comes to self-promotion, in favor of maintaining a high degree of independence.[73] To this day fans earnestly clamor for the band's inclusion into the Hall by citing noteworthy accomplishments including longevity, proficiency, and influence, as well as commercial sales figures and RIAA certifications. However, Lifeson has expressed his indifference toward the perceived slight saying "I couldn't care less, look who's up for induction, it's a joke".[74] Rush has gained a degree of recognition in popular culture despite any official recognition from the Hall.[75]

As a band, Rush has been nominated for and received various awards throughout its career. Likewise, the individual members have received coverage in various modern music magazines with specific technocratic recognition for instrumental ability. See List of Rush awards for more details on this topic.

Geddy Lee

Image:GeddyLee.JPG

Geddy Lee's high-register vocal style has always been a signature of the band — and sometimes, a focal point for criticism, especially during the early years of Rush's career when Lee's vocals were high-pitched, with a strong likeness to other singers like Robert Plant of Led Zeppelin. Although his voice has softened over the years, it is often described as a "wail".[76][77] His instrumental abilities, on the other hand, are rarely criticized. An award-winning musician, Lee's style, technique, and ability on the bass guitar have proven influential in the rock and heavy metal genres, inspiring such players as Steve Harris of Iron Maiden,[78] John Myung of Dream Theater,[79] Les Claypool of Primus[80] and Cliff Burton of Metallica[81] among others. Lee is notable for his ability to operate various pieces of instrumentation simultaneously. This is mostly evident during live shows when Lee must play bass, supply lead vocals, manipulate keyboards, and trigger foot pedals during the course of a performance, as in the song "Tom Sawyer".[67] Because of this he is required to remain in one place during songs containing complex instrumentation. Lifeson and Peart are, to a lesser extent, responsible for similar actions during live shows.

Alex Lifeson

Image:Alex Lifeson6.jpg

Instrumentally, Lifeson is regarded as a guitarist whose strengths and notability rely primarily on signature riffing, electronic effects and processing, unorthodox chord structures, and a copious arsenal of equipment used over the years.[82][83][84] Despite his esteem, however, Lifeson is often regarded as being overshadowed by his bandmates due to Lee's on-stage multi-instrumental dexterity and Peart's status as a drummer.[85]

During his adolescent years, he was influenced primarily by Jimi Hendrix, Pete Townshend, Jeff Beck, Eric Clapton and Jimmy Page.[86] For versatility, Lifeson was known to incorporate touches of Spanish and classical music into Rush's guitar-driven sound during the 1970s. Taking a backseat to Lee's keyboards in the 1980s, Lifeson's guitar returned to the forefront in the 1990s, and especially on 2002's Vapor Trails. During live performances, he is still responsible for cuing various guitar effects, the use of bass-pedal synthesizers and backing vocals.

Neil Peart

Music

Peart is commonly regarded by music fans, critics and fellow musicians as one of, if not the greatest rock drummers.[87] He is also regarded as one of the finest practitioners of the in-concert drum solo.[88] Initially inspired by Keith Moon, Peart absorbed the influence of other rock drummers from the 1960s and 1970s such as Ginger Baker, Carmine Appice, and John Bonham.[89] Incorporation of unusual instruments (for rock drummers of the time) such as cowbells, glockenspiel, and tubular bells, along with several standard kit elements, helped create a highly varied setup. Continually modified to this day, Peart's drumkit offers an enormous array of percussion instruments for sonic diversity. For two decades Peart honed his technique; each new Rush album introduced an expanded percussive vocabulary. In the 1990s, he reinvented his style with the help of drum coach Freddie Gruber. Image:Neil Peart3.jpg

Lyrics

Peart also serves as Rush's primary lyricist, attracting much attention over the years due to his eclectic style. Known for penning concept suites and songs inspired by literature, music fan opinions of his writing have varied greatly, running the gamut from cerebral and insightful to overly pretentious and preachy. During the band's early years, Peart's lyrics were largely fantasy/science fiction-focused,[90] though since 1980 he has focused more on social, emotional, and humanitarian issues. Peart's lyrics continue to divide audiences today. For example, in 2007, he was placed second on Blender magazine's list of the "40 Worst Lyricists In Rock".[91]

Sales

Over the course of their career, Rush has come to release 24 gold records and 14 platinum records (3 of which have gone multiplatinum),[92] placing them within the top 4 for the most consecutive gold albums by a rock band.[93] Rush ranks 78th in U.S. album sales according to the RIAA with sales of 25 million units.[93] Total worldwide sales approximate 40 million units.[94][95][96][97]

Despite having completely dropped out of the public eye for five years after the gold-selling Test for Echo (which peaked at number 5 on the Billboard 200) and the band being relegated almost solely to classic rock stations in the U.S., Vapor Trails reached #6 on the Billboard 200 chart in its first week of release in 2002 with 108,000 albums sold. It has sold approximately 343,000 units to date. The subsequent Vapor Trails tour grossed over $24 million and included the largest audience ever to see a headlining Rush show — 60,000 fans in São Paulo, Brazil. Nevertheless, Vapor Trails remains their first album not to achieve at least gold status.

However, Rush's triple CD live album, 2003's Rush in Rio, was certified gold by the RIAA, marking the fourth decade in which a Rush album had been released and certified at least gold. Moreover, in 2004 Feedback cracked the top 20 on the Billboard 200 chart and received radio airplay. The band's most recent album, Snakes & Arrows, debuted at #3 (just one position shy of Rush's highest peaking album, 1993's Counterparts, which debuted at #2) on the Billboard 200 selling approximately 93,000 copies in its first week of release.[98] This marks the 13th studio album to appear in the Top 20 and the band's 27th album to appear on the chart regardless of position over the course of their career. The album also debuted at #1 on the Billboard's Top Rock Albums chart, as well as peaking at #1 on the Top Internet Albums chart when the album was released on the MVI format a month later.[99] Still, Snakes & Arrows has yet to accumulate sales that approach or eclipse Vapor Trails or Rush in Rio.

The two consecutive tours in support of Snakes & Arrows in 2007 and 2008 accrued $21 million and $18.3 million, respectively, earning Rush the number 6 and 8 spots among the top ten summer rock concerts.[100][101]

Live performances

The members of Rush share a strong work ethic, desiring to accurately recreate songs from their albums when playing live performances. Toward this goal, beginning in the late 1980s, Rush has included in their concert equipment a capacious rack of digital samplers which the band members use, in real-time, to recreate the sounds of non-traditional instruments, accompaniments, vocal harmonies, and other sound "events" that are familiarly heard on the studio versions of the songs.

In live performances, the band members share duties throughout most songs, with each member triggering certain sounds with his available limbs, while playing his primary instrument(s). Each band member has one or more MIDI controllers that enables him to use his free hands or feet to trigger sounds that have been loaded into the samplers for a particular song.[102] It is with this technology that the group is able to present their arrangements in a live setting with the level of complexity and fidelity that fans have come to expect, and without the need to resort to the use of backing tracks or employing an additional band member.[103]

The band members' coordinated use of foot-pedal keyboards and other electronic triggers to "play" sampled instruments and audio events is subtly visible in their live performances, especially so on R30: 30th Anniversary World Tour, their 2005 concert DVD.

A staple of Rush's concerts is a Peart drum solo. Peart's drum solos include a basic framework of routines connected by sections of improvisation, making each performance unique. Each successive tour sees the solo more advanced, with some routines dropped in favor of newer, more complex ones. Since the mid-1980s, Peart has used MIDI trigger pads to trigger sounds sampled from various pieces of acoustic percussion that would otherwise consume far too much stage area, such as a marimba, harp, temple blocks, triangles, glockenspiel, orchestra bells, tubular bells, and vibraslap as well as other, more esoteric percussion.

Philanthropy

Rush actively participates in philanthropic causes. The band was one of a number of hometown favorites to play Molson Canadian Rocks for Toronto, also dubbed SARStock, at Downsview Park in Toronto on July 30, 2003, with an attendance of over half a million people. The concert was intended to benefit the Canadian economy after the SARS outbreaks earlier in the year. The band has also sustained an interest in promoting human rights. They donated $100,000 to the Canadian Museum for Human Rights after a concert they held in Winnipeg on 24 May 2008.[104] Rush continues to sell t-shirts and donate the proceeds to the museum.[105]

The individual members of Rush have also been a part of philanthropic causes. Hughes & Kettner zenTeras and TriAmps have been endorsed and used by Lifeson for many years. A custom signature amplifier was engineered by Lifeson and released in April 2005 with the stipulation that UNICEF will receive a donation in the amount of $50 for every Alex Lifeson Signature TriAmp sold.[106] Lee, a longtime fan of baseball, donated 200 baseballs signed by famous Negro League players, including Willie Mays, Hank Aaron and Josh Gibson, to the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in June 2008.[107]

The band is featured on the music album Songs for Tibet, appearing with a number of other celebrities as an initiative to support Tibet and the current Dalai Lama Tenzin Gyatso. The album was made downloadable on August 5 via iTunes and was released commercially August 12.[108]

Discography

Here is the complete setlist for Guitar Hero III, which will also include all downloadable content (when released).


Bold text indicates a master track, all other songs are covers.

Single Player Setlist

1. Starting Out Small

2. Your First Real Gig

3. Making The Video

4. European Invasion

5. Bighouse Blues

6. The Hottest Band On Earth

7. Live in Japan

8. Battle For Your Soul

Co-Op Setlist

1. Getting a Band Together

2. We Just Wanna Be Famous

3. Overnight Success

4. Getting the Band Back Together

5. Jailhouse Rock

6. Battle for Your Souls...

Bonus Tracks

Downloadable Content

Singles

Halo Theme MJOLNIR Mix - Released November 22, 2007 on XBL.

Ernten Was Wir Säen - Released December 20, 2007 on XBL & January 3, 2008 on PSN.

So Payso - Released December 20, 2007 on XBL & January 3, 2008 on PSN.

Antisocial - Released December 20, 2007 on XBL and January 3, 2008 on PSN.

We Three Kings - Released December 20, 2007 on XBL & PSN.

Dream On - Released Febuary 18, 2008 on XBL & PSN.

I am Murloc - Released June 26, 2008 on XBL and PSN.

Track Packs

Companion Pack - Released October 31, 2007 on XBL.

Foo Fighters Pack - Released November 8, 2007 on XBL & PSN.

Velvet Revolver Pack - Released November 8, 2007 on XBL & PSN.

Boss Battle Pack - Released November 15, 2007 on XBL and November 29, 2007 on PSN.

Warner/Reprise Track Pack - Released December 20, 2007 on XBL and January 3, 2007 on PSN.

Classic Rock Track Pack - Released January 24, 2008 on XBL and PSN.

No Doubt Track Pack - Released Febuary 28, 2008 on XBL and PSN.

Modern Metal Track Pack - Released March 6, 2008 on XBL & PSN.

Dropkick Murphys Track Pack - Released March 13, 2008 on XBL & PSN.

Def Leppard Track Pack - Released April 24, 2008 on XBL & PSN.

Guitar Virtuoso Pack - Released July 24, 2008 on XBL & PSN.

DragonForce Track Pack - Released August 21, 2008 on XBL & PSN

Studio albums


See also

References

Template:Reflist

Further reading

Books

Scholarly articles

External links

Template:Spoken Wikipedia Template:Commonscat Template:Wikiquote

Template:Featured article Template:RushTemplate:Link FA

ca:Rush cs:Rush da:Rush de:Rush et:Rush es:Rush fr:Rush (groupe) hr:Rush id:Rush it:Rush he:ראש (להקה) lv:Rush hu:Rush mt:Rush nl:Rush (band) ja:ラッシュ (バンド) no:Rush nn:Rush pl:Rush pt:Rush ro:Rush ru:Rush simple:Rush (band) sk:Rush (skupina) fi:Rush sq:Rush sv:Rush tr:Rush (grup) uk:Rush zh:匆促樂團 "Shackler's Revenge" was due to the team knowing they wanted a Guns N' Roses song, then determining that they wanted one off the "mysterious" Chinese Democracy album; Axl Rose helped the team to select the specific song.[119]

While a "Jukebox Mode" was originally planned, which would have allowed players to simply listen to the music and watch their band perform without interacting with the game, Harmonix stated that it was removed in the final stages of development, and that there are no plans to add it back to the game.[120] However, an equivalent experience can be "activated" through the use of several in-game modifiers.

Rock Band 2 was officially announced by EA Games on June 30, 2008, and was presented at the 2008 E3 conference.[118] The game premiered exclusively on the Xbox 360 on September 14, 2008 as a result of a marketing agreement with Microsoft.[121] All other versions of the game, including the PlayStation 3 and Wii versions, were released later in the year. The PlayStation 3 version supports Trophies.[122] The Wii version of Rock Band 2 has been promised to be a "more competitive product" compared with the Wii version of Rock Band, as stated by WiredTemplate:Infobox musical artist Template:Portal Rush is a Canadian rock band originally formed in August 1968, in the Willowdale neighbourhood of Toronto, Ontario, currently 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 definitive form when Neil 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 libertarian philosophy, as well as addressing humanitarian, social, emotional, and environmental concerns.

Musically, Rush's style has evolved over the years, beginning in the vein of blues-inspired heavy metal on their first albums, then encompassing hard rock, progressive rock, a period dominated by synthesizers and, more recently, modern rock. They have influenced various musical artists, including Metallica,[13][14] The Smashing Pumpkins[15] and Primus,[15] as well as progressive metal bands such as Dream Theater[13] and Symphony X.[16]

Rush has won a number of Juno Awards, and was inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame in 1994. Over the course of their careers, the individual members of Rush have been acknowledged as being some of the most proficient players on their respective instruments, with each band member winning several awards in magazine readers' polls. As a group, Rush possesses 24 gold records and 14 platinum (3 multi-platinum) records. According to the RIAA, Rush's sales statistics place them fourth behind The Beatles, The Rolling Stones and Aerosmith for the most consecutive gold or platinum albums by a rock band. Rush also ranks 78th in U.S. album sales with 25 million units.[17] 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 recently finished promoting their latest album, Snakes & Arrows with an intercontinental tour. The second leg began in San Juan, Puerto Rico on April 11, and ended on July 24, 2008 in Noblesville, Indiana.[18]

History

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The early years (1968–1976)

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The original line-up formed in the neighbourhood of Willowdale in Toronto, Ontario, by Lifeson, front man Jeff Jones, and drummer John Rutsey. Within a couple weeks of forming, and before their second performance, bassist and lead vocalist Jones was replaced by Geddy Lee, a schoolmate of Lifeson. After several lineup reformations, Rush's official incarnation was formed in May 1971 consisting of Lee, Lifeson, and Rutsey. The band was managed by local Toronto resident Ray Danniels, a frequent attendee of Rush's early shows.[19][20]

After gaining stability in the lineup and honing their skills on the local bar/high school dance circuit, the band came to release their first single "Not Fade Away", a cover of the Buddy Holly song, in 1973. Side B contained an original composition, "You Can't Fight It", credited to Rutsey and Lee. The single generated little reaction and, due to record company indifference, the band formed their own independent record label, Moon Records. With the aid of Danniels and the newly enlisted engineer Terry Brown, the band released their self-titled debut album in 1974, which was considered highly derivative of Led Zeppelin.[21] Rush had limited local popularity until the album was picked up by WMMS, a radio station in Cleveland, Ohio. Donna Halper, a DJ and music director working at the station, selected "Working Man" for her regular play list. The song's blue collar theme resonated with hard rock fans and this new found popularity led to the album being re-released by Mercury Records in the U.S.[22][23] Image:Starman.png

Immediately after the release of the debut album, Rutsey resigned in July 1974 due to his affliction with diabetes and a distaste for touring. Rush held auditions and eventually selected Neil Peart as Rutsey's replacement. Peart officially joined the band on July 29, 1974, two weeks before the group's first US tour. They performed their first concert together, opening for Uriah Heep and Manfred Mann with an attendance of over 11,000 people at the Civic Arena in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on August 14. In addition to becoming the band's drummer, Peart assumed the role of principal lyricist as Lee and Lifeson had very little interest in writing, contributing to only a handful of song lyrics over the rest of the band's career. Instead, they focused primarily on the musical aspects of Rush. Fly by Night (1975), Rush's first album after recruiting Peart, saw the inclusion of the band's first epic mini-tale "By-Tor and the Snow Dog", replete with complex arrangements and multi-section format. Lyrical themes also underwent dramatic changes after the addition of Peart due to his love for fantasy and science-fiction literature.[25] However, despite these many differences some of the music and songs still closely mirrored the blues style found on Rush's debut.[26][25]

Following quickly on the heels of Fly By Night, the band released 1975's Caress of Steel, a five track hard rock album featuring two extended multi-chapter songs, "The Necromancer" and "The Fountain of Lamneth." Caress of Steel was reported by some critics to be unfocused and an audacious move for the band due to the placement of two protracted numbers back-to-back, as well as a heavier reliance on atmospherics and story-telling, a large deviation from Fly by Night.[27] Intended to be the band's first "break-through" album, Caress of Steel sold below expectations and the promotional tour consisted of small venues which led to the moniker the "Down the Tubes Tour."[28] In light of these events, Rush's record label pressured them into molding their next album in a more commercially friendly and accessible fashion. However, the band ignored the requests and developed their next album, 2112. It was the band's first taste of commercial success and their first platinum album in Canada.[29] The supporting tour for the album culminated in a three night stand at Massey Hall in Toronto, which the band recorded for the release of their first live album titled All the World's a Stage. Allmusic Guide critic Greg Prato summarily reminds listeners and fans of how the album demarcates the boundary between the band's early years and the next era of their music.[30][31]

The progressive rock era (1977–1981)

After 2112, Rush retreated to the United Kingdom to record 1977's A Farewell to Kings and 1978's Hemispheres at Rockfield Studios in Wales. These albums saw the band members expanding their use of progressive elements in their music. Trademarks such as increased synthesizer usage, extended-length concept songs, and highly dynamic playing featuring complex time signature changes became a staple of Rush's compositions. To achieve a broader, more progressive palette of sound, Alex Lifeson began to experiment with classical and twelve-string guitars, and Geddy Lee added bass-pedal synthesizers and Minimoog. Likewise, Peart's percussion became diversified in the form of triangles, glockenspiel, wood blocks, cowbells, timpani, gong and chimes. Beyond instrument additions, the band kept in stride with the progressive rock movement by continuing to compose long, conceptual songs with science fiction and fantasy overtones. However, as the new decade approached, Rush gradually began to dispose of their older styles of music in favor of shorter, and sometimes softer, arrangements. The lyrics up to this point (most of them written by Peart) were heavily influenced by classical poetry, fantasy literature, science fiction, and the writings of novelist Ayn Rand, as exhibited most prominently by their 1975 song "Anthem" from Fly By Night and a specifically acknowledged derivation in 1976's 2112.[32]

Permanent Waves (1980) shifted Rush's style of music dramatically via the introduction of reggae and new wave.[33] Although a hard rock style was still evident, more and more synthesizers were introduced. Moreover, due to the limited airplay Rush's previous extended-length songs received, Permanent Waves included shorter, more radio-friendly songs such as "The Spirit of Radio" and "Freewill", two songs which helped Permanent Waves become Rush's first U.S. Top 5 album; both songs continue to make appearances on classic rock radio stations in Canada and the United States to this day.[34] Meanwhile, Peart's lyrics shifted toward an expository tone with subject matter that dwelled less on fantastical or allegorical story-telling and more heavily on cerebral topics that explored humanistic, social, emotional and metaphysical elements. Template:Sound sample box align left Template:Listen Template:Sample box end Rush's popularity reached its pinnacle with the release of Moving Pictures in 1981. Moving Pictures essentially continued where Permanent Waves left off, extending the trend of highly accessible and commercially friendly pop-progressive rock that helped thrust them into the spotlight. The lead track, "Tom Sawyer", is probably the band's best-known song[35] with "Limelight" also receiving satisfactory responses from listeners and radio stations. Moving Pictures was Rush's last album to feature an extended song, the ten-and-a-half-minute "The Camera Eye". The song also contained the band's heaviest usage of synthesizers up to that point, hinting that Rush's music was shifting direction once more. Moving Pictures reached #3 on the Billboard 200 album chart and has been certified quadruple platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America.[36]

Following the success of Moving Pictures and the completion of another four studio albums, Rush released their second live recording, Exit...Stage Left, in 1981. The album delineates the apex of Rush's progressive period by featuring live material from the band's Permanent Waves and Moving Pictures tours. As with their first live release, Exit...Stage Left identified the margin of a new chapter of Rush's sound. The band underwent another radical stylistic transmutation with the release of Signals in 1982.[37]

The synthesizer period (1982–1989)

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While Lee's synthesizers had been featured instruments ever since the late 70s, keyboards were suddenly shifted from the contrapuntal background to the melodic front-lines[38][39] as evidenced by songs such as "Countdown" and the lead-off track "Subdivisions". Both feature nimble lead synthesizer lines with minimalistic guitar chords and solos. Other previously unused instrument additions were seen in the song "Losing It," featuring collaborator Ben Mink on electric violin.[37] Template:Sound sample box align right Template:Listen Template:Sample box end Signals also represented a drastic stylistic transformation apart from instrumental changes. The album contained Rush's only U.S. top-40 pop hit, "New World Man",[40] while other more experimental songs such as "Digital Man", "The Weapon", and "Chemistry" expanded the band's use of ska, reggae, and funk.[41] Although the band members consciously decided to move in this overall direction, they felt dissatisfied with long-time producer Terry Brown's studio treatment of Signals and parted ways with him in 1983. These diverse styles would come into further play on their next studio album.

Image:DM Simmons SDS5.jpg

The style and production of Signals were augmented and taken to new heights on 1984's Grace Under Pressure. It was Peart who named the album, as he borrowed the words of Ernest Hemingway to describe what the band had to go through after making the decision to leave Terry Brown. Producer Steve Lillywhite, who gleaned fame with successful productions of Simple Minds and U2, was enlisted to produce Grace Under Pressure. However, he backed out at the last moment, much to the ire of Lee, Lifeson and Peart. Lee said "Steve Lillywhite is really not a man of his word....after agreeing to do our record, he got an offer from Simple Minds, changed his mind, blew us off,..so it put us in a horrible position." Eventually Rush hired Peter Henderson to co-produce and engineer the album in his stead.[42]

Musically, although Lee's use of sequencers and synthesizers remained the band's cornerstone, his focus on new technology was complemented by Peart's adaptation of Simmons electronic drums and percussion. Lifeson's contributions on the album were decidedly enhanced to act as an overreaction to the minimalistic role he played on Signals.[43] Still, many of his trademark guitar textures remained intact in the form of open reggae chords and funk and new-wave rhythms; "Distant Early Warning", "Red Lenses", "Red Sector A" and "The Enemy Within" serve as prime examples.

With new producer Peter Collins, the band released 1985's Power Windows and 1987's Hold Your Fire. The music on these two albums gives far more emphasis and prominence to Lee's multi-layered synthesizer work. While fans and critics took notice of Lifeson's diminished guitar work, his presence was still palpable on "The Big Money", (the album's modest-charting single) with spotlights on "Grand Designs", "Middletown Dreams" and "Marathon." Lifeson, like many guitarists in the late 1980s, experimented with processors that reduced his instrument to echoey chord bursts and razor-thin leads. Hold Your Fire represents both a modest extension of the guitar stylings found on Power Windows, and, according to Allmusic critic Ed Rivadavia, the culmination of this era of Rush.[44] Whereas the previous five Rush albums sold platinum or better, Hold Your Fire only went gold in November 1987, although it managed to peak at number 13 on the Billboard 200.[45]

A third live album and video, A Show of Hands (1989), was also released by Mercury following the Power Windows and Hold Your Fire tours, demonstrating the aspects of Rush in the 80s. A Show of Hands met with strong fan approval, but Rolling Stone critic Michael Azerrad dismissed it as "musical muscle" with 1.5 stars, claiming Rush fans viewed their favourite power trio as "the holy trinity".[46] Nevertheless, A Show of Hands managed to surpass the gold album mark, reaching number 21 on the Billboard 200.[47] At this point, the group decided to change record labels from Mercury to Atlantic. After Rush's departure in 1989, Mercury released a double platinum two-volume compilation of their Rush catalogue, Chronicles (1990).[48]

Returning to their roots (1989–1997)

Template:Sound sample box align right Template:Listen Template:Sample box end Rush started to deviate from their 1980s style with the albums Presto and Roll the Bones. Produced by record engineer and musician Rupert Hine, these two albums saw Rush shedding much of their keyboard-saturated sound. Beginning with 1989's Presto, the band opted for arrangements that were notably more guitar-centric than the previous two studio albums. Although synthesizers were still used in many songs, the instrument was no longer featured as the centerpiece of Rush's compositions. Continuing this trend, 1991's Roll the Bones extended the use of the standard three-instrument approach with even less focus on synthesizers than its predecessor. While musically these albums do not deviate significantly from a general pop-rock sound, Rush stuck to their creative approach of incorporating traces of more exotic musical styles. "Roll the Bones", for instance, exhibits funk and hip hop elements, and the instrumental track "Where's My Thing?" features several jazz components.[49] This return to three-piece instrumentation helped pave the way for future albums in the mid-90s, which would adopt a more straightforward rock formula.

The transition from synthesizers to more guitar-oriented and organic instrumentation continued with the 1993 album Counterparts[50] and its follow-up, 1996's Test for Echo, again both produced in collaboration with Peter Collins. Musically, Counterparts[50] and Test For Echo are two of Rush's most guitar-driven albums. Although the music in general did not meet the criteria for "progressive rock", some of the songs could be considered more adventurous than what one might expect from a standard modern rock band.[51] For instance, "Time and Motion" possesses multiple time signature changes and organ usage, while the instrumental track "Limbo", consists of several relatively complex musical passages repeated throughout. Musically, Test For Echo still retained much of the hard rock/alternative style already charted on the previous record. Lifeson and Lee's playing remained more or less unchanged; however, a distinct modification in technique became apparent in Peart's playing due to formal Jazz and Swing training under the tutelage of jazz instructor Freddie Gruber during the interim between Counterparts and Test For Echo.[52] In October 1996, in support of Test For Echo, the band embarked on an extensive and successful North American tour, the band's first without an opening act and dubbed "An Evening with Rush." The tour was broken up into two segments spanning October through December, 1996 and May through July, 1997 with the band taking a respite between legs.

Hiatus and comeback (1997–2005)

After wrapping up the tour promoting Test for Echo in 1997, the band entered a five-year hiatus mainly due to personal tragedies in Peart's life. Peart's daughter Selena died in an automobile accident in August 1997, followed by his wife Jacqueline's death from cancer in June 1998. Peart took a hiatus to mourn and reflect, during which time he traveled extensively throughout North America on his BMW motorcycle, covering 88,000 km (55,000 miles). At some point in his journey, Peart decided to return to the band. Peart wrote Ghost Rider: Travels on the Healing Road as a chronicle of his geographical and emotional journey. In this book he writes of how he had told his bandmates at Selena's funeral, "consider me retired."[53] On November 10, 1998 a triple CD live album entitled Different Stages was released, dedicated to the memory of Selena and Jacqueline. Mixed by producer Paul Northfield and engineered by Terry Brown, it contained three discs packed with recorded performances from the band's Counterparts, Test For Echo, and A Farewell to Kings tours, marking the fourth officially released live album by the band. Template:Sound sample box align left Template:Listen Template:Sample box end After a time to grieve and reassemble the pieces of his life, and while visiting long-time Rush photographer Andrew MacNaughtan in Los Angeles, Peart was introduced to his future wife, photographer Carrie Nuttall. Peart married Nuttall on September 9, 2000. In early 2001 he announced to his band mates that he was ready to once again enter the studio and get back into the business of making music. With the help of producer Paul Northfield the band returned in May 2002 with Vapor Trails, written and recorded in Toronto. To herald the band's comeback, the single and lead track from the album, "One Little Victory" was designed to grab the attention of listeners due to its rapid guitar and drum tempos.[54] Vapor Trails marked the first studio recording not to include a single synthesizer, organ or keyboard part since the early 1970s. While the album is almost completely guitar-driven, it is mostly devoid of any conventional sounding guitar solos, a conscious decision made by Lifeson during the writing process. According to the band, the entire developmental process for Vapor Trails was extremely taxing and took approximately 14 months to finish, by far the longest the band had ever spent writing and recording a studio album.[54] The album debuted to moderate praise and was supported by the band's first tour in six years, including first-ever concerts in Mexico City and Brazil, where they played to some of the largest crowds of their career.

A triple CD live album and dual Rush In Rio DVD was released in late October 2003 featuring an entire concert performance recorded on the last night of their Vapor Trails Tour, November 23, 2002, at Maracanã Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. To celebrate their 30th anniversary, June 2004 saw the release of Feedback, a studio EP recorded in suburban Toronto featuring eight covers of such artists as Cream, The Who and The Yardbirds, bands that the members of Rush cite as inspiration around the time of their inception.[55] Also in the summer of 2004, Rush hit the road again for the very successful 30th Anniversary Tour, playing dates in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, Sweden, the Czech Republic, and the Netherlands. On September 24, 2004 a Frankfurt, Germany concert was recorded at The Festhalle for DVD (titled R30: Live in Frankfurt), which was released November 22, 2005.

Snakes & Arrows (2006–present)

Here is the complete setlist for Guitar Hero III, which will also include all downloadable content (when released).


Bold text indicates a master track, all other songs are covers.

Single Player Setlist

1. Starting Out Small

2. Your First Real Gig

3. Making The Video

4. European Invasion

5. Bighouse Blues

6. The Hottest Band On Earth

7. Live in Japan

8. Battle For Your Soul

Co-Op Setlist

1. Getting a Band Together

2. We Just Wanna Be Famous

3. Overnight Success

4. Getting the Band Back Together

5. Jailhouse Rock

6. Battle for Your Souls...

Bonus Tracks

Downloadable Content

Singles

Halo Theme MJOLNIR Mix - Released November 22, 2007 on XBL.

Ernten Was Wir Säen - Released December 20, 2007 on XBL & January 3, 2008 on PSN.

So Payso - Released December 20, 2007 on XBL & January 3, 2008 on PSN.

Antisocial - Released December 20, 2007 on XBL and January 3, 2008 on PSN.

We Three Kings - Released December 20, 2007 on XBL & PSN.

Dream On - Released Febuary 18, 2008 on XBL & PSN.

I am Murloc - Released June 26, 2008 on XBL and PSN.

Track Packs

Companion Pack - Released October 31, 2007 on XBL.

Foo Fighters Pack - Released November 8, 2007 on XBL & PSN.

Velvet Revolver Pack - Released November 8, 2007 on XBL & PSN.

Boss Battle Pack - Released November 15, 2007 on XBL and November 29, 2007 on PSN.

Warner/Reprise Track Pack - Released December 20, 2007 on XBL and January 3, 2007 on PSN.

Classic Rock Track Pack - Released January 24, 2008 on XBL and PSN.

No Doubt Track Pack - Released Febuary 28, 2008 on XBL and PSN.

Modern Metal Track Pack - Released March 6, 2008 on XBL & PSN.

Dropkick Murphys Track Pack - Released March 13, 2008 on XBL & PSN.

Def Leppard Track Pack - Released April 24, 2008 on XBL & PSN.

Guitar Virtuoso Pack - Released July 24, 2008 on XBL & PSN.

DragonForce Track Pack - Released August 21, 2008 on XBL & PSN

During promotional interviews for the R30 Live In Frankfurt DVD, the band revealed their intention to begin writing new material in early 2006. While in Toronto, Lifeson and Lee began the songwriting process in January 2006. During this time, Peart simultaneously assumed his role of lyric writing while residing in Southern California. The following September, Rush chose to hire American producer Nick Raskulinecz to co-produce the album. The band officially entered Allaire Studios, in Shokan, New York in November 2006 in order to record the bulk of the material. Taking the band five weeks, the sessions ended in December. On February 14, 2007, an announcement was made on the official Rush web site that the title of the new album would be Snakes & Arrows. The first single, entitled "Far Cry," was released to North American radio stations on March 12, 2007 and reached #2 on the Mediabase Mainstream and Radio and Records Charts.[56]

The Rush website, newly redesigned on March 12 to support the new album, also announced that the band would embark on a tour to begin in the summer. Snakes & Arrows was released 1 May 2007 in North America, where it debuted at #3 in the Billboard 200 with approximately 93,000 units sold in its first week.[57] To coincide with the Atlantic ocean hurricane season, "Spindrift" was released as the official second radio single on June 1, 2007, whereas "The Larger Bowl (A Pantoum)" saw single status on June 25, 2007. "The Larger Bowl" positioned within the top 20 of the Mainstream Rock and Media Base Mainstream charts, however, "Spindrift" failed to appear on any commercial chart.[58] The planned intercontinental tour in support of Snakes & Arrows began on June 13, 2007 in Atlanta, Georgia, coming to a close on October 29, 2007 at Hartwall Arena in Helsinki, Finland.[59]

The 2008 portion of the tour started on April 11, 2008 in San Juan, Puerto Rico at José Miguel Agrelot Coliseum and culminated on July 24, 2008 in Noblesville, Indiana at the Verizon Wireless Music Center.[60] On April 15, the band released Snakes & Arrows Live, a double live album documenting the first leg of the tour.[61] Those same performances featured on Snakes & Arrows Live filmed at the Ahoy arena in Rotterdam, Netherlands on October 16 and 17 of 2007 was released November 24 as a DVD and Blu-Ray set, which also includes footage from the 2008 portion of the tour, recorded at Verizon Wireless Amphitheater in Atlanta.[62][63] [64]

As the band neared the conclusion of their Snakes & Arrows tour, they announced their first appearance on American television in over 30 years. Rush was interviewed by Stephen Colbert and they performed "Tom Sawyer" on The Colbert Report on July 16, 2008.[65]

Musical style and influences

Rush's musical style has changed substantially over the years. Their debut album is strongly influenced by British-Blues rock: an amalgam of sounds and styles from such rock bands as Cream, Led Zeppelin, and Deep Purple. Over the first few albums their style remained essentially hard rock, with heavy influences from The Who[66] and Led Zeppelin,[21] but also became increasingly influenced by the British progressive rock movement.[67] In the tradition of progressive rock, Rush wrote protracted songs with irregular and multiple time signatures combined with fantasy/science fiction-inspired lyrics; however, they did not soften their sound. This fusion of hard and progressive rock continued until the end of the 1970s. In the 1980s, however, Rush successfully merged their sound with the trends of this period, experimenting with New Wave, reggae and pop rock.[68] This period included the band's most extensive use of instruments such as synthesizers, sequencers and electronic percussion. It is largely agreed that the culmination of this era of Rush was in 1987 after the release of Hold Your Fire.[69] With the approach of the early '90s and Rush's character sound still intact, the band transformed their style once again to harmonize with the alternative rock movement.[70] The new millennium has seen them return to a more rock and roll roots sound, albeit with modern production.[66]

Band members

Former members

  • John Rutsey – drums, percussion, backing vocals (August 1968 – July 1974)
  • Jeff Jones – bass, lead vocals (August 1968 – September 1968)

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Reputation

More than 30 years of activity has provided Rush with the opportunity for musical diversity across their discography. As with many bands known for experimentation, such changes have inevitably resulted in dissent among critics and fans. The bulk of the band's music has always included synthetic instruments in some form or another, and this is a great source of contention in the Rush camp, especially the band's heavy reliance on synthesizers and keyboards during the 1980s, particularly on albums Grace Under Pressure, Power Windows, and Hold Your Fire.[71][72] Still, most fans saw this as nothing less than artistic growth and support for the band remained unwavering through each transitional phase.[69]

The members of Rush have themselves noted that people "either love Rush or hate Rush", resulting in strong detractors and an intensely loyal fan base. To the chagrin of fans, the band has not been nominated for entry into the American Rock and Roll Hall of Fame since their year of eligibility in 1998. The Hall's refusal to induct Rush may be a consequence of the band's insistence on remaining outside the mainstream of rock when it comes to self-promotion, in favor of maintaining a high degree of independence.[73] To this day fans earnestly clamor for the band's inclusion into the Hall by citing noteworthy accomplishments including longevity, proficiency, and influence, as well as commercial sales figures and RIAA certifications. However, Lifeson has expressed his indifference toward the perceived slight saying "I couldn't care less, look who's up for induction, it's a joke".[74] Rush has gained a degree of recognition in popular culture despite any official recognition from the Hall.[75]

As a band, Rush has been nominated for and received various awards throughout its career. Likewise, the individual members have received coverage in various modern music magazines with specific technocratic recognition for instrumental ability. See List of Rush awards for more details on this topic.

Geddy Lee

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Geddy Lee's high-register vocal style has always been a signature of the band — and sometimes, a focal point for criticism, especially during the early years of Rush's career when Lee's vocals were high-pitched, with a strong likeness to other singers like Robert Plant of Led Zeppelin. Although his voice has softened over the years, it is often described as a "wail".[76][77] His instrumental abilities, on the other hand, are rarely criticized. An award-winning musician, Lee's style, technique, and ability on the bass guitar have proven influential in the rock and heavy metal genres, inspiring such players as Steve Harris of Iron Maiden,[78] John Myung of Dream Theater,[79] Les Claypool of Primus[80] and Cliff Burton of Metallica[81] among others. Lee is notable for his ability to operate various pieces of instrumentation simultaneously. This is mostly evident during live shows when Lee must play bass, supply lead vocals, manipulate keyboards, and trigger foot pedals during the course of a performance, as in the song "Tom Sawyer".[67] Because of this he is required to remain in one place during songs containing complex instrumentation. Lifeson and Peart are, to a lesser extent, responsible for similar actions during live shows.

Alex Lifeson

Image:Alex Lifeson6.jpg

Instrumentally, Lifeson is regarded as a guitarist whose strengths and notability rely primarily on signature riffing, electronic effects and processing, unorthodox chord structures, and a copious arsenal of equipment used over the years.[82][83][84] Despite his esteem, however, Lifeson is often regarded as being overshadowed by his bandmates due to Lee's on-stage multi-instrumental dexterity and Peart's status as a drummer.[85]

During his adolescent years, he was influenced primarily by Jimi Hendrix, Pete Townshend, Jeff Beck, Eric Clapton and Jimmy Page.[86] For versatility, Lifeson was known to incorporate touches of Spanish and classical music into Rush's guitar-driven sound during the 1970s. Taking a backseat to Lee's keyboards in the 1980s, Lifeson's guitar returned to the forefront in the 1990s, and especially on 2002's Vapor Trails. During live performances, he is still responsible for cuing various guitar effects, the use of bass-pedal synthesizers and backing vocals.

Neil Peart

Music

Peart is commonly regarded by music fans, critics and fellow musicians as one of, if not the greatest rock drummers.[87] He is also regarded as one of the finest practitioners of the in-concert drum solo.[88] Initially inspired by Keith Moon, Peart absorbed the influence of other rock drummers from the 1960s and 1970s such as Ginger Baker, Carmine Appice, and John Bonham.[89] Incorporation of unusual instruments (for rock drummers of the time) such as cowbells, glockenspiel, and tubular bells, along with several standard kit elements, helped create a highly varied setup. Continually modified to this day, Peart's drumkit offers an enormous array of percussion instruments for sonic diversity. For two decades Peart honed his technique; each new Rush album introduced an expanded percussive vocabulary. In the 1990s, he reinvented his style with the help of drum coach Freddie Gruber. Image:Neil Peart3.jpg

Lyrics

Peart also serves as Rush's primary lyricist, attracting much attention over the years due to his eclectic style. Known for penning concept suites and songs inspired by literature, music fan opinions of his writing have varied greatly, running the gamut from cerebral and insightful to overly pretentious and preachy. During the band's early years, Peart's lyrics were largely fantasy/science fiction-focused,[90] though since 1980 he has focused more on social, emotional, and humanitarian issues. Peart's lyrics continue to divide audiences today. For example, in 2007, he was placed second on Blender magazine's list of the "40 Worst Lyricists In Rock".[91]

Sales

Over the course of their career, Rush has come to release 24 gold records and 14 platinum records (3 of which have gone multiplatinum),[92] placing them within the top 4 for the most consecutive gold albums by a rock band.[93] Rush ranks 78th in U.S. album sales according to the RIAA with sales of 25 million units.[93] Total worldwide sales approximate 40 million units.[94][95][96][97]

Despite having completely dropped out of the public eye for five years after the gold-selling Test for Echo (which peaked at number 5 on the Billboard 200) and the band being relegated almost solely to classic rock stations in the U.S., Vapor Trails reached #6 on the Billboard 200 chart in its first week of release in 2002 with 108,000 albums sold. It has sold approximately 343,000 units to date. The subsequent Vapor Trails tour grossed over $24 million and included the largest audience ever to see a headlining Rush show — 60,000 fans in São Paulo, Brazil. Nevertheless, Vapor Trails remains their first album not to achieve at least gold status.

However, Rush's triple CD live album, 2003's Rush in Rio, was certified gold by the RIAA, marking the fourth decade in which a Rush album had been released and certified at least gold. Moreover, in 2004 Feedback cracked the top 20 on the Billboard 200 chart and received radio airplay. The band's most recent album, Snakes & Arrows, debuted at #3 (just one position shy of Rush's highest peaking album, 1993's Counterparts, which debuted at #2) on the Billboard 200 selling approximately 93,000 copies in its first week of release.[98] This marks the 13th studio album to appear in the Top 20 and the band's 27th album to appear on the chart regardless of position over the course of their career. The album also debuted at #1 on the Billboard's Top Rock Albums chart, as well as peaking at #1 on the Top Internet Albums chart when the album was released on the MVI format a month later.[99] Still, Snakes & Arrows has yet to accumulate sales that approach or eclipse Vapor Trails or Rush in Rio.

The two consecutive tours in support of Snakes & Arrows in 2007 and 2008 accrued $21 million and $18.3 million, respectively, earning Rush the number 6 and 8 spots among the top ten summer rock concerts.[100][101]

Live performances

The members of Rush share a strong work ethic, desiring to accurately recreate songs from their albums when playing live performances. Toward this goal, beginning in the late 1980s, Rush has included in their concert equipment a capacious rack of digital samplers which the band members use, in real-time, to recreate the sounds of non-traditional instruments, accompaniments, vocal harmonies, and other sound "events" that are familiarly heard on the studio versions of the songs.

In live performances, the band members share duties throughout most songs, with each member triggering certain sounds with his available limbs, while playing his primary instrument(s). Each band member has one or more MIDI controllers that enables him to use his free hands or feet to trigger sounds that have been loaded into the samplers for a particular song.[102] It is with this technology that the group is able to present their arrangements in a live setting with the level of complexity and fidelity that fans have come to expect, and without the need to resort to the use of backing tracks or employing an additional band member.[103]

The band members' coordinated use of foot-pedal keyboards and other electronic triggers to "play" sampled instruments and audio events is subtly visible in their live performances, especially so on R30: 30th Anniversary World Tour, their 2005 concert DVD.

A staple of Rush's concerts is a Peart drum solo. Peart's drum solos include a basic framework of routines connected by sections of improvisation, making each performance unique. Each successive tour sees the solo more advanced, with some routines dropped in favor of newer, more complex ones. Since the mid-1980s, Peart has used MIDI trigger pads to trigger sounds sampled from various pieces of acoustic percussion that would otherwise consume far too much stage area, such as a marimba, harp, temple blocks, triangles, glockenspiel, orchestra bells, tubular bells, and vibraslap as well as other, more esoteric percussion.

Philanthropy

Rush actively participates in philanthropic causes. The band was one of a number of hometown favorites to play Molson Canadian Rocks for Toronto, also dubbed SARStock, at Downsview Park in Toronto on July 30, 2003, with an attendance of over half a million people. The concert was intended to benefit the Canadian economy after the SARS outbreaks earlier in the year. The band has also sustained an interest in promoting human rights. They donated $100,000 to the Canadian Museum for Human Rights after a concert they held in Winnipeg on 24 May 2008.[104] Rush continues to sell t-shirts and donate the proceeds to the museum.[105]

The individual members of Rush have also been a part of philanthropic causes. Hughes & Kettner zenTeras and TriAmps have been endorsed and used by Lifeson for many years. A custom signature amplifier was engineered by Lifeson and released in April 2005 with the stipulation that UNICEF will receive a donation in the amount of $50 for every Alex Lifeson Signature TriAmp sold.[106] Lee, a longtime fan of baseball, donated 200 baseballs signed by famous Negro League players, including Willie Mays, Hank Aaron and Josh Gibson, to the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in June 2008.[107]

The band is featured on the music album Songs for Tibet, appearing with a number of other celebrities as an initiative to support Tibet and the current Dalai Lama Tenzin Gyatso. The album was made downloadable on August 5 via iTunes and was released commercially August 12.[108]

Discography

Here is the complete setlist for Guitar Hero III, which will also include all downloadable content (when released).


Bold text indicates a master track, all other songs are covers.

Single Player Setlist

1. Starting Out Small

2. Your First Real Gig

3. Making The Video

4. European Invasion

5. Bighouse Blues

6. The Hottest Band On Earth

7. Live in Japan

8. Battle For Your Soul

Co-Op Setlist

1. Getting a Band Together

2. We Just Wanna Be Famous

3. Overnight Success

4. Getting the Band Back Together

5. Jailhouse Rock

6. Battle for Your Souls...

Bonus Tracks

Downloadable Content

Singles

Halo Theme MJOLNIR Mix - Released November 22, 2007 on XBL.

Ernten Was Wir Säen - Released December 20, 2007 on XBL & January 3, 2008 on PSN.

So Payso - Released December 20, 2007 on XBL & January 3, 2008 on PSN.

Antisocial - Released December 20, 2007 on XBL and January 3, 2008 on PSN.

We Three Kings - Released December 20, 2007 on XBL & PSN.

Dream On - Released Febuary 18, 2008 on XBL & PSN.

I am Murloc - Released June 26, 2008 on XBL and PSN.

Track Packs

Companion Pack - Released October 31, 2007 on XBL.

Foo Fighters Pack - Released November 8, 2007 on XBL & PSN.

Velvet Revolver Pack - Released November 8, 2007 on XBL & PSN.

Boss Battle Pack - Released November 15, 2007 on XBL and November 29, 2007 on PSN.

Warner/Reprise Track Pack - Released December 20, 2007 on XBL and January 3, 2007 on PSN.

Classic Rock Track Pack - Released January 24, 2008 on XBL and PSN.

No Doubt Track Pack - Released Febuary 28, 2008 on XBL and PSN.

Modern Metal Track Pack - Released March 6, 2008 on XBL & PSN.

Dropkick Murphys Track Pack - Released March 13, 2008 on XBL & PSN.

Def Leppard Track Pack - Released April 24, 2008 on XBL & PSN.

Guitar Virtuoso Pack - Released July 24, 2008 on XBL & PSN.

DragonForce Track Pack - Released August 21, 2008 on XBL & PSN

Studio albums


See also

References

Template:Reflist

Further reading

Books

Scholarly articles

External links

Template:Spoken Wikipedia Template:Commonscat Template:Wikiquote

Template:Featured article Template:RushTemplate:Link FA

ca:Rush cs:Rush da:Rush de:Rush et:Rush es:Rush fr:Rush (groupe) hr:Rush id:Rush it:Rush he:ראש (להקה) lv:Rush hu:Rush mt:Rush nl:Rush (band) ja:ラッシュ (バンド) no:Rush nn:Rush pl:Rush pt:Rush ro:Rush ru:Rush simple:Rush (band) sk:Rush (skupina) fi:Rush sq:Rush sv:Rush tr:Rush (grup) uk:Rush zh:匆促樂團s Chris Kohler after speaking with Harmonix at the E3 conference.[123] USA Today confirmed that the Wii version will support downloadable content and the same multiplayer modes as the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 version.[124][125] The PlayStation 2 versions will not have these features.

SKUs and pricing

Special Edition bundle
Xbox 360 PlayStation 3 PlayStation 2 Wii
Price US$189.99 US$189.99 Cancelled US$189.99
Release date (US) October 19, 2008 October 19, 2008 N/A December 18, 2008
Standalone software
Xbox 360 PlayStation 3 PlayStation 2 Wii
Price US$59.99 US$59.99 US$49.99 US$49.99
Release date (US) September 14, 2008 October 19, 2008 December 18, 2008 December 18, 2008
Standalone instruments
Xbox 360 PlayStation 3 PlayStation 2 Wii
Price Guitar: US$69.99
Drums: US$89.99
Guitar: US$69.99
Drums: US$89.99
Guitar: US$69.99
Drums: US$89.99
Guitar: US$69.99
Drums: US$89.99
Release date (US) September 14, 2008 October 19, 2008 October 19, 2008 December 18, 2008

The release of Rock Band 2 was originally exclusive to the Xbox 360 console for a one-month period. The game software and individual instruments were made available on September 14, 2008. The "Special Edition" bundle packaging the game software and peripherals was released on October 19, 2008, when the PlayStation 3 version of the game software was released.[126]

Promotion

A special Rock Band 2 premiere event at the 2008 E3 conference was held on July 16, 2008, featuring a performance by surprise special guest The Who, in conjunction with the release of the "The Best of The Who" pack as downloadable content.[127] A "Rock Band Live" concert tour will tour North America in October and November 2008, and will feature bands such as Panic at the Disco, Dashboard Confessional, Plain White T's and The Cab, as well as local acts selected by radio promotions, contests, and on-site at each show. All acts featured during the tour included songs available as downloadable content for the game prior to the tour.[128] Mark Burnett, along with MTV, is sponsoring an "Ultimate Rock Band Experience" in Los Angeles, California for the launch of Rock Band 2, offering the chance for any four-member set of players to participate in the competition;[129] it is speculated that this will be the basis for a new reality television show.[130] An early public showing/demo of Rock Band 2 attended by lead designer Dan Teasdale and other Harmonix Music Systems personnel took place on September 2, 2008[131], at Ground Kontrol, a video arcade in Portland, Oregon that puts on weekly "Rock Band Tuesdays" events[132].

Soundtrack

Here is the complete setlist for Guitar Hero III, which will also include all downloadable content (when released).


Bold text indicates a master track, all other songs are covers.

Single Player Setlist

1. Starting Out Small

2. Your First Real Gig

3. Making The Video

4. European Invasion

5. Bighouse Blues

6. The Hottest Band On Earth

7. Live in Japan

8. Battle For Your Soul

Co-Op Setlist

1. Getting a Band Together

2. We Just Wanna Be Famous

3. Overnight Success

4. Getting the Band Back Together

5. Jailhouse Rock

6. Battle for Your Souls...

Bonus Tracks

Downloadable Content

Singles

Halo Theme MJOLNIR Mix - Released November 22, 2007 on XBL.

Ernten Was Wir Säen - Released December 20, 2007 on XBL & January 3, 2008 on PSN.

So Payso - Released December 20, 2007 on XBL & January 3, 2008 on PSN.

Antisocial - Released December 20, 2007 on XBL and January 3, 2008 on PSN.

We Three Kings - Released December 20, 2007 on XBL & PSN.

Dream On - Released Febuary 18, 2008 on XBL & PSN.

I am Murloc - Released June 26, 2008 on XBL and PSN.

Track Packs

Companion Pack - Released October 31, 2007 on XBL.

Foo Fighters Pack - Released November 8, 2007 on XBL & PSN.

Velvet Revolver Pack - Released November 8, 2007 on XBL & PSN.

Boss Battle Pack - Released November 15, 2007 on XBL and November 29, 2007 on PSN.

Warner/Reprise Track Pack - Released December 20, 2007 on XBL and January 3, 2007 on PSN.

Classic Rock Track Pack - Released January 24, 2008 on XBL and PSN.

No Doubt Track Pack - Released Febuary 28, 2008 on XBL and PSN.

Modern Metal Track Pack - Released March 6, 2008 on XBL & PSN.

Dropkick Murphys Track Pack - Released March 13, 2008 on XBL & PSN.

Def Leppard Track Pack - Released April 24, 2008 on XBL & PSN.

Guitar Virtuoso Pack - Released July 24, 2008 on XBL & PSN.

DragonForce Track Pack - Released August 21, 2008 on XBL & PSN

The full set list for on-disc material was announced on July 14, 2008 during E3.[133] All 84 tracks included with the Rock Band 2 game disc utilize the songs' master recordings;[118][134][135] 75 of these are featured tracks in the main setlist, while the other 9 tracks are "bonus songs" by independent or lesser-known bands, as well as bands made up of Harmonix employees. Featured songs include "Ace of Spades" by Motörhead, "Any Way You Want It" by Journey, "Everlong" by Foo Fighters, "Let There Be Rock" by AC/DC, "My Own Worst Enemy" by Lit, "Pinball Wizard" by The Who, "Psycho Killer" by Talking Heads, "Spoonman" by Soundgarden, and "White Wedding" by Billy Idol. The song "Shackler's Revenge" from the long-delayed Guns N' Roses album Chinese Democracy is part of the soundtrack, and signalled the eventual release of the album.[136]

Additionally, 55 of the 58 songs from the original Rock Band game disc can be exported to the player's console hard drive and used within Rock Band 2.[137][138][7] The disc export feature was made available on the Xbox 360 version of the original Rock Band via a title update on September 4, 2008, with a cost of 400 MS Points ($4.99 USD) required to purchase a transfer license.[139] This feature is also available for PlayStation 3 owners,[140] however, there are presently no plans for Wii owners to do the same.[125] Four songs from Rock Band are not transferable: "Enter Sandman" by Metallica, "Run to the Hills" as made famous by Iron Maiden, and "Paranoid" as made famous by Black Sabbath are unavailable for transfer in all versions of Rock Band, and "Monsoon" by Tokio Hotel is non-transferable in the European release of Rock Band.[141] Each Rock Band song had to be relicensed for use within Rock Band 2.[142]

Downloadable songs and Track Packs

Here is the complete setlist for Guitar Hero III, which will also include all downloadable content (when released).


Bold text indicates a master track, all other songs are covers.

Single Player Setlist

1. Starting Out Small

2. Your First Real Gig

3. Making The Video

4. European Invasion

5. Bighouse Blues

6. The Hottest Band On Earth

7. Live in Japan

8. Battle For Your Soul

Co-Op Setlist

1. Getting a Band Together

2. We Just Wanna Be Famous

3. Overnight Success

4. Getting the Band Back Together

5. Jailhouse Rock

6. Battle for Your Souls...

Bonus Tracks

Downloadable Content

Singles

Halo Theme MJOLNIR Mix - Released November 22, 2007 on XBL.

Ernten Was Wir Säen - Released December 20, 2007 on XBL & January 3, 2008 on PSN.

So Payso - Released December 20, 2007 on XBL & January 3, 2008 on PSN.

Antisocial - Released December 20, 2007 on XBL and January 3, 2008 on PSN.

We Three Kings - Released December 20, 2007 on XBL & PSN.

Dream On - Released Febuary 18, 2008 on XBL & PSN.

I am Murloc - Released June 26, 2008 on XBL and PSN.

Track Packs

Companion Pack - Released October 31, 2007 on XBL.

Foo Fighters Pack - Released November 8, 2007 on XBL & PSN.

Velvet Revolver Pack - Released November 8, 2007 on XBL & PSN.

Boss Battle Pack - Released November 15, 2007 on XBL and November 29, 2007 on PSN.

Warner/Reprise Track Pack - Released December 20, 2007 on XBL and January 3, 2007 on PSN.

Classic Rock Track Pack - Released January 24, 2008 on XBL and PSN.

No Doubt Track Pack - Released Febuary 28, 2008 on XBL and PSN.

Modern Metal Track Pack - Released March 6, 2008 on XBL & PSN.

Dropkick Murphys Track Pack - Released March 13, 2008 on XBL & PSN.

Def Leppard Track Pack - Released April 24, 2008 on XBL & PSN.

Guitar Virtuoso Pack - Released July 24, 2008 on XBL & PSN.

DragonForce Track Pack - Released August 21, 2008 on XBL & PSN

For the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and Wii versions of the game, players can download additional songs on a track-by-track basis, with many of the tracks digitally bundled together in "song packs" or complete albums at a discounted rate. All existing and forthcoming downloadable songs are cross-compatible between both Rock Band titles.[118] Unlike Rock Band, the Wii version of Rock Band 2 supports downloadable content, and all existing downloadable content will be made available to Wii users over time.[143] Harmonix stated that 30 existing songs would be available at the game's Wii launch[143], but on Dec. 24 issued a statement that the launch of the Wii music store will be delayed until early 2009.[144] DLC finally became available for the Wii on January 13, 2009, with 50 tracks available at launch.[145] Songs can be stored to both the Wii's internal memory and to an SD card, and songs on the SD card will be streamed off the card.[146] To promote Rock Band 2, 20 free downloadable songs were released soon after the game's launch.[137]

Harmonix is also releasing a series of "Track Pack" standalone games that are sold in retail stores. Each volume contains several of the tracks available as downloadable content. More recent "Track Packs" allow their track listings to be exported to the player's console hard drive for use in either Rock Band game.

Reception

Template:VG Reviews Rock Band 2 received highly positive reviews from several publications.[147][148] 1UP.com likened it to a "system update" rather than an entirely new game, describing it as "a collection of interface tweaks and non-earth-shattering new features designed to make the Rock Band experience more enjoyable and less frustrating".[149] The "No Fail" mode has been recognized as a very useful feature for balancing the skill levels of players at different levels, particularly inexperienced players.[150]

The Xbox 360 version of Rock Band 2 was the third best-selling game in North America in September 2008, selling 363,000 copies.[3] and also has an average critic review score of 92% on Metacritic, tying it for the 11th highest-rated game for the Xbox 360 and the 7th highest-rated game on the Playstation 3. The Xbox 360 version continued to sell more than 119,000 copies in October 2008, while a similar number of units were sold of the PlayStation 3 version following its October debut.[151]

IGN praised the Wii version for including features like online play and downloadable content that were missing from the platform's edition of Rock Band, saying "the sequel more than makes up for the original's problems."[12] Rock Band 2 was a nominee for Best Music/Rhythm Game for the Wii by IGN in its 2008 video game awards.[152] In GameSpot's "Best of 2008" Rock Band 2 was nominated in these awards: "Best downloadable content", "Best Licensed Music" and "Best Rhythm/Music game". Template:Fact

Awards

  • IGN Best of 2008:
    • Best Xbox 360 Music/Rhythm Game
    • Best PS3 Music/Rhythm Game
    • Best Family Game (Xbox 360)
    • Best Local Multiplayer Game (Xbox 360)
  • 2008 Spike Video Game Awards:
    • Best Music Game
    • Best Soundtrack
  • GameSpot's "Best of 2008":
    • Best Rhythm/Music game

References

Template:Reflist

See also

External links

Template:Navbox

Template:Harmonix gameses:Rock Band 2 it:Rock Band 2 pt:Rock Band 2 fi:Rock Band 2

Discussion
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