Rush is a Canadian progressive rock band consisting of members vocalist/bassist Geddy Lee, rhythm/lead guitarist Alex Lifeson, and drummer/lyricist Neil Peart. Early in the band's career most of their musical output emulated blues-inspired rock bands such as Cream and Led Zeppelin with lyrics that focused on epic fantasy or science fiction stories. Over the years, however, the band shed this emulation with inspiration and subsequent integration of progressive rock, pop rock, reggae, and modern rock characteristics.
Despite the band eschewing mainstream media exposure, their popularity grew as the years wore on, spawning fan-favorites such as 1980's Permanent Waves and 1981's quadruple platinum Moving Pictures. The latter is conventionally considered the band's quintessential album and the apex of their commercial success. However, the band is still highly active with respect to touring and recording as they have recently released their latest studio album Snakes And Arrows in May 2007. The band's catalog is vast (composed of 19 studio albums, 6 official live recordings and numerous compilations) since their time together and activity spans over 30 years. This inevitably resulted in obvious musical changes which lead to disparity among fans regarding the most popular/fan-favorite songs and albums. Some consider songs such as the instrumental "YYZ", the semi-concept album 2112, (with sections "Overture and "The Temples of Syrinx"), "Fly By Night", and charting singles "Closer to the Heart", "Freewill", "The Spirit of Radio", "New World Man", "The Big Money", "Distant Early Warning", and "Tom Sawyer" as some of their very best.
Some of Peart's lyrics, however, especially during the late '70s and early '80s (e.g 2112), were inspired by the objectivist philosophy of novelist Ayn Rand. The band have received some criticism for these lyrical themes, especially in the British press in the wake of this album in the 70s.
The band is currently on an intercontinental tour in support of their most recent album Snakes & Arrows.