I always think of Toronto’s Rush as being a hard-rock power trio, but in nearly every list of progressive rock artists they’re close to the top. They went through a period starting in 1977 where their music reflected influence by such progressive rock acts as Yes and King Crimson, and the members (Alex Lifeson, guitar; Geddy Lee, bass, keyboards, and vocals; and Neil Peart, drums) began experimenting with different sounds, including effects pedals, different forms of percussion, and synthesizers. Their compositions got longer and incorporated polyrhythms, and were more conceptual lyrically.
1980’s Permanent Waves had Rush getting away from the heavily conceptual music toward more radio-friendly music, and the album became their first best-seller in the US. Here’s a live performance of “Jacob’s Ladder” from that album.
Starting with 1982’s Signals, Geddy Lee’s synthesizers moved from the background to a more prominent place in the music. This was a trend that continued until 1989’s Presto, which signaled a return to a more guitar-oriented style. Here is “Subdivisions” from Signals.
Last April, Lifeson stated that their R40 tour commemorating Peart’s fortieth anniversary with the band would be its last major tour, due to his psoriatic arthritis and Peart’s chronic tendinitis. This was followed later that yera by Peart announcing his retirement, but only from touring. They still have plans for further projects together.
Rush, your Two for Tuesday, March 8, 2016.