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The Canadian trio who make up Rush first got together in 1968 when bass guitarist, keyboard player and lead vocalist Geddy Lee joined together with lead guitarist and backing singer Alex Lifeson and drummer John Rutsey. Their first album, the eponymously titled, Rush, was released in 1974 at a time when the band was about to embark on its first major tour. With just weeks before the tour commenced, Rutsey was replaced by Neil Peart on drums, who also went on to contribute lyrically to the band's compositions. Inspired by the drumming skills of Keith Moon and John Bonham, Peart is constantly updating his sound with a vast array of percussion.
Likened in sound to Led Zeppelin in their earliest days, Rush created their own unique take on the classic rock sounds of the 1970s and 1980s. Having dabbled in synthesisers and progressive rock the band always returns to its guitar-based roots. Although popular among fans of arena and stadium rock, it was not until the success of their 1976 album titled 2112 that they really experienced mainstream success.
Rush is well-respected among fellow musicians, with all three members having received industry awards for their music. Rush has received 24 gold albums and 14 platinum records with sales topping 25 million units in total, placing them among the top 80 bands for album sales in the United States. The band is ranked third in the list of top-selling gold and platinum albums by a rock band, just behind The Beatles and The Rolling Stones. Honoured with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2010, Rush received a further accolade in 2013 when the band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Further achievements include a Living Legends Award from the UK's Marshall Classic Rock Roll of Honour Awards and the 2010 Legends of Live Award sponsored by Billboard.
Although Rush has never churned out chart-topping singles and is known principally for its albums, there have been a number of chart successes. The band's breakthrough single The Spirit of Radio, climbed to number 13 in the UK Singles Chart of 1980 and was listed as one of the 500 songs that "shaped rock and roll" by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The band's best-known single is Tom Sawyer which was released to great acclaim in 1981 and is described by the Geddy Lee as the ultimate Rush song.