Not sure how you feel about Rush. Maybe you love them. Maybe you hate them. Maybe you've never even heard of them. If you love them I can understand why. If you hate them I can sympathize. If you've never heard of them, you really ought to check them out.
Rush is indisputably the most famous band from Canada. They released their first album in 1974, and they are (according to the RIAA) the 79th best selling artists in the States. Even now, after more than 40 years, they are still touring and making great music.
Rush's third album, "Power Windows" was the first album I ever purchased, way back in 1985, when I was ten years old. Shortly thereafter I purchased their third album, "Caress of Steel," and I have been a fan ever since.
But I can understand people who don't like Rush. Geddy Lee's voice can be annoying, and Neil Peart's "literary" lyrics can rub me the wrong way. I often miss the hard rock kind of singing that Lee used on the earliest Rush albums, and there are times when I grow tired of songs with earnest, heartfelt messages. Sometimes I just get tired of Rush.
This said, I think they are a great band. I favor the period from 1974-1978, when they more closely resembled other progressive rock bands of the day. "Caress of Steel" is probably my favorite Rush album, perhaps followed by "Hemispheres" or their debut album. Their 70s output was very much in the vein of other 70s power trios, though of course their sound was always distinctive. There is no mistaking any other band for Rush.
I've never been a huge fan of their 80s albums, though "Power Windows" and "Moving Pictures" have some great songs. I'm not overly fond of synthesizers in anyone's music. "Tom Sawyer" is of course an epic song, and I like tracks from every album up until "Roll the Bones." But for every great song on those albums there are at least three or four that make me cringe.
My interest in hearing new Rush albums probably ended with 1993's "Counterparts," which was an album much closer in both spirit and execution to their 70s efforts. After "Counterparts" I really lost interest in Rush, and I moved on to louder, less fussy music. 1993 was also the year I graduated from high school, so I was ripe for exposure to Seattle's grunge scene. The grunge bands were/are about as far from Rush as you can get.
Just the same, I have an abiding love for Rush. They are one of the first bands I ever liked, and they have been with me for many important moments in my existence. I can remember listening to them on an old boombox in my grandmother's house, on a walkman on the way to junior high school, and on a CD player in my parents' house. They were always around, somewhere, for most of my childhood.
I've yet to see them live. With all the concerts I've been to, I've never been to a Rush show. It was usually the ticket price that scared me off, but I have also been put off by certain albums, and these albums seemed to be the ones that Rush was touring behind when they passed through town. I had no desire to see the "Roll the Bones" tour, or the "Presto" tour, or the "Vapor Trails" tour. I'm sure that seeing them play some of their classic songs would be great, but then again there are the not-so-classic songs, and (sigh) the synthesizers. I'm really not a fan of overly orchestrated rock music.
Still, I think some people need to give Rush another listen. If you think you hate them, you might have only heard the wrong song or album. They've made some unquestionably great music, though they are in some ways less accessible than bands like Zeppelin, the Beatles, or the Stones.
Rush is a great band. Definitely one of the greatest ever.