Canadian Rock Band – RUSH

Rush is a rock band that was formed in Willowdale, Ontario in Canada in the year 1968. The band has been performing with the lineup of Alex Lifeson who is the guitarist, Neil Peart the drummer and Geddy Lee on bass guitar, vocals and keyboards. The original drummer of the band was John Rutsey but was later replaced by Neil Peart in the year 1974. This came shortly after the band released its first album and some few weeks before their first tour to America. Neil also became the lyricist of the band and he wrote many of the band’s best known songs.

Their ground breaking album, Moving Pictures, released din 1981, gave them world-wide notoriety and drew plenty of attention from radio stations everywhere mainly due to their hit song “Tom Sawyer” which was a rock/pop fusion which created a sound termed as prog-rock. (progressive rock). There is an instrumental piece on this album titled YYZ, which is pronounced as Y,Y,Zed. YYZ is the International Air Transport Association identification code for Toronto Pearson international airport where the band members come from. The title of the song is the bands way of expressing their pride and homage to their homeland of Canada. The song is a very complex piece of music with a very intricate arrangement.  The introduction of the song which is played in a time signature of 5/4 gives the letters Y,Y,Z a Morse code with the use of different musical arrangements. The song is structured in this arrangement, A,B,C,B,A and it begins with the Y,Y,Z Morse code that is played on the crotales, which are small round bronze disks and look like mini drum symbols. These are played by drummer Peart (A), then the guitar and bass join the pattern. They use the discordant interval of the tritone (an interval of three whole tones) to separate the dashes from the Morse code dots. The guitar and the bass join the code and play the triton F for dots and the root note C for the dashes.  After the albums initial release, YYZ it has become one of the bands most popular pieces when performed live, and often contains an extended version to include drummer Pearts infamous drum solo.  On live performances, the synthesizer section is played by Geddy Lee on keyboards and some bass parts by using a foot pedal controller, often switching back and forth while playing other bass guitar parts. When they have completed two sections of the melody, the synth stops and the bass goes down one octave while the bass, the guitar and the drummer make hits only on the dashes. The section that follows involves the bassist, the drummer and the guitarist who play up and down scale runs in unison.

Rush members are very proud to be one of Canada’s most successful and respected rock bands. They were inducted into both the Canadian rock-n-roll hall of fame (1994) and the American rock-n-roll hall of fame (2013) and have received 7 Grammy awards as well as several other achievement awards.

If you are interested in finding out more about this Canadian rock trio, check out thus RUSH documentary:

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