Song:Closer To The Heart
Though I grew up in the same area as Rush, I've never been a fan because I don't like Geddy Lee's singing voice. But there is no question they are one of the most successful Canadian bands and it was always difficult for Canadian bands to break out in the US. Rush is from the north Toronto suburb of Willowdale which is where I grew up too. They started out in the late 60s and they probably got thrown off every high school stage in the area. Lead singer and bassist Geddy Lee and guitarist Alex Lifeson were nice Jewish boys who were schoolmates. So when Lifeson formed a band, Lee soon replaced the original lead singer and by 1974 Neil Peart replaced original drummer Alex Rutsey. They had a manager and they released a single. But record companies weren't interested so they released their first album on their own label Moon Records. It was around this time that Rutsey was replaced by Peart. Though Rush was never a singles band, they got enough attention that by 1976, they signed with Mercury Records. Once they had a big record company behind them, it was just a question of promoting them to the progressive rock audience that would buy their albums. Closer To The Heart is from the 1977 album A Farewell To Kings. It was released as a single. And though it wasn't a big hit, the album was Rush's first Gold album. It's also one of Rush's most popular songs as they still perform it. Rush could have been just another hard rock band which is what they were in their early days. But they were big fans of groups like King Crimson and Van Der Graaf Generator and Peart brought that change to the band. The success continued in the 80s even when they started using synthesizers more. Rush finally took a hiatus in 1997 but they returned in 2006 and they still tour today. This 2CD budget comp is a good intro to their music. As I said, I was never a fan because I don't like Lee's singing. But I always wonder if they would have been successful without Peart coming in because before Rush, he was interested in jazz and studio work. His addition turned out to be a key element to their success. Here's the video for Closer To The Heart by Rush.