If there’s one thing my family loves to do together, it’s to play Rock Band. I have so many fun memories of attempting to sing “Tom Sawyer” over and over again. My husband I love to compete while my son watches on and bangs on the drums.
Rock legend Rush has been controversial from the start. The band members refused to stay stuck in one sound groove and adopted new technology and styles through the decades. For die-hard Rush fans, this constant evolution of their sound was a huge plus. Fair-weather fans felt the band sold out or was straying from their roots. As a result, Rush is one of the most controversial rock and roll bands of all time, and Rush tickets continue to do well.
The group’s latest album, “Clockwork Angels,” is somewhat of a return to their blues and progressive rock roots. The album has been widely praised for the cohesion of the music and themes. Although modern electronic production techniques were used to create the album, stylistically it is stripped of much of the keyboard work of some of their earlier albums. It is much more focused on the expert musicianship of the artists without much reliance on special effects.
The album was ranked in the second spot when it was released in June, 2012. The Canadian chart placed it at number one. The band will be hitting the road on September 7 for their fall tour to support the album. New Rush shows will run through early December. The band picks the tour back up in May, 2013 for an extended run throughout Europe.
Rush’s ability to incorporate current musical influences into their sound kept their music fresh throughout the decades. Their early music had a blues-inflected hard rock sound.
As the popularity of progressive rock bands grew, Rush explored the style in their own music. Even before the progressive era, Rush experimented with extended songs and fantasy themes. In spite of pressure from producers, Rush continued to make their own brand of complex harmonically-dense music with fanciful and poetic lyrics. They added obscure instruments to their gear and continued to experiment with the possibilities of keyboards and special effects.
In the 1980s, the band took their sound in another direction. As popular tastes changed, Rush changed along with them. The band has always refused to stay stuck in the past musically. Throughout the decade they brought the keyboards and synthesizers out from their supporting position and put them front and center musically. The guitar took on the supporting role. The band incorporated punk, ska and reggae beats into their 1980s sound.
From 1989 to their hiatus in 1997, the band changed their emphasis once more. The synthesizer still played a prominent role, but the guitar was once more brought forward as the key musical element. As in other decades, the band added accents from current musical trends into their music.
Since the band’s return, they have continued to evolve. Rush tickets for the 2012 tour will showcase their highly-acclaimed “Clockwork Angels” album. It’s likely they will also bring out many of their hits from throughout their career.
Contributed by Amanda