With more than 40 million records sold worldwide and countless sold-out tours, Rush – Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson and Neil Peart – is not only one of the most inventive and compelling groups in rock history, but remains one of the most popular. The RIAA has certified Rush for the third most consecutive gold/platinum studio albums by a rock band, topped only by the Beatles and the Rolling Stones. Rush’s vast catalog includes such classics as 1974’s self-titled debut, 1976’s “2112,” 1981’s “Moving Pictures,” 1996’s “Test for Echo” and 2002’s “Vapor Trails.”
Rush released their 20th studio album, “Clockwork Angels” June 12. The highly anticipated collection marks their first studio recording since 2007’s “Snakes & Arrows” and debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard 200, matching the highest chart debut of the band’s career: 1993’s “Counterparts” entered the charts at No. 2 as well.
The recording of “Clockwork Angels” began in April 2010 with Grammy Award winning producer Nick Raskulinecz – who also collaborated with the band on their last studio album, 2007’s “Snakes & Arrows.” Rush co-produced both records. The first two songs, “Caravan” and “BU2B,” were completed during that first session at Nashville’s Blackbird studios and performed nightly during the wildly successful Time Machine Tour, which ran from June 2010 to June 2011. Work on “Clockwork Angels” resumed in the fall of 2011 at Revolution Recording in Toronto after the tour’s finale, with additional strings recorded at Hollywood’s Ocean Way Studios earlier this year.
Lyrically, “Clockwork Angels” chronicles a young man’s quest across a lavish and colorful world of steampunk and alchemy as he attempts to follow his dreams. The story features lost cities, pirates, anarchists, an exotic carnival and a rigid Watchmaker who imposes precision on every aspect of daily life. The novelization of “Clockwork Angels” is being written by science fiction writer Kevin J. Anderson in collaboration with Rush drummer and lyricist Neil Peart.
In addition to their commercial success, Rush also has been recognized with a number of Juno Awards and multiple Grammy nominations, including one for the acclaimed documentary “Rush: Beyond The Lighted Stage.” Enjoying a recent pop culture renaissance, Rush made a rare television appearance – their first in over 30 years – on Comedy Central’s “The Colbert Report” and a memorable cameo in the film “I Love You, Man.”
The 33-stop Clockwork Angels Tour kicked off at the Verizon Wireless Arena in Manchester, N.H., on Sept. 7.