The Biggest Snub of All Time
There are plenty of Halls of Fame around the country (not to mention around the globe), and one of the hottest topics of debate in any arena is whether or not certain groups or individuals have been denied access to a level of fame not easily granted–does Mark McGwire belong in the baseball Hall of Fame? Does transcending sport and culture alone give one the right to be enshrined? I believe, however, that there is one glaring instance of Hall of Fame snubbery, and it is in the musical arena.
Before I give you, our valued readers, the name of this band (if you didn’t already know it by the album cover), consider the facts first: 35 years active with the same lineup of musicians; 19 studio albums (not to mention 8 live albums), 24 albums achieving Gold status, 14 of whom went platinum; 10 albums in the top-10 for US mainstream sales; and 20 singles in the United States. In terms of consecutive gold albums, this band ranks 4th all-time: behind only the Beatles, Rolling Stones, and Aerosmith. Worldwide, their albums sales are estimated at over 40 million records. In live concerts, the musicians perform incredibly tough and technical songs, often manipulating foot pedals in addition to playing their main instruments and singing just to replicated the studio quality and musicianship they have put into every one of their songs. Musicians from Iron Maiden, Dream Theater, Metallica, and many other top touring bands list the three musicians in this band as influences, both musically and lyrically. The individuals in this band have won individual accolades far too numerous to list here, though they have all been named tops at their craft by multiple sources during their careers. This band would seem like a sure-fire entry into the Hall, wouldn’t they? Well, they’re not…and their name is Rush.
I will admit, I am an avid Rush fan, and their music might not be for everybody–but whose is? The fact is, their style should not influence whether or not the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inducts them–their career and body of work should. Any group who has survived 35 years with the same lineup, staying true to their music yet adopting over time, writing songs with great lyrical inspiration and great messages to portray to their audience, and influencing generations of musicians should be recognized as what they are, one of the best bands in rock history. Whether it’s ballads like 2112′s “Tears,” keyboard-driven songs such as “Tom Sawyer” and “Mission,” or pure guitar songs such as “The Spirit of Radio,” Rush excels in all areas. Drummer Neil Peart is one of the best percussionists around, and his fluid drum style even through complex chord changes is easily noticeable in rockers “Freewill,” “2112,” and “Bastille Day,” amongst many others. If you haven’t listened to Rush, you should listen, if only for the musicianship and lyrics. As a Rush fan, I’ll give you my top 10 Rush songs of all time, and if you do like Rush, feel free to debate in the comments! In no particular order whatsoever:
1. New World Man (Signals)
2. Secret Touch (Vapor Trails)
3. The Spirit of Radio (Permanent Waves)
4. Subdivisions (Signals)
5. 2112 (2112)
6. Freewill (Permanent Waves)
7. Mission (Hold Your Fire)
8. Far Cry (Snakes & Arrows)
9. YYZ (Moving Pictures)
10. Red Barchetta (Moving Pictures)