It took almost four decades for critics to come around to Rush. But their fans figured it out a long time ago: The Canadian trio is all kinds of awesome. It did take a few years for the band to find its footing. But on 1976’s ‘2112’ they achieved a well-honed balance of sci-fi storytelling, complicated song structures and massive heaviness. This didn’t always sit well with critics, who found their music and, especially, lyrics pretentious and heavy-handed. Rush lightened up a bit on 1980’s ‘Permanent Waves’ and the 1981 milestone ‘Moving Pictures’ (which includes the band’s best-ever set of songs) and spent the next 20 years recording and touring for a dedicated and seemingly never-subsiding fan base. By the 2010s, thanks to a well-earned documentary, Rush won over even the harshest critics and earned a spot in the Rock and Roll of Fame.
How Rush Went Pun-Wild With 'Moving Pictures' Cover
Art director Hugh Syme's vision for the band's eighth LP crystalized as soon as he heard the title.
How Rush Wound Up With a 'Marquee' Cover for '2112'
"I look back on it as being pretty formative, pretty primitive," says art director Hugh Syme. "But I realize that I somehow intuitively tapped into my conversations with [Neil Peart] about the arc of his story."
How Rush Wrangled Rabbits for Quirky 'Presto' Cover
Art director Hugh Syme talks to UCR about the prog-rock trio's playful cover to the 1989 LP.
Why Rush's Minimalist 'Signals' Cover Earned an 'Irate' Reaction
The cover of Rush's ninth LP was so uncharacteristically simple and dry, the band's manager was apparently puzzled to the point of anger.
Underrated Rush: The Most Overlooked Song From Each Album
Despite being hailed as prog-rock giants, they still managed to have many under-the-radar tunes.
Why Rush Nixed Snagglepuss Nod on 'Exit ... Stage Left' Cover
Art director Hugh Syme recalls how potential legal issues stopped them from referencing cartoon character.
Rush's 'Power Windows': How Adding TVs Perfected Album Cover
Art director Hugh Syme recalls how a Geddy Lee recommendation added "another layer of presence and meaning."
Rush's 'Hemispheres': How Philosophy, Surrealism Inspired Cover
"There was a lot of discussion about Dionysus and Apollo and the left-brain, right-brain [theory]," art director Hugh Syme says of artwork for 1978 LP.
How Rush Embraced a Nuts-and-Bolts Style for 'Counterparts' Cover
Hugh Syme's design was almost punk in its shocking minimalism.