Top 40 Before 40 Rock Artists - #30 - Rush

“The Holy Trinity” themselves have finally made an appearance on my Top 40 Rock Artists Before 40 list, and while I would love to have put them in the top 10 due to their massive musical influence, incredible abilities and great song writing, I had to go with my gut here and ask myself, “Which bands/artists do you prefer to listen to no matter the mood or stage of life you are in?”

So, with that said, I have Rush a lot further down my list than even I expected, to be quite honest. The amount of songs that are either pure instrumentals or incredibly long, multi-part songs may have factored into my decision (and other bands on this list have similar issues). It’s not because I don’t love an epic song. Quite the opposite.

However, just like watching a GREAT movie, I am not so quick to pickup and play an epic song again and again just because I don’t want to ruin my enjoyment of the song. Seems odd, I know, but you also have to have the actual time to put into those types of songs and the mental mindset to pay attention to them...much like a Christopher Nolan movie.

For those of you who are just joining this list at this point, let me give a quick summary below:

  • In my almost 40 years on this planet, I have had the great pleasure of listening to a lot of music that doesn't make it to the airwaves, and a lot of these bands are some of my absolute favorites.
  • You WILL see some Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame bands on the list too, but for the most part, you are likely going to disagree with this list almost entirely.
  • I am sharing this ranking so that you get some insight into some great bands you may have never heard before AND for a little bit of a personal challenge to myself to rank these bands.
With that said, let's get to #30 on my Top 40 List Before 40:

By Enrico Frangi - Uploaded by User:Jonasz, Public Domain

#30 - Rush

I don’t clearly remember the first time I heard a Rush song or what really turned me on to loving this band. However, I do remember sometimes around 2005 or so I started to really listen to them more and more (maybe it coincided with a free trial of Napster or something).

Like most people, I probably heard a handful of songs by Rush without either knowing the subject matter of the song, knowing much about the band, or even really paying attention to how insane their abilities are at each instrument. 

Tom Sawyer” definitely was a song I was very familiar with, but never really thought about it too much other than it was a popular rock song from around the time I was born (literally, it was released about 10 months before I was born).

Now, after college, I wanted to get into some more creative stylings for both my songwriting and my guitar playing, and I remember listening to a lot of Coheed and Cambria and Primus and I believe that’s how I fell into a rabbithole on Rush.

And I am glad I did.

Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson, and Neil Peart are not only Rock & Roll Hall of Famers (inducted in 2013), they may very well be in the top 5 of greatest bands of all time for how influential and talented they are.

I have to say that the day that Neil Peart died was one of the few times I was ever truly shocked and saddened that a musician that I liked died. 

Lots of greats come and go, but one thing I can say about Rush is that they did it in one of the most unique and hyper talented ways of any band/artist of all time.

If you haven’t heard Rush or just never got into them beyond “Tom Sawyer,” then I recommend checking out these songs to get an idea of what they can do:

Now, I will say that YES, those are all songs that have been played on the radio, and they do NOT represent Rush’s body of work really. However, I would say that those 5 songs offer enough diversity of their sound to allow one to start to see Rush for what they are in a more holistic manner. 

If you like really long, masterfully created songs with intricate solos and lyrics about anything from the fantasy of slaying dragons to living in a society influenced by such things as the media and the government and liking it...well, they have those songs in heaps as well.

If you like those songs, then go check out some of my personal favorite albums:

Similar Artists That I Recommend That Didn't Make The Top 40:

Red Hot Chili Peppers, Led Zeppelin, Joe Walsh

<-- Check out #31 on this list or Check out #29 on this list --> (Available Feb. 2nd, 2021)