The greatest band in the history of the world, no contest, is of course Rush.
I don't just say this because they're a great band, I say it 'cause they're the greatest band, in the history of the world, ever, no contest.
- What other band has maintained such a fanatical core fan base for as many years, despite being considered uncool for stretches of up to a decade or more? Don't say the Stones, who's fan base has changed consistently in the last 40 years. The Dead's fan base was pretty consistent, but most of 'em didn't care about anything except the grilled cheese sandwiches and the chronic, and anyhow that whole dream is over.
- What other band has written such consistently good songs? Sure, I know you don't listen to anything after "Power Windows," but I do, and there are great songs those Canadians have written in the last 10 years. Rush's bad records have had more good songs than most bands entire recorded output.
- Who else has rocked so consistently? Check out "Rush in Rio" and you'll know what I mean. After 30 years these guys play as hard and intensely as ever. Every note has meaning. The Stones are the only comparable band, and they've had almost as many extra people on stage as the Floyd - and they never had to play as many notes as Geddy.
- Speaking of which, who has never resorted to adding additional members to "fill out" the live sound? They got midi pedals, synthesisers, samplers, more pedals, double necked guitars and basses, and a marimba for Neil, and never so much as put a backup singer on stage with them (well, there was that sample of Aimee Mann...). Geddy practically walks around with cymbals between his knees to recreate the sounds of the records live. Name one other band that kept this kind purity in their lineup for as long. One band. Any band.
- Who has been snubbed by every major avenue of music marketing and sold as many records to as many fans? How often did we see Rush on MTV? Sure, the "Time Stand Still" video is burned into our neural networks, but it only took one viewing for that to happen. Rush on the cover of Rolling Stone? Ha! Rush in Spin? Ha ha! Rush in an iTunes commercial? Ha ha ha ha ha!
- Of couse, in terms of the playing, each member has won so many reader's polls that Guitar and Bass magazines now reguarly make them ineligible for contests. Does this make them a great band? Of course not. But it doesn't hurt.
- Who else went through more bad looks and came out looking OK? From feathered to mulletted, from "Sir Gawain and the Green Knight" to "Canadian Space Odyssey," they still rocked, even in platform shoes.
- They've never resorted to cheap publicity, public displays of annoyingness, barely legal girlfriends, drug busts, or general mayhem to move product. No, instead they toured... and recorded... and toured... and recorded... and toured... and recorded... and toured... Yes, Alex Lifeson got into it with some cops after a party, but it's a little late to consider this "any publicity is good publicity." Besides, most people didn't even notice.
- Who has inspired as many musicians to practice, practice, practice? The Velvets probably inspired as many musicians, but certainly not to practice.
- Who probably still lights on up whilst jamming on "A Passage to Bangkok"?
So that's it, now you know.