Awesome Totally Awesome - Rush 2112

How the Individual Triumphed for Rush with 2112

For the Canadian power trio Rush, you could say their landmark album 2112 was not only the record that saved them from rock ‘n roll oblivion, but it was also a testament to what a band can do when they stick to their guns.

It all starts back in late 1975-early 1976, following the disappointing sales of Caress of Steel, Rush’s meandering, conceptual predecessor to 2112. Because it was a veritable commercial flop, drummer Neil Peart, bassist/vocalist Geddy Lee and guitarist Alex Lifeson were given an ultimatum from their record company back then, Mercury Records: Produce a hit album, or find another career path.

“There was a great deal of pressure on the band at that time from the record company, from management, to maybe take a couple of steps back and think about where (we’re) going,” said Lifeson.

In fact, the band’s then-manager, Ray Daniels, and producer Terry Brown, had a meeting with the label, which had Cliff Burnstein (who now helps manage Metallica under his company Q Prime) working in marketing. They wanted to drop Rush from the label, but Daniels assured Mercury Records the Caress of Steel follow up would be more commercial and less of a concept album.

“We got out of Chicago with the deal intact for one more record, breathed a sigh of relief, and then it was up to Terry and the band what they were going to deliver,” said Daniels, who later managed Van Halen and Extreme.

As for the members of Rush themselves, when they heard what was going down with the ultimatum from their label, they didn’t cave. In fact, their reaction was to do what any self-respecting rock band would do.

“We got mad, you know. We got angry. We thought ‘screw it. If this is our last shot, we’re gonna do it. We’re gonna do it our way’,” said Peart. “I felt this great sense of injustice that this mass was coming down on us and telling us to compromise. Compromise was a word that I couldn’t deal with. I was a child of the 60s…. an individualist.”

This time they got it right with the concept about individualism vs collectivism in the epic title track, which filled the entire first side of the 2112 album. The second side is a collection of separate, but great, songs.

Awesome Totally Awesome - Rush 1976 live

Many at Mercury Records Didn’t Like 2112

However, when it was time for the record execs at Mercury to hear the album for the first time, they were less than impressed.

“Ray Daniels actually brought the record into Mercury and we all sat in the conference room and listened to it,” recalled Burnstein. “The general feeling in the office was ‘we’re in trouble. This is exactly what we don’t need’.”

But for the band, it was very well-received by fans and music listeners, and, despite an ignorant backlash from mainstream media at the time regarding the idea of 2112, the album was a major hit, going multi platinum in both the U.S. and Canada.

2112 was the seminal album for Rush. It helped define their sound and it helped them move forward as musicians to build on their legacy which includes so many amazing albums like HemispheresMoving Pictures and Permanent Waves.

“2112 was the beginning of everything for us and, without which, nothing,” said Peart.

The album is listed as the No. 22 greatest progressive rock album of all time according to a Rolling Stone Magazine list.

Check out more of Cam Maxwell’s Rock ‘N Roll Insight.

Awesome Totally Awesome - Freaks & Weirdos Boutique
ATA - DTK

Awesome Dropping

Awesome Totally Awesome - DTK

How Ozzy Osbourne was Fired from Black Sabbath

It's safe to say Ozzy Osbourne was blindsided when he was unceremoniously fired from Black Sabbath.
Awesome Totally Awesome - Kanye West Poopity Scoop

Kanye West Launches New Pet Product Line Entitled “Poopity Scoop.”

Only a few months after the release of his hit song, “Lift Yourself,” Kanye has announced that he will be creating a line of pet waste scoopers for both cats and dogs.
Awesome Totally Awesome

I am Light

I am light. I am the light of my soul. I am beautiful. I am bountiful. I am bright. I am. I am. Say this out loud. Does it sound like bullshit to that inner voice?

Awesome Features

The New Apple x Suicidal Tendencies Circle Pit Watch Will Revolutionize Your Circle Pit Safety and Experience

According to Muir, “All I wanted was a basic, durable, no bullshit watch, like my old Casio, but with an Institutionalized ring tone and THEY WOULDN’T GIVE IT TO ME.”
Awesome Totally Awesome - Legend of The Seagullmen

Concert Review Legend of The Seagullmen: The Roxy, Hollywood

The Legend of the Seagullmen (Seagullmen) is a furious and heavy supergroup. Their self-titled debut album consists of dark and heavy, psychedelic, and evil pirate metal anthems all revolving around the deep dark sea.
Awesome Totally Awesome - Venom

Venom, Suicide Squad, and the Rated R Risk: PG 13 Isn't Cutting It

Venom has problems. A startling criticism of a superhero movie rooted in the MCU but nonetheless an accurate one.

Awesome Trending

Awesome Totally Awesome - Dom Kennedy

Gotta Love Dom: The Underrated Rapper has Built a Cult Following Without Selling Out

With the continuous influx of soulless, mumble rap, many of us are yearning for the good old days. Fortunately, there are a few rappers out there restoring our faith in the genre.
Awesome Totally Awesome Replaced My Bumper

I Replaced My Bumper: A Tale of Avoiding Trendy Plastic Surgery

My formative teen years did not involve the ever-present smartphone of today, but the media still found ways of consistently feeding me the image of “the perfect body.”
Awesome Totally Awesome Megan Thee Stallion

Make Way for Megan Thee Stallion

Megan Thee Stallion's unapologetic lyrics and ownership of her physical space and sexuality as a woman couldn’t be more important given the current political landscape.