The Cooper Street Relic

Just another blog from The Republic Of Hespeler

Today it was announced that one of Canada’s greatest Rock Groups have made it into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

From the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Web page

“Equal parts Led ZeppelinCream and King Crimson, Rush burst out of Canada in the early 1970s with one of the most powerful and bombastic sounds of the decade. Their 1976 magnum opus2112 represents progressive rock at its grandiose heights, but just a half decade later they had the guts to put epic songs aside in favor of shorter (but no less dynamic) tunes like “Tom Sawyer” and “The Spirit Of Radio” that remain in constant rotation on radio to this day. Absolutely uncompromising in every conceivable way, the trio has spent the last 40 years cultivating the largest cult fan base in rock while still managing to sell out every arena in the country. While they have never gotten the critical respect they so richly deserve, Neil Peart has inspired more young drummers to take up the instrument than any other drummer of the past 30 years. No less impressive is Geddy Lee’s ability to play keyboards and bass in concert while never missing a note of his lead vocals, and guitarist Alex Lifeson is a virtuoso simply without peer. They are a band completely removed from the mainstream music scene, and yet somehow also one of the most popular rock bands in the country. It is a dichotomy that has fueled them from the very beginning. Their newest release, Clockwork Angels, is as bold and ambitious as any of their works of the 1970s, and even though the members are now pushing 60, it is hard to shake the feeling that they are just getting started.”


Now that is pretty heady stuff for the boys and I say it is about time. Now I would like to think that I helped them get in as I (and I am sure many Canadians) wrote a scathing article last year on the issue, but alas it is unlikely that I helped them any. Here is my article in its full form.

What do Neil Diamond, Bobby Darin,Prince and Metallica all have in common? Have you guessed yet? They are all in the Rock and Roll hall of Fame, which is really quite an achievement for all those artists so here is another question. What do Rush, The Guess Who and Bachman Turner Overdrive have all in common? They are not in the rock and roll hall of fame.  You read it correct Prince is in the Hall of fame but the Guess Who one of Canada’s greatest musical acts is not, Neil Diamond is going into the Hall of fame this year but BTO have never even been nominated, and Metallica has been a member for a few years but Rush can not even get close. Now before people attack me about my comparisons let me put one thing straight, I like Neil Diamond, his Hot August Night is still one of the best Live albums ever and his string of hits in the 70′s rival anyone’s and as for Bobby Darin, well his Mack the Knife is a classic and Metallica deserves to be there but so do the three Canadian acts I have mentioned.  The Guess Who blazed the way for Canadian music and they made a big dent in the United States as they racked up a number of hits there including 3 top 10 singles,These Eyes and No Time cracked the top ten while American Woman became just the second single by a Canadian Group to hit Number 1 there,The crew Cuts with “Sh-Boom” also hit #1 in 1954. But they are not in the Hall of Fame. Bachman Turner Overdrive was another Sucess as they also scored big in the United States, their 2nd album simply titles BTO 2 hit #4 on the album charts and produced two top ten singles down south, “Let It Ride” and “Taking Care of Business”. They followed that with “Not fragile” which scored them a Number 1 album and produced a few more hits with “You ain’t Seen nothing yet” reaching the #1 spot in both Canada and the United States as well as Europe.  As for Rush,well what can you say about a band that has been together for over 30 years and has been as inventive as any band that is out there. Their list of achievements is too long to put here but here are just a few of them.

Rush has come to release 24 gold records and 14 platinum records (3 of which have gone multi-platinum), placing them within the top 3 for the most consecutive gold albums by a rock band. Rush ranks 79th in U.S. album sales according to the RIAA with sales of 25 million units. Total worldwide sales approximate 40 million units

Rush has won the following Juno awards:

  • 1975 Most promising group of the year
  • 1978 Group of the year
  • 1979 Group of the year
  • 1990 Artist of the Decade (80′s)
  • 1991 Best HardRock/Metal album – Presto
  • 1992 Hard Rock album of the year – Roll the Bones
  • 1981 nomination for Best Rock Instrumental Performance
    • “YYZ” — lost to The Police‘s “Behind My Camel”
  • 1992 nomination for Best Rock Instrumental Performance
    • “Where’s My Thing?” — lost to Eric Johnson‘s “Cliffs of Dover”
  • 1995 nomination for Best Rock Instrumental Performance
    • “Leave That Thing Alone” — lost to Pink Floyd‘s “Marooned”
  • 2004 nomination for Best Rock Instrumental Performance
    • “O Baterista” from Rush In Rio — lost to Brian Wilson‘s “Mrs. O’Leary’s Cow”
  • 2008 nomination for Best Rock Instrumental Performance
    • “Malignant Narcissism” from Snakes & Arrows — lost to Bruce Springsteen‘s “Once Upon a Time in the West”
  • 2009 nomination for Best Rock Instrumental Performance

But yet no nomination to the Hall of Fame. So what gives? It is not like the Hall of Fame ignores Canada, Neil Young,Joni Mitchell,Leonard Cohen and the band are all in the Hall so these exclusions do not make sense to me but I think it is high time we Canadians start making the hall of Fame take notice and start letting them know that we want these bands in the hall, after all ‘sh-boom” is not the greatest Canadian Song of all time.”

Once again Congratulations!

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