2112, the fourth studio album by Canadian rock band Rush, is being celebrated by the syndicated radio show, In The Studio With Redbeard. The show is celebrating the 45th anniversary of the 1976 album in The Stories Behind History’s Greatest Rock Bands.
“2112 by Rush was an amalgam of hard rock, progressive rock, science-fiction and Ayn Rand socio-economics right about the same time that The Ramones, The Dead Boys, and Ian Dury and the Blockheads were singing ‘Sex and Drugs and Rock’n’Roll’,” claims host, Redbeard. “Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson of Rush join me here for these classic rock interviews In the Studio to recall the times which begat the Rush cult classic 2112 forty-five years ago.”
During the time when Rush released 2112 in 1976, major record labels had a “baseball model rule of thumb” for how long to support a recording act: three strikes and you were out. It was normal for a record company to contract with a band for a three-album deal, dropping bands who had not made a hit during that time.
Unable to secure a deal with any major US label, Rush released the first self-titled album on their own indie Moon Records label. The album garnered the band FM radio airplay in Cleveland, Detroit, and Chicago, landing them a three-album deal with Mercury Records.
Although their second album, Fly by Night, received more radio airplay, it received low sales figures, once again. Caress of Steel was the third and final album of the triple deal and completely struck out due to low sales, at the time. However, the album marked a development in the group’s sound, moving from the blues-based hard rock style of their debut towards progressive rock.
Rush manager, Ray Daniels knew the first two albums were good, and even noticed that Caress of Steel had some passionate fans. Knowing this, Daniels ordered the band back into the studio while he bluffed his way with Mercury Records executives. He claimed the band had already written and recorded a brilliant composition for their next album and managed to pull it off. Peaking initially at only #61 on the Billboard Album Sales chart in 1976, 2112 nevertheless would over the years sell so many as the Rush legion of fans grew that it passed the three million sales mark in 1995, making it surprisingly second only to Moving Pictures.
Tributes continue in memory of the late Neil Peart, drummer with the band Rush, who passed away on January 10th. Now an event coming up will give fans the opportunity to celebrate the man themselves at a memorial evening simply titled, A Night for Neil.
The show will take place on May 16th in St. Catharines, Peart’s hometown. The drummer’s family are organising the event and the ticket sales will benefit various charities. Metallica recently took to social media to share footage of them performing a cover of Rush’s 1981 song, Tom Sawyer to pay tribute to the drummer.