Top 10 Rush Album Covers

Rush Album Covers

Photo: Ziggee at en.wikipedia [CC BY-SA 2.5 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Our Top 10 Rush Album Covers list looks at the artwork of a band that has released some of the most interesting and creative album covers in classic rock history. While the genre of science fiction has maintained a steady presence throughout their album cover concepts, the art designs have also explored issues of morality emerged in political and socio-economic context.

The band’s first album was released on March 1, 1974. As most Rush fans know, the first Rush album featured John Rutsey on drums. It was the only Rush album not to feature the legendary Neil Peart. Since the release of their first album, Rush has released nineteen more studio albums. Their last releases as of this writing was issued in 2012 entitled Clockwork Angels.

In between studio albums Rush has also released an astounding eleven live albums. Most of those albums were also multiple disk sets. The first live album released by the band in 1976 was the legendary three record set entitled All The Worlds a Stage. Their releases in 2015 R40 marked their most recent live album issue. The band has also released ten compilation/greatest hits/ retrospective albums. There was also a remix album and five separate box set compilations. Amazingly, the band also released 83 singles throughout their recording career. And we can;t forget the videos. Staring with Don Kirshner’s Rock Concert in the 1970’s, Rush has filmed and released close to forty videos. And, of course there are the DVDs in which Rush has released twelve video albums of concerts and videos,documentaries and music video compilations.

So lets tally this up, 20 studio albums, 11 live albums,10 compilations, 83 singles, 40 videos, and 12 dvds makes for a total of 176 official record company releases. So why for the love of all things mighty, did it take this band forever to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame? All we can say to that is Blah,Blah,Blah,Blah………


# 10 – Working Men

The Rush CD Working Men was released in 2009. The CD is a compilation of live material recorded on their tours during the 2000’s. Rush covers have always been open to interpretation and the Working Man CD is no exception. We thought it was a fitting way to start out our Top 10 Rush Album Covers List.

# 9 – Caress of Steel

Our first question is how many hours did Rush fans spend staring at this cover in the early 1970’s? Our second question is dd you buy this album before you brought 2112 or right after your purchased 2112 ? Caress of Steel was released September 24, 1975, about six months before the release of 2112 which made the band a household name

# 8 – Power Windows

Who is the boy and why does he have so many televisions and why is he not watching any of them? The Power Windows album was released on October 29, 1985. Power Windows was the band’s eleventh album. Five singles were released form the Power Windows album starting wth the album’s lead off track “The Big Money.”

# 7 – Grace Under Pressure

The beautiful album cover of Grace Under Pressure was issued on April 12, 1984. It was the first album to not be produced by Terry Brown since the release of Fly By Night in 1975. The Grace Under Pressure album was produced by Rush & Peter Henderson.

# 6 – Exit…Stage Left

The album Exit…Stage Left is the second live album to appear on our Top 10 Rush Album Covers List. The album was issued on October 29, 1981. It was the band’s second live album. Their first live album entitled All The World’s A Stage was originally issued in 1976. Both albums were produced by Rush and Terry Brown. A beautiful woman, a sinister looking man and an owl…hmmm?

# 5 – Hemispheres

What we really like about this cover is the colors. The sky blue that cast over the pinkish brain color made for a powerful presentation in the large album format. Now if we could only exchange the female from the Exit…Stage Left cover with man standing on the brain, we might have had the greatest cover of all time.

# 4 – A Farewell To Kings

The follow up album to 2112 has always been one of our favorite Rush Albums. The album A Farewell To Kings was issued on September 1, 1977. The time in between the 2112 release and A Farewell To Kings issues was the longest wait for fans of the bands career at that point in time. It was almost a year and a half between those two iconic albums. That’s nothing in today’s world, but in the 1970’s it was a long time since most bands released albums almost every six months. The cover was brilliant exposition on the title of the record.

# 3 – 2112

When I was fourteen, I walked into a record store and was completely frozen in my Pumas when I saw the cover of 2112 on display. I had never heard of the band Rush before. It was 1976 and none of my friends had ever heard if the band either. I did not need to know who these guys were because that cover told me that it must be a great album. I was pretty much one of the first kids in my high school to play this record and I remember turning on so many people onto this band. Imagine hearing the track “2112,” as your first Rush song. Well that’s the way it was for so many teens in the United States in 1976. What an experience it was!

# 2 – Moving Pictures

If 2112 was the first Rush album that made Rush a household name, it could be easily argued that the Moving Pictures LP took the band to an entire news level of popularity. The photograph and album cover design for the Moving Pictures LP was a true work of art, and a clever one indeed. The picture was taken in front of the Ontario Legislative Building at Queen’s Park, Toronto. The front cover shows workers actually moving pictures, while the people watching seemed to be quite moved by the pictures themselves. The back cover of the album pretty much cleared it all by showing a film crew shooting a “moving picture.” Yup!

# 1 – Permanent Waves

Landing at the No.1 position on our top 10 Rush Album Covers list, is the cover of the band’s 1980 album Permanent WavesThe original cover featured a newspaper on the bottom left of the jacket. It was the front page of the Chicago Daily Tribune which had posted an incorrect headline stating that President Harry Truman had been defeated by Republican challenger and  New York Governor Thomas E. Dewey in the 1948 Presidential Election. The nuclear explosion in the background seemed to serve as a reference to Truman’s dropping of the Atom bomb on Japan in 1945. The man and women may have also been symbolic of the supposed freedom and happiness of the 1950’s. So somewhere in there is a message that you can interpret any way you like.

Use of Album cover art is protected under the United States Office of Copyright Fair Use Doctrine Section 107 of the Copyright Act that protects the authors right to show the art that is being critiqued in the article. Additionally, all album cover art pictures are product links hosted on Amazon and are not stored on the Classic Rock History server.

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