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Readers’ Poll: 10 Greatest Rush Albums

The band’s best work, from their 1974 debut through 2012’s ‘Clockwork Angels’

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Last week, Rush guitarist Alex Lifeson told Rolling Stone that the trio were prepping for a 2015 tour, one that's going to be "very pleasing for the fans across the board" and will provide "good opportunity to do some rarer Rush material." In the wake of that announcement, we asked you to consider all of that material and tell us which of the band's 20 albums is their best. Click through to see your choices for the top ten.

Courtesy Mercury Records

‘2112’

With Fly by Night and Caress of Steel selling less than expected, Mercury Records pushed Rush to make their fourth LP their most commercial. The resulting album may not have been pop in the sense that it opens with a 20-minute suite referencing obscure Greek gods and telling a story resembling that of a dystopian Ayn Rand novel, but it was popular in the sense that it became band's first album to go platinum multiple times over. In the Rolling Stone review of the recent deluxe reissue, Rob Sheffield called 2112 Rush's "most extreme, grandiose and Rush-like record, and thus their greatest."

Courtesy Mercury Records

‘Power Windows’

Whether you're looking to hear the story of the atomic bomb, a metaphoric account of running a marathon, a "Subdivisions"-like recollection of suburban malaise, an account of pop music's superficiality or just some good old fashioned shredding, Power Windows has a track for you. Suggesting that the record "may well be the missing link between Yes and the Sex Pistols," David Fricke, in his 1986 Rolling Stone review, wrote that the band had here "tightened up their sidelong suites and rhythmic abstractions into balled-up song fists, art-pop blasts of angular, slashing guitar, spatial keyboards and hyperpercussion, all resolved with forthright melodic sense."

Courtesy Mercury Records

‘Moving Pictures’

Rush have released 20 albums, but none introduced itself with lead and second singles better than "Tom Sawyer" and "Limelight," both of which not only remain in rotation at classic rock stations across the country but also continue to appear in films as recent as Fanboys, Adventureland and of course, I Love You, Man. "YYZ," meanwhile, earned the trio the first of their seven Grammy nominations, this one for Best Rock Instrumental Performance. Perhaps this was the record those Mercury executives had in mind when they asked the band to release something more commercial.

Courtesy Mercury Records

‘Hemispheres’

Like 2112, Hemispheres opens with a side-length mini opera, this one continuing A Farewell to Kings' story of black hole Cygnus X-1 and the explorer who dares enter it. A pair of shorter tracks lead off Side Two before the album closes with nine-and-a-half minute instrumental, "La Villa Strangiato," which proved that the band could tell a story even without Neil Peart's lyrics and Geddy Lee's vocals. Upon its release, Rolling Stone gave the record a mixed review, writing that "these guys have the chops and drive to break out of the largely artificial bounds of the format, and they constantly threaten to do so but never quite manage."

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