Jon Collins is no stranger to authoring books on progressive rock bands, having written the acclaimed Marillion biography Separated Out. His latest, Rush-Chemistry is an intriguing and informative look at the Canadian legends Rush and their four decades in the music business. This is not just an in-depth look at each album the band recorded, but a deep and personal view of each band member, from humble beginnings to super stardom. From all the triumphs to the tragedies, Collins has covered the bases here.
Those wanting to know more about how Rush came about creating many of their classic albums, right down to the selection of the producers, will have plenty to dig into. In addition, Collins gives his own short review, or essay, on each album release. Many quotes from the band as well as people around them are included, plus there are numerous photographs and anecdotes along the way, making for a fun read. However, unlike other books that have been written about the band, you come away from Rush-Chemistry with a feel for Geddy, Alex, and Neal, as if you somewhat know them a little better, and have an understanding of how they dealt with stardom, and the highs & lows that come along with it. This is the real selling point of the book in my opinion. It really is effective in humanizing the band, and giving these three musicians, who historically have been known for a lack of image, that personal character that fans have always been looking for. Now the world can begin to understand who Rush are, what they have been through, and discover what were once hidden personality traits that make them tick as musicians. Read about the inner turmoil within the band during the 80's when keyboards made their way to the forefront of the band's music, and how Geddy was embracing it while Alex felt threatened and insecure about his own abilities. Fascinating stuff.
Once you are done reading the book, you will have a greater understanding of Rush, and want to pull out all the band's catalog and listen to them all over again.