The Genesis Album Geddy Lee Considered As The Roots Of Rush

When fans talk about progressive rock, Genesis and Rush are probably among the first bands to come to many minds. Progressive rock initially developed in the late 1960s and had its golden age in the first half of the 1970s. The genre has always pushed the boundaries of rock music by incorporating conceptual lyrics, experimentation, and complex composition techniques. The Moody Blues, Soft Machine, and the Nice are the early pioneers of progressive rock.

These progressive rock groups enjoyed small but loyal fan bases, yet it wasn’t until Genesis and Rush that the genre gained mainstream popularity. Both bands gained massive recognition by the end of the 1970s. Genesis’ sound went into a more commercial direction, while Rush achieved mainstream success by making albums, touring relentlessly, and expanding their fan base. It is almost impossible that they were not influenced by each other as the two defining acts of the period. Hence, Geddy Lee once revealed Genesis’ considerable impact on Rush.

Geddy Lee Revealed Genesis’ ‘Nursery Cryme’ Inspired Rush

Genesis released their third studio album, ‘Nursery Cryme,’ in November 1971. It was the band’s first album featuring drummer Phil Collins and guitarist Steve Hackett, who both brought a new dimension and energy to the group. Although it wasn’t a massive commercial success upon its release, the album paved the way for Genesis to make their mark in music and establish itself as one of the biggest progressive rock bands.

During an appearance on the Quietus in 2012, Rush bassist Geddy Lee was asked by Mick Middles about his favorite albums. Lee gave a place to Genesis’ ‘Nursery Cryme’ in his list and revealed that he was a great fan of the band and their lead singer Peter Gabriel. The album made the bassist realize what the concept meant and how it could raise the spirit of the record.

Geddy Lee then explained that he found the album a ‘very playful and compelling record.’ He was mesmerized by how it sounded and wanted to learn how they had done it. The bassist marked ‘Nursery Cryme’ as the roots of Rush. It gave them the idea of a flexible concept. Lee thinks their Genesis influence is pretty evident in Rush’s works.

Lee’s words on the Genesis record:

“Well, I was a big fan of Genesis and Peter Gabriel. That was when I first discovered the notion of a ‘concept’ and that it could be an adventurous and lively place and not dull at all. It is a very playful and compelling record. I fell in love with the sound of it. I was totally entranced by it and wanted to know how they had done it. This is part of the roots of Rush. The creation of a flexible concept. The parallels are obvious.”

You can listen to ‘Nursery Cryme’ below.