Rush Sales Up Over 2,000 Percent Following Death of Neil Peart
In the wake of the death of drummer and lyricist Neil Peart, who passed away on Jan. 7 after a three-year battle with brain cancer, Rush’s music has seen a massive surge in streams and sales. According to Billboard, streams of the band’s songs rose 776 percent in the U.S. and sales have increased well over 2,000 percent.
While Peart passed away on Jan. 7, news of his death broke on Friday, Jan. 10. According to Nielsen Music/MRC Data, between Jan. 10–13 on-demand audio and video streams of Rush’s catalog increased to a combined 24.53 million, up over 776 percent -- compared to the previous three days – which garnered 2.8 million streams.
The power trio’s most-streamed song (between Jan. 10-13) was the 1981 Moving Pictures hit “Tom Sawyer,” with 2.83 million streams boosting some 305 percent compared to just 698,000 streams between Jan. 6-9.
Sales of Rush songs climbed over 2,300 percent to 19,000 from 1,000, while the group’s album sales leaped over 1,800 percent to more than 6,000 copies.
Billboard also reports that Peart’s death will have an impact on next week’s charts and will likely see their best-of collection The Spirit of Radio: Greatest Hits 1974 – 1987 enter the Billboard 200 chart.
In other related news, Peart’s death sent fans scrambling to dig deeper into his lyrics. According to Billboard’s LyricFind U.S. and LyricFind Global charts (which ranks the most searched song lyrics), Rush dominates the top 25 with 23 songs in the global chart and 18 out of 25 spots on the U.S. chart. It’s no surprise the top search was for “Tom Sawyer,” but other songs on the list include “Limelight,” “The Trees,” “The Temples of Syrinx,” “The Garden,” “Losing It,” “Closer to the Heart,” and 1984’s “Afterimage,” which has the chill-inducing opening line “Suddenly, you were gone / From all the lives you left your mark upon.”
See Neil Peart in the Top 66 Hard Rock + Metal Drummers of All Time