6 RUSH Album Covers That Prove Dad Rock Is Still Cool

The only rush you should be in is hunting down these iconic RUSH album covers.

Published April 11, 2024
Progressive Canadian Rock band, RUSH music album on vinyl record LP disc. Titled: Moving Pictures album cover

If a Canadian rock band named RUSH is the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the name Tom Sawyer, then this collection of vinyl covers is perfect for you. RUSH is the prog rock turned hard rock band that pushed convention and concept art with their albums. And these RUSH album covers are ones for the ages.

6 RUSH Album Covers With a Mean, Mean Stride

Whether it’s their top hit, “Tom Sawyer,” or one of their underrated tracks, everyone has had a taste of the legendary 70s & 80s rock band, RUSH. And these iconic RUSH album covers prove that people’s fire for the Canadian cult classic has never died.

RUSH (1974)

The band’s debut album was released in 1974 with a bang (quite literally). The album’s cover features a technicolor-bright print of the band’s name rushing toward the viewer with debris blasting off behind it. RUSH 74 was originally printed in a smaller run by the band’s own Moon Records and later published by Mercury Records.

Though it’s the least conceptual and humorous of the band’s album covers, it sets the tone for the in-your-face Prog rock sounds that’d come blasting to your eardrums.

Need to Know

One of the most valuable Rush albums is their 1974 debut from Moon Records. Known for the pink-colored font that would later switch to red, this album can sell for hundreds at auction. One collector recently nabbed an original copy for $456.13 on eBay. 

2112 (1979)

RUSH's fourth studio album, called twenty-one twelve (2112), was released in 1976. A flaming red star enclosed in a circle is the only imagery besides the band’s name and the album title to appear on the album’s otherwise black cover.

By the late 70s, Neil Peart (a major force in the band’s visual design lexicon) had shifted to more conceptual album art. 2112 is a great example of this intersection between concept albums and the imagery that communicates them — think The Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. The simplistic red star on 2112 is used to symbolize the ruling leaders of a fictional future who control everything the human race consumes or creates.

It stands as an interesting statement on censorship — a growing concern in the increasingly conservative 1980s — and also just looks cool as hell.

Related: 70s Album Covers That Are Pop Culture Phenoms

Permanent Waves (1980)

Permanent Waves’ cover art is much less philosophical in nature but just as textually interesting. A beautiful woman stands in front of a debris-laden background with waves crashing over an indistinguishable structure.

But a closer look reveals a multitude of waves hidden in the image. From the woman’s waved hair to the literal waves crashing down, this album cover serves as a testament to the band’s intertextual narratives. With Permanent Waves, they’re more than just a band. They’re artists, too.

RUSH ’N’ Roulette Promotional Album (1981)

A unique departure from RUSH’s typical vinyl cover catalog is a 1981 single promotion album entitled RUSH ’N’ Roulette. The album deserves to go down in the Hall of Fame for the clever name alone. But the relatively sparse album cover isn’t something to sniff at.

In a font that would fit right in on a Vegas marquee, the band’s title is printed across the upper left corner. A black and white roulette wheel takes up the most space on the otherwise plain album cover. Yet, it’s a rare enough find that you’ll want to burn this one into your memory.

Roll the Bones Square Disc (1992)

Another beloved 7” RUSH album was the 1992 limited edition release of Roll the Bones. Featuring only four tracks from the 1991 Roll the Bones LP and a square-shaped picture disc, this UK pressing is a popular one with RUSH diehards.

The off-center close-up cover art of a six-sided die harkens back to the original album's die-patterned background. This is a hard one to get a hold of, and it’s worth making our list.

"Twilight Zone/Lessons” Single (2016)

For many rock bands, single albums pose a great opportunity to think outside the box and get creative with their cover art. RUSH’s “Twilight Zone/Lessons” album cover from 2016 is a great example of a band taking the bull by the horns. In honor of the Twilight Zone series, the cover features an old TV set with a hypnotic swirl and a disembodied eye staring into the viewer’s soul.

Though it’s a newer single, it proves that this long-running band from the 1970s still has the magic touch.

We’re Rushing to Score These Albums

RUSH may be a card-carrying member of the dad rock canon today, but you’ve got to give them credit for their interesting takes on the album cover art genre. It’s no surprise that with music as bold as theirs, they’d take the eye-catching risks that they did with their album covers. Now the hard part is just picking out your favorite.

6 RUSH Album Covers That Prove Dad Rock Is Still Cool