Limelight: Rush in the ’80s

Popoff, Martin

  • Part two of the definitive biography of the rock ’n’ roll kings of the North — covering Rush’s most iconic and popular albums, Moving Pictures and Power Windows

    Includes two full-color photo inserts, with 16 pages of the band on tour and in the studio

    In the follow-up to Anthem: Rush in the ’70s, Martin Popoff brings together canon analysis, cultural context, and extensive firsthand interviews to celebrate Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson, and Neil Peart at the peak of their persuasive power. Rush was one of the most celebrated hard rock acts of the ’80s, and the second book of Popoff’s staggeringly comprehensive three-part series takes readers from Permanent Waves to Presto, while bringing new insight to Moving Pictures, their crowning glory. Limelight: Rush in the ’80s is a celebration of fame, of the pushback against that fame, of fortunes made — and spent …

    In the latter half of the decade, as Rush adopts keyboard technology and gets pert and poppy, there’s an uproar amongst diehards, but the band finds a whole new crop of listeners. Limelight charts a dizzying period in the band’s career, built of explosive excitement but also exhaustion, a state that would lead, as the ’90s dawned, to the band questioning everything they previously believed, and each member eying the oncoming decade with trepidation and suspicion.


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  • Martin Popoff is the author of 85 books on music, including four previous titles on Rush. He has also worked on various documentaries for Banger Films, including the award-winning Rush documentary Beyond the Lighted Stage. Popoff has more record reviews published in books than anybody in the history of music writing. He lives in Toronto, Ontario.

  • Published: October 2020

    ISBN: 9781770415362

    Dimensions: 5.75 x 8.75 in.

    Pages: 328

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“Music critic Martin Popoff delivers an excellent follow-up to his recent Anthem: Rush in the ’70s … Die-hard Rush fans will devour this fascinating deep-dive into the band’s musically controversial decade.” — Publishers Weekly, starred review

“One of the keys to success in making this book an interesting read is the interviews conducted with key personnel … As the opportunities to celebrate Rush’s catalogue are getting more and more rare, this book is a must.” — Sonic Perspectives

“Lucky for the reader, Popoff is a stone-cold Rush fan. This is what makes these Rush books, beyond all the many others he has authored, especially wonderful … Limelight: Rush in the ’80s is for the die-hard Rush fanatic and the casual fan alike. Not that anybody should have any doubt, but Martin Popoff delivers once again.” —

“… a book that really lays out in detail what the Synth years were like for Rush … ” — PyKorry blog

“Popoff writes as a fan, but never goes ‘fanboy,’ covering the great, good, and not so memorable music the band made during the course of the 80's … Recommended for any fan of the band and already looking forward to Rush in the 90’s!” — Get Ready to Rock blog

“Popoff’s treasure trove of enlightening and entertaining glimpses into the workings of three complex individuals combined into a cohesive unit will appeal to anyone with even a casual interest in Rush … readers will eagerly await the conclusion of this impressive endeavor.” — Library Journal

“Whether it’s nostalgia you’re after, or pure curiosity, Limelight: Rush in the ’80s will make for an excellent addition to your bookshelf.” — Spill Magazine

“It’s top quality in terms of presentation and as predicted this well-appointed hard-cover matches the look and style of Anthem … I love Rush and I love this book, and you will too.” —

Limelight: Rush in the ’80s is as densely packed and quote-heavy as its predecessor, taking a broad and deep look at a decade of great changes and great success for the band.” — The Oakland Press

“Straight from all the sources that matter, the book reads as an oral biography. Swaths of paragraphs are conversational and anecdotal, putting you in the room, on the stage, and in the mindset of unfolding events. What’s not to love? Whether you’re a fan or not.” — The Aquarian