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Rush Infuses Hot Rock Songs Chart After Neil Peart’s Death, Led by ‘Tom Sawyer’

The band's song and album catalog soared following his Jan. 7 passing.

Multiple songs from Rush‘s vast catalog reach Billboard‘s Hot Rock Songs chart dated Jan. 25 following the death of longtime drummer Neil Peart.

On the multi-metric Hot Rock Songs chart (where older tracks are eligible to appear if ranking in the top half and showing a meaningful reason for their resurgence), “Tom Sawyer” bows at No. 3. The track, originally released in 1981, drew 2.6 million U.S. streams, a boost of 167%, and earned 4,000 digital downloads, up 1,097%, in the Jan. 10-16 tracking week, according to Nielsen Music/MRC Data.

Peart died at age 67 on Jan. 7 after a battle with glioblastoma; his death was announced on Jan. 10.


Three other Rush classics make Hot Rock Songs, including an additional top 10, as “Limelight” enters at No. 10 (1.6 million streams, 2,000 sold). Plus, “The Spirit of Radio” jumps in at No. 13 (1.3 million streams, 2,000 sold) and “Subdivisions” starts at No. 24 (1.1 million streams, 1,000 sold).

All four titles also appear on the Rock Digital Song Sales list, joined by “Closer to the Heart” (No. 18; 1,000 sold).

The Top Rock Albums ranking features a Rush title: The Spirit of Radio: Greatest Hits 1974-1987 debuts at No. 3 with 14,000 equivalent album units earned, a vault of 1,037%. The package also returns to the Billboard 200 at No. 45, marking a new high (and the set’s first appearance on the chart since March 2003).


In all, Rush’s song catalog drew 34.2 million on-demand streams, a jump of 622%, and moved 42,000 album units, up 701%, in the tracking week. Of the latter sum, 26,000 units are from album sales. The band’s catalog also drew 26,000 paid song downloads.