Full disclosure, I didn't like Rush before I joined a band and had to learn a bunch of it... before that, I could not get passed that voice.
After learning their songs (I play bass for those that do not know), I became an instant fan. Strong driving bass lines. There are plenty of people that think the bass should be in the background, and play root notes and maybe a walking line from time to time... Those people need help.
As far as comparing Rush to Cream.. I absolutely love Jack Bruce and Ginger Baker. However, Clapton is one of the most over rated jerkfaced blues rip offs to ever walk this planet. I cannot stand his arrogance. Jack Bruce said it best when he stated that if he had Claptons looks nobody would know who Clapton was. I mean, Clapton is a good guitarist.. No where near the legendary status he seems to occupy. If you need proof of this, there is a clapton and friends concert where Mark Knopfler makes Clapton look like a 9 year old learning his first notes. Absolutely blows him out of the water. But nobody knows that Mark Knopfler is one hell of a guitarist.
But sorry... for me, Rush wins that one hands down. No idea how people don't see the skill in what they are doing. Peart, Lee, and Lifeson... wow, all of them are very talented guys. If you don't see it, perhaps a listen to some earlier stuff is in order. Not the stuff with Rutsey either. Listen to La Villa and YYZ, then come back...
Comparing any of these guys to SRV is just plain silly. Go to an open jam. If there is a good guitarist they can fill in most of the songs. Nothing complicated happening behind the guitar... If you know blues, you can play it all.
I am glad someone brought up Trower. Besides being affectionately referred to as "white Jimi", he can certainly hold his own. Trower and Jack Bruce got together on an album a few years ago. Worth checking out.
I text the wife.
Me- Ya know those Oakley sunglasses I passed on the other day?? Well I was thinking of getting a new tool instead.
Her- Can't you borrow Shanes?
Me- He doesn't own thi...wait, he just posted that he does own it.
Her- Yeah, ofcourse he does. The ONLY tool he doesn't have is that stupid bullnose plane you never use.
Me- I use that thing all the time!
Her- Good, then make some dowels with it.
Actually, Just the first line is true...waiting on an answer, from the boss.