Tuesday, September 18, 2012

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Prism

Song:Spaceship Superstar
Album:The Best Of Prism

The Canadian band Prism is best known for their 1981 top 40 hit Don't Let Him Know.But in Canada, they were popular before that. Spaceship Superstar was their first single in 1977. Prism was from Vancouver. Bruce Fairbairn and Jim Vallance were members of the mid 70s band Sunshyne. If the names seem familiar, Fairbairn went on to be a very successful record producer in the 80s and 90s. Vallance went on to be Bryan Adams' songwriting partner. So Fairbairn brought in Seeds Of Time guitarist Lindsay Mitchell and recorded some demos. Fairbairn was unable to sell the demos. Fairbairn brought Vallance in to rework the demos and play drums and Ron Tabak took over lead vocals. Mitchell remained as guitarist. They got a contract with GRT Records. GRT was a US company best known as a cassette manufacturer. But in Canada they were a successful record label with artists like Lighthouse among others. To record their debut album, they brought in Jim Hall on keyboards and Tom Lavin on bass. GRT didn't like the name Sunshyne so it was changed to Prism. Vallance played drums as Rodney Higgs and wrote most of the songs. He used a pseudonym because he thought if Prism failed, he would never get another job in the music business. Spaceship Superstar was the first single and it is obviously influenced by early 70s progressive rock. The album did well in Canada. Vallance didn't like touring and was replaced by Rocket Norton on drums. He remained as songwriter but soon quit after butting heads with Mitchell. Lavin was replaced by Allen Harlow. They recorded two more albums on GRT. But GRT closed in 1980 and Capitol Records bought all the contracts. Then Ron Tabak was fired and replaced by Henry Small. His first album as led singer was Small Change and he was lead singer on the 1981 top 40 hit Don't Let Him Know. When the lead singer is changed, it's a different band. After that album, Prism split up but Small recorded the 1983 album Beat Street as Prism. He used session musicians. This comp from the British label Renaissance has all of Prism's hits. Plans to reunite Prism in 1984 ended when Ron Tabak died as the result of a motorcycle accident on Christmas Eve. Prism did reunite in 1987 and Allen Harlow continues to lead a version of Prism today. I'm sure many Canadian music fans have fond memories of Prism. Here's a video for Spaceship Superstar by Prism.

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