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Articles Home » 1980 Articles » Biz, The - 1980 A Matter Of Time
 
Biz, The - 1980 A Matter Of Time



ARTIST: Biz, The
ALBUM: A Matter Of Time
LABEL: Bent
SERIAL: -
YEAR: 1980

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:

LINEUP: Tom Hogge - vocals, keyboards * Sandy Lawson - guitars, vocals * Richard Loubert - bass * Ken Leckie - drums, vocals

TRACK LISTING: 01 Where Are You Going * 02 She Said * 03 Madman In The Attic * 04 The Last Chapter * 05 Float Away * 06 Don't Hang Around Me * 07 Wait For The Night * 08 Love Leaves On Time


Background
The Biz were a Canadian outfit who released this very rare one-off effort back in 1980 (not 1978 as has been regularly referred to over the years). The band were from the same era as similar outfits such as Zon, Styx and even Legs Diamond, and accordingly, manage to include all these reference points within the confines of their complex pompous sound. If I was calling it blind, I'd say this album leans more toward early era Styx, though the impressive musicianship of a certain gentleman called Tom Hogge over-extends that comparison on all 8 tracks. His keyboard work and production talent makes one wonder why this guy was not heard of more often throughout the Canadian scene at the time. Certainly, I was left recalling the fab organ work a la Legs Diamond on more than one occasion, but then again, those aforementioned outfits all shine through at some point.


The Songs
Ironically, when The Biz start out with 'Where Are You Going', the track is more guitar and vocal oriented, the keyboards kept in check until later on. Aviary like quirkiness rears its head on 'She Said', taking on a reggae shuffle which though unusual, sort of works. 'Madman In The Attic' is probably one of my fave tracks here, combining early/grandiose Styx a la 'Equinox' and 'Man Of Miracles' era with Kansas. Stirring impassioned stuff. Check out the incredible epic like 'Last Chapter', which melds Legs Diamond aggression with Alpha Centauri pomp. At 6 min 40 sec, it's worth a listen! Keyboards welcome us in on 'Don't Hang Around Me', particularly that rollicking organ sound, which also makes its presence felt on 'Wait For The Night'. The closer 'Love Leaves On Time' is 7 minutes of undulating pomp, and contains so many tremendous musical passages. So many in fact that it would be difficult trying to pinpoint them all for you.


In Summary
If you see this floating around on Ebay you'll be very impressed with the elaborate gatefold sleeve, and over time it has acquired a collectibles status as a rarity. Good stuff for fans of 70's pomp rock, especially if you are fan of anything between Angel and Zon. In the where are they now stakes.. well whatever happened to members of the band remains a mystery to this day. Perhaps someone would be so kind as to update us at some point.


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Comments
#1 | sirgrognard on October 10 2006 07:52:38
Interesting review!

The reason 'Where are You Going' and 'Madman in the Attic,' had such a differnet feel than Tom Hogge's more progressive rock/ keyboard oriented epics where mainly because they were written by the guitar player, Sandy Lawson (aka yours truly!). I was hired by The Biz in 1979, jst as they were heading into Mushroom Studios in Vancouver, BC, with most of the material for the album already written. Funnily enough, they were the only 2 tunes that got national Candian and regional US AM singles airplay... more due to the format of AM radio than to my talents, I'm sure Smile Several FM chains played the full album, though.

I believe 'A Matter of Time' was recorded in 1979 released in 1980. We had offers from A&M and another label but Mr. Hogge was adamant that we produce and distribute the album on an independent label... thus Bent Records.

I went on to play with a metal band, Sentinel, that did well at the Midem conference in 1984, picking up offers from several labels including Heavy Metal FM in the UK. Our highlights were working with Danny Lowe on an EP, opening for KISS during the 'Animalize' tour and playing with Iron Maiden... I still play with Headline once a year in Victoria, BC, and entertain metal fans in Alberta, Canada year round with my flying 'V' and my whammy bar Wink

As far as I know, Tom Hogge has an accounting/bookkeeping firm in the greater Vancouver, BC area; I haven't heard from drummer Ken Leckie in years and Richard Loubert was last seen working somewhere on the Canadian prairies. If anyone out there has ANY information on Richard's whereabouts, please email me, as his son (whom he has never met) is trying to locate him.

Cheers,
Sandy Lawson
#2 | sirgrognard on October 29 2006 08:23:17
Richar Loubert was united with his son recently through the efforts of several people. Richard is living in western Canada and owns a restaurant with his third wife. Thanks to everyone who responded. Rock on! Cool
#3 | gdazegod on October 30 2006 00:31:36
That is so cool for Richard Loubert and his son. Excellent result! Smile
#4 | gdazegod on July 12 2010 13:39:38
Just updating this article. I guess according to the advice of Sandy Lawson, we should change the year to 1980 and not 1978.
#5 | super80boy on May 30 2015 16:09:06
The Biz's one off is definitely an above average private press in collector circles. I could have absolutely seen this going to a major label, although Bent Records did a fantastic release job... 'The Last Chapter' melds prog, melodic and pomp rock all into a great ride. The gang choruses and more pomp helpings greet you in 'Floating Away'. An additional benefit to the involved gatefold design is that it was done for 3D viewing - vinyl copies also came with The Biz 3D glasses, a nice collectible touch.
#6 | gdazegod on May 30 2015 16:32:41
Actually Tom Hogge has been very busy in the last year or so with his new project. Tom has let me in on his new project, which I will share with everyone very shortly.
 
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