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Articles Home » 1980 Articles » Prism - 1980 Young And Restless
Prism - 1980 Young And Restless

ALBUM: Young And Restless
LABEL: Capitol
SERIAL: ST-12072
YEAR: 1980
CD REISSUE: 1997, EMI Music (Canada), E2-72438-21186-2-6


LINEUP: Ron Tabak - lead vocals * John Hall- keyboards * Lindsay Mitchell - guitar, backing vocals * Rocket Norton - drums * Allen Harlow - bass, backing vocals

TRACK LISTING: 01 American Music * 02 Young And Restless * 03 Satellite * 04 Party Line * 05 Acid Rain * 06 Another World * 07 The Visitor * 08 Deception * 09 Hideaway * 10 Runnin' For Cover


Always a big favourite here at Glory Daze, Prism were at the top of their game in 1979 with the 'Armageddon' LP garnering three hit singles and a Juno award to Bruce Fairbairn as producer of the year. Not to be outdone; guitarist Lindsey Mitchell won the SOCAN song of the year for 'A Night To Remember' and finally Prism broke free of the 'big In Western Canada' stigma. Of course the lower 48 was an all together different matter. U.S. tours with AC/DC, Meatloaf and Blue Oyster Cult in support of their previous album 'See Forever Eyes' laid some serious groundwork, even managing a headline gig at that bastion of rock n' roll - the Philadelphia Zoo and yet, outside some minor FM air play for 'Virginia', 'Armageddon' barely registered with American record buyers due in part to the band not bothering outside of a few headline shows in major markets with a significant return visit. No major tour and sales tanked, although in Canada they had finally become stars and 1980's 'Young And Restless' was their highly anticipated follow-up.

The Songs
From the opener 'American Music' it's obvious the States were still on their mind, but there was some unexpected backlash from their Canadian brethren at the time who thought Prism were trying just a little too hard to kneel before the red, white and blue. The song features live audience recordings throughout and they pull off some pretty good rock in the end which still received air play, ironically via Canadian content radio rules. The title track is the albums big single, nominated for a Juno and one of the bands best features with a superb chorus - and I still think Ron Tabak was one of the best vocalists to come out of the great white north. In hindsight two tracks displaying classic Prism was a smart sequencing move because from here on the mood begins to change with a trendy new wave minimalism starting to influence the bands style on cuts like 'Satellite' and in particular the Off Broadway pop of 'Party Line'. Prism were talented enough to pull off this style, but I would be dishonest if I said I didn't miss the soaring pomp sound of the previous two albums and as the closing mid-tempo power pop of 'Runnin' For Cover' fades, I'm reminded of the Toronto 'Girls Night Out' album which ruined a great band pandering to styles that just didn't suit the band or listeners.

In Summary
Musicians will be musicians and infighting between Lindsay Mitchell and Ron Tabak came to a head in late 1980 with Tabak shown the door, never to return. He died tragically in 1984, but Prism carried on with Henry Small from Scrubbaloe Caine/Small Wonder on lead vocals initially with original band members, morphing into a studio project and eventually dissolving in the mid-80s. Since then a variety of line-ups headed up by Allen Harlow has seen the Prism name resurrected on the tour circuit and a CD of new material 'Big Black Sky' available from the bands web site.

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#1 | Nick C on November 25 2009 16:14:13
Fantastic album, I was in Canada in the Summer and early Autumn and I caught Prism on some TV channel performing Satellite, Ron Tabak was still with them at that point.
The album was surely getting a biggish push as the title track was all over the radio and even on the flight over it was on the headset, along with Red Rider and Flash and the Pan.
#2 | Eric on November 25 2009 16:44:54
A couple days before Christmas '79 and I'm sitting at the Airport in Minneapolis about to fly home to NY and started chatting with a guy about my age sitting next to me who I noticed from his luggage had just flown in from Winnipeg on a connecting flight. Of course the conversation turned to music and he told me he had just seen Trooper in Winnipeg, Styx and Moxy on the same bill a couple years earlier and Prism. I was green with envy to say the least- he told me the Prism show was the best concert he ever saw etc, etc... those were the days..

When I ran the Starcastle web site I received several e mails from people who thought they saw Starcastle in concert. Turns out, after much research it was actually Prism they saw live. Great pomp is great pomp.
#3 | reyno-roxx on January 13 2016 22:00:41
I first heard 'American Music' on an obscure German radio station one night when I was still living there in the summer of 1980. The programme had a really eclectic mix of stuff as I taped it and recall the Prism track being followed by Hawkwind's 'Shot Down In The Night' (from Live 79), 'Got to be Together' by The Commodores and 'Everybody's Gotta Learn Sometine' from The Korgi's. I finally tracked down a copy of 'Young And Restless' a few months later in the Brighton branch of HMV along with the two Japanese Music Life Kiss special edition magazines. What a great day that was!
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