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Articles Home » 1980 Articles » Touch - 1980 Touch
Touch - 1980 Touch

ALBUM: Touch
LABEL: Ariola
SERIAL: SD 38-123
YEAR: 1980
CD REISSUE: 1989, Music For Nations, CDMFN 107 * 2008, Rock Candy Records, CANDY039


LINEUP: Craig Brooks - vocals, guitars * Mark Mangold - vocals, keyboards * Doug Howard - vocals, bass * Glenn Kithcart - drums, percussion

TRACK LISTING: 01 Don't You Know What Love Is? * 02 When The Spirit Moves You * 03 Love Don't Fail Me * 04 Black Star * 05 There's A Light * 06 Take It Back * 07 So High * 08 Last Chance For Love * 09 Yes (You Need To Rock 'n' Roll) * 10 Listen (Can You Feel It) * 11 Feels Like Love

Long considered an AOR/pomp classic is this effort from New York based outfit Touch. Formed from the ashes of the seventies band American Tears, featuring Mark Mangold, Glenn Kithcart, and towards the end, Craig Brooks had joined on their 'Powerhouse' album. Wanting to redefine their position musically, the trio recruited Doug Howard, and thus had a band which was strong on vocal talent, as Brooks, Mangold, and now Howard could all sing lead. Which meant their arrangements had loads of natural harmonies between the three of them. The rebadged Touch went into hibernation until they secured a deal with the help of Rainbow Manager Bruce Payne. They ventured into the studio with Tim Friese-Greene (one of Roy Thomas Baker's sub-engineers), with the resulting effort being this self titled opus.

The Songs
There is an abundance of wonderful pompous moments contained within. Obvious contenders are their trademark signature 'Don't You Know What Love Is', plus the keyboard overkill of 'When The Spirit Moves You'. Both songs made the US Top 40 at the time. Other killers include the high rolling 'Take It Back', the rollicking 'Listen (Can You Feel It)', and the majestic keyboard opus of 'So High', sounding so much like early Prophet. On the back of this success, they even managed to get over to Europe to support Rainbow (thanks Bruce), and also an opening spot on the 1980 Monsters Of Rock festival. They were the first ever band to play at the festival. Of course, Craig Brook's little run-in with a bee was one of that concerts celebrated incidents, though I'm sure Craig didn't think so at the time.

In Summary
The following year, things looked encouraging for the release of Touch II, especially since Todd Rundgren was going to be involved. However, the ball was dropped, a series of poor quality songs could not make the grade, and Craig Brooks suddenly opted out. The fizz had fizzled out of the Touch bubble.. Mangold went on to work with Michael Bolton and then later on with Al Frisch in Drive She Said, while Doug Howard formed Stun Leer. Thankfully, the unreleased Touch material has since reappeared in CD format, under the guise of 'Touch II - The Complete Works'. This came out in 1998 and was a boon for all supporters of the band.

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#1 | Jez on January 27 2007 12:36:09
For me, this is The best Pomp album ever released bar non. As with alot of people, I owned the vinyl (bought it the first week of release) & is definately one of my most played albums ever,even to this day I love it as much as when I first heard it. I can't say that about too many albums nowadays.
#2 | grahamfenn on March 15 2007 14:22:30
One of the best early 80's Pomp/AOR releases. Chock full of excellent keyboard driven tracks that really pull you in - there's no getting away - and who would want to? Then, to top it all off, there is the multi-layered vocals that are pure majic. Everything works on this release. Not a filler to be had. Essential! Smile

#3 | sabace on December 24 2007 16:36:34
#4 | vinyldinosaurus on January 29 2008 18:24:14
I just got to add (since it wasn't mentioned in gdazegod's review) that ''Black Star' is one of sickest songs I've ever heard from the Pomp genre. The album is worth getting for this track alone!

I've got to track down the Touch II stuff!
#5 | rostoned on April 06 2008 20:20:13
Great, wonderful and fantastic pomp rock release! All time TOP 5! MEGACLASSIC is written all over this. Imagine that not 1 but 2 CD reissues are forthcoming for this magnum opus, one from uk superb label Rock Candy and another from a (new) Japanese company called Shaniatrek who will reissue their 'Complete works' set (all 1st + all 2 unreleased + several outtakes and demos) in the mini LP sleeve edition along with a DVD of Touch live in the studio in the early 80's or around that time! Needless to say I've already bought a copy of this in preorder from a Jap dealer, at a fair price I must
#6 | rostoned on June 02 2008 13:20:53
Did you know that TOUCH original name (hence for a short time) was VOYAGEUR ?? Mangold confirmed this to me and if you happen to watch the DVD part of new japanese reissue of 'The Complete Works' you'll notice that name full screen when Touch part begins. Gasp.
#7 | reyno-roxx on June 30 2008 09:25:53
For some reason the frantic pace and vocal style employed on 'Black Star' has always reminded me of what Raven were doing during the same time period.
#8 | trillion1999 on October 14 2011 23:02:19
Makes me want to have everything by them.I did not pick up the CD whose cover is shown here
#9 | richardb on April 15 2014 20:58:53
One of my all-time favourite AOR albums. The absolute pinnacle of AOR/Pomp perfection.

Incidentally does anyone know what happened to Craig Brooks?.

I love his raw guitar tone throughout this album and his vocal performance on 'Love don't fail me' is quite simply stunning.
#10 | rostoned on March 07 2016 15:25:18
George I read everywhere the 'Donington infamous swallowing bee incident' had bassist Doug Howard involved, not vocalist extraordinaire and guitarist Craig Brooks.... rolleyes
#11 | rostoned on March 07 2016 15:41:15
Craig Brooks after leaving Touch sessioned on bv on Michael Bolton's 1983 debut, also co-writing with Mangold and Bolton the legendary 'Fools game' song, and afaik was lastly ever seen and heard (quite a lot on BV and co-leads) on Roger Glover's 'Mask' opus from 1984. On the same album there is also a 'Denise Brooks' involved, his wife? I dont know if she is this Denice Brooks or not


From what I remember from old interviews, I think Mangold said he moved to England and married there and left the business, but dont take my word for granted. I hope the legendary Dave Reynolds aka Reyno-roxx if he reads this can shed some light on CB happenings then (and later?)..
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