Prism

Prism. Vancouver rock band, active 1976-84. It was formed by the producer and trumpeter Bruce Fairbairn with the songwriter and drummer Jim Vallance (using the name Rodney Higgs) for the LP Prism (EMI INS-3014), which included the popular 'Spaceship Superstar'.

Prism

Prism. Vancouver rock band, active 1976-84. It was formed by the producer and trumpeter Bruce Fairbairn with the songwriter and drummer Jim Vallance (using the name Rodney Higgs) for the LP Prism (EMI INS-3014), which included the popular 'Spaceship Superstar'. Among the other musicians on Prism were Lindsay Mitchell (guitar), John Hall (keyboards), Rob Tabac (vocals), Tom Keenlyside (saxophone), and Tom Lavin (guitar, bass guitar). During Prism's most successful years, ca 1978-81, personnel comprised Tabac, Mitchell, Hall, Al Harlow (guitar, bass) and Rocket Norton (drums).

Prism's other popular songs during this period included 'Armageddon' (1979) and 'Night to Remember' and 'Young and Restless' (1980). Concurrently, it released the LPs See Forever Eyes (GRT 9230-1075), Armageddon (Magnum 9242-2001) and Young and Restless (Cap ST-12072), all produced by Fairbairn, as well as the greatest-hits package All The Best from Prism (Cap ST-6477). Canadian sales of each album exceeded 100,000; those of Armageddon, 200,000. Prism performed in arenas and stadiums across Canada and opened for Meat Loaf, Dave Mason, Beach Boys, Cheap Trick, etc, on tour in the USA. It received the 1981 Juno Award as group of the year.

Ron Tabak (b 1953, d 1984), whose high, boyish voice was the common element in a diverse style that ranged from the progressive rock of 'Armageddon' to the light pop of 'Take Me Away', was replaced by Henry Small in 1981. The LP Small Change (Cap ST-12184) followed that year and included 'Don't Let Him Know,' a minor US hit in 1982. A final LP, Beat Street (Cap ST-12226), issued in 1983, featured Small and four US musicians. Prism was revived briefly in 1988 by Mitchell, Harlow, Norton and others. A greatest-hits CD, Over 60 Minutes with Prism (Cap C2-91173), was released that same year.


Further Reading

  • Palmer, Vaughn. 'Are you ready to R-O-C-K?' Vancouver Province, 8 Sep 1978

    Waddell, Steve. 'Vancouver's Prism: sowing the seeds of time,' Performing Arts, Winter 1980

    Newton, Steve. 'Rewriting the ending for Prism,' Georgia Straight, 29 Jan -5 Feb 1988