#1393: Night To Remember by Prism

Peak Month: February 1980
5 weeks on Vancouver’s CKLG chart
Peak Position #16
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube.com link: “Night To Remember
Lyrics: “Night To Remember”

In 1967 a new rock group appeared on the Vancouver scene called the Seeds of Time. They had several local hits including “My Home Town” and “Crying The Blues”. There were a number of lineup changes, but the bands personnel included drummer Rocket Norton, guitarist Lindsay Mitchell, and bassist Al Harlow. These three reunited after the Seeds of Time disbanded in 1974. After a brief stint as an R&B band called Sunshyne, they became Prism under Lindsay Mitchell’s initiative. In the band were new singer Ron Tabak, bassist Tom Lavin, keyboard player John Hall and drummer Rodney Higgs. Higgs was actually a pseudonym for Jim Vallance, the future songwriting partner of Bryan Adams.  The band released a self-titled album in 1977 that included two local singles “Take Me To The Kaptin” and “It’s Over”. Anther single, “Spaceship Superstar”, made the Top Ten in Ottawa, Hamilton and London (ON) in the winter of 1977-78.

As their line-up changed, their second studio album included ex-Seeds of Time drummer Rocket Norton, bassist Al Harlow and guitarist Lindsay Mitchell. “Take Me Away” was the first of two singles released on the band’s second studio album, See Forever Eyes. The second single, “Flyin’” was the more commercially successful release peaking at #53 on the Billboard Hot 100. The album was produced by Vancouverite Bruce Fairburn who went on to produce successful albums by Loverboy, Strange Advance, Bon Jovi, Aerosmith, Poison, AC/DC, Chicago, Van Halen, Yes, KISS and other recording artists. Fairburn would produce Prism’s first four studio albums.

On Prism’s next album, Armageddon, had the title track climb to #7 in Vancouver. Local singer-songwriter, Bryan Adams, wrote (or co-wrote) three tracks on the album: “Jealousy”, “You Walked Away Again” and “Take It Or Leave It”. Another hit off the Armageddon album was a song titled “Night To Remember”.

Night To Remember by Prism

“Night To Remember” was a ballad written by Lindsay Mitchell. It is about a game-changing moment in a dating relationship. This particular night they connect in ways they’ll never forget. There is “sweet talk and wine,” and later they turn out the lights and lay down beside each other. Whatever intimacy they share, it’s brought them close. It’s a night they’ll “forever recall.” In his Psychology Today article, Seduction Strategies Don’t Lead to Love – These Skills Do, Ken Page advises when you’re on a date “notice what you’re actually feeling with that person. Of course, you’re probably feeling nervous. But in addition to that, do you feel relaxed? Do you feel warm? Do you feel a sense of fun? Do you feel inspired? Unsafe? Criticized? Sometimes our minds are ticking off our checklist of what we want, but our hearts are sensing something altogether different. It’s fascinating to notice the disparity between what we are thinking about our date and what we are actually feeling toward him or her!”

In the song’s lyrics, the couple share “sweet talk.” This could be simply effusive expressions or flattery and adoration, “you’re so sexy,” “that’s a really hot dress,” etc. Or, sweet talk could be about bonding around common interests and discovering each other’s passions in life. Ken Page advises that on a date it is beneficial to “bring up things that inspire you and matter to you.” He adds, “I’m not suggesting that you over-share, but a bit of extra truth, extra vulnerability, and extra risk add a level of intimacy which can be intoxicating. Ask the same from your partner–notice what makes them glow and ask more about it.” It is important to learn how the person you’re dating responds to the information you share. Are they bored? Are they captivated? Do you feel respected and appreciated? Or do you feel your date is resistant to your being vulnerable and trying to be intimate? The quality of your “sweet talk,” adding to the pleasure of conversation, will play a part in making your date a night to remember or a night to forget.

In 1980, Prism had another Top Ten hit in Vancouver with “Young And Restless”, which peaked at #9 on CFUN in July of the year. This was the title track from their fourth studio album. Bryan Adams cowrote two songs for the bands fifth studio album, Small Change. The album featured hit singles “Don’t Let Him Know” and “Turn On Your Radar”. The former song climbed to #39 on the Billboard Hot 100, their best chart run south of the border to date. “Turn On Your Radar” climbed to #64 on the Hot 100. The song didn’t chart well across Canada and missed cracking the Canadian RPM Top 100 singles chart. But in Vancouver the song climbed to #11.

Ron Tabak, Prism’s lead vocalist would later die in a cycling accident when he was hit by a motor vehicle at night in Vancouver in 1984.

The band had a reunion concert in 1987 and included local musician, Paul Janz, offering back-up vocals. In 1993 the band released their first album in ten years, Jericho, that included vocals from Paul Janz and Bryan Adams. A number of studio and compilation albums have been released as well as numerous changes in the band’s lineup.

On May 22, 2015 a “Local Legends of Rock” concert featuring Ab Bryant, John Hall, Al Harlow, and Rocket Norton, was held in Lynn Valley, North Vancouver. It was billed as a “Prism / Jet / Seeds of Time Reunion Concert.” At the concert Al Harlow said, “Here’s a disclaimer; this isn’t the reunion of any one band, but it might be the reunion of 3 or 4 bands.” Sunshyne would have been the fourth band implicit in the reunion given Prism’s roots.

As of mid-June 2018, Prism has seven concert dates listed on their website between July and September, 2018, across Britsh Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Ontario.

June 23, 2018
Ray McGinnis

Xavier Diaz, Al Harlow and Lindsay MitchellPrism, Canadian Bands.com
Prism – bios, Prism.ca.
Ken Page, “Seduction Strategies Don’t Lead to Love – These Skills Do,” Psychology Today, August 2, 2013.
CKLG Top 20,” CKLG 730 AM, Vancouver, BC, February 21, 1980.

For more song reviews visit the Countdown.

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