#1226: Take Me Away by Prism

Peak Month: August 1978
8 weeks on Vancouver’s CKLG chart
Peak Position #14
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube.com: “Take Me Away
Lyrics: “Take Me Away”

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 (ex of Denise McCann), keyboardist 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“.

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.

Take Me Away by Prism

With “Take Me Away” Prism connects with the timeless question of people in the throes of dating. Are the sensations of physical attraction, feelings of emotional closeness and being on the same wavelength a sign one is in love? The only way to find out is to get immersed in the experience and find out what that “voice from long ago” has to say about the present involvement. The voice from long ago may be an embryonic longing to love and be loved.

On Prism’s next album, Armageddon, local singer-songwriter Bryan Adams wrote (or co-wrote) three tracks, “Jealousy”, “You Walked Away Again” and “Take It Or Leave It”. Adams would also co-write two songs for the bands fifth studio album, Small Change, with “Stay” and “Don’t Let Him Know”. Ron Tabak, the groups 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.

February 7, 2017
Ray McGinnis

Xavier Diaz, Al Harlow and Lindsay MitchellPrism, Canadian Bands.com
Prism – bios, Prism.ca.
Weekly Survey,” CFUN 1410 AM, Vancouver, BC, August 19, 1978.

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