Beat Street (album)

Last updated
Beat Street
Prism Beat Street.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedJuly 1983 (1983)
Recorded1982–1983
Studio Sunset Sound, Hollywood and Studio C Capitol
Genre
Label Capitol
Producer John S. Carter
Prism chronology
Small Change
(1981)
Beat Street
(1983)
Over 60 Minutes with...Prism
(1988)

Beat Street is the sixth studio album by the Canadian rock band Prism. It was originally released in 1983 on the record label, Capitol, two years after Prism's successful album, Small Change . It was the last of two Prism studio albums featuring the lead vocalist Henry Small, who had replaced Ron Tabak after his forced departure in 1981. It features high-profile guest backing vocalists, including the Eagles' co-lead singer Timothy B. Schmit, Toto's lead singer Bobby Kimball and Chicago's lead singer Bill Champlin. The album is notably the band's first album not to feature their guitarist and founding member Lindsay Mitchell. The album was their last recording of original material until they officially reformed in 1987–88. In that incarnation of the band, Small was replaced by Darcy Deutsch.

Contents

Beat Street is more of a solo album by Henry Small than a Prism album as it features no other members of the band apart from guitarist Paul Warren, and it relies heavily on session musicians. The album was the last recording of original material under Prism's name until they officially reformed in 1987-88. They reformed without Small who was working on Who bassist John Entwistle's solo album The Rock which featured Small singing the lead vocals on all of its eleven tracks.

"Beat Street" was received negatively by the majority of music critics and it was also a commercial disappointment; failing to reach the Billboard Top 200 and peaked outside the chart at #202. However, Prism found some success with the single "I Don't Want to Want You Anymore." This single received quite a lot of radio airplay and peaked at No. 37 on the Mainstream Rock Tracks chart, Prism's last single (to date) to do so. [1]

The album was re-issued in January 2009 on Renaissance in the United States as a digitally remastered CD, featuring rare bonus content. The reissue comprised 18-tracks. It included the original album digitally remastered from the original 1/2" mix tapes; alongside five outtakes, and four alternate versions of the songs featured on the album.

Background

The original members of Prism had already left by the time the album was being recorded. The band's manager Bruce Allen owned the name and a new band was built around Small. However, Allen had a falling out with the president of EMI at the time over the management of Tom Cochrane. Suddenly the album, which at that point had been charting all over the east coast of the US, was basically pulled by Capitol. Small had put a touring band together, but Allen called and said the tour was cancelled. Soon afterward Prism was dropped from the label, and the band broke up. [2]

Critical reception

Reviewing for AllMusic critic Mike DeGagne wrote that the album "contains none of Prism's past arena rock charm or instrumental stamina." adding that "The tracks are watered-down attempts at playing pop/rock with lyrics that sound as if they've been written overnight." He also claimed that "Without John Hall behind the keyboards or Tabak's singing, Prism just wasn't Prism anymore." [3]

Track listing

All songs written and composed by Davitt Sigerson, Henry Small, and Richie Zito, except where noted.

Side one
No.TitleLength
1."Nightmare"4:26
2."Beat Street"4:21
3."Dirty Mind"3:32
4."Modern Times"3:55
Side two
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
5."Is He Better Than Me"3:19
6."Blue Collar" 3:15
7."Wired" 3:48
8."State of the Heart" 3:09
9."I Don't Want to Want You Anymore"4:17

Personnel

Credits are adapted from the album's liner notes. [4]

Prism
Additional personnel
Production team

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References

  1. "Awards", AllMusic , retrieved 4 January 2015
  2. "Henry Small", Rockunited.com, retrieved 4 January 2015
  3. "Beat Street", AllMusic , retrieved 4 January 2015
  4. Beat Street liner notes. Capitol. 1983.