Beat Street (album)

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

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.

Prism (band) Canadian rock band

Prism is a Canadian rock band formed in Vancouver in 1977. They were originally active from 1977 to 1984 and have been active again from 1987 to present. Their classic line-up consisted of lead singer Ron Tabak, guitarist Lindsay Mitchell, keyboardist John Hall, bass guitarist Allen Harlow and drummer Rocket Norton.

Capitol Records American record label

Capitol Records, Inc. is an American record label owned by Universal Music Group through its Capitol Music Group imprint. It was founded as the first West Coast-based record label in the United States in 1942 by Johnny Mercer, Buddy DeSylva, and Glenn E. Wallichs. Capitol was acquired by British music conglomerate EMI as its North American subsidiary in 1955. EMI was acquired by Universal Music Group in 2012 and was merged with the company a year later, making Capitol and the Capitol Music Group both a part of UMG. The label's circular headquarter building in Hollywood is a recognized landmark of California.

<i>Small Change</i> (Prism album) 1981 studio album by Prism

Small Change is the fifth studio album by the Canadian rock band Prism. It was originally released in 1981, on the label Capitol. It was the first of two Prism studio albums with vocalist Henry Small, who had replaced Ron Tabak after his forced departure and the last album to feature guitarist and founding member Lindsay Mitchell. The album is generally regarded as the genesis of the smoother, more adult-oriented sound of the band's later work. The album peaked at No. 53 on the Billboard 200.


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.

Paul Warren is an American blues/rock guitar player, and was the touring guitar player for the English Rock singer Rod Stewart as well as American Rock superstar Richard Marx. In 2013, Rod Stewart hired a new guitarist and Paul Warren was let go.

The Who English rock band

The Who are an English rock band formed in London in 1964. Their classic line-up consisted of lead singer Roger Daltrey, guitarist and singer Pete Townshend, bass guitarist John Entwistle and drummer Keith Moon. They are considered one of the most influential rock bands of the 20th century, selling over 100 million records worldwide.

John Entwistle English musician, singer-songwriter and record producer, bassist for The Who

John Alec Entwistle was an English bass guitarist, singer, songwriter, and film and music producer. In a music career that spanned more than 40 years, Entwistle was best known as the original bass guitarist for the English rock band The Who. He was the only member of the band to have formal musical training. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of the Who in 1990.

"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]

Mainstream Rock is a music chart in Billboard magazine that ranks the most-played songs on mainstream rock radio stations in the United States, a category that combines the formats of active rock and heritage rock. The chart was launched in March 1981, as Rock Albums and Top Tracks, after which the name changed first to Top Rock Tracks, then to Album Rock Tracks, and finally to its present title in 1996.

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.


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]

Bruce Allen is a Canadian music band manager who represents a number of popular Canadian musicians including Bachman-Turner Overdrive, Bryan Adams, Prism and Michael Bublé. In 1985, Allen spearheaded the charity supergroup Northern Lights, who recorded the song "Tears Are Not Enough" in support of Ethiopian famine relief.

EMI British music recording and publishing company

EMI Group Limited was a British Transnational conglomerate founded in March 1931 in London. At the time of its break-up in 2012, it was the fourth largest business group and record label conglomerate in the music industry, and was one of the big four record companies ; its labels included EMI Records, Parlophone, Virgin Records, and Capitol Records, which are now owned by other companies.

Tom Cochrane singer-songwriter, musician

Thomas William Cochrane is a Canadian musician best known as the frontman for the rock band Red Rider and for his work as a solo singer-songwriter. Cochrane has won eight Juno Awards. He is a member of the Canadian Music Hall of Fame, an officer of the Order of Canada, and has an honorary doctorate from Brandon University. In September 2009 he was inducted onto the Canadian Walk of Fame. Cochrane has also been recognized for his significant charitable work.

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]

AllMusic Online music database

AllMusic is an online music database. It catalogs more than 3 million album entries and 30 million tracks, as well as information on musical artists and bands. It launched in 1991, predating the World Wide Web.

Arena rock is a style of rock music that originated in the mid-1970s. As hard rock bands and those playing a softer yet strident kind of pop rock became increasingly popular, groups began creating material inherently designed for large audiences, and arena rock developed from their use of more commercially oriented and radio-friendly sounds. The often highly-produced music, including both upbeat, dramatic songs and slower power ballads, features strong emphasis on melody and frequently employs anthemic choruses. Other major characteristics include prominent guitar effects and the use of keyboard instruments.

Track listing

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

Davitt Sigerson is an American novelist whose first career was in the music business. Sigerson was a record producer, singer, songwriter, record company executive, and journalist.

Henry Small (singer) Canadian mandolinist

Henry Cave Small is an American born Canadian singer, songwriter, composer, multi-instrumentalist and radio personality. In a career spanning more than 40 years, Small has been a member of three rock bands: Prism, Scrubbaloe Caine, and Small Wonder.

Richie Zito is an American songwriter, composer and record producer from Los Angeles. In a career spanning more than 50 years, Zito has experienced success as a prolific session musician, being featured on a wide array of other artists' recordings, including work with White Lion, Poison, Mr. Big, Neil Sedaka, Yvonne Elliman, Eric Carmen, Art Garfunkel, Leo Sayer, Diana Ross, Marc Tanner, Elton John, Cher, The Motels, as well as The Cult, Eddie Money, Heart, Juliet Simms, Bad English and Prism.

Side one
2."Beat Street"4:21
3."Dirty Mind"3:32
4."Modern Times"3:55
Side two
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


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

Additional personnel
Production team

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