Thursday, January 24, 2013

Ariola Records: Flyin'

From Vancouver, British Columbia, Prism was one of those bands that had only a modicum of followers in the US, but were significantly more popular in their native Canada. Although signed to GRT in Canada, their US product was released on Ariola America Records.  The band would eventually move to Capitol Records – who were originally responsible for the pressing early Ariola America product in the 1970s.

Our pick cut, “Flyin'” from their 1978 second album “See Forever Eyes,” was their most popular single release on Ariola in the US; however, they would have a higher charting single with “Don’t Let Him Know” on Capitol in 1981, as it peaked at #39. “Flying” placed at #53 in the US.

The Ariola label blank used on Prism singles released before "Flyin'"

“Flyin'” has a pop feel to it. In places and especially during the chorus, it reminds me of Styx’s recordings from the late 70s. An instrumental hook comes in the form of very simple portemento runs via a monophonic synthesizer at the hands of band member John Hall.

Because this was recorded during the time before the advent of polyphonic synthesizers, there also appears to be a string ensemble present as well as an organ. There may be a vocoder as well on this cut – or an effect that at least mimics a vocoder. “Flyin'” was written by Allen Harlow who also contributes the driving bass.

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