The Biz were a Canadian pomp outfit who released this very rare one-off effort back in 1980 (not 1978 as has been regularly referred to over the years).
Written by: gdmonline
ARTIST: The Biz
ALBUM: A Matter Of Time
LABEL: Bent / World Records
CD INFO: Discogs Info List
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: Canada
LINEUP: Tom Hogge – vocals, keyboards * Sandy Lawson – guitars, vocals * Richard Loubert – bass * Ken Leckie – drums, vocals
TRACK LISTING: 01 Where Are You Going * 02 She Said * 03 Madman In The Attic * 04 The Last Chapter * 05 Float Away * 06 Don’t Hang Around Me * 07 Wait For The Night * 08 Love Leaves On Time
The Biz were a Canadian pomp outfit who released this very rare one-off effort back in 1980 (not 1978 as has been regularly referred to over the years). The band were from the same era as similar outfits such as Avalon (Canada), Zon, Styx and even Legs Diamond, and accordingly, manage to include all these reference points within the confines of their complex pompous sound.
If I was calling it blind, I’d say this album leans more toward early era Styx, though the impressive musicianship of a certain gentleman called Tom Hogge over-extends that comparison on all 8 tracks. His keyboard work and production talent makes one wonder why this guy was not heard of more often throughout the Canadian scene at the time.
Certainly, I was left recalling the fab organ work a la Legs Diamond on more than one occasion, but then again, those aforementioned outfits all shine through at some point.
Ironically, when The Biz start out with ‘Where Are You Going’, the track is more guitar and vocal oriented, the keyboards kept in check until later on. Aviary like quirkiness rears its head on ‘She Said’, taking on a reggae shuffle which though unusual, sort of works.
‘Madman In The Attic’ is probably one of my fave tracks here, combining early/grandiose Styx a la ‘Equinox’ and ‘Man Of Miracles’ era with Kansas. Stirring impassioned stuff. Check out the incredible epic like ‘Last Chapter’, which melds Legs Diamond aggression with Alpha Centauri pomp. At 6 min 40 sec, it’s worth a listen.
Keyboards welcome us in on ‘Don’t Hang Around Me’, particularly that rollicking organ sound, which also makes its presence felt on ‘Wait For The Night’. The closer ‘Love Leaves On Time’ is 7 minutes of undulating pomp, and contains so many tremendous musical passages. So many in fact that it would be difficult trying to pinpoint them all for you.
If you see this floating around on Ebay you’ll be very impressed with the elaborate gatefold sleeve, and over time it has acquired a collectibles status as a rarity. Good stuff from The Biz, it’s especially for fans of 70’s pomp rock, particularly if you are fan of anything between Angel and Zon.
Footnote: I did have some dialog with Tom Hogge when I first reviewed this album back in 2006, but in the where are they now stakes? Well whatever happened to members of the band remains a mystery from that time right up to this day. Perhaps someone would be so kind as to update us at some point.
Entire Album (Select Tracks)