Long considered an AOR/pomp classic is this effort from New York based outfit Touch, formed from the ashes of the 70’s band American Tears.
Written by: gdmonline
SERIAL: SD 38-123
CD REISSUE: Discogs Reissue List
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: USA
LINEUP: Craig Brooks – vocals, guitars * Mark Mangold – vocals, keyboards * Doug Howard – vocals, bass * Glenn Kithcart – drums, percussion
TRACK LISTING: 01 Don’t You Know What Love Is? * 02 When The Spirit Moves You * 03 Love Don’t Fail Me * 04 Black Star * 05 There’s A Light * 06 Take It Back * 07 So High * 08 Last Chance For Love * 09 Yes (You Need To Rock ‘n’ Roll) * 10 Listen (Can You Feel It) * 11 Feels Like Love
Long considered an AOR/pomp classic is this effort from New York based outfit Touch, formed from the ashes of the 70’s band American Tears, featuring Mark Mangold, Glenn Kithcart, and towards the end, Craig Brooks had joined on their ‘Powerhouse’ album.
Wanting to redefine their position musically, the trio recruited Doug Howard, and thus had a band which was strong on vocal talent, as Brooks, Mangold, and now Howard could all sing lead. Which meant their arrangements had loads of natural harmonies between the three of them.
The rebadged Touch went into hibernation until they secured a deal with the help of Rainbow Manager Bruce Payne. They ventured into the studio with Tim Friese-Greene (one of Roy Thomas Baker’s sub-engineers), with the resulting effort being this self titled opus.
There is an abundance of wonderful pompous moments contained within. Obvious contenders are their trademark signature ‘Don’t You Know What Love Is’, plus the keyboard overkill of ‘When The Spirit Moves You’. Both songs made the US Top 40 at the time. Other killers include the high rolling ‘Take It Back’, the rollicking ‘Listen (Can You Feel It)’, and the majestic keyboard opus of ‘So High’, sounding so much like early Prophet.
On the back of this success, they even managed to get over to Europe to support Rainbow (thanks Bruce), and also an opening spot on the 1980 Monsters Of Rock festival. They were the first ever band to play at the festival. Of course, Craig Brooks’ little run-in with a bee was one of that concerts celebrated incidents, though I’m sure Craig didn’t think so at the time.
The following year, things looked encouraging for the release of ‘Touch II’, especially since Todd Rundgren was going to be involved. However, the ball was dropped, a series of poor quality songs could not make the grade, and Craig Brooks suddenly opted out. The fizz had fizzled out of the Touch bubble.
Mangold went on to work with Michael Bolton and then later on with Al Frisch in Drive She Said. Doug Howard formed Stun Leer. Thankfully, the unreleased Touch material has since reappeared in CD format, under the guise of ‘Touch II – The Complete Works’. This came out in 1998 and was a boon for all supporters of the band.