The original lineup consisted of session musicians brought together by Bruce Allen and Bruce Fairbairn. Drummer Jim Vallance and Bruce Fairbairn had a jazz rock band named Sunshyne. With the addition of Lindsay Mitchell and Ron Tabak, the band evolved into "Under Construction" (also briefly "Stanley Screamer"). The group finally changed its name to Prism when keyboardist John Hall joined. After signing with GRT Records, they released their debut album with a lineup of Ron Tabak, Lindsay Mitchell, Tom Lavin, John Hall, Ab Bryant and Jim Vallance, who both produced, and played drums under the name of "Rodney Higgs." Vallance did not want to tour though, so left and was replaced by Rocket Norton. Vallance did, however, contribute drum tracks to the band's second album, See Forever Eyes.
In 1977, they released their self-titled album Prism (which contained the hits "Spaceship Superstar" and "Take Me to the Kaptin") after which Bryant left, and Al Harlow was brought in as a new guitarist and bassist. The band subsequently issued See Forever Eyes (1978).
Armageddon was released in 1979, featuring some compositional input from the then largely unknown Bryan Adams, and "Young and Restless" was released in 1980.
After the greatest hits album "All the Best From Prism", Prism signed on with Capitol Records and Tabak was fired due to "lifestyle" issues, and vocalist Henry Small was brought in. They then released "Small Change" (1981). The lead single "Don't Let Him Know" became their first top 40 hit in America and the follow-up "Turn on Your Radar" also charted, becoming their fifth and final American hit. After "Small Change", Mitchell, Harlow and Norton left Prism.
In 1982, the band's touring line up was Small, guitarist Paul Warren, bassist John Trivers, keyboardist Robyn Robbins, and Doug Maddick on drums.
The band broke up in 1982 but "Beat Street" followed in 1983 featuring Henry Small, Bill Champlin, Richie Zito, Mike Baird (drummer from Journey), and backup vocalists Bobby Kimball (Toto) and Alan Pasqua.
Plans for a Prism reunion with Tabak were cancelled when he died on 25 December 1984, one day after a brain hemorrhage he suffered from a cycling accident.
In 1988 they reformed for another greatest hits album called Over 60 Minutes with...Prism, and five years later another new album, "Jericho" (1993), with Darcy Deutsch as vocalist, Harlow, Mitchell, Norton, and keyboardist Andy Lorimer. Studio musicians included Bryan Adams, Paul Janz, Mark LaFrance, with Rick Springfield doing some of the songwriting.
The band continues to tour with Harlow playing lead guitar and performing lead vocals and current line-up: Gary Grace (drums), Steve-O (Guitars & Keys), Tad Goddard (Bass). 2007 saw the band in the studio working on a new album called Big Black Sky which was released in July 2008. The band's CDs (including Big Black Sky) are available for purchase from their official website.