How many times has Stan Bush recorded ‘The Touch’?
Stan Bush has a new album out today. Y’know, Stan Bush, he sang “The Touch” from 1986’s The Transformers: The Movie? And wouldn’t you know, he has a new version of “The Touch” on it. In fact, most of his albums do. So let’s take a look back on the evolution of “The Touch”:
The Transformers: The Movie: Bush originally wrote the song for the Sylvester Stallone film Cobra, but it was finally used in 1986's feature-length prelude to the third season of The Transformers cartoon, where it was memorably played twice: during Optimus Prime’s final battle, and when Hot Rod claimed the Matrix of Leadership.
A music video eventually aired during the show’s “fifth” season, which was really earlier episodes bookended scenes of a puppet of Optimus Prime (in his resurrected Powermaster body) regaling his adventures to a boy named Tommy Kennedy. It was pretty simple, featuring Bush playing over clips of the movie:
Call to Action: “The Touch Remix” is the first track on Bush’s 1997 album, though unfortunately it’s not the version listed on Spotify. It doesn’t sound dramatically different for a so-called remix, though the percussion is more prominent, and towards the climax the guitar sounds rougher. At 4:20 minutes, it’s slightly longer than the original too.
BotCon ’97: The Concert: According to the Transformers Wiki, Bush and The Transformers: The Movie composer Vince DiCola performed the soundtrack live at 1997’s BotCon (the largest Transformers fan convention until Hasbro replaced it with the all-encompassing HasCon). A recording is available only for those who bought it at the following year’s BotCon.
In This Life: Bush re-recorded the song in 2006 hoping it would be included in Michael Bay’s then-forthcoming live-action remake of the cartoon. The unnostalgic director passed, and Bush included it on his 2007 album with another rejected song, “Til All Are One.” It’s not hard to understand why: they would have come across as extremely dated, and this rendition of “The Touch” feels particularly sluggish too.
Dream the Dream: Undeterred, Bush produced another version (titled “Sam’s Theme”) for Michael Bay, which was much more in-line with the edgier sound of Linkin Park’s songs in the films. It was also rejected and so put on Bush’s 2010 album, though without the rap on the single version. Bush also filmed a rather overwrought music video:
Power Mix: While not an album, we felt it worth mentioning this 2012 promotional single for the Fall of Cybertron video game because it contains the Epic Guitar Remix, which utterly embraces the power metal vibe and is easily the best “The Touch” has sounded since 1986. It’s played during the game’s end credits when Optimus and Jazz bump fists, after we’re subjected again to the dirge that was “Sam’s Theme”/ “Power Mix.” And yes, this is the version used in Saint’s Row IV.
Change the World: Finally we come to Bush’s new album, which contains a rather conservative take on “The Touch,” though the synths are somewhat more noticeable. It could certainly do with a greal deal more shredding. The album also contains a new version of Bush’s other song for The Transformers: The Movie, “Dare.”
Still not had enough of “The Touch”? Here, have an acapella version then: