Flash
Flash


3.5
great

Review

by e210013 USER (113 Reviews)
February 4th, 2019 | 43 replies


Release Date: 1972 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Flash represents the continuity of the first Yes. Probably it represents what would Yes have sounded if Banks and Kaye never left.

“Flash” is the eponymous debut studio album of Flash and was released in 1972. The line up on the album is Chris Carter, Peter Banks, Ray Bennett and Mike Hough. The album had also the participation of Tony Kaye.


As we know, Peter Banks was an English guitarist, vocalist, songwriter and producer. He was the original guitarist of the bands Syn, Yes, Flash, and Empire. But, he became more known as the original guitarist of the famous progressive rock band Yes. But unfortunately, for him but certainly not for Yes, he became also known for being the first person to be fired from the ranks of Yes. When he was in Yes, Banks contributed with his lead guitar skills to the first two studio albums of Yes, “Yes” and “Time And A Word”, was responsible for the name of the band and designed the original, pre Roger Dean, Yes logo. The problem begun when Anderson and Squire decided they wanted an orchestra backing the five musicians on their second album. It wasn’t well received by Banks because the orchestral arrangements left the guitarist, as well as the keyboardist Tony Kaye, with little to do, since strings replaced their parts almost note-for-note.

As soon as he left Yes, while he was occupying his time with mostly session work in the interim, Banks formed Flash, in 1971, with Carter, Bennett and Hugh. There is some controversy over whether Kaye, who appeared on the first Flash album, was actually an “official” member of the group, or merely a guest. The confusion stems from the fact that Kaye is listed alongside the other members of the group on the back cover. Still, interviews with Banks and Kaye confirm that, though Kaye was invited to join he declined. So, he only participated on the album as a guest. With Banks on board, Flash released three studio albums, “Flash” and “In The Can”, in 1972 and “Out Of Our Hands”, in 1973, and two live albums, “Psychosync”, in 1997 and “In Public”, in 2013. Carter and Bennett released a fourth studio album in 2013.

It may not become as a big surprise that the music on “Flash” sounds quite much like to Yes. Besides, this was their debut album and represents their classic release too. “Flash” is an energetic progressive rock album in the vein of Yes’ third studio album “The Yes Album” but with some differences and changes. Still, any lover of Yes will eat up many tracks on the album especially the lengthy tracks. There are also some shorter and relaxed tracks here, but it’s of course in the long tracks the group really shines. The performance all over the album is good, and besides the excellent playing of both Kaye and Banks you’ll also notice the powerful bass playing of Bennett, in the same vein of Squire. Whereas Yes has moved on considerably with the release of “The Yes Album” and “Fragile”, “Flash” continued on from where “Time And A Word” had left off. So, somehow, we may say that “Flash” represents the continuity of the first Yes group and represents probably what Yes would be if Banks and Kaye would have continued as members of the band.

About the tracks, the lengthy “Small Beginnings”, “Children Of The Universe” and “Dreams Of Heaven”, are the stars here. “Small Beginnings” is a good track and has a certain resemblance to “No Opportunity Necessary, No Experience Needed” which opened “Time And A Word”. Banks provides a good guitar work supported by a nice drum rhythm of Hough and Bennett’s upfront bass lines. Kaye’s brief organ solo work and Carter’s falsetto complete the all picture. “Children Of The Universe” returns to the bombast of the opening track. It has a tight and cohesively structure and is catchy and complex enough to call the listener’s attention. This is a suitably epic with some Banks impressive playing. “Dreams Of Heaven” is centred around a nice guitar riff and chant like double tracked vocals. It’s really an opportunity for Banks in particular to demonstrate his technical skills. This is the least cohesive track of the three epics, in terms of arrangement, but it still is really captivating. Of the two remaining tracks, “Morning Haze” is a much simpler track with the bassist also supplying the lead vocal. It has a sunny Caribbean vibe thanks to the dual acoustic guitar picking, but I can see nothing special on it. “The Time It Takes” is a dreamy ballad that attempts to capture the pastoral quality of Yes’ “Sweetness”. It does however benefit from Banks’ familiar weeping guitar lines and Kaye’s tasteful organ playing.


Conclusion: “Flash” is the continuity of first Yes and represents probably what Yes would be if Banks and Kaye would have continued on Yes. Of the original line up, two members are present, Banks and Kaye. About the other three, if Bennett plays in the same vein of Squire and Hough can do Bill Bruford’s style drumming at moments, Carter isn’t Jon Anderson. Besides, Banks isn’t Steve Howe as a performer and composer. But above all, it lacks to Flash the creativity and the vision of Anderson and Howe. I always thought both were the main responsible for most of the best tracks on Yes. However, “Flash” is a nice album with some great moments. Whilst this album demonstrates Banks’ unwillingness to relinquish the past it also confirms his not inconsiderable input into the sound that shaped Yes’ formative years.


Music was my first love.
John Miles (Rebel)



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user ratings (13)
Chart.
3.5
great
other reviews of this album
Divaman (3.5)
Yes's AAA team hits a home run with its debut album....



Comments:Add a Comment 
e210013
February 4th 2019


2439 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

After my two reviews about two musical projects with Jon Anderson, it's now time to some other musical projects, but this time about Yes guitarists. So, nothing better than begin by the beginning. And in the beginning there was Peter Banks. So, despite we have already an excellent review of my friend Diva about this album, I had to review it also, to complete the all picture about my prog journey about Yes. Besides, the album had also the participation of the original keyboardist of Yes, and so, somehow, my review covers the two ex-founders of Yes.

I hope that you like it. Your comments are always welcome.

bgillesp
February 4th 2019


7022 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Nice review. Literally swapped this in a record swap with a friend today

wham49
February 4th 2019


4692 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I have had this for some time, but have not spun it yet



another 72 album, probably the best year in the 70's which makes it probably best year overall



great dig bgillesp

e210013
February 4th 2019


2439 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Nice bgillesp, great dig indeed. Thanks for your comment pal.

e210013
February 4th 2019


2439 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

"I have had this for some time, but have not spun it yet"

But you must. It isn't a masterpiece but overall is a very good album.

I'm really not sure if 1972 is the best year for the music of the 70's. But it's certainnly an excellent year with 1973, 1974 and 1975.

Thanks for your comment too, dude.

wham49
February 4th 2019


4692 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

70-78 are in the running for top 5 YOAT, no other span has that diverse great fantastic music. I lean toward 72 just because, to each their own, but hard to dispute that decade



and will spin ASAP

e210013
February 4th 2019


2439 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

"hard to dispute that decade"

I completely agree.

"and will spin ASAP"

Great.

Divaman
February 4th 2019


3812 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Very nice, e. As you know, I have a great deal of affection for this album, which has been forgotten by too many people. I've been less impressed with what I've heard of this band's catalog, which makes me think that Kaye's contributions to this one were more important than I had originally imagined (since this was his only album with them.) In any event, nice work. You did justice to this fine LP.



(Btw, your review of Squire's solo album a little while bak has inspired me to finally get myself a digital copy. I'm listening to it as I read your Flash review. Thanks again.)

Digging: Runa - Ten: The Errant Knight

TwigTW
February 4th 2019


3799 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

This is a nice one... and it makes me wonder, is it almost time for another prog tourney?

Digging: Brian Eno - Apollo: Atmospheres & Soundtracks

Divaman
February 4th 2019


3812 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I'm hoping, Twig. I'm sure Friday will let us know when he's ready.

wham49
February 4th 2019


4692 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I’ve asked and he said he is too busy, you guys nudge him, it is about time for me to get bounced right away, my legacy in the prog tourney

e210013
February 4th 2019


2439 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

@ Diva

I knew already about your affection to this album, since you has reviewed too.

I'm flattered and happy because my contribution to Squire's album made you buy a copy of it. Nice.

Thanks too my friend for your kind words.

e210013
February 4th 2019


2439 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Thanks, Twig.

I'm also waiting by the next friday's prog tourney. it's a pity he is too busy right now. But I sincerely hope that he can get some time to it.

Jethro42
February 4th 2019


15926 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Prog is dying on sputnik, isn't it? The only guy who is writing about prog music on a regular basis is e21. He's holding the prog torch all alone. His reviews are my weekly treats and I am one of the few guys who supports him, and if he wasn't there, I would probably quit the site for the good. There is more than prog to be loved as a kind of music, but I need a minimum of prog. Not much to be found anymore on sput during the last 5 years. The new sput generation just doesn't care about it, sadly.

Good review mate. I don't really have any pleasure to listen to that album, but I confess it's well crafted.

Jethro42
February 4th 2019


15926 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Well, I'll relisten to it once again properly, to revise my rating and to see if I change my mind about the album.

e210013
February 4th 2019


2439 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Thanks for your kind words my friend. Fortunately today appeared a handful of prog fans of Sputnik writting about this review. Anyway, in the last days we had two more prog reviews here, "Heaven And Hearth" by Diva and "The Great Deceiver" by Zig.

Maybe the things change. I hope so.

Thanks again.

Jethro42
February 4th 2019


15926 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Yeah, I must be in a bad humor hahah, will fix it as soon as possible. Prog lives on, let's protect it. Keep the good work up, you all brothers in prog!

wham49
February 4th 2019


4692 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Nice rant Jethro, there are like minded people here, I think, but they aren’t duesche bag who post stupid bs every 2 seconds, so it doesn’t seem like it



I have noticed tons of cool dudes not posting for months in a row this winter

Divaman
February 4th 2019


3812 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Not only Squire's album, my friend. Your series inspired me to also go back and pick up copies of The Steve Howe album, and Rick Wakeman's No Earthly Connection, 1984 and Criminal Record. (I know you didn't actually review those last two, but your Yes series put me in the mood for them).



And Jethro my friend, I know the album is as much pop as prog, but remember, I just dropped a review of Yes's Heaven & Earth a few days ago.



The problem is that prog is only one of my interests, so I tend to rotate my reviews around. But my next scheduled review, probably next week some time, will be of a prog artist who I've never reviewed before. Hopefully that will cheer you up.



But yes, e does a wonderful job of keeping the prog love coming, and of consistently reviewing prog albums.

Divaman
February 4th 2019


3812 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Btw, for my prog friends, I have some tickets for Procol Harum later this month, and for Strawbs in April. I'll make a list and let you know how they were.



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