Flash - Flash (1972)

After his days in Yes and a very brief stay in Bloodwyn Pig, Peter Banks started Flash together with lead vocalist Colin Carter, soon to be joined by bassist Ray Bennett and drummer Mike Hough. Former Yes-colleague Tony Kaye agreed to play keyboards on this one, more as a special guest than as a proper member. So, the final result turned out to be pretty similar to “The Yes Album”, regarding the melodic sensibility and the sense of excitement portrayed in the performances, but with a major presence of jazz swing and a general tendency toward working on a more concise number of musical themes. These elements make the listener aware of the caliber of Bank’s input for the forging of the Yes sound: something that should be more acknowledge than it usually is. In fact, Banks seems to have found in Flash a proper vehicle for a freer expansion of his guitar skills and musical ideas, with Bennett acting simultaneously as the perfect companion for Hough and an effective partner for Bank’s guitar riffs and harmonies. Bennett’s role proves crucial in the foundation of a solid ground for the musical colours displayed by the guitar, the vocal melodies and the keyboards. Tracks, 1, 3 & 4 are the longest and most elaborated numbers. ‘Small Beginnings’ and ‘Children of the Universe’ are tight and cohesively structured, catchy enough to call the listener’s attention, and complex enough to keep the progressive flame burning solidly. ‘Dreams of Heaven’ is the longest of the three, and also the least cohesive in terms of arrangement, but the jazz interlude jamming, the brief Spanish guitar solo that comes after the ad-lib opening, and the vocal melodies are really captivating – it seems as if the parts could shine brighter than the whole, while in tracks 1 & 3 the parts were fully integrated in the whole making it compact and fluid. The remaining two tracks are less ambitious, but not unattractive: ‘Morning Haze’ is a CSNY-ish acoustic piece with slight bluesy nuances, while ‘The Time It Takes’ is an eerie ballad in which the organ layers provide a proper landscape for Carter’s introspective singing and Banks’ soft picked leads. The whirling of a distant wild wind (played on ARP synthesizer) serves as a proper background for the fade-out, since it enhances the song’s ethereal ambience. A great record this is, so it must be considered as an excellent addition to any good prog collection. - Review by Cesar Inca (César Inca Mendoza Loyola)

Track Listings

1. Small beginnings (9:23)
2. Morning haze (4:32)
3. Children of the universe (8:55)
4. Dreams of Heaven (12:57)
5. The time it takes (5:48)

Total Time: 41:48

- Peter Banks / acoustic electric & Spanish guitars, Hooter, ARP synth, backing vocals
- Ray Bennett / bass, acoustic guitar, backing vocals, lead vocals (2)
- Colin Carter / vocals, percussion
- Mike Hough / drums, percussion, cymbals, badinage
- Tony Kay / organ, piano, ARP synth
Releases information

Lp. Capitol SMAS 11040 (USA) / Cd. One Way Sovereign 21 17796 (1994)


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