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Flash - Flash CD (album) cover




Eclectic Prog

3.69 | 115 ratings

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Paul de Graaf
4 stars When guitarist Peter Banks (and Tony Kaye) had to leave Yes after their second album ('Time And A Word'), Banks formed Flash; a band who made three albums in 1972 and 1973, of whom this self-entitled one was the first one. Meantime, Yes created their three historic albums that became the all time top of progressive rock. With Steve Howe and Rick Wakeman instead of Banks and Kaye, the style of Yes became more rock-oriented, and their music became more mature. (There's a big difference between 'Time And A Word' and 'The Yes album', like there's a big difference between 'From Genesis To Revelation' and 'Trespass'.) The more rock-oriented style of Yes can easily be subscribed to the influence of new guitarist Steve Howe, who was more rock-oriented than Banks was. Flash however shows how Yes would have been when Banks wouldn't have left Yes. 'Flash' is an album with music that is certainly comparible to the music of 'The Yes Album', but with less exposed individual virtuosity, and with a much more progballad-like atmosphere - like from the sweet ballads like 'Yesterday and Today', 'Sweetness', 'Clear Days' and 'Sweet Dreams' from 'Yes' and 'Time And A Word', allthough with much more "body". Come to think of it, maybe the most important diiference between Yes and Flash lies in the vocals, as Colin Carter is an "ordinary classic" progsinger (like Max Bacon was in GTR), while Jon Anderson' voice is an unique extra instrument in Yes. I wouldn't call it Art Rock (like it is catagorised in PA): it certainly is symphonic prog-rock from the seventies, like Yes in that time; especially on this first album, with its contributions of Tony Kaye on keyboards. (Who "helped" only on the first album; he was never an official member of Flash.) After 'Time And A Word', Yes could go into two different directions, as we now know. Themselves they went into the well known one; Flash went into the other one: underestimated, and known by too little. Because of this historical context, four stars is the proper rating: it's a very good album, not a masterpiece, but for it's position in prog history it must be a part of any serious collection!
Paul de Graaf | 4/5 |


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