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Peter Banks - Two Sides Of Peter Banks CD (album) cover


Peter Banks


Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.38 | 67 ratings

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Special Collaborator
Symphonic Team
3 stars A good side, and a not so good side

Peter Banks was the original guitarist of Yes, playing with them between 1968 and 1970. Before that Banks was also involved in pre-Yes bands Mabel Greer's Toy Shop and The Syn. After having recorded two albums with Yes - the self-titled 1969 debut and 1970's Time and a Word - Banks was replaced in the group by Steve Howe. Banks then formed a new band called Flash and released three albums with that band. The first, self-titled Flash album was released in 1972 and featured another Yes-man in Tony Kaye (who by that time had also exited Yes) on keyboards. The same year saw a follow-up album called In The Can and in the year after that Out Of Our Hands appeared. Banks' first solo album entitled Two Sides of Peter Banks was recorded at the same time as that third Flash album and released in the same year.

The album title is apt, as the two vinyl sides are very different from each other in character. The first side is by far the better one featuring more structured compositions while the second side is occupied by two extended jams with Jan Akkerman from Focus. Akkerman also contributes to the first side, and even gets sole credits on one of the tracks.

Other people appearing on the album are Steve Hackett and Phil Collins from Genesis and John Wetton from King Crimson. Also, Ray Bennett and Mike Hough from Flash are present. Some of these names give a clue as to the nature of the music. There are some lovely softer moments during the first half of the album that remind a bit of the wonderful Focus, and some of the heavier passages remind of King Crimson. However, if you come to this album expecting something similar to early Yes, or a straight continuation of Flash, then you will probably be disappointed.

Like Collins and Akkerman, Banks too had a jazzier side, and he explores that on side two of the album. I'm sure they had fun playing together, but it is sadly no fun for the listener. To sum up, the first side of this album is good, but the second side is dispensable.

SouthSideoftheSky | 3/5 |


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