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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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Prog Reviewer
4 stars Finally got a copy of this. It's about time! Two Sides of Peter Banks was his first solo album. There seems to be a story that the label wanted a Flash album and a Peter Banks solo album to be released exactly the same time, so it's a bit obvious that the album was rush released (which explains the two jams, "Stop That!" and "Get Out of My Fridge" were tagged at the end of side two). Essentially this is as much a Jan Akkerman album as a Peter Banks album. Here they get help from two Flash bandmates with Ray Bennett and Mick Hough, plus Phil Collins, John Wetton (misspelled "Whetton" on the album), and even Steve Hackett; however, the last two only appeared on "Knights (Reprise)". "White House Vail" is a really amazing piece, I especially dig the more calm parts towards the end. One parts sounds like Steve Hillage went and borrowed it for his own "Leylines to Glassdom" off his album Green (1978). "Knights" has a rather harsh start (Änglagård borrowed a part of this for "Ifrån Klarhet till Klarhet" off their album Hybris from 1992) but has some really brilliant passages. "Knights (Reprise)" is actually a bit different, with a nice jazzy part played on synth. If Steve Hackett is on this, you can barely notice him. So much has been said on how inferior side two is that people tend to overlook the opening cut, "Beyond the Loneliest Sea", as this is as much the same high quality material that took up side one. A rather moody piece with electric piano and classical guitar (latter courtesy of Akkerman). "Stop That!" and "Get Out of My Fridge" came from extended late-night jams. Peter Banks and Jan Akkerman didn't have these session to put on album in mind, but it happened anyway, because he was rushed with solo album and getting Flash's last album Out of Our Hands out the same day. To be honest, despite the clumsy feel to "Stop That!" I rather like the mood and atmosphere. The Grateful Dead had gotten away with worse jams, but it's true the flaws are plain obvious to see. Phil Collins often sounded like he kept doing things on his drums to try to up the intensity, to keep a smoother flow, it's like he was saying, "Hey guys, lets up the pace". "Get Out of My Fridge" is more successful, although not to everyone's taste. It's clear they weren't taking themselves seriously here as they try a more country-influenced jam. I am not 100% surprised that Peter Banks stated that Jan Akkerman was embarrassed that those two jams were put on record. There may be elements of Flash, Focus, and Yes, but it's not immediately obvious. I can say right away that I far prefer this over Steve Howe's Beginning, because you don't have to put up with Steve's singing (no one can deny Steve's talent on guitar, but Beginnings prove his mouth should have never been near a microphone).

This is one of those albums I should have bought years ago, because you can't deny the brilliant material, but it's as popular opinion goes, aside from "Beyond the Loneliest Sea" the rest of side two doesn't quite match the brilliance of side one, but it's still a worthy album in your collection.

Progfan97402 | 4/5 |


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