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Flash - Flash CD (album) cover

FLASH

Flash

 

Eclectic Prog

3.65 | 94 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

SouthSideoftheSky
Special Collaborator
Symphonic Team
4 stars Flashy!

Flash tends to get compared to Yes, which is not strange since two ex-Yes members are in this group; Peter Banks and Tony Kaye. When Banks was replaced by Steve Howe he formed this group and Tony Kaye (who was replaced by Rick Wakeman at the same time) joined him.

There are some similarities between Flash and the first two Yes albums but it also bears some strong similarities to The Yes Album, I would say. Especially on the first track here, Small Beginnings, this song is not very far away from Yours Is No Disgrace in its style. The music of Flash also sometimes reminds me of the band Nektar.

The guitar work of Peter Banks is very good here, perhaps even a bit flashy at times, and it has clearly improved compared to his playing on Time And A Word. However, Banks guitar sound is not at all as distinctive and unique as that of Steve Howe. Tony Kaye has also expanded his horizons, while coming from only playing Hammond organ and piano he also plays a Moog solo in Children Of The Universe. Certainly not Wakeman-flash, but it adds to the piece.

Another similarity with Yes is in the tendency towards Yes-like harmony vocals. However, the actual lead vocals are very different compared to those of Jon Anderson, which gives some uniqueness to this group. There is nothing wrong with the vocals here, but they are not very distinctive (again, similar to the vocals by Nektar).

The material is melodic and strong and everything is very well performed. Judged as a successor to Time And A Word this is indeed a very good album. But in comparison with The Yes Album, Fragile and Close To The Edge, however, this falls very far behind - but then again, in my opinion, almost everything falls very far behind those incredible masterpieces! While Yes evolved with each subsequent album, Flash seems to have been stuck somewhere between Time And A Word and The Yes Album. But that is not a bad place to be stuck in and they do also add their very own touch to it making it worthwhile for all Prog fans.

Flash still holds up pretty well in the extended Yes family-tree among band like The Syn, Badger, Asia, GTR, ABWH, Conspiracy, etc. But they are not at the very the top of my Yes-related top list.

If Peter Banks had stayed in Yes and Steve Howe had never joined, this album gives us a very good idea of what Yes would have sounded like. And what we hear is very good. But still, luckily Steve Howe did join Yes and the rest is history, as they say.

This album is recommended for Yes fans and fans of early Symphonic Prog. It took some time for me to realise how good this was, but now I see its beauty.

SouthSideoftheSky | 4/5 |

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