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Flash Out Of Our Hands album cover
3.08 | 78 ratings | 10 reviews | 13% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 1973

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Open Sky (0:40)
2. None The Wiser (King) (3:17)
3. Farewell Number One (Pawn) (1:37)
4. Man Of Honour (Knight) (4:45)
5. Dead Ahead (Queen) (4:38)
6. The Bishop (4:21)
7. Psychosync (4:50) :
- a) Escape
- b) Farewell Number Two
- c) Conclusion
8. Manhattan Morning (Christmas '72) (6:24)
9. Shadows (It's You) (3:20)

Total Time: 33:52

Line-up / Musicians

- Colin Carter / lead vocals
- Peter Banks / guitar, ARP & Moog synths, banjo, vocals
- Ray Bennett / bass, Mellotron, clavinet, piano, ARP synth, acoustic guitar, vocals
- Mike Hough / drums, congas, tabla

Releases information

Artwork: Hipgnosis and Philip Crennell (tinting)

LP Sovereign ‎- SVNA 7260 (1973, UK)
LP Sovereign ‎- SMAS-11218 (1973, US)

CD One Way Records ‎- S21 17414 (1993, US)
CD Esoteric Recordings ‎- ECLEC 2200 (2010, UK) Remastered

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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FLASH Out Of Our Hands ratings distribution

(78 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(13%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(26%)
Good, but non-essential (54%)
Collectors/fans only (3%)
Poor. Only for completionists (5%)

FLASH Out Of Our Hands reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Sean Trane
3 stars Third and last strike for Flash, and yet again a sexist (dildos and tits growing out knuckles in front of a peeping eye) artwork, this time in a gatefold sleeve, but this was definitely not enough for this out-of-steam Yes clone. Unchanged line-up, and a fairly different soundscape and much shorter tracks, the longest by far being 6-mins+. What's fairly different about OOOH is the return of keyboards after the almost kb-empty ITC album. But these are in the hands of Banks (who'd shown us he was limited on the ARP synth) and mainly Bennett, with piano and a bit of (discreet) mellotron. The other thing that strikes is that most of the Yes-influenced are almost gone, but it doesn't make the proghead anymore at ease, though, because we are in a proto-AOR with Yes prog touches. Bennett is again the more prolific writer (5.5 of 9) with Carter

Most of the tracks hover in the radio-friendly format, but apparently failed in their mission, and I can easily see why: may be too complex for being a "hit", but also that certain originality that eludes them as well and Carter's voice being borderline irritating in the long run. Actually, despite the AOR sound, this album is no less prog than its two predecessors, the proggiest being the four-part Yes-ian Psychosync track, answering the Farewell Number One tidbit on the other side of the vinyl. Also noteworthy is the album-lengthiest Manhattan Morning, a sometimes interesting mid-section, where the Tron is very discreet and Banks' guitar finally seems to find its own sound. Somehow Flash had a lot more legitimacy (because of their origins) at being Yes clones or sound-alikes than bands like Druid or Starcastle or Flame Dream, but by the start of their third album, they has the merit to realize it wouldn't lead them anywhere. Rather different than s/t and ITC, OOOH is no worse than they are, and might even have a tad more merit.

I am a normal heterosexual pervert like most the males in developed western countries, but I do think that Flash covers are tacky, tasteless and sexist but then again maybe the decision to use these was to hide the fact that their music was not that good. All three Flash albums received a recent Cd re-issue on the wonderful Esoteric label, to replace the out-of-print One Way Record reissue dating from the mid-90's. Despite being much less derivative, many proghead look down at this album

Review by daveconn
4 stars What do chess and an interstellar messenger of peace have in common? Nothing, I'd venture, but it didn't stop Ray Bennett from laboring on this stellar concept album all the same. Like any FLASH album, the comparisons to early YES are invited and no doubt appreciated. There are plenty of moments here that'll transport you to strange new places, provided you're willing to put in the same amount of effort you did on "Tales of Topographic Oceans".

Bennett and Peter Banks in particular connect on some passages that click as well as Chris Squire and Steve Howe. It occurs to me when I listen to "Out of Our Hands" that this might be the lost YES album I've been looking for. Certainly it's closer to the mark than Steve Howe's Beginnings, In The Can or Two Sides of Peter Banks. Almost every song on here has some redeeming moment of magic, from the opening of "The Bishop" (which prefigures Gang of Four by at least a few years) to the tripping guitar lines on "Dead Ahead". Maybe I've grown used to Colin Carter's voice by now but he does seem better suited to the music this time, suggesting Jon Anderson's voice with clipped wings. Where Anderson soared, Carter is entrenched, holding steadfast in the midst of Banks' acrobatic leads and Bennett's bold bass lines.

The result is a style that produces some fine moments, including "Man of Honour", "Shadows" and delightful "Psychosync". As busy as Bennett is with writing most of the material and playing bass, his keyboard contributions are cursory, which results in some missing music. If sections feel like they need to be fleshed out on occasion, it's to be expected with FLASH. Their purpose was never to replace YES, but rather to build something different from the same foundation. Sadly, "Out of Our Hands" was their last album, and another avenue to nirvana was closed. This record (and, in fact the entire FLASH catalog) are well worth rediscovery -- the Dead Sea Scrolls of the Yesstory, in a manner of speaking.

Review by hdfisch
3 stars I was very lucky to find this gem on vinyl for not more than one swiss Franc and I'm very happy about it. Of course FLASH can't be compared in quality with YES, if at all maybe with the style they did with their very first line-up. Actually I really like their debut album when Peter Banks was still on board, although many people consider this one as a non-essential one. What we get here is quite similar to that style and not only Colin Carter's rather high-pitched vocals but as well the very good guitar and bass playing has some resemblances. The music is certainly much less complex than on masterpieces like "Close to the edge" or "Relayer", but nevertheless there are great songs on this album like "The Bishop", "None The Wiser", "Man Of Honour" , "Psychosync" and "Shadows". I listened to all their albums and although I like them all I'd say this one here is the best and maybe the only one I could recommend. Moreover even the artwork is here of better quality than on their others which had a quite simple and some kind of seducing cover "art". But anyway usually I don't judge records by their visual appearance. Really an enjoyable listen and I would give this one 3,5 stars actually!
Review by SouthSideoftheSky
3 stars Out of our bands

I own this third album by Flash as part of a two-albums-on-one-CD together with the self-titled debut album. It is quite strange that the first and the third album are released together like this, while passing over the second album. The second album seems to be harder to find now, and I have not heard that one yet (but I do intend to soon).

This third album is similar in style to the debut. The differences are that this album is a bit more guitar-oriented and has shorter tracks. I enjoy both albums. The songs are melodic and feature good guitar work, good bass guitar, good vocals and good drums as well as some keyboards (even if Tony Kaye was no longer with them at this time). The guitar sound is often similar to that of Steve Howe and the bass guitar sound is similar to that of Chris Squire but certainly not as distinctive as these players. The sound of Flash is a bit anonymous compared to the likes of Yes, (but then again most bands are!) They seem to lack a strong musical identity of their own.

The lead vocals are not similar to those of Jon Anderson. The harmony vocals on the other hand are sometimes a bit Yes-like. There is nothing wrong with the lead vocals, but they do not stand out - they are not really distinctive or unique, but rather anonymous.

Judged as a successor to Flash's debut album and compared to the two first Yes albums, Out Of Our Hands holds up quite well. But while Yes continued to evolve with each subsequent album, Flash seems to have been stuck somewhere between Time And A Word and The Yes Album. In comparison with The Yes Album, Fragile and Close To The Edge, this falls very far behind. Still, I would say that Flash holds up pretty well in the extended Yes family-tree among band like The Syn, Badger, Asia, GTR, ABWH, Conspiracy, etc.

If Peter Banks had stayed in Yes and Steve Howe had never joined, Flash gives us a very good idea of what Yes might have sounded like. It is good but not essential Prog. This album is recommended for Yes fans and fans of early Symphonic Prog.

Review by Evolver
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
3 stars With nine songs in just over thirty minutes, this is hardly what you would expect for a prog album. But at least they started getting away, at least a little bit, from that early Yes sound. The songs are all strung together, so when listening, it has the feel of listening to an epic, athough they are all distinctly different songs.

Bassist and keyboardist Ray Bennett moves forward on this album. He is the composer of most of the songs on this album, and his bass pushes the entire album. The songs are definitely all progressive, in that early seventies style. But at only a half an hour, this album ends much too soon.

It's too bad they broke up after this one.

Review by b_olariu
3 stars Third album from 1973 named Out of our hands is the weakest one from the 3, somehow this album sounds like the band lost intrest in composing progressive rock music. Anyway not a bad album, some moments are realy good, but now the pieces are no more such long like on previous albums, all piece are under 6 min, the music keeping in places the Flash sound, but are less intristing and are no more that catchy. Still a good album to me, nothing realy impressive, but I know hundreds of prog rock albums that sounds less intristing then this album. 3 stars for sure less intristing then first one who I rated aswell with 3 stars. After this album the band disbanded and they fall into oblivion one way or another. Still a band to discover if you are a prog rock fan of the '70's .
Review by Tarcisio Moura
3 stars I guess everybody expected too much from anything Yes-related at the time. So Peter Banks group had a kind of very demanding audience from day one. And I remember the group being more famous for the covers of the albums than for the music they produced. It was unfair, of course. For my part, I never heard Out Of Our Hands at the time of its release (I was 16, and it was the 70īs, so I had already too many interesting things to listen to). So I decided to give it a shot lately, after a friend brought up the subject of the group in a conversation. He kindly borrowed me the CD and I must say I was not initially impressed. However, with each spin I started to like it more and more. In the end I was enjoying it very much.

Their music is like a kind of very early Yes with a very different singer and without the keyboards. Ok, a few mellotron and synth lines can be found here and there, but nothing like any other symphonic prog band at the period. This is a concept album, but its running time is very short (only 33 minutes). And I must say that Banks guitar parts are really excellent, along with Ray Bernnetīs terrific bass runs (again, very Yes-ish, but they sound natural, not forced at all). So the guitar and bass playing are the highlghts of the entire CD. Colin Carterīs vocals are VERY diffeerent for the style, but once you get used to it, it works. The songwriting is not exceptional, but good and solid all the way. The tracks are varied and there are no fillers. The production is excelent for the time. You can hear everything very well balanced. The best song for me is Psychosync, an impressive tune.

Conclusion: a very nice record indeed. If youīre a fan of guitar and bass-led prog, go for it! Too bad the band broke up after this record, for they had enough talent to grow much more. Overall I wouldnīt say itīs essential, but Out Of Our Hands will please a lot of progheads, specially the fans of Yes. At the very least they sound way more honest than dozens of that groupīs imitators. So, a fair rating would be 3.5 stars.

Review by stefro
3 stars The last and possibly the least of Flash's trio of albums(all of which where released in 1972) 'Out Of Our Hands' should nonetheless still satisfy those with a more than just a passing fondness for both 'Flash' and 'In The Can'. With the same line-up from both previous efforts still in place - guitarist-and-leader Peter Banks augmented by drummer Mike Hough, bassist Ray Bennett and vocalist Colin Carter - there is a nice sense of continuation about 'Out Of Our Hands', yet conversely this is also the album where Flash tried, with mixed results, to expand their sound beyond the metallic-prog framework that worked so well on both previous efforts. So, as a result, there are no ten-minute epics to be found here, the individual tracks feature a slightly more experimental texture, and Banks infamous guitar licks seem to have been muted by the group leader's own desire to seemingly mellow the overall Flash experience and thus push the group out of the looming shadow of Yes, the group that so unceremoniously sacked him after just two albums. There is also a kind of 'Chess' theme, though exactly why is never really made clear. Of course, doing away with a well-worked formula is always a risk and despite a couple of genuine corkers in the shape of bass-rubbed 'Dead Ahead' and album closer 'Shadows(Its You)' 'Out Of Our Hands' fails to live up to the group's high standards. That said, this is still an album well worth exploring for fans of 1970s progressive rock, the real disappointment being that Flash couldn't end their annoyingly-truncated career on a slightly grander note. STEFAN TURNER, ANGEL ISLINGTON, 2012
Review by patrickq
1 stars Ouch! Definitely one for completists. Out of Our Hands is reasonably well performed, and the sound's not bad. But the songs are uninspired. If it turned out that this record was assembled from scratch over a short weekend, or that it was recorded strictly as a contractual obligation, I wouldn't be surprised.

It's been claimed, or maybe guessed, that Out of Our Hands is a concept album. If so, I don't get it! There are songs with "king," "pawn," "knight," "queen," and "bishop" in the title, but beyond that, no evident theme.

The closing jam of "Man of Honour (Knight)" is pretty good, as are the intros to "Psychosynch" (i.e., the "Escape" section) and "Manhattan Morning (Christmas '72)." But in general, in every respect, Out of Our Hands is a lesser album than In the Can - - and a much poorer album than the group's debut. Even Peter Banks, the band's driving force, and an excellent guitarist, is unimpressive throughout much of this album.

(P.S. This doesn't enter into my rating of Out of Our Hands at all, but I find it hard to believe that the album cover wasn't considered stupid, even in 1973. Maybe stupid was just more acceptable!)

Latest members reviews

4 stars In his autobiography, Peter Banks remarks that a band's third album is where they get more complex, deep and ambitious. This characterizes Out of our Hands, a related point Banks makes in his book. "Dead Ahead" is a track well illustrating Bank's remarks on third albums and Out of our Hands spec ... (read more)

Report this review (#2481605) | Posted by steamhammeralltheway | Wednesday, December 2, 2020 | Review Permanlink

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