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PETER BANKS

Jazz Rock/Fusion • United Kingdom


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Peter Banks biography
The English guitarist Peter BANKS (July 15, 1947 - March 8, 2013) is perhaps best-known for his work with the progressive rock band YES. Those who only see that part of the picture, though, are missing out on quite a lot. BANKS first got his start with YES bassist Chris SQUIRE in the group THE SYN. That group made a bit of a name for themselves in England from 1966 to late 1967. SQUIRE and BANKS moved to their next group after THE SYN disbanded, the band MABEL GREER'S TOY SHOP. BANKS left that group at about the time vocalist Jon ANDERSON was starting to become a presence on their scene, but it would only be a matter of time until they would work together. BANKS went to play for a short time with NEAT CHANGE. As fate would have it, though, he hooked back up with SQUIRE and ANDERSON'S TOY SHOP. By then, they had added Tony KAYE and Bill BRUFORD to the lineup and were just ready to embark on a new name for the outfit. The new name and Peter BANKS' return were nearly simultaneous, and YES was born. The group released two albums with BANKS. The first of those was the self-titled debut that came out in 1969, the second album was "Time & a Word" released in 1970. By that time, the group had decided that Peter BANKS was not really the guitarist for the band and replaced him with Steve HOWE. BANKS thus found himself without a musical home.

Undaunted, he formed FLASH, a prog band that seemed to carry on in the mode that YES might have gone had BANKS remained. As fate would have it, keyboardist Tony KAYE was the next to feel the growing pains of YES, and upon his replacement from the group he hooked up with FLASH. The band released their debut, "Flash", in 1972. They followed it in rapid-fire succession with "In the Can" (also released in 1972) and "Out Of Our Hands" (1973). A live album, originally a bootleg, surfaced many years later under the moniker of "Psychosync". FLASH disbanded in 1973 and BANKS released his first solo album, "Two Sides Of Peter Banks", that year. The album featured a rather impressive lineup of BANKS, fellow FLASH members Ray BENNETT and Mike HOUGH, Jan AKKERMAN, John WETTON, and Phil COLLINS.

BANKS' next endeavor was a group that began under the name FLASH Mark II. After a time, though, they came to be called EMPIRE. The band recorded a total of three albums before breaking up in 1980. BANKS was not heard from for quite some time, after the end of EMPIRE. Indeed, his next release was the 1993 solo album "Instinct". The album...
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Two Sides of Peter BanksTwo Sides of Peter Banks
Import · Remastered
Esoteric 2009
Audio CD$10.66
$24.49 (used)
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PETER BANKS discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

PETER BANKS top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.17 | 33 ratings
Two Sides of Peter Banks
1973
3.21 | 11 ratings
Instinct
1994
2.19 | 7 ratings
Self-Contained
1995
3.14 | 7 ratings
Reduction
1997

PETER BANKS Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

PETER BANKS Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

PETER BANKS Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.00 | 2 ratings
Can I Play You Something?
1999

PETER BANKS Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

PETER BANKS Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Two Sides of Peter Banks by BANKS, PETER album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.17 | 33 ratings

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Two Sides of Peter Banks
Peter Banks Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by stefro
Prog Reviewer

2 stars The guitarist's solo debut, 1973's 'Two Sides Of Peter Banks' found the diminutive ex-Flash and Yes axeman backed by a quite incredible(for the times) all-star line-up that included the likes of Focus legend Jan Akkermann, former King Crimson bassist John Wetton, and, a decade prior to his early-eighties soft-pop superstar guise, Genesis drummer-and-singer Phil Collins. Add Flash members Ray Bennett(bass) and Mike Hough(drums), as well as another Genesis member in the form of guitarist Steve Hackett, and you have a lip- smacking proposition for prog-rock fans; a line-up of almost dream-team proportions. On paper, 'Two Sides Of Peter Banks' looks like it might just have everything, with virtuoso musicians mixing together within an exciting progressive framework. In reality, however, this glib album proves anything but exciting. The problem, it seems, is Banks himself. Always drawn as a rather strange character yet universally-lauded for his sometimes dazzling guitar histrionics, the British guitarist enjoyed a brief career in rock 'n' roll, appearing on the first Yes album, and then forming Flash in 1972 with Bennett, Hough and vocalist Colin Carter. Flash would produce three studio albums between 1972 and 1973 and tour North America before splitting, and that - apart from this solo release and a handful of barely-released CD albums from the mid-nineties - is pretty much it for Mr Banks. Here, despite the star backing, Banks has essentially created an oddly-disjointed instrumental album filled with impressive technical performances but sorely lacking in memorable tunes and melodies, the whole affair lacking the fire and passion the guitarist brought to the first two Flash albums. From the maudlin opening tones of the murky intro piece 'Visions Of The King' - a throwaway piece capped by both gritty metallic guitars and lilting acoustic chimes - to the messy pop-prog of 'Knights' and the laboured epic 'Stop That!', 'Two Sides Of Peter Banks' fails to capture the imagination in the same way as the album's cast list has. Banks aficianado's may of course lap it all up, but for this Yes-and-Flash fan, both sides of this particular Banks have proved rather disappointing. It could have been great. It wasn't. STEFAN TURNER, STOKE NEWINGTON, 2014

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 Two Sides of Peter Banks by BANKS, PETER album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.17 | 33 ratings

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Two Sides of Peter Banks
Peter Banks Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Guillermo
Prog Reviewer

3 stars This album was recorded at the same time as FLASH`s "Out of Our Hands" album in 1973. In interviews the late Peter Banks said that the record company wanted a solo album from him, so he recorded this album during the nightime while the "Out of Our Hands" album was recorded during the daytime. I think that for Banks this working schedule could have been a hard time having to complete two albums working on them almost all the time at the same time. So, in my opinion, this is reflected in the content of his solo album, an album which sometimes looks and sounds more like a collaboration with guitarist Jan Akkerman from Dutch band FOCUS, more than really being a solo album by Banks. At almost the same time, Banks was also playing some gigs with a part-time band called ZOX AND THE RADAR BOYS, a "jam band" which also included Phil Collins on drums, plus Ronnie Caryl on guitar and three other musicians whose names I don`t remember now. So, maybe this was the reason Collins appeared in this album during the time he was playing wiht Banks in that "jam band". Anyway, Banks said that he had great fun while recording this solo album.

This album sounds more like a collection of improvised instrumental musical pieces, or at least, some pre-composed musical ideas which were augmented in the studio with improvisations while recording the album. There are some very good guitar collaborations and interactions between Banks and Akkerman, sometimes using acoustic guitars playing some Classical Music arrangements. Banks also shows why he was considered as a very good guitar player with his very personal style of playing the heavy parts of the songs, also using some complicated chords in some parts and also playing some very good lead guitar parts.

This album also was like a "Progressive Rock Star Session" due to the appearances of John Wetton on bass, Steve Hacket on guitar (in a very brief and in an almost "cameo apperance"), Phil Collins on several tracks (with his drums playing being particularly very good and present), plus two of Banks` bandmates in FLASH Mike Hough and Ray Bennet.

I don`t know if this solo album was released before "Out of Our Hands", but it seems that FLASH was in their last days as a band anyway, so maybe the record label wanted to give more support to Banks as a solo musician, so they asked him to record this solo album, but it was not as successful as expected. Unfortunately, FLASH broke up as a band during a tour in the U.S. in 1973 and Banks` musical career was not very successful for the rest of the seventies, a time during which he tried to form another band called EMPIRE which could not get a recording contract. Fortunately, in the nineties he became more active with his solo career recording and releasing several solo albums and also playing some concerts with a band called HARMONY IN DIVERSITY. But he died a year ago being 65 years old.

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 Two Sides of Peter Banks by BANKS, PETER album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.17 | 33 ratings

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Two Sides of Peter Banks
Peter Banks Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by BORA

2 stars Meandering, gentle and totally directionless.

This is the first solo effort I've ever heard from Peter Banks. Chances are it may be the last, too. No, it's not horrible at all, indeed the musicianship is pretty good, but the compositions leave a lot to be desired.

All instrumental - which is not at all against my preferences - but little substance is to be found here to fill the void in place of vocals, or other vital input. Indeed, I feel that I am listening to an Ementhaler cheese with more holes than solid material. Still, not without taste, but biting into chunks of not much is not my preference.

The album starts with a flamenco-ish touch and ends up with a mediocre hoedown. In- between there are some very pleasant licks, showing that Banks could play if he wanted to, but the lack of attention to compositions fail to support his talent as a good musician.

It's not before I get to the second last and longest track "Stop That!" that my interest is raised somewhat. This is a groovy and slightly jazzy piece - somewhat reminiscent of Jan Akkerman's laid back, "lazy Sunday afternoon" approach heard on "Complete Guitarist", or "It Could Happen To You". Well, if this album was made up of pieces like that, I would enjoy it much more alas, one tune alone does very little to me.

Overall, this release reminds me of when I visit musician friends, catching them just fooling around in the basement without being too serious. This is definitely not Jazz-Rock just because it has no vocals. Then again, I am not familiar with Banks' other works.

Suffice to say, I am pleased that Steve Howe had replaced Banks in YES. With Banks, YES would have never become the band it is/was. This album makes "Topographic" a roaring Rock&Roll piece in comparison.

In a sense it's good, but closer to collectors material. 2.5 rounded down.

PS: Good Heavens! At the time of writing my piece I wasn't even aware that Jan Akkerman was featured here. Well, it only shows....

.

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 Instinct by BANKS, PETER album cover Studio Album, 1994
3.21 | 11 ratings

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Instinct
Peter Banks Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Moogtron III

3 stars Peter Banks is the original guitar player of Yes, and it's regrettable that he never found commercial success. He left Yes before they became big, and the reasons are even today a bit unclear. Didn't Banks develop himself fast enough within Yes, or was it because of leadership conflicts that he had to leave? However the case, after the guitar genius Steve Howe took over Banks' role within Yes, and after Banks couldn't reach a wide audience with his records with Flash and as a solo artist, he was somewhat forgotten, except by some true Yes aficionados.

This album, proves the world wrong, though, because this all instrumental album clearly shows that Peter Banks is an excellent guitar player, a very good composer, and a good keyboard player and drum(machine program)mer on top of it.

Looking at the cover art, with the paintings that look as if they were from Van Gogh, Dali e.a., the suggestion comes up that this is a true guitar player's album, an album with a lot of guitar soloing.

And to be honest, this is true if you look at the way the songs of the album are built up. There is quite some variety on the album, but most of the songs have the same construction, or skeleton, so to say: there is a steady drum pattern, slow, fast, swinging, or whatever the mood of the song is. On top of the rhythm there is a warm synth layer like an ocean wave. And finally, on top of it all, it's Banks soloing on his guitars, like riding the crest of his own (keyboard) waves. Oh yes, and as an ornament: between the songs, and sometimes within the songs, there are some sound samples which sound like they were taken from a somewhat distorted transistor radio, where a few gentlemen are stating some funny, absurd, oneliners like: "I wouldn't, and neither would my daughter" or: "Wait a minute, wait a minute, you ain't seen nothing yet."

As it comes to Banks' guitar playing: didn't Bill Bruford once say that Peter Banks had some Wes Montgomery in himself, and lots of Pete Townshend? That was, and is, a good analysis. Yet, Peter Banks widened his palette since his Yes days. Banks has obviously grown as an artist. One can, for instance, also hear David Gilmour, Jeff Beck, Eric Clapton back in his music. Bruford's statement is still true, though, especially as it comes to the Pete Townshend part. Peter Banks has quite a bit of aggressiveness in his playing. Sometimes even when he's into a more laid back kind of soloing, you often feel his restless energy under the surface.

As it comes to Banks' compositions: Banks is very skilled, but why oh why, Peter Banks, didn't you take the time in making all of the compositions work? The first four tracks are quite sensational, and after those tracks, boredom steps in, until at the end, the last two tracks are bringing back the adrenaline in the blood stream of the listener.

As I said: most of the tracks have a uniform construction. There isn't much complexity on the album. Banks is a very skilled composer, though, because with some simple means (rhythm track, simple synth sounds, different guitars) he can make a really varied album. If he in fact used a drum computer, than he's a genius in programming it.

The album sounds quite 1990's modern, but with a great sound. If you like keyboard layers with guitar soloing on top of it, this might be a very interesting album for you. It reminds me of Allan Holdsworth solo albums, where Holdsworth often does the same: soloing over ever changing synth layers, with a lot of chord changes. Banks is much less complex than Holdsworth though. Where Holdsworth has a lot of jazz and a bit of rock in him, with Banks it's the opposite. And to be very honest: Banks can play very fast, but he's not a real virtuoso, but I get the impression that he doesn't care to be one, but is more into keeping things simple but emotional, like for instance David Gilmour and Andy Latimer. And Banks is certainly an emotional player.

And now it's time to put some songs into the limelight: album opener "No Place Like Home" has no rhythm pattern, but for the rest it has the same construction as the other tracks: a keyboard layer with a guitar solo on top. This is a slow track with Wes Montgomery - like jazzy playing, and it is an atmospheric album opener.

"All Points South" has a slow rhythm track, reminding of a camel walking with a slow pace through the desert. At this point I owe something to ProgArchives - fellow reviewer Evolver. Normally I don't look to other peoples' reviews before I write my own, because I don't want to be influenced by other peoples' opinions. Still, this time my eye fell on something Evolver said in his review: that the album reminded him somewhat of Jeff Beck's "Guitar Shop". I agree with him on that and I find the comparison especially clear in this track.

"Fogbound" is a short but incredibly beautiful track: Banks has some simple, but wonderful chord changes on his warm sounding synths, with some wailing guitar themes on top. It's so breathtakingly beautiful that it almost makes me cry.

"Sticky Wicket" is also a magnificent track. Starting with a drum pattern, augmented by swelling synths and some simple but soulful guitar soloing, the track is most notable for it's wonderful, exciting chord changes throughout the song. Also, Banks has some synth effects which heighten the atmosphere: really, the guy is quite skilled in composing songs and sounds.

After the first four tracks, the level of compositions drops. "Shortcomings" is a long, loud, nervous sounding track with some over the top wild soloing by Banks. After that song, the boredom really steps in: I wouldn't say that the next four tracks are bad, but they are a bit mediocre to say the least, and it drags down the level of the album as a whole. Also you get the feeling that you've heard it all before, earlier on the album.

At the end of the album there are two songs that are like a wake up call. It doesn't restore the excitement of the first four tracks, though. The damage has been done and that is really a pity.

"Dominating Factor" is really entertaining, not in the least because one hears back Banks most famous riff: from Yes' Astral Traveller. The riff is not completely the same, but it certainly reminds you of it. For the rest: the song has some very good chord changes. Like the rest of the album: simple but effective. Finally, "Never The Same" is a slow song, also with atmospheric keyboards and guitars.

Looking back over the album as a whole: what's the overall impression? On the first four tracks Banks is sensational, using simple beautiful chord changes and skilled instrumental performances, with an eye for detail, to baffle the listener. The last two tracks are also good. Banks should have made more work of the rest of the album, though, and probably should have limited himself to a 40 - minutes album, focusing on the real good compositions that he has. On his best parts Banks deserves four stars, on his most boring parts he deserves two stars. I let simple mathematics do the rest for my rating.

But... when Banks shines, he really shines!

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 Two Sides of Peter Banks by BANKS, PETER album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.17 | 33 ratings

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Two Sides of Peter Banks
Peter Banks Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by American Khatru

4 stars I found this vinyl this weekend in a local record shop; they either didn't know what they had or didn't care since it was in the cheap bin. I've been looking for this for a while, one of those ones you log in the back of your mind and are thrilled to one day come by. Not a full or perfect record, but it's such a, well, cool record. This album rocks. Tony Banks plays wonderfully - if some might say challenged or overshadowed at times by Akkerman -, from delicate to muscular on both the jazz and rock fronts, and the other musicians in the studio all do yeoman's work. Side two is very free in feel, completing the record with a pretty all-guitars duet followed by two spontaneous jams full of great playing. Side one is the thing here. It's a well oiled composition, but with a performance hastily thrown together; but that hastiness is the source of a lot of the excitement and charm in this record. (Note well, the Hackett and Whetton contributions are small indeed, but this won't matter as the music takes you.) And have I added that it rocks? I'm split on whether to give it 3 or 4 stars. I really enjoyed this one though - put it at 4-minus out of respect for all the great full-4's out there.

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 Instinct by BANKS, PETER album cover Studio Album, 1994
3.21 | 11 ratings

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Instinct
Peter Banks Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Evolver
Special Collaborator Crossover & JazzRock/Fusion Teams

3 stars Original Yes guitarist Peter Banks plays over synthesized sequences on 12 tracks here. I've written before that it's difficult to create a great album when using all-sequenced tracks. Here is no exception. While Banks' playing is very good, even great at times, reminding me often of Jeff Beck's Guitar Shop album (which was propelled to greatness to me by the astounding drumming of Terry Bozzio), the stiff sequences often leave the songs a bit lacking. Even so, if you are a guitar solo fan, a Yes completist, or instrumental rock fan in general, this is not a bad disk to purchase.

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 Self-Contained by BANKS, PETER album cover Studio Album, 1995
2.19 | 7 ratings

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Self-Contained
Peter Banks Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Epignosis
Special Collaborator Eclectic Prog Team

2 stars Peter Banks, the original guitarist for Yes, has put out over seventy-five minutes of instrumental work. I've heard much better, but certainly worse too. Other than some sizzling guitar passages, none of the music stands out; a lot of it is so bland. The music is largely so-so, and great parts are few and far between, unfortunately. While the album tries to be diverse, it comes off as severely uneven. The random voices interjected into the album are more of a distraction and sometimes downright ugly: I do wonder how a guy asked to leave Yes some twenty-five years before this album was released could still be so bitter. By the way, the liner notes to this album are some of the best I've ever read.

"Radio Foreplay" This is simply the sound of a radio dial changing stations.

"Endless Journey" Beautiful atmospheric music eventually serves as the backdrop to a woman's voice claiming that she could not live without music.

"More Foreplay" Here we get the first taste of what Peter Banks is capable of as a guitarist.

"Massive Trouser Clearance" The first proper musical piece of the album, it blends world music sounds with straightforward drumming and wailing guitar. Most of the time it sounds like dance music from the early 1990s. Other times Banks lets it rip, sometimes staying close to the rest of the music, and sometimes going crazy on the fret board. The spoken word at the very end is nothing short of a low blow: "Some critics argue that Yes's music was pretentious and empty. Yeah, that's valid; I would go along with that as well."

"Lost Days" Quiet clean guitars fill two-and-a-half minutes. It's very pretty, but nothing particularly innovative or interesting.

"Away Days" This is very much muzak, the sort of thing one would expect to hear in an elevator or while on hold on the telephone.

"Two Sides" This is another short atmospheric track, much in the vein of "Endless Journey." It serves as an interlude between "Away Days" and the title piece.

"Self-Contained" More quiet guitar follows. Sometimes the various runs are tinged with jazz, but for the most part, it sounds like it could be background music for a sex scene in a late-night softcore porn.

"Clues" "Clues" contains thundering bass (almost mixed way too loud) and wacky clean guitar lines. The electric guitar part is refined, and makes this one of the better moments on the album. Halfway through, however, there's some wild parts (like seemingly randomly placed keyboard hits and guitar parts). Fortunately, the piece gets back to business with more excellent guitar soloing, some of which could almost rival the likes of Vai or Satriani.

"The Three Realms" A blend of natural-sounding and electronic noises starts this one and remains all the way through. Banks doesn't really begin playing until almost three minutes in, though, but when he does, it's a beautifully crafted chorused electric guitar part that features both long notes and fast, jazzy runs. One long, distorted guitar note (bent down by a whammy bar) signals the conclusion of the piece.

"Tell Me When" Here's more muzak, only this time it's very similar to 1980s Phil Collins. There are some fascinating guitar passages, but the whole thing gets stale very quickly.

"Funkin' Profundity" This sounds like the theme from the TV show In Living Color that was on back in the early 1990s. It's a poor attempt at being "hip" I guess, and the random noises that punctuate the music are awful.

"It's All Greek to Me: The Great Dionysia" The first part of a sprawling, eight-track instrumental epic that spans over twenty-eight minutes, "It's All Greek to Me" starts with some interesting chords strummed heavily on a springy-sounding guitar. The electric guitar over it, though, is grating and something I don't care to listen to. Male vocalizations at the end lead into the next segment.

"It's All Greek to Me: Erotokritos" The second part is much more pleasant than the first, featuring some Mediterranean instrumentation.

"It's All Greek to Me: Less Talk" Several aspects of this part make me think of "Someday" by Sugar Ray.

"It's All Greek to Me: Oriental Bent" As implied by the titled, Banks decides to use some oriental-sounding scales, which makes the piece sound rather contrived. Overall, it's a bit like the music on one of the "Dynasty Warriors" video games.

"It's All Greek to Me: In an Idyll Momentum" After the headache that was the previous track, the soft piano and quiet electric guitar are a welcome relief.

"It's All Greek to Me: Unnatural History" On the shortest piece of the medley, it sounds like Banks is setting things up for the next section.

"It's All Greek to Me: Greekspeak" But the next section has essentially nothing to do with what came before it. It's jazz music punctuated by out-of-place orchestra hits. Several of his runs sound very similar to Howe's solo performance on "Perpetual Change" from Yessongs.

"It's All Greek to Me: The Great Stifado" The final part keeps the orchestra hits and has unbearably distorted drums. There's a lot of electric guitar work here, but nothing unlike what has come before. It has a 1980's dance feel, and really wasn't the best way to end the suite, which had a few good moments.

"Thinking of You" The final piece is a sentimental and quiet one. It's a weak way to end an album, but after all the racket that came before, it's a welcome end.

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 Instinct by BANKS, PETER album cover Studio Album, 1994
3.21 | 11 ratings

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Instinct
Peter Banks Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by convocation

4 stars An original member of Yes, this album stands out as, not surprisingly, beautiful. Deliberately a showcase of Banks many moods. Thoughtful, balanced tunes. What I would have expected from a skilled and mature musician of his stature. There is no vocalist, but that's not what Peter Banks was aiming for. This is definitely a jazz/rock fusion of sorts, but uniquely what you'd expect from someone with Banks' background. A real treat. Impressions of conversations and monologues are interwoven throughout.

No Place Like Home: A fine mellow spontaneous introduction. All Points South: Everything here seems to work together completely naturally. Rhythmically deliberate and well laid out. Fogbound: Symphonic background can be heard swelling and relaxing, making this piece even more interesting. Sticky Wicket: This one really takes off. A nice contrast to the previous track. Shortcomings: Charged with Latin and jazz/rock themes. Code Blue: A fine collage of conversational impressions and a tasteful musical theme. Angles: This one rocks, as always, with the same self restrained exuberance each piece exhibits. Anima Mundi: Trust his instinct. Peter's liner notes tell it all. Swamp Report: Inspired. Instinctive Behaviour: a short passage improvised by a master of the art. Dominating Factor: I don't understand his deprecating remarks about the percussion part...it's all great. Never the Same: Written in memoriam, to his mother. But one need not know it to enjoy it.

A careful reader will appreciate his jab at the "Evil Ones" in the music business.....but they're not all bad......just the "Really Bad Ones". D.H. Lawrence would probably agree he's been a very good animal. This album is "just plain cool."

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 Two Sides of Peter Banks by BANKS, PETER album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.17 | 33 ratings

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Two Sides of Peter Banks
Peter Banks Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Vibrationbaby

3 stars Oddly enough Banks`only solo outing of the `70s was not really a solo effort as it includes some monster prog artists from the early seventies contributing their own ideas and material, including Jan Akkerman, Steve Hackett, John Whetton, Phil Collins and members from Bank`s own band Flash. Arguably the first prog supergroup!

The album weaves its way through an assortment of full group electric prog- like tracks albiet with no vocals, improvs and a couple of thoughtful Jan Akkerman compositions which reveal where he was artistically during the early 70`s. "Beyond The Lonliest Sea" is comparable to any acoustic work he did with Focus. Unfortunately we don`t hear everybody all at the same time and Whetton and Hackett appear only on two of the shorter tracks together with Phil Collins. Of the two extended jams, " Stop That! " shows what the album is really about, a group of contemporary musicians collaborating without trying to out do one another, but at the same time really grinding it out. The whole album sounds like iit was played straight with no overdubbing giving it a very hard texture throughout, even on the more subdued Akkerman pieces. Despite the the remarkable result, the rough sound indicates that it might have been hammered out in a short period of time due to the individual musicians having committments to other projects with their respective bands.

A highly sought after album in vinyl form back in the seventies and eighties due to it`s short pressing run on both sides of the Atlantic. Perhaps only for the curious and fans of Flash Mk.I. One of the most unique prog albums from the creme de la creme talent playing outside the normal confines of their own bands during prog`s glory years of the early 70`s.

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 Two Sides of Peter Banks by BANKS, PETER album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.17 | 33 ratings

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Two Sides of Peter Banks
Peter Banks Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by tszirmay
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

4 stars Talk about an eclectic album! Ex-Yes and Flash guitarzan Peter Banks really spilled his beans here , putting together a VERY original album with his mates from Flash (no Yes members invited, ah, such bitterness!!!) and a few choice guests: the fuzzy bass of John Wetton , the rythmic gymnastics of "Uncle" Phil Collins (back in the days when he was a gloriously talented drummer) and , last but not least, the unique guitar styles of Steve Hackett and Focus' Jan Akkerman (back in the days when he was a gloriously talented guitarist). With all this supremo talent , Banks sort of takes a back seat . "The White House Vale", "Knights" and mostly the full tilt improvised gem/jam "Stop That"are the highlights here, giving the guests a chance and a platform to let down their fairly long hair and just rip! Yeah, this is not your "perfect prog produced to perfection master opus" but it has a charm that has stood the test of time and still ellicits smiles, cheers and the occasional goose bumps. In many ways, the album's black, white and grey cover really sets the mood as this is no technicolor masterpiece! It's raw, slutty, dirty, visceral, angry, moody and My, my, that Akkerman could certainly play a mean guitar! Perhaps not a classic but definitely a showpiece for some inspired playing and a rare glimpse into Banks' rather odd career. 4.5 flashes

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