Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography


Eclectic Prog • United Kingdom

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Flash picture
Flash biography
Founded in London, UK in 1971 - Disbanded in 1973

FLASH was formed when Colin CARTER (who served as a singer in the group led by Peter BARDENS before his CAMEL days) met YES guitarist, Peter BANKS, and soon after co-wrote the FLASH hit, "Small Beginnings" (#28 on Billboard). Ray BENNETT, who had known BANKS since early YES days, heard they were forming a band via his old friend and former bandmate, YES drummer, Bill BRUFORD, and was quickly recruited on bass. FLASH drummer, Mike HOUGH was found later after an advertisement was placed in the London weekly music paper, The Melody Maker. Tony KAYE, the first YES keyboard player, was a session player on their first album and not a permanent band member, as is often reported.

They released three albums with a sound much like early YES. The first FLASH album, a self-titled one, is a classic piece of 70's style Prog Rock, featuring long compositions, thick bass, twisty guitar, keyboard flash (hmmmmm), and complex YES-like arrangements."In The Can", released the same year, revolves around BANKS' guitar with a more dominant guitar sound. "Out Of Our Hands" is the last FLASH studio album and least good in comparison to its predecessors. There is also a live FLASH album called "Psychosync", that makes a nice addition to the collection. Though their three albums are still on the market after numerous reissues (most recently in 2009), they became equally noted and remembered for their phenomenal, high-energy live shows.

After two and a half years of successful touring, FLASH disbanded. All four members later reunited in various combinations during the 70's to early 80's and some of the recorded output appears on Ray BENNETT's 2001 archive CD "Angels & Ghosts". By 1982 the FLASH members went their separate ways.

Late in 2009 they reunited. Although initially interested, after talks and lengthy consideration BANK and HOUGH were unable to commit. The new line-up will feature FLASH's songwriters and original members, Colin CARTER and Ray BENNETT sharing lead vocals, with BENNETT moving from bass to lead guitar. New members are Mark PARDY replacing drummer Mike HOUGH, Rick DAUGHERTY on keyboards and Wayne CARVER on bass.

FLASH Videos (YouTube and more)

Showing only random 3 | Show all FLASH videos (4) | Search and add more videos to FLASH

Buy FLASH Music

Right Now on Ebay (logo)
flash (radio mix) / photo (radio edit) - (UK IMPORT) CD NEW USD $6.25 Buy It Now
Flash - Red Five - 12 TRACK MUSIC CD - NEW SEALED - G753 USD $8.88 Buy It Now
Dave's Picks Collection 1-30 + bonus discs on USB Flash Drive, PNY Attache USB 2 USD $50.00 [0 bids]
Rare! The Rolling Stones Picture Disc 45 RPM EP Jumping Jack Flash ~ Promotional USD $79.95 [0 bids]
USD $17.99 Buy It Now
SUgrhill Gang , Grandmaster Flash , Publ : LE TOP DU RAP CD USD $3.53 Buy It Now
Flash Bastard Esq-Explosion of Flowers (CD-RP) CD NEW USD $7.35 Buy It Now
LP GRANDMASTER FLASH They Said It Couldn't Be Done P13095 ELEKTRA JAPAN Vinyl USD $9.15 Buy It Now
ABBA Greatest Hits BIG ARTIST FLASH JAPAN CD ECD-10004 RARE USD $19.99 Buy It Now
Hot Flash Heat Wave-Soaked-Vinyl Record-Brand New, Sealed USD $7.30 [1 bids]
Flash Jack Eppington-Penny Up CD NEW USD $7.35 Buy It Now
Flash-Finding the Light CD NEW USD $14.59 Buy It Now
Queen - Flash Gordon 720616120328 (CD Used Very Good) USD $12.08 Buy It Now
V.A-FLASH MOB MIX - HAPPY HAPPY HAPPY 4948722522546 CD C1029 USD $17.24 Buy It Now
Made in Holland 1991 Promotone ROLLING STONES JUMPIN JACK FLASH 45 RECORD 5D3 USD $84.99 Buy It Now
QUEEN - FLASH'S THEME a.k.a. FLASH - 7" 45 VINYL RECORD - 1980 USD $6.97 Buy It Now
Irene Cara Flash Dance What A Feeling Japan Vinyl Polystar Record EP 1102 USD $7.00 Buy It Now 4m 7s
The Daily Flash-Nightly CD NEW USD $23.26 Buy It Now 28m 31s
Richard Dillon-Green Flash: The Single (CD-RP) CD NEW USD $7.35 Buy It Now 28m 49s
Alberto Flash by Alberto Flash (CD, Jun-2004, Protel) USD $9.99 [0 bids]
29m 45s
ARETHA FRANKLIN - Jumpin Jack Flash ~ 12" Single PS USD $2.10 Buy It Now 1h 5m
Flash & The Pan - Lights In The Night (CD Used Very Good) USD $12.59 Buy It Now 1h 16m
Flash & The Pan (CD Used Very Good) USD $12.59 Buy It Now 1h 16m
Rolling Stones Flash Point Japan Promo Cassette Tape Mick Jagger Keith Richards USD $149.99 Buy It Now 1h 43m
Remioromen - Flash and Gleam - Japan 2 CD - NEW LIMITED USD $16.99 Buy It Now 1h 49m
John Hatfield Band-Layers of Flash (CD-RP) CD NEW USD $14.59 Buy It Now 1h 58m
ELVIS PRESLEY Greatest Hits BIG ARTIST FLASH Japan 14Tracks CD ECD-10014 RARE USD $9.99 Buy It Now 2h 9m
Flash and the Pan - Lights in the Night [New CD] USD $14.59 Buy It Now 2h 15m
Flash and the Pan - Flash & the Pan [New CD] USD $14.59 Buy It Now 2h 15m
LP Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five On The Strength 607691 ELEKTRA US Vinyl USD $11.96 Buy It Now 2h 23m
ARETHA FRANKLIN Jumpin Jack Flash / Jimmy Lee 7" Flashback USD $5.64 Buy It Now 2h 24m
FLASH & THE PAN Early Morning Wake Up Call -OZ PROMO 45 USD $12.26 Buy It Now 3h 37m
I Adore Commodore-Computer Music Flash [8/25] by K. Bytes (Vinyl, Aug-2017,... USD $22.33 Buy It Now 3h 46m
Flash Wilks-`Rolling Stone, Vol. II (CD-RP)` CD NEW USD $9.51 Buy It Now 4h 8m
FLASH SELF TITLED LP RECORD SMAS-11040 USD $4.60 Buy It Now 4h 40m
FLASH & THE PAN - WHERE WERE YOU / HEY, JIMMY - RARE 7" 45 VINYL RECORD 1982 USD $20.94 Buy It Now 5h 4m
Flash and the Pan - Flash & the Pan [New CD] USD $12.98 Buy It Now 5h 56m
Flash and the Pan - Lights in the Night [New CD] USD $12.98 Buy It Now 5h 56m
6h 27m
Rolling Stones, Jumpin' Jack Flash, NEW/MINT Rare UK promo 12 inch vinyl single USD $157.00 Buy It Now 6h 39m
Tristan Israel-The Sound After the Flash CD NEW USD $19.21 Buy It Now 6h 58m
Flash Larue-Let the Bad Man Have the Day (CD-RP) CD NEW USD $16.04 Buy It Now 6h 59m
Mr Flash - Sonic Crusader (NEW CD) USD $10.04 Buy It Now 7h
Flash Sale?LINE DANCE #2 MUSIC CD?Slide?Wobble?Booty Call?Shuffle?Hustle USD $14.97 Buy It Now 7h 7m
Flash Sale?LINE DANCE MUSIC CD?Otis?Hustle?Booty Call?Slide?Shuffle?Twist USD $14.97 Buy It Now 7h 21m
Flash : Vol. 120 CD USD $2.26 Buy It Now 7h 32m
Flash Company USD $16.29 Buy It Now 8h 4m
Queen Flash Gordon Lp Rare Venezuela Pressing Scarce Import USD $60.00 Buy It Now 8h 14m
FLASH-Featuring Ray Bennett & Colin CD NEW USD $17.14 Buy It Now 8h 34m
QUEEN Flash's Theme c/w Football Fight JAPAN 7" P-655E w/PICTURE SLEEVE Free S&H USD $29.99 Buy It Now 8h 56m
Sovereign Flash Record LP Gatefold Vintage Vinyl 1972 prog rare oop Tony Kaye USD $6.66 [0 bids]
9h 13m
9h 14m
Flash Fiktion-Flash Fiktion CD Very Good USD $2.84 Buy It Now 9h 17m
Flash Pan Hunter-Quick Way To Enemy CD Excellent USD $17.72 Buy It Now 9h 19m
Peter Banks: EMPIRE "Mark I" CD (1995) Phil Collins-YES-Flash-John Giblin USD $14.50 [0 bids]
9h 25m
Peter Banks "Instinct" & "Reduction" solo CDs (1993,1997) YES-Flash-Empire USD $14.50 [0 bids]
9h 26m
LADY FLASH Street Singin' / Hypnotizin RSO 1976 Jamaica 7" 45 VINYL REGGAE 1976 USD $12.56 Buy It Now 9h 31m
Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five 'The Message' 12" Vinyl Single SHL117 USD $4.40 [0 bids]
9h 32m
HOT FLASH Saffire The Uppity Blues Women ALC4796 Cassette Tape USD $5.39 Buy It Now 9h 42m
Picton, Michael : Flash Gordon Vol. 1: Original Television CD USD $8.96 Buy It Now 9h 47m
High Pressure Flash-My Sanctity CD NEW USD $14.59 Buy It Now 9h 49m
Zebulon-Future Flash EP (CD-RP) CD NEW USD $14.59 Buy It Now 9h 49m
GRANDMASTER FLASH UK promo CD 2007 USD $2.50 [0 bids]
9h 55m
Crespo, Elvis : Wow Flash CD USD $3.48 Buy It Now 9h 56m
New: GRANDMASTER FLASH-Ba-Dop-Boom-Bang CASSETTE USD $28.99 Buy It Now 10h 16m
Flash : Benny Goodman and His Orchestra: 1945-19 CD USD $3.49 Buy It Now 10h 28m
Bibi Flash histoire dun soir illusion canada press 1983 rare USD $38.32 Buy It Now 10h 38m
Rolling Stones - Jumpin' Jack Flash - London S07P 1036 Japan 7" 45 unique PS m- USD $59.00 Buy It Now 10h 42m
JOHNNY WINTER:Jumpin' Jack Flash-Good Morning Little School Girl-Portugal 7" PSL USD $84.98 Buy It Now 11h
The Rolling Stones "Jumpin' Jack Flash" & "Child Of The Moon" 1968 London 908 USD $9.00 Buy It Now 11h 4m
TETELEPTA - Waiting For The Flash - Vinyl (heavyweight vinyl 12") USD $14.07 Buy It Now 11h 22m
Hot Flash Band CD USD $8.17 Buy It Now 11h 23m
Genius of Rap-The Sugarhill Story (Maxis : Sugarhill Gang, Grandmaster Flash, USD $2.84 Buy It Now 11h 35m
Queen elektra original Flash gorden NM USD $26.00 Buy It Now 11h 36m
Farmer Dave Scher : Flash Forward to the Good Times CD (2010) USD $3.59 Buy It Now 11h 39m
Flash Express : Introducing the Dynamite Sounds of CD USD $6.99 Buy It Now 11h 40m
Flash And The Pan - Flash Andthe Pan**Deleted** CD NEW USD $12.99 Buy It Now 11h 43m
Queen - Flash Gordon [New Vinyl] 180 Gram USD $23.30 Buy It Now 11h 57m
Flash - In the Can [New CD] Bonus Tracks, Rmst USD $13.67 Buy It Now 12h 9m
GRAND MASTER FLASH & THE FURIOUS FIVE new york new york 12" RECORD SUGARHILL '83 USD $7.99 Buy It Now 12h 18m
Grandmaster Flash Classic Mix Edition - Essential. Old Mix Freestyle - Break USD $11.00 [0 bids]
12h 22m
FLASH CADILLAC & THE CONTINENTAL KIDS - 1972 Vinyl LP Rock'n'Roll VG+/VG+ USD $8.15 Buy It Now 12h 28m
(S12) Brotherhood Of Man, Lightning Flash - 1982 - 7 inch vinyl USD $6.27 Buy It Now 12h 29m
JEFF BECK FLASH / JAPAN WITH OBI USD $19.99 Buy It Now 12h 32m

More places to buy FLASH music online Buy FLASH & Prog Rock Digital Music online:

FLASH discography

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

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

3.67 | 112 ratings
3.36 | 91 ratings
In The Can
3.11 | 65 ratings
Out Of Our Hands
3.10 | 28 ratings
Featuring Ray Bennett & Colin Carter

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

1.73 | 6 ratings
4.25 | 4 ratings
In Public

FLASH Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

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

4.75 | 11 ratings
Flash (1972) / Out Of Our Hands (1973)

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

3.31 | 4 ratings
Small Beginnings/ Morning Haze
5.00 | 1 ratings
Watch Your Step/ Lifetime

FLASH Reviews

Showing last 10 reviews only
 Out Of Our Hands by FLASH album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.11 | 65 ratings

Out Of Our Hands
Flash Eclectic Prog

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!)

 In The Can by FLASH album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.36 | 91 ratings

In The Can
Flash Eclectic Prog

Review by patrickq

2 stars Not a bad sophomore album, but there's really nothing special here. In the Can does seem to represent another step away from Yes for Flash leader and guitarist Peter Banks: not only is former Yes keyboardist Tony Kaye gone (and not replaced); In the Can just sounds less like Yes than Flash had. But don't get me wrong - - it still sounds like Yes, from the lyrics to syncopated instrumentation to the vocal harmonies.

The quality of the songs is fair, though they aren't as good as the songs on Flash. The performances are generally good; not surprisingly, this is a guitar-based album, and Banks is clearly up to the task. Nonetheless In the Can is annoying at times. The opening number, "Lifetime," is good, but it's hard to overlook the cribbing of "Hocus Pocus" (Focus, 1971) and "Astral Traveller" (Yes, 1970). "Black and White" has some good bass playing, but the vocal harmonies get a little tedious (e.g., the repetition of the word "time...time...time!").

Given the wide availability of Flash (1972) and Two Sides of Peter Banks (1973), I can't claim that In the Can is essential, even for Yes fans. I'd certainly recommend either of those albums before In the Can. If those are interesting, you might also listen to some of Banks's 1990s albums. Still interested? Then maybe In the Can is for you.

 Flash by FLASH album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.67 | 112 ratings

Flash Eclectic Prog

Review by patrickq

3 stars Based on its membership, Flash was a Yes spin-off band: guitarist Peter Banks and guest keyboardist Tony Kaye had each been dismissed from Yes in the couple of years preceding this, Flash's debut. But regardless of who was in the band, Flash sounds like it could've been a follow-up to, or at least a series of outtakes from, Yes's 1970 album Time and a Word.

The strongest songs here are "Small Beginnings" - - the album-opener and lead single - - and "Children of the Universe." Those two, along with the acoustic and almost folksy "Morning Haze," make up the more accessible first side. The second side opens with the thirteen-minute "Dreams of Heaven," which is twice as long as anything Yes had recorded with Banks. Despite its length, it doesn't seem overlong. The final song, "The Time it Takes," is the weakest.

Along with Two Sides of Peter Banks, Flash is probably Banks's best work outside of Yes, although to be fair, Flash is by no means a solo album. Banks co-wrote three of the songs with lead vocalist Colin Carter; the other two, "Morning Haze" and "Children of the Universe," were written by bassist Ray Bennett. I'd recommend it to fans of Yes's early work, and to those who like their early-1970s album-oriented rock with a progressive flavor.

(P.S. What am I supposed to think of the album cover? Perhaps that this is a gutsy band who cared not what politically-correct whimps thought of them?)

 Flash by FLASH album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.67 | 112 ratings

Flash Eclectic Prog

Review by VianaProghead
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Review Nš 231

As we know, Peter Banks was an English guitarist, vocalist, songwriter and producer. He was the original guitarist of the bands Syn, Yes, Flash, and Empire. But, he became more known as the original guitarist of the famous progressive rock band Yes. But unfortunately, for him but certainly not for Yes, he became also known for being the first person to be fired from the ranks of Yes. When he was on Yes, Banks contributed with his lead guitar skills to the first two studio albums of Yes, "Yes" and "Time And A Word", was responsible for the name of the band and designed the original, pre Roger Dean, Yes logo. The problem begun when Anderson and Squire decided they wanted an orchestra backing the five musicians on their second album. It wasn't well received by Banks because the orchestral arrangements left the guitarist, as well as keyboardist Tony Kaye, with little to do, since strings replaced their parts almost note-for-note.

As soon as he left Yes, while he was occupying his time with mostly session work in the interim, Banks formed Flash, in 1971, with Chris Carter (lead vocals and percussion), Peter Banks (backing vocals, electric, acoustic and Spanish guitars, synthesizer and horn), Ray Bennett (lead and backing vocals, bass guitar and acoustic guitar) and Mike Hough (voice, drums, percussion and cymbals). The album had also the participation of Tony Kaye (synthesizer, Hammond organ and piano). There is some controversy over whether Kaye, who appeared on the first Flash album, was actually an "official" member of the group, or merely a guest. The confusion stems from the fact that Kaye is listed alongside the other members of the group on the back cover of the album. Still, interviews with Banks and Kaye confirm that, though Kaye was invited to join, he declined. So, he only participated on the album as a guest. With Banks on board, Flash released three studio albums, "Flash" and "In The Can", in 1972 and "Out Of Our Hands", in 1973, and two live albums, "Psychosync", in 1997 and "In Public", in 2013. But Carter and Bennett, released a fourth studio album in 2013.

It would may not become as a surprise that the music on "Flash" sounds quite much like to Yes. Besides, this was their debut album and represents their classic release too. "Flash" is an energetic progressive rock album in the vein of Yes' third studio album "The Yes Album" but with some differences and changes. Still, any lover of Yes will eat up many tracks on the album especially the lengthy tracks. There are also some shorter and relaxed tracks here, but it's of course in the long tracks the group really shines. The performance all over the album is good, and besides the excellent playing of both Kaye and Banks you'll also notice the powerful bass playing of Bennett, in the same vein of Squire. Whereas Yes has moved on considerably with the release of "The Yes Album" and "Fragile", "Flash" continued on from where "Time And A Word" had left off. So, somehow, we may say that "Flash" represents the continuity of the first Yes group and represents probably what Yes would be if Banks and Kaye would have continued as members of the band.

"Flash" is the eponymous debut studio album of Flash and was released in 1972. The album has five tracks. "Small Beginnings" is a very good track and it has a certain resemblance to "No Opportunity Necessary, No Experience Needed" which opened "Time And A Word". Banks provides a good guitar work supported by a nice drum rhythm of Hough and Bennett's upfront bass lines. Kaye's brief organ solo work and Carter's falsetto complete the all picture. "Children Of The Universe" returns to the bombast of the opening track. It has a tight and cohesively structure and is catchy and complex enough to call the listener's attention. This is a suitably epic with some Banks impressive playing. "Dreams Of Heaven" is centred around a nice guitar riff and chant like double tracked vocals, it's really an opportunity for Banks in particular to demonstrate his technical skills. This is the least cohesive track of the three epics, in terms of arrangement, but it still is really captivating. Of the two remaining tracks, "Morning Haze" is a much simpler track with the bassist also supplying the lead vocal. It has a sunny Caribbean vibe thanks to the dual acoustic guitar picking, but I can see nothing special on it. "The Time It Takes" is a dreamy ballad that attempts to capture the pastoral quality of Yes' "Sweetness". It does however benefit from Banks' familiar weeping guitar lines and Kaye's tasteful organ playing.

Conclusion: "Flash" is the continuity of first Yes and represents probably what Yes would be if Banks and Kaye would have continued on Yes. Of the original line up, two members are present, Banks and Kaye. About the other three, if Bennett plays in the same vein of Squire and Hough can do Bill Bruford's style drumming at moments, Carter isn't Jon Anderson. Besides, Banks isn't Steve Howe as a performer and composer. But above all, it lacks to Flash the creativity and the vision of Anderson and Howe. I always thought both were the main responsible for most of the best tracks on Yes. However, "Flash" is a nice album with some great moments. Whilst this album demonstrates Banks' unwillingness to relinquish the past, it also confirms his not inconsiderable input into the sound that shaped Yes' formative years.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

 Flash by FLASH album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.67 | 112 ratings

Flash Eclectic Prog

Review by Progfan97402
Prog Reviewer

4 stars If it weren't for the Yes connections, I would have passed on this group because their albums were always graced with very tasteless and unprog-looking covers. I guess Peter Banks felt the group needed artwork that's the polar opposite of Roger Dean to show they're more grounded than Yes. This was their debut, released not too long after Fragile, and with not just Peter Banks, but Tony Kaye on board, it's little surprise this sounds not unlike how Yes may have sounded like had Peter Banks stayed on board. Colin Carter at times sounds like Jon Anderson, and gets help with Ray Bennett on bass and Michael Hough on drums as well. And to my ears, despite the very extended solos found throughout the album it's still more grounded than Yes. I was really surprised that "Small Beginnings" was actually a hit as I never heard this song on the radio, and I'm old enough to remember how FM radio was like, to be honest I was too young to remember when FM radio was something like progressive FM rock radio, as opposed to the much more familiar AOR format that I grew up on. But this song does have that Yes feel, and it's a bit obvious. "Morning Haze" moves away from the Yes-template to a more acoustic piece, more in tune with the likes of Crosby, Stills & Nash (well a little) than Yes. "Children of the Universe" starts off sounding not much like Yes, but then as it progresses, the Yes sound does return. I am rather baffled about the ARP synthesizer (likely 2600 as it was still too early for the Odyssey) as Tony Kaye seemed at that time resistant of playing anything other than organ and piano, and the reason Yes replaced him with Rick Wakeman who had no trouble also using Moog and Mellotron. "Dreams of Heaven" again shows a Yes influence, but this is a really lengthy piece where Peter Banks really shows what he's capable of on guitar. "The Time it Takes" closes the album, and I love this piece. Not quite as Yes-like here, it's a nice organ-dominated ballad.

This was obviously the only album with Tony Kaye, he would jump ship to Badger. Regardless, it's not a perfect album, some of the solos tend to go on longer than needed, but I love how it sounds like a more down to earth version of Yes. Worthy of your attention, especially if you're a Yes fan.

 Flash by FLASH album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.67 | 112 ratings

Flash Eclectic Prog

Review by SonomaComa1999

3 stars REVIEW #10 - "Flash" by Flash (1972). 07/08/2018

Guitarist Peter Banks was unceremoniously expelled from the band Yes two months prior to the release of their second studio album "Time and a Word". Despite playing on the album, its cover featured a picture of the band which included Banks's replacement Steve Howe, although he never appeared on the album at all. Over the next couple years Yes would become a household name and a leviathan of progressive rock, releasing seminal albums such as "The Yes Album", "Fragile", and "Close to the Edge" with their new and far superior guitarist, who brought a classical style which helped define their sound. At this point it might seem like Steve Howe had always been the guitarist for the band, especially considering he's the band's sole remaining "original" member to this day on tour. As for Banks, he became an afterthought, quietly passing away in 2013 with very little fanfare. He did release some material following his expulsion from Yes, but mostly with his group known as Flash.

Flash was formed in 1971 by Banks and vocalist Colin Carter, who did some work with future Camel keyboardist Peter Bardens. Banks added a friend of his in Ray Bennett who he had knew since his time in Yes to play bass guitar, and then recruited Mike Hough to play drums. Initially desiring to be a standard prog quintet, after signing onto Capitol subsidiary Sovereign, the label expressed their desire for the band to add a keyboardist, making the band's lineup very similar to that of the now-immensely popular Yes. Banks would further recruit former Yes keyboardist Tony Kaye, who had also been unceremoniously booted by the band following "The Yes Album" to make room for Rick Wakeman. Both exiled musicians represented a more mainstream and rocking sound than what Chris Squire and Yes were pushing for at the time, and naturally Kaye appears as a featured keyboardist (not a part of Flash itself) for the band's self-titled debut album. In typical Hipgnosis fashion, the album cover is abstract, this time being a rather shameless drawing of a girl's upskirt. All that aside, Flash presents itself as a rather unscrupulous Yes clone, but unlike blatant rip-offs such as Starcastle and the like, this band actually features past members of the band, while still retaining the original sound which Yes captured on their first two albums. Furthermore, Flash serves as an indicator of how Yes would have went given it kept Banks and Kaye in the band rather than acquiring Howe and Wakeman.

Flash's first album did see some surprising commercial success, largely thanks to the success of a edited single version of the opening track "Small Beginnings". In its original form it presents itself as a near ten-minute rocker, but for radio it was cut down to just over three minutes - both variants are good in their own respective ways. First impressions are pretty clear-cut; Flash sounds very similar to Yes, from the symphonic style all the way down to Colin Carter's voice, which is a slightly deeper clone of Jon Anderson's vocals. Musically it fuses the Yes album and Time and a Word into a concise hybrid, with a more rocking and accessible tone. "Small Beginnings" rose as high as #29 on the American Billboard Hot 100, while the album in its entirely followed close at #33. Given that the year of this album's release was 1972, it coincided with the popularity of Yes's "Close to the Edge" album, which took the world by storm and spawned several imitators. Listening to the single version of this song, it will omit the very progressive instrumental shifts and guitar escapades, opting rather to focus on Carter's vocals in a more succinct way that would work on the radio rather than on a deep cut. That being said, by listening to the edited version you are not missing much; while Banks does a lot of work on the guitar, none of it is particularly resonant, at least on this track. Kaye's keyboards are relegated to a backing act, reflecting the band's desire to follow the quintet style. Perhaps the greatest similarity to Yes comes at the end, when the wordless vocals come in alongside the synth, which provides that sublime sound similar to "Siberian Khatru".

Bennett takes over on acoustic guitar and vocals for the next song "Morning Haze", which apart from being a fine upbeat ballad, still retains that Yes acoustic tinge. It seems that Flash wanted to take Yes's more poppy sensibilities and use those entirely to compose their music. However, this album is still obviously progressive rock; if the three longer cuts did not already indicate that. "Haze" is only half as long as the album opener, and is a rather refreshing interlude, even if it hardly stands out as a takeaway on the album. We return towards more proggy and fast-paced tendencies with "Children of the Universe" which matches "Beginnings" at roughly nine minutes long. Here is where the album begins to pick up steam and allows itself to stand out; this piece features a rather comfortable tempo driven by the bass rhythm and Kaye's keyboards (he is allowed to do a Moog solo through the middle of this one). Just like the music, Flash's lyrics are like a watered-down version of Yes, with the band trying to retain the pretentious and philosophical lyrical style of Anderson. On "Universe" Flash emerges packing a punch with their music, combining the maritime guitar style of Banks with the symphonic vocals to make a song which despite approaching ten minutes, does not drag on like those written by obscure 70's prog acts.

Opening up the second side of the LP, Flash presents their strongest offering in the form of their longest piece, the nearly thirteen-minute epic "Dreams In Heaven" which I consider to be the biggest takeaway from this album. Opening up in a furor, the band shifts back and forth from outright rock to mellow acoustic passages before introducing the central musical themes of this song. Before exposing the lyrics, the band reveals a crescendo that reminds me a lot of the riff from Black Sabbath's 1973 song "Spiral Architect" off the album "Sabbath Bloody Sabbath", released a year later. I mean, it sounds remarkably similar, which wants to make me think that Sabbath was somehow influenced by Flash for that song, although it might be a trick of my imagination and/or pure coincidence. On "Heaven" Carter's vocals seem to diverge from those of Anderson's in terms of intensity, which is a promising sign given I can only handle so much of pure imitation. This is a pretty textbook progressive epic, with two lyrical sections book-ending a musically rich middle instrumental section that allows Banks to show off his refined guitar techniques. While I usually never go into obscure prog albums expecting to have legitimate takeaways that I could go back to far after I've made my review, "Dreams in Heaven" might very well last a decent amount of time on one of my playlists; the "Spiral Architect" motif and the intensity of the beginning and end serve as very listenable prog, which is very promising. My favorite part of this song follows the vocal bridge at around the eight-minute mark, when the tone of the song gradually grows sinister thanks to the heavy riffs of Banks, coupled with some jazz influences. Overall this is a track definitely worth giving your attention to. The album concludes with another mellow piece titled "The Time It Takes" which puts greater emphasis on the keyboards of Kaye than an acoustic guitar. The band makes use of the sound of crashing waves in order to conclude the album, which is a nice little touch that sort of salvages a rather weak closing track.

Flash's self-titled debut album is not bad at all; in fact it has a lot of good moments, something which surprised me given that solid obscure prog works from the 70's are few and far between. Nevertheless, this album is more mediocre than good, only being saved by the epic "Dreams In Heaven", and being hampered by the band's reliance on the Yes sound. Flash would release two more albums before abruptly breaking up in 1973, but even then those do not match up to the original in terms of innovation or commercial success. The band found a way to enter all their albums into the Billboard 200 album charts here in the States, which I found surprising - probably owing to the NSFW cover art. A fan of symphonic prog and Yes in particular should certainly give this album a listen, and even a more generic listener might want to give this one a go. As for my review, I will play it safe and give it a three-star (77% - C+) rating which is respectable for an obscure band. Basically a microcosm of the early Yes sound.

 Featuring Ray Bennett & Colin Carter by FLASH album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.10 | 28 ratings

Featuring Ray Bennett & Colin Carter
Flash Eclectic Prog

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

3 stars I'm guessing not too many bands have a forty year gap between albums but FLASH are back and yes it's been forty years since their last recording called "Out Of Our Hands" released in 1973. This 2013 release features two original members in Colin Carter and Ray Bennett. I must admit I was surprised at how good some of these tracks are, pleasantly surprised I guess you could say, but a few songs really drag this album down for me hence the 3 star rating.

"Night Vision" is a top three track for me and it's the one where the vocals sound the best. Like the album I find the vocals to be really inconsistent. This song is a symphonic piece with a good rhythm to it at times. An excellent start. The biggest surprise for me was hearing "Hurt" for the first time not expecting it to be THAT song as in the NINE INCH NAILS classic. This is the longest tune at 9 1/2 minutes and they do a pretty good job with it. "Something So Dark" has double tracked vocals at times but it's the vocals that do little for me and this song is the first letdown.

"Manhatten Morning" is a cover of their own song from their previous album "Out Of Our Hands" and I really like this one, in fact it's a top three as well. The lyrics are so meaningful as I can visualize what he's singing. A definite highlight. "Into The Sun" and "Grand Canyon" are the two worst songs in my opinion. I just can't get into either one at all and both are over 8 minutes in length. "Morpheum" is my other top three and it's an instrumental. Spacey synths to start as a heavy sound kicks in with some excellent bass. A calm follows with more spacey synths. The guitar sounds good here as well. "10,000 Movies" really reminds me of the band TILES even the vocals on the chorus. A pretty good tune. "Richerd Of Venice" ends the album and it's an instrumental with some rare piano leading the way. I like it.

A good comeback album that certainly has it's moments. FLASH fans should really check this out.

 In The Can by FLASH album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.36 | 91 ratings

In The Can
Flash Eclectic Prog

Review by Tarcisio Moura
Prog Reviewer

3 stars With its rather suggestive cover, Flashīs second album was my first taste of this english combo led by ex Yes founder guitarist Peter Banks. Compared to their first full length early that year, this is almost a complete departure. If Flash (the album) sounded a lot like early Yes, this one is very different. Ok, guitar and bass still sound a lot like Banks former group, but vocalist Colin Carter stopped emulating Jon Anderson, which is great. The music here is much more jazzier and rockier than Yes. The backing vocals are also one of the highlights of the band, with excellent harmonies that developed very much since their debut. Itīs a pity that they didnīt use them as much.

They decided not to replace Tony Kaye when he left to form his own Badger band, and, to me, that was a fatal mistake. A great part of the album almost screams for keyboards (especially the 3 long tracks, all above the 10 minute mark which are the best). Banks handles well with only guitars (and a few ARP synthesizer lines, very few) but itīs clear that with a killer keyboards-man they could explore the songs structures much more and be a premier league band. As they were, the music is nice, but unmemorable. Technically very good, sounding pleasant but not really exciting. The production is also good for the time. The overall sensation is always that somethingīs missing. Small wonder the record made such little impact on me when I first heard them in the 70īs.

If you guitar-led prog is your thing, with some inventive jazz influences, you might like this album very much. For me itīs the classic example of a promising band that never reached their full potential, even if they were excellent musicians.

Rating: something between 2.5 and 3 stars

 Flash by FLASH album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.67 | 112 ratings

Flash Eclectic Prog

Review by Tarcisio Moura
Prog Reviewer

3 stars As far as I can remember, Flashīs debut album was not released in Brazil. and therefore, only recently I could get a copy of this record to listen to. I really didnīt know that Tony Kaye (another ex Yes member) was playing in it (albeit credit as a guest). So, with two Yes members on board, a Jon Anderson sound alike singer and a bass player that emulates a lot of Chris Squire bass style, it is no wonder this CD sounds a lot like early Yes; a kind of a link between Time And A Word and The Yes Album. Even the vocal harmonies are very much like Peter Banks former band.

Itīs easy to see why Flash didnīt make a big impact on the music scene. With Yes at its peak, who would give much credit to a lesser version of the original? Please, donīt get me wrong: although derivative, the music in here is very good and sometimes they even produce a few original bits, like the acoustic Morning Haze (sung by bassist Ray Bennett) or adding a little King Crimson arrangement to one of the songs to spice things up. But again, with such competition (Howe and Wakeman having joined Yes by then) they stood no chance from day one and critics were not very kind.

However, I think that fans of Yes will like this CD far more nowadays, especially if you like their early stuff. Banks and Kaye did contribute to the "Yes sound" a lot more than they got credit for. Although hardly essential, this is a fine album to listen to and show potential for greater things.

Itīs only nostalgia, ok, but I like it.

 In The Can by FLASH album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.36 | 91 ratings

In The Can
Flash Eclectic Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars With ''Small beginnings'' reaching Billoboard No.28 and ''Flash'' selling over 100,000 copies, Flash lived the momentum and visited Holland, Belgium and Germany, while they even traveled to North America for some gigs.They returned to the De Lane Lea Studios to record their second album, again with Derek Lawrence as the producer, but without Tony Kaye, this time the only keyboards to be heard in the album was Banks' ARP synthesizer.''In the can'' was released on Sovereign in November 1972.

With three long tracks clocking at over 10 minutes each and two longer pieces, Flash sounded even more progressive than on their debut.A keyboard-less version of YES actually, the music is based on Banks' relentless guitar efforts with the satisfying solos and tireless rhythm changes, backed up by a solid bass/drum duo and an irritating vocalist.As YES dit at the time, Flash'es material was based on shifting climates, unexpected breaks, polyphonic harmonies and a mixture of smoky and more laid-back rock executions, of course the absence of keyboards affects the album's limited dimensions at some point.But the biggest flaw of this new work was that music did not sound as inspired as on their debut, the quartet seems a bit lost in the labyrinth of instrumental tricks and the chaotic thematic variations, certainly some synth leaks and interesting, jazzy-spiced moves are of great interest, but the final result is not particularly memorable.No doubt the band was pretty talented, each isolated section is trully superb in terms of technique and skills, but the combination of all these ideas doesn't seem to work very well.Still Banks' plays reach a mginificent level at times, a true magician of the guitar.

Not as good as ''Flash''.It's complex, guitar-driven Prog Rock with minor jazzy colors, maybe too chaotic for its own good.If you love YES, and I am sure there are millions of people who do, this is still a decent album of adventurous musicianship.

Thanks to ProgLucky for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives