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FLASH

Eclectic Prog • United Kingdom


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Flash biography
FLASH was formed in London in 1971 when Colin CARTER (who served as a singer in the group led by Peter BARDENS before his CAMEL days) met ex-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. F 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.

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FLASH shows & tickets


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FLASH discography


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

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

3.68 | 81 ratings
Flash
1972
3.38 | 65 ratings
In The Can
1972
3.18 | 47 ratings
Out Of Our Hands
1973
3.09 | 21 ratings
Flash (Featuring Ray Bennett & Colin Carter)
2013

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

1.38 | 4 ratings
Psychosync
1997
5.00 | 1 ratings
In Public
2013

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

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

4.88 | 7 ratings
Flash (1972) / Out Of Our Hands (1973)
2003

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

3.33 | 3 ratings
Small Beginnings/ Morning Haze
1972
5.00 | 1 ratings
Watch Your Step/ Lifetime
1973

FLASH Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 In The Can by FLASH album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.38 | 65 ratings

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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.

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 Flash by FLASH album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.68 | 81 ratings

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Flash
Flash Eclectic Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars After his departure from Yes in mid-1970 and some brief appearances with Blodwyn Pig and Chris Harwood, Peter Banks met with singer Colin Carter and decided to form his own band.It was found in London during the summer of 71' under the name of Flash and the line-up became complete with Ray Bennett on bass and Mike Hough on drums.Original Yes keyboardist Tony Kaye was sucked by the band around the same time and was asked to join Flash, but he only appeared as a guest in the debut's sessions, before forming Badger.Flash'es first, self-titled album was recorded in November 1971 at the De Lane Lea Studios in Wembley with Martin Birch and Derek Lawrence as sound engineer and producer respectively, both were long-time collaborators of Deep Purple.''Flash'' was eventually released on Sovereign Records in February 72'.

With ''The Yes album'' already out, having a trully captivating sound, you can only think that Banks was partially influenced by his former band's innovative work, as the debut of Flash draws resemblances with the legendary album of Yes.The sound is dominated by tons of electroacoustic interplays, irritating Jon Anderson-like vocals, multi-vocal singing lines and frenetic changes between tempos with the guitar in the forefront.On the other hand Flash'es debut was much guitar-oriented with supporting performances on keyboards with Tony Kaye as a guest and Banks even handling some ARP synth flashes.So expect a YES-like style with lots of complex themes and shifting moods, showered by light acoustic flavors and discreet psychedelic moves.Flash combined the poppy sensibilities and some intense organ and synth runs with the emerging power and charm of Progressive Rock, the result was captivating compositions, always highlighted by Banks' complicated guitar lines and the trully dynamic bass playing of Bennett.The long tracks are quite great with more keyboard emphasis towards a more balanced sound and lots of jazzy plays on guitar, maintaing the rock component in a high level but also delivering a unique atmosphere filled with tricky plays.

Great debut by Flash, on the same level as ''The Yes album'' to my ears.Dense, guitar-driven Prog Rock with minor Pop and keyboard-based stylings, very interesting and strongly recommended.

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 Flash (Featuring Ray Bennett & Colin Carter) by FLASH album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.09 | 21 ratings

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Flash (Featuring Ray Bennett & Colin Carter)
Flash Eclectic Prog

Review by DrömmarenAdrian

2 stars Three star records have a wide extent; they could be very nice and also of course quite boring. This is honestly one of the late ones. Flash is an old band which made three records in the early seventies and was famous for feature Yes' first guitarist Peter Banks. This comeback is the first record in exactly fourty years and their fourth record for all. Banks now is dead and this record features Ray Bennett (guitars, vocals, bass, keyboards and percussion), Colin Carter (lead vocals, guitar), MArk Pardy (drums), Paul Pace(drums), Wayne Carver(bass) and Rick Daugherty(keyboards). It seems that this is almost a two men record with two "stars" and some other guys: is that the answer why I think the music is quite flat.

The record has nine tracks which all have got the ratings five or six from me so they are either okey or rather boring. For me it's very anonymous rock music with a sound too distorted to be appreciated(a common condition today). Instrumentally I think this music often works with especially good(but not unusual) guitar work. The vocals do not affect me much, in the first song for exemple I think they work when they're together but not when it's done solo. The best songs are "10 000 movies", a rather usual rock song with vocals that work, "Hurt" which has some instrumental ambitions and "Manhattan morning". Those songs are good(6/10), the others unfortunately feels inferior.

I have no idea of the old Flash, I should check that out, this is probably not typical for the band's old style. This music is okey, I have not arguments to give it two stars but I wouldn't recommend it.

Well I change my mind anyway, two and a half stars, rounded downward to two.

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 Flash (Featuring Ray Bennett & Colin Carter) by FLASH album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.09 | 21 ratings

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Flash (Featuring Ray Bennett & Colin Carter)
Flash Eclectic Prog

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

2 stars 40 years after their last album!

Exactly 40 years after their previous album comes this new release from Flash! My first impression inevitably focused on the terribly unimaginative album title ("Featuring Ray Bennett & Colin Carter") and the equally unimaginative sleeve picture which just features two simple, black-and-white photographs of Ray Bennett and Colin Carter in the recording studio on a plain black background with white logo. With such a long time in the making one would have expected something more exciting (though, admittedly the first two Flash albums also feature awful sleeve pictures with half-naked body parts).

Still, it is the music that should count, not the title and cover art. But even here there were early warning signs. Out of the nine tracks one is a cover of a song by Nine Inch Nails (!) and another is a re-make of the band's own Manhattan Morning (originally from Out Of Our Hands). After such a long time in the making, it is a bit lame to do covers and re-makes.

Yet, knowing all of this, I still wanted to give this new album a chance. And with low initial expectations, I can't say I'm disappointed. But I'm certainly not very impressed either. It's rather okey, but not much more than that. The sound is instantly recognisable as Flash and surprisingly little has happened to the band's sound in 40 years! Fans of the bands 70's albums will probably be able to enjoy this one as well, as indeed do I to a moderate degree. The material is far from being up to par with the very good self-titled debut from 1972, but it is up to par with the weaker follow-up In The Can.

Recommended for fans of Flash and for those who feel they need to have everything even remotely related to Yes, but the average Prog fan need not bother.

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 Flash (Featuring Ray Bennett & Colin Carter) by FLASH album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.09 | 21 ratings

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Flash (Featuring Ray Bennett & Colin Carter)
Flash Eclectic Prog

Review by Evolver
Special Collaborator Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury Teams

4 stars I'm a sucker for good throwback prog. With my advancing age I adore any new album that brings me back to those days of buying a stack of used records and discovering that progressive (or art rock back in those days) gem. Wobbler, The Flower Kings, and a number of other groups give me that feeling now that most of the old bands, if they are even around any more, often are unrecognizable from their early sound. Well after a 40 year absence, Flash has returned to the scene (thanks go out to Sherry Noland, who has graciously kept us in the loop as Ray Bennett and Colin Carter were recording). And the album sounds very much like their 70s releases. Carter's voice has barely changed, only losing a slight amount of the upper registers - a good thing, in my opinion, as I'm never too pleased with the sound of men singing so high. Bennett, who plays guitars, bass and keyboards, is as good as ever. The album opens with an orchestral flourish on Night Vision, and then settles in to that familiar sound. Their sound still, to me, brings up images of what Yes might have sounded like had they not cast off Peter Banks and Tony Kaye, yet still advanced their progression into symphonic prog. The similarity is no coincidence, as the members of Flash and Yes came from the same scene, and some played together when forming their style. Other songs, to my ears, remind me a bit of Kansas, with some broad themes that bring up the American Midwest. Grand Canyon, with lyrics that don't seem to have anything to do with the title, sound quite a bit like Rush. And the next song, Morpheum, is the coolest on the album, a smoky jamming piece, much like Corvus Stone (a recent favorite of mine). Bennett does great work on the guitar, playing some great solos, and shines even more on bass, where he plays around the music like a young Chris Squire. And the music itself is great. Some tracks appear to be settling into familiar patterns, but never stay there too long, instead veering into unexpected twists and turns. My only complaint is in the production, where the drums, and often the vocals and even the guitars, sound too compressed, giving the music a slightly mushed sound, like it is being played on a 70s era radio. Otherwise, this is a grand comeback.

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 Flash (Featuring Ray Bennett & Colin Carter) by FLASH album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.09 | 21 ratings

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Flash (Featuring Ray Bennett & Colin Carter)
Flash Eclectic Prog

Review by ProgShine
Collaborator Errors & Omissions Team

3 stars High time for comebacks! Like I said in previous reviews, it's been high time for bands to come back. A few years ago another dinosaur came back to Earth: Flash.

Flash was originally formed in 1971 by Peter Banks, first Yes guitar player, and Colin Carter, who was the singer of the first Camel line up, before they started to record. Ray Bennett joined them and Flash was born. They released 3 albums between 1972 and 1973 and then disbanded around 1974.

The duo Ray Bennett and Colin Carter got back together again around 3 years ago to work on a new album and play live. The result is Flash Featuring Ray Bennett & Colin Carter (2013) (what a terrible name for an album), released by Purple Pyramid/Cleopatra Records in May. The album was recorded in Nevada, the USA and it was produced by Ray Bennett himself.

Together with Ray (electric and acoustic guitars, vocals, bass, keyboards and percussion) and Colin Carter (vocals and guitars) we have the musicians Rick Daugherty (keyboards), Mark Pardy (drums) and Paul Pace (drums).

When track one 'Night Vision' begins one quite doesn't realize that it's been 40 years since they recorded their latest album, Out Of Our Hands (1973). The track is full of layered vocals in great 70's Prog style. Second track is quite a mystery. If you never heard it before you can actually think it's one of their own songs, but 'Hurt' is in fact a Nine Inch Nails song that got famous by the version Johny Cash did some years ago. This version is quite a good surprise.

'Something So Dark' and 'Manhattan Morning' pass without much fuzz. The latter is, in fact, a re-recording of the original song presented on their 3rd album. Here the voice of Colin Carter seems very tired. 'Into The Sun' brings back the interesting Flash. Great bass line and lots of vocals. 'Grand Canyon' follows with a weird beginning, more of an upbeat track with great guitars, but a bit too long for my taste.

The last 3 tracks are a bit shorter. Starting with 'Morpheum' that is an instrumental track with great emphasis on the guitars and charged with space synths. Then we have '10,000 Movies' with a great initial riff and a really interesting melody. 'Richerd Of Venice' closes the album as an instrumental track, based again on guitars but this time with a piano helping to glue everything together. But honestly it is a very weak piece to finish an album.

In general, Flash Featuring Ray Bennett & Colin Carter (2013) is a regular album that ends up being a 50/50 relation. It has many great moments that praise their 70's heritage, but at the same time half of the album is too 'regular', nothing really special in it. It has some great bass lines, very interesting guitar moments too and some tracks shine with their own light, but that's pretty much it.

If you're a fan of the band's first three records you can go for it with a resting head.

(Originally posted on progshine.net)

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 Flash (Featuring Ray Bennett & Colin Carter) by FLASH album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.09 | 21 ratings

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Flash (Featuring Ray Bennett & Colin Carter)
Flash Eclectic Prog

Review by cstack3

4 stars After a decades long hiatus, Ray Bennett and Colin Carter reprise their 1970's band "Flash" with new material and a reprise of "Manhattan Morning," first released on "Out Of Our Hands" in 1973. Bennett handles six string and bass guitar, and Carter contributes rhythm guitar, vocals and songwriting. I'm especially impressed with how Carter's voice has mellowed over the years, evolving into a blusier, huskier tone that meshes easily with the music. One has to wonder how the album might have sounded if Peter Banks had contributed, but sadly, it was not to be. I do not hesitate to recommend this CD to fans.

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 Out Of Our Hands by FLASH album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.18 | 47 ratings

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Out Of Our Hands
Flash Eclectic Prog

Review by stefro
Prog Reviewer

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

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 In The Can by FLASH album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.38 | 65 ratings

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In The Can
Flash Eclectic Prog

Review by stefro
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Whilst you can hardly criticise Steve Howe's work with Yes, one really does wonder how the British progressive rock stalwarts would have turned out if original guitarist Peter Banks hadn't been booted out mere months before the release of the group's orchestrally-flavoured second album 'Time & A Word'. A consumate axeman in his own right, Banks career would never quite reach the sky highs of Howe-Era Yes, though he would, with his own group Flash, release a trio of very decent guitar-heavy prog-rock albums. Remarkably all three - 'Flash', 'In The Can' and 'Out Of Our Hands' - would be released during 1972, with, even more remarkably, the same line-up present on each. Featuring Banks, drummer Mike Hough, bassist Ray Bennett and vocalist Colin Carter, the quartet's self-titled debut remains arguably their strongest offering, yet there is still much to savour on both this follow-up and the group's final release 'Out Of Our Hands'. Continuing the cheeky cover-art theme established on 'Flash'(this time it's a barely-concealed nipple replacing the rather risque up-close-and- personal knickers-under-the-skirt image featured on the cover of their debut) 'In The Can' is another febrile dose of joyful, semi-metallic power-prog. The ten-minute opener 'Lifetime' picks up very much where 'Flash' left off, with Bennett's rumbling bass trundles underscoring Bank's wildly flamboyant guitar licks, Hough's furious drum patterns and the Jon Anderson-esque vocals of the very rock star-looking Carter, making for a suitably epic opening that morphs nicely into the mid-paced follow-up 'Monday Morning Eyes'. Featuring a distinctly early Yes feel - though without the swooning keyboards - 'Monday Morning Eyes' is classic Flash, a multi-coloured sonic prog adventure that skips heartily through a jumble of expertly-performed moments that once again highlight each individuals powerful playing yet also finds time for the foursome to add surprisingly adept vocal harmonies to the mix. Thankfully, after this strong beginning there is still time enough on the album for two more ten-minute-plus epics, the chundering 'Black & White' and the sky-reaching 'There No More' sandwiching the percussive strains of the brief throwaway piece 'Stop That Banging'. Of course, there will always be the detractors who brand Flash as some kind of sub-Yes clone, but that's completely missing the point. Flash will always be the rockier cousins of Banks previous employers, yet their sheer vibrant energy and slick, metal-tinged edge sets them well apart. Maybe 'In The Can' lacks the grandiose feel attached to both it's predecessor and the very best work of Yes, yet nonetheless this is still a fine slice of fist-pumping prog-rock(with the emphasis here very much on the 'rock') all the same. STEFAN TURNER, ANGEL ISLINGTON, 2012

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 In The Can by FLASH album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.38 | 65 ratings

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In The Can
Flash Eclectic Prog

Review by Matti
Collaborator Neo-Prog Team

3 stars Oh well, my collaborator page says I've given this a rating without a review, which I at least never intended to do! So in order to straighten things up here's a review. Ex-Yes guitarist Peter Banks chose to continue his band without keyboards, though he later admitted having sometimes missed Tony Kaye's participation. He claimed to be able to do it all with his guitar. Certainly a gifted axeman he is too. Anyway, this continues in the same vein as Flash released earlier the same year. Perhaps this should have had a 'hit' as the debut's 'Small Beginnings', but overall it really can't be said that the compositions are weaker and less memorable this time - because they were quite unmemorable to begin with. Both have an emphasis on technical skill and as such are fairly good if unmemorable listening all the way, this slightly less interesting due to the lack of keyboards. Moreover, I don't much enjoy the drum solo 'Stop That Banging'.

Hipgnosis used female bodies in the cover art of the trilogy of Flash albums, first butt, then breast. I'm not blaming the (admittedly cheap) idea itself, but these are clearly among the worst by that team best known for Pink Floyd covers. The music is guitar oriented symphonic prog, three tracks longer than 10 minutes. The early Yes is naturally one comparison, but unfortunately there's none of the fresh gorgeousness of tracks such as 'Starship Trooper'. Still I think the two first Flash albums are better than the two first Yes albums featuring Banks.

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