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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 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.

Dedicated Flash forum discussion area: Flash - 1971 to Present

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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)

3.65 | 97 ratings
Flash
1972
3.38 | 82 ratings
In The Can
1972
3.19 | 57 ratings
Out Of Our Hands
1973
3.08 | 27 ratings
Featuring Ray Bennett & Colin Carter
2013

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

1.50 | 5 ratings
Psychosync
1997
4.00 | 3 ratings
In Public
2013

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

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

4.78 | 9 ratings
Flash (1972) / Out Of Our Hands (1973)
2003

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

3.17 | 3 ratings
Small Beginnings/ Morning Haze
1972
5.00 | 1 ratings
Watch Your Step/ Lifetime
1973

FLASH Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Featuring Ray Bennett & Colin Carter by FLASH album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.08 | 27 ratings

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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
3.38 | 82 ratings

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In The Can
Flash Eclectic Prog

Review by Tarcisio Moura
Prog Reviewer

3 stars With its rather suggestive cover, Flash´s 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. It´s a pity that they didn´t 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 it´s 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 something´s missing. Small wonder the record made such little impact on me when I first heard them in the 70´s.

If you guitar-led prog is your thing, with some inventive jazz influences, you might like this album very much. For me it´s 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
3.65 | 97 ratings

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Flash
Flash Eclectic Prog

Review by Tarcisio Moura
Prog Reviewer

3 stars As far as I can remember, Flash´s debut album was not released in Brazil. and therefore, only recently I could get a copy of this record to listen to. I really didn´t 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.

It´s easy to see why Flash didn´t 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, don´t 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.

It´s only nostalgia, ok, but I like it.

 In The Can by FLASH album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.38 | 82 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.

 Flash by FLASH album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.65 | 97 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.

 Featuring Ray Bennett & Colin Carter by FLASH album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.08 | 27 ratings

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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.

 Featuring Ray Bennett & Colin Carter by FLASH album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.08 | 27 ratings

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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.

 Featuring Ray Bennett & Colin Carter by FLASH album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.08 | 27 ratings

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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.
 Featuring Ray Bennett & Colin Carter by FLASH album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.08 | 27 ratings

BUY
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)

 Featuring Ray Bennett & Colin Carter by FLASH album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.08 | 27 ratings

BUY
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.
Thanks to ProgLucky for the artist addition. and to NotAProghead for the last updates

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