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Flash - Flash CD (album) cover

FLASH

Flash

 

Eclectic Prog

3.69 | 115 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Sean Trane
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk
3 stars Having been shown the door to slam by the rest of his Yes colleagues, Peter Banks spent a stint in Blodwyn Pig (most likely after Mick Abrahams had left) then built up his own group, made mostly from previous acquaintance though Yes, The Syn, Mabel Greer's Toy Shop etc.. No big names, except for Tony Kaye, that also had received the pink slip from Yes. Well Kaye was apparently never really a full-member of Flash, since he had his own projects to mind, including a David Bowie tour and his very own Badger group. So for this debut album, the line-up is your classic prog quartet, plus the singing belter. Released in early 72 on the small Capitol offshoot Sovereign Records with a shameless panty Hipgnosis gatefold artwork, the album was definitely aiming the charts, as did the album-opening track, released as a single. Actually, it did work somewhat as they were fairly successful in the US, where tons of kids bought the album mainly on account of the artwork.

It's quite obvious that Flash chose to open with their album capitalizing on their Yes heritage and Small Beginnings is a good shot at it, as you could almost believe it, if it wasn't for Carter's voice. As mentioned above, this track would see a shortened version released as a single and shot up to n29 in the Billboard. It's fairly clear as well that Banks listened intently to the Yes albums that his former group did after his leaving and he obviously felt he had something to prove on this and the next album. Indeed most of the tracks on these two albums have more to do with Yes Album or Fragile than they had with Time And A Word or the Yes debut, which might have been less obvious. Morning Haze is a mostly acoustic ditty with almost delicate harmonies (I'm not a fan of Carter's voice or his dumb lyrics). The 9-mins Children Of The Universe returns to the Yes mould, mainly on the strength of Kaye's organ (both him and banks also play the ARP synth), but both Benett (bass) and Hough (drums) are capable as both had previous jazz-band experiences.

Just two tracks on the flipside and the almost 13?mins Dreams Of Heaven opens the hostilities on a semblance of Heart Of The Sunrise, before breaking abruptly into hard-rocking riff, veering jazzy just after wards, before changing again tempo and climate. Undeniably the album's centerpiece. The closing Time It Takes can only pale in comparison, but it's got its charms as well, even if the vocal lines are fairly uninspired

I find this relatively uninteresting but then again I seem to be in a minority. This is just derivative prog rock to me with "affirmative" leanings, with somewhat technical capabilities, but arriving nowhere-close to their target of Yes. I think that a lot of Yes-nuts like this because of the guitarist Peter Banks and the keyboardist Tony Kaye (later in Badger which is better) had their second chance after having received the boot. I'd never found the group worthy of owning an album of theirs, but had borrowed them from buddies, and borrowed the albums from my library system in order to write these baffling blunders. Maybe I would've been kinder to this band had they used more progish covers instead of blatantly appealing to young sex-hungry and virgins males teenagers

Sean Trane | 3/5 |

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