• Flash
    (Sovereign Records  1972  SVNA7251)
    Matrix No's: A1/B1 - UK Pressing

    G&L Gatefold Sleeve in Nr MINT condition
    - a little wear on the corners

    Vinyl in Nr MINT condition
    (there are some surface marks visible on the vinyl when held up to the light but they don't affect the sound quality)

     

    Flash was an English progressive rock group, formed by former Yes guitarist Peter Banks and vocalist Colin Carter in August 1971. Bassist Ray Bennett, and Mike Hough on drums completed the line-up.

    The band went into the recording studio in November 1971 to record its debut album, and performed its first gig on 14 January 1972. Coincidentally, exactly one year later, on 14 January 1973, Flash would fill New York's Philharmonic Hall.

    There is some controversy over whether fellow ex-Yes member, keyboardist Tony 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. Interviews with all the parties confirm that, though Kaye was invited to join he declined, and should have been cited as a guest on the first album. He went on to found Badger in 1972. Other potential keyboard players were approached or auditioned at the time, including Ian McDonald (formerly of King Crimson), Rick Wakeman (soon to join Yes) and Patrick Moraz (also a future member of Yes), but eventually the band decided to carry on as a keyboard-less quartet, with Carter handling the occasional synthesizer part.

    Flash had a minor hit with "Small Beginnings" (1972, No. 29 Billboard Hot 100 chart) which was featured in the movie, Record Review. The song "Small Beginnings" has also been included in numerous compilation albums, most recently Bob Stroud's Rock 'n Roll Roots, Vol. 10.

    The band released three albums, Flash (1972), In the Can (1972 Nov.) and Out of Our Hands (1973 Summer).

    Flash were signed with Sovereign, a sub-label of Capitol Records and received support from the label, who were hoping for a similar level of success to other progressive rock bands such as Emerson, Lake & Palmer or Yes. The debut LP sold in excess of 100,000 copies. They toured North America a total of four times, and Continental Europe (Netherlands, Belgium and Germany) once, in early 1972, while regularly playing gigs in their native UK, including a joint tour with Beck, Bogert & Appice in 1973. Flash also did a brief tour of Australia, while making their third album. Without consulting the band, and to everyone's dismay, including Banks', Capitol released the third album under the name Flash - featuring England's Peter Banks, to avoid a legal challenge from another local band named 'Flash', and to help promote Banks' solo album Two Sides of Peter Banks (1973) which was released on Capitol almost concurrently.

    Flash disbanded during an American tour in Albuquerque, New Mexico in November 1973. By this time, relationships between Banks and the rest of the band had soured, and it had been suggested by management that the band find a replacement for Banks and carry on. They decided to stick it out because of their excellent musical chemistry, but in the end, ever-increasing tensions resulted in the band's abrupt demise.

    In the years following the band's breakup, the musicians kept working together in various combinations.

    Bennett and Carter tried to start another band, eventually joined by Hough, with keyboard player Chris Pidgeon and ex-Flaming Youth member Gordon Smith on guitar, later replaced by Barry Paul (ex-Savoy Brown). After playing what turned out to be its only gig at London's Marquee Club, the band (unofficially named Blaze) settled in New York, but failed to secure a record deal (its management having turned down several offers hoping for a better one to turn up) and broke up. Just after this, Carter and Hough were part of another band in NYC, Storm, with New York keyboardist Al Greenwood. This band also failed to launch and Greenwood ended up in the much more successful Foreigner. Ray Bennett was invited to join Foreigner on bass as the band was forming, but declined.

    In 1975, Banks invited Bennett to join him in a new project with Sidonie Jordan [aka Sydney Foxx] (vocals) and Andrew McCulloch (drums, formerly of King Crimson and Greenslade). Initial rehearsals in London led to a demo recording, but despite the help of Pete Townshend and Robert Stigwood, Banks failed to secure a deal. Later, Bennett recorded another demo with Jordan and McCulloch, but without Banks.

    In 1976, Bennett was briefly a member of Banks' new project, Empire, again featuring Jordan, but the reunion was short-lived.

    In the early 1980s, with all ex-Flash members now based in Los Angeles, a reformation was attempted but failed to take off. Banks and Bennett kept playing together informally until they fell out again.

    A 1997 release, Psychosync, compiled a live recording made in 1973 for a WLIR radio broadcast as well as their two songs performed on The Midnight Special TV show.

    A 2013 release, Flash in Public, a live recording from a 1973 concert at Kansas City’s Cowtown Ballroom, was being prepared by Peter Banks at the time of his death.

    More recently, Bennett and Carter have been working together again under the Flash name (Hough was initially involved but later dropped out, and there was, briefly, talk of Banks taking part but, in the end, Banks fell out again with Bennett and Carter and was excluded).

    Bennett (now on lead guitar) and Carter played together as a duo under the Flash name at the 2005 Baja Prog Festival in Mexico.

    Bennett and Carter posted new Flash material on the flash/bennettcarter MySpace website in July, 2009. Titles of the new songs are "Grand Canyon", "How the West Was Won" (later changed to "Into the Sun") and "10,000". Videos of the reunited Flash can be found on YouTube.

    In addition to the new material, Flash posted rehearsal videos of original Flash songs released on earlier albums. These include "Children of the Universe" from the debut album Flash (1972), and "Manhattan Morning" from the third album Out of our Hands (1973).

    On 31 August 2010, the full band made their first public appearance since the breakup, a "live dress rehearsal" in preparation for an upcoming mini-tour. It took place at The E-String Bar in Henderson, Nevada, just southeast of Las Vegas. The lineup consisted of Colin Carter (vocals), Ray Bennett (guitar, vocals), Wayne Carver (bass, vocals), Mark Pardy (drums), and Rick Daugherty (keyboards).

    Flash made their official reunion debut headlining the International ProgDay Festival in Chapel Hill, North Carolina on 4 September 2010. Peter Banks' passing in March 2013 ironically occurred just before the May 2013 scheduled release of the first Flash album in forty years, "Flash Featuring Ray Bennett & Colin Carter" (Cleopatra Records). It was reported that Banks heard three of the tracks from the upcoming album before his sudden death and liked them, especially the band's first ever recording of a cover tune, NIN/Trent Reznor's "Hurt".

    Flash is the self-titled debut studio album by British band Flash, released in February 1972 by Sovereign Records.

    Guitarist Peter Banks played with several bands before forming Flash, including The Nighthawks in 1963, The Devil's Disciples in 1964, The Syndicats in 1965 and then The Syn with Chris Squire on bass in 1965. He then joined Mabel Greer's Toyshop which would be the basis of Yes in 1966, again with Chris Squire, but briefly left to join a band called Neat Change and recorded a single, "I Lied to Aunty May"/"Sandman", with Peter Frampton playing guitar on side A while Banks played on side B. He then rejoined Mabel Greer's Toyshop, who became Yes. He left them after their second album, Time and a Word in 1970 to form Flash. Their bassist Ray Bennett played with another band prior to Flash called The Breed which included Bill Bruford on drums.

    Reissue

    A remastered version was issued in the US in 2003. Curiously, it was coupled with their third album "Out Of Our Hands". There appears to be no CD release to date of the band's second album, "In The Can".

    Track listing

    Side one
    No. Title Writer(s) Length
    1. "Small Beginnings" Peter Banks, Colin Carter 9:23
    2. "Morning Haze" Ray Bennett 4:32
    3. "Children of the Universe" Bennett 8:55
    Side two
    No. Title Writer(s) Length
    4. "Dreams of Heaven" Banks, Carter 12:57
    5. "The Time It Takes" Banks, Carter 5:48

    Personnel

    Flash

    • Colin Carter – lead vocals, percussion
    • Peter Banks – electric, acoustic and Spanish guitars, ARP synthesizer, backing vocals
    • Ray Bennett – bass guitar, backing vocals; lead vocals and acoustic guitar on "Morning Haze"
    • Mike Hough – drums, percussion, cymbals, voice

    Additional musician

    • Tony Kaye – ARP synthesizer, Hammond organ, piano

    Production

    • Derek Lawrence – producer
    • Martin Birch – engineer
    • Flash – arrangements
    • Maurice Tate – artwork
    • Barry Wentzell – photography
    • Hipgnosis – design, photography

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    FLASH - DEBUT LP - Nr MINT A1/B1 UK PROG ROCK YES

    • Product Code: SVNA7251
    • Availability: In Stock
    • £35.99

    • Ex Tax: £35.99