|......................................THE BAND AND RECORD OF THE MONTH|
I was very surprised and also very happy, when I heard about the Flash's return band. After many years, in their complete silence, Ray Bennett and Colin Carter are back together, putting into practice, new ideas and rescuing their original musical Escencia, perhaps forgotten somewhere in the past. There are few bands from the past, years 70's, that blends Progressive Rock and Melodic Hard Rock in a perfect combination, with highly energetic and sometimes explosive musical performance, and I can say that Flash is one of the pioneers into this style and strong musical reference for many bands today. Their music is so original, and comes from the heart, the instrumental is very impressive and powerful, guitars are played by Ray Bennett, who always was the original Flash's member, his guitar sound are somewhat intermediate between clean and distorted. The distortion is not too heavy but rather gives an energetic touch to music, the guitars sounds are always floating in fine tune with the keyboards, also including an extraordinary drum's sections, meanwhile, Colin Carter's vocals provides a right treatment to the orchestration, such as a perfect marriage and all well synchronized with all the arrangements. "Flash Featuring Ray Bennett & Colin Carter" is their glorious comeback album from Flash, this amazing band. The CD consists of nine songs, where you must listen carefully all tracks, that are all perfects, but, you must have a special attention to the songs "Night Vision", "Hurt", in my opinion, it's the best song on the album, "Something So Dark", "Manhattan Morning", "Grand Canyon", "Morpheum" and "10,000 Movies" you will find perfect arrangements, interesting and vibrant compositions, full of emotions which make you shiver each time you listen to them. This is one album that I will be returning to quite often so I would classify it as a recommended purchase. From melodic to vibrant, the music from Flash captures a wide range of expressions through soaring melodies and a dynamic instrumentation, bringing amazing musical moments that you will never forget. Brilliant and fantastic, an amazing album and band, highly recommendable...
line-up on Flash album and actual band are:
Flash is an English progressive rock group, formed by former Yes guitarist Peter Banks and vocalist Colin Carter in August 1971. Bassist Ray Bennett and drummer Mike Hough completed the line-up. The San Antonio-based cover band Flash, which at one time included Christopher Cross, is not related.
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. 28 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 ELP or Yes. The debut LP sold in excess of 100,000 copies. They toured North America a total of four times, and Continental Europe (Holland, 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. At the insistence of Capitol, the third album was released under the name Flash - featuring England's Peter Banks, to avoid a legal challenge from another local band named "Flash", and to capitalise on the interest generated by Banks' solo album Two Sides Of Peter Banks which was released almost concurrently.
Flash disbanded during an American tour in Albuquerque, New Mexico in November 1973. At this point relationships inside the band had soured, particularly between Banks and the rest of the band. It was suggested 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.
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.
Flash after 1973
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.
In 1975, Banks invited Bennett to join him in a new project with Sidonie Jordan (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.
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 at the 2005 Baja Prog musical 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," and "Manhattan Morning" from the third album Out of our Hands.
On 31 August 2010, the 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 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 recording of a cover tune, NIN/Trent Reznor's "Hurt."
"Flash Featuring Ray Bennett & Colin Carter" was met with early global acclaim and airplay.
Flash's Bio Taken from Wikipedia.
"Flash Featuring Ray Bennett & Colin Carter"
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