Flash were a classic case of “lightning in a bottle” – a phenomenal first album, a fine follow-up, and a mediocre third.

Peter Banks, an avowed Pete Townshend worshiper, was unique amongst the post-Robert Fripp school of eclectic six-string virtuosos in that he retained the raw rhythmics of his mid-’60s mod roots, interchanging thunderous riffage with jazzy scales and acoustic filigree with the most spontaneous of ease. Colin Carter’s adenoidal vocal delivery could be a mixed blessing, emotively dramatic at its best yet strained and affected at its worst, and one could say that he was thee British vocalist to foreshadow the clumsy histrionics of many a stateside shrieker. But above all, Flash flew by the tightness of their material, which displayed an uncanny knack for pivoting the most disparate of thematic movements with smooth and satisfying ease, as the many corridors of their greatest songs – “Small Beginnings”, “Children of the Universe” and “Dreams of Heaven” – compellingly bear out.



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