1972 Sovereign [UK]; Capitol [US]
LP: SVNA 7251 [UK]; SMAS-11040 [US]
1994 One Way Records [CD re-release]
CD: S21-17796 [re-release]
Peter Banks: electric, acoustic and Spanish guitars, hooter, ARP synth, backing vocals
Ray Bennett: bass guitar, backing vocals, lead vocal (2), acoustic rhythm guitar (2)
Colin Carter: lead vocal, incidental percussion
Mike Hough: drums, cymbals, percussion, badinage
Tony Kaye: organ, piano, ARP synth
Produced by Derek Lawrence
Engineer: Martin Birch
Recorded at De Lane Lea Studios 8-21 Nov 1971
Mixed and mastered at Abbey Road Studios
Cover by Hipgnosis
1. Small Beginnings [Banks/Carter] (9:23)
2. Morning Haze [Bennett] (4:32)
3. Children of the Universe [Bennett] (8:55)
4. Dreams of Heaven [Banks/Carter] (12:57)
5. The Time It Takes [Banks/Carter] (5:48)
All songs arranged by Flash
Notes: (****) On leaving Yes, Banks assembled Flash, recruiting first Colin Carter (ex-Mushroom, ex-Peter Bardens), who he met through Chris Welch. Next was Ray Bennett (ex-Eyes of Blue, ex-Gurvitz Bros.). Bennett was told about the new band by Bruford, with whom he'd played in The Original Breed Bluesmen (a.k.a. The Breed)—Bennett had been 15 and Bruford 16. Banks had seen Bennett play with The Gun when they supported Yes once. Hough was recruited through an advert in Melody Maker. The band had planned to be a quintet, initially rehearsing with a keyboard player called Dave (his surname has been lost in the mists of time). Dave left the band shortly before recordings began, so Banks invited Kaye to sit in—Kaye agreed but never had any intention to join the band permanently.
In a 2005 interview for Perfect Sound Forever, Bennett and Carter described the writing process on the album:
PSF: I was quite surprised to note that Pete's writing in Flash was minimal. Why was that?"Small Beginnings" seems to have been the first Flash song written. Backed by "Morning Haze", it was released as a single in the UK (Sovereign SOV 105), US (Capitol 3345; making #39) and France (Sovereign C 006-93559). The album made #33 in the US. (HP; 3 Dec 05)
Bennett: Why would you be surprised? He's not a singer and he's not a songwriter. All the material with Flash started with a song that everybody felt had potential for development.
Carter: Not always but 99% of the time.
Bennett: Yeah, occasionally, um... I seem to remember that "Dreams of Heaven" was one of the few songs that Peter initiated because he had an idea for a finale to the shows. He was convinced we had to have a big finish... ba-boom! He had a few things that he'd done with Yes, so parts of "Dreams of Heaven" started that way, then grew into a song which became a big tentacled monster. Most of the time, it was me and Colin who came in with something and everybody thought: "Oh, this has potential." It went from there and Peter would add bits, usually a guitar riff. He'd say "Can we fit this in here?" And we'd say "No!!!" but we'd put it in anyway (laughs). That was really a part of the charm of Flash, I think.
Carter: And the tension, the tension within. Everybody was trying to get in their ten cents...
Bennett: The interesting thing about the old band was that we always agreed on the final outcome of a piece. I remember spending hours and hours and hours rehearsing some pieces that just totally smacked the dumper, so it was all just a kind of group-think in the end. Like I say, part of our charm was that we had these very odd juxtapositions of ideas and accepted them. We could've flatly refused to accept that kind of thing but didn't. However, Peter is not really a writer, a composer. He comes up with very cool guitar ideas and nice chords but never was one to extend them into large compositions.
Carter: He just doesn't write songs.