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Peter Banks - Two Sides of Peter Banks CD (album) cover


Peter Banks


Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.18 | 51 ratings

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Special Collaborator
Symphonic Team
3 stars A good side, and a not so good backside

Peter Banks was the original guitarist of Yes and played with them between 1968 and 1970. Before that Banks was also involved in pre-Yes bands Mabel Greer's Toy Shop and The Syn. After having recorded two albums with Yes - the self-titled 1969 debut and 1970's Time And A Word - Banks was replaced in the group by Steve Howe. Banks then formed a new band called Flash and released three albums with that band. The first, self-titled Flash album was released in 1972 and featured another Yes-man in Tony Kaye (who by that time had also been replaced in Yes) on keyboards. The same year saw a follow-up album called In The Can and in the year after that Out Of Our Hands appeared. Banks' first solo album entitled Two Sides Of Peter Banks was recorded at the same time as that third Flash album and released in the same year.

The album title is apt, as the two vinyl sides are rather different in character. The first side is by far the better one featuring more structured compositions whilst the second side features mainly improvisational material. A case in point is the nearly 14 minute Stop That! which is improvisational in nature and rather aimless. There are no vocals on either side and the guitar is naturally the dominant instrument throughout.

Perhaps because the split with Yes had not been amicable, no other Yes members are present on this solo album. Instead, Banks invites Steve Hackett and Phil Collins from Genesis, John Wetton from King Crimson, and Jan Akkerman from Focus to guest on this solo album. Also, Ray Bennett and Mike Hough from Flash appear. If you come to this album expecting something similar to early Yes or a continuation of Flash you will be sorely disappointed. There are some lovely softer moments during the first half of the album that remind of Focus, and some of the heavier passages here remind of King Crimson. Like Phil Collins and Jan Akkerman, Peter Banks too has a jazzier side and he explores that side here on side two of the album.

Despite most of the second side being rather dispensable, the album as a whole is okey but not essential.

SouthSideoftheSky | 3/5 |


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