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Peter Banks

Jazz Rock/Fusion

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Peter Banks Two Sides of Peter Banks album cover
3.18 | 51 ratings | 8 reviews | 6% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 1973

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Visions Of The King (1:23)
2. The White House Vale (7:13)
- a. On The Hill
- b. Lord Of The Dragon
3. Knights (6:14)
- a. The Falcon
- b. The Bear
4. Battles (1:38)
5. Knights (Reprise) (2:11)
6. Last Eclipse (2:25)
7. Beyond The Loneliest Sea (3:06)
8. Stop That! (13:47)
9. Get Out Of My Fridge (3:20)

Total Time: 41:17

Line-up / Musicians

- Peter Banks / electric and acoustic guitar, ARP, Minimoog, and Fender piano
- Jan Akkerman / electric guitar (1,4,6,8,9), acoustic guitar (7)
- Ray Bennett / bass guitar (3-5,8,9)
- Phil Collins / drums (4,5,8,9)
- Steve Hackett / electric guitar (5)
- Mike Hough / drums (3)
- John Wetton / bass guitar (5)

Releases information

LP Sovereign SMAS 11217 (1973 UK)

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Einsetumadur for the last updates
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PETER BANKS Two Sides of Peter Banks ratings distribution

(51 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(6%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(43%)
Good, but non-essential (37%)
Collectors/fans only (12%)
Poor. Only for completionists (2%)

PETER BANKS Two Sides of Peter Banks reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by tszirmay
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Talk about an eclectic album! Ex-Yes and Flash guitarzan Peter Banks really spilled his beans here , putting together a VERY original album with his mates from Flash (no Yes members invited, ah, such bitterness!!!) and a few choice guests: the fuzzy bass of John Wetton , the rythmic gymnastics of "Uncle" Phil Collins (back in the days when he was a gloriously talented drummer) and , last but not least, the unique guitar styles of Steve Hackett and Focus' Jan Akkerman (back in the days when he was a gloriously talented guitarist). With all this supremo talent , Banks sort of takes a back seat . "The White House Vale", "Knights" and mostly the full tilt improvised gem/jam "Stop That"are the highlights here, giving the guests a chance and a platform to let down their fairly long hair and just rip! Yeah, this is not your "perfect prog produced to perfection master opus" but it has a charm that has stood the test of time and still ellicits smiles, cheers and the occasional goose bumps. In many ways, the album's black, white and grey cover really sets the mood as this is no technicolor masterpiece! It's raw, slutty, dirty, visceral, angry, moody and My, my, that Akkerman could certainly play a mean guitar! Perhaps not a classic but definitely a showpiece for some inspired playing and a rare glimpse into Banks' rather odd career. 4.5 flashes
Review by Guillermo
3 stars This album was recorded at the same time as FLASH`s "Out of Our Hands" album in 1973. In interviews the late Peter Banks said that the record company wanted a solo album from him, so he recorded this album during the nightime while the "Out of Our Hands" album was recorded during the daytime. I think that for Banks this working schedule could have been a hard time having to complete two albums working on them almost all the time at the same time. So, in my opinion, this is reflected in the content of his solo album, an album which sometimes looks and sounds more like a collaboration with guitarist Jan Akkerman from Dutch band FOCUS, more than really being a solo album by Banks. At almost the same time, Banks was also playing some gigs with a part-time band called ZOX AND THE RADAR BOYS, a "jam band" which also included Phil Collins on drums, plus Ronnie Caryl on guitar and three other musicians whose names I don`t remember now. So, maybe this was the reason Collins appeared in this album during the time he was playing wiht Banks in that "jam band". Anyway, Banks said that he had great fun while recording this solo album.

This album sounds more like a collection of improvised instrumental musical pieces, or at least, some pre-composed musical ideas which were augmented in the studio with improvisations while recording the album. There are some very good guitar collaborations and interactions between Banks and Akkerman, sometimes using acoustic guitars playing some Classical Music arrangements. Banks also shows why he was considered as a very good guitar player with his very personal style of playing the heavy parts of the songs, also using some complicated chords in some parts and also playing some very good lead guitar parts.

This album also was like a "Progressive Rock Star Session" due to the appearances of John Wetton on bass, Steve Hacket on guitar (in a very brief and in an almost "cameo apperance"), Phil Collins on several tracks (with his drums playing being particularly very good and present), plus two of Banks` bandmates in FLASH Mike Hough and Ray Bennet.

I don`t know if this solo album was released before "Out of Our Hands", but it seems that FLASH was in their last days as a band anyway, so maybe the record label wanted to give more support to Banks as a solo musician, so they asked him to record this solo album, but it was not as successful as expected. Unfortunately, FLASH broke up as a band during a tour in the U.S. in 1973 and Banks` musical career was not very successful for the rest of the seventies, a time during which he tried to form another band called EMPIRE which could not get a recording contract. Fortunately, in the nineties he became more active with his solo career recording and releasing several solo albums and also playing some concerts with a band called HARMONY IN DIVERSITY. But he died a year ago being 65 years old.

Review by stefro
2 stars The guitarist's solo debut, 1973's 'Two Sides Of Peter Banks' found the diminutive ex-Flash and Yes axeman backed by a quite incredible(for the times) all-star line-up that included the likes of Focus legend Jan Akkermann, former King Crimson bassist John Wetton, and, a decade prior to his early-eighties soft-pop superstar guise, Genesis drummer-and-singer Phil Collins. Add Flash members Ray Bennett(bass) and Mike Hough(drums), as well as another Genesis member in the form of guitarist Steve Hackett, and you have a lip- smacking proposition for prog-rock fans; a line-up of almost dream-team proportions. On paper, 'Two Sides Of Peter Banks' looks like it might just have everything, with virtuoso musicians mixing together within an exciting progressive framework. In reality, however, this glib album proves anything but exciting. The problem, it seems, is Banks himself. Always drawn as a rather strange character yet universally-lauded for his sometimes dazzling guitar histrionics, the British guitarist enjoyed a brief career in rock 'n' roll, appearing on the first Yes album, and then forming Flash in 1972 with Bennett, Hough and vocalist Colin Carter. Flash would produce three studio albums between 1972 and 1973 and tour North America before splitting, and that - apart from this solo release and a handful of barely-released CD albums from the mid-nineties - is pretty much it for Mr Banks. Here, despite the star backing, Banks has essentially created an oddly-disjointed instrumental album filled with impressive technical performances but sorely lacking in memorable tunes and melodies, the whole affair lacking the fire and passion the guitarist brought to the first two Flash albums. From the maudlin opening tones of the murky intro piece 'Visions Of The King' - a throwaway piece capped by both gritty metallic guitars and lilting acoustic chimes - to the messy pop-prog of 'Knights' and the laboured epic 'Stop That!', 'Two Sides Of Peter Banks' fails to capture the imagination in the same way as the album's cast list has. Banks aficianado's may of course lap it all up, but for this Yes-and-Flash fan, both sides of this particular Banks have proved rather disappointing. It could have been great. It wasn't. STEFAN TURNER, STOKE NEWINGTON, 2014

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
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.

Latest members reviews

2 stars Meandering, gentle and totally directionless. This is the first solo effort I've ever heard from Peter Banks. Chances are it may be the last, too. No, it's not horrible at all, indeed the musicianship is pretty good, but the compositions leave a lot to be desired. All instrumental - which ... (read more)

Report this review (#941317) | Posted by BORA | Monday, April 8, 2013 | Review Permanlink

4 stars I found this vinyl this weekend in a local record shop; they either didn't know what they had or didn't care since it was in the cheap bin. I've been looking for this for a while, one of those ones you log in the back of your mind and are thrilled to one day come by. Not a full or perfect recor ... (read more)

Report this review (#239160) | Posted by American Khatru | Monday, September 14, 2009 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Oddly enough Banks`only solo outing of the `70s was not really a solo effort as it includes some monster prog artists from the early seventies contributing their own ideas and material, including Jan Akkerman, Steve Hackett, John Whetton, Phil Collins and members from Bank`s own band Flash. Argu ... (read more)

Report this review (#100251) | Posted by Vibrationbaby | Friday, November 24, 2006 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Why I love this album? First, I think that Peter Banks is a very underrated guitarist. Second, because I think this album it's the perfect example of the underground prog of the 70's. Former guitarist of Yes in their first two albums, Banks was totally eclipsed by Steve Howe at the early 70 ... (read more)

Report this review (#50046) | Posted by progadicto | Tuesday, October 4, 2005 | Review Permanlink

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