Great guitarist, terrible production.
F.C. | New York, NY, USA | 01/30/2010
(2 out of 5 stars)
"After a long run of classic rock guitar albums, Jeff Beck returned in 1985 with the Nile Rodgers produced Flash, an apparent attempt to create an MTV-friendly 80's hit record. In that regard, the album was a considerable success, charting in the American top 20 and going gold within months of its release; it even had the dubious distinction of winning a grammy award. But the album is completely awash in drum machines and synthesizers, making it sound dated (in the worst sense of the word) about five minutes after it came out. Some would argue that the brilliance of Beck's guitar playing slices through all the mechanized production, particularly on a song like "You know we know," which does recall his past triumphs as an instrumentalist. But there is no excuse for putting drum machines on a Jeff Beck record; there's also no way to sugarcoat the fact that most of these songs are, of all things, dance tracks. No matter how much revenue this album generated for the CBS label (and the other parties involved) it was the low point of Beck's recording career. No wonder he did not tour to support it, only playing two gigs, one in Hawaii with Stevie Ray Vaughan and one in Japan with Carlos Santana. For hardcore Jeff Beck fans, Flash may retain some value as an historical curiosity, a sad artifact of an era when corporate greed was actually perceived to be a good thing. People new to Jeff Beck's music should check out any of the many albums he did prior to this instead. He would rebound in a big way with his next album, 1989's Guitar Shop, on which he returned to his strengths with a vengeance."
THE WORST THING BECK'S BEEN INVOLVED IN
David P. Weber | North Fremantle | 06/22/2009
(2 out of 5 stars)
"This LP is a must only for completists and hardcore fans, especially those that want to hear Beck sing again (he's on two tracks).
Beck's solo work is excellent-- even the addition of Jimmy Hall's histrionic vocals can't diminish the sheer audacity and skill of one of the best guitarists in the world. Hall's not a bad singer-- he's amazing-- yet it seems his vocal style was of its period. Up against Rod Stewart, there's no comparison. The track 'People Get Ready' is phenomenal, and should've been a bigger hit.
Check out the second track to get an idea of what Beck might've sounded like firing up an Eighties Hair Metal band (via Mike Oldfield). While the song itself is rubbish, there's something to be gained from hearing it.
The rest is dross, and suffers particularly because it's bracketed by two of Beck's best albums, 'There And Back' and 'Guitar Shop'.
Oh, and while it's been re-released, it hasn't been remastered."