Flash (Jeff Beck album)

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Jeff Beck-Flash.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedJuly 1985 (1985-07)
GenrePop rock, AOR, hard rock, instrumental rock
ProducerJeff Beck, Tony Hymas, Nile Rodgers, Arthur Baker
Jeff Beck chronology
There & Back
Jeff Beck's Guitar Shop
Singles from Flash
  1. "Ambitious" / "Nighthawks" / "Escape"
    Released: 1985[1]
  2. "Gets Us All in the End"
    Released: 1985[2]
  3. "Stop, Look and Listen" / "You Know, We Know"
    Released: 1985[3]
  4. "People Get Ready" / "Back on the Streets"
    Released: 1985[4]

Flash is the fourth studio album by guitarist Jeff Beck, released in July 1985 through Epic Records.[5] The album reached No. 39 on the U.S. Billboard 200 chart [6] as well as reaching the top 60 in four other countries. [7]

Two singles also charted, the first being a reunion with singer Rod Stewart (from the Jeff Beck Group) for a cover of "People Get Ready" by Curtis Mayfield/The Impressions, which reached No. 5 on Billboard's Mainstream Rock and No. 48 on the Hot 100, as well as the top 40 in four other countries. The second single, "Gets Us All in the End", reached No. 20 on Mainstream Rock. The instrumental "Escape" went on to win the award for Best Rock Instrumental Performance at the 1986 Grammys, [8][6] which was to be Beck's first of many such awards.


The album is unique for Beck in that it is composed mainly of songs with vocals, save for two instrumentals in the form of "Escape" and "You Know, We Know", written by his longtime collaborators Jan Hammer and Tony Hymas respectively. Designed to be a foray into pop music in order to capitalise on that sound at the time, Flash was produced by Nile Rodgers for that reason. Such was the desire by the record company to score a hit album, Beck uncharacteristically found himself singing on "Get Workin'" and "Night After Night", at the insistence of Rodgers.[9] "Ambitious" and "People Get Ready" feature a rare instance of Beck playing a Jackson Soloist rather than his usual Fender Stratocaster.[10] Despite its success, he has since expressed his disdain for the album, calling it a "record company goof" and "a very sad sort of time" for him.[9][11]

The CD edition of Flash included two bonus tracks, "Nighthawks" and "Back on the Streets", which were originally released as B-sides. Another track from the album's recording sessions, "Wild Thing" (a cover of The Troggs), was released only as a promo single and never on the album,[12] but would later be featured on Beck's 1991 compilation album Beckology.

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic3/5 stars[5]
Rolling StoneFavourable[13]
The Village VoiceB[14]

Flash has received mixed reviews. Stephen Thomas Erlewine at AllMusic gave it three stars out of five and described "People Get Ready" as "a fine performance".[5] David Fricke at Rolling Stone called the album "one of Beck's best ever" and praised it as having "awesome guitar prowess and startling commercial daring", but remarked that the collaborations with Rodgers and Baker "almost don't work".[13] Robert Christgau at The Village Voice gave it a 'B' grade, labelling it as "funk-metal fusion" and "the best LP of [Beck's] pathologically spotty career"; the latter due to Rodgers' production.[14]

Track listing[edit]

1."Ambitious"Nile Rodgers4:38
2."Gets Us All in the End"Arthur Baker, Tina B6:06
3."Escape"Jan Hammer4:41
4."People Get Ready" (feat. Rod Stewart)Curtis Mayfield4:54
5."Stop, Look and Listen"Rodgers4:27
6."Get Workin'"Rodgers3:35
7."Ecstasy"David Bendeth, Simon Climie3:31
8."Night After Night"Rodgers3:42
9."You Know, We Know"Tony Hymas5:35
Total length:41:09
CD edition bonus tracks
11."Back on the Streets" (titled "Back on the Street" on the single)Fred Hostetler, Jeff Beck, Karen Lawrence3:41
Total length:49:38


Chart performance[edit]


Year Chart Position
1985 Swedish albums chart 27[7]
New Zealand albums chart 34[7]
Billboard 200 39[6]
Dutch albums chart 43[7]
German albums chart 60[7]


Year Title Chart Position
1985 "Gets Us All in the End" Billboard Mainstream Rock 20[6]
"People Get Ready" 5[6]
Swedish singles chart 15[7]
Belgian singles chart 22[7]
Swiss singles chart 24[7]
New Zealand singles chart 35[7]
Billboard Hot 100 48[6]


Event Title Award Result
1986 Grammys "Escape" Best Rock Instrumental Performance Won[8]


  1. ^ "Jeff Beck – Ambitious". Discogs. Retrieved 2014-02-05.
  2. ^ "Jeff Beck - Gets Us All In The End (song)". finnishcharts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved 2014-02-05.
  3. ^ "Jeff Beck – Stop Look And Listen". Discogs. Retrieved 2014-02-05.
  4. ^ a b "Jeff Beck And Rod Stewart – People Get Ready / Back On The Street". Discogs. Retrieved 2014-02-05.
  5. ^ a b c Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Flash - Jeff Beck". AllMusic. All Media Network. Retrieved 2013-10-08.
  6. ^ a b c d e f "Flash - Jeff Beck | Awards". AllMusic. All Media Network. Retrieved 2014-02-05.
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Jeff Beck - Flash (album)". finnishcharts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved 2014-02-05.
  8. ^ a b "28th Grammy Awards - 1986". Rock On The Net. Retrieved 2013-10-08.
  9. ^ a b Rosen, Steven (1989). "Jeff Beck Interview (1989)". Modern Guitars Magazine. Archived from the original Archived 5 January 2011 at the Wayback Machine on 2011-01-05. Retrieved 2013-10-08.
  10. ^ Noble, Douglas J (June 1993). "Jeff Beck Outtakes". The Douglas J Noble Guitar Archive. Retrieved 2013-10-08.
  11. ^ Guy, Paul (1999). "Jeff Beck - Who Else?". Paul Guy Guitars. Retrieved 2013-10-08.
  12. ^ "Jeff Beck – Wild Thing". Discogs. Retrieved 2014-09-13.
  13. ^ a b Fricke, David (1985-07-18). "Jeff Beck Flash". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2013-10-08.
  14. ^ a b Christgau, Robert (1985-09-24). Village Voice review. The Village Voice. Retrieved 2014-07-18.