Flash and the Pan

Headlines - Epic 1982

Tracks: 1. Jetsetters Ball / 2. Donít Vote / 3. Waiting for a Train / 4. War Games / 5. Where Were You / 6. Love is a Gun / 7. Up Against the Wall / 8. Psychos in the Street / 9. Hey Jimmi / 10. Phil the Creole / 11. Waiting for a Train (radio)* / 12. Something About You * / 13. Something About You (90)*


Harry Vanda and George Young's studio project, "Flash and the Pan," was originally intended only as a one off - as the title of the final number of the debut album "First and Last" also suggests.

Unexpected success around the world, however, saw the duo continuing with album number two "Lights in the Night" in 1980, an album that both artistic and popularity wise lived up to its predecessor. The group never performed live as Vanda and Young did not relive the hard touring-life after their years with the Easybeats.

At the time this album, the group's third, Flash and the Pan were as close as they ever were to arise as a real touring band with permanent members besides Vanda and Young. Promo photos were taken featuring, among others, Easybeats singer Stevie Wright. Wright was originally credited for contributing to "Headlines", but due to personal problems Wright never came to appear on a Flash and the Pan recording.

As for the music itself "Headlines" is probably the closest the group came to a classical band sound, giving ample space for the electric guitars. The song writing is like on on all six albums top notch. Many lyrics are more or less losely based on the title "Headlines" and there is much bite in these often disillusioned and somewhat cynical songs.

"Waiting for a Train" is probably the group's best-known number, and it is available in several remixes. Here we have the original version and a shortened single version, which unfortunately lacks one of the verses.

The group recorded very little besides the six albums, one exception is the charming "Something About You" from 1983, which was released twice as a B-side. Both versions are included here as bonus tracks.

It does not make much sense to highlight a few songs, as all numbers in their rather large differences, all are very worthy listening.

From an earlier review:

Flash and the Pan's third album "Headlines" has become the hardest to find CD with the band. This may be a coincidence, but it could also be because it is considered to be less significant than their other albums. Granted, there may not be the stand-out songs you find of the first two albums or the overlooked master-piece "Nights in France", but I find the album both solid and consistent.

Some of the most down-to-earth rockers can be found here here; such as "Don't Vote" ( T Rex inspiration ?), "Jetsetter's Ball" and "Phil the Creole". Also dramatic tracks like "Love is the Gun" and "Up Against the Wall" add to both excitement and variation. Moreover their biggest hit "Waiting for a Train" is featured along with melodic favourites from several compilations "Hey Jimmy" and "Where Were You" - and the overlooked "Psychos on the Street".

Hopefully the album ( and their whole catalogue) will be re-released in near future, because the band never really got the recognition they deserved. Apart from their last (so far) album "Burning up the Night" ( which is isn't really bad at at all) all albums are first class. Some out-takes and rarities must be somewhere in the vaults, too. Comment |

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