"Flash Fearless vs. The Zorg Women parts 5 & 6" was planned as a stage musical - its a sci-fi spoof with a Flash Gordonesque comic book hero. The music was first broadcast on the King Biscuit Flower Hour and this soundtrack came out later in 1975 accompanied by a comic. The soundtrack features an all star cast including Alice Cooper, Black Oak Arkansas' Jim Dandy, The Who's John Entwistle, Maggi Bell, Justin Hayward (Moody Blues), Carmine Appice, Eddie Jobson, Keith Moon, Nicky Hopkins, Kenny Jones, Bill Bruford and many others. The sleeve notes credit the record as "A Scratchy Records Production for Chrysalis Records Limited in association with Intergalactic Productions and based on the stage musical to be produced by Weston Gavin." "Flash" did make it briefly to the stage with Gavin in the title role, albeit not for another six years.
Dave Pierce and Steve Hammond, two Canadians (although both were based in England at the time), were the prime figures behind the project. Pierce was responsible for writing the comic book and lyrics, with Hammond concentrating on the musical direction. Hammond had formerly been a guitarist for Fat Mattress in their later days(around 1970), a band best known for its Hendrix connections, while Pierce is a veteran of many plays, television shows and films.
The project came together in 1974, and a deal with Chrysalis Records was struck."Executive producers" for the LP were John Gaydon and Alan Siefert, although whether this relates to the stage musical side of things rather than the LP isn't clear. (Gaydon of course was the "G" of EG Records, home to King Crimson,Roxy Music etc.)
The producer for the album was John Alcock, also known for his production duties on the second and third solo LPs by Who bassist John Entwistle [And In fact Alcock apparently WAS Entwistle under a pseudonym].
Rather than use fixed line-up for the LP (which might not have been possible, given that the LP was recorded over three months), Alcock chose a floating line-up with an impressive list of musicians including the following:
JOHN ENTWISTLE (bass) was the only musician involved on every track on the LP (apart from one short synth reprise). He also sings lead on "Let's Go To The Camp".
ALICE COOPER (vocals) sings lead on two tracks, "I'm Flash" and "Space Pirates". This particular project fell between his LP for Warners - "Muscle Of Love" and his first for Anchor - "Welcome To My Nightmare". The Alice tracks, which are IMHO the best on the album, feature the following musicians:
I'M FLASH: Robert A. Johnson - Lead Guitar, Johnny Weider - Guitar; John Entwistle - Bass; Bill Bruford - Drums
SPACE PIRATES: Justin Hayward - Acoustic Guitar; Kenny Jones - Drums; John Entwistle - Bass; Nicky Hopkins - Piano; Keith Moon - Long John Silver; Steve Pettican - Slide Guitar
ELKIE BROOKS (vocals). Elkie was also between contracts. Having split Vinegar Joe (on Island) at the end of 1973, she was soon to join A&M as a soloist to great acclaim later in 1975. Her role in "Flash Fearless" is somewhat confused, having sung her first song "Trapped" as Dulla of Flash's crew and the second as the leader of the Zorg Women - i.e. the enemy!
JIM DANDY (vocals). The lead singer of the band Black Oak Arkansas, he sings lead on "Country Cooking" and "Blast Off".
JAMES DEWAR (vocals). Bassist/vocalist for the Robin Trower Band (another Chrysalis act). He made his breakthrough as bassist for Stone The Crows before their split in 1973. Sings lead on "What's Happening".
FRANK MILLER (vocals). Frankie's career these days is fairly low-key, but during the mid-'70s he was widely tipped as the next big thing - a gruff-voiced blues singer of not inconsiderable talent. He cut six albums for Chyrsalis during this period - hence his ready availability to tackle the somewhat dodgy "Supersnatch"- and had two or three big hit singles, of which "Be Good To Yourself" is perhaps the best remembered today.
MADDY PRIOR (vocals). Best known for her work as frontwoman with Steeleye Span, she makes a nice job of the country-ish "Georgia Syncopator" here (despite sounding very like Carly Simon), although she seems to be taking on the role of Dulla, played earlier on the LP by Elkie Brooks! Her track appears on the UK release of the album instead of "Supersnatch".
KEITH MOON ("Long John Silver"). Presumably dragged into the project by Entwistle, albeit only in a cameo speaking role during "Space Pirates" (what else?). Ultimately his contribution was mixed so low that it's hard to see why they bothered, particularly as he had to be recorded specially in Los Angeles.
JUSTIN HAYWARD (guitar). A long serving member of the Moody Blues. Hayward's atypical blues riffs here are a highlight of the record.
BILL BRUFORD (drums). Has recently seen King Crimson split up, having left Yes especially to join them. Regarded then as now as one of the best drummers in the business.
CARMINE APPICE (drums). Having risen to prominence with US band Vanilla Fudge, Appice was at this time the drummer in supergroup (Jeff) Beck, (Tim) Bogert (also from Vanilla Fudge) and Appice. Again, respected as one of the best drummers in the business.
KENNY JONES (drums). Then in the Faces, although that band soon fell apart when Rod Stewart's solo career became too big to combine both careers and guitarist Ron Wood joined The Rolling Stones. This LP features the first example of Entwistle and Jones as a rhythm section, which of course would become a fixture when Jones joined The Who on the death of Keith Moon.
NICKY HOPKINS (piano). A man who needs no introduction, having played with just about everybody from the Roling Stones and The Who downwards.
Other musicians featured included ROBERT A. JOHNSON (guitar); JOHN WEIDER (ex Animals/Family) (bass); EDDIE JOBSON (Roxy Music) (strings); MIKE DEACON (ex Suzi Quatro, then with Kiki Dee, later in Darts!) (piano); MICK GRABHAM (Procol Harum - a Chrysalis band) (guitar); JIM FRANK (harmonica); CHICK CHURCHILL (Ten Years After - a Chrysalis band) (keyboards); HOWIE CASEY (respected session musician going back to Liverpool's Howy Casey & The Seniors) (Saxaphone); STEVE PETTICAN (slide guitar); THUNDERTHIGHS (1974 hit single, but best remembered for "doo doo doos" on Lou Reed's "Walk On The Wild Side") (backing vocalist); LESLEY DUNCAN and CHANTER SISTERS (respected vocalists) (backing vocals).
"Flash Fearless" was recorded between 1st October and 31st December 1974 at London's Chrysalis Studios, although three contributions had to be recorded in America; those of Alice Cooper (New York), Jim Dandy (Memphis) and Keith Moon (Los Angeles). These sessions were produced by Bob Ezrin (then a familiar collaborator of Cooper's, and later to work with Peter Gabriel and Pink Floyd amongst others.)Flash Fearless vs. The Zorg Women parts 5 & 6 (CHR-1972, 1975) + comic book (.cbr)