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Brand X - Unorthodox Behaviour CD (album) cover

UNORTHODOX BEHAVIOUR

Brand X

 

Jazz Rock/Fusion

4.12 | 364 ratings

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macpurity1
5 stars According to my music database, my first exploration of Brand X was when I purchased Livestock in February 1979, followed in April that year with Masques. In 2002, I started to fill-in my digital collection of old Brand X vinyl favorites with CD versions. At that time, I picked-up Unorthodox Behavior which I never had on vinyl. The only song I had any exposure to was Euthanasia Waltz which was on Livestock (I have to admit, I prefer the live version a bit better). So Unorthodox Behavior was new to me in 2002.

Brand X is not a band I play everyday, but nonetheless, once or twice a year it comes off the shelves and it takes me right back to the late 70's era. No, its not like Bruford. Not like Oregon, either. Not like much of anyone, at the time. Brand X plays a type of minimalist electric jazz-rock, for its day. You might hear hints of Mahavishnu, Santana or even the more progressive side of Sea Level or Pablo Cruise (its a stretch, but there are island rhythms in Brand X).

Others have given the blow-by-blow, song-by-song, so there isn't much need to cover that again. Instead, I invite those unfamiliar with Brand X to seek out some samples, put a funk-groove on, like Born Ugly or the title track. Music like this is not meant to be passively listened to, you have to respond to it in order get the full meaning. Oh yes, all performers are at the top of their games and there is some wonderful interplay between instruments, but move beyond the technical and dare to enter into some unorthodox behavior of your own.

My guess is that the difference between those who give this recording 5 stars and those who give it 4 (or 3) is whether they allowed the music to really take them, to move them and to groove them. This is an album that is more about letting go than anything. This is as anti-disco as you could get, and still it socks a solid groove.

5 stars from me because I've been grooving a long time to this music; even if it is only zeros and ones with a laser bouncing off it, these days. To me all three, UB, Livestock and Masques are five-star. Its all among the best music of its day.

macpurity1 | 5/5 |

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