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BRAND X

Jazz Rock/Fusion • United Kingdom


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Brand X picture
Brand X biography
Founded in London, England in 1975 - Hiatus from 1980-1992 - Disbanded in 1999 - Reformed in 2016

BRAND X is, no doubt about it, one the most original and well-known British groups of the seventies jazz/rock fusion scene. Made of musicians that are technicians at their respective instruments and that are as inspired as talented. There are really 2 BRAND X formations... the one from the mid 70s and the 1992 BRAND X. The original line-up of the band was formed by drummer Phil COLLINS of GENESIS with John GOODSALL (former ATOMIC ROOSTER) on guitar, Robin LUMLEY (a David BOWIE collaborator) on keyboards and Percy JONES (ex-LIVERPOOL SCENE) on bass. For them, the joy of playing and writing together was the main motivation. With various personnel permutations, they made typical progressive rock albums... all worth hearing! The 1992 BRAND X is GOODSALL, JONES and drummer Frank KATZ.

The band's discography starts in 1976 with "Unorthodox Behaviour" and goes on a year later with "Morrocan Poll", probably one of their best. "Is There Anything About" is the last release from this legendary jazz-rock band. After almost ten years of absence during the Eighties, "Xcommunication" is the return of BRAND X under the economical format of a trio (GOODSALL, JONES, and KATZ). They released a CD that is almost as good than on previous releases. "The X-Files" is a disc of live recordings and a disc of unreleased material. What else can be said, apart from the fact that it is another masterpiece in the Legend's discography.

Issued in June 2003, this three-CD (hence the "Trilogy" title) set includes "Live in New York" (1979) and the last two studio albums by the band: "Xcommunication" (1992) and "Manifest Destiny" (1996). A memorable collection - fans will know the last three working lineups of the band (17 years), but this is quite simply essential listening for prog listeners whose ears are as open as their memories are long.

See also: HERE

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BRAND X discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

BRAND X top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.12 | 400 ratings
Unorthodox Behaviour
1976
4.08 | 306 ratings
Moroccan Roll
1977
4.07 | 203 ratings
Masques
1978
3.32 | 155 ratings
Product
1979
3.48 | 140 ratings
Do They Hurt?
1980
3.02 | 78 ratings
Is There Anything About?
1982
3.35 | 73 ratings
X-Communication
1992
2.97 | 64 ratings
Manifest Destiny
1997

BRAND X Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.72 | 107 ratings
Livestock
1977
2.76 | 26 ratings
Live at the Roxy LA
1995
4.20 | 5 ratings
Timeline
1999
3.79 | 26 ratings
Timeline
2000
3.20 | 5 ratings
Live From San Francisco
2015
3.20 | 5 ratings
Live From Ronnie Scotts
2015
3.50 | 4 ratings
Live from Chicago
2015
3.50 | 4 ratings
Live from New York
2016
3.50 | 2 ratings
Live from Stockholm
2016
3.00 | 7 ratings
But Wait... There's More! / Live 2017
2017
4.20 | 5 ratings
Locked & Loaded
2018

BRAND X Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

4.70 | 10 ratings
Brand X - Live - The Rites Of Spring
2018

BRAND X Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.84 | 13 ratings
X-Trax
1986
3.03 | 13 ratings
The Plot Thins - A History of Brand X
1992
3.33 | 6 ratings
...Featuring Phil Collins
1996
3.64 | 60 ratings
Missing Period
1997
4.03 | 11 ratings
Brand X - A History 1976-1980
1997
2.22 | 18 ratings
The X Files
1999
3.98 | 12 ratings
Trilogy
2003
4.00 | 10 ratings
Macrocosm: Introducing... Brand X
2003
4.67 | 12 ratings
Nuclear Burn
2014

BRAND X Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

5.00 | 1 ratings
X-Cerpts
1977
5.00 | 1 ratings
Sun in the Night
1977
3.67 | 3 ratings
Soho
1979

BRAND X Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Manifest Destiny by BRAND X album cover Studio Album, 1997
2.97 | 64 ratings

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Manifest Destiny
Brand X Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by DangHeck
Prog Reviewer

2 stars Brand X Modernizes?

Wow! These ratings by my fellow reviewers are... shocking...

GOODSALL and Co. playing virtual catch-up to then-modern styles and... phenomena... is not a good look. It just sounds tacky (mostly at the frontend of the album, by the way). Hear it for yourself: the cheesiest, faux-horror, MJ- calling synth-stabs on "Stellerator"(?!). The most workable of this is on one of the strongest tracks on the album, "Drum Ddu", but can I really recommend it?

The next track (from the top), "Virus", feels far more confident in itself. Still not anything of interest. If anything, I must say the production feels a little hollow (this is really the worst of this sin on the album). The disappointment continues on "XXL". We get a glimpse back into the band's regular confidence in the title track with spanky drums and the strange, virtuosic noodlings one would hope to get from Percy JONES. Really, after the first half of the album, thank God!

The second half continues with the beautiful, spacy "Five Drops", with ethereal vibes (by Marc WAGNON) and keys. And eventually, we're basically business as usual, with the very nice "Operation Hearts And Minds". Like, seriously. So thankful for what I'm hearing at this point in time. This album was all over the place. Totally inconsistent, especially as I'm now directly comparing it to their second-to-last, X-Communication.

Overall, just a sad final statement by, still, a great band. Best I can say is that, if they took the second half of the album and had released an EP of just that, it would be one of their best.

RIP John (1953-2021). Certainly no disrespect.

True Rate: 2.5/5.0

 X-Communication by BRAND X album cover Studio Album, 1992
3.35 | 73 ratings

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X-Communication
Brand X Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by DangHeck
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Brand X will, for me, forever and always be one of the preeminent Fusion bands. Certainly one of the most important Fusion bands to grace Britain in the '70s! And certainly the band itself was graced with such a unique and powerful leader in John GOODSALL (1953-2021). Now that I am writing, I'm thinking too how integral John was to the development of "Guitar Fusion" to follow them and their peers.

I am definitely writing this review, a week or so following his untimely death, in honor of him and his great legacy. I'm terribly sorry I never got to see them/him perform in person. And what's most unbelievable about it all, is that he (I assume he) fell ill and they were then looking to postpone the show in my hometown just a month ago... Pretty surreal. Rest in Peace, sir. Rest in Peace, as Robin LUMLEY put it, to BRAND X.

X-Communication was released ten years after their last effort (and effort is a good enough descriptor of it, in my opinion), Is There Anything About? (1982). Interesting to think that there was a whole decade between it and this release. Then again, we are yet to see anything following their final studio album in 1997 today.

To a point above, I think this is the strongest effort the band has had since 1979's Product, a personal favorite of mine. It's relatively consistent, in feeling and, for the most part, in compositional knack. There's some really very interesting tracks on this, ranging from brooding to "Eastern" and exotic. My personal favorites are "Xanax Taxi", "Liquid Time", "Mental Floss" and "Kluzinski Reprise". To keep this shorter, I'll end this here.

True Rate: 3.5/5.0

 Nuclear Burn by BRAND X album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2014
4.67 | 12 ratings

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Nuclear Burn
Brand X Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by zeb1981

5 stars An excellent mastered boxset, including a booklet with all the info you need What`s in here then !? Well nearly everything Brand X did during their first period (1975-1981) And It also includes 4 songs recorded for the BBC (These can be found on "Missing Period" Too)

What is NOT included in this boxset : 1:The complete "Is There Anything About" Album 2:Why Won't You Lend Me Yours? (BBC, Missing Period) 3:Tito's Leg (Live, Missing Period) 4:Pool Room Blues (Soho B-Side) 5:Genocide Of The Straights (X-Cerpts Promo EP) 6:Algon (Live, The Plot Thins - A History Of Brand X)

All of this would fit nicely as a disc 5 in this boxset Also non of the later archival/live stuff isnt here, but thats not that important

Nevertheless, The price for this boxset is nice, and you get 6 FULL Brand X albums and 35 minutes BBC Recordings

 Missing Period by BRAND X album cover Boxset/Compilation, 1997
3.64 | 60 ratings

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Missing Period
Brand X Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by JazzFusionGuy

4 stars I urge all musicians and bands to dig through the attic, the garage, the basement, and forgotten storage areas of friends and family for lost tapes! You just might dig up a real treasure like what happened to Brand X with this release. Family members gave guitarist/ founder, John Goodsall a box of Brand X memorabilia, aka olde band junk and ancient reels of tape were discovered aneath it all. Oh boy! They were the earliest known recordings of the band, circa 1975-76, predating their debut album release. So how's it sound? Excellent is the word for both quality and content. This is super-fun fusion in that classic Brand X, off-beat, funked up, jazz rock groove. Extended soloing, tight unison lines, virtuoso musicianship fill every nook and cranny of each tune. If you are a Brand X or fusion rock fan, this is a must-have. Many of these tunes were never released for twenty years and now we are just too lucky. Some tracks are early versions of songs later released but I dig these ancient versions just as much if not moreso. Hear Goodsall melt his axe with riffs galore, Jones slay the bass, Collins decimate the drums, Lumley go hay-wire on keys, and Heyman tickle the percussion. Get into 70s fusion all over again with this rare treat! Highly recommended!
 Manifest Destiny by BRAND X album cover Studio Album, 1997
2.97 | 64 ratings

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Manifest Destiny
Brand X Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by JazzFusionGuy

3 stars Oh baby, this is why I love band reunions or should I say band revivals. For this is one on-fire, cranked-up, slammin' and funkified fusion fest. John Goodsall, Percy Jones, and the gang whirl you around by your heels until your brain pops. Being a dormant entity for most of the '80s, Brand X is obviously very much back with this second post-reunited offering. With drummer Frank Katz and vibesman Mark Wagnon from Jones' Tunnels band -- Brand X is manifesting a destiny of attack and decimate. Jones' signature jazzy-phat, swelling, be-boppin', hip-hopped, and burpin' funk-rock bass is framed with that serrated-edged and pyrotechnic splendor in Goodsall's mean fusion guitar. Those of us fully aware of the fascinating diversity and skillful jazz rock of early Brand X will also remember how complexly whacked and offbeat they could stretch -- they defied old genre- specific boundaries and set new ones. The same flagrant disregard is thankfully in full swing here. My mind goes back to Do They Hurt? crossed with Livestock. For that in-your- face bombastic and killer guitar-driven fusion check out "True to the Clik", "Virus", "Manifest Destiny", and "Operation Hearts and Minds". For that world and ethnic syncopated funk fusion that Brand X has always handled with ease do "XXL", "The Worst Man", and "Drum Ddu". Last track, "Mr. Bubble Goes to Hollywood" is a drum solo then drums-n-bass duet. Probably one of the most memorable cuts is Jones' "Stellerator", named after one H. F.Mudd's robo-wife device from an early Star Trek episode. This song held all Brand X was famous for in its olden days. It recalled the grace of Bruford and the retained the quirky-edged abandon of Brand X. Great stuff! Goodsall dabbles in Frippian territory ever so briefly. A bonus is two live cuts "hidden" -- Oops I told ya -- as unlisted tracks 11 and 12. Strongly recommended.
 Do They Hurt? by BRAND X album cover Studio Album, 1980
3.48 | 140 ratings

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Do They Hurt?
Brand X Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by von bathel

5 stars Phil Collins ended up crossing the paths of a jazz rock group as they wandered around the studios in 1974. A producer said if he didn't want to join the drums of a very good band that was looking for a drummer of Billy Cobham's quality or Steve Gadd.Collins was on tour with Genesis commanded by Peter Gabriel at this time. In fact, it was the end of the Gabriel era, with the last album (double album) The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway.Gabriel would never return to Genesis unless on Gabacabriel (bootleg) benefit concert badly sung by the way to raise funds for Gabriel himself! Back to Brand X, a group formed by fantastic musicians and virtuosos such as Percy Jones (bass), John Goodsall (guitars), Robin Lumley (keyboards) and Phil Collins (drums and voice) as well as percussionist (R.I.P.) Morris Pert. As Collins says in the only interview, Genesis and Brand X were two extremely opposite bands. In Genesis Phil used a drum/Premier kit and was extremely disciplined in his improvisations. In Brand X he used a drum/Gretsch kit and abused the will of improvisations jazz and avant-garde experimentalisms. He said that on Brand X he was actually Phil Collins drummer. On Genesis he was a percussionist who worked for a musically driven group. The LPS that I think are sensational and unique, showing that Collins is one of the 10 best drummers of sec.XX are undoubtedly the ones he plays, and I had the pleasure of piercing all the cookies in the 70s: -Unorthodox Behavior (1976) -Moroccan Roll (1977) -Livestock (Live 1977) -Product (1979) -Do They Hurt? (1980) -Is There Anything About? (1982)
 Manifest Destiny by BRAND X album cover Studio Album, 1997
2.97 | 64 ratings

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Manifest Destiny
Brand X Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Mirakaze
Special Collaborator Eclectic Prog & JR/F/Canterbury Teams

2 stars At the time of this writing, John Goodsall has passed away and Brand X has ceased to exist. If there are no more recordings stashed away in a vault somewhere then this is indeed their final album, and a disappointing swan song it is. On about half of the tracks here the musicians mostly just seem to be rambling about, waiting for a groove to magically spring up out of thin air. The band's attempt to get with the times and try out some acid jazz on "XXL" (featuring barely audible R&B vocals from drummer Frank Katz) is only slightly less embarrassing and dull than one might think, and just what the hell is "The Worst Man" even supposed to be? It sounds like an AI's interpretation of funk music if you only fed it the dictionary definition. Some face is saved on "Drum Ddu" and the lengthy "Virus", both of which boast pretty powerful and memorable riffs, and the mysterious "Five Drops" which features some really impressive acoustic guitar and vibraphone licks over its ambient backdrop, but on the whole this has to be the least consistent album in Brand X's oeuvre. To have to close the book on such an amazing band with "Mr. Bubble Goes To Hollywood" (a weak two-minute drum solo) is a darn shame.
 Is There Anything About? by BRAND X album cover Studio Album, 1982
3.02 | 78 ratings

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Is There Anything About?
Brand X Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Mirakaze
Special Collaborator Eclectic Prog & JR/F/Canterbury Teams

4 stars The most mystifying chapter from Brand X's already relatively opaque and messy history. As is known to fans, in early 1979 Brand X recorded a whole bunch of songs with different line-ups that were used to fill up the albums Product (1979), Do They Hurt? (1980) and Is There Anything About? (1982). The last of these was released two years after the band had broken up. One might assume that the record company refused to release it earlier because they didn't deem it commercially viable, but was the market really that much more friendly to this kind of music in 1982 than in 1980? And did the band members really still want this patchwork, consisting of two new songs, two remixes of old songs and two leftover improvisations, to be put out after three years? Why is the track listing so strange and why does producer Steven Short receive two songwriting credits when he wasn't involved with the other two albums and couldn't have been present when these songs were originally recorded?

There seems to be very little information about this album on the web but my theory initially was that what remained of the recordings was handed over to Short, either by the band members out of contractual obligation or by the record company who wanted to milk these for all they were worth, who then recorded some overdubs and put this album together without the involvement of any former Brand X member. Amusing though this idea might have been to me, it was sadly debunked when I bought the CD and read the liner notes which reveal that, at the very least, keyboard player Robin Lumley was involved with the release to a large degree, but no John Goodsall, Percy Jones, Phil Collins or any other Brand X alumni.

I believe the opening track "Ipanaemia" is the only song on here that was at the time of its recording intended for release in the same form as it's presented here. "Swan Song" credits Short for co-writing as well as "syndrums and vocals", which leads me to believe that this may have originally been an improvisation that was later overdubbed and reworked into a proper song by Lumley and Short. "A Longer April" is of course a reworking of "April" from the Product album, turning what was once just a pleasant filler track into a more full-fledged song in its own right, but the sax part must have been recorded in 1982 as well. Likewise, "Modern, Noisy And Effective" just reuses the backing track from "Soho" (also from Product), and the rest of it must have also been played by Lumley no earlier than 1982 as it's synth only and sounds more like Yellow Magic Orchestra than Brand X (a YouTube commenter noted the, likely coincidental, similarity to the Rainbow Road theme from Mario Kart 64, which now makes me unable to control my laughter every time I hear the song). The final two tracks like I said are just some leftover jams. Actually, calling TMIU-ATGA ("They're Making It Up As They Go Along") a jam is bit of an overstatement; it's more like a sound check. It adds to the humour for me because it contributes to my impression that they were really scraping the bottom of the barrel when putting this album together.

But the craziest part is that I actually like it. There's a charm to it all, and everything comes together just nicely enough to keep your interest for its short running time. It may be the weakest album from this era of the band but for fans it is still worth the effort of seeking out.

 But Wait... There's More! / Live 2017 by BRAND X album cover Live, 2017
3.00 | 7 ratings

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But Wait... There's More! / Live 2017
Brand X Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Heart of the Matter

3 stars These sophisticated english jazz-rockers re-formed as a band in 2016, just to celebrate the 40th anniversary of their discographic debut touring the U.S.A. The present double set encompasses a full concert of that tour, recorded at Sellersville, Pennsylvania.

Founders John Goodsall (guitar) and Percy Jones (fretless bass), along with drummer (in replace of Phil Collins) Kenwood Dennard, recruited Chris Clark as keyboards player, while Scott Weinberger took the position of percussionist, important but long-time vacant. The tracklist focuses mainly on their first three albums, namely Unorthodox Behavior, studio sophomore Morrocan Roll and Livestock, their 1st live album. Even so, this performance stands by its own. The band shows desire to play, they are in fine form, and the interplay is tight & sensible. Sticking mainly to the original versions, they still retain freedom for brilliant improvisation. Chris Clark adds to the jazzier part of that. Scott Weinberger's percussion could be allowed more presence, to be fair. Kenwood Dennard makes a strong case for his drumming, injecting high levels of welcomed energy. Jones & Goodsall go effortlessly from easy groove to frenetic jazz-rock. Old-time collaborator Stephen W. Tayler mixed this at Peter Gabriel's RealWorld complex, preserving dynamics along with clear sound.

Good in general terms, excellent as a live album.

 Do They Hurt? by BRAND X album cover Studio Album, 1980
3.48 | 140 ratings

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Do They Hurt?
Brand X Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by sgtpepper

3 stars Brand X modernize their sound and streamline music further on the 1980's "Do they hurt". On the first track, we have a fantastic bass modern playing seconded by mediocre vocals, simplified drums and 80's keyboards. Wouldn't be surprised if it were inspired by Collins but it seems it wasn't! "Voidarama" has a warm fusion feeling of late 90's with twists of smooth jazz, I really like the sound of the song and guitar fiddling. The atmosphere is let down again by "Act of will" that is closer to new wave than fusion. "Fragile" is a typical experimental Brand X song that even sneaks into post-bop territory although more as a joke I guess. "Cambodia" is another guitar-heavy track, very accessible and far from complex. "Triumphant Limp" with Collins onboard offers a nice groove on cymbals. The best track comes at the end "D.M.Z" is a full-fledged fusion track with a killer bass-drum patter and fresh piano. You can evidence that the players did not take this record as seriously as the previous ones before in 1976-1978.
Thanks to ProgLucky for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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