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BRAND X

Jazz Rock/Fusion • United Kingdom


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Brand X biography
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.

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Unorthodox BehaviorUnorthodox Behavior
Blue Plate Caroline 1991
Audio CD$5.87
$5.98 (used)
Morrocan RollMorrocan Roll
Import
EMI Import 1989
Audio CD$4.45
$7.00 (used)
MasquesMasques
Import
EMI Europe Generic 1989
Audio CD$3.63
$9.80 (used)
Live at the Roxy La 1979Live at the Roxy La 1979
Import
Gonzo Import 2013
Audio CD$12.80
$10.16 (used)
Is There Anything About?Is There Anything About?
Import
United States of Distribution 2014
Audio CD$11.61
$19.41 (used)
Missing PeriodMissing Period
Import
Gonzo Import 2014
Audio CD$9.59
$10.74 (used)
Do They HurtDo They Hurt
Import
Virgin Int'l 1989
Audio CD$7.81
$7.25 (used)
LivestockLivestock
Import
EMI International 2012
Audio CD$5.91
$9.49 (used)
ProductProduct
Blue Plate Caroline 1991
Audio CD$23.96
$1.43 (used)
TimelineTimeline
Buckyball Records 2000
Audio CD$15.59
$15.26 (used)
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10h 33m
Brand X - Moroccan Roll (Mad Hatter Label) (Charisma) (Rock/Alt) Lp US $9.77 [0 bids]
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BRAND X shows & tickets


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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 | 231 ratings
Unorthodox Behaviour
1976
4.07 | 172 ratings
Morrocan Roll
1977
4.12 | 108 ratings
Masques
1978
3.25 | 80 ratings
Product
1979
3.42 | 79 ratings
Do They Hurt?
1980
2.77 | 29 ratings
Is There Anything About?
1982
3.50 | 30 ratings
X-Communication
1992
3.31 | 29 ratings
Manifest Destiny
1997
3.48 | 38 ratings
Missing Period
1997

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

3.61 | 55 ratings
Livestock
1977
2.67 | 17 ratings
Live at the Roxy LA
1995
3.83 | 16 ratings
Timeline
2000

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

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

3.76 | 4 ratings
X-Trax
1986
2.89 | 6 ratings
The Plot Thins - A History of Brand X
1992
4.00 | 1 ratings
...Featuring Phil Collins
1996
3.97 | 6 ratings
Brand X - A History 1976-1980
1997
2.11 | 9 ratings
The X Files
1999
3.98 | 6 ratings
Trilogy
2003
4.25 | 4 ratings
Macrocosm: Introducing...Brand X
2003

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

0.00 | 0 ratings
X-Cerpts
1977
0.00 | 0 ratings
Soho
1979

BRAND X Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Timeline by BRAND X album cover Live, 2000
3.83 | 16 ratings

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Timeline
Brand X Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Anon-E-Mouse

3 stars Firstly, a distinction must be made about this 2 disc release. The first disk revolves around tunes from early albums and featuring much of the classic line-up minus PHIL COLLINS. Disc 2 recorded 15 years later by a pared down band, a trio that at best is referred to as BRAND X Mark II, but in reality, their approach don't compare well with early BRAND X material.

Disc 1 one contains compositions that projected the band to well-earned stellar recognition are delivered here with commendable accuracy. The complexities involved would be a challenge to any highly skilled artist and the band handles that well in a live environment. There are some minute changes, the odd flaw that is a bit of an issue if one is familiar with the studio releases burned deeply onto one's brain over a few decades, though. Pretty good, but "Livestock" performed around the same time is seen as a far superior release.

Disc 2 is BRAND X only by name. This power trio of two founding members plus a new drummer have completely missed the mark of what made the original band exceptional. Three musicians show that the collective contributions of 5-6 altogether is a hard act to follow. This hard edged outfit appears to be in perpetual limbo between Heavy-Prog, Avant and even industrial approaches, but fail to fully succeed in any of the above. Had I only known this version of the band, BRAND X would never have made it quoted as one of my fave bands in British Jazz-Rock.

This release should have been split into two different ones. The title "Timeline" may be appropriate, but hardly a winner.

I had been privy to hear exceptional, but officially unreleased material by early BRAND X, but we'd be approaching bootleg territory there. It seems that record companies are sitting on their hands, depriving the public of quality material.

This is not a strong release, you'll find the same tunes performed much better elsewhere.

R

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 Missing Period by BRAND X album cover Studio Album, 1997
3.48 | 38 ratings

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Missing Period
Brand X Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Anon-E-Mouse

3 stars The missing period before developing the tunes to 5 star quality.

This recording released in 1997 is actually a collection of tunes from 1975 and onwards. Undeveloped pieces that later appeared on BRAND X's first albums in much better interpretations. To the point that respected Jazz magazine "Down Beat" had voted the band the best in Jazz-Rock for three years in a row. This immature collection would have failed, though.

Pretty good, no doubt, but in comparison, not quite there,yet. What's missing here is the later addition of MORRIS PERT (percussions) whose contribution has defined the band much more than COLLIN's showing off his painfully rigid attempt at being associated with Jazz.

In comparison with the first few albums, this one represents little excitement. 3.5 at the most.

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 Morrocan Roll by BRAND X album cover Studio Album, 1977
4.07 | 172 ratings

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Morrocan Roll
Brand X Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

3 stars The big names in Brand X'es line-up and the strong debut were good reasons to secure an extensive UK tour for the band.At the end of the year Brand X entered the Panavision room at Trident Studios, London to record their second album.This time the line-up was expanded with the addition of Morris Pert on percussion, leader of Sun Treader.The recordings were finished in January 77', the production was made by Dennis MacKay and ''Moroccan roll'' saw the light on Charisma Records in UK and Canada and Passport for the US market.

The tribal title and the addition of Pert offer enough suspicions for a slight change in style and the best example is the opening Ethnic-oriented ''Sun in the night'' with its Sanskrit lyrics, sung by Collins, and the extended sitar and percussion use, not really suitable to the band's aura.The rest of the album has well-hidden ethnic vibes as well, especially in some bass parts, but most of it offers the familar and airy Jazz/Fusion of Brand X, albeit in a smoother and more relaxed style, where dynamics are rather absent.There are also some dominant funky moves here and there, however ''Moroccan roll'' still possesses the virtuosic principles of ''Unorthodox behaviour'' with the work of Robin Lumley on synthesizers, piano and analog keyboards being trully efficient and John Goodsall delivering some really fine jazzy solos with his guitar.Brand X produce endlessly smooth interplays, fast paces and well-crafted instrumental solos, while Collins' drumming seems once again unmistakeable.A couple of bombastic tunes and more grandiose plays in an orchestral/pre-New Age mood proove the band's diversity, but there are seem also to be traces of a more compatible sound at moments with a pair of cheesy tunes or pale keyboard parts contained.

To my ears ''Moroccan roll'' is a quite uneven effort.It contains some of Brand X finest moments with flawless interplays and solos, but also some rather uninteresting and colorless tunes.Still the first outcome and later and the incredible technical sufficiency of the band make this one easily recommended.

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 Do They Hurt?  by BRAND X album cover Studio Album, 1980
3.42 | 79 ratings

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Do They Hurt?
Brand X Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by b_olariu
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Do they hurt from 1980 was in Brand X career their final let's say good record, even has some memorable and quite mediocre arrangements in same time. I personaly like this album, of course not as much as thir first two excellent works, but this is a decent album in my view. The album sounds from great to ordinary jazz fusion, but as always the musicianship is top notch. The highlight is for sure Triumphant Limp and ending track. Not much to say, just the peak of the career is already gone by this time , and they struggle to remain in attention. Not a bad album for sure, but not an excellent one aswell. I like it 3.5 stars.

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 Morrocan Roll by BRAND X album cover Studio Album, 1977
4.07 | 172 ratings

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Morrocan Roll
Brand X Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by b_olariu
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Second album from this famous jazz fusion band named Moroccan roll from 1977, is another worthy offer in their catalogue. With an intelligent title of the album and with plenty of memorable pieces, shows that Brand X never stops amaze me with thir music. Lots of complex, twists passages, with musicianship of the highest calibre. Opening with Sun in the night a very good somehow a typical for Brans X sound, but with the second tune a nearly 12 of pure bliss and the album goes in this way untill the end with another highlight Malaga virge. All in all, while is a fairly solid album, I prefer their previous one, much more, I'm more attached by Unorthodox beheviour sound and overall atmosphere. 4 stars for this excellent jazz fusion that stood the test of time very well.

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 Morrocan Roll by BRAND X album cover Studio Album, 1977
4.07 | 172 ratings

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Morrocan Roll
Brand X Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Dobermensch

3 stars Call me controversial, but I think this is far more enjoyable than 'Genesis'!

Thick with percussion, due to the mostly reprehensible Phil Collins - who for once, pulls out all the stops on this pretty spectacular little album that I held no hopes for whatsoever.

Quite similar in many respects to 'Weather Report' with that brilliant fretless bass pioneered by Jaco Pastorius and later by Mick Karn. An easy listening album that can well be listened to late at night. Collins does get a bit carried away with himself at some points, but in general this is a nice laid back affair with nothing too intrusive which holds a nice fusion ambience throughout.

There's plenty of Electric Piano, fingered guitar and 'slappy brushed drums' which all add up to an excellent album.

A good safe intro point for anyone interested in Fusion Jazz.

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 Unorthodox Behaviour by BRAND X album cover Studio Album, 1976
4.12 | 231 ratings

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Unorthodox Behaviour
Brand X Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Prior to entering the studio for Genesis' first post-Peter Gabriel album, Phil Collins loosened up by taking the drummer's stool for this debut Brand X album. The group play a light and airy style of fusion reminiscent of a little bit of Return to Forever, the occasional hint of Mahavishnu Orchestra, and a generous helping of Billy Cobham's spectrum. All pleasant enough, though I don't think the album really stands out as a classic of the genre; it's good, but it doesn't blow me away. A few tracks were reworked for some pieces on Brian Eno's Another Green World and Before and After Science albums (which featured Brand X members in the backing groups), but comparing them makes it plain how much Eno's production and ambient manipulations added to those pieces.

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 Masques by BRAND X album cover Studio Album, 1978
4.12 | 108 ratings

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Masques
Brand X Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

4 stars BRAND X's third album came with some changes as we get a new drummer (Bergi) and keyboardisit (Robinson) as Collins and Lumley have left the fold. I did find this album a step down from the first two but it's really the three long tracks that save this record for me. I find the four shorter tracks to be a little too light-weight for my tastes.

"The Poke" is uptempo and intricate. Impressive stuff really. I like when it settles some before 2 minutes. It kicks back in before 3 1/2 minutes and the drumming here is great. "Masques" is pastoral with piano early. Then different sounds start coming and going but it's still minimalistic.

"Black Moon" is a catchy mid-paced tune. "Deadly Nightshade" is a top three. I like when it changes 1 1/2 minutes in with deep bass and drums leading the way.Guitar too then the tempo picks up before 2 1/2 minutes.The guitar and drums lead 5 minutes in then Goodsall starts to shred after 6 minutes. It settles back late but it's still powerful.

"Earth Dance" turns intricate with percussion a minute in. It fades out to end it. "Access To Data" is a top three. Much better than the last tune, much more dynamic. A nice bass / drum section 2 minutes in.The guitar joins in sounding great.This continues to the end.Killer stuff.

"The Ghost Of Mayfield Lodge" is my final top three.The sound builds. Piano before 2 1/2 minutes with crisp drumming.The guitar leads before 3 1/2 minutes, nice bass too.Then drums come to the fore. A calm follows with intricate sounds. It starts to pick up after 5 1/2 minutes then turns powerful before 6 1/2 minutes.It's lighter again a minute later then a calm ends it.

A low 4 stars but impressive enough to recommend.

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 Masques by BRAND X album cover Studio Album, 1978
4.12 | 108 ratings

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Masques
Brand X Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by BrainStillLife

5 stars The first and last of the first Brand X formation albums without Phil Collins. Replacing Collins is a much less known artist by the name of Chuck Bergi, there is also an additional percussionist. In my opinion Morroccan Roll is overrated whereas Masques is overlooked simply because it doesn't feature Phil Collins. For me Brand X means a lot more than just Collins's drumming altho it's an important part of it. The album kicks off with "The Poke", a mindblowing prove that Masques will continue the high level of the earlier records. Then a short piece: "Masques", which has a desert-like snuggy jazzy beat with again lots of the arabian/north african influence. Black Moon is a distant spacejazz effort which stands out with it's massive relaxing energy. The longest piece is the over 11-minute long Deadly Nightshade which quite nicely jumps from quiet parts to fast parts to loud atmospheric parts. Goodsall's guitar is dominant and Percy Jones's fretless bass runs up and down. Earth Dance starts with a quiet intro and evolves through a bass/conga part into a fast musical freefall where every band member is on fire. Not without a thought one of the band's best efforts ever. Access to Data is another fine tune with some enjoyable sequences. The Ghost of Mayfield Lodge is an excellent 10-minute long concise tune which evolves through multiple parts and ends quietly. All in all Masques is an overlooked gem in the Brand X discography that should have more reputation.

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 Product by BRAND X album cover Studio Album, 1979
3.25 | 80 ratings

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Brand X Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by JackFloyd

2 stars Bland, despirited, uninspired, schizophrenic.

Perhaps Brand X was trying to be as successful as Genesis, maybe they were trying to become the first jazz fusion big band, maybe they were wanting to disband, and maybe they were wanting to do all of this at once.

Product is, basically, goodbye Brand X the quirky British jazz-rock band and hello Brand X the derivative fusion outfit. Percy recalls this as an ambiguous and divided time for the band, which was in fact two groups with only Goodsall in common, and he's right, one band (Collins/Lumley/Goodsall/Giblin) playing one type of music and another (Clarke/Robinson/Goodsall/Jones/Pert) playing a different type of music altogether, leading to an unovercomable feeling of lack of focus and emotion just because this is what the real case is. Legend has it that there was a lot of arguing about what would be the next direction, but whatever it was, it seems neither worked simply because Brand X became a mess.

Sure, the musicians involved are still top-notch, but all of it just seems to be virtuosity for the sake of it and more weaknesses than anything else, and most of the time they just don't seem where to go: one time bland pop ("Don't Make Waves", "Soho"), the other time badly-written fusion ("Not Good Enough/See Me", "Rhesus Perplexus") and then directionless experimentation ("Wal To Wal", "April"). That said, what prevents Product from becoming just what the title implies (souless and boring) are the diamonds in the sulphur mine, "Dance Of The Illegal Aliens", "Algon", "...And So To F...", not really Brand X's masterpieces but very nice stuff if put in the context of the album, where they shine and save it from oblivion.

After the release of this record it became clear that Brand X wouldn't last longer, and indeed, their next records of this phase are just releases of leftovers.

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