1ST DECEMBER 2014
Here, the six albums that Brand X recorded for Virgin are brought together in one 4-CD package, complete with three previously unreleased sessions recorded for the BBC and remastered from the original tapes. The set comes complete with upgraded artwork and new liner notes by Malcolm Dome.
Jazz fusion band, Brand X was active between1975 to 1980 and later 1992 to 1999, with guitarist John Goodsall and bassist Percy Jones remaining as constant members throughout.
For an incredible five-year period, between 1975 and 1980, Brand X astounded all with their musical dexterity, free approach and accessibility. In late 1975, and following on from stints with drummers John Dylan and Phil Spinelli, the band recruited their third drummer, Genesis’ Phil Collins who says, “Brand X is where I went to have fun”. A series of unreleased recordings were made in the band’s early months of existence but it was with the arrival of Collins that they finally got the chance to record and release 1976’s Unorthodox Behaviour.
Their second album, Moroccan Roll was released in 1977 and added percussionist Morris Pert to the line-up. This was to be the band’s most commercially successful album, making the UK Top 40 where it peaked at No 37.
A live album, Livestock (recorded at three different locations – Ronnie Scott’s, the Hammersmith Odeon and the Marquee Club) was released later that same year.
Masques followed in 1978, but with Chuck Burgi replacing Collins on drums and keyboard player J. Peter Robinson replacing Robin Lumley. Although Masques didn’t make the mainstream charts, it did hit number 32 on the UK jazz chart, testament to the band’s credibility in that genre.
By the end of the 1970s, Brand X had undergone yet more changes, which saw the return of keyboardist Robin Lumley and drummer Phil Collins as well as the recruitment of bassist John Giblin and drummer Mike Clark.
In 1979 they effectively recorded two albums, Product (released 1979) and Do They Hurt? (1980). The band had two distinct line-ups, a compromise between the record and management companies, who wanted more accessible music, and some band members led by Percy Jones who felt that this would alienate existing fans. Although, in retrospect some strong material was produced neither album did well in the charts and this first chapter in the history of Brand X was brought to a close.