View Full Version : Brand X

04-13-2003, 02:03 AM
What does everybody think of this band? I have all the albums from 1976 - 82 (ie the Phil Collins ones). Does Phil cut it as a "jazz" drummer? Percy Jones' bass work is awesome!!!!

Your thoughts please...


Rick and Roll
04-15-2003, 11:01 PM
Where to start? Recently, they have reinvented their sound electronically. Xcommunication and Manifest Destiny are good examples of this.

I really like Product and Do They Hurt (hell, all 6 or 7 of those are good) - John Giblin is also on these albums, and he is another great bassist. A CD you MUST GET is Wilding & Bonus "Pleasure Signals" - it has an unforgettable album cover - the Brand X guys are all over that release (Giblin, Goodsall), and it is AWESOME. Another offshoot is a band "Fire Merchants" (also Goodsall and Giblin) - not as good as their other work, but probably worth having.

"Deadly Nightshade" on "Masques" has possibly my favorite guitar lead in it. Just terrific!

I saw them (mostly did their recent stuff) about 4-5 years ago - it was good, but Goodsall was extremely drunk, and couldn't play the lead in "Cambodia"! Damnit!

I've seen Percy by himself, and with Tunnels, and he really is outstanding - and a great guy, too.

Which tunes are your favorites?

04-16-2003, 12:30 PM
We love Brand X at AM! If you look in the playlists, you'll see we have most of their albums here. I think Phil Collins is one of the most underrated drummers out there - ask people to list favorite drummers and you'll usually get Peart and Palmer (both excellent choices), but I think Phil is just as good. He has the technical proficiency of Palmer, the creativity of Peart, the jazz chops of Bruford, and he can sing! (Although the Brand X songs with vocals are usually amongst my least favorites.) What I think makes Brand X unique is the "seriousness" of their writing and playing ability, whilst maintaining a playful attitude.

Another Brand X offshoot (available at AM) is Marscape, which features Jack Lancaster and Robin Lumley, as well as the rest of the Brand X crew in support roles. Interesting stuff.

Rick and Roll
04-16-2003, 09:26 PM
I am only aware of four songs with vocals:

1) Don't Make Waves - an fairly good song...
2) And So to F - an awesome tune - and there are really no words, just some "scat" vocal near the end - I think Collins used to always play that solo, too...
3) Act of Will - a nice song - and I think even Goodsall may do the synthesized vocals...
4) Sun In The Night - not bad - reminds me of Harrison Beatles.

There might be one off of Is There Anything About, but I doubt it, and some later stuff with Katz on drums...

I am in total agreement with all of your other points, however!

04-17-2003, 08:35 PM
My favourite tracks on each Brand X album are -

UNORTHODOX BEHAVIOUR - It would have to be almost all of this album, but to pick some out: 'Euthanasia Waltz' for its nice guitar melody and 'Running On Three' for Phil's terrifying speed.

MOROCCAN ROLL - I really like Phil's bits: 'Why Should I Lend You Mine' and 'Maybe I Should...': wonderful spacey atmosphere. Percy Jones 'Orbits' wins for outright weirdness.

LIVESTOCK - '-Ish' has a nice relentless feel to it. Kenwood Dennard shows he is no slouch on 'Malaga Virgen'

MASQUES - 'The Poke' gets things going well. Morris Pert actually wrote three tunes on this one! By the way, who is the drummer on this album: Chuck Burgi??

PRODUCT - 'Not Good Enough - See Me!' is incredible, Percy goes nuts at the start. 'Algon' has great use of dynamics and speed variations.

DO THEY HURT? - 'Noddy Goes to Sweden'; Percy again!!! 'Triumphant Limp' is a great showcase for all the band.

IS THERE ANYTHING ABOUT? - I must admit it sounds as though the band ran out of ideas here. 'A Longer April' is a nice tune, but 'Modern, Noisy and Effective' is a half-assed re-write of 'Soho'.

There you go.


Rick and Roll
04-17-2003, 10:34 PM
Chuck Burgi (place umlat anywhere). I forgot about Soho as a vocal tune! I am open for punishment!

04-18-2003, 12:34 PM
you got it RnR - "Soho" and "Don't Make Waves", while not bad songs, are to me much less satisfying than the instrumentals. And I agree, "And So To F" is excellent! I actually haven't heard the other vocal songs in awhile, I'll have to cue them up again and respond later!

04-19-2003, 11:04 AM
Went to see the Groundhogs in Derby this weekend and while I was there saw a small record fair taking place.

First box I looked in they had "Unorthodox Behaviour", "Masques" and "Moroccon Roll" all on good old vinyl for a ridiulously low price so I snapped them up on the strength of comments made by you guys in this thread.

Thanks a lot for that. Really love the bass playing!!!!

Also bought an album by a band called Aardvark titled "Put that in your pipe and smoke it".

Have you ever heard (of) this?
:D :D :D

04-20-2003, 12:54 AM
I had heard OF a band called Aardvark, but can't recall what I heard - now I'm dying to know - any good?

04-20-2003, 04:20 AM
Originally posted by progdirjim
I had heard OF a band called Aardvark, but can't recall what I heard - now I'm dying to know - any good?

Keeping in the Prog spirit of the times Aardvark were one of the few bands not to feature a guitarist. They only released one album, the eponymous Aardvark (also sometimes known as Put that in your pipe and smoke it).

If I was to pick one track it would be "Once upon a hill/Put that in your pipe....". It takes up a large part of the second side of the album.

It starts off almost folky being VERY mellow and laid back but when it blasts into the "Pipe" section it really takes off sounding very like The Nice at times.

It was a shame that they never secured a release for a follow up album because I'd say they compare very favourably with early Soft Machine, Egg, Caravan and (as I mentioned) The Nice.

The track I suggested is available on the 3 CD anthology "Legend of a Mind". It also includes other less well known gems like Leafhound, T2, Khan and Black Cat Bones. A great collection and I think it would grace AM perfectly.

04-28-2003, 01:27 AM
I've ordered "Legend Of A Mind", but it was on backorder - we'll see if I get it or not. You also asked about "Solar something" from MMEB - I only ordered the one (Good Earth) prior - but I'll probably get another - Solar or Nightingales & Bombers?

04-28-2003, 02:37 AM

Thanks for sorting out "The Good Earth" as for another one, you may find things getting animated between Rick and Roll and me.

I like "Solar Fire" and he likes "Nightingales".

I guess as Rick has listed Nightingales in his top 5 albums OF ALL TIME It'd be nice to go along with that so..........take it away. Nightingales and Bombers it is.

I love it too by the way!!
:D :D :D

Rick and Roll
04-28-2003, 05:33 PM
I've never heard it, so maybe it would be better! After you, no after you...