Brainchild was an English jazz-rock/soul band that released the album Healing of the Lunatic Owl on A&M in 1970.

Members: Harvey Coles (bass, vocals), Bill Edwards (lead guitar, vocals), Chris Jennings (organ, piano), Brian Wilshaw (saxophone, flute), Lloyd Williams (trumpet), Ian Goss (trombone), Dave Muller (drums)


Brainchild congregated in Somerset at the close of the 1960s. They were part of a select clutch of U.K. acts (Galliard, If, The Greatest Show On Earth) with an integrated brass/woodwind section, mirroring the format recently established by stateside acts Chicago, Blood, Sweat and Tears, and The Sons of Champlin.

Healing of the Lunatic Owl

Brainchild released their singular album, Healing of the Lunatic Owl, on A&M in 1970. It features four songs per side: three apiece from saxist Brian Wilshaw (“To B,” “Hide from the Dawn,” the title-track) and bassist/singer Harvey Coles (“She’s Learning,” “A Time a Place,” “Sadness of a Moment”); two credited to singer/guitarist Bill Edwards (“Autobiography,” “Two Bad Days”).

The album was recorded at Wessex Sound Studios, produced by Web/Samurai drummer Lennie Wright and engineered by Robin Thompson (King Crimson, The Moody Blues, Cressida, Tucky Buzzard). “Autobiography” appears on the b-side of Brainchild’s concurrent non-album “7 recording of Elton John‘s “The Cage.”

Musically, Brainchild put a big-band/swing spin on the era’s brass-rock sound, guided by Edwards’ soulful, master-of-ceremonies delivery.

Later Activity

Wilshaw (credited as “Bux”) joined David Bowie‘s backing band for the 1973 release Aladdin Sane and overlapping Ziggy Stardust Tour.

Healing of the Lunatic Owl was first reissued in 1991 on A&M Japan. It has since been issued on Second Harvest (U.S., 2008), media arte (South Korea, 2011), Aurora (U.K., 2012), and Magic Box (U.K., 2020).

“She’s Learning” appears alongside cuts by other early ’70s acts (Aardvark, Second Hand, Rock Workshop, Quiet World, Heaven, Abacus, Samurai, Titus Groan, Quicksand, Czar, Goliath) on the multi-artist compilation Maximum Prog (16 Rare Gems From the Golden Age of British Progressive Rock), issued in 2009 by archivists Past & Present Records‎.



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