Brand X

Brand X was an English jazz-rock band that released five studio albums and a live disc on Charisma and Passport between 1976 and 1980.

Members: Percy Jones (bass, 1975-98), John Goodsall (guitar, sitar), Robin Lumley (keyboards, 1975-82), Phil Collins (drums, vocals, 1975-82), Morris Pert (percussion, 1977-79), Peter Robinson (keyboards, 1978-82), Chuck Burgi (drums, 1978), Mike Clarke (drums, 1979-82), John Giblin (bass, 1979-82)


Background

Brand X was assembled in late 1974 by bassist Percy Jones, guitarist John Goodsall, and keyboardist Robin Lumley. Jones hailed from folksters the Liverpool Scene, which issued four albums between 1968 and 1970. He also played on the 1970 debut album by singer/songwriter Al Jones. Goodsall (under the alias Johnny Mandala) was part of the 1973 lineup of Atomic Rooster, appearing on their fifth album Nice ‘n’ Greasy.

They rehearsed with a series of drummers, including Phil Collins, and prepared material for an album on Island Records. At this early stage, they featured a vocalist and intended to purvey funk-rock in the vein of the Average White Band. However, Island executives vetoed the results on account of the vocals. In 1975, the now-instrumental band recast itself in the mold of Blow by Blow and Isotope with a newly available Collins.

Brand X held numerous recording sessions during 1975. Titles from this period include “Dead Pretty” (a dry run for “Born Ugly”), “Ancient Mysteries,” “Tito’s Leg,” and the 11-minute “Kugelblitz.” (These and other tracks were later released on the archival disc Missing Period by Outer Music.) That September, the band commenced work on their debut album.


Unorthodox Behaviour

Brand X released their debut album, Unorthodox Behaviour, on June 18, 1976, on Charisma (UK) and Passport (US).

1. “Nuclear Burn” (6:23)
2. “Euthanasia Waltz” (5:42)
3. “Born Ugly” (8:18)
4. “Smacks of Euphoric Hysteria” (4:30)
5. “Unorthodox Behaviour” (8:29)
6. “Running on Three” (4:38)
7. “Touch Wood” (3:03)

Recorded September – October 1975
Studio Trident Studios, London
Producer Brand X, Dennis Mackay

Robin Lumley – electric and acoustic pianos, Moog synthesizer, string synthesizer (1), Echoplex (2)
John Goodsall – electric and acoustic guitars
Percy Jones – electric and acoustic basses, marimba (5)
Phil Collins – drums, percussion, vibraphone on “Euthanasia Waltz”

with:
Jack Lancaster – soprano saxophone on “Touch Wood”

Production
Brand X – producers
Dennis Mackay – producer, engineer, mixing
Robin Lumley – mixing
Geoff Leach – tape operator
Julian Taylor – tape operator
Steve Taylor – tape operator
Hipgnosis – sleeve design


Moroccan Roll

Brand X released their second album, Moroccan Roll, in April 1977 on Charisma and Passport.

1. “Sun in the Night” (John Goodsall) (4:25)
2. “Why Should I Lend You Mine (When You’ve Broken Yours Off Already)…” (Phil Collins) (11:16)
3. “…Maybe I’ll Lend You Mine after All” (Collins) (2:10)
4. “Hate Zone” (Goodsall) (4:41)
5. “Collapsar” (Robin Lumley) (1:33)

6. “Disco Suicide” (Lumley) (7:55)
7. “Orbits” (Percy Jones) (1:38)
8. “Malaga Virgen” (Jones) (8:28)
9. “Macrocosm” (Goodsall) (7:24)

Recorded December 1976–January 1977
Studio Trident Studios and Morgan Studios (London, UK)
Producer Dennis Mackay

Robin Lumley – Fender Rhodes electric piano, acoustic piano, Minimoog, ARP Odyssey, Roland string synthesizer, clavinet, Pulsar, space echo, backing vocals, autoharp (5)
John Goodsall – electric guitars, acoustic guitars, sitar (1), space echo, backing vocals
Percy Jones – Fender bass, autoharp (7), marimba (8)
Phil Collins – drums, lead vocals, acoustic piano (3)
Morris Pert – percussion

Production
Dennis Mackay – producer
Brand X – associate producers
Stephen W. Tayler – engineer, mixing
Chris Tsangarides – tape operator
John Brand – tape operator
Geoff Leach – tape operator
Neil Ross – tape operator
Ray Staff – mastering
Hipgnosis – sleeve design, cover photography
George Hardie – sleeve design
Rob Brimson – band photography

UK Albums Chart 37


Livestock

On November 18, 1977, Brand X released Livestock, drawn from three shows on their 1976–77 tour schedule.

1. “Nightmare Patrol” (Goodsall, Dennard) Hammersmith Odeon, 5 August 1977 (7:40)
2. “-Ish” (Goodsall, Lumley, Jones, Pert, Collins) Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club, September 1976 (8:11)
3. “Euthanasia Waltz” (Goodsall, Jones, Lumley, Collins) Marquee Club, 23 April 1977 (5:12)

4. “Isis Mourning (Part 1 & 2)” (Goodsall, Jones, Lumley, Pert, Collins) Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club, September 1976 (9:58)
5. “Malaga Virgen” (Jones) Hammersmith Odeon, 5 August 1977 (8:45)

“Nightmare Patrol”, “Ish”, and “Isis Mourning” are all unique tracks not found on any other Brand X album

Robin Lumley – keyboards
John Goodsall – electric guitars
Percy Jones – bass guitar
Kenwood Dennard – drums (1, 5)
Phil Collins – drums (2-4)
Morris Pert – percussion

Production
Mixed at Trident Studios, London, August 1977.
Engineer – Jerry Smith
Assistant engineers – John Brand, Neil Ross and Steve Short
Sleeve design and photos by Hipgnosis
Equipment – Steve Hall and Pete Donovan

X-CERPTS: 3 From Livestock + 1
A 12″ record, titled X-CERPTS: 3 From Livestock + 1, was released including edited versions of three tracks from Livestock and a previously unreleased studio track.
Side I: “Nightmare Patrol” – 3:17; “Genocide of the Straights” – 2:50 (previously unreleased)
Side II: “Euthanasia Waltz” – 3:25; “Malaga Virgen” – 3:20


Masques

Brand X released their third studio album, Masques, on September 8, 1978, on Charisma and Passport.

1. “The Poke” (Goodsall) (5:10)
2. “Masques” (Jones, Robinson) (3:16)
3. “Black Moon” (Pert) (4:48)
4. “Deadly Nightshade” (Pert) (11:22)

5. “Earth Dance” (Pert) (6:06)
6. “Access to Data” (Goodsall) (8:00)
7. “The Ghost of Mayfield Lodge” (Jones) (10:17) about a carriage house where Percy Jones was staying which was said to be haunted

Recorded May–June 1978
Studio Trident Studios, London

J. Peter Robinson – keyboards
John Goodsall – guitars
Percy Jones – bass (first album on which Percy Jones played the fretless Wal bass)
Chuck Burgi – drums
Morris Pert – percussion, Fender Rhodes electric piano (3)

Production
Robin Lumley – producer
Stephen W. Tayler – engineer
Michael Donegani – assistant engineer
Colin Green – assistant engineer
Rene Ruocco – assistant engineer
A.D. Design – layout
Chris Kutschera – sleeve design, front cover photography
Hag – back cover photography
Pete Donovan, Steve Jones and Dave Powell – equipment
Hit & Run Music – management


Product

Brand X released their fourth album, Product, on September 14, 1979, on Charisma and Passport.

1. “Don’t Make Waves” (Goodsall) (5:28)
2. “Dance of the Illegal Aliens” (Jones) (7:50)
3. “Soho” (Goodsall, Collins) (3:38)
4. “…And So to F…” (Collins) (6:29)

5. “Algon (Where an Ordinary Cup of Drinking Chocolate Costs £8,000,000,000)” (Lumley) (6:10)
6. “Rhesus Perplexus” (Giblin) (3:59)
7. “Wal to Wal / Not Good Enough – See Me!” (10:44)

I. “Wal to Wal” (Jones, Giblin) first recorded song on which Phil Collins used a Roland drum machine.
II. “Not Good Enough – See Me!” (Jones, Robinson)

8. “April” (Giblin) (2:36)

Various releases of the album switch the tracks “…And So to F…” and “Not Good Enough – See Me!”

Recorded April 1979
Studio Startling Studios, Ascot, UK
Producer Brand X, Colin Green, Neil Kernon
Robin Lumley – keyboards (1, 3-6, 9)
Peter Robinson – keyboards (2, 8)
John Goodsall – guitars, vocals (1-6, 8, 9)
John Giblin – bass (1, 3-7, 9)
Percy Jones – bass (2, 7, 8)
Phil Collins – drums (1, 3-7, 9), percussion (1, 3-7, 9), vocals (1, 3-7, 9), drum machine (7)
Mike Clark – drums (2, 8)
Morris Pert – percussion (2, 8)

Production
Brand X – producers
Colin Green – producer, recording, remixing
Neil Kernon – producer, recording, remixing
Phil Collins – engineer (3, 7)
Richard Austin – remixing
Rene Ruocco – remixing
Ray Staff – mastering
Hipgnosis – sleeve design, photography
Colin Elgie – sleeve design, graphics
Paul Canty – additional photography
John Giblin – additional photography

A1: “Soho”
B1: “Noddy Goes To Sweden”
B2: “Pool Room Blues” (3:03)


Do They Hurt?

Brand X released their fifth album, Do They Hurt?, on April 18, 1980, on Charisma and Passport.

1. “Noddy Goes to Sweden” (Jones) (4:30)
2. “Voidarama” (Goodsall) (4:21)
3. “Act of Will” (Goodsall) (4:43)
4. “Fragile” (Jones, Robinson) (5:26)

5. “Cambodia” (Goodsall) (4:31)
6. “Triumphant Limp” (Goodsall, Giblin, Lumley, Collins) (7:34)
7. “D.M.Z.” (Jones) (8:39)

Recorded April 1979
Studio Startling Studios (Ascot, UK); Farmyard Studios (Buckinghamshire, UK).

J. Peter Robinson – keyboards (1-5, 7), gong (5, 6), synthesizers (6)
Robin Lumley – acoustic piano (2), keyboards (6)
John Goodsall – guitars (2-7), vocals (3)
Percy Jones – bass (1, 3, 4, 5, 7), vocals (1)
John Giblin – bass (2, 6)
Mike Clark – drums (1, 3, 4, 5, 7)
Phil Collins – drums (2, 6)
Morris Pert – percussion (1, 4)

Production
Brand X – producers
Neil Kernon – producer, engineer (1-5, 7)
Richard Austen – engineer (6)
Colin Green – engineer (6)
Hipgnosis – cover design, photography
Richard Manning – coloring


Is There Anything About?

In September 1982, Brand X released Is There Anything About?, the sixth and final studio album of their original run.

1. “Ipanaemia” (Goodsall) (4:30)
2. “A Longer April” (Giblin) (7:00)
3. “Modern, Noisy and Effective” (Goodsall, Lumley, Short) (3:56)

4. “Swan Song” (Collins, Giblin, Lumley, Short) (5:37)
5. “Is There Anything About?” (Collins, Goodsall, Jones) (7:53)
6. “TMIU-ATGA” (Giblin, Lumley, Robinson) (5:09)

Recorded Startling Studios, Ascot, UK, April 1979, except “Is There Anything About”, recorded mid 1970s
Producer Robin Lumley, Brand X

Brand X
Robin Lumley – keyboards (1-5), vocals (4)
J. Peter Robinson – keyboards (6)
John Goodsall – guitars
John Giblin – bass (1-4, 6), vocals (4)
Percy Jones – bass (5)
Phil Collins – drums, percussion

Additional personnel
Raphael Ravenscroft – saxophone (2)
Steve Short – Syndrums (4), vocals (4)
Ed Carson – handclaps (3)

Production
Robin Lumley – producer, remixing
Steve Short – producer, engineer, remixing
Colin Green – engineer
Neil Kernon – engineer
Craig Milliner – engineer
Ray Staff – mastering
Bill Smith – sleeve design
Andrew Douglas – photography


Discography:

  • Unorthodox Behaviour (1976)
  • Moroccan Roll (1977)
  • Livestock (live, 1977)
  • Masques (1978)
  • Product (1979)
  • Do They Hurt? (1980)
  • Is There Anything About? (1982)
  • XCommunication (1992)
  • Live at the Roxy LA (1995)
  • Missing Period [archival] (1997)
  • Manifest Destiny (1997)
  • Timeline (Live, 1999)

Sources:

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