Sunday, November 16, 2014

Brand X - 1978 Masques (Mini LP SHM-CD Universal Japan 2014)

Masques is the 1978 album by the British jazz fusion group Brand X. This was the band's first studio recording without drummer Phil Collins. The rear of the album cover has a photo of the crowd from the Knebworth Festival, 1978 — a bill that included both Brand X and Genesis, Collins' other band.

Without the drumming of Phil Collins, who does appear on some of Brand X's albums, Masques still maintains a snug, jazzy-prog milieu and comes off clean and tight. Each song has a different beat, speed, and tempo with a satisfying assortment of keyboards and percussion instruments to keep the entire album afloat. Resounding xylophone and chimes outline the music on the seven tracks, with "Earth Dance" and "The Poke" coming up a little bit stronger than the rest. Most notably is the superb musical interplay of all the instruments used, and the way in which they enhance and benefit one another. The progressive rock sound does evolve by way of lengthy guitar passages from John Goodsall and accelerated keyboard fingering from Morris Pert, adding spice and vivaciousness while popping up when least expected. Masques is a firm studio album, and will keep listeners fascinated with the band. 

Songs / Tracks Listing
1. The Poke (5:06)
2. Masques (3:17)
3. Black Moon (4:48)
4. Deadly Nightshade (10:54)
5. Earthdance (6:10)
6. Access to Data (8:04)
7. The Ghost of Mayfield Lodge (10:08)

Total Time: 48:27

Line-up / Musician 

- John Goodsall / guitar
- Percy Jones / bass
- Peter Robinson / keyboards
- Morris Pert / percussion
- Chuck Bergi / drums


  • "The Ghost of Mayfield Lodge" is based on a true story (see this page for more info) about a carriage house where Percy Jones was staying which was said to be haunted.
  • This album is the first album on which Percy Jones played the fretless Wal bass, which became his trademark sound.