Sunday, October 4, 2015

Brand X - 1998 "The X-Files"

THE X FILES- A Twenty Year Retrospective: Brand X

Notes: A compilation of mostly previously unreleased rarities: disc 1 feaures Brand X recordings, while disc 2 consists of various other projects that have involved John Goodsall or Percy Jones. The X-Files delivers some great fusion playing.

Well, they had to get around to that title eventually. A scattershot and somewhat misleading retrospective, this two-disc set is strictly for die-hard Brand X fans. Although the set is subtitled "A 20 Year Retrospective," this is in no way a career overview. Disc one consists of ten previously unreleased live recordings in reverse chronological order, from the 1997 Manifest Destiny tour to the group's initial mid-'70s lineup, when Phil Collins and Robin Lumley were the band's drummer and keyboardist. Unsurprisingly, this disc gets more interesting as it goes on, reaching its pinnacle with the rocking (but annoyingly muddy-sounding) "Don't Make Waves." Disc two technically is not Brand X at all, but a sampling of extracurricular projects by group leaders John Goodsall and Percy Jones, in tandem and separately. These tracks come mostly from the '90s, which is long after Goodsall and Jones lost their ability to create dynamic and challenging music. As a result, the disc is of mild curiosity at best and is profoundly irritating at worst.

Brand X was another one of those bands who were beloved of other musicians and the more discerning of critics but which despite everything, never had the commercial success that it deserved.
They were a jazz fusion band active 1975–1980. Brand X started in 1975 as a 'jam' band signed by Island Records' Richard Williams. Williams A&R man Danny Wilding wrote down the name 'Brand X' to keep track of their activity on the studio calendar and the name stuck.
Noted members included Phil Collins (drums), Percy Jones (bass), John Goodsall (guitar) and Robin Lumley (keyboards). Not long after jazz/rock fusion greats Brand X put out their 1980 album, Do They Hurt?, the band members went their separate ways until their comeback in 1992. Goodsall and Jones formed a trio version of Brand X with drummer Frank Katz in 1992. To make up for the lack of a keyboard player, Goodsall used a Gibson Max MIDI-guitar system to trigger synths, samples and keyboard sounds along with his guitars. This line-up went on to record Xcommunication (1992) and Manifest Destiny (1997), and tour Japan and Europe in 1997 with keyboard player Kris Sjobring and ex-Gong drummer Pierre Moerlen replacing Katz.
The X Files features music from both periods of the band’s career.
Disc one of this extraordinary album consists of ten previously unreleased live recordings in reverse chronological order, from the 1997 Manifest Destiny tour to the group's initial mid-'70s lineup, when Phil Collins and Robin Lumley were the band's drummer and keyboardist.
Disc two technically is not Brand X at all, but a sampling of extracurricular projects by group leaders John Goodsall and Percy Jones, in tandem and separately. These tracks come mostly from the '90s, and are well worth checking out.

Bruford had an early association with Brand X, rehearsing with the band for a few weeks before commitments to King Crimon curtailed his involvement, apart from some occasional live appearances on percussion. However, Bruford's appearance on this album comes from a later project: in 1977, Goodsall, Bruford and members of San Francisco band Automatic Man got together for what the liner notes describe in one place as a band called Vertical Invader and in another as work towards a solo album for Goodsall. The only surviving recordings from those sessions are these two tracks. They are good tracks, much in the style of Goodsall's other work; Bruford's contribution is unobtrusive on "Here I am Now", but somewhat more distinctive on "Measure the Sky". (Goodsall made a brief appearance on Bruford's Feels Good to Me.)

As an archival compilation, Jones and Goodsall are not even sure who plays on some tracks, being uncertain of the percussionist on (8) or of the drummer or keyboardist on (10). (HP, 2 Nov 02)

Track listing:

 DISC 1: THE X-FILES

 1. The X-Files Theme           Live@ The Strand '93
 2. True To The Clik           Manifest Destiny '96
 3. Nuclear Burn/ Cambodia       Live@ The Cabaret '93
 4. Healing Dream           X-Communication '92 (remaster)
 5. Thalidomide Squid           Live@ The Bottom Line '94
 6. Born Pretty In a Disco       Live in Japan '97
 7. Noddy Goes to Sweden       Dudley University '76
 8. Kugelblitz               Missing Period '76
 9. Don't Make Waves           Live in America (unreleased)
10. John "No" Doe           unknown & unreleased

DISC 2: eX-TRACKS

 1. Dance of Life           Goodsall/ Ciago Project '97
 2. Saladin               Fire Merchants '89 (remaster)
 3. Inseminator               Percy Jones Tunnels '93 (remaster)
 4. World's In Modulation       Fire Merchants 'Landlords Of Atlantis' '94
 5. G. Storm               Wilding-Bonus Pleasure Signals '78
 6. Measure The Sky           John Goodsall Project '77
 7. Here I Am Now           John Goodsall Project '77
 8. The Other Side Of The World       Zoo Drive '85
 9. Animal               Floor Project '88
10. The Ocean               Malcolm Bruce Project '97
11. $10,000 Bookshelf           Percy Jones Propeller Music '90
12. Finger Power           Percy Jones/ F. Katz Single '97
13. From a Mountain Top           Floor Project '88

Personnel on DISC 1:

Percy Jones: all tracks (except 4)
John Goodsall: all tracks
Frank Katz: 1, 2, 3, 5
Franz Pusch: 2
Pierre Moerlen: 6
Kris Sjobring: 6
Mike Clarke: 7
Robin Lumley: 7, 8, 9
Morris Pert: 7, 9
Phil Collins: 8, 9
Preston Heyman: 8

Personnel on DISC 2:

John Goodsall: 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 13
Percy Jones: 3, 10, 11, 12
Ronie Ciago: 1
Doug Lunn: 2, 4, 8
Chester Thompson: 2
Frank Katz: 3, 12
Marc Wagnon, Van Manakas: 3
Toss Panos: 4
Danny Wilding, Phil Collins, John Giblin: 5
Bill Bruford, Bayete, Donny Harvey: 7
Paul Delph, Rick Parnell: 8
Mick McClinden, Mike Barsimanto, Krash: 9, 13
Malcolm Bruce, Pierre Moerlen: 10
Mike Clarke, Shankar, Jeff Llewelyn: 11

2 comments:

  1. http://www34.zippyshare.com/v/QFo5nxhA/file.html
    http://www34.zippyshare.com/v/OPsZf24Z/file.html
    http://www34.zippyshare.com/v/APtvrZuk/file.html
    http://www34.zippyshare.com/v/HNVSyAsr/file.html

    ReplyDelete
  2. wow Thanks so much for all the material, really appreciated. greetings from Guadalajara, México!

    ReplyDelete