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Brand X: Timeline (2 CD, 62:37 & 55:21); Buckyball Records, BR006, 1999 E-mail: N/A Cyberhome: http://www.buckyball.com

10 words or less: Double live CD of 1977 & 1993 shows Elaboration: Of all the English Fusion bands, Brand X is probably the most recognized name. Timeline includes 2 previously unreleased shows. Disc 1 was recorded in Chicago, 1977 and features the same lineup as their previously released live album, Livestock. If you have Livestock then you know what to expect, namely some smokin' playing by all involved, especially Drummer Kenwood Dennard! There are also songs included here that aren't on Livestock; "Disco Suicide", "Why Should I Lend You Mine...", "Access To Data", "Nuclear Burn" and "Deadly Nightshade". There is a bit of tape wow and hiss to contend with but overall the sound quality is good and the playing is super tight. Disc 2 was recorded in New York City, 1993 and features Goodsall, Jones and Frank Katz as a power trio unit. Being a Keyboard lover, I'm not too fond of power trios but Goodsall does a pretty good job filling in with plenty of Synth-Guitar washes to break up the electric Guitar overdose usually associated with power trios. Plus, Percy's Bass playing is always engaging and provides a nice foil to Goodsall's amazing Guitar histrionics. Listening to this show, I was quite impressed by the maturity of the performance style. There are many subtle passages interspersed with the intense jamming. I highly recommend this double live album to any fans of great Fusion and look forward to the X men's next product. ~ L Perez 

Brand X:: {missing period}; (CD, 50:40) Outer Music, OM-1004 1997

I urge all musicians and bands to dig through the attic, the garage, the basement, and forgotten storage areas of friends and family for lost tapes! You just might dig up a real treasure like what happened to Brand X with this release. Family members gave guitarist/ founder, John Goodsall a box of Brand X memorabilia, aka olde band junk and ancient reels of tape were discovered aneath it all. Oh boy! They were the earliest known recordings of the band, circa 1975-76, predating their debut album release. So how�s it sound? Excellent is the word for both quality and content. This is super-fun fusion in that classic Brand X, off-beat, funked up, jazz rock groove. Extended soloing, tight unison lines, virtuoso musicianship fill every nook and cranny of each tune. If you are a Brand X or fusion rock fan, this is a must-have. Many of these tunes were never released for twenty years and now we are just too lucky. Some tracks are early versions of songs later released but I dig these ancient versions just as much if not moreso. Hear Goodsall melt his axe with riffs galore, Jones slay the bass, Collins decimate the drums, Lumley go hay-wire on keys, and Heyman tickle the percussion. Get into 70s fusion all over again with this rare treat! Highly recommended! ~ John W. Patterson, EER-MUSIC.com


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Brand X: Manifest Destiny (CD, 62:08); Purple Pyramid CLP 9940-2, 1997 Pangea Music International Ph: (831) 425-0270 Fax: (831) 425-3874 E-mail: info@pangeamusic.com Cyberhome: www.pangeamusic.com

Oh baby, this is why I love band reunions or should I say band revivals. For this is one on-fire, cranked-up, slammin' and funkified fusion fest. John Goodsall, Percy Jones, and the gang whirl you around by your heels until your brain pops. Being a dormant entity for most of the '80s, Brand X is obviously very much back with this second post-reunited offering. With drummer Frank Katz and vibesman Mark Wagnon from Jones' Tunnels band -- Brand X is manifesting a destiny of attack and decimate. Jones' signature jazzy-phat, swelling, be-boppin�, hip-hopped, and burpin' funk-rock bass is framed with that serrated-edged and pyrotechnic splendor in Goodsall's mean fusion guitar. Those of us fully aware of the fascinating diversity and skillful jazz rock of early Brand X will also remember how complexly whacked and offbeat they could stretch -- they defied old genre- specific boundaries and set new ones. The same flagrant disregard is thankfully in full swing here. My mind goes back to Do They Hurt? crossed with Livestock. For that in-your- face bombastic and killer guitar-driven fusion check out "True to the Clik", "Virus", "Manifest Destiny", and "Operation Hearts and Minds". For that world and ethnic syncopated funk fusion that Brand X has always handled with ease do "XXL", "The Worst Man", and "Drum Ddu". Last track, "Mr. Bubble Goes to Hollywood" is a drum solo then drums-n-bass duet. Probably one of the most memorable cuts is Jones' "Stellerator�", named after one H. F. Mudd's robo-wife device from an early Star Trek episode. This song held all Brand X was famous for in its olden days. It recalled the grace of Bruford and the retained the quirky-edged abandon of Brand X. Great stuff! Goodsall dabbles in Frippian territory ever so briefly. A bonus is two live cuts "hidden" -- Oops I told ya -- as unlisted tracks 11 and 12. Strongly recommended. ~ John W. Patterson






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