Brand X – Product (1979): Review

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Produced by Brand X, Colin Green and Neil Kernon
Label – Charisma/Passport

Brand X’s first release in 1976 (“Unorthodox Behaviour”) heralded their own original fusion of jazz and progressive rock. It was also an opportunity for the ever busy Phil Collins to entertain his experimental fantasies along with mainstays John Goodsall and Percy Jones. By 1979, “Product” would be their 5th release and would continue the story in a similar vein.

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The album is primarily made up of complex instrumentals, with a platform for the obvious technical skills each of the band members, and one would imagine that there is a certain amount of competitive spirit which for all its good intentions drives a very dangerous battle against the music. For example, Jones seems not able to approach a song by using a simple bass melody, but prefers upfront solo efforts which may be fine supported by a supporting rhythm guitar and basic percussive backing to add clear definition. It seems that everyone in the band is trying to play a harmonic solo at the same time, and the result is that the song loses its coherence and eventually becomes a confusing blur. Bear in mind also, that Collins’ role with Genesis had changed completely by 1979, and during that same year they produced one of their more consistent albums (“Duke”).

Maybe his mind was elsewhere.

5/10

Track Listing
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

1.”Algon (Where an Ordinary Cup of Drinking Chocolate Costs £8,000,000,000)” (Lumley) – 6:10
2.”Rhesus Perplexus” (Giblin) – 3:59
3.”Wal to Wal / Not Good Enough – See Me!” – 10:44 1.”Wal to Wal” (Jones, Giblin)
2.”Not Good Enough – See Me!” (Jones, Robinson)
4.”April” (Giblin) – 2:36

Don’t Make Waves

Not Good Enough

Algon

See also:

Genesis – Wind & Wuthering (1976)

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