One of three top Brand X albums
jalcruces | Las Cruces, NM | 05/23/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I am a drummer. And therefore am a bit partial to drums. I prefer music that is mostly percussive. Fusion tends to be more percussive than most. But Brand X (with Phil Collins anyway) always delivers. First of all Phil Collins DOES play drums on ."..and so to f..." also my favorite song here. Phil wrote it, does some vocal rhythmic scatt type stuff on it,percussion, drums. Percy Jones is also on this recording. Sorry, I also like "Don't Make Waves" and "Soho", with Phil's vocals, as I like Genesis too. But they don't really sound like Genesis either. I would rate this as one of the top three Brand X recordings along with 'Unorthodox Behaviour" and "Moroccan Roll". Musicians appearing on this recording are: Mike Clarke (drums on two tracks), Phil Collins (drums on seven tracks), John Goodsall (guitars) John Giblin (Bass on seven tracks), Robin Lumley (keyboards, etc.), Morris Pert (percussion on two tracks), Peter Robinson (keyboards on two tracks), and Percy Jones (bass on three tracks - one of which also has Percy Jones on bass as well). This was basically recorded with two groups of musicians. One group playing "Dance of the Illegal Aliens" and "Not Good Enough", the other group playing the other seven songs. I am a bit partial to this recording however as it was also my first Brand X acquisition. It went very well with the water, sand and beach where I was vacationing at the time. I just enjoyed it very much."
Enjoy This Product
Alan Caylow | USA | 03/11/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"1979's "Product," the fifth album by Brand X, sees the very-welcome return of Genesis drummer & singer Phil Collins to the fold after a one-album break (Phil was busy with Genesis the previous year, so Chuck Burgi stepped in on the drumkit for Brand X's 1978 release,"Masques"). "Product" also sees Brand X swell up into an eight-man line-up, not only band veterans Collins, John Goodsall, Percy Jones, Robin Lumley & Morris Pert but also keyboardist Peter Robinson, bassist John Giblin, and Mike Clarke (though I don't have the info on what Clarke plays on the album, and my CD booklet doesn't say, either). I suspect that Brand X named this album "Product" because the band were trying for a more radio-friendly feel with this release, even including two "proper" songs with vocals & lyrics (95% of the band's music, I'd say, is strictly instrumental). But there's no need to be put off by this, because "Product" is a great disc, featuring the group's incredible knack for whirlwind, progressive jazz-rock fusion & musical chops. The two songs with lyrics, "Don't Make Waves" and "Soho," are both very rockin', and feature excellent vocal performances from Collins ("Soho" was even released as a single---a rarity for Brand X---but it didn't go anywhere). I also enjoy the expert jazz-rock of such tracks as "Dance Of The Illegal Aliens," "Algon," the great grooves of "Wal To Wal," and the ferocious instrumental "And So To F," penned by Phil Collins himself (who totally outdoes himself on the drumkit with this one). The music is terrific, and the band's performances are mindblowing. It's another winner for Brand X! I'm very confident you will enjoy this "Product.""
MANDATORY album for all fans of Phil Collins' drumming & all
TUCO H. | Los Angeles, CA | 03/19/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Three of the greatest, most intense fusion tracks ever recorded by homo-sapiens make their permanent residence on this album. These are "Dance of the Illegal Aliens" by Percy Jones (who plays bass on tracks 2, 4, 7 & 8), "Rhesus Perplexus" by John Giblin (an incredible bassist, who played on the first 3 Peter Gabriel & first two Phil Collins albums, and one of the few good enough to fill in for Percy on tracks 1, 3, 5, & 9 & duet with him on track 7) and the mind-blowing "And So to F..." by Phil Collins (his drumming-highness rocket-blasts his incredible sounding & very loud set in all directions on tracks 1,3 & 5-thru-9, monster ex-Herbie-Hancock drummer Mike Clarke, also known today as 'the-most-sampled-drummer-in-hip-hop', filling in for Phil on tracks 2 & 4).
The rest of the album is good but these 3 are the tracks where everything clicks and comes together to a level of perfection that just knocks people's socks off into the next dimension. These gems of uber-musicianship and non-compromise that not only succeed but soar into the skies are what have made Brand-X a legendary band, especially in Japan where to this day, 30 years later, they have almost rock-star status. John Goodsall's hyper-speed guitar solos that always tend to seek to raise the intensity of a Brand-X tune a few more notches still above its already wired state into the red without combusting the group fit in perfectly here. The traditionally understated patented Brand-X analog keyboard sounds by Lumely & Robinson provide just the right level of relaxed respite and playfulness to cushion and cool things down in high gear for a while before things torque-up again. "Rhesus Perplexus" even shows some Pat Metheny and George Benson influences but a funky, melodic, jazzy track with a louder, thicker drum-and-bass sound and a more odd meter you will search for for a long time and never find. "And So to F..." has the distinction of being simultaneously the most accessible tune and one of the most intensely propulsive in the Brand-X universe, using an odd-meter, but with a danceable, hummable rhythm on top that the scorching, fire-breathing, hyper-speed Goodsall guitar solos seem to rip to shreds before it returns again, as Collins, Percy and company give the world a master class in how to play with dynamics and maximum intensity at the same time.
"Product" was recorded in 1979 and is probably the best-sounding Brand-X album overall as it benefits from the workaholic studio perfectionism that Phil Collins was getting into at the time right after Genesis had their biggest hit until then with "Follow You, Follow Me." The unique drum sound he had perfected on "Trick of the Tail" & "Unorthodox Behaviour," sounds even more perfect and refined here and Phil seems to have made sure the engineers got Mike Clarke's sound & Giblin's bass sound recorded as close to his & Percy's sounds as possible also so that the Brand-X experience overall sounds consistent. But to hear all this to best advantage you need to get the 2006 Japanese remaster, not the old 1990 release. There is 16 years of technological improvement there and Japan is where Brand-X truly gets their proper respect. It is definitely worth it for vastly improved sound and you can find it on yab-e for about 15 to 17 bucks.