Brand X: Nuclear Burn
Unorthodox Behaviour (Astralwerks-Caroline)
Robin Lumley (keyboards), John Goodsall (guitar), Percy Jones (bass), Phil Collins (drums).
Composed by John Goodsall, Percy Jones, Robin Lumley & Phil Collins.
Recorded: London, September 1975
Rating: 90/100 (learn more)
Unorthodox Behavior was Brand X's first album and was performed by what most consider the original lineup. This is actually a misnomer because Collins was not the band's original drummer but had come in as a replacement. Brand X was following in the steps of Mahavishnu, Return to Forever, and Eleventh House. The band became known to the fusion community as a quality group. Although they had a few high-profile gigs, most notably opening for John McLaughlin in Central Park, they never quite ascended to the top step. Despite this, they left behind some important jazz-rock music and introduced some important fusion players in Goodsall, Jones and Lumley. Collins was good as well, but it is arguable that Brand X was as important to his music and career as Genesis was.
"Nuclear Burn" features the elements all jazz rock fans wanted to hear at that time, including power drumming, lots of quick thematic changes, a wailing guitar player, a bassist who does more than help keep time, and a wild synthesizer player. "Nuclear Burn" is a full-out assault. The song's guitar riffs sound like something you might have heard come from Al Di Meola in Return to Forever. There are sections of the tune that could have been lifted right off a Mahavishnu record as well. These guys were capable of playing music of the highest caliber. They were not ripping off those bands by sometimes sounding like them. They were honoring them. Over time Brand X's sound would diverge from its influences. Sometimes this was for the good … sometimes not. But music is all about finding your own way.
Reviewer: Walter Kolosky