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JOHN GOODSALL's superspeed, medula-oblongata-shredding solos (especially the one on Euthanasia Waltz) have NEVER BEEN TOPPED in terms of OVERALL INTENSITY and ESSENTIAL COOLNESS. Brand X was on of Al DiMeola's favorite bands; it's easy to see why--their music has all the intensity and virtuosity of Al's without any of the schmaltzy, melodic sentimentality plagues the same Al.
Next to Jaco Patorious, PERCY JONES was THE main influence on bass players in the 70s and 80s. His awesome, fretless technique is UNIQUE--full of deeply thick science-fiction blasts of fluidity from outer space. NO ONE sounds like him. Monster bassist and Jaco replacement Victor Bailey, is only one of many who have acknowledged the man as a seminal influence.
But all that TECHNICAL EXCELLENCE would mean very little if the compositions were weak. Not a chance! Every track on 'LIVESTOCK' is fantastic. 'Nightmare Patrol' establishes an alienated, futuristic mood before soaring into the stratosphere on Goodsall's solo; the aforementioned, incomparable version of 'Euthanasia Waltz' takes things to an even higher intensity before we ease into the ambient space funk of 'ISH;' next, the surreal, dreamlike and hypnotic 'ISIS MOURNING' slow burns into a melting ecstacy before we are suddenly blasted into the electrifying mayhem of 'Malaga Virgen.' This tune features both PHILL COLLINS and KENWOOD DENNARD on drums. They raise up a storm. The last two minutes of 'MALAGA VIRGEN' are probably the most INTENSELY BREAKNECK ever put on tape. You will need a fire extinguisher for your fried brain, so keep one handy.
P.S.Read more ›
"Nightmare Patrol" is decent,dark and fun. And this version of "Malega Virgen" really ends the set with a bang. "Isis Mourning 1&2" are more quiet,allowing a bit of a breather..not to say its not good. "Euthanasia Waltz" has an energy that equals the studio feeling of spontaneity, but for me the highlight is "-ish",a bouncy jazz rocker that sums of the feel of the whole album: they're still having fun. By the time the last release of the 'original' Brand X came about in the early 80's..its obvious the spark had gotten dimmer.
My only complaint with this album,other than the way some tracks fade out instead of ending to the cheers they deserve-is that there weren't more songs. If only the record label had the confidence to invest in the group,we might have been given a 'double' album of live material!? I'm sure there's someone who would go thru the tapes and put it together. Someone modern,noisy & affective.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
great fusion band cd liner was lacking any info about the band etc.Published 16 months ago by Timothy O'donnell
Early days of electric eclectic Jazz when the English boys who turned over the man on Drums by the name of Phil Collins! Read morePublished on September 10, 2013 by Gregg Rosenthal
This is the fourth copy of this album, and I do mean album, that I have had. What can I say, these guys are awesome. Read morePublished on August 31, 2010 by SDH
The musicianship on this album is insane. It takes insane talent to be able to change dynamics the way this band can. Read morePublished on October 6, 2009 by Vintage Drummer
My favorite Brand X disk. I got to see this tour as they passed thru San Fransisco. The band was tight, all members virtuosos. Read morePublished on February 10, 2009 by R. Vernon
When Phil Collins helped to create Brand X in the '70s, it was so he could explore different avenues of music that he could not explore with either Genesis or in his solo work. Read morePublished on May 9, 2008 by D. Gorman "Crystalline Structure Moon"
Definite proof that Brand-X could deliver the goods in a live setting. This disc was taped at several different shows, thus the drumming split between Phil Collins and Kenwood... Read morePublished on October 15, 2004 by P. McKenna
Brand X's third album, "Livestock," is a live recording from 1977, capturing the band while they were on tour for their "Moroccan Roll" album. Read morePublished on June 29, 2004 by Alan Caylow