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Jim Alfredson

Brand X - 'Nuclear Burn' The Charisma Years

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I just ordered this as I've recently gotten into Brand X. I've been a lifelong Genesis fan and I enjoy a lot of Collins' solo work (mostly the early stuff) but I never bothered with Brand X until stumbling across Moroccan Roll on YouTube a few months ago. Listening to that album, it became obvious that Brand X had a very distinct influence on Collins' subsequent work with Genesis and his solo career.

This boxset seemed the most cost effective way of acquiring some of their catalog. Anyone else have it? How is the sound quality? The album art is damn atrocious but I don't care about that.

http://www.amazon.com/Nuclear-Burn-Brand-X/dp/B00O9K8WS4

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From what I've read, the former band members are getting screwed on that release, as the label is paying them no royalties. The cover makes it look like a bootleg. Anyway, their first three studio albums are the strongest records. After that it gets patchy. I like Masques the best. because I feel like all of the compositions are high quality. And their debut album is great as well. The drum work by Phil Collins is fantastic! And it's one of the best sounding 40+ year old records I've ever heard. Disco Suicide from Moroccan Roll always knocks me out. It's such an inventive composition with great rhythmic and melodic content, and inspired playing. Those low bass notes by Percy Jones make my hair stand up.

 

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44 minutes ago, StarThrower said:

From what I've read, the former band members are getting screwed on that release, as the label is paying them no royalties.

Well that's a shame. Where did you read that? Charisma is long gone, absorbed by Virgin and now EMI. Seems like they'd still be owed royalties at this point.

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I'm not positive it's a fact, but that was the word going round at the Progressive Ears site when the box set was released. Who knows what goes on with these huge labels? Anyway, I'm sure you'll enjoy the music. I've been listening to Brand X for over 30 years. The music still sounds great to my ears. At least before they were getting pressured to be more commercial, which you'll hear on the later albums.

Edited by StarThrower

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I have the box, the sound quality is outstanding.  It is a totally legit release, so if the musicians aren't getting royalties from this for some reason, they won't get it from anything.  I agree that the earliest albums are the  strongest,and the last one is pretty dismal.  But as a package, this can't be beat, especially for the under $20 going price.  I love the whole series of EMI-related label boxes, have a LOT of them, and have NEVER been disappointed in any way with any of them.

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^^^

It's too bad the band members/composers haven't been compensated adequately, but as you implied, they probably signed a crappy contract somewhere along the way and forfeited their rights to control and compensation. I still don't understand the decision to put that terrible design on the cover?

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Got this today. I don't have any other issues of these albums to compare. They sound good but are extremely light in the bass. That's kind of a mid-70s aesthetic though. They are definitely not over-compressed dynamically which is great. Guess I just need to turn up the bass on my old Marantz receiver. :)

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Any particular albums that sound bass shy? I'm listening to Unorthodox Behaviour at the moment, and Pery Jones is all over this record. And I'm playing the CD from the box. I haven't made any side by side comparisons with my old Caroline editions.

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Unorthodox Behavior I think is the most glaring of them; but actually putting it in Wavelab and looking at the spectrum, it's everything below about 200Hz that could use a slight boost (maybe 2db). I did that using the Eiosis Air EQ plug-in and everything sounded much mire full and present to me. It's not bad as is and the dynamic range is fantastic; almost unheard of for a modern remaster.

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On 3/3/2016 at 8:18 PM, StarThrower said:

BTW, Percy Jones was part of a prog trio called Tunnels. They released several albums on the Buckyball label. I caught them one night in Rochester, NY back in 2006. They had an incredible live sound. Drums, bass, and midi vibes. http://buckyballmusic.com/#buckyball-music-home

I heard that band play!

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Brand X is gonna tour again!

13502511_1732251096993078_82764508381890

Edited by 7/4

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