Brand X originally formed in 1974 as a project by Robin Lumley (an early member of David Bowie's Spiders From Mars), session bassist extraordinaire Percy Jones, and former Atomic Rooster guitarist John Goodsall. The name came about when they rented a popular music rehearsal studio just to jam. The group had no name, so an attendant at the studio logged them as "Brand X." When the group was offered a deal on Island Records, the A&R exec liked that name, and it stuck. The band's initial recordings were rejected by Island as having little commercial appeal. Unwilling to change their sound, the band parted ways with Island, and signed with Charisma, the label that had such progressive rock acts as Genesis and Van Der Graff Generator on its roster. It was around this time that Phil Collins started sitting in with the band when the original drummer, John Dillon, departed, working on and off with Brand X between his commitments to Genesis. The group's debut album, Unorthodox Behaviour, was released in 1976, followed by a live album, Livestock, and then Moroccan Roll the following year. By this point, Collins exited the group to concentrate on Genesis and Al DiMeola drummer Chuck Burghi was brought in along with keyboardist Peter Robinson, who had played with Stanley Clarke. With these musicians on board, their next album, "Masques," not surprisingly headed deeper into jazz-fusion territory. This lineup was clearly following in the pioneering footsteps of Mahavishnu Orchestra, Return to Forever, and Eleventh House, creating a musical bridge between the progressive rock movement and the jazz-fusion scene. By 1978, drummer Chuck Burghi had departed and was replaced by the extraordinary drummer, Mike Clark, from the Headhunters.
Despite the frequet personnel changes, the band stayed together lthough the early '80s. They have also had reunions in both the late-1990s and as recent as 2003.