Throughout his career, David Bowie always had one eye on stardom and the other on his music. His art, however, was a careful balance of the two; his popularity rarely wavered throughout the vast swings of his musical offerings. In the 60s, he ventured from R&B artist to singer-songwriter, culminating with Rick Wakeman's Mellotron on the classic "Space Oddity." In 1970, he released an incredibly progressive album of hard rock, The Man Who Sold The World, before launching into glam rock and the Spiders from Mars.
Brand X began around the trio of guitarist John Goodsall, keyboardist Robin Lumley and bassist Percy Jones. Of course, having Phil Collins in the drummer's seat didn't hurt their prospects, either; but Brand X was truly a collective, and Collins was, lest we forget, once just a drummer. They first teamed up during sessions for The Eddie Howell Gramophone Record in 1975, and then again on Lumely's album with Jack Lancaster (of Blodwyn Pig fame), Peter & The Wolf. Though earlier recordings exist, the first Brand X album proper was released in 1976.
After the success of their previous album, Steve Hillage and Miquette Giraudy went off to Los Angeles to record Hillage's third solo album, Motivation Radio—this time under the production guidance of Malcolm Cecil. Cecil, along with Robert Margouleff, recorded as Tonto's Expanding Head Band; they released an album of electronic music in 1971, which ultimately led to a stint producing Stevie Wonder, among others. Joining as the rhythm section were session musicians Joe Blocker on drums and Reggie McBride on bass.