The short-lived trio known as Brilliant is a lot more interesting as a rock family tree entry than for the one album the group produced. Despite the band's failure to make much of an impact, it contained two of the '80s most notable musical figures: ex-Killing Joke bassist Youth, and guitarist Jimmy Cauty, who'd worked with Zodiac Mindwarp and would go on to greater acclaim later in the decade as part of the Justified Ancients of Mu Mu, the KLF, and the Orb. Together with vocalist June Montana, a session singer noted for her work with the Dream Academy, they became Brilliant, after the band's original lineup was trimmed from ten members to just three. Beginning as a funky, Killing Joke-inspired band with a couple of singles on the Rough Trade label, the group was managed by Dave Balfe, the former keyboardist of the Teardrop Explodes, and was signed by rock raconteur Bill Drummond to WEA, where their 1986 album, Kiss the Lips of Life, was overseen by the soon-to-be-ascendant pop production team of Stock Aitken Waterman. But for all the high-profile contacts, Brilliant only mustered a couple of hits -- a reggae-fied version of James Brown's "It's a Man's Man's Man's World" had some success in the band's native U.K., while the dance-rock "Somebody" got play in American clubs -- before calling it a day soon after the album's release, and allowing Cauty and Youth to move on to bigger and better things.
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