Family
Music in a Doll's House - See for Miles Records, British Import 1968

Music - 5 stars

Family
Anyway - United Artists 1970

Music - 5 stars

Family
Fearless - United Artists 1971

Music - 5 stars

Family
Bandstand - United Artists 1972

Music - 4 stars

family_dolls_house - front cover

front cover

family_dolls_house - rear cover

rear cover

Review

This is the first Family album and a masterpiece of the post Sgt-Pepper era. The album was released at the height of the British hippie scene. This first album demonstrated Family's dramatic sound. It's a neat trick to intermingle progressive rock with psychedelia and write songs that are appealing and original. Every track is laudable. What gets Family of the launching pad is talent: a lead singer who sounds like no one else, a guitar player adept at an amazing collection of styles and two multi-instrumentalists who brought in instruments not usually heard in a rock band. At the time this was real cutting edge music. However if this record was released today it would surely draw a lot of interest from all of us music heads.

- Allan J Moore

family_anyway - front cover

front cover

family_anyway - rear cover

rear cover

Review

Anyway”is a stupendous album. It's divided into a live side and a side featuring some amazing studio work. It's hard to describe Family's music since it's so astonishingly eclectic, but these guys pull it off. Side one starts with the seven minute "Good News-bad news" a monster rhythm section driving Roger Chapman's lions roar voice. Right in the middle of the tune there is a vibe solo worthy of two very special jazz musicians: Bobby Hutcherson and Milt Jackson. "Willow tree"is a solid and very pretty jazz piece. There's no jazz rock here, Famiy delivers the real product.

"Holding the compass" and "Strange Band" round out the the side and the group brings a violin into the mix. Side two lowers the decibels and other than "In in my own time" the songs slide into a peaceful suite. As with all of Family's music every album is unique. I hadn't heard "Anyway" in quite a long time when I reviewed it, but it wound up on my turntable for over a week. Though attractive, the cover lists nothing about the band nor the song titles. I'm not sure this is the best way to market an extraordinary album. Unless you are familiar with the band you really don't have any idea what it is. You can find the band performing "In my own time" on you tube. Our advice, Get This Record. We at Vinyl History give it our highest recommendation. Family "Anyway" has been discontinued by the manufacturer of the CD, but it's well worth hunting down.

- Allan J Moore

family_fearless - front cover

front cover

family_fearless - gate fold

cover gate fold

family_fearless - rear cover

rear cover

Review

Totally seamless set of short songs which we think are the high water mark in their canon. This is signature Family, heavy and full of power and passion. From the opening chords of "Between Blue and me" To the fade of "Burning Bridges" the listener is drawn into their world.

Fearless is the most English of the Family output, but we are not referencing the Kinks. Picture yourself in a British pub on a cold night hoisting a pint by the fire. The songs: "Sat'dy Barfly", the gorgeous acapella "Larf and Sing" and "Spanish Tide" are unforgettable. Vocals are shared by Charlie Whitney, John Wetton, And Roger Chapman.

For the unfamiliar, we note that Roger Chapman's vocals can flatten the ears of small mammals. Poli Palmer Adds some enticing vibes and Rob Townsend Pushes it all along with tasty percussion.

There isn't a throwaway, and the original record has a booklet style gate fold cover. This is great vinyl to search out but if you must go the CD route Amazon's vendors carry it. However you do it, You've got to hear this music

- Allan J Moore

family_bandstand - front cover

front cover

family_bandstand - gate fold

cover gate fold

family_bandstand - rear cover

rear cover

Review

More progressive rock with a rhythm section that cooks. You can't have an album of this caliber without great songwriting. Though the vocals are somewhat softer, Family is capable of crafting ingenious, colorful arrangements and this record has the wide sweep and grandeur heard on Fearless.

The original vinyl issue has a gate fold cover of a television set, which can be opened to to view the inside parts. Highly Recommended

- Allan J Moore