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Family - Anyway CD (album) cover

ANYWAY

Family

 

Eclectic Prog

3.37 | 92 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Sean Trane
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk
3 stars As strange as it may seem, Family never recorded a full live album even though the main force of the band was its live performance with vocalist Chapman as one of the wildest frontman around. Countless tambourines and mike stands were completely destroyed/massacred on stage by this maniac singer. Anyway - which is a half live, half studio album - is the closest a fan could get an idea of how they were on stage without going to the concerts. However the live tracks (concentrated on the first side of the vinyl) were originals and just written (prior to this album, they tested the future studio tracks live in concert) and therefore comparisons were hard to make.

The first live side starts out well enough with an epic Good News (with its crunchy Zeppelin-esque power chords) and a subtle Willow Tree (not well recorded enough though), but the almost country-esque Holding The Compass and the noisy, brutal, savage but aptly titled (and successful since it became a hit) Strange Band makes is mixed bag affair. On the studio side, Part Of The Load (about boredom of life on the road) is a rather good track, but the live version added as a bonus track (almost double the length of the original) lets us see the full potency of the composition, while the title track has some superb percussions to accompany this mid tempo track. The instrumetal Normans has that already-heard feeling from somewhere I never was able to identify but years later, the feeling pervades and the overly present and irritating violin does nothing to dispel my unease. Lives And Ladies is another track that gained everything to be played in concert, as the bonus track will show, as the studio version is rather average (even if Chapman sounds like Cat Stevens).

Overall this anyway album is yet another good Family album right on par with the previous Song, Entertainment and Fearless, but by no means are they essential for progheads. But this album does gain from having the bonus live tracks.

This album remains the only live temoignage of theirs (if you also do not count the bonus live tracks on Cd reissues) while they were active. There are apparently two live BBC recordings records made available during the 90's, but I never saw them in the shops.

Sean Trane | 3/5 |

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