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FAMILY

Eclectic Prog • United Kingdom


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Family picture
Family biography
FAMILY was formed in 1967 by John 'Charlie' Whitney (guitar, vocals), Roger Chapman (vocals), Jim King (saxophone, Flute), Ric Grech (bass) and Rob Townsend (drums) in Leicester. FAMILY plays a mixture of Rock, Blues and Folk interwoven with Classical and Jazz elements.

The history of FAMILY goes back to1962 when John Charlie Whitney formed the R&B outfit THE FARINAS, together with Jim King (sax & vocals) Harry Overnall (drums) and Tim Kirchin (bass). In 1965 Rick Grech replaced Kirchin on bass and in 1966 singer Roger Chapman joined the band. Chapman's vocal-style and the use of violin and sax expanded the band's sound in a progressive direction. They changed their name to ROARING SIXTIES and started to wear double-breasted suits on stage, that gave them a gangster image. Consequently the producer Kim Fowley, who recorded demos with the band in1967,christened them 'The Family'. Shortly after becoming FAMILY, drummer Overnall was replaced by Rob Townsend.

In September 1967 FAMILY released a single for 'Liberty', produced by Jimmy Miller and a year later signed to 'Reprise' for their first record 'Music In A Doll's House' (1968), produced by Dave Mason (TRAFFIC), who contributed one composition to the record. The record presented a mixture of Rock, Blues and Folk with Classical and Jazz-elements, dominated by Roger Chapman's typical 'throaty' vocal-style. The record came out with a sophisticated cover, a feature that would become one of FAMILY'S trademarks. In July1968 the band opened for singer Tim Hardin at the 'Royal Albert Hall' in London and in 1969 they released their second record 'Family Entertainment', that followed the same musical direction as the first. After the release of the record and prior to a US tour Ric Grech quit the band to join BLIND FAITH. John Weider (Ex-ERIC BURDON &THE ANIMALS) joined the band on bass and violin and in 1970 John 'Poli' Palmer (Ex-ECLECTION/keyboards & vibes) replaced Jim King ,who was dismissed for his 'erratic behaviour'.

In 1970 FAMILY released two records 'A Song For Me', on which the band developed a more aggressive sound and 'Anyway', a half-live half-studio record, with a beautiful 'Leonardo Da Vinci' cover . Both records entered the British Top Ten. In 1970 the band played several major European Rock-Festivals (among others 'The Isle Of Wight Festival') and became an appreciated live-act. Roger Chapman became famous for tambourine and mic-stand crashing and his special custom 'Idiot-Da...
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Right Now on Ebay (logo)
THE CONTI FAMILY Seabird LP Album Rare Disco Record US $9.99 Buy It Now 29m 43s
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FAMILY-A SONG FOR ME -JAPAN MINI LP CD G09 US $29.50 Buy It Now 30m 7s
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Family Playlist [Compilation] [Audio CD] Various US $15.50 Buy It Now 35m 15s
WENCHIN' Have You Ever Been? 45 rpm WHITE LABEL PROMO Family 1972 MONO/STEREO US $9.95 Buy It Now 35m 37s
FAMILY SECOND GENERATION WOMAN b/w HOMETOWN 45 ORIGINAL 1968 REPRISE 0809 NM US $24.99 Buy It Now 36m 40s
MCPEAKE FAMILY Introducing LP Fontana PROMO Irish Folk US $28.95 Buy It Now 37m
Rare Vintage Press Vinyl-Sly And The Family Stone Greatest Hits-EX-WOW US $7.95 [0 bids]
37m 36s
Sly & The Family Stone Greatest Hits Vinyl Record US $2.50 [0 bids]
US $12.00 Buy It Now
37m 41s
Lot of 4 SISTER SLEDGE 45 rpm Singles We Are Family/He's The Greatest Dancer US $7.95 Buy It Now 39m 36s
QUINCY JONES Roots: The Saga Of An American Family (Soundtrack) LP A US $7.95 Buy It Now 39m 36s
RUDY LOVE & THE LOVE FAMILY This Song Is For You 45 rpm WHITE LABEL PROMO Calla US $7.95 Buy It Now 40m 9s
Bob Booker George Foster LP The NEw First Family 1968 Verve V615054 US $4.49 Buy It Now 40m 55s
EXCELLENT VINYL 1977 THE McLAIN FAMILY BAND KENTUCKY WIND LP Private Bluegrass US $5.00 Buy It Now 41m 20s
1959 THE SPEER FAMILY Because Of Him vinyl LP Skylite 5969 mono southern gospel US $14.88 Buy It Now 46m 26s
BOONE FAMILY & FIRST NASHVILLE JESUS BAND 1973 ALBUM - #12345 US $7.99 Buy It Now 46m 44s
Mighty Fortress ( CD, 2002) Exclusive collection for Family Christian Stores US $1.99 [0 bids]
46m 44s
FAMILY GO TOWN turtle 7" b/w pick me up (ver70) pic sleeve uk vertigo 1992 US $8.40 Buy It Now 46m 50s
SHABBA RANKS feat Patra, Terri & Monica - Family Affair - 1993 UK 12" VG+/NM US $7.80 Buy It Now 48m 49s
Family Style by Vaughan Brothers (CD, Sep-1990, Epic Associated) US $0.99 [0 bids]
US $3.99 Buy It Now
50m 35s
Ozzy Osbourne - The Osbourne Family Album (+ 1BT) / TH Cassette (Black Sabbath) US $14.99 Buy It Now 52m 51s
BILLY PAUL " BRING THE FAMILY BACK " UK PHIL. INT. EX+ COND.IN Or.SL. US $3.13 Buy It Now 54m 6s
Radio Show: FORGOTTEN OLDIES! #16 Family! Osmonds, Isleys, Everlys, Cowsills US $13.99 Buy It Now 55m 29s
BIG DADDY presents THE LA-DEE-LA FAMILY - POLKA MUSIC - 12" VINYL - SIGNED US $7.95 Buy It Now 59m 47s
The Partridge Family(Vinyl LP)Notebook-Bell-UK-VG/VG US $7.20 Buy It Now 1h
THE FIRST FAMILY-CADENCE RECORDS # CLP-3060 US $2.95 [0 bids]
1h
COMEDY - THE FIRST FAMILY - VAUGH MEADER - CADENCE RECORDS - VG+ US $5.49 [0 bids]
1h
Strauss(Vinyl LP)Family Concert-Decca-JB 28-UK-VG/Ex US $13.29 Buy It Now 1h
Christmas for Your Family New & Sealed CD US $15.63 Buy It Now 1h 5m
HEAR 60S #1 Funk Soul Samples 45 SLY & FAMILY STONE 2-Sider EPIC 10407 CLEAN US $7.99 Buy It Now 1h 9m
Endless Seasons by The Rankin Family (CD, Mar-1995) CANADA US $3.45 Buy It Now 1h 10m
SLY & THE FAMILY STONE "THERE'S A RIOT GOIN' ON 180gr VINYL LP NEW & SEALED US $35.26 Buy It Now 1h 10m
Level 42(Vinyl LP)Runnig In The Family-Polydor-POLH 42-UK-VG+/VG+ US $10.41 Buy It Now 1h 10m
Level 42(12" Vinyl)Running In The Family-Polydor-POSPX 842-UK-VG/VG US $12.99 Buy It Now 1h 10m
The Family Tree by The Ramones *New CD* US $8.02 Buy It Now 1h 10m
Sister Sledge(12" Vinyl)We Are Family-Atlantic-K 11293-UK-VG/VG+ US $12.99 Buy It Now 1h 10m
THE POPPY FAMILY Which Way You Goin' Billy? US $1.60 Buy It Now 1h 11m
ROACHFORD Family Man 7" Vinyl US $1.60 Buy It Now 1h 11m
Roy Clark(Vinyl LP)Family & Friends-abc-DOSD 2005-US-VG/Ex US $10.89 Buy It Now 1h 13m
Family Artist Series CD Sampler - Family Music US $5.59 Buy It Now 1h 15m
BEETHOVEN: PIANO CONCERTO NO.5 FAMILY LIBRARY OF GREAT MUSIC ALBUM 1 SEALED LP US $0.99 [0 bids]
1h 17m
TCHAIKOVSKY: SYMPHONY NO. 6 FAMILY LIBRARY OF GREAT MUSIC ALBUM 2 SEALED LP US $0.99 [0 bids]
1h 18m
BEETHOVEN: SYMPHONY NO.6 FAMILY LIBRARY OF GREAT MUSIC ALBUM 1 SEALED LP US $0.99 [0 bids]
1h 18m
Strauss Family: Polkas and Waltzes (2CDs) (1996) US $4.78 Buy It Now 1h 18m
KING FAMILY Mono LP! "CHRISTMAS WITH....WB 1627 US $4.24 Buy It Now 1h 19m
RITCHIE FAMILY 12" ALL NIGHT ALL RIGHT" 6.09 and INST. 5.47 US $6.99 Buy It Now 1h 24m
CRYSTAL SYPHON - FAMILY EVIL NEW LP SEALED US $40.00 Buy It Now 1h 26m
BILLY PAUL 12": IT'S CRITICAL /BRING THE FAMILY BACK US $8.49 Buy It Now 1h 26m
FAMILY / STRANGE BAND / 1970 7" P/S US $4.79 Buy It Now 1h 26m
Dungeon Family - Trans DF Express 12" US $10.02 Buy It Now 1h 28m
LIGHTHOUSE FAMILY - Question Of Faith (UK 3 Tk CD Single Pt 1) US $5.27 Buy It Now 1h 29m
The Partridge Family-Looking Thru The Eyes Of Love UK 7" EX Cond US $4.47 Buy It Now 1h 32m
FOGHAT USA 2010 CD Family Joules BONUS TRACKS NEW / SEALED US $8.80 Buy It Now 1h 32m
VERA LYNN 20 FAMILY FAVOURITES INC. WHITE CLIFFS OF DOVER / MY WAY VINYL LP US $6.40 Buy It Now 1h 35m
Family Christmas - Boone,Pat New & Sealed CD-JEWEL CASE Free Shipping US $16.87 Buy It Now 1h 35m
John White/The White Family LOT OF 2 original lps NEAR MINT VINYL Newfoundland US $19.99 Buy It Now 1h 35m
BOB HASTINGS: Sings For The Family (rare oldies vinyl LP) US $40.00 Buy It Now 1h 39m
Kelley Wild-Wild Family.Very Rare. US $20.00 Buy It Now 1h 40m
1 CENT CD Friends And Family - Ray Brown Jr. SEALED US $3.99 [1 bids]
1h 42m
FAMILY BBC SESSIONS 1969-1972 PSYCH PROG BRITISH ROCK AKARMA 180g 2LP SET LIM500 US $49.99 Buy It Now 1h 43m
THE PAT BOONE FAMILY FRIEND PLEASE MR POSTMAN RARE 45 7" SINGLE MOTOWN SOUL US $1.59 [0 bids]
1h 43m
The Ritchie Family- Life is Music- rare new/sealed cassette tape US $5.00 Buy It Now 1h 46m
SLY & THE FAMILY STONE / EVERY DOG HAS HIS DAY / 8 TRACK TAPE / SEALED* US $6.00 Buy It Now 1h 47m
THE NEW YORK CITY FAMILY THIS IS THE DAY ONYX RARE PRIVATE GOSPEL LP US $8.00 Buy It Now 1h 47m
Family - It's Only A Movie (NEW CD) US $14.01 Buy It Now 1h 49m
Sly & And The Family Stone - There's A Riot Goin' On : Gold Edi (NEW CD BOX SET) US $35.26 Buy It Now 1h 50m
The Kalin Twins When 30 Tracks Bear Family Records Very Good Condition CD US $24.99 Buy It Now 1h 54m
SLY AND THE FAMILY STONE - DIFFERENT STROKES BY DIFFERENT FOLKS CD MINT US $9.62 [0 bids]
1h 54m
PUFF DADY & THE FAMILY - Been Around The World - CD single - 2 tracks US $1.50 Buy It Now 1h 54m
THE GLASS FAMILY~MR. DJ, YOU KNOW HOW TO MAKE ME DANCE~DISCO 12" LP *ORIGINAL* US $2.23 Buy It Now 1h 55m
Cassette - Hank Williams Jr. / Family Tradition US $2.95 Buy It Now 1h 55m
Good Time Get Together With The Lewis Family (LP, 1980) CAS-9861 US $4.29 Buy It Now 1h 58m
Point Music Philip Glass & Foday Musa Suso John Moran Manson Family Opera Uakti US $2.99 [0 bids]
1h 58m
Introducing the BEERS FAMILY ~ NM orig 1964 Columbia folk LP in shrink US $4.77 Buy It Now 1h 59m
*RARE*The Partridge Family Album-Vintage LP-Bell 6050-Stereo US $2.99 Buy It Now 2h
Family - From Past Archives LP, Comp US $16.82 Buy It Now 2h
Singing Bones - Family Handsome New & Sealed Compact Disc Free Shipping US $20.54 Buy It Now 2h 5m
FAMILY UK 1978 3 TRACK 7" Single BURLESQUE US $5.60 Buy It Now 2h 7m
Santana - Ultimate Collection 69 TO 90 - 2 CD SET FAMILY TREE POSTER IN EX CON US $8.00 [0 bids]
2h 8m
AFRIKA BAMBAATAA & FAMILY: Funk You / Instro (rap/hip-hop vinyl 12) US $12.00 Buy It Now 2h 8m
Roy Clark(Vinyl LP)Family & Friends-abc-DOSD 2005-US-VG/Ex US $13.99 Buy It Now 2h 9m
John Hiatt - Bring the Family (CD, Oct-1990, A&M (USA)) US $4.74 Buy It Now 2h 10m
JOY-Wendy Bagwell/BISHOPS/The Nelons/FLORIDA BOYS/Walt Mills/SPEER FAMILY-Gospel US $10.29 Buy It Now 2h 11m
Sister Sledge He's the greatest dancer/we are family 7" vinyl Atlantic US $4.50 Buy It Now 2h 11m
AFRIKA BAMBAATAA & FAMILY Reckless 7" vinyl US $6.41 Buy It Now 2h 17m
BEF Ft LALAH HATHAWAY Family Affair UK 12" 1991 US $4.81 Buy It Now 2h 17m
Gospel Banjo by Little Roy and The Lewis Family (LP, 1972) US $4.69 Buy It Now 2h 19m
2659 014 Strauss Family LSO Cyril Ornadel 2xLP US $9.62 Buy It Now 2h 19m
2-4 FAMILY Lean On Me (With the Family) 12" US $12.83 Buy It Now 2h 20m
DANA DAWSON 3 Is Family CD US $3.93 Buy It Now 2h 20m
Sly & The Family Stone(7" Vinyl 2nd Press)Dance To The Music / Let Me Hea-Ex/Ex US $15.99 Buy It Now 2h 20m
Sly & The Family Stone(7" Vinyl 1st Issue)Runnin' Away / Brave And Strong-Ex/VG+ US $8.99 Buy It Now 2h 20m
FAMILY CAT UK 1994 LIMITED NUMBERED 12" Single Wonderful Excuse DiscMINT US $6.40 Buy It Now 2h 21m
FAMILY CAT UK 1990 12" Single Remember What It Is That You Love DiscMINT US $6.40 Buy It Now 2h 21m
CARTER FAMILY Diamonds In The Rough Cassette US $12.83 Buy It Now 2h 21m
CJ'S CLOSET - UNHINGED - MUSIC FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY!!! US $0.12 [0 bids]
US $1.00 Buy It Now
2h 22m
BRANDY & RAY J A Family Business CD US $12.83 Buy It Now 2h 22m
THE RITCHIE FAMILY - THE BEST DISCO IN TOWN / PART 2- IN EXCELLENT+++ CONDITION US $4.01 Buy It Now 2h 22m
GGD 0094 Family Classics V 2 Halle John Barbirolli 2xLP US $19.24 Buy It Now 2h 22m

More places to buy FAMILY music online Buy FAMILY & Prog Rock Digital Music online:
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FAMILY shows & tickets


  • Weedeater + Family + Full of Hell + more at Saint Vitus Bar, Brooklyn on 7 Nov 2014

FAMILY discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

FAMILY top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.92 | 102 ratings
Music In A Doll's House
1968
3.50 | 76 ratings
Family Entertainment
1969
3.21 | 51 ratings
A Song For Me
1970
3.39 | 58 ratings
Anyway
1970
3.34 | 58 ratings
Fearless
1971
3.41 | 54 ratings
Bandstand
1972
2.25 | 36 ratings
It's Only A Movie
1973

FAMILY Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.17 | 6 ratings
BBC Radio 1 Live In Concert
1991
3.00 | 2 ratings
Live
2003

FAMILY Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

3.00 | 5 ratings
Family - Masters From The Vaults
2003

FAMILY Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.00 | 3 ratings
Old Songs, New Songs
1971
3.00 | 2 ratings
Best Of Family
1974
3.59 | 6 ratings
Music In A Doll's House / Family Entertainment
1999
3.00 | 3 ratings
BBC Radio Volume 2: 1971-73
2004
3.13 | 4 ratings
BBC Radio Volume 1: 1968 - 69
2004

FAMILY Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

0.00 | 0 ratings
Strange Band
1970
0.00 | 0 ratings
The Weavers Answer
1970
0.00 | 0 ratings
Strange Band
1971
0.00 | 0 ratings
In My Own Time
1971
0.00 | 0 ratings
Sat'D'Y' Barfly
1972
0.00 | 0 ratings
Burlesque
1972
0.00 | 0 ratings
My Friend The Sun
1973
0.00 | 0 ratings
Sweet Desiree
1973
0.00 | 0 ratings
Burlesque
1978
2.09 | 2 ratings
The Peel Sessions
1988

FAMILY Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Family Entertainment by FAMILY album cover Studio Album, 1969
3.50 | 76 ratings

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Family Entertainment
Family Eclectic Prog

Review by Ivan_Melgar_M
Special Collaborator Symphonic Prog Specialist

4 stars From Psyche to Prog in one year

Some weeks ago, a friend who has recently divorced from his Prog listening wife, sold me some of the albums she left in the house before moving to another country, among this records I found the first two releases by FAMILY. Music in a Doll's House didn't impressed me too much (good but not essential) so with little expectations listened Family Entertainment, but the surprise was monumental, I couldn't believe that a Psyche band could progress to a strong Proto Prog release in less than a year, but without losing the charm and freshness of the debut.

If the first album was a classic exponent of late Psychedelia, Family Entertainment is a nice blend of sounds, atmospheres and genres, we can listen some remains of the original style, carefully blended with Hard Rock and some sort of early Prog Folk, that is simply delightful.

The album is opened by The Weaver's Answer, a mysterious blend of every influence the band could had found in those days, from JEFFERSON AIRPLANE to early JETHRO TULL with a touch of Blues and Jazz, all enhanced by the dramatic voice of Roger Chapman who cam express and transmit strong feelings with unusual capacity. The interplay between the powerful vocals, distorted guitar and a soft flute is addictive from the first to the last note?.Really impressive.

Observation from a Hill took me by surprise, because the singer is definitely not Chappman but doesn't affect the quality of the music, and the folksy violin (uncredited) really is the cherry in the top of the pie, if I had to describe it would have to create some exotic genre as Country Celtic, again they hit the nail in the head.

Only after listening Hung Up Down, I'm able to notice that Roger Chapman is some sort of masculine version of Grace Slick, they both manage to create a peculiar atmosphere with the fantastic vibrato, but the similarities end there, after a bluesy they morph into some kind of Arabic Folk, that could be an acestor of DEAD CAN DANCE, a mysterious atmosphere that continues along the first part of Summer '67, another song that every Proghead should enjoy.

How-Hi-The-Li is another song without Chappman in the vocals, and this is a good change, because the deep calmed voice fits much better in this guitar oriented jazzy ballad that somehow reminds me of From the Beginning but more acid and vibrant. For the first time I notice the excellent drumming of Rob Townsend who does an extraordinaire job as a human metronome.

After the simple but effective Second Generation Woman (just a classic 60's Rock), comes the eclectic From Past Archives a song that has everything, beginning with a Beatlesque intro, orchestral and almost Symphonic passages and some sort of power ballad with a couple of Twelve-bar blues instrumental breaks, almost like a fusion of ELP and LYNYRD SKYNYRD.

From this point to the end, we can expect anything, starting with Dim that sounds like a Southern Country Rock with some Heavy fugues, but what I never expected was Processions a clear exponent of mid 60's British Invasion in the vein of HERMAN HERMIT'S.........A demonstration of how unexpected this LP is.

Family Entertainment, is closed by two different songs, the sitar based Face In The Crowd with the voice of Rick Grech (Bob Dylan anybody?) in then vocals and the atmospheric but vibrant Emotions where we enjoy Chappman's voice again supported by .dramatic choirs and a fantastic piano.

Probably for a 21st Century listener, not familiar with the late 60's, the music could sound dated, but for a fanatic of this transitional era is a must have, so I will go with 4 solid stars.

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 Music In A Doll's House by FAMILY album cover Studio Album, 1968
3.92 | 102 ratings

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Music In A Doll's House
Family Eclectic Prog

Review by Ivan_Melgar_M
Special Collaborator Symphonic Prog Specialist

3 stars A few days ago, a friend who had just divorced from his wife who used to be Prog fan, sold me the albums she left in the house, like 30 records for US$ 50.00. I bought them without looking at them, and that's how I found FAMILY, something that really made me happy, being myself a huge fan of the late 60's Psyche/Proto Prog scene.

So started in chronological order with Music in a Doll's House and from the first moment was impressed by the fantastic voice of Roger Chapman, who combines a timbre reminiscent of a young Peter Gabriel, with the vibrato of David Surkamp and in occasions the acute screams in the vein of David Byron , but a more powerful voice, really a great combination.

But let's start from the beginning, despite some radical moments, the album is not, I would say that they are one of the best examples of Proto Prog, because despite some radical changes and some exiting experimental passages, they play some sort of Blues, Hard Rock, 60's British Invasion and Psyche with an interesting structure.

Won't make a song by song review, because it could lead to confusion being that they don't have a defined style, but must mention some tracks as the vibrant The Chase, the weird Me My Friend, the radical Variation On A Theme Of Hey Mr. Policeman and the spectacular Voyage, where the guys of FAMILY dare to go further and explore new sounds, a brilliant song with stupendous vocals and incredibly advanced distorted violin (for 1968) that took me by surprise plus an exciting Mellotron as the cherry at the top of the cake.

To summarize, not a masterpiece or a great addition for every Prog fan, but if as me, you are a fanatic of the late 60's, the album is a must have, so I will go with 3 solid stars that should be 3.5?I'm impatient to review their second release.

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 Family Entertainment by FAMILY album cover Studio Album, 1969
3.50 | 76 ratings

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Family Entertainment
Family Eclectic Prog

Review by stefro
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Having burst onto the British rock scene with 1968's eclectic psychedelic debut 'Music In A Doll's House', Family, a group who have always defied easy categorisation, performed a characteristically abrupt about-turn with the release of this follow-up effort 'Family Entertainment'. Issued in 1969 with sleeve art directly parodying The Doors 'Strange Days' album, this sophomore release for the most deliberately eschewed the acid-rock overtures of its predecessor, instead producing a more song-orientated album that reflected the various band members love of folk, blues and rock 'n' roll. A veritable melting pot of ideas, 'Family Entertainment' may just be the most atypical of all Family albums, showcasing the rich and unique mixture of styles that saw the group positioned alongside many of the same era's progressive rock acts. The progressive rock tag is, of course, rather misleading, yet whatever genre you may think Family inhabit - whether it be art-rock, acid-rock or psychedelic blues - there is no denying that this one of the few outfits capable of producing an utterly original sound thanks to the winning blend of Roger Chapman's throaty vocals and the multi-instrumental talents of his bandmates. Whilst 'Music In A Doll's House' certainly leant towards the more lysergic end of sixties rock, 'Family Entertainment' instead serves up a colourful jaunt through a veritable mix of sonic territories, taking in rustic ballads, avant-garde rock stomps and bluesy pop numbers to name just a few. Highlights include the rousing fan favourite 'The Weaver's Answer', a tune which would quickly become a live staple; the brassy, head-nodding 'Hung Up Down'; the jazzy and atmospheric 'How-Hi-The-Li'; and the mid- Western cowboy drawl of the delightfully bouncy banjo-strummed 'Dim'. Its a heady experience, and like many of the best records this gets better with each additional listen, the dense instrumental passages constantly throwing up new surprises for the eagle-eared listener. A true original then from one of the great cult groups, 'Family Entertainment' is best described as an album full of character and charm; although it may not be progressive rock per se, this is still inherently progressive music chock full of creativity. In a word: excellent. STEFAN TURNER, STOKE NEWINGTON, 2012

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 Music In A Doll's House by FAMILY album cover Studio Album, 1968
3.92 | 102 ratings

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Music In A Doll's House
Family Eclectic Prog

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

5 stars Fronted by the incredible lungs of Roger Chapman - whose theatrical singing style sounds to me a bit like a more forceful and energetic version of the one Peter Gabriel would hit on when Genesis made Trespass - Music In a Doll's House is a psych-tinged masterpiece of early prog. Opening with the blind, wild-eyed panic of The Chase, the album soon segues into the melancholy romanticism of Mellowing Grey, takes a trip through Moody Blues Territory on Never Like This, and offers a moment of stentorian melodrama in the form of Me My Friend before reaching the first of the shorter "Variation On a Theme Of..." tracks which punctuate the album; in about nine minutes, the band have already woven more disparate themes and atmospheres and approaches together than many contemporaries would be able to muster for a full album.

A neglected classic, this is particularly recommended for anyone interested in spooky, haunting early prog which takes the sound of The Moody Blues or Procol Harum in a more wild and untamed direction.

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 Anyway by FAMILY album cover Studio Album, 1970
3.39 | 58 ratings

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Anyway
Family Eclectic Prog

Review by UMUR
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars "Anyway" is the 4th full-length album release by UK rock act Family. The album was released through Reprise (UK), United Artists Records (U.S.) in November 1970. "Anyway" was originally meant to be released as a double live album, but the band werenīt satisfied with the quality of the live recordings. Therefore the album was released as a split live/studio album with four live tracks (not available in studio form on any of their studio albums) on side 1 and four studio recordings on side 2 of the original vinyl version.

The music is in the trademark eclectic rock style that Family are known for. There are elements in the music from hard rock, progressive rock, phychadelic rock and folk. The inclusion of violin especially strengthens the link to the latter mentioned style. Vocalist Roger Chapman has a distinct, raw and throaty singing style which is a great asset to the bandīs sound. His performance on especially the live tracks is energetic and raw (on the studio tracks too). Lotīs of charm and great conviction behind the delivery.

The four live tracks on side 1 were recorded earlier in 1970 at Fairfield Halls in London. Weīre talking some pretty raw live recordings, and when the music is most busy, the recordings make me think of bootleg material. Itīs not bad by any means, but itīs not top notch professional sounding either. The four studio recordings on side 2 are enjoyable but not among the best material by the band. I think "Lives and Ladies" stand out as the strongest of the bunch.

Overall "Anyway" is a pretty decent release by Family. Iīd purchase any of the three preceeding albums before this one though but a 3 star (60%) rating is still deserved.

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 Bandstand by FAMILY album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.41 | 54 ratings

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Bandstand
Family Eclectic Prog

Review by stefro
Prog Reviewer

4 stars An odd but ultimately rather endearing little group, Family were always one of those outfits lumped in with the progressive group by dint of being a bit too different from everybody else. Calling them a prog-rock act is a bit like calling Hawkwind heavy metal; neither is particularly accurate yet they share definite traits of these respective labels. Besides, where else would you bracket Family? Starting out in the late-sixties, these not- quite-progressive-rockers introduced themselves with their excellent 1968 debut 'Music From A Doll's House', a psych-tinged medley of eccentric rock ingredients shot through with a deceptively complex instrumental edge that showcased the group's pure eclectism. It would prove to be a career highlight, although follow-up efforts 'Entertainment', 'Anyway' and 'Fearless' would also come close, respectively showing off the folk, jazz, pop and psychedelic elements that made their sound so attractively unique. With 'Bandstand', however, Family would pursue their ballsiest course yet, producing a hard-rock themed album that showed they could really rock out with the best of 'em, the opening salvo 'Burlesque' - all gritty, bluesy riffs and jump-start rhythms - kicking proceedings off in powerful style. Here, most of all, Family were producing a rare example of 'genre' music, grafting their eccentric style onto a bruising set of blustery tracks that exhibited a real spiky edge to their sound. It's one of their longer albums - thirty-seven minutes - yet it rockets by in pacey fashion, the stinging guitars of 'Broken Nose' and 'Ready To Go's tough veneer the perfect platform for Roger Chapman's wonderfully gruff vocals. 'Bandstand' may lack the lyrical undertones found in their best work - think the pretty simplicities of 'Fearless' or the odd time-signatures and acid licks of their debut - yet this is still Family in full flow, exhibiting a rare streak of rock solid power that showcases yet another side to their highly singular sonic character. Definitely the last great Family release, 'Bandstand' is an impressive ode to the bluesier side of prog.

STEFAN TURNER, STOKE NEWINGTON, 2012

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 The Peel Sessions by FAMILY album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1988
2.09 | 2 ratings

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The Peel Sessions
Family Eclectic Prog

Review by 1967/ 1976

2 stars This CD of series "The Peel Sessions" by BBC contains recordings made by Family in 8th May 1973 and transmitted for the first time on 22nd May 1973 of three songs of "It's Only A Movie," the band's last album.

"Boom Bang" is a pure slow Soul song. Not bad at all, with interesting feeling but without magic. "Buffet Tea" is a good mix between Folk and Soul. Also if not personal as mix in Prog the tremolo voice of Roger Chapman is good in this type of songs. I repeat: "Buffet Tea" is a not very personal song because it reminds me too bands like as Traffic. "Checkout" is a pure POP fusion between Jazz and Funky and not present particular moments of joy.

In my definitive vision this CD of "The Peel Sessions" with Family is only a release for completionists or fans.

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 Music In A Doll's House by FAMILY album cover Studio Album, 1968
3.92 | 102 ratings

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Music In A Doll's House
Family Eclectic Prog

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

4 stars Family have made a massive impact on prog rock and were one of the earliest eclectic groups blending many styles together to create innovative albums such as "Music In A Doll's House". This album along with "Family Entertainment" are heralded as the band's greatest triumphs. Roger Chapman's bleating vocals will take some getting used to, in a similar way to Surkamp of Pavlov's Dog, but the music always is nothing less than compelling.

The Chase is a rocker that pounds along quickly with a few innovative time sigs. The dreamy Mellowing Grey is replete with symphonic violin string sounds. The work of Jim King on wind instruments is a key feature of Never Like This and Chapman is more restrained on his overuse of vibrato. Me My Friend is a psychedelic piece with strong influences from the underground culture, with the familiar swishing effect on the vocals prevalent on so many psych treasures of 1968. All of the songs on this album are short and some are really mere snippets or transition points such as Variation On A Theme Of Hey Mr. Policeman. The music is really part of the previous track.

Winter is one of the best tracks with psych reflections of escaping the rat race and system; "wish that I could hibernate go to sleep and never wake until the sun shines once again." The melody on this is certainly infectious with a solid chord progression. I like the way it ends effectively with the wind howling.

The harmonica drives the quirky beat along on Old Songs, New Songs. The wah wah guitar solo of John 'Charlie' Whitney is wonderful embellished with a brass section lending a majestic feel. The sound is like the works of early Chicago or jazz fusion. Another Variation follows and we soon segue to Hey Mr Policeman. This is almost a stab at the system about how policemen hassle the adolescent culture, and they did in the hippy era.

See Through Windows is a very different track on the album, higher vocal harmonies and extremely psychedelic in flavour. The mid section is rather weird in structure, with broken time sigs and fractured rhythms. The lead break is terrific from Whitney.

Peace of Mind has some wacky sections, and the music is rather droning throughout with a sustained organ chord that grates on the nerves. It builds well with time sig changes and some psyched up passages of guitar and quick tempo blasts.

The vocals of Voyage sounds uncannily like early Peter Gabriel and it may be argued he found influences here. Even the structure is akin to Genesis with time shifts in the tempo and metrical figures totally off the scale. It is one of the best Family tracks for certain and perhaps one of their most inventive and experimental. The ending is absolutely of kilter and disconcerting. It finishes with 3x Time that has strange time sigs and a jazzy mid section.

The free form jazz of the album tracks and experimental art rock feel are hallmarks of the album. As a debut for the band this one really announces a new style of music and may be the forerunner to many prog artists. It is an essential album to discover how prog formed in this early phase of the movement. It is albums like this that led to the 70s breakthrough of progressive sounds. Family's influence on prog rock cannot be underestimated.

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 Bandstand by FAMILY album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.41 | 54 ratings

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Bandstand
Family Eclectic Prog

Review by chrismagic56

5 stars This album is an absolute classic! I was very fortunate enough to see family on the tour promoting this album, and it still ranks as one of the best experiences of my life. Just earth- shattering live. So much energy and emotion on stage, generated obviously by Chapman, but the whole experience was phenomenal. In actual fact, when I first bought it I only played 'Burlesque' and 'My Friend The Sun' because they stood out as 'obvious' favourite tracks, but, as the months progressed, I started playing the rest of the album. In hindsight its a peculiar effect which I have rarely experienced since. Stick any album on and you have to play it a few times to get into it, but you know its a process. Initially you're starting each track in hope, and after a few bars you've decided whether it has potential or not. With this album, the initial few plays were peculiarly disappointing. I still loved the two mentioned but couldn't get anything from the others. And then something really quite peculiar happened. I don't understand it still, and I cant go back and start the experience again, but one by one each of the other tracks starting lighting up. 'Burlesque' ran into 'Bolero Babe' and what had initially been a nothing track suddenly became a masterpiece. It still sends shivers up my spine when I hear it. This track is followed by 'Coronation' and again, as is pretty much the mood right through the album, everything is pretty much low key and chilled and another little masterpiece once you get into the mood. This track is followed by a short masterpiece called 'Dark Eyes' and this is just so soulful. I well up when I hear it, and I just don't do that! But you can feel the pain and sense of loss, and the what is coming next in this relationship....but loss is what it is. What you had, gone for ever. Then comes the aggressive 'Broken Nose' which is typical ballsy Chapman vehicle at its best. Awesome charge! Side two opens with the whimsical 'My Friend The Sun' and this is just so delightful. As someone has written on the YouTube upload, this song is worthy of The Beatles. There is no higher praise. 'Glove' follows, and this shows the depth and versatility of Chapman/Whitney as songwriters. You just don't hear stuff like this written by anyone else. Its a touching soulful ballad that really should be an old folk song that they've covered. But, no, its original, and inspired. Then comes 'Ready To Go' and this looking very much autobiographical. A more upbeat jazzy number, but the message is in the lyrics to the band. Finally the album ends with the song that started the Live show, 'Top Of The Hill' which was just such a cool way to start a show! Awesome! Chapman just straight into your face and hands round your throat, and he shook you like no-one else! Brilliant!

The whole album has a sort of sadness feel to it. I guess, as a band, they knew the end of the era was coming, and in their way the songs reflect this. Its a very emotive and moving album. If you have the soul and feel for this you will be seriously touched by this album. Family produced many many wonderful moments and have nowhere near the prestige they deserve. The songs were probably 'too clever' if thats fair? This album is very special in my heart, and 'Weaver's Answer' will always be their finest moment. However, as I say, this album is a classic. Enjoy.

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 Fearless by FAMILY album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.34 | 58 ratings

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Fearless
Family Eclectic Prog

Review by ClemofNazareth
Special Collaborator Prog Folk Researcher

3 stars While half of Mogul Thrash would reform as the Average White Band in the early seventies, John Wetton took a different route out of that group with a stint as yet another multi- instrumentalist for Family by replacing John Weider, who left to form Stud with Jim Cregan (Cregan would end up in Family himself by the time they recorded their final album). Otherwise the lineup is unchanged from their late 1970 release 'Anyway'.

This is arguably the band's 'bluesiest 'record, but also the most interesting album for the them since 'Music in a Doll's House' in 1968. That said, I'm not sure it's all that progressive but it still manages to expand at least a little on the instrumental experimentation and complex rhythmic arrangements that characterized some of their earliest and finest work. The guitar playing from Whitney and Wetton (and Chapman at times) is nearly all blues-based. But there are occasional funky riffs to break things up on songs like "Spanish Tide", which has just a bit of a Yes feel to it at times except without the exotic keyboards of Rick Wakeman or Anderson's voice (so maybe not as much like Yes as I thought when I started this sentence). Both Roger Chapman and Wetton sing, sometimes in unison, but the majority of vocal duties still fall to Chapman. His voice is a bit more restrained than on prior albums, but still quite distinctive and really helps to give the band its signature sound.

Like 'Anyway' and even more so 'It's Only a Movie', the album has its fair share of pedestrian filler as well, "Save Some for Thee" and the laconic "Children" being chief among those. And the band can't seem to avoid throwing in an unmanaged jam session as with so many of their other albums, "Take Your Partners" in this case.

Their fusion tendencies emerge from time to time, but sadly mostly on the shorter tunes like the instrumental "Crinkly Grin" and "Larf and Sing" with a bit of scat 'n chant singing along with a grooving riff from Whitney.

As with the other CD reissues this one has some bonus material, only one of which is very interesting. "In My Own Time" showcases the best days of Chapman's gruff vocals and gained the band a singles hit in 1971, while the B-side "Seasons" was appropriately relegated to the backside of that single.

This is a better album than anything that would follow, and honestly I'm not sure what happened to trigger the downward slide after this released. The band would tour the U.S. with Elton John a year later (with a much retooled lineup), but the end was already in sight and after another pair of lackluster studio releases the band called it quits.

This is a high three (out of five) star album, not quite four but I may rethink that at some point. It's definitely worth seeking out for Family fans, as well as for anyone curious about whatever it was that King Crimson heard in Wetton that appealed to them. For anyone else this is another faded and forgotten relic of the early seventies.

peace

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Thanks to alucard for the artist addition.

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