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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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No Way Out [PA] by Puff Daddy & the Family (CD, May-2005, Bad Boy Entertainment) USD $5.75 Buy It Now 1h 32m
PIANO GUYS**A FAMILY CHRISTMAS**CD USD $5.95 Buy It Now 1h 40m
Family Style by Vaughan Brothers (CD, Sep-1990, BMG) USD $3.35 Buy It Now 1h 43m
Family Christmas by Various CD USD $3.96 Buy It Now 1h 46m
V/A Black Explosion LP 1984 RONCO ARETHA FRANKLIN SLY & THE FAMILY STONE USD $4.99 Buy It Now 1h 47m
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Family/It's Only A Movie.1973 UK Raft Original LP + Banger. USD $36.21 Buy It Now 1h 53m
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Acappella Family Christmas by Acappella CD USD $4.74 Buy It Now 2h 2m
Chain by The Family stand CD USD $3.96 Buy It Now 2h 3m
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2h 6m
Silent Night: An Exclusive Collection of Christmas Songs for Family Christian St USD $3.96 Buy It Now 2h 7m
JIMMY SWAGGART "LIVE" FROM FAMILY WORSHIP CENTER DVD NEW USD $8.00 [0 bids]
2h 10m
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2h 10m
Best of FLY AND THE FAMILY STONE 2x LP Set Limited EPIC 180 Gram NEW SEALED USD $31.95 Buy It Now 2h 13m
All In The Family 2nd Album 1972 VG++ Atlantic 7232 Carroll O'Connor Rob Reiner USD $16.92 Buy It Now 2h 23m
Liszt Funk & Wagnalls Family Library Of Great Music 10 1976 RCA FW 310 Custom USD $14.22 Buy It Now 2h 23m
Roy Clark Family & Friends 1974 Record VG++ ABC Dot 2005 Hee Haw Bluegrass Banjo USD $14.22 Buy It Now 2h 23m
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JACK SCOTT LP JACK SCOTT ON GROOVE-- BEAR FAMILY-RCA-RECORDS USD $7.24 [0 bids]
2h 25m
'A FAMILY AFFAIR' Shelley Berman~ Broadway musical ORIGINAL CAST Album UA LP USD $15.99 Buy It Now 2h 30m
THE BELL FAMILY GOSPEL SINGERS, BELL RECORDS TEXAS EP 7" 1961 USD $7.17 Buy It Now 2h 33m
FAMILY - IN MY OWN TIME / SEASONS. (VERY SCARCE, UK, 1971, REPRISE, K 14090) USD $5.05 Buy It Now 2h 34m
SLY & THE FAMILY STONE "FRESH" CD NEW+ USD $14.95 Buy It Now 2h 41m
Faithless Bring My Family Back 3 Track Cd Single USD $1.43 [0 bids]
2h 42m
Lighthouse Family Free 4 Track Cd Single USD $1.43 [0 bids]
2h 42m
JAN AKKERMAN - OIL IN THE FAMILY - 12" SINGLE LP USD $16.99 Buy It Now 2h 43m
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The Perez Family by Original Soundtrack (CD, May-1995, RCA)#4157 USD $2.17 Buy It Now 2h 56m
Neville Brothers - Family Groove (1994) - Used - Compact Disc USD $0.99 Buy It Now 3h
Vaughan Brothers - Family Style (1990) - Used - Compact Disc USD $0.99 Buy It Now 3h
Snapdragon - Family Jewels (2001) - Used - Compact Disc USD $0.99 Buy It Now 3h
Zz/Various Artists - East Coast Family (1994) - Used - Compact Disc USD $0.99 Buy It Now 3h
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Lighthouse Family - Postcards From Heaven (1997 CD Album) 11 Trax. Rock/Pop/R USD $3.26 Buy It Now 3h 11m
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HART FAMILY: Feat. Mr. Sandman OBSCURE Oklahoma '75 Country Vocals private LP  USD $9.50 Buy It Now 3h 14m
15th Anniversary 2011 YG Family Concert Live (2CD) / Kpop / Korean Music USD $39.00 [0 bids]
3h 18m
Dysfunktional Family by Andrew Gross CD USD $3.96 Buy It Now 3h 18m
In This Life Together by Kindred the Family Soul (CD, Jul-2009, Hidden Beach) USD $11.25 Buy It Now 3h 21m
Sing the Word: Credo by Harrow Family CD USD $9.82 Buy It Now 3h 21m
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I'm Gonna Getcha 12" Family Brown USD $17.37 Buy It Now 3h 29m
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Bread & Wine by Ash Family USD $5.78 Buy It Now 3h 35m
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Alla En El Rancho Grande by Mona Warner & Family CD USD $7.25 Buy It Now 3h 39m
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420 FAMILY - SECOND THANKS GIVEN - Japan CD - NEW J-POP USD $20.99 Buy It Now 3h 45m
EX !! Terry Noland/The Original Demos 1956/1990 Bear Family LP USD $13.02 Buy It Now 3h 46m
Family Fowlbum USD $3.96 Buy It Now 3h 46m
Family Christmas Treasury by Various USD $3.96 Buy It Now 3h 46m
ASIA (Yes, Crimson) family tree 1983 UK ARTICLE / clipping 24x16 inches USD $10.07 Buy It Now 3h 48m
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Lighthouse Family - Postcards from Heaven (1997) USD $0.72 [0 bids]
3h 59m
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PUFF DADDY & THE FAMILY "NO WAY OUT" CASSETTE TAPE USA 1997 NEW & SEALED! USD $5.95 Buy It Now 4h 11m
TOMMY STEELE - FAMILY ALBUM VINYL LP USD $12.00 Buy It Now 4h 12m
FAMILY FOUR LP 1971 WITH SWEDISH EUROVISION TRACK VITA VIDDER SWE ORIG. LP USD $29.99 Buy It Now 4h 14m
MARILYN MANSON PORTRAIT OF AN AMERICAN FAMILY USA IMPORT CD ALBUM rock metal NEW USD $26.07 [0 bids]
4h 17m
Old Songs New Songs by Family (UK) roger chapman psych prog art rock acid cd USD $7.99 Buy It Now 4h 17m
Max's Family Band, 2009 Children's Pop Fun CD Near Mint Like New USD $5.60 Buy It Now 4h 23m
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LEVEL 42 - Running In The Family - Ex Con 7" Single USD $5.78 Buy It Now 4h 32m
SISTER SLEDGE we are family remix 7" PS EX/VG uk A 4508 USD $10.12 Buy It Now 4h 37m
"Even in Darkness" Dungeon Family *NEAR MINT DISC* 2001 CD USD $4.92 Buy It Now 4h 38m
Family Values - Craig Karolus (CD Used Very Good) USD $16.19 Buy It Now 4h 38m
One Pop Reggae - Sly & Robbie & The Family Taxi (CD Used Very Good) USD $8.83 Buy It Now 4h 38m
Victory In Jesus - Connie & Dwight With The Family Fitch (CD Used Very Good) USD $16.46 Buy It Now 4h 39m
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3 is family by Dana Dawson CD Single 1995 Dance Pop EMI USD $2.17 Buy It Now 4h 46m
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RICHIE FAMILY 10x8 inch lab-printed glossy photo P/2947 USD $5.79 Buy It Now 4h 50m
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Family Ties by Texas Ballers USD $5.94 Buy It Now 4h 59m
Raymond Wise and Family * by Raymond Wise (CD, Nov-1998, Sounds of Gospel) USD $3.99 Buy It Now 5h
Soundtrack - Proud Family (Jewel) (2004) - Used - Compact Disc USD $0.99 Buy It Now 5h
HALL + OATES. FAMILY MAN. 7" VINYL. 45RPM USD $1.88 [0 bids]
5h 3m
Family Folk Festival USD $3.96 Buy It Now 5h 7m
MCDOWELL FAMILY - I'VE BEEN HEALED NEW CD USD $13.33 Buy It Now 5h 9m
Puff Daddy & The Family - No Way Out (1997) USD $1.45 [0 bids]
5h 11m
Happy Jawbone Family Band (LP+MP3) (Vinyl) USD $33.27 Buy It Now 5h 21m
CARTER FAMILY-VOLUME 2 1935-1941 129 tracks 5CD BOX USD $17.37 Buy It Now 5h 24m
The Partridge Family Notebook USD $4.99 Buy It Now 5h 29m
Best Of: A Family Affair Butler, Mosby Audio CD USD $40.91 Buy It Now 5h 33m
A Partridge Family Christmas Card VINYL LP EXCELLENT CONDITION DAVID CASSIDY USD $49.23 Buy It Now 5h 39m
The glass family mr dj you know how to make me dance limited edition red vinyl USD $11.59 [0 bids]
5h 40m


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FAMILY shows & tickets


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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)

3.93 | 118 ratings
Music In A Doll's House
1968
3.53 | 81 ratings
Family Entertainment
1969
3.24 | 60 ratings
A Song For Me
1970
3.43 | 68 ratings
Anyway
1970
3.35 | 63 ratings
Fearless
1971
3.41 | 59 ratings
Bandstand
1972
2.31 | 41 ratings
It's Only A Movie
1973

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

4.29 | 7 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
3.25 | 4 ratings
BBC Radio Volume 2: 1971-73
2004
3.17 | 5 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
 Anyway by FAMILY album cover Studio Album, 1970
3.43 | 68 ratings

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Anyway
Family Eclectic Prog

Review by Groucho Barks

4 stars Chappo eh? Roger of the razor blade vibrato voice. A unique instrument. Harder edged and more menacing than the only comparisons I can think of....those being Geddy Lee and David Surkamp of Pavlovs Dog. One of several features that took Family somewhat out of the narrower burgeoning then (1970) prog scene! So what did we get with their fourth album..released in November 1970 and which eventually made #7 in the UK album charts? Well we got a half live, half studio set (4 tracks per side )* which had the band displaying all facets of their musical development. The live side (one) was recorded at the Fairfield Halls in Croyden the previous July. It starts off with the blistering 'Good News Bad News' , Chapmans searing voice over a heavy riff that King Crimson would have been proud to own and is 8 mins plus of staccato menace...you can picture Rog at his trademark tambourine destruction best. The more mellow 'Willow Tree' follows, a song that still had some backwash from the bands earlier psych roots and is a good counter point to the opening number. After this comes the acoustic rollicking 'Holding The Compass' which I venture to suggest Peter Gabriel deep mined for 'Salisbury Hill' and is one of several tracks that echo the yet to come Italian prog scene. Then on to 'Strange Band' which is more of a companion piece to the opener, with the violin making King Crimson comparisons more apt. The unruly gallop of the songs middle is barely contained yet is corralled in for a tight ending. Side 2 opens with 'Part Of The Load' which has a sudden funky bass riff as the anchor for what I assume was a deliberately slightly out of sync double vocal track...Chapman almost echoing himself to good effect....and highlights a typical Family construction, that of angular and argumentative verses and bridges that move in to very melodic and all but catchy (gulp!) chorus hooks. The title track follows with an acoustic /mellotron base and a plaintive vocal and echoing percussion build it in to something that you would hear time and again from bands such as Banco and the Italian scene. 'Normans' is a strange one. An instrumental that appears to follow the trait of many bands of the time and picks up on an almost music hall lilt and has a melancholic tone that doesnt outstay its welcome. Finally the 6 min plus 'Lives and Ladies', a powerful anti war song that the sainted John Peel played often. It contrasts the by now familiar acoustic stylings (a la Italian prog) with a keening electric lead wail....infact this is one of very few Family tracks to feature a Charlie Whitney guitar solo...he wasnt really that kind of upfront player...but here it works just fine if closer to blues rock than out and out prog. All in all an album that captures the eclectic yet powerful band at close to their best. It may be prog Jim, but not quite as we thought we knew it in 1970!

* I had the US version which put the single In My Own Time at the start of the studio side.

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 Music In A Doll's House by FAMILY album cover Studio Album, 1968
3.93 | 118 ratings

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Music In A Doll's House
Family Eclectic Prog

Review by ross warren

4 stars We used to call Rodger, Larry the lamb, but really it's a great voice. I can't really add much to the other reviews other than t say that the production is often the weak point although some tracks sound very much better than others. It remains a very important recording and one that any serious prog-head should own. if anything the mono mix is the more listenable, and if like me you prefer mono, then that is the one to seek out despite it's scarce nature. by all accounts many of the mono LPs didn't track well, and so it was quickly withdrawn. So expect to pay over '50.00 for a good copy. i would love to give this five stars but the cluttered production often lets it down, so until a great remaster comes along. I'll give it four. The next album by this band is also essential.

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 Family Entertainment by FAMILY album cover Studio Album, 1969
3.53 | 81 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
3.93 | 118 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
3.53 | 81 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
3.93 | 118 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
3.43 | 68 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 weren´t 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 band´s sound. His performance on especially the live tracks is energetic and raw (on the studio tracks too). Lot´s 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. We´re talking some pretty raw live recordings, and when the music is most busy, the recordings make me think of bootleg material. It´s not bad by any means, but it´s 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. I´d 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 | 59 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
3.93 | 118 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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