(All Album Reviews by progladyte)
When it comes to bands like Family one never knows whether to include them in a review for a site that concentrates mainly on progressive rock and its various sub genre. To me, Family epitomised exactly what I wanted to hear at a time when the radio was pumping out its typical formularised, predictable, party pop songs that to me, were an insult on the aural senses. Although not as progressive as our main stalwarts like Genesis, PFM, ELP, Yes, G.G. et al, Familyís amazing talents, especially on this album, should not go unnoticed by those of you who want something from an extremely productive period during the pre-pubescent years of rock.
To succeed during that time, a band had to really deliver the goods; be exciting, different, consistent and play with unparalleled enthusiasm. These days, it seems the worse you are, the more money you can make and the more units will be shipped. Family never sacrificed any of these prerequisites for commercialism or predictability and delivered an essential and riveting set of songs that wove their magic spell around my ears each time I played the disc. Roger Chapman was a vocalist extraordinaire and had a very unusual voice that was either liked or totally despised. I happened to be able to relate well to what he was trying to achieve on this album so it was obviously going to be a voice you had to get used to if you wanted to continue enjoying their subsequent albums.
This is probably a slightly stronger release than their debut, Music From A Dollís House and as it took me a long time to track down a reasonable copy on vinyl many years ago you can imagine my delight last year when I saw this available on a CD reissue at a local country market stall. Most of the song writing was handled by John Whitney and Roger Chapman so a pretty formidable team was able to devote a lot of time to offering some very clever songs that are still classics even 32 years later. There are 11 amazing songs on this must have release and not one iota of filler.
Although there is no band who can hold a candle to Familyís sound or style I believe their music was as important, progressive and essential as Cream, Traffic, Fairport Convention, Wishbone Ash, Spirit, Quicksilver Messenger Service, The Moody Blues, Crosby Stills, Nash & Young, Deep Purple, Uriah Heep and others who were trying to make a name for themselves. While they may be an acquired taste for some they are certainly different and should not be ignored. One of my favourites from 1969 and highly recommended to anyone with an adventurous spirit.