(All Album Reviews by Chuck AzEee!)
How and why the UK sensation called Family, did not make it big in United States is still a mystery to all of their surviving fans.
On Family's sixth album, Fearless, the band was prepared to make it big in the states, but fate would have it, lead singer Roger Chapman's bad fortune on their first US tour would sink the band to the point they would be blacklisted here keeping them from performing for almost five years.
A shame, as this might have been their strongest band; innovative Roger Chapman on vocals, Charlie Whitney on guitars, keyboards, Poli Palmer on flute, vibes and keyboards, Roger Townsend on drums, and a young bass phenom fresh from the soul jazz-rock group, Mogul Thrash, John Wetton.
Wetton's contributions are not as pronounced as they would be in King Crimson, but yet his presence is felt throughout, as not only is his bass playing upfront, he also give the band a counterbalance vocals to Roger's smoke gravel-sheep bleating.
Family's Fearless, while not as adventurous as previous recordings by the band, still showed the band's forward advancement in mature writing and playing, the band also incorporated more horns into their music, thus fore, relegating their strong soloists to the background, nevertheless, Fearless is still an unknown classic.
Similar to Traffic and Ten Years After, Fearless shows the band taking a more laid back approach on most of the songs, rarely rocking like in the past, instead steadily grooving reminiscent to Traffic circa The Low Spark Of High Heeled Boys.
There are plenty of songs here that are not truly "symphonic" or "psychedelic" in nature, but yet "ooze" with "progressive" tendencies to still qualify Fearless as a proto-prog classic.