YEAR RELEASED: Compilation
CHART ACTION: None
SINGLES: No Mules Fool (#29 UK), The Weaver’s Answer (#11 UK), In My Own Time (#4 UK), Burlesque (#13 UK)
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Not here, not at all
LINEUP: Roger Chapman, Rob Townsend, John Palmer, Charlie Whitney were constants from 1969-72. Others included Jim Cregan, Jim King, Ric Grech, John Weider, John Wetton and Tony Ashton.
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Popular in the UK in the early 70’s, this collection hits their proggy and rock highlights.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: The first thing you notice about Family is that vocalist. Roger Chapman bleats and yowls with a heavy vibrato, which could be a deal breaker for some folks. The band, though, despite their various incarnations of drummers and multi-instrumentalists, were solid and swung between pure prog and a definite prog and rock hybrid (especially when John Wetton was on board)
They do tend to extend themselves and their tracks, psychedelic at first, then jazzy later on, and that wears you down after a while. They had good ides but didn’t have much of an edit function on tracks.
Obscure in the US, except for a loving cult, Family’s albums charted well in the UK (three Top 10’s and two others at 14 and 15). But because of Chapman’s vocals, you probably want to stick to this compilation to start until you’re sure about them.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: They reformed the 1972 lineup of Chapman, Thownsend, Palmer and Creagan and are out on the boards in the UK and Europe.
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: No.
GRADE: B: I can’t say you won’t be turned off by Chapman’s vocals. They’re probably much better with live records than on studio.