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lunes, 9 de noviembre de 2015

Family - A's & B's (1974)

Cerrando el festival Family, vamos con una compilación de temas creados entre 1969 y 1974 pero publicada en 1992. Damos así concluída oficialmente los posteos de la banda, hasta que aparezca alguien a publicar algùn disco en vivo o alguna de esas rarezas... que por aquí nunca faltan.

Artista: Family
Álbum: A's & B's
Año: 1974
Género: Progresivo ecléctico
Duración: 53:26
Nacionalidad: Inglaterra


Lista de Temas:
1. No Mule's Fool
2. Good Friend Of Mine
3. Today
4. Song For Lots
5. Strange Band
6. In My Own Time
7. Seasons
8. Burlesque
9. The Rockin' R's
10. My Friend The Sun
11. Glove
12. Boom Bang
13. Stop This Car
14. Sweet Desiree
15. Drink To You

Alineación:
- Roger Chapman / vocals, harmonica, tenor saxophone, percussion
- John "Charlie" Whitney / guitars, sitar, keyboards
- Ric Grech / bass, violin, cello, vocals
- Jim Cregan / bass, guitars, vocals on "Drink To You"
- John Weider. John Wetton / bass, guitar, violin
- John "Poli" Palmer / keyboards, flute, vibraphone, synthesisers
- Tony Ashton / keyboards, accordion, mellotron, vocals
- Rob Townsend / drums, percussion
- Jim King / saxophones, harmonica, tin whistle, piano, vocals


Cerramos el festival Family con esta rareza, otra vez compartido por Esteban, presentamos una compilaciòn de tracks reunidos en un solo álbum. Y con esto voy cerrando el tema, espero que les haya gustado esta velada familiar que tuvimos el agrado de compartir...

Family were a hugely important rock group in British rock history. The band's sound has been described as progressive rock, psychedelic rock, acid rock, folk rock, jazz fusion and hard rock. Regardless of categorisations, Family had a very distinct sound, and often complex musical style. Nowadays, they are very much neglected. This is the great progressive rock band who played classic rock songs like "No Mule's Fool", "Burlesque", "Weaver's Answer", "My Friend The Sun", "In My Own Time", and many more. Family were famous for their live performances. One reviewer stated that they produced "some of the rawest, most intense performances on stage in rock history" and "that the Jimi Hendrix Experience were afraid to follow them at festivals". The title A's and B's refers to all the singles released by Family between 1969 and 1973. If you are a family fan you will have all of these tracks in your collection. One of Family's most popular songs, "The Weaver's Answer" was strangely, never officially released as a single and is not on this album. All the songs on this compilation album are great but are definitely not the best example of Family's more eclectic music that appeared on their albums. Many of Family's single releases were in the "lightweight" vein with more acoustic elements. Family really cut loose on their albums and displayed their great unique rock side. This is not a criticism of this album. All these songs are terrific. You can't argue with the quality of songs like "No Mule's Fool", "In My Own Time", "My Friend The Sun", and the great "Burlesque". It's simply that this album is mainly composed of the more "commercial" side of the band's music that was originally packaged to sell. Just compare this "commercial" music with the commercial rubbish being released today and have a laugh. Family played their last gig in Leicester, England in 1974, leaving Roger Chapman & John "Charlie" Whitney to perform together in Streetwalkers. Chappo went solo in 1979. If Family had conquered the elusive Stateside market, things might have been different for this great band. However, America was never kind to Chappo and his mates. Sensibly, they turned to solo ventures before their energy and creativity started to decline. The lead vocalist, Roger Chapman remains one of the great icons of British rock music, and has one of the most distinctive voices in rock history. This album is HR by A.O.O.F.C. The band has left a legacy of great music. Listen to Family's classic "Bandstand" and "Family Entertainment" albums, and Roger Chapman's "Mail Order Magic" and "One More Time For Peace" albums, and search this blog for other Chappo/Family releases
A.O.O.F.C.

A collection of the singles released by Family between 1969 and 1973, this CD is an interesting release. I would call it essential for the completist, but by no means a good sampler of Family’s work. Singles-wise Family was a completely different band, and I must say I prefer their album cuts. After a few listenings this CD came off as a lighter side of the band. The acoustic styles play a big role on the first few cuts, and that’s kind of strange compared to the eclectic music that was on their albums at the time. Then again, this is the Family that was packaged to sell, not the songs in which the band really cut loose. NOTE: The German Line CD’s add many of these tunes as bonus tracks. The only songs not found on German Line CD’s are “Song For Lots”, “Stop This Car”, and “Drink To You”.
The singles before these recordings included pre-Family “Scene Through the Eye of a Lens” (which has been released on the See For Miles compilation of Music In A Doll’s House/Family Entertainment), “Me My Friend/Hey Mr. Policeman”, and “Second Generation Woman/Hometown” (“Hometown” is found on the Line CD It’s Only A Movie and the 1993 CD Best of Family). As for the others, they were tunes released to advertise the albums. After the band had come into their own (and quickly, I might add), they could join the many bands of the early 70’s which straddled the fence of album releases and single-only releases. They would return to the album-cuts-as-singles strategy, albeit with non-LP b sides, towards the end of their career, probably in an effort to again push the albums.
A collection of the singles released by Family between 1969 and 1973, this CD is an interesting release. I would call it essential for the completest, but by no means a good sampler of Family’s work.
Singles-wise Family was a completely different band, and I must say I prefer their album cuts. After a few listenings this CD came off as a lighter side of the band. The acoustic styles play a big role on the first few cuts, and that’s kind of strange compared to the eclectic music that was on their albums at the time. Then again, this is the Family that was packaged to sell, not the songs in which the band really cut loose.
NOTE: The German Line CD’s add many of these tunes as bonus tracks. The only songs not found on German Line CD’s are “Song For Lots”, “Stop This Car”, and “Drink To You”.
The singles before these recordings included pre-Family “Scene Through the Eye of a Lens” (which has surfaced on the Strange Band bootleg), “Me My Friend/Hey Mr. Policeman”, and “Second Generation Woman/Hometown” (“Hometown” is found on the Line CD IT’S ONLY A MOVIE and the 1993 CD Best of Family). As for the others, they were tunes released to advertise the albums.
After the band had come into their own (and quickly, I might add), they could join the many bands of the early 70’s which straddled the fence of album releases and single-only releases. They would return to the album-cuts-as-singles strategy towards the end of their career, probably in an effort to again push the albums.
“No Mule’s Fool” – First Family single with a picture sleeve. An acoustic number with a really good production sound. Chapman gives a really soothing warble.
Reminds me a bit of Led Zeppelin’s acoustic tunes, but this is much more country with very strong drumming. A real pickin’ and grinnin’ ending, too.
“Good Friend of Mine” – According to the liner notes, this track included Jim King and John Weider in a transitional line up. This waltz-time tune sounds like a basic soul tune until some vibes are added, and Chapman revs up the vocals on the second verse. Soprano sax takes a solo, but nothing too remarkable about this. I would think that Poli Palmer played the vibes, but that is not made clear.
“Today” – Creepy slide guitar, in a Floydish style, is a main voice in this song. Palmer must be playing the vibes by this time. Very pensive singing and light acoustic guitar. It has the “self-contained” sound of the A SONG FOR ME line-up, but is much lighter than anything on that album.
“Song for Lots” – The beginning has one of my favorite things: a false start. Probably Townsend (drums) who yells to bring it back around. Good thumping rhythm, and the rock element of Family is finally evident, even if this is a little light-hearted. Some “live in the studio” clapping and laughing is thrown into the mix. The rhythm really throws me, with the striding boogie-woogie piano matching the drums, while the guitar and the bass are in half of that time.
“Strange Band” – Let the heaviness begin… Often played live and appearing on ANYWAY, this was a treat to hear the original version. Some intricate vibes, and the lyrics give a deep sense of being on-edge. For some reason the melody is just a bit too grating for me. I thought I’d never say that.
“In My Own Time” – Speaking of grating… I LOVE THIS SONG. I squealed with delight when I saw that this was on this collection. And this tune is BETTER in the studio. The intro just bursts with flavor. It comes out of nowhere, and is maximum-Chapman. It’s strange because the song isn’t really as overpowering as the intro is. Chorused guitar adds a nice flavor. Wetton’s bass is stronger live, but the foot-tapping melody helps you forget. I really like the chords before the keyboard solo, too. Very transitive, very progressive, but still catchy.
“Seasons” – Another country-feel with this tune. Really good flat-picking, too. Some abrupt changes in this, as it deals directly with seasonal changes: winter is marked by sparse piano chords on the fade out.
“Burlesque” – Album track. See BANDSTAND.
“The Rockin’ R’s” – Double-time rock tune with cool electric piano. It’s a very standard format but the band plays around with it, throwing in stop-times and weird chords and harmonies.
“My Friend the Sun” – Album track. See BANDSTAND.
“Glove” – Album track. See BANDSTAND.
“Boom Bang” – Album track. See IT’S ONLY A MOVIE.
“Stop This Car” – Whew, this is bizarre. First it sounds like a scratchy 78 rpm record. Chapman narrates/sings this like an old country and western standard (Hank Williams? Roy Rogers?). A lot of slide guitar and harmonized vocals wrap up this short song.
“Sweet Desiree” – Album track. See IT’S ONLY A MOVIE.
“Drink To You” – Probably the only non-album track that could have easily fit on the album of the time. The vocals throw me, though. It really does remind me of classic Paul McCartney. I imagine it’s probably Jim Cregan, backed by a female singer. Like the album there are lots of horns on this tune, and the speedy hi-hat pushes it along. Chapman appears no where, unless if he plays the harp, but it’s a good way to wrap up this uneven collection.
”Scene Through the Eye of a Lens” – The precious “lost” single that was the first release of Family.
“Scene…” b/w “Gypsy Woman.” The first thing I discovered was the play
on words: scene vs. seen. How trippy! Charlie’s signature guitar style is pegged in this first tune, which opens with a gentle 12-string arpeggio. Soprano sax plays a short riff that permeates most of the song, and the melody and bent notes take on an Arabic feel. Finger cymbals add to this effect, and Chapman’s easy voice comes in. Kinda high pitched and unique but you can’t detect the danger that lied within! The psychedelic imagery of the lyrics are pretty neat.
Sign-o-the-times. Violin comes in to thicken up the second verse.
Then the break: pumping bass and guitar chords, and a chorus of effects-laden background voices. Everything drops out so the horn riff stands alone, and the drums pound back in. Charlie takes a solo with quasi-eastern scales, and the whole wall of sound fades out.
This is what the Electric Sugarcube Flashback bootleg has to say: Family was one of England’s first successful progressive groups, coming along in 1968 with the same tide that brought Jethro Tull and staying around for most of the 70’s. However, few of their fans had any inkling of this one-off 1967 single on Liberty, a longtime favorite of ours with its druggy Eastern vibe and trippy effects. Alas, they never did anything else in this vein.
From Ask Chappo!, Roger sez:
From what I recall most of Traffic are playing on “Scene Through The Eye Of A Lens”, but it’s a long time ago! Steve Winwood I know played mellotron & the rest I think played percussion.
“Gypsy Woman” – The band cuts loose on this one, in the spirit of a real B-side. With no pressure for song structure, they do a standard 12-bar blues. Song is counted off with loud drums and it is full of dirty guitar riffs. Chapman’s gravelled vocals take full flight here, and he really does sound like a tenor-Howlin’ Wolf. Jim King adds the only odd touches in this song: his queer falsetto and some heavily-reverbed soprano sax.
“Hometown” “Here Comes the Grin” – Future Family biographer Mick White says...
“Here Comes The Grin” is a Poli Palmer jazzy instrumental, which was never released on record. It originally dated from the Royal Festival Hall gig, 15 Sept. 1969, when he was asked by Rob Townsend to help him out with a solo piece. Because of helping Townsend out like this, Poli was asked to replace Jim King, later in Oct. 1969. The title was off the cuff – Family recorded it for a Radio One show (1/Jan/1970) and the BBC simply wanted a name for their paperwork.
Family band


1 comentario:

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    Obvio, nuestros agradecimientos a Esteban que compartió todo esto! Y desde aquí le deseamos que se recupere pronto!!!

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