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lunes, 9 de noviembre de 2015

Family - Bandstand (1972)

Llega 1972 y se viene el último disco de Family con Wetton.

Artista: Family
Álbum: Bandstand
Año: 1972
Género: Progresivo ecléctico
Duración: 41:18
Nacionalidad: Inglaterra

Lista de Temas:
2. Bolero Babe
3. Coronation
4. Dark Eyes
5. Broken Nose
6. My Friend The Sun
7. Glove
8. Ready To Go
9. Top Of The Hill
Bonus Track (Castle CD)
10. The Rockin R'S

- Roger Chapman / Vocals, Guitars, Percussion
- John 'Charlie' Whitney / Guitars, Mandolin, Percussion
- John Wetton / Guitars, Vocals, Keyboards
- John 'Poli' Palmer / Vibes, Piano, Flute, Percussion
- Robert Townsend / Drums, Percussion
Del Newman / String Arrangements

Con este disco, Family experimentaron un cambio de dirección dejando atrás sus delirios más oníricos, psicodélicos y progresivos, para ofrecer una colección de temas buenos pero más sencillos. A veces efectivos y otras vecep tanto, dando como resultado un buen disco, "Bandstand" se escucha con el gusto que se merece un clásico intemporal.

No fue por mucho tiempo que Wetton estuvo en la banda, pués al año siguiente cuando la música del grupo iba tendiendo hacia posturas mas hard y Family editaba “Bandstand” (disco que alcanzaría el puesto 15 de ventas), nuevamente el puesto más inestable de la banda, quedaba vacante cuando el nuevo álbum estaba listo para ser grabado. Wetton, desconforme del poco éxito que cosechaba la banda, y debido a que también deseaba ser vocalista además de bajista, emigraba finalmente a King Crimson, con quienes grabaría inmediatamenteel álbum "Lark's tongues in aspic". Se produce contemporáneamente el alejamiento de Poli Palmer, quien había realizado un excelente trabajo de sintetizador en "Bandstand" y se mostraba mas y mas interesado en el uso de su primitivo VCS3. Planeaba formar un grupo junto a Ric Grech, aunque esto jamás llegó a concretarse. Estos cambios ocurrieron después de una gira como acto de apertura de ELTON JOHN que había sido desastrosa para el grupo. El público que esperaba oir a Elton John, no había apreciado la propuesta de la banda. Recuerda Palmer: "Nosotros solamente tocábamos, terminábamos y se producía el silencio. Los únicos pocos aplausos provenían del equipo organizativo del estadio".

Luego Wetton pasaría por King Crimson, U.K. y Asia, entre otras grandes bandas, pero eso es otra historia.
Vamos con los comentarios en inglés.

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

3,5 / 5 stars really!!!!
Yet with another expensive gimmick cover portraying an old type of TV with a plastic window and special cut-outs, this album holds a special place in collector's hearts, but it should also hold a good place in the proghead's collection. Although not as excellent as the previous Fearless, Bandstand has many things going for itself, not least of all some good songwriting.
The opening Stones-esque Burlesque (the main riff seems to be coming out of Keith Richards's Telecaster) became yet another hit for them, but this is maybe one of the least interesting (progressive-wise) songs on the album. For us progheads, songs such as Bolero Babe (with its string arrangements and synths), Dark Eyes, the delicate My Friend The Sun (in which Chapman actually sounds more like Peter Gabriel-but it stops there), the punchy Broken Nose and its winked-at slow-developing Glove are much more up our sleeves (get it? glove > sleeve ;-) and make this album yet another worthy listen. The last two songs on the original album are less interesting even if the finale Top Of The Hill with its string arrangements (strings were missing since Weider had left after Anyway) should be mentioned.
The bonus tracks include the country B-side of the Burlesque single, and three live tracks including a deceiving version of the superb Weaver's Answer and a short and non-definitive Good News.
I will stop my run of Family reviews at this album - as the last one (Movie) is a rather sad end - and the posthumous Live album, but I feel I covered the main aspects of one of UK's most uncompromising group on stage, but also outlined their "progressiveness".
Sean Trane

This album is an absolute classic! I was very fortunate enough to see family on the tour promoting this album, and it still ranks as one of the best experiences of my life. Just earth- shattering live. So much energy and emotion on stage, generated obviously by Chapman, but the whole experience was phenomenal. In actual fact, when I first bought it I only played 'Burlesque' and 'My Friend The Sun' because they stood out as 'obvious' favourite tracks, but, as the months progressed, I started playing the rest of the album. In hindsight its a peculiar effect which I have rarely experienced since. Stick any album on and you have to play it a few times to get into it, but you know its a process. Initially you're starting each track in hope, and after a few bars you've decided whether it has potential or not. With this album, the initial few plays were peculiarly disappointing. I still loved the two mentioned but couldn't get anything from the others. And then something really quite peculiar happened. I don't understand it still, and I cant go back and start the experience again, but one by one each of the other tracks starting lighting up. 'Burlesque' ran into 'Bolero Babe' and what had initially been a nothing track suddenly became a masterpiece. It still sends shivers up my spine when I hear it. This track is followed by 'Coronation' and again, as is pretty much the mood right through the album, everything is pretty much low key and chilled and another little masterpiece once you get into the mood. This track is followed by a short masterpiece called 'Dark Eyes' and this is just so soulful. I well up when I hear it, and I just don't do that! But you can feel the pain and sense of loss, and the what is coming next in this relationship....but loss is what it is. What you had, gone for ever. Then comes the aggressive 'Broken Nose' which is typical ballsy Chapman vehicle at its best. Awesome charge! Side two opens with the whimsical 'My Friend The Sun' and this is just so delightful. As someone has written on the YouTube upload, this song is worthy of The Beatles. There is no higher praise. 'Glove' follows, and this shows the depth and versatility of Chapman/Whitney as songwriters. You just don't hear stuff like this written by anyone else. Its a touching soulful ballad that really should be an old folk song that they've covered. But, no, its original, and inspired. Then comes 'Ready To Go' and this looking very much autobiographical. A more upbeat jazzy number, but the message is in the lyrics to the band. Finally the album ends with the song that started the Live show, 'Top Of The Hill' which was just such a cool way to start a show! Awesome! Chapman just straight into your face and hands round your throat, and he shook you like no-one else! Brilliant!
The whole album has a sort of sadness feel to it. I guess, as a band, they knew the end of the era was coming, and in their way the songs reflect this. Its a very emotive and moving album. If you have the soul and feel for this you will be seriously touched by this album. Family produced many many wonderful moments and have nowhere near the prestige they deserve. The songs were probably 'too clever' if thats fair? This album is very special in my heart, and 'Weaver's Answer' will always be their finest moment. However, as I say, this album is a classic. Enjoy.
Chris Thurston

Along with Fearless and featuring the same line up, this is Family's masterpiece.
Burlesque and My Friend the Sun both reasonably successful as singles (by Family standards) but consistently strong playing and the recording/mixing much better than on earlier albums.
Classic material - the gorgeous nostalgia of Coronation, the soulful blues of Glove, R&B riffs of Ready to Go and jazzy ballad Dark Eyes.
Chappo's singing is powerful but under control, Whitney's riffs and leads (eg Glove) superb and Wetton's bass and harmonies brilliant but perhaps the most telling contribution is by Poli Palmer on his last family outing with wonderful warm keyboards, vibes and flute, also using the synth to good effect.
A 5/5-Star Classic Album from a sadly under achieving great British rock band. Perfect IMHO.

On Family's sixth album, The band peaked with their most endearing recording. "Bandstand" is an improvement on even its predecessor "Fearless", showing this incarnation's best qualities with literally no weak moment. The songs here are a precussor to Roger Chapman and "Charlie" Whitney's next project The Streetwalkers, but yet the music here sounds more fresh and more invigorating in its approach, which had few peers. Sadly this line-up would exhaust its time together with John Wetton leaving to join King Crimson and "Poli" Palmer pursuing other musical interests. The great and innovative band we know as Family would have one more studio release, but "Bandstand" would be the group's best album.

1 comentario:

  1. Download: (Si si, ya saben, agradecemos a Esteban)


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Este espacio se reserva el derecho de publicar sobre cualquier tema que parezca interesante a su staff, no solamente referidos a la cuestión musical sino también a lo político y social.
Si no estás de acuerdo con lo expresado podrás dejar tu comentario siempre que no sea ofensivo, discriminador o violento...

Y no te confundas, no nos interesa la piratería, lo nuestro es simplemente desobediencia civil y resistencia cultural a favor del libre acceso al conocimiento (nuestra música es, entre otras tantas cosas, conocimiento).