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lunes, 9 de noviembre de 2015

Family - Music in a Doll's House (1968)


Siguen los aportes en el blog, ahora con un cabezón de lujo, trayendo la discografía de una muy buena banda casi desconocida en estas tierras. Así empezamos la seman con un festival con la discografía de Family...

Artista: Family
Álbum: Music in a Doll's House
Año: 1968
Género: Rock progresivo / Progresivo ecléctico
Duración: 36:57
Nacionalidad: Inglaterra


Lista de Temas:
1. The Chase
2. Mellowing Grey
3. Never Like This
4. Me My Friend
5. Variation On A Theme Of Hey Mr. Policeman
6. Winter
7. Old Songs, New Songs
8. Variation On A Theme Of The Breeze
9. Hey Mr. Policeman
10. See Through Windows
11. Variation On A Theme Of Me And My Friend
12. Peace Of Mind
13. Voyage
14. The Breeze
15. 3xTime

Alineación:
- Roger Chapman/ Vocals
- John 'Charlie'Whitney/ Guitar, Vocals
- Jim King/ Saxophone, Flute
- Rick Grech/ Bass
- Rob Townsend/ Drums


Empezamos la semana con un tremendo aporte, de mano de Esteban Cerioni, bajista de Redd, tenemos la discografía de Family, emblemática banda que fue pionera en lo que luego se llamaría "rock progresivo"... Vamos a ir publicando el texto del maestro Cerioni repartido por los discos. Empezamos, en este lunes atípico, con el primer disco de la banda y hasta que no terminemos sus discos no paramos...
El único disco del que no hacemos una entrada es "Scene through the eyes of a lens" del 1967, por tratarse de un sigle, pero se lo pueden descargar de éste link, también compartido por el maestro Cerioni.
Iremos publicando los discos de forma cronológica, con los textos de Cerioni que nos comenta cada etapa. Se larga, pues, este festival de Family en el blog cabezón.


Integrantes originales: Roger "Chappo" Chapman - Charley Whitney - Ric Grech - Jim King - Rob Townsend.
Este emblemático grupo británico formado en el año 1967, surgido en plena época psicodélica derivado de grupos R&B como The Roaring Sixties o The Farinas, disfrutó de gran éxito y respeto a finales de los 60 y principios de los 70s con sus imaginativos arreglos, sus lúcidas letras y la apasionada voz de Roger Chapman, controvertido personaje que en escena se transfiguraba y gesticulaba como una marioneta enloquecida. Su total entrega escénica lo llevaba en ocasiones a reaccionar con agresividad, incluso hacia el público. Famosa fué su pelea a golpes de puño con el legendario empresario BILL GRAHAM, dueño del Fillmore East, mítico local por donde pasaron los grandes grupos de los 60's y 70's. Este tipo de situaciones sin duda conspiraron para que Family no lograra el èxito pleno que merecía, pero no van en desmedro del status de grupo "de culto" del que la banda goza. En la excelente "The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Rock" realizada por dos periodistas ingleses del New Musical Express (Nick Logan y Bob Woffinden) se menciona a Family como uno de las 6 bandas mas originales que conforman el embrión del rock progresivo.
Fué tal vez uno de los primeros grupos en dar sentido pleno al vocablo "progresivo" con su música que mutaba constantemente y fusionaba distintos elementos, ora jazzeros, ora clásicos, con el rock. Los conceptos que luego otros grandes grupos desarrollarían en temas de 20 minutos o mas de duración, Family los condensaba en 3 o 4 minutos logrando una síntesis de estilos nunca jamás igualada, manteniendo la frescura de las composiciones, una inmediatez como si estuviesen interpretándolos en el living de casa para deleitar a los amigos.
En 1967 publicaron en Liberty Records, con producción de Kim Fowley (quien les recomendaría el nombre Family), su single debut, “Scene through the eyes of a lens”. Tras firmar con Reprise Records, su blues-rock progresivo con toques psicodélicos, sería la base de “Music in a doll’s house”, estupendo LP debut
producido por el guitarrista de Traffic, Dave Mason. Inicialmente, la produccón iba a estar a cargo de Jeremy Miller quien se encontraba trabajando con los Rolling Stones para el disco "Beggars Banquet", permaneciendo de todas maneras en caracter de co-productor. El disco, con temas como “The Chase”, “Mellowing grey”, “See through windows” o “Never like this”, canción escrita por Mason, fue recibido con júbilo entre los seguidores del rock psicoprogresivo llegando al puesto número 35 en las listas británicas. Ingenioso y realista, se adelantó a su época y los llevó inmediatamente a ser considerados como un grupo de culto.
Esteban Cerioni




Están clasificados dentro de lo que algunos llaman rock progresivo ecléctico; en realidad, es el término que mejor describe su producción ya que los elementos que la conforman son extraídos de una variedad considerable de géneros y subgéneros como el blues, el jazz, la música académica, el folk, funky, hard, psicodelia, etc; la libertad con la que son utilizados todos estos elementos es realmente notable. Esta especial soltura en la composición es una de las características más resaltantes en el grupo. La variedad en la instrumentación (saxos, harmónicas, violines, cellos, entre otros) sumada a la, por momentos, perturbadora y voz de Roger Chapman completan este extraño sonido de los Family.
Vamos con algunos comentarios, en castellano y en inglés, y con un video, para que los vayan conociendo...


Del "Swinging London", ambiente londinense de los años sesenta nacieron algunos de los grupos más creativos de aquella época, entre ellos Family. Existieron desde finales del 67 hasta principios del 73 y fue una de tantas bandas etiquetadas como progresivas. Los músicos de Family tenían sus raíces en el rythmn and blues que constituyó la vertiente pricipal de los primeros años sesenta.
Nacieron en Leicester, donde Roger Chapman se unió en 1966 a varios estudiantes del Art College que ya tenían una banda llamada The Farinas y originalmente estaba formada por John "Charlie" Whitney, Tim Kirchin, Harry Ovenall y Jim King. Ric Grech reemplazó a Kirchin al bajo en 1965. Grabaron varios singles para Fontana, pero pasaron totalmente desapercibidos.
Decidieron cambiarse el nombre a The Roaring Sixties y adoptaron una imagen a lo ganster americano. El productor estadounidense Kim Fowley les sugirió entonces el nombre de The Family, por su vestimenta fina y esa imagen que intentaba evocar a los capos mafiosos. Algo que tampoco duró mucho, pues después de su primer álbum empezarían a vestirse con ropas más informales.
Family se introdujo rápidamente en los circuitos musicales y en el ambiente londinense underground con una combinación de rock y blues, que sumada al carisma y a la voz de Chapman les hizo destacar de forma más que notable y les llevó a grabar en 1967 su primer single, 'Scene Through the Eye of a Lens'. Este single pasó también desapercibido.
El año del grupo fue 1968, con la entrada de Rob Townsend a la batería y Dave Mason (guitarrista de Traffic) como productor. Lanzan entonces su primer álbum, 'Music in a Dolls House'.
El disco llega a ser un éxito en las listas británicas gracias al estilo inimitable de su voz con trémolo, a una música llena de originalidad y frescura y a las magníficas canciones compuestas por Chapman y Whitney. Llenaron Londres de carteles en los que preguntaban ¿Eres un tipo digno de entrar en la familia? De este modo se convirtieron en uno de los grupos más seductores y atrayentes del momento.
El álbum comienza en 'The Chase' con un Chapman arrebatador desde el primer momento. La originalidad de su voz es lo que más destacaría y que este es uno de los grandes temas para disfrutar del sonido Family. La continuidad de este sonido, con tintes más reposados y bucólicos la tenemos en 'Mellowing Grey'. En 'Me my Friend' la música se vuelve cada vez más auténtica y descarada, sonando por momentos a Traffic, algo que se repite también en 'Winter'. El lado opuesto llega a partir de 'Old Songs New Songs' y 'Peace of Mind', donde la música se vuelve un tanto más arisca y rockera, pero sin abandonar nunca ese característico sonido que está presente en todo el álbum. En resumen, un disco genial, que sin llegar a ser un clásico entre comillas, si que es uno de los mejores discos que se han publicado y un disco repleto de calidad musical y de originalidad.
Mingus


Extraordinary album that carries the psychedelia definitive in prog. The mixed one of blues, rock, jazz and classic music here takes again arthur brown out filters it with groups what beatles and zombies and succeeds to be a lot of folk. Togheter to "in the court of the crimson king" the first disk of adult prog.
Federico Barbarossa


The Family has been a britannic group that have been able to join different kinds of music, from the psichedelic rock, passing for the rock blues and coining, with to the King Crimson, the rock progressive. This happy and perfect union is found in this disc, that it is also the debut job, that is "Music in to doll' s house". Through 15 songs, in order little more than 35 minuteren, the Family leads to us in a wonderful and mysterious travel, new, ambiguous and dared fact of sound, a lot ahead for the age (is to the dawn of 1968...) The group is commanded from Roger Chapman, endowed artist of great personality and supplied of beautiful and particular voice (powerful, acute and extended, and characterized from one tightened vibrated, "nearly goat"), let alone optimal on sax. The work remembers for some aspects the first Genesis, for others (above all in the caustic witnesses and late-baroque atmospheres) the best Frank Hoe. A classic climate in various pieces is breathed, between which, we remember "The Mellowing Grey", composed and executed for trio of it arches and a mellotron sinfonico, and the brano "The executed Chase" with rinascimental bugles and incredibly perfect choruses, with violin usual and a organetto that it remembers those of Barberia it sings to you from the scapigliati poets. A disc not easy to digest, but that, listened carefully, and more resumptions, will not be able that to satisfy the progressive lovers of the rock, curious to discover the true origins of this unforgettable music.
Planet Gong

A lot of progheads will discuss endlessly about whether Family is progressive or not , but by the time their debut album was released in 68 , they were certainly considered groundbreaking and considered as one of the leading exponents of the underground scene (the first name of the Prog rock or art rock back in the 60's) and throughout their career, all of their albums (bar the last one) will hold some interest for progheads. One of the main characteristics of Family is the strangulated vibrato voice of their manic/frantic frontman Roger Chapman, but reducing this group to just that would be of a great injustice. Many great musicians came and went but the nucleus of Chapman, Townsend and Whitney remained to assure constant quality. Their unique sound was due to a rather odd line-up with Jim King as wind player but Grech also doubling on bass and strings. Unfortunately both will leave relatively soon in Family's career.
Their stunning debut came as an electroshock to the rock public, somehow hovering between Traffic's early albums and the Moody Blues early classic era. If many prog rock fans shoot at Genesis's debut album as wannabe Moodies, clearly Gabriel and Banks had listened to this album also, since FGTR is much closer to it than any of the Moody Blues album. But MIADH is stylistically close to Traffic's Mr. Fantasy also the fact that it was produced by Traffic's Dave Mason being no stranger to this resemblance of course. Not widely known is that Chapman also played sax and there are some unaccredited Mellotrons and sitars on the album, but my guess is that Mason was the culprit for these. There are 12 full tracks (one from Dave Mason) plus three reprises or variations of existing songs (actually they do not bring much more and help confuse the album a bit) and the mood is rather psychedelic but also downright progressive. Many excellent and catchy moments on the album, most notably The Chase, Me My Friend, Winter, Policeman, Voyage and Peace Of Mind.
What must be said to young progheads discovering Family is that this album has not aged that well - a thing that can be said about a few albums of that period due to production means but also some artistic choices (such Curved Air's Air Conditioning for example) although the remastered version does help a bit. Nevertheless, Family's debut album is a historically important (and the historians stating KC's ITCOTCK as the start of prog rock better look again at this baby) and it easily deserves its fourth star.
Sean Trane

The Moody Blues have “Nights in White Satin.” Procol Harum have “Whiter Shade of Pale,” but are quite less remembered. Pity that; they’re a much better band.
Wait, this is a Family review, ain’t it? What does Family got? Uh...”The Weaver’s Answer?” Try looking for that through your local ringtones. Ain’t on Verizon, that’s for sure, and that’s a real pity. Family were actually a really, really good band, and highly capable of making good music. I have no idea of why they have been cast aside; their debut album (which is technically flawless, by the way), is a hell of a trip, released when hell of a trip albums were in vogue.
Opener “The Chase” is a surprisingly catchy anthem for the album. For something so short, the instrumental sections (just bits really), are surprisingly well thought out. Cool speeding up section at the end. “Mellowing Grey” is a good little bombastic ballad. The use mellotron and the strings gives it that whole Moody Blues feel.
“Never Like This” opens with one hell of a catchy harmonica riff, and then transforms into a folksy, organ backed rocker. Very nice, especially the chorus. The occasional lack of attention to rhyme is also kinda fun. “Me My Friends” has that very stately, medieval opening, and a very stately, medieval verse, but when Cappo picks up the chorus? Fantastic. “Variation on a Theme of Hey Mr. Policeman” is exactly what it sounds like. Short and cool.
“Winter” is a piano led ballad. It’s a little heavier than “Mellowing Grey,” but still quite good. “Old Songs for New Songs” has a quiet false opening, then it transforms into an energetic blues piece. But it has one more transformation to go: what’s with that freaky falsetto chorus? Not to mention that it breakdowns to an equally energetic guitar/sax/harmonica jam at the end. Another short, short instrumental: “Variations on a Theme of the Breeze”
Doll’s House is like Aqualung or Procol Harum in its ability to piss me off with the collection of near flawless tune that makes it hard to choose a best song. In the end, I pick “Hey Mr. Policeman.” Not because it’s the strongest piece on the album, there are too many candidates, but because it happens to be one of the most memorable. It’s a blooz bit that manages to be both dirty and subtle (sax ‘n Chappo respectively), and the violin lines are flawless.
Almost Eastern themed rocker “See Through Windows” is actually really, really good. For one thing, another catchy harmonica riff. Pretty cool drumming too, and pay attention to that middle part where everything falls away but the harmonica playing that riff, and the drums and bass come in on the alternative beats (you’ll know what I’m talking about). I know that’s more standard these days, but c’mon! Who the crap was doing that at the time?!? “Variations on a Theme of Me my Friend” is the only one that sounds utterly different; stoopid sitar.
“Peace of Mind” is a screwed up...country rocker? That’s probably both a really bad, and the best possible description I can come up with. God I love Family. Nice use of violin. We slide seamlessly into “Voyage,” which is, quite possibly, even more screwed up. I guess it’s psychedelia. The mood is unsettling, and the saxes are nearly Crimsonian on that one. Of course, the weird sound effects part might get on your nerves. This eventually leads to “The Breeze,” a startlingly quiet ballad. The chorus is cool, but it’s not quite as nice as “Grey” or “Winter.”
Ah, the finisher. “3 X Time” has a very lovely, medieval styled opening. But then that steady drum attack leads us into...a kazoo led marching band! Then it becomes some bloozy, familiar sounding instrumentation, and then...marching band again! Holy crap, yes! This song is awesome. Dig the ending, by the way. Hilarious.
Now, let’s face it, these guys coulda blowed the Moody Blues out of the water if they’d wanted to take the whole art pop route. Like the Moodies, they have an uncanny sense of making intelligent, but catchy, melodies. However, unlike the Moodies, they are a far more diverse and interesting set of musicians. Oh well, Family was still too weird for the art pop route I reckon. Can you imagine “Goat Man” Chappo singing “Nights in White Satin?” I can, but it’s a little...different...
Simply put, this album is Days of Future Passed with balls. Days has the edge with the whole endless beauty thing, but this album has a sense of humor and killer musicians to boot; the jam at the end of “Old Songs for New Songs” should prove that. Pay attention to ALL the instruments, from guitar to drums, and you’ll see what I mean. Plus, Doll’s House is more “experimental” too! The Moodies never screwed around with bizarre sound effects passages, or the left and right channels like these lads do.
Another thing, this album is much more varietous than it seems on the first listen. Blues, eastern themes, country, hard rock, balladeering folk, it’s all there. It’s just a little...twisted. And, as much as I love ‘em, Family are NOT for everyone. Stomaching the screwed up music is fun enough, but if you can’t sit through Chappo’s vocals on “Me My Friends,” you might as well get your money back.
But if you CAN sit through the twisted tunes and the venomous vocals, you’re in! Dude, this is, like, a forgotten masterpiece of the genre! What genre you ask? I have no idea! I guess something like art rock is vague enough to cover an album as vague as this.
Oh well, I’m rambling. Point is, this sucker is almost flawless. What brings it down that quarter of a half of a point? I can hardly put my finger on it myself. Heh. I guess it just needed “The Weaver’s Answer” on it...
The Whistler

Music In A Doll's House is the debut studio album from Family. I had never heard about Family before listening to this album and what a shame that is. This is an absolutely wonderful album and an excellent addition to my collection.
The music is a bit hard to describe as there are influences from many genres present on Music In A Doll's House. I would say that the most dominant genre is bluesy rock´n´roll but mind you that it´s done in a sophisticated way that includes sax, flute and even what sounds like a mellotron at times. There is also a healthy dose of psychadelic rock and a bit of jazz and folk thrown in for good measure. The songs are pretty basic rock tunes but with the aforementioned features this makes for a great listening experience.
One of the greatest things on the album is Roger Chapman´s voice which is really distict and powerful. He sometimes sound a bit like Peter Gabriel when he sings most loud but a singer like Bernardo Lanzetti from Premiata Forneria Marconi also comes to mind. This is mostly due to the extreme vibrato both singers possess and use extensively. I´m sometimes reminded of another british band and that´s Audience who has a similar eclectic style.
The musicianship is great and the raw sixties production fits the music well.
This album is a winner in my book and I´ll glady rate it 4 stars. I´ll be looking forward to listening to more music from Family in the future.
UMUR

Like an awful lot of latter sixties albums, Family's debut doesn't hold up particularly well in an age where everything that followed it has come and gone and been burned into our collective consciousnesses. And that's too bad, because the extent to which the band album demonstrated innovation and creativity can probably only be appreciated by real students of the history of rock music, and particularly of progressive rock.
Few bands had made the leap from Southern blues or R&B-based rock by the time this album released in mid-1968. Those that had (Zappa, Pink Floyd) were so far outside the pale that their ability to penetrate the musical conscious of most fans was limited. There were others of course, mostly groups who had vaulted onto the psychedelic bandwagon and were riding that fad into the artistic sunset. Family on the other hand managed to combine a flavor of fusion with traces of British folk, some fairly innocuous rock and just a touch of psych in a non-threatening enough manner to be able to capture some measure of popular appeal. That in itself was quite the accomplishment in the days leading up to the explosion of progressive rock that closed out the decade and consumed contemporary psych in its wake.
This album is a hodge-podge of sounds, beginning with a tepid form of rock on "Never Like This" that was not unlike what acts like the Rolling Stones, the Kinks, Manfred Mann and even the Moody Blues rode to the top in their earlier days. From there the makings of a psych standard emerge with "Me and My Friend" and "Winter", but with a depth of musical talent that supplanted nearly everything going on at Haight-Ashbury and other hotbeds of peace-and-love stoner music.
And that's not to say the band left the blues basics behind as they journeyed to musical parts unknown. "Old Songs New Songs" is aptly titled as it combines a tasty blues riff with Roger Chapman's road-weary vocals, surely a voice that both Robert Plant and Bon Scott spent some time checking out as they developed their own rock personas. The soaring saxophone passages give this song a character that was almost unknown elsewhere at the time.
The folk-rock vibe of "Hey Mr. Policeman", "See Through Windows" and "3x Time" belie Dave Mason's involvement with the production of this record, as does what sounds like a faint sitar on "Peace of Mind"; while "Voyage" showed that the band was not afraid to take their music into uncharted territory with a psych-tinged and freeform jazz painted experimental dirge that collapses gloriously into sonic feedback and the sort of rock excess that would characterize so much of what would follow over the next several years. For those who had the chance to hear it then though, this was new and raw and adventurous stuff.
Family never make many inroads in America and had only a modest following in their native UK, but their innovation and therefore influence should not be underestimated now, more than forty years after they burst upon the emerging progressive rock scene. It would be a short and tumultuous road to the disappointing death knell of 'It's Only A Movie' just five years later, but for the time being Family were at or near the top of the progressive heap, along with the Moody Blues and some guys named King Crimson who would remake the genre just fifteen months later. Four stars and highly recommended to students of prog music.
Bob Moore

Family have made a massive impact on prog rock and were one of the earliest eclectic groups blending many styles together to create innovative albums such as "Music In A Doll's House". This album along with "Family Entertainment" are heralded as the band's greatest triumphs. Roger Chapman's bleating vocals will take some getting used to, in a similar way to Surkamp of Pavlov's Dog, but the music always is nothing less than compelling.
The Chase is a rocker that pounds along quickly with a few innovative time sigs. The dreamy Mellowing Grey is replete with symphonic violin string sounds. The work of Jim King on wind instruments is a key feature of Never Like This and Chapman is more restrained on his overuse of vibrato. Me My Friend is a psychedelic piece with strong influences from the underground culture, with the familiar swishing effect on the vocals prevalent on so many psych treasures of 1968. All of the songs on this album are short and some are really mere snippets or transition points such as Variation On A Theme Of Hey Mr. Policeman. The music is really part of the previous track.
Winter is one of the best tracks with psych reflections of escaping the rat race and system; "wish that I could hibernate go to sleep and never wake until the sun shines once again." The melody on this is certainly infectious with a solid chord progression. I like the way it ends effectively with the wind howling.
The harmonica drives the quirky beat along on Old Songs, New Songs. The wah wah guitar solo of John 'Charlie' Whitney is wonderful embellished with a brass section lending a majestic feel. The sound is like the works of early Chicago or jazz fusion. Another Variation follows and we soon segue to Hey Mr Policeman. This is almost a stab at the system about how policemen hassle the adolescent culture, and they did in the hippy era.
See Through Windows is a very different track on the album, higher vocal harmonies and extremely psychedelic in flavour. The mid section is rather weird in structure, with broken time sigs and fractured rhythms. The lead break is terrific from Whitney.
Peace of Mind has some wacky sections, and the music is rather droning throughout with a sustained organ chord that grates on the nerves. It builds well with time sig changes and some psyched up passages of guitar and quick tempo blasts.
The vocals of Voyage sounds uncannily like early Peter Gabriel and it may be argued he found influences here. Even the structure is akin to Genesis with time shifts in the tempo and metrical figures totally off the scale. It is one of the best Family tracks for certain and perhaps one of their most inventive and experimental. The ending is absolutely of kilter and disconcerting. It finishes with 3x Time that has strange time sigs and a jazzy mid section.
The free form jazz of the album tracks and experimental art rock feel are hallmarks of the album. As a debut for the band this one really announces a new style of music and may be the forerunner to many prog artists. It is an essential album to discover how prog formed in this early phase of the movement. It is albums like this that led to the 70s breakthrough of progressive sounds. Family's influence on prog rock cannot be underestimated.
Scott Tuffnell

Fronted by the incredible lungs of Roger Chapman - whose theatrical singing style sounds to me a bit like a more forceful and energetic version of the one Peter Gabriel would hit on when Genesis made Trespass - Music In a Doll's House is a psych-tinged masterpiece of early prog. Opening with the blind, wild-eyed panic of The Chase, the album soon segues into the melancholy romanticism of Mellowing Grey, takes a trip through Moody Blues Territory on Never Like This, and offers a moment of stentorian melodrama in the form of Me My Friend before reaching the first of the shorter "Variation On a Theme Of..." tracks which punctuate the album; in about nine minutes, the band have already woven more disparate themes and atmospheres and approaches together than many contemporaries would be able to muster for a full album.
A neglected classic, this is particularly recommended for anyone interested in spooky, haunting early prog which takes the sound of The Moody Blues or Procol Harum in a more wild and untamed direction.
W. Arthur

We used to call Rodger, Larry the lamb, but really it's a great voice. I can't really add much to the other reviews other than t say that the production is often the weak point although some tracks sound very much better than others. It remains a very important recording and one that any serious prog-head should own. if anything the mono mix is the more listenable, and if like me you prefer mono, then that is the one to seek out despite it's scarce nature. by all accounts many of the mono LPs didn't track well, and so it was quickly withdrawn. So expect to pay over '50.00 for a good copy. i would love to give this five stars but the cluttered production often lets it down, so until a great remaster comes along. I'll give it four. The next album by this band is also essential.
Ross Warren

A great poetic mix between Folk, Jazz, Psychedelia, Blues, Rock, Soul, POP and Beat! Ladies and gentleman...: 'Music In A Doll's House'!
That I love not only because 'Music In A Doll's House' is one of my first Prog purchases in 1998 but because 'Music In A Dolls House' is a great piece of Prog that anticipates 'In The Court Of The Crimson King'!
The music is not Prog because Prog but it is Prog because innovative. Basically is POP with Soul and Rock but with insertion of a great mix about Folk, Psychedelia, Blues, Jazz and Beat. This mix transform the poetic halo that reign in the mind of John Whithey and Roger Chapman. Then the perfect Soul vibrato voice of Roger Chapman is the rest of this poetry! The songs are all magical, also because not pushed into difficulties, often supported by heavy arrangements but never intrusive, honests but bastards that are an integral part of writing. So it is difficult to see a defect in 'Music In A Dolls House' writing (P.s.: 'Never Like This' is by Dave Mason of Traffic that is also the album producer).
Speaking of sound: the structure of songs are really simple. Basically a not powerful Rhythm section is implemented by the Black vibrato voice of Chapman plus the other instruments. Interesting is the idea of the three 'Variations On A Theme of...', short re-arrangement of 'Hey Mr. Policeman', 'The breeze' and 'Me, My Friend'.
But if I speak about the songs I speak about a simple songs. The general description of songs is already written. Certainly 'Music In A Doll's House' is an album to listen because the words fail to be effective for groped to describe this masterpiece.
In my opinion 'Music In A Doll's House' is Prog at the same level of 'In The Court Of The Crimson King' but with more poetry and magic.
Andrea

This record is sadly the very best thing Family ever did, If you like this then the rest of their catalogue is likely to disappoint. Family where considered one of the most important underground bands of that heady year of 1968 and the resulting recording remains a vital document of the tail end of psycedelia and the first rumblings of proto-prog. The music is still very much in the beat mould with a very strong hint of the blues. 1968 was the year that hippy nievity started to give way to a darker but more realistic revolution in thought and style however this album sits neatly at that transition between Sgt Pepper and the Court of the Crimson King. 'The Chase' starts the show off with Rodger Chapman's, Larry the lamb vocals to the front. "Mellowing Grey" is the most interesting cut on the whole record with it otherworldly mellotron sound , which sounds very like the Pink Floyd's Julia Dream. This track is certainly dripping with acid (lsd) as is the whole LP."Never Like This" is upbeat and strongly hints at the down side of acid. As confused as the drug that inspired it, the ambiguity is both charming and chilling. By "Winter" the Lp is already starting on its way down from the peak of mellowing grey, a good track with a strong piano sound."Old Songs for New Songs" starts interestingly and then becomes a blues number very dated sounding but still fun. "Variations on a Theme of the Breeze" short and over quickly."See Through Windows" is another good blues type track, but again it sounds very dated now."Peace of Mind" is another choice cut but that vocal sounds very muddy but modern standards. "3 X Time" closes the show with the most truly proggy cut lots of interesting things are going on here. Over all the production is hard to like the record sounds better than the CD mainly I suspect because the original mix hid a lot of sonic imperfections. However by the Standards of the time , when pop record generally had very poor production this recording is better than average. It is as an example of the music of 1968 that this record has it greatest importance with its acid soaked lyrics and indeed its trip like structure it must has accompanied many a young persons psychedelic initiation. Like Acid the record is not always a pleasant ride and like acid nothing substantial came of this record. Family never sounded as good again and disappeared from the scene in the mid seventies. A band that promised much but only delivered consistently on this one record. It is a must have recording although it certainly doesn't deserve 5 stars. There is a CD version that ties this record with a later Family LP which is good value and is probably the best way to experience this recording. The first pressing is hard to find in good condition which is quite telling. Family was a band that had a following that included young women very like the moody blues in that respect. This was a classic record of its time and sold quite well. Outside of 1968 it now sounds very dated in many respects, people simple do not play mellotrons like that anymore which is a shame as it had a otherwordlyness that is now lost to the latter end of the sixties and the start of tyhe 1970's. In closing I would recommend this record but no other by Family as a must own addition to a good collection of prog and proto-prog. It is a progressive recording without doubt.
burgersoft777

This is an excellent debut, from a highly influential and innovative prog band. Family, like Traffic were amoung the first 'real' prog bands, with a highly eclectic mix in their music. I fund the music highly exciting after all this is the early, early days of prog that was around the same time as Hendrix, Cream, and early Pink Floyd where rock music was starting to reach high and exciting levels of new and interesting sounds., unlocked by Frank Zappa, the Beatles, Miles Davis and John Coltrane. I find Roger Chapman's vocals to be very similar to Peter Gabrial but he tends to bleat like a goat when he sings, his voice was influential to Phil Judd in his singing in Split Enz and perhaps Comus's vocalist. The music has interesting twists and turns with blues, merged with folk, jazz and psychodelia. I really believed Family has been overlooked in the archives, I only discovered them a few months ago and only because Split Enz used to listen to them in their 3early days. I think this album is highly essential, in summary I can saythat if you like Traffic you'll love Family.
Michael. D

Un disco injustamente olvidado de una banda eclipsada por los dinosaurios que saldrían a la luz. Pero en el blog cabezón siempre hay lugar para la buena música, y para redescubrir las joyas perdidas.




3 comentarios:

  1. Download: (gracias al Mestro Cerioni)
    http://adf.ly/1RM3z7

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  2. perturbadora es la mejor palabra para describir la voz de chapman... mamita, el susto que me lleve con este disco la primera vez...!

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  3. Gracias por compartir esta excelente banda britanica.

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