Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Best of Family = the very best of 70's music
Michael Strom | 10/15/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The amazing Family were always one the most creative and musical progressive bands of their era, with a breadth and variety of styles which was their musical strength and their commercial weakness. Bandstand was their most consistent album - "Fearless" was equally brilliant but quixotic and chameleonlike in its changes and mutations. Here Family's tightest line-up, with Poli Palmer AND John Wetton to support the brilliant Chapman and Whitney. Songwriting honours are shared as usual and just about every song is superb - the catchy "Burlesque" and "My Friend the Sun" singles to the soulful "Coronation", "Glove" and "Dark Eyes" where Chapman's voice was never better. Stronger aggressive Family reasserts itself with "Broken Nose", "Ready To Go" and Palmer shines on the jazzy instrumental "Bolero Babe". The songs run the full gamut of emotions and display the kind of mood swings we know and love in Family. A unique band at their peak. A must for any record collection."
Michael Strom | Chicago, IL USA | 05/07/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Well, if they can remaster the CD, I can remaster my review (which somehow went incognito when transferred from the "out-of-print version to this one). Bandstand is probably Family's most accessible album. It has enough variety and eccentricities to satisfy the devotees, but also a number of songs a Family fan could play for friends without frightening them away. Lovely ballads like "My Friend The Sun" and "Dark Eyes." A crackling rocker like "Burlesque." Even straight-up R&B in "Ready To Go."I figured that the rest of Bandstand had probably never been played on any radio station this side of Leicester, but then a later reviewer insisted that he played more of it on his college radio station. Duly corrected, it's still safe to say that American radio stations failed to wear out their copies. Only Roger Chapman could come up with "Broken Nose," an aggressive rock torch song with unusual propulsive rhythms, written sympathetically from the point of view of a stalker who laments: "The day that I stopped loving you was the day you broke my nose." "Bolero Babe" sounds like it was written by Maurice Ravel's cousin from Saturn. "Top of the Hill" is yet another example of how Chapman & Whitney often sounded like they weren't playing the same song, but still made it work in unimaginable ways.I am baffled by the reviewer who criticized Family's arrangements on Bandstand. OK, Roger Chapman's voice is definitely not for evryone, & I can respect that. Family's music can be more challenging than some folks are willing to deal with, and they're not for everyone even without dealing with Chappo's crazed goat-boy vocal's. But the arrangements? The more complex pieces on Bandstand have incredible arrangements. Note my dissent.The "remastered" version adds a Family 45 rpm, The Rockin' R's. If you have an older version without it, chill out, you're not missing anything. If you can't go on living without all the extra tracks gracing Family re-releases, just pick up Anthology, which combines the singles, B-sides and an excellent, generous collection of tracks from A Song For Me through It's Only A Movie. There probably isn't a Family fan anywhere that doesn't have Bandstand. It should be a must for any fans of '70's "progressive" music."
I can't quit playing this CD!
Michael Strom | 09/14/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"First let me respond to the other reviewer of this CD who wrote, "The rest of Bandstand has probably never been played on any radio station this side of Leicester." Well, I played it on my college station in the early to mid 1970s, but no one listened. It's too bad no one is listening now either, because this CD is awesome. I recommend any of the remastered Family CD's to anyone who cares about real rock 'n roll and who wants to hear the best vocalist in rock. Period."