Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Hight Fasion Passion From Prince Protege's
Andre S. Grindle | Brewer Maine | 02/08/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The Family are a spin off group of a spin off group.The Time sprang from Prince and The Family sprang from The Time.Lead singer Paul 'St.Paul' Peterson (a pretty boy blonde),Prince's girlfriend Susannah Melvoin,saxaphonist Eric Leeds and ex time member Jerome Benton make up the family.The groups one album is pretty funky overall but features a far more elegant and orchestrated sound then The Time ever had."The Screams Of Passion" is the best song here-dramatic,passionate romance that lives up to the lyrics.Eve the funkiest songs here "High Fasion" and "Mutiny" have the same quality-it shows Prince was moving his protege's in the same direction he was going in the mid 80's-away from his signiture,minimal Minneapolic sound.The utter jazziness of the instrumental jam's "Yes" and "Susannah's Pajamas" cry out to Prince's own 'Sign O The Times' era sound.The ballads "River Run Dry","Desire" and the groups errie,ironic take on Prince's classic "Nothing Compares 2 U" have so much emotional overflow one can swim in it.The Family were one of the most individual and musical of Prince's protege's and when this came out it likely wasn't linked close enough to Prince's sound to be successful on his merrits let alone there own.The Family's failier was due mainly to bad timing.But the group could have easily signled a new,modernized version of The Time.Prince would later re configure this band for his own use and augmented the Revolution but The Family are a wonderful example of a time when Prince was pushing the envelope of his own sound into brilliant,sophisticated,psychedellic and often highly innovative directions.I must have album in any format for any 80's "Prince Sound" or 80's music fan to own."
An Underrated Paisley Treasure !
Armando M. Mesa | Chandler, AZ | 02/22/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I've owned this title over the years on cassette,vinyl record and now cd(the cd was an absolute surprise score I found for under $10 at a used music store that had NO idea or clue who The Family was, hence the cheap price for the Japanese import---an American stateside cd version was never released, unfortunately).In all the years of having this album it still gets a spin in my home ever so often;It is one of my all time favorite Prince protogee projects whose music,vocals and lyrics amaze me to this day.There will be some who will say The Family's debut sounds "dated". In my humble opinion it has aged like fine wine and sounds even better to these ears today.
The Family was truly a band that at the time was considered "experimental", avant garde or just difficult for radio stations to classify as well as many Prince fans alike. Imagine, a Minneapolis band whose music was a hybrid or concotion of some of the snazziest and jazziest R&B,pop,jazz,dance, AND classical/orchestrated elements to come out of the Paisley Park camp. Not to mention, whose lead singer , Paul Peterson's, (St. Paul) vocal range and suave slick cat 'tude contained that soulful edge and funk without ever sounding contrived or fake.St. Paul is for real!Susannah Melvoin also had a remarkable vocal talent as well;However, I felt that her voice was not as vastly used or prominent as it should have been---her presence felt more like that of a background singer than that of a co-lead vocalist for the group.The string arrangements by Claire Fischer added to the classiness of the entire project. At times, some tracks displayed their grandness in the minimalist useage of instruments and in their emotional-lyrical approach (River Run Dry,Nothing Compares 2U)...Less meant more!Of course the real capstone of the entire album was the track The Screams of Passion with it's classical musings, Susannah's and St. Paul's lustful moanings, the unforgettable and creative cadence-like "clicking" electronic back-beat sound (which was actually drummer Jelly Bean Johnson tapping on the rim of the drum to create the effect).I almost forgot to foolishly mention that it also contained the BEST version of Nothing Compares 2U(sorry,Sinead O'Connor's version just cannot hold a candle to The Family's version)...
The overall cover photography and theme concept harkened back to the 40's and 50's golden Hollywood era.The retro-noirish stylings made for a very awesome and fascinating visual album as well;It was a complete package.This whole visual artistic idea would re-appear in Prince's 1986 film "Under The Cherry Moon" in a more "up-front" and in your face concept...
A true gem of an album that should have received so much accolades and more appropriate exposure back in 1985. Sadly,The Family's debut album received so little exposure and it's video Screams of Passion received so little airplay(MTV).It has now become a highly collectible,almost cult-like sleeper and extremely rare Prince protogee project along with Jill Jones! The Family is a must have album for anyone's Prince side project protogee catalog for completion!IF there is EVER to be some sort of Family re-union for a second album it will be long overdue!
A very fine mix of talent
IJustDiedAlive | Northern CA, USA | 01/19/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I love this album. Screams of Passion and Nothing Compares To You are the stand out tracks. Of course Prince wrote the best song on the album but the rest of the album is good too. Susannah has a deep soulful voice (much like that of her twin sister Wendy Melvoin) that accompanies St. Paul's voice very well. Jellybean, Eric Leeds and Jerome are brilliant on this album as well. I am so thrilled to hear of their reunion for 07'. I am sure they will still make great music together."