Get this crazy baby off my head!



Family - As & Bs - 1992 - Castle Communications

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 [All tracks @ 320 Kbps: File size = 127 Mb]


1 No Mule's Fool 3:23
2 Good Friend Of Mine 3:34
3 Today 5:00
4 Song For Lots 3:41
5 Strange Band 3:17
6 In My Own Time 3:33
7 Seasons 2:21
8 Burlesque 4:04
9 The Rockin' R's 3:28
10 My Friend The Sun 4:22
11 Glove 4:52
12 Boom Bang 3:03
13 Stop This Car 2:53
14 Sweet Desiree 3:41
15 Drink To You 3:34

All songs composed by Roger Chapman & John "Charlie" Whitney


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


A blues-based band with art rock inclinations, Family were one of the more interesting groups of hippie-era Britain. Fronted by the deft and frequently excellent guitar playing of John "Charlie" Whitney and the raspy, whiskey-and-cigarette voice of Roger Chapman, Family were much loved in England and Europe but barely achieved cult status in America. While bands like Jethro Tull, Ten Years After, and the Keith Emerson-led Nice (and later Emerson, Lake & Palmer) sold lots of records, Family, who frequently toured with these bands, were left in the shadows, an odd band loved by a small but rabid group of fans. Although the band's first official release was Music in a Doll's House in 1968, the roots of the band went back as far as the early '60s, when Whitney started a rhythm & blues/soul band called the Farinas while at college. In 1966, Whitney met Roger Chapman, a prematurely balding singer who had a voice so powerful that, to quote Robert Christgau, "It could kill small game at a hundred yards," and the two began a creative partnership that would last through two bands and into the early '80s. With Whitney and Chapman leading the way, Family became whole with the addition of bassist Ric Grech, saxophonist Jim King, and drummer Rob Townsend. Within a year they were hyped as the next big thing, and under that pressure and intense British pop press scrutiny delivered their debut record in 1968, Music in a Doll's House. Doll's House is pop music redolent of the Zeitgeist: Chapman's voice is rooted in the blues and R&B, but the record is loaded with strings, Mellotrons, acoustic guitars, and horns -- essentially all the trappings of post-psychedelia and early art rock. Almost completely ignored in the States, Doll's House was a hit in Britain and Family began a string of "less art rock/more hard rock" albums that ended, as did the band, with the release of It's Only a Movie in 1973. After Family's demise, Whitney and Chapman formed the blues-rock Streetwalkers; other Family members (of which there were quite a few in the band's tempestuous eight years) such as John Wetton (King Crimson, Asia) and Jim Cregan (Rod Stewart) went off to find fame and fortune elsewhere. Trivia buffs note: it was Ric Grech who was the first to leave Family in 1969 to become the least well-known member of supergroup Blind Faith. Sadly, that proved to be Grech's biggest mistake, as Blind Faith imploded in a year, and Grech (whose last notable band membership was in Traffic), long plagued by drinking problems, died of liver failure in 1990. Charlie Whitney went on to play in an extremely low-key country/blues/bluegrass band called Los Rackateeros, and Roger Chapman moved to Germany, where his solo career flourished. A fine, occasionally great band, Family deserved more recognition (at least in America) than they received -- something that a thoughtfully compiled career-spanning CD retrospective might rectify. © John Dougan © 2012 Rovi Corporation. All Rights Reserved http://www.allmusic.com/artist/family-p17423/biography


A.O.O.F.C said...


p/w if needed is aoofc

Anonymous said...

Music In A Doll's House is one of the great British Psych albums, in the top ten as far as I'm concerned (if you exclude the Beatles, who would take three of the slots otherwise).
Thanks for your great site!

A.O.O.F.C said...

Hi,A. MIADH is a gem. Would Love's "Forever Changes" be in your psychedelic Top 10? Thanks, & TTU soon...P