Wednesday, 24 February 2010

Family Traits

I’ve just discovered yet another band that sort of passed me by. And it all started so promisingly, too. Just in case you hadn't remembered, it's my birthday on the 29th (I know, there isn't one) but for my birthday in 1971, I received a record token (gift cert) that was not enough to buy an album.  So, being an impetuous fool and being unable to wait until more funds were available, I bought 4 singles instead. One of them was ‘In My Own Time’ by Family – included so that I could marvel at that manic vibrato and the effortless use of space in music to build tension.

I can see now that things didn’t really go to plan thereafter where Family were concerned. A year later, I coveted their album, ‘Bandstand’ like mad and for two very good reasons: it had a fabulous old style TV cover with Family shown performing on the ‘screen’ and it contained one of my all time favourite singles, ‘Burlesque’, which made even better use of the stop-start concept. But despite wanting it desperately, whenever I’d saved up enough money to buy it, there always seemed to be something rather better around just at that moment that I wanted more and so it came to pass that ‘Bandstand’ remained second best to a host of others and eventually its time passed.

Later still, the guy who ran our Hall Bar at University had a copy of Family’s ‘Best Of’ collection and used to play it virtually every night whilst pulling pints. This time, I couldn’t resist (especially as it had ‘Burlesque’ on it) and that LP has been the only representative of Family in my collection…until now. For I am now the proud owner of the double CD, ‘In Their Own Time’ which shoehorns the best of most of their albums (but strangely, not ‘Music In A Doll’s House’) into 150 minutes of manic vibrato and sub-prog arrangements.

From a safe distance I can see that my musical instincts were intact and that they prevented me from buying ‘Bandstand’ in favour of other stuff that have become firm rescue-from-burning-building albums for a very good reason; I’m not completely sold by Family. Whilst I love much of their stuff, there is a sizeable minority that doesn’t really do it for me. It’s amazing how you develop this sort of ‘6th sense’ for purchases which much of the time works beautifully.

So, whilst I’m glad to have my ‘Best Of’ package, I’m also comforted that my in-built critical facility filtered them out, otherwise I might just not’ve bought something else instead and that something else could well be a much cherished LP – who knows?


Jayne said...

A bit belated, but Happy Birthday! Did you receive a record token? ;)

musicobsessive said...

Thanks Jayne! Funny you should say that...but yes! After all these years they are still welcome and I shall be visiting my local HMV in the near future.

Anonymous said...

Nice to see mention of Family. Roger is still going strong, playing live and lives at
Come on by and catch up with one of Britain's greatest rock vocalists!