June 10, 2008

The Family
The Family-1985

If you are a fan of Prince's music you are very fortunate to have found this site. I have a whole bunch of out-of-print Prince records just waiting to be digitized and posted. The first one up is The Family's only record to date. The story starts when Prince's other musical outlet, The Mutha Fuckin' Time, officially broke up after Morris Day left the band in 1984. Prince, wanting another project to output his trademark Minneapolis sound while he himself ventured to other sounds, formed the remaining members into a group dubbed "The Family". The Time's replacement keyboardist Paul Peterson was re-named St. Paul and moved to vocals, while Jerome Benton and Jellybean Johnson maintained the roles of comic foil and drummer, respectively, that they had previously occupied. Then he threw in his tour manager's brother, Eric Leeds, on saxophone and Revolution guitarist Wendy Melvoin's somehow creepier twin sister, Susannah to take the duties of vocals, keyboards and banging Prince. Even though everyone knew, except some ugly, Marc Bolan wannabe idiot I met in Boston, that the band was really composed of Prince with St. Paul doing his best to replicate Prince's vocals and Eric Leeds peppering the tracks with some saxophone, he still felt obligated to add Miko Weaver's name to the linear notes to explain the appearance of guitar on a record performed by a band without a guitarist. He had them (somehow) play one show, shoot a stupid video and hoped it would be as big as The Time was.

This is one of my favorite Prince albums and, arguably, one of the more important in his enormous catalog. It's one of the first Paisley Park releases (I'm not sure if Romance 1600 was released first or not) and also marks Prince's first collaboration with saxophonist Eric Leeds and composer Clare Fischer. Prince has always used his other bands to either release music that sounded like things he had already done but still enjoyed doing or as a test run for new sounds he would like to explore. This record is more of the latter. Sonically and chronologically The Family falls between Around The World In A Day and Parade. Tracks like 'The Screams Of Passion' and 'Nothing Compares 2 U', use the same Beatles-style pop found on Around The World In A Day and could easily be at home on either record while 'River Run Dry' and Desire' start to develop the European, orchestral funk Prince would later exaggerate to create Parade. 'Yes' and 'Susannah's Pajamas' mark his first experimentation with the funk-jazz fusion sound that he and Eric Leeds would continue to work with on their under appreciated side-project, Madhouse and again in the 2000s with his own N.E.W.S. and The Rainbow Children albums. The two songs that sound the most like The Time on this record are probably the best two. The album opener, 'High Fashion' is a silly, funky story of a girl who's only concerned is the size of a man's bank account. Thankfully St. Paul is able to 'flash all that cash [he has]' and win her over. 'Mutiny' makes The Family sound like The Time's angry little brother. As a added bonus the song ends with Prince's infamous waiter character reprised from The Time's 'Chili Sauce'.

Even with the original version of 'Nothing Compares 2 U', which almost compares to the Sinead O'Connor version , this record still isn't worth the 85 dollars it's selling for on Amazon right now. It's pretty much a fact that when Paisley Park folded it was the last chance for this record to remain in print. Maybe The Family reunion will help fix that. Enjoy!

Track listing:
Side A:
1. High Fashion
2. Mutiny
3. The Screams Of Passion
4. Yes

Side B:
1. River Run Dry
2. Nothing Compres 2 U
3. Susannah's Pajamas
4. Desire

Download The Family from DivShare(45.7 MB)


The Molimer said...

wow so cool absolutley love this stuff im so greatfull to this dedocated fan xxx

Jorge Cabrera said...

Would you please re-up it? thanks!!!!