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!
1. High Fashion
3. The Screams Of Passion
1. River Run Dry
2. Nothing Compres 2 U
3. Susannah's Pajamas
Download The Family from DivShare(45.7 MB)