Unquestionably one of the most distinctive progressive rock acts of the late 60s and early 70s, this UK group left behind an impressive catalogue that delineated a natural progression from art rock experimentalists to straightforward if quirky rock group. Formed from the ashes of the Leicester-based R&B covers band The Farinas, the burgeoning musical qualities of the members soon saw them outstripping their early influences. Their 1968 debut album was a remarkable album, mixing complex time structures and rather far-fetched lyrics with the gritty dynamics of lead singer Roger Chapman's vocals. Although Family achieved several hit singles during its career, the unit was never really a mainstream group and is best remembered for a string of excellent albums. The group reached the peak of its popularity with the album Bandstand (1972) and biggest hit single, the rollicking Burlesque. Constant line-up changes and growing tension between the main songwriters spelled the end for the group following the release of the disappointing It's Only A Movie (1973), although Chapman and Charlie Whitney regrouped in the Streetwalkers. Hugely underrated and surely awaiting discovery from a new generation of intelligent music lovers.
Followers: Jethro Tull, Peter Gabriel, Camel
Influenced By: Little Richard, Ray Charles, The Beatles, Chuck Berry
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