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32 of 32 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good follow up to a classic debut
Released early 1969 "Entertainment" was their second studio album and incredible as it may seem was almost as good as their stunning Dave Mason produced debut album "Music in a Doll's House". The line up was the same; Jim King (saxophones), John Whitney (guitar, vocals), Ric Grech (vocals/bass/violin), Rob Townsend (drums, percussion), Roger Chapman (vocals). Grech shows...
Published on 14 Mar 2007 by M. Davies

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0 of 10 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars "It Doesn't Take Sherlock Holmes (or even Skooby-Doo)......",
The older out-of-print See For Miles Music in a Doll's House/Family Entertainment digi-book set was remastered in 2000 using Super-Bit Mapping. "Music In A Doll's House" and "Entertainment" are the only two out of eight Snapper/Pukka reissues using this method. Draw your own conclusions........
Published 19 months ago by J. H. Mccarthy


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32 of 32 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good follow up to a classic debut, 14 Mar 2007
By 
M. Davies "mervthecab" (East England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Entertainment: Remastered (Audio CD)
Released early 1969 "Entertainment" was their second studio album and incredible as it may seem was almost as good as their stunning Dave Mason produced debut album "Music in a Doll's House". The line up was the same; Jim King (saxophones), John Whitney (guitar, vocals), Ric Grech (vocals/bass/violin), Rob Townsend (drums, percussion), Roger Chapman (vocals). Grech shows his writing abilities on this album and maybe displayed his restlessness that led him to leave to join Clapton, Winwood and Baker in BLIND FAITH.
Some critics thought it not as strong as the first album although some think it has aged better than "doll's House"; I love them both. I think it certainly resides in the 'early progressive' stable. I believe it was reported that the band were quite disappointed with the production of this album which resulted in them having more say in production from then on.
Their eclectic sound influenced by folk, country, and pop was rooted in the blues. I think "Entertainment" produced by Glyn Johns and Family manager John Gilbert created a worthy album that drew on all of their musical influences and abilities. It opens with "The Weaver's Answer", a haunting song about a dying old man about to see his life in the form of tapestry. Chapman sings the lyric of remembrance with real bluesy grit and Grech's violin at the end makes you feel the old fella's death. A classic opener for a very good album.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The most consistent Family album, 7 Aug 2008
By 
N. Watts (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Entertainment: Remastered (Audio CD)
After their classic debut (Music In A Dolls House) Family returned the following year with their Magnum Opus. The album's main strength lies in it's diversity of Rhythmn & Blues, Folk, Rock and mild Psychedelia. It opens with what is probably Family's greatest track, the magnificent 'The Weaver's Answer'. This track neatly displays the Family Trademark sound of gritty Roger Chapman vocals underpined by a powerful backing band which has quieter more acoustic moments. The next two tracks are almost equally as arresting, each using a different blend ot instrumentation ('Observations' featuring Ric Grechs violin, 'Hung Up Down' a string & woodwind section)before the instrumental 'Summer '67' which utilises Indian Sitars & Tablas (and later a sax break!!). The closing track on side one is the slower 'How Li The Hi' which utilises a spacey organ.

The second side of the album opens with the bluesey 'Second Generation Woman' which although it has a nice driving rhythmn seems to pale compared with what has been heard prior to this. Thankfully things soon pick up with 'From Past Archives' which has a Clarinet break and further showcases Family's eclectic sound. 'Dim' is an upbeat folky track which has a nice soft Roger Chapman vocal and is one of my personal favourites on the album. The climax is 'Emotions' which builds up to an ecstatic finale to a gripping album. If you are a fan of late sixties psych/prog crossover music you will love this album. I probably should have docked half a mark for the below par 'Second Generation Woman', but hey, i'm a nice guy!!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Family Entertainment, 12 Feb 2013
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This review is from: Entertainment: Remastered (Audio CD)
I had the vinyl copy when it first came out but got mislaid in the 90's. So just got around to buying the remastered cd a week ago. Really glad I did,I had forgotten how good it was, sounds even better than I remember. I've had the Music in a Dolls House cd for some years and like them both equally. ..Dolls House was very much of its time, far out and freaky man!just what I was into at the time and Entertainment was more cohesive and mellow, both absolutely trippy and hippy, where did those days go?
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars TRUE QUALITY., 14 Feb 2009
By 
T. Baker (Kent, England.) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Entertainment: Remastered (Audio CD)
Family, to my mind, were never really psychedelic. They emerged during that era, of course, but while their first album, MUSIC IN A DOLL'S HOUSE (a title foisted on them) looked & sounded the part, 'experimental' is probably a more accurate description. One thing they did have is true quality & it is displayed in abundance on this, their 2nd effort.

Critics & fans are divided over its merits in comparison with DOLL'S HOUSE (as a read of Amazon's review pages will confirm). But, personally, I have no doubts, favouring this, primarily because the material is more distinctive & memorable.

Their range of instrumentation is certainly a cut above your average rock group, while arrangements are unexpectedly subtle & intelligent. I especially like their use of 12-string guitar, particularly when combined with tinkling piano, as in "Processions." "The weaver's answer" & "Observations from a hill" are two further obvious highlights, but there's hardly a weak track among the 11.

Actually, I have some observations of my own. I would never accuse Family of copying anyone, HOWEVER....there are several strange coincidences concerning the record:

- The Hollies recorded a song entitled 'Elevated Observations' on their BUTTERFLY album (I think) of 1967, which uses the same idea as the aforementioned track.

- Simon & Garfunkel recorded Paul Simon's 'Patterns' (a 'tapestry of life' concept) on 'Parsley, Sage Rosemary & Thyme' album of 1966, which employs an identical rhythm to 'Weaver's answer.'

- Spirit's 'It shall be' from their 'Family that plays together' album of
1968 has an identical guitar chord sequence(descending Dmaj shape) to 'How-hi-the-li.'
- Family followed up their 'psychedelic' offering (DOLL's HOUSE) with a plain b/w sleeve, as the Beatles did with the WHITE ALBUM, after the psychedelic excess of SGT PEPPER.
- While on the subject of the sleeve, didn't the Doors have a similar front cover photo on 'Strange Days', issued 1967?

Now, for the gripes: some bonus tracks would have been nice - "Hometown" ('B' side of "Second Generation Woman"), for one. As for the lyrics, they have been thoughtfully reproduced, but are full of errors, which usually happens on Japanese issues (at least they have an excuse!).

After this album Family gradually became more hard-rocking, and, for me, less interesting (though Roger Chapman claims he was far happier belting 'em out!).
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Entertainment by Family!, 29 Aug 2012
By 
A & C Jewell (Sheffield, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Entertainment: Remastered (Audio CD)
Not much I can add to the other reviews on here, but firstly I should point out that this album was not call 'Entertainment' it was called 'Family Entertainment' making use of an obvious pun, as with that cover, it definitely wasn't for all the family! (not in 1969, anyway!)

Family were completely different to most other bands from this period, due to the variety of instruments played, with Jim King doubling on sax & harmonica, and Ric Grech doubling on bass & violin. But what marked them out as special was the intelligent use of that instrumentation, together with imaginative arrangements, and some great songs (Oh, and Roger Chapman's terrifying voice!)

It's already been said on here that they weren't really a 'hippy' or 'progressive' band (in the way those terms are usually thought of) they were just much more eclectic than anybody else at the time, and tremendous live -I had the pleasure of seeing them twice, in 1968 & 1969, and they blew me away both times (and I'm a musician)

So if you're new to the band and wondering what to expect, don't worry, this is not not some hippy-dippy record, this is a great example of what you missed if you didn't arrive on planet earth until the 70's or 80's or whenever

Buy this with confidence, whack it on the CD player/iPod/iPhone/Laptop/Desktop/comb & paper or whatever, and be prepared to love it

(Oh and I believe John Witney got Frank White's Gibson doubleneck, by the way (Frank ordered a black one & ended up with a white one, and I heard somewhere that John ordered a white one & received a black one)
Which may or may not be true, but it's food for thought as you listen to this brilliant album..........
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5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful entertainment, 12 Nov 2014
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This review is from: Entertainment: Remastered (Audio CD)
Family's 2nd studio release finds the 'Fabulous Five' in excellent form; however, this is much closer to a conventional progressive rock album than their debut, the overtly psychedelic 'Music in a Doll's House'. The sinuous sound of 'The Weavers Answer' is a marvellous opener here and 'Observations From A Hill' is another superb track written by the John Whitney/Roger Chapman axis. Whitney's Eastern-tinged 'Summer '67' is a dreamy instrumental whilst Rik Grech gets in on the act with the classy 'How-Hi-The-Li'. Family's reflective mood is best illustrated by several of the songs on the second half of proceedings, for example, 'From Past Archives', 'Dim' and 'Processions' which are all quite lovely. If you're looking to discover Family via their studio releases, this is as good a place to start your journey as any. Happy listening!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ONE OF THE BEST ALBUMS OF ALL TIME, 3 Dec 2011
This review is from: Entertainment: Remastered (Audio CD)
This is the best Family album and one of the best albums of all time in my opinion. I still play it frequently most weeks 40 years after its release. The sound quality on my remastered version is very good. Music In A Doll's House, A Song For Me, Fearless and Bandstand are also brilliant, but Family Entertainment is the best.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome, 8 April 2014
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This review is from: Entertainment: Remastered (Audio CD)
One of the best records I have ever heard. What a fantastic group of musicians Family were, so talented. Absolutely brilliant.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Family Rock, 28 Dec 2013
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This review is from: Entertainment: Remastered (Audio CD)
A must have for your collection. Always good to be able to purchase CD's of your own (worn out) vinyl.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Terrific, 16 Dec 2013
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This review is from: Entertainment: Remastered (Audio CD)
Saw Family many times in the late 60s and bought this album on vinyl at the time - finally bought the CD!
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