10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: It's Only a Movie (Audio CD)
Although at the time many suspected It's Only A Movie was recorded as a contractual obligation, the story of this album as featured in the booklet of this issue put us wise. It wasn't even a conscious last album because the Ashton / Cregan line-up was working out very well, it was just that the imaginitive concept Family had been working on was overtaken by the increasing corporate atmos of the 70s music industry.
Even as a fan I didn't have much to argue with to oppose the "contractual obligation" theory though back when. The album starts off with 5 songs in the best of Family traditions to plunge into "normal" music for the last 4 tunes as if the remaining playing time had to be filled.
Luckily for us this CD-reissue succeeds where the ol' vinyl failed: it makes the album sound like a whole ! Even though rhythm and blues workouts aren't what we were expecting of the band, it was pretty much the direction they wanted to go at the time.
That being said, It's Only A Movie will always be my least fave Family album because I need to hear Family music when I put one of their CDs in the player. Let's face it. There's no band or act that even remotely sounds like Family so why the ^&^)( do they record songs any band could've done, even though they're actually pretty good at it ...........
The bonus tracks added to the original album have absolutely nothing to do with the Ashton / Cregan line-up, sadly no details are given in the booklet.
"Hometown" is the same as on the "Old Songs New Songs" album, so we're talking the Weider / Palmer line-up. The same line-up can be heard on live renditions of "Weaver's Answer" and a great interwoven version of "Processions" & "No Mule's Fool".
"Dim" sounds like one of those BBC sessions on which the original backing tape was used with a "live" vocal. It's of no importance really because it's only a snippet of about 1 minute long.
"Holding The Compass" sounds like a studio out-take or a BBC session by the 1st line-up ( Jim Hall's sax is clearly audible ) and sounds like a completely different song than the live version on the Anyway album.
Overall a good CD-issue I'd say, sounding much better than the 70s Raft vinyl or the 80s Castle CD, and pretty interesting bonus tracks. Even though the sound quality of the real live tracks isn't all that great, the band is.
For those who want to check out the phenomenon that was Family this is not an OK starting point in my book. Family Entertainment would be the wiser choice ........