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5.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD (16 Oct. 1992)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Castle/Classics
  • ASIN: B00004SFDR
  • Other Editions: Audio CD
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 481,455 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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By Huck Flynn VINE VOICE on 17 Nov. 2010
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Arguably the strongest family line-up and tragically short-lived, producing only one more album, the towering classic Bandstand. John Wetton on bass and a few vocals gave the group a more solid sound and the songwriting of chappo and charlie is as strong and adventurous as ever. Fearless features classic, "best of" selection tracks throughout - Between Blue and Me, Larf and Sing, Sat'dy Barfly, Spanish Tide, Take Your Partners, Burning Bridges - in a range of styles from acoustic ballad (Children), bar room honky tonk (Barfly), music hall (Larf and Sing), prog rock (Spanish Tide, Burning Bridges), blues rock (Take Partners) and jazz (Crinkly Grin - amazing). Whitney shows of his wide range of guitar styles, acoustic (superb on spanish tide) and electric (mandolin like on Bridges), chappo sings in mellow and demented styles and palmer is brilliant on keyboards and vibes. As you'd expect from Family their arrangements and ideas and overall musicality is incredible but never self indulgent, always accessible and focussed on making great music. Intelligence and ability far beyond most bands before, during or since. 5 stars. Not to mention some great bonus tracks including hit single In My Own Time and a few live ones.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x974184d4) out of 5 stars 16 reviews
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x967d2804) out of 5 stars 'GOD KNOWS I'M HIP...EVERYBODY'S ARSE IS UP FOR KICKS' 17 Jun. 2001
By Larry L. Looney - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
FEARLESS showcases this seminal British band at their pinnacle. Their following album, BANDSTAND, is great as well -- but on this cd, they shine as on no other in their catalogue. Their influences were many -- blues, jazz, pop, progressive, folk -- but they generally always rocked.
Roger Chapman's unique vocals led the way -- his trademark bluesy growl could belong to no one else. He's been compared to Joe Cocker -- Cocker has become almost a parody of himself, something Chapman avoided. Chapman and his writing partner, guitarist Charlie Whitney, were responsible for the core of Family's sound [After Family's eventual demise, they continued their collaborative work in the band Streetwalkers]. Poli Palmer adds some fine keyboard work, and the rhythm section of rock-steady drummer Rob Townsend and (new to the band on this album) bassist/vocalist extraordinaire John Wetton (later to move on to King Crimson) rounded out the group.
The album begins with the folk-like opening of 'Between Blue and me', which builds nicely as Chapman's voice moves from its first restrained lines toward the second verse, where the first-time listener finds that something special awaits. The band then moves on to 'Sat d-y barfly' -- a gin-soaked, rollicking ode in praise of over-indulgence. 'Larf and sing', a Poli Palmer composition, follows, full of some really inventive, multi-part harmonies, offering a lighter look at the band's philosophy of their work and of life: 'That's why we all larf and sing whenever we all feel blue -- you should see the way we grin whenever you feel it, too...love, o Mother Life, she's the only kin we've got'.
The following track, 'Spanish tide', is one of the most amazing under-4-minutes tunes I've ever heard in rock music. Over this short space of time, the song effortlessly and seamlessly glides through enough changes that the listener would swear the time listing is wrong -- and not because it's tedious, but just because there's so much packed into this song. We're treated to a little of John Wetton's distinctive vocals on this tune as well, a portent of things to come with King Crimson.
'Save some for me' keeps the pace up -- 'As living's for free, I'm going to save some for thee...' -- with another statement of the band's outlook, complete with some fine work by the Ladbroke Horns, who add their creatie touches to the album in other places as well. 'Take your partners' continues to rock, and then the band relaxes a bit with the quieter, folkier 'Children'. Poli Palmer's instrumental offering 'Crinkly grin' comes next, letting the players stretch out nicely. Two of the band's most incredible tunes close out the original album -- 'Blind' and the uncommonly powerful 'Burning bridges'...'...burning your bridges with God's holy fire...' God's holy fire is what Family played with.
This cd edition finishes up with a couple of rareties, two songs recorded during the sessions for this album: 'In my own time', which was released as a single and became their highest-charting single ever in the UK; and 'Seasons', the B-side.
Recorded and released orignally in 1971, FEARLESS effectively showcases the giant talents of this band. My only regret is that I never got to see them live -- from the reports I've read, they were a powerhouse concert act.
Turn it up, Louise...!
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x967d2810) out of 5 stars Family always greater than the sum of it's parts. 5 Aug. 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Family wasn't considered a bastion of musicianly vituosity in a time when that was the ideal amongst their peers in the Brit prog-rock scene of the late sixties, early seventies. Family sometimes lumbered, occasionaly awkward, and blissfully often of the brink of chaos and falling apart. And it's this quality that endears them after all this time. The playing always was in service of the song, not the other way around, even on songs where they stretched out instrumentaly such as the hypnotizing dervish of "Take Your Partners" And of course Chapman-Whitney songwriting team ran the gamut of hard rock, balladry and British music hall all in a unique manner. This Family lineup was seminal with Poli Palmer on vibes adding that unique edge that Jim King did on the first two releases, and marking what was for most people the first appearance of John Wetton (King Crimson, U.K., Asia). And as many may remember the original vinyl issue came is about two pounds of cardboard packaging, this CD is a little more environmentally friendly. Truly worthy of a five star rating and essential for any Family Fan.
8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x972d29b4) out of 5 stars Fearless is Peerless 27 July 2001
By loce_the_wizard - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I've worn out 2 LPs of Fearless and used to break out my better copy only a couple of times a year before getting the CD. If you are a serious fan of early '70s music---the real stuff, not radio fodder or fad junk---most likely you have some Family in your collection. If not, then "Fearless" is a superb starting point, a recording that endures as perhaps the strongest testimony to what was once the most-loved band in rural England.
Some folks consider this to be Family's "quite" album. Maybe, but that is a relative matter. The range of material is actually quite staggering from the contemplative opening cut Between Blue and Me to the gutsy Blind (by the way, the weird sound is a piece of pipe looped through a string that Poli Palmer is whirling overhead) to the gentle Children. It's almost worth the price of the CD just to hear Spanish Tide, one of the best cuts on any Family album. Three songs in particular-the smoldering Burning Bridges, feisty Take Your Partners, and aforementioned Blind-showcase the group's flat out rock and roll style. Sat D-Y Barfly further cements Chappo's legend as the greatest rock vocalist. One of the two bonus tracks, In My Own Time, is a solid addition to the Family canon, not a throwaway like some bonus tracks. Seasons, the other bonus track, is nice enough but nothing special.
The production here is a step up from some of the earlier Family recordings and this ensemble is as tight as that on the group's legendary first album. Having John Wetton in the mix really anchored the band's sound, and he is often front and center instead of being relegated to a supporting role. Charlie Whitney once more turns in virtuoso performances on every song, leaving one to wonder why he never enjoyed the success of more one-dimensional guitarists such as Jeff Beck or Eric Clapton. Roger Chapman is, well, there has never been a vocalist quite like the fellow whose delivery some have likened to an electric sheep's bleating or an elephant's gargling. With power and range that exceeded such peers as Robert Plant or Joe Cocker, he can be remarkably expressive and contained at times but sound like Zeus having a tantrum at others. Rob Townsend, one of the three mainstays of the group, is another underrated member of Family. His flawless drumming powers the group along. Listen to him on Save Some for Thee to get an idea of how good this guy was (actually is, for he still plays skins for the Blues Band and the Manfreds). If there is any weakness, then some of Palmer's eccentric synthesizer might sound quaint to those steeped in modern electronic modes of music.
But Chappo and Whitney, the leaders of Family, show, once again, why they serve all of the respect they were never afforded and this fine recording highlights the failings of FM radio, both then and now, as an artists' medium. For once, you can trust all these five star reviews.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x967c0048) out of 5 stars 5 star album, packaging 5 star (duplicates original vinyl album), 3 star sound could be improved but great bonus tracks avg of 4 15 April 2007
By Wayne Klein - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
One of England's greatest overlooked bands, Family's "Fearless" stands as one of the band's best albums. While the liner notes are pretty darn good here (as are the bonus tracks), the CD itself sounds good but not as spectacular as it could sound. The overuse of noise reduction is a bit problematic sucking the life out of the recording making sound a bit too sterile and muffles it a bit by cutting out some of the dynamic range. Still, it's about the best version available right now. Certainly the album deserves 4 stars. The packaging in this limited edition release deserves 5 as it captures the look of the original vinyl release almost exactly.

Still, the album itself is the most important stuff and from a content perspective this is one of Family's crowning achievements. This version is a replica of the deluxe fold out packaging of the original vinyl. As far as a reproduction of the original vinyl packaging, this looks top notch. Repertoire has done a fine job of recreating the look of this classic album. I can't do a head-to-head comparison to the Mystic release but if I'm not mistaken this transfer (which uses the same source)sounds slightly better (or maybe it's my pocketbook speaking, i.e., I spent more so it MUST be better sounding).Reportedly the Castle version sounds better than the Mystic reissue but I can't comment because I've never heard it.

This classic line up features Chapman, Whitney and bassist John Wetton who would stick around for one more album before defecting as lead vocalist/bassist for King Crimson. Wetton is a welcome addition to the band as his support vocals had depth and texture to Chapman's and his bass playing is a pleasure easily equalling the departed Rick Grech (who defected to Blind Faith).

Should you spend the extra money to acquire a replica of the original vinyl release? That depends on how much money and how much of a purist you are. As I said the sound is slightly better here (although not as well mastered as the stuff that Eroc has done for Repertoire for example on his "Gentle Giant" remasters). I sprung for this edition simply because I liked the design of the original graphics.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x967c00a8) out of 5 stars Take your partners! 5 Feb. 2001
By Scott T Mc Nally - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
I first heard that song about a week after hearing Family for the first time back in 71 or 72. My first experience was a live song called "Good News/Bad News" When I first heard Chapman bust into the chorus, I couldn't believe my ears. His voice almost sounded like a sheep that had been possessed by the devil! It totally threw me. Then along came this great album which features "Take Your Partners", which gets my vote as the best all out hard rock tune of the early 70's. Family stood out as something very unique. They were a hard rocking band that also had ties to the progressive rock movement. They could also tap into that good old British beer drinking folk style with ease.
Chapman, Whitney, and Townsend were the core members, there from start to finish. On this outing they are complimented by Poli Palmer on keyboards and vibes, and one of the finest bass players Britain ever produced, John Wetton. Wetton also contributes his distinctive voice here and some fine harmonies take place between he and Chapman. Wetton was to leave after another fine album, "Bandstand" to join the legendary second incarnation of King Crimson.
From what I've read, Chapman's onstage persona was even more spastic than Joe Cocker. It's really hard to describe that voice of his. Another reviewer here mentions Phil Collins and Rod Stewart. I can hear a bit of that, but I also think Joe Cocker comes to mind as well. The bottom line is this: Once you've heard Roger Chapman's voice, you'll never forget it and you'll always recognize it instantly. At times, his vocals got a bit carried away. Only one tune on here suffers from that. "Blind". He really screams his lungs out on that one. Everything else is a true winner on this one. There are a couple of extra tracks on this re-master. "In My Own Time" which gives the new listener a taste of the demon sheep voice, and "Seasons" which has a folksy sound to it. Never heard of Family? Looking for something unusual and great? Look no farther. This is one of their best
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