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Old Songs New Songs-Definitive Box Set Box set

3.7 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD (4 Aug. 2008)
  • Number of Discs: 5
  • Format: Box set
  • Label: Mystic
  • ASIN: B000CDRI1E
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 401,067 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

First of all, let me tell you say that I am a complete fan of Family since the beginning of his career and therefore I can not be neutral when I try to express an opinion about their wondeful music, because I'm really convinced that Family has written one of the pages most authentic, brilliant and imaginative in the History of Rock'n'Roll during the late '60s and throughout the '70s, one way (as Family) or another (like The Streetwalkers).
However, I must admit that this much anticipated reissue of the fantastic album "OS,NS" (DISC ONE OF THIS BOX SET)is terribly disappointing. This reissue is a bootleg of the original LP direct-to-CD from a copy in a bad condition (you can clearly hear the "clicks" in some songs, specialy in the beginning of "The Weaver's Answer" and "Peace of Mind". Really a pity, because this is a fantastic resume of the 3 first Family albums, plus the Maxi Single "Strange Band" (a 3 track package encapsulated in the set -with the exception of the A Side, the properly "Strange Band"- with the other 2 tracks re-recorded & remixed songs, culled from their 2nd LP-) and the singles "No Mule's Fool" (A & B sides) and "Today" (A side only).
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Love this box set however:

There are not that many unreleased stuff here. Unfortunately there are very few tracks from the 1968-1969 era due to legal issues from another record company.

The CD Old Songs New Songs (Disc 1) has been mastered from a vinyl source unfortunately and the bonus CD contains tracks that are worse than a bootleg recording and are not vital to your collection. The other issue is the lack of information on the actual tracks that appear on the box set with no recording dates, session info etc as you would expect on a comprehensive box set.

Apart from that its the music that makes this set a worthy buy if your a fan of Family or you like the free spirit of music that evolved during the late 1960s / 1970s.
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Brilliant! For anyone who likes or remembers Family this is excellent. Nostalgia at its best.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4.3 out of 5 stars 3 reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars OLD SONGS NEW SONGS 13 Mar. 2009
By Stuart Jefferson - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
A total of five discs(the 5th is a bonus in the first 1,000 sets) each 39,60,63,58,71(bonus disc) minutes approximately.

Family were seemingly on the edge of "making it" during their heyday,except in the U.S. where they enjoyed a small but rabid following. The vocals were for most,an acquired taste,the songs were seemingly difficult to "get into",but the guitar work was always good if not sometimes ferocious. They were looked upon in their time as a cult band-which was a death knell for the band. I still feel that the best way to find out about this band is through their first few albums. Saying that,this set is pretty fine.

The first disc is made up of versions of some of their songs that have never been available on cd. The track listing follows the album (with the same title as this box set) that this group released in the late sixties/early seventies. As always with this band,the more you listen the more you hear. The track "Observations From A Hill" is a perfect example. The wavering vocals set into the British combination of r&b and psychedelia is a fine track,but for the uninitiated,it takes a bit of getting used to. The arrangements and the instrumentation used on Family albums was a combination of the usual rock band instruments and sometimes something unexpected-which gave this group it's identity.

The second disc has three unreleased demos(tracks 1,6,8) and three live tracks(9,12,14) among a sampling of their music. People familiar with this group will have their favorites on this ,and the other discs in this set. The demos have a bit of tape hiss when played at volume,or with good headphones,but it's not really objectionable.

The third disc also has three live tracks(11,12,15) with the rest being selections from their original albums. As I said,Family is best enjoyed with their individual albums for maximum impact,but this a good sampling of what they could do.

The fourth disc,with four live tracks(3,8,11,12) is a continuation of the "Family story" and follows the same path as the previous discs. It's too bad that the song titles aren't listed under this set on Amazon-that would go a long way in helping everyone(especially fans) know just what is here. Suffice to say this is a good addition to their original albums.

The bonus disc is made up of unreleased demos(tracks 1-5) with the remaining six tracks being live recordings unreleased from 1970 in Germany. The sound is a bit rough on these tracks,to the extent that there is a disclaimer about them not being of releasable quality. But they go on to say that any true Family fan would want these sides,but they decided not to include them in the set proper. There is certainly music of worth here,but the decision to release this as a bonus disc is the right one. That said,there is a lot of great slamming rock and roll on this disc,and the quality issues fall to the wayside somewhat because of the music's intensity. But I must warn listeners that the sound (recorded from the audience) is pretty muffled,but it's still nice to have. Hopefully fans of this band will get this disc in their sets. The live tracks are as follows: "Part of the Load","Drowned In Wine","Holding the Compass","Good News Bad News","The Weaver's Answer","A Song For Me".

The accompanying book-style packaging is of high quality. The only real gripe I have is that the four discs are "snapped-in" and could fall out easily if you're not careful. This is a trend that more and more companies are following-I wish they would protect the discs in a better manner. The "bonus" disc is in a cardboard sleeve and is loose in the package,as is the Isle of Wight program-however their value is worth having,so either be careful when opening the package,or simply put them somewhere safe. There is a 26 page book-style story of the band which is interesting and tells the "Family" story,with period photographs sprinkled throughout. Even those who have followed this group for sometime will learn something new about both the group and the times way back when(when I was telling all my friends to listen to this group) they were gigging very hard,trying to get ahead. One of the coolest things in this set is a color recreation of the 1970 Isle of Wight festival program. This alone will transport you back to this era when all types of music was given a chance to breathe and grow. It's a shame that this group had to finally settle for cult-status-but it's nice to have this set finally released. Maybe they will garner a few more fans to help spread the story and this wonderful,quirky music. If you're looking for something other than the usual "British Invasion" stuff-look no further.

ADDENDUM: May 7,2009-I'm just a little bit shocked that more people haven't looked up this title and jumped on it. Even though this group was never really popular,I thought that a box set of this magnitude would have generated a bit more excitement. Yes,there were only 1,000 sets (supposedly) put out for sale. But only two reviews? None in the major music magazines. When this group was releasing their albums originally,there was not all that much excitement either. I thought,with time,that this group would be accorded the accolades it deserved. Apparently not. I still feel it's a crime that FAMILY are not more well known and revered. Their combination of r&r,folk,blues,and a bit of "prog" was a breath of fresh air,both originally,and now. I will never understand people-especially those "tuned in" to great music,as to why this group was never held in higher esteem. They were consistent,original,and stayed true to their sound. With the original price of twenty dollars for this set-it boggles my mind that there was no interest. Oh well,at least I can sit back and listen to some great music,wondering what went wrong for this one-of-a-kind band.
4.0 out of 5 stars Old Songs New Songs - Box Set 19 Oct. 2014
By Buyer of CDs/DVDs & BluRays - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
Love this box set however:

There are not that many unreleased stuff here. Unfortunately there are very few tracks from the 1968-1969 era due to legal issues from another record company.

The CD Old Songs New Songs (Disc 1) has been mastered from a vinyl source unfortunately and the bonus CD contains tracks that are worse than a bootleg recording and are not vital to your collection. The other issue is the lack of information on the actual tracks that appear on the box set with no recording dates, session info etc as you would expect on a comprehensive box set.

Apart from that its the music that makes this set a worthy buy if your a fan of Family or you like the free spirit of music that evolved during the late 1960s / 1970s.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars HURRY !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 6 Mar. 2009
By Jim Z - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
This price can't possibly last long ! The first 1,000 come with a 5th disc. The music is fantastic , a host of unreleased material amongst well-known tracks. The booklet is well - written , and the entire thing is worth 5 times this price. If you love Family---BUY IT ! If you've never heard of Family----BUY IT !
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