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4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars

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on 31 March 2013
Recently re-formed for a couple of shows minus Charlie Whitney lost in Greece, this box set brings together all their records in original sleeves with two bonus cds, live cd, 3 CD singles, signed by Roger Chapman, re-printed Sounds with many cuttings and a 70 page book with some great photos. It's a limited edition and the price is prohibitive. The Family back catalogue has suffered from some below par remixing but at long last someone has spent the time to remaster all their records and this box set serves this underrated band well. Family produced several classic records and even the below par records have some stand out tracks. If you can get passed the price this box set is essential.
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on 26 July 2013
A comprehensive panoramic about the creative work of Roger Chapman and Charlie Whitney in his first mutual project, the mercurial Family, one of the formations whose musical legacy represents today the same (or even more) in terms of expressionism, freshness and innovation, than when it was produced between 1967 and 1974.
This limited edition of 2,000 copies is the trophy that all the connoiseurs were claiming for decades. The remastering is perfect and, at last, the album "Old Songs New Songs" sounds at its best, obtained directly from the original tapes.
The format of the box is really precious and all the materials accompanying the 14 CDs have been kept with care and sense until the smallest detail.
A gift of Roger Chapman for all his friends of always and forever, that is worth much more than the price mark. Thanks Roger ... sing a song for you.
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I was a bit unsure whether I should order this product as the price is a bit steep, but I decided to go for it. It's a long time since I listened to Family as I lost all my vinyl albums in my house move and I had forgotten just how brilliant they were. Bandstand was my first ever album in my early teens and I saw Family when I was about 14, so have thoroughly enjoyed revisiting the music, browsing the enclosed book & paper and reliving the long lost past today. I haven't had time to read or to listen to everything yet, but what I have listened to is good quality and I am so pleased I decided to buy this boxed set. I found myself wondering why in 44 years I have only ever met one other person who knew who Family were! I will treasure this collection.
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on 6 April 2014
For those of us of a certain age, going back to the music of your youth can be a bit hit-or-miss. Some of it just doesn't stand the test of time. Putting nostalgia to the side, this is certainly not the case with Family as far as I'm concerned. Owning all the albums on CD, some with additional tracks etc, I thought I'd treat myself to this collection. Got it for a great price via an Amazon trader. For me, Family were one of the seminal British bands in the late 60's/early 70's, with the unique blend of Chappo's bleating vocals, Charlie Whitney's beautiful guitar work, Rob Townsend's tight drumming and Poli Palmer's virtuoso keyboards being the key elements. They were unbelievable live (managed to see them 4 times in my native Edinburgh). Other reviewers have referred to the fans' intense loyalty, and the relationship between band and audience was fantastic - if you got down to the front rows it felt like a privilege to be sprayed by Chappo's beer can contents whilst he manically shook a tambourine belting out "Drowned in Wine or Broken Nose. No prima donnas on stage, just having a great time with their devoted fans. Whether live or on record, the band would take you from the heights of their intense, heavier numbers straight to a gentle folky or jazzy song, Chappo's vocals going from aggressive to gentle in seconds.
If you weren't around at the time, the music might not connect for you, but then you wouldn't shell out for something like this in that case. The individual albums would be good value as a taster. However, for a dedicated fan, this is a fantastic, comprehensive compilation. Every track is there, including rarities, the sound has been beautifully remastered at times, bringing new clarity and balance, and the presentation is excellent. Well worth investing in.
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on 7 September 2015
Getting prepared for the December concert at the O2 Shepherd's Bush. I'd forgotten just how good Family were. A nice birthday treat.
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on 11 April 2013
Quick review. Set was dispatched quickly from the UK to US- total cost $204. It's a beautiful set. A joy to behold. Big box, as pictured, beautiful book, and sure to be sold out soon. If you like Family, you should get this, as I doubt there will ever be anything this comprehensive and nice again. The music, it goes without saying (but then again, how many people know this music?), is uniquely beautiful and interesting, peculiar and moving. Family's songs create aural paintings, unlike any other music I've heard. Lots of different sounds and instruments, rhythms and moods, a musical collage. Not exactly a household name in the US, seems like their LP's went straight to the bargain bins. Songs like "No Mule's Fool", "The Weaver's Answer", "Today", "My Friend the Sun", "Children", "Peace of Mind", "Strange Band", "Larf and Sing", are little timeless works of art. Family have a daft, eccentric musical sense of humor too, that is I guess uniquely British, maybe an evolutionary adaptation to deal with the island's crummy weather. "Anyway", whoever put this set together deserves a prize for good taste and actually caring about what they do. They're my friend for life. This may seem like it costs a lot, and it's true, but with 8 original LP's on CD and 4 more discs of alternate takes and live shows, 3 CD singles (sound is pristine), Roger Chapman's autograph, the book and a musical newspaper from 1971, it's surely worth it. But make sure you actually appreciate their music before getting this set, as it may not be for everyone.
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on 19 July 2013
An excellent box set. The discs are as good as it gets and the accompanying book is a real gem for fans of Family.
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on 17 April 2015
i love it
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I have all the Family CDs and this set is a big upgrade in sound to most of the previously issued CDs.
In particular is the sound on Old Songs New Songs which was one of the worst sounding CDs that was issued. This version in the box set is far better in sound and you can hear more in it some how.
I am very happy with the mastering and work that has been done with the music herein.
The booklet is also well produced and very interesting reading.
I thought the CD singles were a waste of time however.
What is missing is a DVD or BluRay of some genuine footage of Family live on stage.
There is many clips on YouTube so there are film of the band out there. Its a shame they didn't include some visual stuff. I am also surprised more live music was not issued on a few more CDs such as the BBC stuff.
Overall this is a great set and is a good addition to any good CD music collection.
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on 30 May 2013
This is only the second purchase I have made from Amazon U.K., the other being the wonderful Sandy Denny box set. Family were unique in their career in that they never allowed their music to be influenced by their peers. In truth, they had no peers. While the music Family made evolved over time, serving the marketplace was never the motivation. "Once Upon A Time" is easily the new standard for what a box set should be. The remasters are exceptional.
Family became better and better throughout an amazing career, and this set is a time capsule that proves it. The individual disc artwork is outstanding, and the hardcover book and the magazine are a testament to the love this set was made with.
My purchase arrived today, May 29, 2013, two days earlier than predicted. As well as the box itself is packaged, the shipping box was equally superb. Like the Sandy Denny box this was expensive and well worth the price. It will provide me with many hours of enjoyment, both listening and reading. I saved a great deal of money as well. What more could a Family fan ask for? Pardon my English, I'm American.
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