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#1 2018-01-28 06:39:42

Registered: 2012-03-11
Posts: 2593

Family's Music in a Doll's House - 50th Anniversary

An ingenious debut album that was released 50 years ago, by the band that belongs to the roots of Progressive rock.
In Swinging London's nightclubs in 1967, the undergound music scene had a shift of generations. London's bands like The Who and The Kinks already became the stars, so they were replaced at the undeground scene with the bands like Family, 1-2-3 (later called as "Clouds"), The Nice, Soft Machine and so on, who were experimenting without the limits urged by the music industry; the music by Family and related underground bands was perceived & labeled by the audience as *progressive music*.
In that milieu, Family released their debut and the first album of British Progressive rock: Music in a Doll's House
This early masterpiece was recorded during late 1967 and early 1968, & released in July 1968. Personnel was actually the best Family's line up: Roger Chapman (vocals, harmonica, tenor saxophone) John "Charlie" Whitney (lead and steel guitars), Jim King (tenor and soprano saxophones, vocals, harmonica) Ric Grech (bass guitar, vocals, violin, cello) and Rob Townsend (drums, percussion). Dave Mason of Traffic, produced the album (with Jimi Miller), composed one song and played Mellotron on the album.
NME's journalist Nick Logan has right when he was qualified Music In A Doll's House as a revolutionary record:
"(...) In 1968, the band moved [from Leicester] to London to record Music In A Doll's House the album, produced by Jimmy Miller and Dave Mason. Except for one song by Mason, the album was fullfilled with compositions by the band members and it was a surprisingly successful start - what established themselfs as one of half a dozen of leading bands at the British progressive rock scene in the beginning. (...) If their first, revolutionary album was released a few years later, when the audience could have been more willing to accept it, perhaps the whole story [about the band] could have been written differently. (...)"
from The Illustrated New Musical Express Encyclopedia of Rock by Nick Logan & Bob Woffinden (Salamander Books, London, 1976)

Unlike many albums from that time, Music in a Doll's House sounds fresh even today and, sadly, it's still to be an underrated masterpiece.

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