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Bandstand is the sixth studio album from the British progressive rock band Family. Released in 1972, it was the second and last album to chart in the United States. The album cover pictured, and was die-cut in the shape of, a Bush TV22 television set, with a black-and-white image of the band onscreen.
Bandstand marked a notable change of direction for the band. Family's sound had become more mainstream and somewhat more conventional. By Roger Chapman's own admission, he and Charlie Whitney were getting more standardized in their songwriting, relying more on choruses and regular verse structure. Their sound was further conventionalized by British soul singer Linda Lewis contributing backing vocals.
Bandstand opened with "Burlesque," a straight rocker about a bar of that name in Chapman and Whitney's hometown of Leicester, England. Released as a single in the U.K., it got up to number thirteen on the charts. Heavier songs on Bandstand included "Broken Nose," an angry sexual rant involving the British class structure, and "Ready To Go," a swipe at Family's detractors in the British rock press. Family also were becoming more adept with introspective tunes like "Coronation," about an apartment dweller ruminating about his neighbors and his own disheveled flat, and "Dark Eyes," a light, folkish ballad Chapman wrote with Poli Palmer. Many Family fans cited "Glove," a soulful power ballad about meeting a woman through an act of chivalry, as one of their best songs ever. "My Friend The Sun," a straight acoustic ballad, displayed a tenderness previously absent in Chapman's vocal style. It was also issued as a single in the U.K., but did not chart.
Bandstand was the last Family album to feature John Wetton. Having joined the band only a year earlier and being a large vocal and instrumental presence on Fearless, Wetton's role in the band was reduced on Bandstand, and he left to join King Crimson. He was replaced by Jim Cregan, and the group toured North America with Elton John immediately after Bandstand's release . They received favorable exposure from American critics and radio DJs and built up a small but loyal cult following in the U.S. as a result.
Now this was more like it. Kicking off with the wickedly salacious "Burlesque," Bandstand was the best of the late Family recordings. For a band that for the most part eschewed riffs and hooks, both are in plentiful supply here. More important, by the time of Bandstand's release, Family had reconciled the war between their art-rock and hard rock tendencies; that is to say, there is more of the latter and less of the former. So, the record doesn't have the internal stress of their earlier releases, but what it does have is Chapman shouting like he could take on the world and Whitney playing like he must have when he formed the Farinas in 1962. A corker from the word go. [Source: Wikipedia + AMG]
01."Burlesque" - 4:04
02."Bolero Babe" - 4:36
03."Coronation" (Whitney-Chapman-Wetton) - 3:50
04."Dark Eyes" (Chapman-Palmer) - 1:46
05."Broken Nose" - 4:09
06."My Friend The Sun" - 4:20
07."Glove" - 4:49
08."Ready To Go" - 4:36
09."Top of the Hill" - 5:39