Bandstand (album)

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Bandstand 1972.jpg
Studio album by Family
Released September 1972
Recorded 1972
Studio Olympic Studios, London
Genre Progressive rock, psychedelic rock, hard rock
Length 37:49
Label Reprise (UK), United Artists (US)
Producer Family, George Chkiantz
Family chronology
It's Only a Movie
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 4.5/5.0 stars[1]
Robert Christgau B+[2]

Bandstand is the sixth studio album by the British progressive rock band Family. Released in 1972, it was the second and last album to chart in the United States. The original album cover 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 standardised in their songwriting, relying more on choruses and regular verse structure. Their sound was further conventionalised 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 UK, 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 neighbours and his own dishevelled 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 UK, 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 favourable exposure from American critics and radio DJs and built up a small but loyal cult following in the US as a result.

Bandstand is the only Family album not to feature an instrumental track. Spectacles Records issued a glow in the dark picture disc version of this album,the album reissued as a double with the Family compilation "Old Songs, New Songs" on sepia coloured transparent vinyl.This rare double album,in a clear plastic sleeve, regularly reaches up to $4000 when it turns up at auction.

Track listing[edit]

All selections are by Charlie Whitney and Roger Chapman except where noted.

No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Burlesque"   4:04
2. "Bolero Babe"   4:36
3. "Coronation" Whitney, Chapman, Wetton 3:50
4. "Dark Eyes" Chapman, Palmer 1:46
5. "Broken Nose"   4:09
6. "My Friend The Sun"   4:20
7. "Glove"   4:49
8. "Ready To Go"   4:36
9. "Top of the Hill"   5:39



Guest artists[edit]

  • Linda Lewis – backing vocals (5)
  • Del Newman – string arrangements

Song cover versions[edit]

The song "My Friend the Sun" was later covered by Linda Lewis for her 1977 album Woman Overboard, with harmonica by Peter Hope Evans and keyboards by Max Middleton.[3]

Chart positions[edit]

  • Highest chart position (UK) – #15[4]
  • Highest chart position (USA) – No. 183


  1. ^ Dougan, John (2011). "Bandstand – Family | AllMusic". Retrieved 25 June 2011. 
  2. ^ Christgau, Robert. "Robert Christgau: CG: The Family". Retrieved 4 October 2013. 
  3. ^ [1]
  4. ^ "Chart Stats – The Family – Bandstand". Retrieved 8 January 2010. 

External links[edit]