The Family (band)
This article needs additional citations for verification. (January 2008)
|Also known as||The Family (1984-1985, 2003) |
|Origin||Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States|
|Years active||1984–1985, 2011–present (one-off reunion: 2003)|
|Labels||Paisley Park/Warner Bros.|
The Family was a band formed by Prince, and one of the first signed to Prince's record label, Paisley Park Records. The band reformed as fDeluxe in 2011. This band should not be confused with a 1970s Minneapolis R&B band of the same name.
The band's origins started with the disintegration of the Time in 1984. Lead singer Morris Day had left the band to pursue a solo career and guitarist Jesse Johnson became the de facto band leader. Prince suggested restructuring the band with new member Paul Peterson to head the group, but Johnson opposed. A few of the Time's newer members followed Johnson to join his backing band (called Jesse Johnson's Revue).
As the band had served as an outlet for Prince to release more music, he wanted to continue this avenue, inviting the remaining members of the Time, Jellybean Johnson, Jerome Benton, and Paul Peterson, to his home and presented them with his new project. They agreed to become a new band called the Family, with Peterson renamed "St. Paul" as the new frontman and bassist. Johnson and Benton reprised their familiar roles from the Time. To the mix, Prince added Susannah Melvoin, the twin sister of Revolution guitarist Wendy Melvoin, as a backing singer and keyboardist. The fifth member was Eric Leeds, the brother of Prince's tour manager Alan Leeds, who provided saxophone and flute. Also joining was bassist Allen Flowers. Guitarist Miko Weaver, from Sheila E.'s band, is credited in the album credits because he was to be a session and tour player, but was never officially a member of the band.
Much like the Time, the band's material was composed entirely by Prince, with the exception of "River Run Dry", which was written by Revolution drummer Bobby Z. Prince wrote and performed all the other tracks and simply overdubbed Peterson's and Melvoin's vocals and added Leeds' saxophone and flute. On several tracks, Prince's vocals can be clearly heard. Some of the original demos have surfaced as bootlegs and circulate among fans with Prince's original lead vocals, as well as two outtakes: the instrumental "Feline" and the pop "Miss Understood". As on other associates' albums, Prince falsely gave writing credit to the various band members, though he kept his name on "Nothing Compares 2 U". The tracks were all recorded in a span of a few weeks at the end of 1984 after Prince had finished sessions for Around the World in a Day and just before he started recording for Sheila E.'s album Romance 1600 and his own Parade album.
The album itself is a mix of uptempo funk songs ("High Fashion", "Mutiny"), unconventional soul ballads ("Nothing Compares 2 U", "Desire"), jazz-funk instrumental tracks ("Yes", "Susannah's Pajamas") and New Wave songs ("The Screams of Passion", "River Run Dry"). "The Screams of Passion" was released as the first single from the album. MTV placed the video for the song in light rotation. "High Fashion" was the second single, but no video was made.
The album sold poorly upon its release and has been out of print in any form since the late 1980s in the United States. A compact disc version was printed in Germany in the early 1990s following the success of Sinead O'Connor's cover version of "Nothing Compares 2 U" which was released that same year and is highly valued among Prince fans and collectors.
Prince often incorporated the track "Mutiny" into the setlist of his Parade Tour in 1986, which occasionally was extended to contain the chorus of his song "Dream Factory" and the snarky chant "St. Paul – punk of the month!" as well as on subsequent tours. From 1990 onward, Prince occasionally added "Nothing Compares 2 U" to his tour setlist.
After the band performed a single concert, released their self-titled album and only two singles, Peterson felt constricted by Prince's control and opted to pursue his own career. Without a lead singer, Prince lost interest and absorbed most of the remaining members into the expanded Revolution with the exception of Johnson, who went on to join the Flyte Tyme music production team of Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis.
Reformation and fDeluxe
According to St. Paul's website, he fondly remembers his time with the Family and often plays songs from the album in concert. The Family reunited on December 13, 2003, for a single performance for charity along with other acts formerly associated with Prince. On January 26, 2007, the Family announced that they were returning to the music scene, with a tour and a recording of new music. Now called fDeluxe, they reformed in June 2011 and released a new record called Gaslight with four of the five original members performing.
- St. Paul – vocals, keyboards
- Susannah Melvoin – vocals
- Jellybean Johnson – drums
- Eric Leeds – saxophone and flute
- Jerome Benton - background vocals
|Year||Album||Peak chart positions|
|2011||Gaslight (as fDeluxe)||—||—||—|
|2014||AM Static (as fDeluxe)||—||—||—|
|"—" denotes releases that did not chart.|
- Live & Tight (As a Funk Fiends Fix) (2013) (as fDeluxe)
- Relit (2012) (as fDeluxe)
|Year||Single||Peak chart positions|
|1985||"The Screams of Passion"||63||9||10||73|
|2011||"Drummers and Healers" (as fDeluxe)||—||—||—||—|
|"Gaslight" (as fDeluxe)||—||—||—||—|
|2012||"Over the Canyon" (as fDeluxe)||—||—||—||—|
|"You Got What You Wanted" (as fDeluxe)||—||—||—||—|
|"—" denotes releases that did not chart or were not released in that territory.|
- ^ a b c d Henderson, Alex. "The Family - Artist Biography". AllMusic. Retrieved January 25, 2008.
- ^ Swensson, Andrea. "Prince: The Hometown Kid". MSP Magazine. Retrieved May 5, 2023.
- ^ Henderson, Alex. "The Family - The Family (1985): Review". AllMusic. Retrieved January 28, 2022.
- ^ a b "St. Paul Peterson - Bio/Credits". Retrieved July 10, 2014.
- ^ "Our Family Story". fdeluxe.com. Retrieved November 16, 2021.
- ^ a b c "The Family - Awards". AllMusic. Archived from the original on March 14, 2013. Retrieved January 28, 2022.
- ^ a b c "The Family [Minneapolis band] Top Songs / Chart Singles Discography". Music VF. Retrieved November 16, 2021.
- ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992 (illustrated ed.). St Ives, N.S.W.: Australian Chart Book. p. 108. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
- Official site
- The Family at Discogs
- fDeluxe at Discogs
- The Family (includes a photo of the group)