The Family That Plays Together

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The Family That Plays Together
The Family That Plays Together (Spirit album - cover art).jpg
Studio album by Spirit
Released December 1968 (1968-12)
Recorded March 11–September 18, 1968
Length 34:44
Label Ode
Producer Lou Adler
Spirit chronology
The Family That Plays Together
Singles from The Family That Plays Together
  1. "I Got a Line on You"
    Released: 1968
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4.5/5 stars[1]
Rolling Stone (positive) [2]

The Family That Plays Together, the second album by the rock band Spirit. The album was released on Ode Records in December 1968. It displays the band's ability to play beyond the genre of psychedelic rock.

Tracks such as "It Shall Be" and "Silky Sam" demonstrate the ease with which the ensemble can incorporate jazz into their idiosyncratic form of rock, while "Jewish" and "Aren't You Glad" show the band's competence in exploiting both world music and jam rock. "Poor Richard," "Jewish," and "All the Same" feature double tracked lead guitars played by Randy California.

During this time the band lived together in a house in Topanga, California, near Los Angeles. The album's title was also inspired by the stepson-stepfather relationship between the lead guitarist and percussionist Ed Cassidy. It alludes to the slogan "The family that prays together stays together", created by ad-writer Al Scalpone for the Family Rosary Crusade and popular in American and British rhetoric beginning in the 1940s.

The album's arrangements were created by Marty Paich, who also arranged and conducted Spirit's eponymous debut album and their third album, Clear, as well as Model Shop (the soundtrack to a film of the same name, which was recorded after "Family" but not released until 2004).

The album cover was shot at the Sunset Highland Motel, located at 6830 Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood, California, just across from Hollywood High School.

"Jewish" is performed with Hebrew lyrics that are taken from the traditional song "Hine Ma Tov", based on King David's Psalm 133.[3]

Ed Cassidy's drum solo in "All the Same" is similar to Joe Morello's solo in the Dave Brubeck Quartet song "Castilian Drums".

Release history[edit]

At some point after "Family's" first issue, the final mixes for the album were misplaced. Because of this, subsequent CD releases by Sony, as well as the recent vinyl reissue by Sundazed Records, are taken from new mixes made from the original multi-track tapes (the tracks that appeared on the Time Circle, 1968–1972 compilation were remixed as well, though the mixes differ) by Bob Irwin, Randy California and Ed Cassidy in 1996. Liner notes on the 1996 CD reissue state that it was "mixed and mastered by Vic Anesini, Sony Music Studios, New York."

The 1996 CD reissue also contains five bonus tracks. Two of these appeared on the Time Circle, 1968–1972 compilation, while the other three are previously unissued.

In 2017 Audio Fidelity re-issued the album as a numbered limited edition Super Audio CD. This release was remastered from the original stereo master tapes which were previously thought to have been lost. This edition also includes bonus tracks in the same mixes as on the 1996 CD.

Track listing[edit]

Side one
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "I Got a Line on You" Randy California 2:39
2. "It Shall Be"
3. "Poor Richard" Jay Ferguson 2:31
4. "Silky Sam" Ferguson 4:57
5. "Drunkard" Ferguson 2:27
6. "Darlin' If" California 2:27
Side two
No. Title Writer(s) Length
7. "It's All the Same"
8. "Jewish" California 3:23
9. "Dream Within a Dream" Ferguson 3:13
10. "She Smiles" Ferguson 2:30
11. "Aren't You Glad" Ferguson 5:25
1996 reissue bonus tracks
No. Title Writer(s) Length
12. "Fog"
  • California
  • Locke
13. "So Little to Say" Ferguson 2:58
14. "Mellow Fellow" Locke 3:46
15. "Now or Anywhere" Ferguson 4:20
16. "Space Chile" Locke 6:25




  • Lou Adler - producer
  • Bob Irwin - producer
  • Marty Paich - horn arrangements, string arrangements
  • Vic Anesini - mastering, mixing (reissue)
  • Armin Stiener - engineer
  • Adam Block - project director
  • Tom Wilkes - art direction
  • Guy Webster - photography



Year Chart Position
1969 Billboard 200 22
1969 RPM Magazine Top 50 46
1972 Billboard 200 189


Song Chart Position
I Got A Line On You, Babe RPM Magazine 28


  1. ^ Allmusic review
  2. ^ Hansen, Barret (March 15, 1969). "Records". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 18 February 2015. 
  3. ^ Bernarde, Scott (2003). Stars of David: Rock'n'roll's Jewish Stories. UPNE. pp. 164–169. Retrieved 2016-02-15.