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Fearless (Family album)

Fearless was the fifth album from the British rock band Family, which was released in October 1971. It was known for its innovative layered-page album headshots of the band's members melding into a single blur.

By 1971, Family's lineup had changed considerably. The lineup at this point was as follows:

Track listing

  1. Between Blue and Me – 4:58
  2. Sat'd'y Barfly – 4:02
  3. Larf and Sing (Palmer) – 2:45
  4. Spanish Tide – 4:00
  5. Save Some For Thee – 3:45
  6. Take Your Partners (Chapman-Whitney-Palmer) – 6:25
  7. Children – 2:20
  8. Crinkly Grin (Palmer) – 1:05
  9. Blind – 4:02
  10. Burning Bridges (Chapman-Whitney-Palmer) – 4:00

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

The album

Fearless is regarded as one of Family's most innovative albums by critics and fans. Its ten tracks were arranged with great care and complexity, and the lyrics and music take unexpected turns. The musicianship was of especially high caliber, as the bass and vocals of new member John Wetton added a new dimension to Family's sound.

"Between Blue and Me," the opening cut, set the pace for the album with a gentle introduction shattered by Charlie Whitney's piercing guitar solo and Roger Chapman's impassioned vocal bleats. Family do a commendable job of appproximating other styles and making them a part of their own sound; "Sat'd'y Barfly," about getting drunk on a Saturday night, suggested a Faces outtake, while the closing cut, "Burning Bridges," drew comparisons to Genesis. (Chapman's vocal even sounded like Peter Gabriel.) "Save Some For Thee," dominated vocally by John Wetton, was a favorite on Fearless, with a piano arrangement that slowed and started up again throughout, filled in by a prickly guitar line and complemented by a marching band ensemble.

Family showed the occasional light touch with gentle fare like "Children," though Chapman's vocal delivery and the acoustic guitar backup were halting enough to keep it from sounding too soft. "Spanish Tide," a somewhat spooky folk rocker that employed heavy bass a Poli Palmer's organ-sounding vibes, was more in keeping with the album's adventurous spirit.

Fearless was, as always, entirely different from Family's earlier work, but it was just as warmly embraced, doing respectably well in the British album charts and garnering attention in the United States, where Family's fortunes had always been meager at best.

Chart positions

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