C’mon, get happy…again!
2012 has already seen David Cassidy’s solo catalogue mined in the U.S. by Real Gone Music and in the U.K. by Cherry Red’s 7Ts label, and now 7Ts is turning its attention to none other than The Partridge Family! A two-fer of the group’s first two albums, The Partridge Family Album and Up to Date, has just arrived in stores from 7Ts.
The made-for-TV group fronted by David Cassidy and Shirley Jones came out of the gate swinging with 1970’s The Partridge Family Album. The November 1970 LP release on the Bell label (released in January 1971 in the U.K.) arrived soon after the Partridges’ first single. “I Think I Love You” b/w “Somebody Wants to Love You” was issued in August 1970 in advance of the television show’s debut on September 25. After the catchy A-side, penned by Tony Romeo, was featured on an episode of the show, the single’s ascent began, and it hit No. 1 on the U.S. chart in late November, displacing the Jackson 5’s “I’ll Be There” from the top spot. Containing both sides of the single, The Partridge Family Album got all the way to No. 4 on the LP chart. Though it ostensibly was the soundtrack to the television show, the album was a success on its own merits. Like the fictional-turned-real band The Monkees before them, The Partridge Family boasted quality compositions from top-tier pop writers who were seeing their Brill Building work taking a backseat to singer/songwriters. The fabled L.A. Wrecking Crew, including Hal Blaine on drums, Larry Knechtel on keyboards, Joe Osborn on bass and Tommy Tedesco on guitar, brought their inimitable style to the recordings spearheaded by producer and songwriter Wes Farrell (“Hang On, Sloopy,” “Come a Little Bit Closer”). The Partridge Family Album featured songs by Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil, Mark Charron, Farrell and Romeo, among others, and Cassidy took the lead vocals on all but three of its session musician-created tracks.
After the jump: we get Up to Date! Plus: track listings and an order link!
Partridge-mania was in full swing, and Cassidy ensconced as America’s reigning teen idol, when a second single was issued (“Doesn’t Somebody Want to Be Wanted” b/w “You Are Always on My Mind”) in January 1971. The A-side, by Farrell, Jim Cretecos and future Bruce Springsteen manager Mike Appel, was almost as much of an earworm as “I Think I Love You,” and made it to No. 6 on the U.S. chart. Both sides were included on the Partridges’ sophomore album, Up to Date, released later in January. The album surpassed Album with a berth of No. 3 on the U.S. LP chart. Cassidy looked forward to his solo work with a songwriting credit of his own for “Lay It on the Line,” co-written with Farrell, and Carole King’s former husband and lyricist Gerry Goffin teamed with Farrell for three tracks including “I’ll Meet You Halfway,” the A-side of the group’s third Bell single. Tony Romeo was responsible for “You Were Always on My Mind” plus “Morning Rider on the Road” (B-side of “Halfway”) and “That’ll Be the Day.” Blaine, Osborne, keyboardist Mike Melvoin and guitarist Louie Shelton all returned from the first LP, as well. The Partridges didn’t fare as well in the U.K. as in America, though, with “I Think I Love You” only making it to No. 18 and “Doesn’t Somebody Want to Be Wanted” not even making the Top 50. “I’ll Meet You Halfway” b/w “Morning Rider on the Road” earned the Partridges a third Top 10 hit in America, but wasn’t even released in the U.K. at the time.
Today, the enjoyable sunshine pop of David Cassidy, Shirley Jones and the Partridge Family can be savored with 7Ts’ first in a series of Partridge Family releases. All told, the group would release eight original studio albums between 1970 and 1973 (including one holiday effort) plus a couple of greatest hits compilations. The Partridge Family Album/Up to Date is available now, and can be ordered at the link below!
The Partridge Family, The Partridge Family Album/Up to Date (7Ts GLAMCD 141, 2012)
- Brand New Me
- Point Me in the Direction of Albuquerque
- I Really Want to Know You
- Only a Moment Ago
- I Can Feel Your Heartbeat
- I’m On the Road
- To Be Lovers
- Somebody Wants to Love You
- I Think I Love You
- Singing My Song
- I’ll Meet You Halfway
- You Are Always on My Mind
- Doesn’t Somebody Want to Be Wanted
- I’m Here, You’re Here
- Umbrella Man
- Lay It on the Line
- Morning Rider on the Road
- That’ll Be the Day
- There’s No Doubt in My Mind
- She’d Rather Have the Rain
- I’ll Leave Myself a Little Time
Tracks 1-11 from The Partridge Family Album, Bell LP 6050, 1970
Tracks 12-22 from Up to Date, Bell LP 6059, 1971
Mark Bumgardner says
I'm not too proud to say that the first album was one of very first albums I remember owning. "Point Me In The Direction of Albuquerque" is still one of my all time favorite songs. My Friday nights were not complete if I didn't get to see the Fam. And "In Concert" after the news as well. Long live the 70s!