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Label / Cat. No: Hirra HLS 207831
First Released: 1974

What The Album Blurb Says...

The Kaye Family must surely rank as unique among musical entertainers. Mother, Father, Daughter and Son, whilst each projecting strong individual qualities in their respective talents, merge into a blendship of melodic unity, which is smoothly maintained throughout a warm and appealing performance.

Audience attention is commanded by supreme musicianship, smack on timing that would do justice to a space shot and a superb arranging ability. Deeply insighted into people's requirement in entertainment, they have the happy gift of presenting the very best material covering a spectrum from light to popular music.

This intimate family unit, small as it is, nevertheless produces the big sound.

The skilful change of immaculate gowns, by the ladies who supply the vocals, compliments their splendid harmony.

There is nothing magical in their success, just hard unrelenting work, dedication to their art and that impelling desire in all true professionals to bring and give only of the best to the people.

Ringing the curtain down on The Kaye Family is a difficult task, the clamour is always for more.

Call your own family together, set the turntable to 33 1/3 r.p.m. and be assured that you too will spin this disc many times.

South Wales

What I Say

Can I get this out of the way first. Musical family groups are creepy. From the Von Trapp singers to The Jackson Five, there is something just so.... wrong about large members of the same family performing together. I think the optimum level is two brothers - just look at Oasis, Spacehog or The Black Crowes. Two brothers bring the necessary friction, the dynamic which pushes both to outperform and out achieve the other.

But just look at the Kaye Family. You know behind the bearded face at the keyboard lies a tartar. A man who has marshalled his wife and children into his dreams of stardom. "Sharon darling, we need another baby. We don't have a drummer. Brace yourself...".

And this is the result.... I'm saying nothing.

To be fair, the family are all talented musicians (in their own way), but how many teenagers would a) voluntarily practice their musical instruments, b) want to spend large amounts of their free time rehearsing with their parents, and c) appearing in public, not only with your parents, but wearing the same clothes as them. I can only imagine the number would be very small, which means that either the Kaye Family are one in a million, or Old Man Kaye beats his children in time to the 'Rumba' setting on his organ.

Of course he doesn't. I think legally I need to make it clear that I do not believe that Mr Kaye in any way mistreats his family. Though of course, he does mistreat the audience with his organ led arrangements. The Rumba is his favourite setting (NOT for beating his family, NOT for beating his family - I can't stress that enough), as everything has that very 1970s latin arrangement to try and make them sound exotic and mysterious. I'm not sure how exotic and mysterious the Canton Liberal Club, Cardiff on a June night in 1974 really was, but I'm sure the Kaye Family helped the atmosphere along enormously.

These are clearly a band who've done the club circuit. They belt out the numbers double fast, not giving the audience the chance to catch their breath, throw missiles or shout insults. Just listen to the introduction and see how long it takes them to launch into the fastest version of 'Cabaret' that you will ever, ever hear. And 'Aquarius' gets the same treatment. Be still my racing heart, it's all that I can do to keep my breath.

I've often found that if you listen carefully to a lot of these old albums I find, you can often find one of the musicians, there in the background, just itching to be allowed a chance to break free and really show what he can do. You don't have to look too hard on this album to find that member of the group. The son (let's call him Jim. I have no idea what his name is, but Jim seems as good as any) clearly toes the party line on the drums. His father's arrangements are strictly adhered to. But there seems to be a pay off. Maybe Jim's got something on his old man... some indiscretion maybe, or knowledge of a dark family secret. But clearly there is a deal been struck here. Jim plays his old man's parts to the letter, but he's allowed to let rip at the end of the songs. And by Jove does this boy let rip! Think Animal from The Muppets on steroids. Jim is up for some serious thrashing of those skins. So the gentle folk rhythms of 'Where Have All The Flowers Gone' end with Jim rockin' the house. And good on him I say.

Dad demands his moment in the spotlight, and gets a solo spot with his 'Short Selection of Famous Overtures', which I will just say is possibly the most tedious thing I have ever had to listen to. Although Jim livens it up a bit at the end in his own inimitable style. And then Jim gets to lead on 'Midnight In Moscow', and things start to go crazy. Seven Russian Themed songs in a medley with drums as lead instrument all the way. Magic in a tin it is, magic in a tin.

Ultimately, I can't blame them for the way they look, because it was 1974 so this was what was expected (even the silver capes, I suspect). I can't blame them for providing populist entertainment because they're doing the club circuit, and that's what's needed. I can't even blame them for being slightly creepy because they're a family, and unlike a lot of families, at least they're spending a lot of time together and doing something creative.

What I can blame them for is getting Dick Doyle to write their album blurb, and for using a word as obscene as 'blendship'. Eurghhh. What were they thinking?

Oh, and it turns out his name's not Jim. It's Adrian. I should have guessed. He looks like an Adrian.


Side 1

Put On A Happy Face
Something's Going To Happen Tonight
Love Me With All Your Heart
Quando Quando
Never Ending Song Of Love
Everybody Loves A Lover
High On A Hill
Where Have All The Flowers Gone?
Too Young

Side 2

White Rose Of Athens
A Short Selection Of Famous Overtures
Midnight In Moscow
Volga Boat Song
Black Eyes
From Russia With Love

Final score:

6.5 out of 10 but only because I'm strangely drawn to their bass playing daughter...

(no subject)

Date: 2008-01-14 11:17 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
You won't believe this but you know that album I was telling you about that I forgot to bring along to the cafe? That was by THE KAYE FAMILY too!! They must have had quite a following round these parts. I will scan in the cover for you.

I have to disagree with your family theory though - look at Sister Sledge for example, miles better than Oasis!

(no subject)

Date: 2008-01-15 09:34 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
And the admittedly deliberately weird Trachtenburg Family Slideshow...

(no subject)

Date: 2008-01-15 01:13 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Ah, but then my opinions are based on 0% fact, and probable less research than that. I just make it up as I go along and try to sound confident!

(no subject)

Date: 2008-01-15 01:12 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Oh please do... When I found this one, there was another with it by The Kaye Family, and I was so tempted, but just couldn't justify buying a second album of theirs. But I'm tempted now to go back and see if it's still there.

What interests me about this one is that it's autographed on the back, but saying 'with best wishes from The Kaye Family' - not individual signatures - clearly they're not allowed their own identity, but 'The Kaye Family'. Freaky if you ask me.

Oh, I can't stand Oasis myself, but I know that there are those that do. I can't say I go a whole load on Sister Sledge either, but that's probably because I can only think of one song of theirs. I'm not very cultured you know, which makes it double odd that I'm presumptuous enough to write a music review journal!

(no subject)

Date: 2008-01-15 10:24 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
That's... Quite horrifying, on so many levels.... :)

TBH, at first glance the Dad/Son is more or less obvious, but I wasn't *entirely* sure which was mother and which was daughter! It's like they've been put through some horrible 70s club circuit Borg-izer ...

Oh dear AEOYBS.... And then I listened to the music...!!

Lovin' this Forgotten Albums thing more and more :)

(no subject)

Date: 2008-01-15 01:16 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
It is quite grim, isn't it!

I had the same thing with Mother / Daughter - there's no clues on the record either - one of them's called Sharon, which I'm presuming is the daughter. In between the songs, the Dad keeps playing a low organ wash while one of the women talks about the next song and what instrument the other woman is going to play. It ends up sounding like some kind of sermon. It really is most odd.

Glad you're enjoying my efforts. If you 'liked' this, just wait until you see Elaine and Derek!

(no subject)

Date: 2008-01-19 04:19 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Sounds like mum is the multi-instrumentalist and the daughter the mistress of ceremonies and they both sing. As dad says, "One, two, three, four."

(no subject)

Date: 2008-01-21 10:23 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I can't take Dad seriously with his 'a-one-two-three-four' in that nasal twang. It's so awful, I keep thinking it must be a parody, but sadly not...

(no subject)

Date: 2008-01-15 03:27 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Where Have All The Flowers Gone? to a frantic disco backbeat.

Oh my.

(no subject)

Date: 2008-01-15 04:04 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Remember, you heard it here first!

The Partridge Family of the Sanitarium

Date: 2008-01-16 04:06 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Took a moment to check out their rendition of Cabaret.

Couldn't stop laughing. OMG OMG

No time to listen further now. Tomorrow I try to catch up on more LJ comments and do more fifthbeatlemovie forum maintenance.

Then the next time I need to cross my eyes, babble and drool, I shall listen to another selection here. ;P

(no subject)

Date: 2008-01-17 02:20 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
that drumbeat pattern on cabaret sounds like the bbc radiophonics on time Beat!

seriously, there's some bizarre stuff out there in the world of homegrown acts flogging their albums in the club circuit.
i have a few albums I've picked up for pence. one notable find is by this pair - common to see in chazzers in the north west!

But, - some gems too; see

(no subject)

Date: 2008-01-17 08:59 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Those photos from the folk club are fantastic - a real window into the past, and proper folk beards too. What more could you ask for.

If you wanted to post a review of Norman Castle and Gill on this blog, you'd be very welcome. Submissions were always going to be part of it, so if you have the time, or inclination, be my guest.

(no subject)

Date: 2008-01-21 02:41 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
will have to dig out the album, it is in storage at my parents' place along with all kinds of charity shop atrocities - will look at easter if poss. if i do find it i shall try my hand at a review!

(no subject)

Date: 2008-01-21 10:11 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Excellent. And purely out of curiosity, where is your parents place? I'm assuming it's in the UK, though you're Spain based... yes?

(no subject)

Date: 2008-01-28 03:05 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
yeah, I originally hail from wirral though (exotic ,eh!)

(no subject)

Date: 2008-01-17 08:25 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Just discovered your LJ—looks really interesting :) Feel free to friend back, but everything's public at the moment.

(no subject)

Date: 2008-01-17 09:02 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Thank you - though I'm a bit worried that a proper musician may see through all my made up musical criticism! I have only the shallowest idea of the theory of music, so spend a lot of time making up rubbish, so as long as you can allow for that....!

I don't tend to friend people from this journal, just as I see it as a sideline, so please don't be offended if I don't friend you back - I've not friended anyone. my main journal is at [ profile] bingo_mcdingo and I'd be happy to see you over there too!


Date: 2008-01-19 04:17 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
You claim no musicianship but the edit you did on "Where have all the flowers gone" giving us the essential intro and ending is genius. Perfect moment of time warp as we make the transition.

I sometimes pick up a record album as an artifact but cannot imagine reaching the level of perception and presentation you are achieving. Ah, another day, another inspiration.


Re: striking

Date: 2008-01-21 10:24 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Thank you. That really does mean a lot. I write this for my own gratification mostly, but if someone comes along and enjoys what I'm doing, it really does make me want to continue.

So from now on, it's all your fault!