This platter is the first of seven non-seasonal offerings from the pre-fabricated-for-television entity known as the Partridge Family. The idea took root in both the overtly marketing-oriented Monkees' multimedia project and combined it with the infinite storyline possibilities inherent in the honest to goodness pop/rock relations, the Cowsills. The Partridge Family ran on ABC-TV from September 25, 1970, through August 31, 1974. Just as the Monkees had been created to do, a few of the primary cast members -- in this case, Shirley Jones (vocals) and David Cassidy (vocals) -- were also the Partridge Family's lead vocalists. The campaign ultimately yielded a consistently high-rated television program and The Partridge Family Album (1970) -- which was issued only a few weeks after the show's debut -- became the first of seven Top 40 LPs that yielded a pair of Top Ten hits on a double-sided 45 containing both "I Think I Love You" and "Somebody Wants to Love You." Accompanying Cassidy and Jones are session gurus Hal Blaine (drums), Larry Carlton (guitar), Joe Osborne (bass), and Larry Knechtel (keyboards). Providing the sucrose-laden backing vocals is the Love Generation, who ultimately participated on all of the Partridge Family's LPs. Along with a cast of co-collaborators, it was Wes Farrell who created the sound that would become most synonymous with the "Family." One of the only non-Farrell cuts is the Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil side "I Really Want to Know You." This is of particular note as it was also recorded by the Cowsills on one of their concurrent efforts. Along with "I'm on the Road'" -- the album's other Mann/Weil composition -- these also represent two tracks without a Cassidy or Jones lead vocal. Rather, the Love Generation provided a dated-sounding ersatz ensemble vocal. All 11 of the songs on The Partridge Family Album were incorporated into the TV show and several, such as "I Can Feel Your Heartbeat" and "Point Me in the Direction of Albuquerque," have become favorites even though they were not singles. In 2000, Buddha Records began restoring the Partridge Family catalog and reissued this title on CD for the first time.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Lindsay Planer