1972's Familiar Songs (also known simply as Tom Rapp, because its title doesn't appear on the front sleeve) was released by Reprise in 1972, apparently without his consent, as Tom Rapp was leaving the company to sign with Blue Thumb Records. The album consists almost entirely of quick re-recordings of some of Pearls Before Swine's better songs, originally done as demos for planned full-band re-recordings for a proper retrospective album. Rapp and his wife/muse Elisabeth are the only performers on most of the songs, bucking the trend of fuller arrangements that had developed over the preceding albums, and while the performances are typically fine and the songs are unassailable, Familiar Songs is simply superfluous to all but the most ardent Rapp fan.
Familiar Songs Review
by Stewart Mason