The Partridge Family

Playlist: The Very Best of the Partridge Family

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With the exception of the Monkees, the medium of television never birthed a better fake rock group than the Partridge Family. They may have lacked something in terms of hipness (what do you expect from a bunch of kids out on the road with their mom?), but Shirley Partridge and her offspring consistently made excellent pop records that have managed to pass the test of time. Taking a page from the Monkees' guidebook, the producers of The Partridge Family (the TV series that ran from 1970 to 1974) had the good sense to hire top-notch songwriters, producers, and session musicians to create the tunes for the show, and the craft behind their material was as solid as radio-friendly pop music got in the early '70s. And with David Cassidy on lead vocals, the Partridge Family had a singer with the skills to deliver lyrics that were generally a bit more mature and thoughtful than their bubblegum peers ("Point Me in the Direction of Albuquerque" and "I'll Meet You Halfway" at least acknowledged the nuts and bolts of mature relationships, albeit without unusual depth). Playlist: The Very Best of the Partridge Family generally lives up to its title: this may not be the definitive look at the "band" and their music, but the 14 selections include their biggest hits and a few choice albums cuts, and the remastering makes the audio sound even better than you might have remembered from your long-deceased transistor radio or fold-up turntable. There's more to the Partridge Family than what you'll find here, but Playlist: The Very Best of the Partridge Family is a great introduction to their artificial career, and many fans will never need anything more.

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