The Partridge Family

The Partridge Family Shopping Bag

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This classic title was the fifth long-player to be issued under the Partridge Family moniker. Issued in the spring of 1972, the platter respectably charted in the Top 20 and was the first of their LPs not to have entered the Top Ten, despite its release during the absolute height of the Partridge Family's television success in the early '70s. As they had done on their previous four LPs, the made-for-TV group included only two of the actors from the series -- Shirley Jones, who played Shirley Partridge, and her real life stepson David Cassidy, who played Keith Partridge. The pair was augmented vocally by a studio combo known as the Love Generation. Instrumentally, the crème de la crème of session musicians -- such as Hal Blaine (drums), Larry Carlton (guitar), Joe Osborne (bass), and Larry Knechtel (keyboards) -- provided a perfect simple-but-sweet bubblegum, no-frills backing. As with a majority of the music recorded for these albums, many of the songs appeared on the television series as well as their LPs. In much the same way that the Monkees' weekly prime-time TV exposure helped drive album sales, the Partridge Family's discs were likewise the beneficiaries of constant attention and yielded a Top 20 show as well as albums that consistently sold over a million copies. It would be a tough act to follow the overwhelming double-barrel release of the Partridge Family Christmas Card (1971) seasonal offering as well as David Cassidy's first solo effort, Cherish (1971) -- both of which were issued only a few months prior to Shopping Bag (1972). However, the world's affinity and infatuation with the "family" almost immediately drove the album onto the charts. It also spawned a pair of singles -- "Am I Losing You" and the hugely popular international hit "It's One of Those Nights (Yes Love)." The appearance of all 11 cuts in third-season episodes no doubt helped as well. When issued on CD in 2003, the album's timeless kitsch was re-created within the fact-filled liner-notes booklet, which is full of essays and full-color memorabilia from throughout the globe.

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