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It's Only a Movie - 2 CD Remastered Expanded Edition

Review by Gary Hill

It's Only a Movie was the final album from prog rock act Family. The disc gets a deluxe reissue here. The first CD includes a remastered version of the album along with some intriguing bonus tracks. The second disc is made up of songs performed live in two 1973 BBC performances. This set has some great music on it. That's for sure.

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Track by Track Review
CD One:
It’s Only a Movie - Remastered
It’s Only a Movie

Starting with a bouncy rocking arrangement, this turns to more quirky, proggy zones as it continues. I really love the piano on this track. There are some hints of Frank Zappa type music on this thing. There are spoken vocals that serve as part of the vocal arrangement. More traditional sung vocals are the main ones, though. I love this song It's so strong. There are some great prog stylings on an instrumental section later. A horn takes that part of the track into rather jazzy territory. There are some sound effects from a Western movie that are added to the arrangement later.

While it has plenty of symphonic angles in the mix, this is a fun folk rocking kind of tune. It has some prog vibes, but also a lot of glam rock sort of artsy things. This is another fun tune, but I don't like it quite as much as I did the opening title track.
Buffet Tea for Two
More of a mainstream rocker as it gets going, it's still on the melodic side. The instrumental section later brings more of the prog angles to bear. It also features some killer piano work. That movement really elevates this song. It gets pretty symphonic along that run, too. I'm not completely sold on the vocals on this one, but the musical arrangement more than compensates.
Boom Bang

This is more of a powered up rocker. It still has some of the prog in the mix, particularly later in the track. It's one of the hardest rocking things here, but it's also quirky.

Boots ‘n’ Roots
Here we get a tune that's a lot more of folky or ragtime kind of number. It's bouncy and fun, and the piano gets to show off. It's just a little odd, though. It gets into more of a folk rock zone later on.
I like the bouncy kind of jazz rock meets 1960s garage sound to this thing. This instrumental is fun.
Sweet Desire

A Latin party vibe is on the menu here. I'm reminded a little of War. Multiple layers of vocals make me think of Three Dog Night.

Bouncy folk rock is on the menu here. This energetic and fun. The horns bring some hints of jazz.
Check Out
This is proggier. It has plenty of classy, bouncy, jazz-leaning hard rock. It's another fun tune.
Bonus tracks
Stop This Car (B-side of single)
Much more of a folk tune, this is classy and has some definite country music in the mix.
Drink to You (B-side of single)

Energized and fun, this is a classy rocker. It has some great jazzy horns and is such an effective piece. Some harmonica brings a different kind of flavor.

Boom Bang (early version)
This version of the tune has some almost Pink Floyd like vibes at play at times. It's an intriguing variant.
Suspicion (early version)

I like this alternate take quite a bit. It's bouncy and a lot of fun.

Stop This Car (early version)
This makes me think of The Rolling Stones song "Far Away Eyes." I mean, this predated that song by several years, but this has that sort of seemingly tongue-in-cheek country sound at play, and I heard that tune before this one. This gets more involved than that tune does, though. It has more of a bouncy folk vibe later.
CD Two:
BBC Radio Sessions 1973
BBC In Concert January 1973
Sat’dy Barfly
This rocker is very classy. I love the keyboard work, and the guitar solo is particularly tasty. This has plenty of cool prog rock in the mix.
Top of the Hill
Coming in mellower and atmospheric, this builds up gradually with plenty of psychedelia in the mix. It eventually makes its way to more of a straight-forward rocking sound. It's a dynamic and growing track that has plenty of prog rock in the mix. At almost nine-and-a-half minutes of music, it's also an epic.
My Friend the Sun

Bouncy, folky acoustic music is on the menu as this gets underway.

Buffet Tea for Two
This live rendition of the song from the main album is great. I love the guitar soloing on it. The piano work is also noteworthy. I'd have to say that this is one of the highlights of the second disc.
Bouncy folk rock is the order of business here. This is entertaining, but I'm not completely sold on the vocals. 
I really like the piano on this track a lot. The number has a good balance between mellower and more rocking movements. There is a bit of a blues rock thing at play. Yet, the piano brings more of a proggy vibe.
Ready to Go
This is more of a hard rocking number, but it has plenty of proggy tendencies built into it. I like the energy and groove. The piano soloing on one of the instrumental breaks is on fire. The same can be said for the guitar soloing on a later one.
I dig the bluesy guitar on this thing as it gets underway. The whole tune has a classy groove to it. It is a strong rocker with plenty of prog and more in the mix.
Holding the Compass
Bouncy, folk rock based music is the idea here. This is a fun and energetic romp. The electric guitar soloing later is classy, and the track really starts rocking out later.
Rockin’ Pneumonia and the Boogie Woogie Flu

This blues rocking classic gets a cool live performance here. The crowd sings a healthy helping of this track.

BBC Session May 1973
Boom Bang

This live rendition of the tune works pretty well. It's not a big departure, but just a solid take. Again, this version has some hints of Pink Floyd to me. The vocals are more blues rock and roll based than that suggests, though.

Buffet Tea for Two
This rendition of the tune is all class. It has some killer piano soloing, and the whole instrumental movement really works well. I think this might be my favorite recording of the song I've heard.
Check Out
This energized proggy rocker is another fun one. It's a strong performance, too. I like the keyboard work on it so much.
Sweet Desiree
A bouncy romp, this calls to mind War. It's a fun tune, but not the proggiest thing here.

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