Way Back Machine: 1972 – Shopping with The Partridge Family

Okay, it’s Friday. After such a long contentious week I think it’s time for some lighthearted fun.

Lighthearted fun circa 1972.

Ahhh, the 1970s. Bad clothes, questionable politics but oh such good pop music.

Television also wasn’t so bad from the decade of the big yellow smile either – cheesy, yes, but good.

The place where two of my favorite things from the 1970s collided – cheesy television and good pop music – was The Partridge Family.

I know a lot of people find The Partridge Family to be crassly commercial and strictly teen girl magazine fodder but I’m not one of them.

I find that the pop music created under the banner of The Partridge Family is quite good actually and very well sung by David Cassidy. Of course I was very young and grew up with the music and show as a sweet childhood memory but still to this day I enjoy the lush pop sounds of the fictitious Partridges – a fun way to lighten up a dark day.

Which leads me to this blog post.

I was inspired to write it after browsing through Half Price Books the other day and spotting an old cassette of The Partridge Family “Shopping Bag” album for sale in their cassette bin.

Since the cassette was beat up and looked like the tape may not even play I passed on buying it but decided to take a few photos (see above) as you rarely see old Bell Record cassettes from the 1970s anymore and I thought it might be fun to do a blog on some of the vinyl and CDs I own of this album.

The “Shopping Bag” album came out during the second season of The Partridge Family TV show in March of 1972 and was a best-seller being awarded a gold record and spawning the Top Twenty hit “It’s One of Those Nights (Yes Love)” which to this day remains one of my favorite Partridge tracks ever released.

Now I have to say that even at the time the “Shopping Bag” album was released it seemed to me to sound a bit formulaic but still quite good. Cassidy could sing his hind end off and gave the songs an emotional lift that elevated them beyond their teen appeal.

Looking back though the album has quite a few stronger tracks on it then I remembered including “Am I Losing You” (also released as a single and a minor hit), the lovely “Girl, You Make My Day” (written by Monkees songwriters Boyce and Hart), “Something New Got Old”, “Hello, Hello”, “Every Song is You” and the David Cassidy penned “There’ll Come a Time” which reflected his mixed feelings of being a teen idol with it’s lyrics about being human and not just a circus clown attraction – certainly a much more poignant listen since Cassidy’s death last year as a result of alcoholism.

All in all a very good collection but not quite as strong as the first three albums released under The Partridge Family banner but still worth checking out. Plus the original vinyl pressing actually comes with a plastic shopping bag imprinted with the album artwork on it – what’s not to love lol!

As far as CD releases go there have been three – the first issue on the Razor &Tie reissue label from 1993, an Arista/BMG Heritage reissue CD from 2003 and an imported reissue on the 7t’s Records label from 2013.

The best CD issue in my opinion by far is the first release on the Razor & Tie label. It’s a very good sounding CD and sounds very similar to the original vinyl release – good dynamics and balanced sound.

The other two CD releases sound okay but are much more compressed which makes the bass sound better but you lose a lot of the dynamics and they sound decent only when played a low volume.

Surprisingly my somewhat worn original vinyl copy from the 1970s still sounds pretty darn good I must say! A bit crackly but nice. I usually stick to the Razor & Tie CD if I want to take a dip back into 1972 Partridge land but a good quality vinyl copy of this album is probably the way to listen to this album while you stare at your groovy plastic shopping bag!

Take a gander above at some of my “Shopping Bag” swag and enjoy feasting your eyes on this little trip back in time.

Until we meet again – Have a Nice Day!!!



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