With all the talk lately of virtual school due to the current Coronavirus Pandemic my mind has been drawn back to my years of early education.
I can’t imagine having to take classes via the Internet. I would just hate having to be home while also having to manage classes as well as not being able to go anywhere. As a young kid that must be really tough.
School to me, especially grade school, means the 1970’s, pencils, books, book covers, lunch money and notebooks.
Ahhh, notebooks – that’s the key word. I remember many a notebook in my day, all of them filled with doodles on every margin and yes with some actual school work mixed in of course.
Today, since everything reminds me of music, I thought it would be fun to turn the way back machine dial to 1972 and not only revisit my early grammar school days but highlight the sixth album by The Partridge Family called appropriately enough “The Partridge Family Notebook”.
By the time “The Partridge Family Notebook” landed onto store shelves in the fall of 1972, the television show The Partridge Family was in the first half of its third season on air and while the show’s main heartthrob David Cassidy was still melting hearts around the world a bit of Partridge fatigue had begun to settle in with record buyers.
This sixth Partridge album was the first Partridge album not to go gold (sales of 500,000 copies) and produced the final Top Forty Partridge hit single the superb “Looking Through the Eyes of Love” (#39).
While “The Partridge Family Notebook” landing at #41 on the Billboard Top 200 charts wasn’t that bad for a fictitious television pop group the previous five Partridge Family albums had all sold amazingly well with the first four (“The Partridge Family Album”, “Up to Date“, “Sound Magazine”, “The Partridge Family Christmas Card”) selling over a million copies each.
With the previous two albums (“Shopping Bag” and “The Partridge Family At Home With Their Greatest Hits”) each only selling 500,000 copies obviously the Partridge train was begging to slow down by the fall of 1972.
By this time David Cassidy had also began to release solo albums and singles so there was definitely a glut of product out there with Cassidy’s smooth vocals front which I’m sure caused the beginning of overexposure.
Even though this sixth Partridge album was greeted with a more lukewarm commercial reception than its predecessors I think that it’s actually a pretty decent collection of songs.
At the time of the album’s release I felt that “The Partridge Family Notebook” was a bit of a retread of past Partridge material and while I enjoyed it I thought it wasn’t nearly as strong as the first three Partridge albums which I truly loved.
I must say time has been kinder to this album as I now really enjoy it and rate it as one of my favorite Partridge albums. Songs like “Storybook Love”, “Together We’re Better”, the first single “Looking Through the Eyes of Love”, “Love May Be the Answer” and “Take Good Care of Her” all rank as some of my favorite Partridge moments.
Fans of The Partridge Family TV show I’m sure are very familiar with most of the songs on this album as most of them were featured heavily in the third and fourth seasons of the show.
I’m guessing that Bell Records, the label that released Partridge Family music, must have been expecting bigger sales as “The Partridge Family Notebook” is by far one of the easiest Partridge platters to still be found sealed as the album flooded the cut-out bins in stores throughout the remainder of the 1970’s.
Nonetheless it’s still a fine pop album and one of my favorite albums to reach for in times of crisis such as the past few weeks have brought with all of the Coronavirus uncertainty.
Above I’ve shared a few photos of my “The Partridge Family Notebook” copies that I own on vinyl and CD. This past year in fact I managed to track down the really fun alternate cover of the album that was released in Germany which was also used for the CD issues of the album.
The German vinyl copy also sounds really good but is not quite as bright and clean sounding as the regular US Bell pressing which I also happen to own in near mint condition in the shrink wrap (notice the cut-out mark on the lower right corner).
As for the CD versions I prefer the original Arista CD that even though is mastered a tad bit to loud is still better sounding than the later 7T’s label reissue which is louder even still.
Whatever format you may find this album in give it a listen as it’s filled with a lot of pure pop pleasure that only seems to grow sweeter with time. That may be age speaking but whatever it’s still a good listen.
Well, that’s all for today. As usual I hope all of you are well out there and remember to stay safe and be courteous of others!
Until next time go spin some music.