Okay, let’s have some fun shall we?
Since I’m on a Partridge Family kick I thought I’d continue today with yet another Partridge post (Sometimes when you’re in the mood, you’re in the mood).
My last post focused on some rare and previously unreleased Partridge Family tracks that have appeared on various CDs and that got me thinking. Why look at just a few unreleased tracks? Why not take a look at the motherload of unreleased Partridge Family tracks?
There are almost thirty known songs that for one reason or another were recorded but never made it onto vinyl, 8-track, cassette or CD. Out there in Webland many of these thirty or so tracks are available to listen to and/or purchase if you know how to find them.
(Note: A bootleg CD compilation entitled “Missing Pieces” in fact contains all of the known unreleased Partridge Family tracks and in good quality stereo to boot. I’m guessing many or most of these tracks come from so-called Screen Gems discs.
Screen Gems discs are vinyl discs made for the cast and crew of The Partridge Family so they could learn the songs to lip-sync to them in each specific episode. Strictly limited to the cast and production crew these discs were not made for public consumption and contained not only many of the unreleased studio Partridge tracks but several alternate versions of well-known and loved tracks that were on the show.
Screen Gems by the way is the name of the company that owned and filmed “The Partridge Family” TV show.)
As I stated in my previous post several songs were recorded and used on the show yet never made in onto an album. As it turns out a nice chunk of those said unreleased tracks came from the later part of the Partridge years from 1972-73.
As fans of this fictitious group know The Partridge Family released eight studio albums from 1970 to 1973. Five of those albums went Gold (500,000 to a 1,000,000 copies sold) plus a greatest hits album called “The Partridge Family At Home with Their Greatest Hits” also went gold and it contained the exclusive track “Breaking Up is Hard to Do” which was the last Top Thirty Partridge hit.
As you can see six gold albums is nothing to sneeze at thus making The Partridge Family one of the more successful groups of the era. It also made David Cassidy one of the leading heartthrobs of the era as well which is why there is still interest in the group and their recordings to this day.
By the time the of the fourth and last season of the Partridge Family TV show (1973-74) sales of Partridge albums and singles took a nose dive. That nose dive in record sales coincided with The Partridge Family show itself being switched from its winning Friday time slot to Saturdays where it was up against the number 1 show at the time “All in the Family”.
With the show’s ratings and record sales down plus younger fans of the group growing older and looking for other music to love the need for new Partridge vinyl came to a standstill.
In the Fall of 1973 the group’s final album “Bulletin Board” was issued and pretty much sank without a trace along with the group’s single from the album “Looking for a Good Time”/”Money Money”.
Seeing as how each season of The Partridge Family generated two albums of studio material what did this mean for all the songs that filled out the rest of season four? Several songs from the last half of season four of The Partridge Family would most likely have been on a ninth studio album had it come out.
Their eight album “Bulletin Board” happens to be one of my favorite Partridge records but it did stray a bit from the more pop oriented sound of all the previous seven albums. Several songs on “Bulletin Board” added a funk and grit that the other Partridge material lacked.
This change in sound was probably due to David Cassidy refusing to be produced by Wes Ferrell, the man who produced all their recordings, and the fact that Cassidy’s solo material was taking the same funkier route.
Some Partridge fans don’t like the direction of “Bulletin Board” but I loved it. So that leads me to what would a ninth album have sounded like? What would it be called? What songs would it include?
Today I decided to create that ninth studio album with songs I think would have been a perfect fit. And since all of the Partridge studio albums have a name that comes from an object I thought since it was the last season of their show what better title than “The Partridge Family Yearbook”.
A yearbook conjures up looking back and remembering and since this was the last season of The Partridge Family this yearbook would have represented a graduation away from the series and the recordings so to me “Yearbook” really works as the title.
Would this album have sounded very different from the previous album? Actually from the unreleased songs from the later half of season four this ninth album, “Yearbook” as I call it, would have sounded very similar to the “Bulletin Board” album but maybe a tad less funky.
Several of the season four songs like “I Wanna Be with You” and the covers of “Crying in the Rain” and “Workin’ on A Groovy Thing” would have fit the “Bulletin Board” perfectly. Ditto for the newer originals “I Was Running the Opposite Way” and “When Love’s Talked About”.
To my “Yearbook” album I’ve added some of the more recent Partridge castoffs like “I Don’t Care”, “Sunshine Eyes” and “Me Loving You” which hearken back to the more pop oriented Partridge sound of the previous albums. “Yearbook” I’m guessing would probably have sounded more poppy than the “Bulletin Board” record but it would still be a good listen for sure.
Below you can see my track listing for the “Yearbook” album. I also added a tenth album that I would call “Scrapbook”. This album would contain the rest of the unreleased material dating from the pilot episode to the present.
I would have made the “Scrapbook” album more of a budget release as it’s highly unlikely Bell Records would have been willing to spend much on such a release at that time.
Of course all of this is definitely in the”what if?” category but it’s a fun little exercise in what would have come out if they had indeed released anther Partridge album.
The unreleased Partridge tracks are a lot of fun and it’s just too bad that more than likely they will never see the light of day. If you can search around online and find these tracks. I think if you like The Partridge Family you’d enjoy hearing these gems.
Also I took the liberty of creating album covers (above) for each of my 1974 albums. I’m no commercial artist but I think the album covers are fun and would have fit the bill nicely for each record.
That’s all for now. Check out my track listings below and the artwork above.
Until next time be well and see you soon!
The Partridge Family
“Yearbook” – Bell Records 1140 (1974)
I’m Into Something Good
I Was Running the Opposite Way
Crying in the Rain
I Wanna Be with You
When Love’s Talked About
I Don’t Care
Me Loving You
Listen to the Sound
It’s Time That I Knew You Better
Workin’ on A Groovy Thing
Single release: “I Wanna Be with You”/ “I’m Into Something Good”
The Partridge Family
“Scrapbook” – Bell Records 1144 (1974) Budget price release
C’mon Get Happy!
Together (Havin’ a Ball)
Find Peace in Your Soul
God Bless You Girl
Let the Good Times In
Baby I Love, Love, I Love You
Warm My Soul