Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The Family

The Family is an R&B band from the 80s that was signed to Prince's well-known record label, Paisley Park Records.

The origin of the band began with the break-up of The Time in 1984 when lead singer Morris Day left to pursue a solo career of his own and guitarist Jesse Johnson became the de facto leader of the band.

Prince suggested reconstructing the band with new member Paul Peterson to head the group, but Jesse opposed to this.

Jesse soon left the band to pursue his own solo career and a few of The Time's newer members followed him join his backing band called Jesse Johnson's Revue.

Because the band served as an outlet for Prince to release more music, he wanted to continue with the project and invited the remaining members of The Time, Jellybean Johnson, Jerome Benton and Paul to his home and presented them with his new project.

They agreed to become a new band called The Family and Paul was renamed "St. Paul" becoming the new frontman and bassist.

Jesse and Jerome reprised their familiar roles from the time. Prince added singer Susannah Melvoin (the twin sister of Wendy Melvoin, guitarist for Prince's band, The Revolution and his fiancée at the time) as a backing singer.

He also added Eric Leeds (the brother of Prince's tour manager, Alan Leeds) who played saxophone and flute.

Guitarist Miko Weaver is credited in the album's booklet because he was supposed to be a session player and tour musician band supporter, but he was never an official member of the band.

The Family's material was composed nearly entirely by Prince. He wrote and performed all the other tracks & simply overdubbed St. Paul and Susannah's vocals & added saxophone and flute by Eric.

All the tracks for their debut album were recorded in a few weeks span by the end of 1984 after Prince completed sessions for his "Around the World in a Day" album and before he began recording music for Sheila E.'s "Romance 1600" album and his own album entitled "Parade."
In 1985, The Family released their self-titled debut album which peaked at #62 on the Billboard 200, #17 on Billboard's R&B Albums chart and #23 on Billboard's Top Gospel Albums chart.
The first single "Screams of Passion" peaked at #63 on the Billboard Hot 100, #10 on Billboard's Hot Dance Music/Club Play chart, #5 on Billboard's Hot Dance Music/Maxi-Singles Sales chart and #9 on Billboard's Hot Black Singles chart, staying on the chart for 16 weeks.
The follow-up single "High Fashion" peaked at #14 on Billboard's Hot Black Singles chart, staying on the chart for 12 weeks.

Despite the moderate success of the band, Prince's music project turned out to be short-lived. St. Paul felt constricted by Prince's control and wanted to pursue his own solo career.

Without a lead singer, Prince lost interest in the project and he absorbed most of the remaining members of The Family into the expanded version of The Revolution except for Jellybean Johnson, who went on to join the Flyte Time music production team of Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis.

The members of The Family moved onto various projects and in 2009, they reformed under the name "Fdeluxe" & these days, they continue to perform.

To see Fdeluxe's official website, go to:

To see a fan-made video for "The Screams of Passion," go to:

[updated on 04\21\2016]

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