|The Family is the first album by The Family.
While Prince was only credited with writing Nothing Compares 2 U, he wrote seven of the eight songs and played almost all the instruments on the album (Bobby Z. wrote the remaining track, River Run Dry). Vocals were provided by St. Paul Peterson and Susannah Melvoin.
This album was the first Prince-related release to feature saxophone by Eric Leeds and string orchestration by Clare Fischer.
Recording took place between June and October 1984. High Fashion, Mutiny, River Run Dry, Mazarati (later renamed Susannah's Pajamas), and Desire were the first tracks recorded for the album in late June 1984. Nothing Compares 2 U was recorded in mid-July 1984.
The Screams Of Passion was recorded in mid-August 1984 (a year to the day before the album's release). Lisa (later renamed Yes) was recorded in early October 1984. Vocal overdubs by St. Paul Peterson were added in late 1984 or early 1985. Orchestral overdubs by Clare Fischer also took place in late 1984 to early 1985, and mixing taking place in April and May 1985.
Other tracks recorded for the album include Feline (recorded in mid-July 1984) and Miss Understood (recorded in September 1984).
An undated early work-in-progress configuration of the album is known to exist, tentatively titled Hi Fashion, which also included Paisley Park (an instrumental song different from the Around The World In A Day song of the same name, and a track titled BMW (thought to be an interim title of Susannah's Pajamas).
The album produced two singles, The Screams Of Passion and High Fashion.
There was little other promotion for the album, as Jerome Benton and Susannah Melvoin flew to France with Prince to film the Under The Cherry Moon movie at the time of the album's release, and St. Paul Peterson was taking acting and dancing lessons in Los Angeles to prepare for a future (undetermined) Prince film project.
As such, a planned tour and other promotional activities were put on hold. The Family played only one show at the time of the album's release, on 13 August 1985 at First Avenue in Minneapolis.
Perhaps due to the lack of promotion, the album reached only number 62 on the US Billboard Top Pop Albums Chart, and number 17 on the US Billboard Top Black Albums Chart.