UNRELEASED AND ALTERNATE VERSIONS OF P.F./D.C. SONGS FROM BELL RECORDS:
GRAND TOTAL (so far) = 31 KNOWN unreleased songs!
compiled by Fred Anson last revised 4/13/2000
Documented tracks that have yet to appear on either record or TV Show:
1. "I Was Running The Opposite Way" (1973 from the "Bulletin Board sessions). A gospel tinged song in the style of Al Green that was slated for release on the aborted 10th album. Can be found on "Screen Gems Records" #8.
2. "Let Me Call You Sweetheart" (Screen Gems Records #5A. Shirley Jones solo with piano)
3. "Last Night" (Two (2) versions can be found on Screen Gems Records #5A)
4. "Me Loving You" (Screen Gems Records #6C). Aborted track from the 1972 "Notebook" sessions.
RARE tracks (released with limited or constrained distribution):
1. "Warm My Soul" (1972 from the "Update To Date" sessions), (Released on "David Cassidy's Partridge Family Favorites" indy, also an out take appeared on one of the DC Bell solo albums) This can also be found on one of the "Screen Gem Records".
2. "Sweetness" (1971)(Released on "David Cassidy's Partridge Family Favorites" indy) This was a David Cassidy demo that Wes Farrell rejected for the PF.
3. "Mystical Lady" (1971)(Released on "David Cassidy's Partridge Family Favorites" indy) This was a David Cassidy demo that Wes Farrell rejected for the PF.
SOURCES: "Wrecking Crew" musicians via second parties. Confirmed by other music industry insiders .
Songs, by episode, that appeared on the TV show but not on a PF album:
(only the first instance of a song was retained. Subsequent instances were deleted)
SEASON 1 AND 2 THEME SONG: "When We're Singing" (many fans thought that it was a mistake not to include this song in the listing)
1. What? And Get Out of Show Business? (Pilot) "Together (Havin' A Ball)" (Three three times with two distinct versions of this song appear in this episode. Other versions appear in other episodes)
2. "Let the Good Times In"* [performed by "The Love Generation" - i.e. Tom and John Bahler] (available on 'Sunshine Days -Pop Classics of the 60s-Volume 2' on Varese Sarabande label # VSD-5802. This version performed by the "Love Generation" and not the PF)
3. Whatever Happened to the Old Songs? "Baby I Love Love I Love You" Now released on Come On Get Happy CD.
9. Did You Hear the One About Danny Partridge? "All of the Things" (the same song as "Stephanie" from episode #25 with different lyrics)
14. The Red Woodloe Story "Find Peace in Your Soul"
16. Old Scrapmouth* "The Love Song"(Sung by the Bahlers and not sung by David Cassidy)
25. A Knight in Shining Armor "Stephanie" (recently released on Come On Get Happy CD) & "Stephaine (Instrumental)"
28. A Man Named Snake "Listen to the Sound" [Another "Love Generation" song licensed for the PF and redone with David Cassidy on lead vocals]*
31. Whatever Happened to Moby Dick? "The Whale Song" - Performed by Shirley Jones. [Released on a promotional record to easy listening stations]
39. Where Do Mermaids Go? "It's Time That I Knew You Better" (Released on "David Cassidy's Partridge Family Favorites") [Three (3) versions can be found on "Screen Gems Records" #3B]
50. This Male Chauvinist Piggy Went to Market "God Bless You, Girl" [Two (2) versions can be found on "Screen Gems Records" #5A]
57. A Likely Candidate "Ain't Love Easy" - Performed by Shirley Jones. [Released as a promotional single to easy listening stations]
61. Nag, Nag, Nag "Lullaby" (David Cassidy with finger picked acoustic guitar)
64. For Whom the Bell Tolls...and Tolls...and Tolls "Sunshine Eyes" [Can be found on "Screen Gems Records" #6D.]
71. The Partridge Connection "I Don't Care"
78. The Strike-Out King "I Wanna Be with You"** (abandoned track from the 10th album)
81. The Last Howard "When Love's Talked About"** (abandoned track from the 10th album) [Can be found on "Screen Gems Records" #9]
85. All in the Family "I'm Into Something Good"** (abandoned track from the 10th album) [Cover of old Hermit's Hermit's single. Can be found on "Screen Gems Records" #8]
86. Made In San Pueblo "Workin' on a Groovy Thing"** (abandoned track from the 10th album) [Can be found on "Screen Gems Records" #9]
88. Two for the Show** "Crying in the Rain" (abandoned track from the 10th album) [Can be found on "Screen Gems Records" #9]
*SOURCE: Bahler Brothers via second parties. Confirmed by various music industry sources.
**SOURCE: "Wrecking Crew" musicians via second parties.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Q: "Where did all these unreleased Partridge Family songs come from?"
A: It's not unusual for record labels to over produce for any given album.
Typically only the best out takes and best songs make the "cut" that become a released album. However, in the case of the Partridge Family the "music machine" was in "turbo-mode" trying to exploit the product before it dried up. Remember the Monkees hot streak lasted 2 seasons as did the Bobby Sherman craze. Who could have guessed that this quirky faddy "product" would enjoy a 4 year run? History would have ruled against it! So the mentality was "hit it hard - NOW!".
Reliable sources (one of them being producer, Wes Farrell, another is bass player Joe Osborne) have stated in interviews that they were grinding out 2 tracks per session during sessions that ran 6-8 hours each. Other sources tell us that they were doing 3-5 sessions per week on a pretty much non-stop pace over a 4 year period. The rythmn tracks for the Christmas album were done in TWO marathon 12 hour sessions!
Other sources: Various "Wrecking Crew" musicians via second parties.
The underlying feeling at Bell was, "this thing could flop any minute!" That's why there were two (2) PF album releases per year even though it runs counter to music industry "market cannibalization" theories and practices!
Source: "Wrecking Crew" musicians via second parties. Furthermore, the PF albums recorded between 12-14 songs with the best 11 (read on to see why the magic number was "11") making the "cut". That would leave at least 1-3 songs left over per album. A good example of this is "Come On Love". It was initially intended for Sound Magazine, but discarded. Picked up for a TV episode, then resurrected, redone and put on the "Crossword Puzzle" album.
In addition, "Bulletin Board" was not the last Partridge Family album recorded (see end notes). That is why the 4th season is so "heavy" with unreleased tracks.
Source: "Wrecking Crew" musicians via second parties. Finally, there are the lost demo tapes. David Cassidy has told many people that there over a hundred unreleased tracks still in the vaults. David is undoubtedly 100% correct - If you count all the rejected demo tapes that were brought to the Bell production team for consideration (remember the Partridge Family was a "cash cow" that everyone wanted to milk!). However, if you factor out the demo tapes, the number shrinks dramatically to about the number given at the top of the page. Is it any wonder the Partridge Family is sometimes referred to as one of the "lost" bands of the 1970's?
Q: "Why weren't these songs ever released?"
A: Some were, the "Crossword Puzzle" album was a compilation of new tracks and discards from earlier albums.
Source: Various sources. This seems to be common knowledge. The example cited previously, "Come On Love" is a case in point. In most cases, the second version is different than the original which would lead us to speculate that there may be some interesting alternate takes on certain songs.
Other songs were put on the David Cassidy solo albums. For example, "Warm My Soul" (from the "Up To Date" sessions) was resurrected, redone as a slow bluey song (the Partridge Family version was hard driving, acid rock) and put on the David Cassidy "Rock Me Baby" album.
Source: "Wrecking Crew" musicians via second parties and various knowledgeable fans. In other cases the songs were used on the TV show but never on record (see above).
In other cases, the songs just weren't considered to be worthy of release on either media. For example, there are inside stories about one of the Bell higher up's who would reject any "God rock" ("God Bless You Girl"), any waltzes ("Stephanie"/"All of the Things", "My Best Girl", "Whale Song") and songs with brushes on the drums "It's Time I Knew You Better". Why? Every producer is different and what the producers say goes - like it or not they're the boss and get the final word!
Furthermore, Wes Farrell was of the opinion that the proper formula for an album was 6 songs on side A, 5 songs on side B. Why? He figured that the natural inclination is to play side one first, with six songs, then play side two with five songs, subconsciously feel cheated because it had one less song, turn the record over and play song one again (to get that "missing" sixth song from side two) and then play the whole thing over and over again ad infinitum.
Source: "Wrecking Crew" musicians via second parties.
Q: What the heck are the "Screen Gems Records"?
A: These were the recordings that the cast were given to learn the lyrics and "oohs" and "aahs" from. They were also used by the production crew for planning and play back purposes. There were 9 sets of records with great variety between the sets. Some sets had a single record, some had multiple records. Some records were double sided, some were single sided. One cast member even claims that there were cassette versions available. However, this last statement has no physical evidence to support it yet.
These records are like the holy grail of Partridge Family fandom. Collectors lust after them and Partridge Family historians ponder over how many there were and what they contained. I have yet to find anyone with a complete set or even a complete song list. They remain shrouded in mystery. The information on this list are from people who actually have copies in their hands and have verified that the song was on a particular record. Obviously, ALL the songs from the TV program were on a Screen Gems Records recording at some time. I will fill in this information as more information on these mysterious recordings is uncovered.
Sources: Cast and crew members via second parties. Partridge Family collectors, former cast and crew member, and industry insiders both directly and via second parties.
Q: I gather that you're heard some of these tracks - are they any good?
A: I have been fortunate enough to hear most of them. My experience would indicate that the world hasn't heard ALL the best Partridge Family songs yet.
For example, "Warm My Soul" is one of the best Partridge Family songs ever done. The liner notes from the Razor & Tie reissue of "Up To Date" describes it like this, "...a foot-stompin'acid-tinged rocker that didn't quite fit in with the easy listening style of 'Up To Date' and was never issued." I would add that the lyrics were probably considered a bit too adult for the targeted teeny bopper audience of the time. 30 years later it comes across as a bit tame but still a great pop rock song. I love it. This is validated by other stories from the studio about how some of the key musicians (who had kids watching and listening to the PF) tried to keep the heavier stuff out of the pipeline for protective purposes. As a father I can certainly understand, appreciate, and respect this!
Source: "Wrecking Crew" musicians via second parties.
I understand that the other songs are of equal or better quality. For example, "I Was Running The Opposite Way" has almost reached mythical proportions among PF fans. I've heard and I like it.
Unfortunately, in the midst of researching this document I discovered the following:
1) The original sources - ALL THE ORIGINAL SOURCES - are less than fully reliable. Very often you will get two different answers to the same question from two different people who worked on the records or TV show. Sometimes you even get two different answers from the SAME source when you ask it more than once. It is infuriating! It will drive you crazy if you let it. If you take it all in stride and pour buckets of grace and mercy on everyone concerned it won't. AND it DOES takes BUCKETS of grace at times!
2) The source documentation on a 30 year old TV show and long defunct record company are often sketchy at best and missing at worst. It is just common sense that this would be the case.
3) Everyone has an opinion. There was a TON of politics on the PF TV show and records that - unfortunately, for some reason - continues to this day! The reason that most of my sources did NOT want to be named because they had come to a place of peace with someone over a knock down, drag out blow up that occurred way back when and do not want to disturb the peace. This, obviously, needs to be respected. However, the fact is that some hard feelings and set opinions linger to this day. (and, no, I will NOTname names other than the infamous Clive Davis v. David Cassidy feud that seems to be so well known) THEN there's the whole subject of egos and agendas... no let's NOT go there!
BOTTOM LINE: I'm glad that David Cassidy told you at a signing that there "100's and 100's of unreleased tracks". I'm glad that Wes Farrell whispered the song list to you (or your source) for the 8th album on his Florida deathbed. I'm happy that someone at Arista read word for word from the Bell session sheets over the phone to you. However in the end - where are the source documents? Anyone can say *anything* with complete sincerity and BE sincerely WRONG! The fact remains that NO ONE - not even the original cast and crew - is THE authority on the Partridge Family based on hear-say and antedotes. Nor am I, nor are you. In the end the fact that you listened well or recorded the interview for posterity) really means very little. Sorry!
Now be nice and, above all, get happy!
"The Wrecking Crew" is the legendary LA studio band that was the REAL Partridge Family band. The PF roster was (more of less) as follows:
Guitars: Larry Carlton, Louis Shelton, Tommy Tedesco
Drums: Hal Blaine
Bass: Joe Osborne, Max Bennett
Keys: Mike Melvoin, Larry Knetchel
Background Vocals: John Bahler, Tom Bahler, Jackie Ward, Ron Hicklin
Other sources who contributed to the above content:
- friends of the late Bob Kovach
- friends of the late Wes Farrell
- various entertainment and music trade magazines - various music and Partridge Family web sites.
- numerous telephone conversations and emails with industry insiders and Partridge Family researchers.
The assistance of these incredibly talented and generous people is VERY much appreciated by Partridge Family fans worldwide!...it takes a lot of good people
The "scoop" on the "10th album"
An album was planned after "Bulletin Board" but dropped after the now final album was a major sales disappointment for Bell Records. In addition, Bell's on-going financial difficulties (resulting in a sale to Arista later in the year) made this final release impractical. Rather, Bell Records minimized their loses and simply shut the Partridge Family line of new music down forever leaving us with a trove of songs from this "lost" album.
The songs from the abandoned 8th album are "alleged" to be:
1.I'm Into Something Good
2.I Was Running The Opposite Way
3.Crying In The Rain
4.I Wanna Be With You
5.When Love Is Talked About
6.Workin' On A Groovy Thing
7.A Secret In My Heart
And four unreleased songs from prior albums.
Source: A "Wrecking Crew" musician via second party.
We do NOT know how definitive this is as I'm told that Wes Farrell tended to be VERY uncommunicative on PF projects. The primary source on this is quite impressive BUT "A Secret In My Heart" is a Ricky Segall song according to the Joey Green book. See the problem here folks? Also, 30 year memories can be less than accurate. What do YOU remember from 1970? What did YOU read in the newspaper on Friday, September 25, 1970 (the day the PF premiered on ABC TV? What did you do at work (or school) the day before Richard Nixon resigned? See my point?
Speculation: I *think* that a fan put an earlier copy of this document in the "Wrecking Crew" musician's hand and he quickly and indiscriminately picked out a bunch of songs with-out a lot of thought put into it. Some of the Wrecking Crew members are polite but still a bit resentful of the bands where someone else got the credit for (Monkees, Association, Cowsills, Partridge Family etc.) their hard work. At times they appear disinterested in discussing the music and will often give an answer just to get the questioner to move on to a subject that is more interesting to them. While may be disappointing to PF fans, this comes through pretty clearly in their interviews. However, it is an intriguing bit of trivia so I have included it for your amusement.
Some songs played in the show differed from the album versions. These included:
That's The Way It Is With You
I'll Never Get Over You
I Heard You Singing Your Song
Come On Love
I Wouldn't Put Nothing Over On You
Thankyou to Cat Ortez-White and Eric Drilen for this information.