- Timeline See what happened in 1967
- UK release date:
- Jan 06, 1967
- US release date:
- Jun 12, 1967
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Theme from The Family Way
The Family Way is a soundtrack recording composed by Paul McCartney, released in January 1967. The album is the soundtrack to the 1966 film of the same name, directed by Roy Boulting and starring Hayley Mills. The album was credited to “The George Martin Orchestra” and issued under the full title The Family Way (Original Soundtrack Album). A 45rpm single, again credited to the George Martin Orchestra, was issued on 23 December 1966, comprising “Love in the Open Air” backed with “Theme From ‘The Family Way‘”, as United Artists UP1165.
The Family Way won an Ivor Novello Award in 1967 and was remastered and released on CD in 1996 with new musical compositions not on the original 1967 soundtrack album.
The recording took place over November and December 1966, before the Beatles began work on their album Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. McCartney’s involvement in the project was minimal, according to biographer Howard Sounes, who quotes George Martin’s recollection that he had to “pester Paul for the briefest scrap of a tune” with which to start writing the score. After McCartney had provided “a sweet little fragment of a waltz tune“, Martin continued, “I was able to complete the score.”
Although The Family Way was released in January 1967, most commentators consider George Harrison’s Wonderwall Music (1968), also a film soundtrack, to be the first solo album by a member of the Beatles. Unlike with McCartney’s film score, Harrison directed and produced the recordings for Wonderwall Music, in addition to playing on some of the album.
Following a 2003 CD reissue in mono, in 2011 a new remastered version of the soundtrack was released by Varese Vintage that featured the original 1967 score by Paul McCartney in the original sequence, remastered from the original first generation stereo master tapes, and included the unreleased stereo mix of “A Theme From The Family Way” as a bonus track, which had appeared originally as the B-side of the 1966 UK/US 7-inch single by the Tudor Minstrels.
From A Moral To This Song blog – Paul McCartney interview, May 23, 1995:
LAVERDIERE: [The Family Way soundtrack] was actually the first time you would officially compose outside the Lennon-McCartney tandem.
PAUL: Yes, and you know, it’s funny. That’s true. It’s funny because talking to Yoko recently, you know, you talk about all these things that happen way back in history. It turns out John was not pleased; but I didn’t know ‘til a year ago that he wasn’t pleased. He always told me, “Fine.” ‘Cause he’d been acting in a film – he did a film called How I Won The War – so we started to do little solo thing, just for a change, just for a break, and so I assumed, I asked him, “Is it okay with you?” He said, “Yeah, fine, fine.”
But Yoko told me that he was actually a little bit put off by that, because he hoped probably that I would say Lennon-McCartney will write this together. But to me it seemed a good opportunity to get away of what I did normally. But Yoko just told me apparently John was a little bit hurt about that. Which is sad. But we did actually talk about it. He just never told me at that time. He probably just covered up.
LAVERDIERE: Because that was the first time we could read: music composed by Paul McCartney?
PAUL: Yeah, that’s right. For me it was very interesting, because it allowed me something of my own. You know, like women these days want to get away from their husbands, get a life of their own. It was a bit that. Because with The Beatles, it was a bit like a marriage. It was quite good to just get away do something of my own. I think if I’d known John was disturbed, I would have just asked him to join me. We could have done that.
Last updated on January 21, 2017