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EtherealAirship

Grand Funk Railroad

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The album Frank Zappa produced called Good Singin' Good Playin is pretty damn good. Especially the instrumental Out To Get You which Zappa plays ripping guitar on.

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Reposted from Tower Records' Facebook page:

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ON THIS DATE (38 YEARS AGO)

July 15, 1973: Grand Funk Railroad: We're An American Band is released.

# Allmusic 4.5/5 stars

# Robert Christgau (B−)

# Sputnikmusic 3.5/5 stars

# Rolling Stone 4/5 stars

We're An American Band is Grand Funk Railroad's seventh studio album, and was released in July 1973 by Capitol Records. It was produced by Todd Rundgren. This is the first album to feature Craig Frost as a full-fledged band member.

The original issue was on a translucent yellow disk. The label, above the side numbers, instructed listeners to play "at full volume." It included four stickers (two blue, and two red) with the Grand Funk "Pointing Finger" logo. Emphasizing the shortening of the group's name, largely for legal reasons, the word "Railroad" does not appear anywhere on the album sleeve, liner, or vinyl record.

The album itself spawned two singles; the #1 title cut, and "Walk Like a Man", which peaked at #19 in 1974. The album is #200 of the National Association of Recording Merchandisers (NARM) [Definitive 200] albums of all time.

REVIEW

Sitting in a Baton Rouge bar late one night in 1973, the three guys in Grand Funk Railroad, at the time America's most popular and despised (by nonfans and critics) group, were lapping up the suds with the boys from Humble Pie, a voguish blues-boogie group featuring Steve Marriott (Peter Frampton had already departed). Neither group's career had long to run but they were young and full of themselves, and the future undoubtedly seemed a long way off.

The belligerence began with an argument over the relative merits of British versus American rock. Drummer Don Brewer, Grand Funk's champion, roared out of his chair and in a style of classic argumentation familiar to anyone with experience around the Michigan auto factories from which his band sprung, declaimed the virtues of Jerry Lee Lewis, Fats Domino, Little Richard, and -- clinching it pretty well for a guy who couldn't play a simple shuffle to save his ass -- ELVIS PRESLEY! Then he gave the assembled Brits a bleary gimlet glare and proudly announced, "We're an American band!"

In the cold light of dawn, the statement seemed truer yet, and Brewer had soon written a song quite unlike any of the heavy metal hatchet jobs in which Grand Funk had previously specialized. The group shortly got together with producer Todd Rundgren (who was working with them for two reasons -- Capitol had begun selling Grand Funk records more slowly than the one every four seconds of their peak and they needed his artistic credibility). Showing he was worth his royalties, Rundgren quickly grasped the concept that Brewer had written a hit.

So eager was Capitol, in the wake of the Beatles' breakup, for some Top 40 action that the label issued a press release about "We're An American Band" before the song was even recorded, and released it before the mix was even finished.

Maybe they were wise to do so, because further polishing could only have detracted from a band that produced what Rod Stewart called "the all-time loud white noise." "We're An American Band" thundered onto the chart at Number 83 on July 28, 1973 and by the end of September it topped the lists, more than pretty good for a group whose previous best-selling single was "Closer to Home," which peaked at Number 22 three years earlier.

Actually, the biggest difference in the music probably wasn't Rundgren's production, though he certainly lent them an unaccustomed sense of song shape, or even the fact that Brewer had, for once, given them a lyric that defined their boys'-night-out sensibility, with its references to playing poker til dawn with Freddy King, living it up with a Little Rock groupie, and hotel destruction. No, the biggest change was the addition of piano player Craig Frost, who plays an insanely repetitious treble riff that runs through the chorus like the Morse code designation for Motor City high energy. It's this added coloration that hooks you by lending an undercurrent of excitement to Farner's prototypically cheesy garage rock guitar breaks and Brewer's powerful, if unfunky, drumming.

- Dave Marsh, The Heart of Rock & Soul, Plume, 1989.

TRACKS:

1. "We're an American Band" (Brewer) – 3:27

2. "Stop Lookin' Back" (Brewer/Farner) – 4:52

3. "Creepin'" (Farner) – 7:02

4. "Black Licorice" (Brewer/Farner) – 4:45

5. "The Railroad" (Farner) – 6:12

6. "Ain't Got Nobody" (Brewer/Farner) – 4:26

7. "Walk Like a Man" (Brewer/Farner) – 4:05

8. "Loneliest Rider" (Farner) – 5:17

2002 reissue bonus tracks:

1. "Hooray" (Brewer/Farner) – 4:05

2. "The End" (Brewer/Farner) – 4:11

3. "Stop Lookin' Back (Acoustic Mix)" (Brewer/Farner) – 3:04

4. "We're an American Band [2002 Remix]" (Brewer) – 3:32

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markdonmel.jpeg

Mark, Don & Mel 1969 -1971 2-CD newly remastered set, and recently released is On Sale (Until May 25th) for just $10.83 !

http://www.importcds...-Mel-1969-71-CD

Product Notes

Digitally remastered edition of this best-selling collection of tracks from the American rockers. Following the enormous success of the first six Grand Funk Railroad albums, Capitol Records decided that it was time for a summary of the first stage of the band's career and a two-LP Best Of was assembled. The next studio album, Phoenix, would feature keyboardist Craig Frost, who would eventually become the fourth member of the band so this release is comprised of the power trio era hits. Mark, Don & Mel features the classic tracks "Time Machine", "Heartbreaker" and "Paranoid", which received heavy FM and AM radio play back in the day. The album also includes the band's first truly huge Top 5 single, "Footstompin' Music". The closing track is the epic full-length version of "Closer to Home/I'm Your Captain". This release marks the first worldwide legitimate appearance on compact disc and features a new mastering done especially for this release by Grammy Award winning engineer, Vic Anesini. Iconoclassic.

Track Listing

1. 1 Time Machine 1. 2 Into The Sun 1. 3 Heartbreaker 1. 4 Feelin' Alright

1. 5 Footstompin' Music 1. 6 Paranoid 1. 7 Loneliness

2. 1 Are You Ready (Live) 2. 2 Mean Mistreater (Live) 2. 3 T.N.U.C. (Live)

2. 4 Inside Looking Out 2. 5 I'm Your Captain/Closer To Home

Edited by The Rover

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Thanks for the heads up. Over the past several years I've been filling some holes in my collection, including Grand Funk. This will make for a nice addition.

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A day after placing my order for Mark, Don & Mel with Import CDs, I already have my USPS tracking # .... Sweet :)

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I was at the Shea Stadium concert in 71, it was one of the best concerts I was ever at. Their first three albums were incredible, among the best rock albums ever made. Oh, yeah, Humble Pie opened for GFR. I Don't Need No Doctor may have been the best song of the night!

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I was at the Shea Stadium concert in 71, it was one of the best concerts I was ever at. Their first three albums were incredible, among the best rock albums ever made. Oh, yeah, Humble Pie opened for GFR. I Don't Need No Doctor may have been the best song of the night!

The pictures of the fans mobbing the ticket sales office for the Shea Stadium show are crazy. Those pics were printied on the album sleves to Mark, Don & Mel.

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One of the best openers ever - "Footstompin' Music"

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