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Grand Funk Railroad, or just Grand Funk, are an American hard rock band, formed in Flint, Michigan, in 1968. Originally a power trio consisting of Mark Farner (guitars, keyboards, vocals), Don Brewer (drums, vocals), and Mel Schacher (bass), the band has been described by the likes of Dee Snyder as one of the hard rock bands who played a pivotal part in the establishment of the heavy metal music genre.

Grand Funk Railroad were known for their hard-edged blues- and boogie-based heavy rock which inspired a number of later heavy metal musicians.

Eventually the band went through line-up changes and two split-ups and reformation (the first break-up was in 1977 and the band then reunited in 1980; the second break-up took place in 1983 and the band reunited in 1996) Grand Funk Railroad now features Max Carl of .38 Special fame on vocals and Bruce Kulick of Kiss fame on lead guitar
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GRAND FUNK RAILROAD albums / top albums

GRAND FUNK RAILROAD On Time album cover 3.54 | 8 ratings
On Time
Heavy Psych 1969
GRAND FUNK RAILROAD Grand Funk album cover 3.57 | 9 ratings
Grand Funk
Heavy Psych 1969
GRAND FUNK RAILROAD Closer to Home album cover 4.25 | 7 ratings
Closer to Home
Heavy Psych 1970
GRAND FUNK RAILROAD Survival album cover 3.25 | 4 ratings
Hard Rock 1971
GRAND FUNK RAILROAD E Pluribus Funk album cover 4.30 | 7 ratings
E Pluribus Funk
Hard Rock 1971
GRAND FUNK RAILROAD Phoenix album cover 3.36 | 3 ratings
Hard Rock 1972
GRAND FUNK RAILROAD We're an American Band album cover 4.56 | 4 ratings
We're an American Band
Hard Rock 1973
GRAND FUNK RAILROAD Shinin' On album cover 3.94 | 4 ratings
Shinin' On
Hard Rock 1974
GRAND FUNK RAILROAD All the Girls in the World Beware!!! album cover 2.29 | 3 ratings
All the Girls in the World Beware!!!
Non-Metal 1974
GRAND FUNK RAILROAD Born to Die album cover 4.36 | 3 ratings
Born to Die
Hard Rock 1976
GRAND FUNK RAILROAD Good Singin', Good Playin' album cover 4.06 | 3 ratings
Good Singin', Good Playin'
Hard Rock 1976
GRAND FUNK RAILROAD Grand Funk Lives album cover 3.50 | 1 ratings
Grand Funk Lives
Hard Rock 1981


GRAND FUNK RAILROAD What's Funk album cover 3.67 | 2 ratings
What's Funk
Non-Metal 1983


GRAND FUNK RAILROAD Live Album album cover 4.36 | 3 ratings
Live Album
Hard Rock 1970
GRAND FUNK RAILROAD Caught in the Act album cover 4.75 | 2 ratings
Caught in the Act
Hard Rock 1975
GRAND FUNK RAILROAD Bosnia album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
Hard Rock 1997
GRAND FUNK RAILROAD Live: The 1971 Tour album cover 5.00 | 1 ratings
Live: The 1971 Tour
Hard Rock 2002

GRAND FUNK RAILROAD demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

GRAND FUNK RAILROAD re-issues & compilations

GRAND FUNK RAILROAD Mark, Don & Mel: 1969-71 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Mark, Don & Mel: 1969-71
Hard Rock 1972
GRAND FUNK RAILROAD Grand Funk Hits album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Grand Funk Hits
Hard Rock 1976
GRAND FUNK RAILROAD Capitol Collectors Series album cover 5.00 | 1 ratings
Capitol Collectors Series
Hard Rock 1991
GRAND FUNK RAILROAD Thirty Years of Funk 1969-1999: The Anthology album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Thirty Years of Funk 1969-1999: The Anthology
Hard Rock 1999
GRAND FUNK RAILROAD Classic Masters album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Classic Masters
Hard Rock 2002
GRAND FUNK RAILROAD Greatest Hits album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Greatest Hits
Hard Rock 2006


.. Album Cover
4.50 | 1 ratings
We're An American Band / Creepin'
Hard Rock 1973
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Shinin' On
Non-Metal 1974




Live album · 1970 · Hard Rock
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When I was in my teens (circa 1989) I kept hearing how Grand Funk Railroad was the forefathers of heavy metal. From hearing "I'm Your Captain", I was thinking that song has as much metal going as your typical Crosby, Stills & Nash song. It's certainly a great song, and even the band's detractors tend to think fondly of it. It even resonated with my hippie spirit living as a small child in rural Oregon in the late '70s in a semi-hippie fashion (helped that there was a hippie commune at the time within walking distance, and my father owned an old, beat-up VW split window Microbus). Not to mention the nearest radio station (KZEL 96.1 FM, major Eugene rock station, still around) would play that song at that time. "We're An American Band" seems more like mainstream hard-ish rock, and "The Locomotion" and "Some Kind of Wonderful" were full-on R&B covers. Of course I didn't quite realize it's the songs not played on the radio, mostly concentrated in the Terry Knight-era (1969-71) that should be concern of people digging into the roots of metal, as many of them are quite heavy, especially "Sin's a Good Man's Brother" from Closer to Home (which is hard to believe is on the same album that has "I'm Your Captain").

Of anything Grand Funk had done to earn them the "forefathers of heavy metal", check out their 1970 Live Album! This appears to be their first album to include some extras, in this case, a poster (although my used copy included inner sleeves from the 1972 Mark, Don & Mel compilation album, which seems to go along with the poster, although it includes newpaper excerpts of Grand Funk after 1970, up to 1972, so obviously those sleeves weren't included when originally purchased, my copy is the original with the green Capitol label, the poster only obviously includes the events of Grand Funk up to 1970). It's so strange that Grand Funk would release a live album so early in their career. On Time and the Red Album had already came out, and Closer to Home barely came out in time for them to do a live version of "Mean Mistreater", included here. Let me tell you: Many of these songs really threaten to kick the life out of the studio originals, and many of them do. This album is everything the fans loved of the band, and everything the rock critics absolutely hated about them. "Are You Ready" isn't too terribly different from the original from On Time, but it makes sense, makes a great introductory song. They take on "Paranoid", which sticks mainly to the studio original. "In Need" is one of a handful of extended jams they do on this album, along with their cover of Eric Burdon & the Animals' "Inside Looking Out" (their first cover song, first appearing in studio form on the Red Album), "T.N.U.C." and "Into the Sun". The latter really clobbers the studio original, with this most loud, insane jam, with Mark Farner giving so much loud distortion and feedback on his guitar you can see why the rock critics hated this band. It's the kind of music certain to drive your neighbor up a wall, and it still can hold true to this day if that person is a Nicki Minaj or Justin Bieber fan, the average 14 year old today would probably recoil in horror, which is ironic, given in 1970 the average 14 year old was likely buying a GFR album. "T.N.U.C." is probably the weakest thing here, it's basically the same song with the drum solo extended twice as long, Don Brewer seemed to be repeating the same drum pattern again. I know the band probably had the likes of Cream's "Toad" in mind, but Don Brewer is obviously no Ginger Baker, nor did he ever think so. There is one song on this album available nowhere else and that's "Mark Says Alright", which is a great piece, could have easily fit on Closer to Home. As for that album, as mentioned "Mean Mistreater" is the only song represented, although I could imagine what they done to "Sin's a Good Man's Brother" (although as great as "I'm Your Captain" is, it would be seriously out of place on this album). I don't want to forget Mel Schacher who played bass like there was no tomorrow! In fact the whole band was playing like no tomorrow on this album.

If you want Grand Funk at their most raw and powerful, the kind of album to drive your neighbors crazy, this is a total must have!


Album · 1971 · Hard Rock
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One of the better power-trios out there, Grand Funk Railroad (like many other hard rock blues rock bands) made their debut in the late 60's, specifically 1969. Bands of their caliber were popping up left and right, including but not limited to Led Zeppelin, Humble Pie, Gun, etc. but GFR were able to make something of themselves rather well. A year after it was released the band's debut hit gold certification in 1970, their second album following suit. In 1971 GFR hit what was possibly the most prolific moment of their career, performing a live show at Shea's Stadium, with their ticket sales equaling that of the Beatles and their show in 1965. The only difference being The Beatles' took weeks to achieve, whilst Grand Funk took only three days. So it is pretty safe to say that the band was at their peak in the early 70's, at least commercially. When it comes to reviewing the music however, sales from other people are irrelevant to personal opinion, so here's my opinion on Grand Funk's first three years.

Grand Funk was doing very well for themselves it's true, but their album faced mostly critical panning regardless of their sales. This could be for a variety of reasons, but most likely the band was thought to not distinguish themselves from the flood of hard rock bands emerging in 1969. Now don't get me wrong, there were factors that differentiated these bands, but they were rather general and well-encompassing. On one side you have the loud and proud, bands that relied mainly on distorted guitars and blasting sound. On the other you had bands that experimented a bit more, incorporating more classic blues/bluegrass into their heavy style- a more progressive style if you will. I believe Grand Funk belonged mainly to the former category, while Humble Pie, Zeppelin, and Uriah Heep belonged to the latter. In general the bands from the more eclectic camp were lauded by critics and were (anecdotally) more likely to be cited as influence for bands in the future. Grand Funk, Thin Lizzy, and other bands like them remained more a product of their time rather than a lasting emblem of history. This is not to say that Grand Funk should not be given commended for their style, which as aforementioned they were in their early days. However it was obvious that after 1973's We're An American Band, thought of generally as the band's opus, GFR started to sag under the weight of their overbearing swagger and cockiness, becoming almost comical in their musical undertakings. Regardless it is always a treat to explore bands in their prime, and luckily in the same year of that famous performance, GFR released two albums, the second of which we'll be checking out today.

E Pluribus Funk, whose title is a jeu de mots of the United States' then-motto "E pluribus unum", was released in November of 1971. As previously mentioned, it is the second album the band released in 1971, the first being Survival. Survival wasn't as much of a commercial success as albums that preceded it, nor was it a creative one. For example, drummer Don Brewer never quite enjoyed the sound of the drums on the album due to producer Terry Knight's insistence that he cover the skins with tea-towels, a technique he learned from Ringo Starr in the 1970 Beatles film Let It Be. E Pluribus Funk tosses these inane ideas and substitutes it for a more raw and conventional construction. Knight's production quality is very organic, like many other blues bands at the time, making the record easily retain a 70's quality of sound. The track list for this album is quite short, but makes up for it with a few extremely good choice tracks. 'People, Let's Stop The War' is a funky, crunchy power trip, titularly repeating the same jargon in circulation throughout the decade. You know, hippies might have been taken more seriously if they made more music like this- just saying. 'Loneliness' is one of GFR's best; an orchestra-aided ersatz-progressive rock epic who's slow tone actually musters up some pretty legitimate emotional material.

All in all if you've heard of Grand Funk and you wish to get involved this isn't the worst place to start. It's a good introduction, and a good showcase of the band's talents. I'd say "magnum officium" to this one.


Album · 1969 · Heavy Psych
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"On Time" is the debut full-length studio album by US hard rock act Grand Funk Railroad. The album was released through Capitol Records in August 1969. "On Time" wasn´t initially a commercial success for the band, but after the success of their self-titled second full-length studio album in late 1969, "On Time" was certified gold in 1970.

The music on the album is hard edged blues based rock. The rhythms are hard and pounding and the band occasionally turn up the distortion and play what can only be described as heavy metal sounding riffs (check out the heavy section about midway through "Anybody's Answer"). That´s only a small part of their sound though and most of the music on the album is more "regular" 60s blues influenced rock in the vein of Cream. The three-piece act are very well playing and lead vocalist/guitarist Mark Farner has a fairly powerful vocal delivery (nicely backed up by drummer Don Bewer). While Mark Farner definitely gets room to shine, it´s the rhythm section of drummer Don Bewer and bassist Mel Schacher that steal the show in my book. Their instruments are placed pretty high in the mix and that provides the overall sound with quite a bit of power and bite. Both are really well playing too (check out the busy drum solo in "T.N.U.C.") and it´s just an absolute joy listening to how they interact.

Highlights include the semi-progressive "Anybody's Answer", the hard edged "Call Yourself a Man" and the power ballad "Heartbreaker", but there are several great tracks on the album that could have deserved a mention. Upon conclusion "On Time" is a quality rock album from the late 60s. It´s quite adventurous, very well produced and very well played. A 3.5 star (70%) rating is deserved.


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