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HALL OF FAMETOP 10 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon 15 June 2015
With their debut "On Time" released only months earlier in August 1969 (a slow burner that eventually charted in October and rose to Number 27) - their second platter simply called "Grand Funk" followed only months later at the tail end of December 1969 - days away from the beginning of the new decade. Capitol Records saw their investment in Michigan's finest deliver a Number 11 placing on the Rock LP charts - and hearing its heavier than lead-piping tunes in 2015 (a mere 45 years after the event) - it's easy to hear why "Grand Funk" with its garish 'red' cover was both lauded and derided in equal measure (much like the band itself really in certain quarters). But I'd argue if you want gutsy Hard Rockling American Rock `n' Roll - then there's a lot to love about GRAND FUNK RAILROAD. And featuring two rather excellent Bonus Tracks with sympathetic 24-bit Digital Remastering - this still-as-cheap-as-chips CD remaster is a fantastic way into this most American of Boogie bands. Here are the hard-hitting details...

Released November 2002 - the CD Reissue/Remaster "Grand Funk" on Capitol 5393812 (Barcode 724353938123) breaks down as follows (59:46 minutes):

1. Got This Feeling On The Move
2. Please Don't Worry
3. High Falootin' Woman
4. Mr. Limousine Driver
5. In Need [Side 2]
6. Winter And My Soul
7. Paranoid
8. Inside Looking Out
Tracks 1 to 8 are their 2nd album "Grand Funk" - released January 1970 in the USA on Capitol SW 406 and February 1970 in the UK on Capitol E-ST 307

BONUS TRACKS (both Previously Unreleased):
9. Nothing is The Same (Demo)
10. Mr. Limousine Driver (Extended Version)
Track 9 (along with most of the album) was recorded on 20 October 1969 and is an early attempt at a song that would eventually surface on their 3rd LP "Closer To Home" in June of 1970. This early-take features a different arrangement and Don Brewer on vocals in the middle section.
Track 10 is a 2002 Remix with Alternate Guitar and an Extended Ending

The 12-page booklet is a rather visually pleasing affair - a centre-page spread of Ticket Stubs, Fillmore East Posters and Hand Flyers, uber rare Japanese 7" Single Picture Sleeves and even Studio Track Sheets. Beneath the see-through plastic tray is a picture of their 2nd-only British 45 for "Inside Looking Out" in its Capitol Records label bag. It was belatedly released in good old Blighty in January 1971 on Capitol CL 15668 with "Paranoid" as its B-side (I believe it played at 33 1/3 because of its lengthy playing time). The informative, witty and affectionate liner notes are by STEVE ROESER feature interviews with the band's main men MARK FARNER (who wrote all the songs) and DON BREWER.

GRAND FUNK RAILROAD were:
MARK FARNER - Guitar, Piano, Harmonica & Vocals
DON BREWER - Drums And Vocals
MEL SCHACHER - Bass

The CD remaster on all of their early albums was always going to be tricky - notoriously recorded with no sense of audiophile - but every sense of 'how it feels'. This is down 'n' dirty American Rock with hiss levels that takes no prisoners. EVREN GOKNAR has 24-bit remastered from original tapes and while the hiss is still there - he's given more muscle to the overall sound. These tracks come at you with renewed power - not dampened down - but allowed to breath. The all-over-the-place vocals are there - as are the guitar/drum combos - and keyboard interludes - but with more punch. It's well done.

It opens with the "baby let the good times roll" of "Got This Thing On The Move" - a funky groover with a huge Bass Line and fuzzed-up guitar. Things slink into Free territory with "Please Don't Worry" with Brewer's cymbals and drum kit way up in the mix. Capitol put out the double-boogie-commercial "High Falootin' Woman" as the flip of the equally catchy "Mr. Limousine Driver" on Capitol 2691 in November 1969 - weeks before the album's late December release (it scraped the Top 100 at Number 97). The audio on both tracks is wickedly good even if the solo guitar separation on "Mr. Limousine Driver" is pretty harsh.

The near 8-minute "In Need" has always been a fave of mine sounding not unlike the Faces circa "Long Player" (dig that natty little Harmonica/Bass battle half way through followed by great grunge guitar). The Funksters get a bit Bluesy on "Winter And My Soul" - even if the vocals let the vocal down somewhat. Another near 8-minute chugger comes in the shape of "Paranoid" where our boys notice "men outside...come to take you away..." (and with the amount of drugs they were doing - that was probably true). It ends on the 10-minute monster "Inside Looking Out" which features the best vocal on the album.

The Bonus Material may seem lean at only two cuts - but they're both worth owning. "Nothing is The Same" is an early version of a track that would eventually surface on album No. 2 "Close To Home" in June 1970. Audio and structure-wise it feels pretty much the same as the album material - guitars harshly in the left while the drums and vocals linger on the right and centre. The extended "Mr. Limousine Driver" adds on another minute at 5:29 duration and sounds incredible - much cleaner and just as driving with that great guitar boogie in the left channel. That same guitar goes into wild soloing towards the run out...

So there you have it. "Grand Funk" won't be everyone's cup of Darjeeling for damn sure but that's the nature of 'awkward' bands I always feel (Marmite really - love it or hate it). Derided by critics and beloved by fans in equal measure - Grand Funk Railroad were huge back in the day and on the evidence of this cool little reissue - it's easy to hear why...
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on 17 January 2009
This was originally released in 1969. listen to it today remastered and it has a feel of today..it stands the test of time..what we get here is the American bands second album commonly known as the red album. Eight rockin tracks, and two bonus tracks one being a great version of the album cut `nothing is the same`. the first five which was side one of the album are good rocking songs topped at the end by a barnstorming guitar workout `in need`, even played live this is a scorcher.the next three are much longer stretched musical workouts, guitar bass and drums fused together perfectly..British press for some unknown reason didnt get it, strange really because the rest of the world did..even the version of `the animals` inside looking out edited scrapped the UK top 40 but this group never took off..try it you will be suprised clean honest power trio rock n roll
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on 10 March 2016
This is just great simple high energy early 70s hard rock. Great energy, no pretension, just three guys rocking their asses off. This remaster sounds awesome with a dirty grinding sound, particularly Mark Farmer's guitar, which is cranked up loud and high in the mix. Mark's Lou Gramm (Foreigner) tinged voice is fantastic throughout remaining soulful, suitably raucous and still melodic. Grand Funk were often considered America's equivalent of the likes of Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath and Deep Purple, indeed they toured with Sabbath and got kicked off a tour with Zep when they allegedly blew the headliners off stage. This great album is a fine example of early 70s heavy rock.
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on 31 December 2015
Good solid rock album.
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on 8 April 2015
Brilliant thank you
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on 7 June 2016
Had this on vinyl in the seventies - still sounds great - CD perfect quick delivery great service
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on 21 January 2013
rock the way it should be still good after all these years age hasn,t deminished agreat sound deffinately recommended!
young rock fans should try it
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VINE VOICEon 13 August 2008
Few bands have been as reviled as Grand Funk Railroad, who mostly deserved it. Still, they were one of the biggest bands in the world in the early 1970s and there are three good reasons for that. Those reasons are Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath and Deep Purple.

Grand Funk were an American Band and made little secret of their annoyance at the success of British acts making more money out of American music than American bands could (the first paragraph of this album's booklet makes that clear). Since they were the only US outfit that could match the heaviness of that British trio, they were wrapped in the Stars And Stripes and clasped to America's bosom. But they were less bluesy than Zeppelin, less visionary than Sabbath and less musically inventive than Purple.

Thank God for Mel Schacher. His thundering bass lines - as distinctive in their way as Geezer Butler's were in Sabbath - hold the album together and give it some oomph. They were sorely missed on the forgettable 1981 comeback album Grand Funk Lives.

Cynics might argue that he added heaviness to hide the material's shortcomings, but that would be unfair: this band could really play. Mark Farner's riffs resemble late-period Hendrix, which is no bad thing, and they do sometimes hit the right spot (notably on 'In Need'). Don Brewer is a fine drummer who knows when to play upfront and when to hide. But this album seldom hauls itself out of the blues-rock sludge and serves as a precursor for all that went wrong in rock later. In that sense, "Grand Funk" is ahead of its time: five years later, all rock albums would sound as bad as this - which is why by 1977 it had all been swept away.

'Mr Limousine Driver' and 'High Falootin' Woman' are particularly dreadful: "She's got hips like a honey, and, lord, she can make 'em move / And she'll do anything, to make you get in her groove". Yep, you really could make millions with that drivel in 1969. And those clichéd blues-rock chords would have made Status Quo blush.

(One technical complaint: this album was conceived as two separate sides of vinyl, so why not put the 'bonus tracks' [i.e. 'inferior out-takes'] between sides one and two rather than at the end? It spoils the impact of 'Inside Looking Out', which was clearly intended as the album's climax.

So why do I recommend you buy this album after being so rude about it? Because that last track, 'Inside Looking Out' was on a tape in my car being rewound and replayed for 20-odd years. It's an old Animals song given the full electric blues treatment: chunky bass lines, a harmonica solo and throat-ripping vocals, and it's perfect in every way.

So buy this album. There's greatness in there, but don't say I didn't warn you.
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on 11 September 2015
This came in a package with two others from Canada. Two of the jewel cases were smashed, hence only 3 stars, but musically excellent.
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on 7 August 2012
this band was hated by critics but then they hated all hard rock bands. ANd this was a early hard rockin outfit. in 1969 these guys won over the world by their live shows. Not critical success. This is their start , the red album as it also is known proclaimed that the band was here. and they lay down some hard late sixties rock here that sounds powerful and well played and sung. They even do a great cover of the animals ,inside looking out. their next one was even better and they kept getting better rising to the top of the pile at least until 1076. If you like early hard rock that's well sung and played you should enjoy this one.
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