Friday, September 22, 2006

Band Of The Week - Grand Funk Railroad

First of all, I would like to thank everyone who gave me good advices and opinions in my previous blog, I really appreciated :)

Weekend is coming again and this week I want to intro you all my another favourite classic rock band, Grand Funk Railroad. As usual, I want to share with you all one of their famous song, I'm Your Captain (Closer to Home). This song was dedicated to soldies coming back to their homeground after a war. I really love the part "I'm getting closer to my home~~~", it's so beautiful and so emotioned when I listening to it.

Click on 'Play' to listen the song

Grand Funk Railroad - I'm Your Captain (Closer to Home)

Grand Funk Railroad is an American power trio band. Not usually well-received by critics, the original Grand Funk Railroad lineup was highly popular during the 1970s, having sold over 25 million records and selling out arenas world-wide. They were often cited as "the loudest rock and roll band in the world." The current Grand Funk Railroad lineup uses the nickname "The American Band", from their hit song "We're An American Band".

From left to right: Mark Farner, Mel Schacher and Don Brewer

History (source: wikipedia)

The band was formed in 1969 by Mark Farner (vocals, guitar) and Don Brewer (vocals, drums), from Terry Knight and the Pack, and Mel Schacher (bass) from ? & the Mysterians in the working class, auto industry town of Flint, Michigan. Former bandmate Terry Knight soon became their manager and named the band after the Grand Trunk Western Railroad, a
well-known rail line in Michigan.
First achieving recognition at the1969 Atlanta Pop Festival, the band was signed by Capitol Records. Patterned after Cream, but developing their own populist style, in 1970 they had sold more albums than any other American band and had become a major concert attraction. In that same year they had a hit single "Closer To Home," a song that was closer in style to the old Terry Knight and the Pack than it was to GFR. A year later, they went on to break The Beatles' record at Shea Stadium, selling out in just 71 hours. That record still stands today.Even with critical pans and lack of radio airplay, the group's first eight albums, released in three years, were successful.
Knight launched an intense advertising campaign to promote Closer To Home, a multi-platinum, smash hit album that was slammed by virtually every music critic, reportedly paying $100,000 for a huge billboard in New York City's Times Square. In 1972, Grand Funk Railroad fired Knight, who sued for breach of contract, resulting in a protracted legal battle After recruiting Craig Frost (keyboards), Grand Funk Railroad released Phoenix in 1972, and then as a result of the ongoing legal battle, shortened their name to Grand Funk. This was followed by two huge hit singles, "We're an American Band" (from We're An American Band) and "The Loco-Motion" (written by Carole King and Gerry Goffin for Little Eva). Following a pop-style album, All the Girls in the World Beware!!!, and a name revert back to "Grand Funk Railroad", the band's popularity decreased. After finishing Good Singin', Good Playin' (1976) with producer Frank Zappa, Grand Funk Railroad disbanded. Farner began a solo career, releasing two critically acclaimed albums, while Brewer and Schacher formed Flint with the addition of Billy Ellworthy.
Grand Funk Railroad reunited in 1980 with Dennis Bellinger replacing Mel Schacher at the last moment on bass, and released two albums on the Warner Brothers label Full Moon. Neither album achieved much success. After disbanding a second time, Farner continued as a solo performer, eventually converting to Christianity and becoming a Christian recording artist, while Brewer and Frost joined Bob Seger's Silver Bulet Band. Most fans were convinced that they would never see GFR play together again, but in 1996, Grand Funk Railroad reunited once more, playing to 260,000 people in 14 sold out shows in a three month period.
In 1997, the band did three sold out Bosnian benefit concerts, releasing a benefit album called Bosnia. In 1999, after three years of touring, and a year longer than he had originally agreed on, Mark Farner left the band to continue his solo career, which he had put on hold. He continues to perform with his band N'r'G, doing mostly GFR tunes as well as some solo material. He no longer has any affiliation with the original band, despite an occasional advertising misquote by some promoters.
Terry Knight (Richard Terrance Knapp) was murdered in Killeen, Texas on November 1, 2004. He was 61.
As for GFR, after Farner left in 1999, Brewer and Schacher were left with a band that was once again hot and popular, but now without a frontman and principal vocalist. They eventually decided to keep the train rolling by recruiting lead singer Mac Carl (of .38 Special fame), former KISS lead guitarist Bruce Kulick, and keyboard player Timothy Cashion in late 2000, and the new Grand Funk Railroad has toured steadily since then, building a new audience while still drawing fans of the original band.

New Grand Funk Railroad lineup

Grand Funk Railroad in concert

Mark Farner in action

Don Brewer in action

Mel Schacher in action


It gives us a lot of information about the time for Grand Funk breakthrough and answers many questions about why critics killed GFR, why rock history writers have forgotten the greatest rock group of all times and why there is almost impossible to find Grand Funk records (at least in Europe). Nearly every record store has a great number of records with Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, Jimi Hendrix and Deep Purple from the seventies. The following article is written by a journalist called Chris Welch, who seems to dislike GFR, but sure is impressed by their popularity. (webmaster)

Grand Funk Railroad... the legendary classic rock band which I never forgotten!!!


angel said...

Err err... boh thia kuei...

Simple American said...

They were an awesome band. Don Brewer was an awesome drummer. I love to hear him beat those skins. As a former drummer I appreciate his style and ability. And Mark Farner. Dude. He is the consumate front man.

I could have seen them on the American Band tour and did not. *slaps head* The mistakes we make in life. I love the live album with the extended version of Closer to Home. It is so good.

Embarrassed to admit that I forgot about them. The irony is I did .38 Special many moons again.

ah nel said...

damn 9 long mia post for my lunch hour...LOL

here cant hear the song lar... ;)

cipet...i send ur number to ace can kar???

AceOne said...

Errr..what band you saying??

Anonymous said...

Also never heard.

Whenever you intro your fav. rock band, I know weekend is coming!


Kenny Ng said...

[angel] of coz la... lu mm si rocker ma... LOL

[simple american] yeah, Don Brewer really a great drummer. Hell... u miss their concert? It's really a big mistake in life. Anyway I got all their albums collection in MP3 format. So now u recall back GFR? yeah... keep on rocking!

[ah nel] classic band sure got lots of story to tell ma, I already short cut it liao... if not i sked blogger will block me...LOL. Too bad u can't hear the song. Ok... u can give my num to aceone and make sure he wont ask me kencing in midnite ah... LOL

[aceone] is Grand Funk Railroad... get it? still cannot ah? errrr... *slap forehead* nvm la, just me and simple american know only.

[nonnie] haha... so u really wish to see my rock band post huh? so it's going to weekend.

ah nel said...

you and ace patahbelakang mountain kar???ask u kenching middle of the nite??? LOL

Kenny Ng said...

[ah nel] no la... i just saja say only... kekeke.

ah nel said...

don shy shy lar as you all grown up ledi...LOL

AceOne said...

Ahnel, what cakap you??

Kenny Ng said...

[ah nel & aceone] lol... u both apasal ah?

Chen said...

dunno this band.. ekkekke.. I'm not rocker :P

Kenny Ng said...

[chen] haha... it's ok, I bet 90% who read this sure dunno bout this band.

Lin Peh said...

They got sing hokkien song wan or not ? ;-)

The Horny Bitch said...

they look kinda old lor!

Kenny Ng said...

[lin peh] lol... u write them hokkien song la =P

[the horny bitch] yah... they r really old... LOL

Winn said...

kenny kenny the karaoke RoCK king! hHEHEH...nice meeting you.....

wah so many lock lock thing here i not music literate i duno more than half the band u mentioned...

so outdate mia me.....hehe..

Kenny Ng said...

[winn] hey winn, thanks for dropping by n nice meeting u too... ehhh, shhhhh im not karaoke king la, im rock king only... kekekeke. nvm, slowly u'll learn bout classic rock band from here. hehehe.

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