Thursday, March 03, 2011

We're An American Band

Music critics absolutely loathed Grand Funk Railroad and radio stations did not want their music played. Yet with constant touring, a loud take on the blues-rock power trio sound, and strong working-class appeal, Michigan's Mark Farner , Don Brewer and Mel Schacher became an early 70's powerhouse that radio finally couldn't ignore. Between 1969 and 1972 they put out 8 albums, five of them going platinum all without the benefit of radio. In 1970, they sold more albums than any other American band without the benefit of radio. In June 1971, Grand Funk became only the second group (after the Beatles ) to sell out New York's Shea Stadium. In 1973, the group shortened its name officially to "Grand Funk", and added a fourth member, keyboard player Craig Frost. The name change due to having fired their manager and legal issues, blah blah. With the Todd Rundgren produced album "We're an American Band", radio gave up trying to dis Grand Funk and the title track soared to number 1.

Then in the mid 70's disco came around and pretty much killed Grand Funk. Frank Zappa produced their last great album in 1976 and Farner left the band to pursue a solo career. What I found interesting is that in 1988 Mark Farner scored a #2 gospel hit with the song "Isn't It Amazing". The band has reunited several times for various reasons through the years. If you were between the ages of 10 and 25 in the early seventies chances are you owned a Grand Funk album, probably several. We're An American Band was Grand Funk Railroad's seventh studio album, and was released in July 1973 and was 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", which I always did. I played the crap out of that piece of yellow vinyl.

Black Licorice
Ain't Got Nobody
Buy It

Funny Toon


jb said...

The "We're an American Band" 45 was also on yellow vinyl. I've still got mine.

homercat said...

Good job jb, wish I still had mine!