Saturday, January 21, 2017

The Guess Who - 1969 - Canned Wheat

The Guess Who 
Canned Wheat

01. No Time 5:15
02. Minstrel Boy 3:15
03. Laughing 2:44
04. Undun 3:25
05. 6 A.M. Or Nearer 5:06
06. Old Joe 3:22
07. Of A Dropping Pin 3:15
08. Key 11:41
09. Fair Warning 1:54

Backing Vocals, Bass Guitar – Jim Kale
Backing Vocals, Drums, Tabla, Congas, Percussion – Garry Peterson
Backing Vocals, Rhythm Guitar, Lead Guitar, Sitar – Randy Bachman
Lead Vocals, Piano, Organ, Rhythm Guitar, Flute, Harmonica – Burton Cummings

Canned Wheat is the fifth studio album by Canadian rock band The Guess Who. It peaked at #91 on the Billboard Pop Albums chart.[1] Two of the band's hits were taken from the album: "Laughing" and "Undun". The album also includes a version of "No Time" which would later be re-recorded for their American Woman album and released as a single.

The band was sent to record the follow-up to Wheatfield Soul at RCA Studios in New York City. As per company policy at the time, RCA artists were to use the company's own studios. Wheatfield Soul was cut independently and before the band signed with RCA. The band and their producer Jack Richardson felt that the sound at RCA was inferior to that of the independent A&R Studios, where Wheatfield Soul was recorded. They duly recorded Canned Wheat at RCA and secretly re-recorded two of the strongest numbers "Laughing" and "Undun" at A&R. To prove the point that the RCA studio was unsuitable, A&R dubs of "Laughing" and "Undun" were sent to RCA. When RCA released "Laughing" and "Undun" as a two-sided single and it began to hit the charts, RCA wanted an album put out as soon as possible. There was no time to re-record the rest of the material, so Canned Wheat was released, as recorded at RCA studios, yet including the "Laughing" and "Undun" versions cut at A&R.

As far as late-'60s and early-'70s rock bands go, the Guess Who has been both blessed and cursed. Blessed because their songs are still played quite frequently on oldies radio stations, cursed because they're only remembered for those songs. Truth be told, the Guess Who was a darn good rock band: Burton Cummings's great rock & roll voice -- similar in power to Bad Company's Paul Rodgers -- keeps even the most overdone Guess Who song fresh, and Randy Bachman's underrated guitar work always serves the song's needs. "Undun"'s wonderful, jazzy riff, which fits the song perfectly, is associated with the overall sound of the Guess Who, not Bachman. 1969's cleverly-titled Canned Wheat introduced several of the band's most remembered songs: "Laughing," "Undun," and "No Time." The album also has six other keepers, including the mellow "6 A.M. or Nearer," complete with jazzy guitar and flute, and the lovely ballad "Minstrel Boy." The original version of "No Time" is fun, even if it isn't radically different; little nuances, like the fade out, shake the listener out of the "I've heard this song a thousand times" syndrome. There are a couple of throwaway bonus tracks, "Species Hawk" and "Silver Bird," that are nice to have, even if they aren't up to the other material. The liner notes are helpful, and it's funny to learn that radio stations ordered copies of "Undun" for airplay, not realizing that it was the B-side of "Laughing." Canned Wheat still sounds incredibly fresh, a product from the heyday of classic rock. For those who want to dig beneath the band's "oldie" status to find the real thing, this album shouldn't be missed.

The Guess Who - 1968 - Wheatfield Soul

The Guess Who
Wheatfield Soul

01. These Eyes 3:45
02. Pink Wine Sparkles In The Glass 2:13
03. I Found Her In A Star 2:36
04. Friends Of Mine 10:03
05. When You Touch Me 3:38
06. A Wednesday In Your Garden 3:20
07. Lightfoot 3:07
08. Love And A Yellow Rose 5:05
09. Maple Fudge 1:52
10. We're Coming To Dinner 2:43

Bass Guitar, Vocals [Second Singer] – Jim Kale
Drums, Percussion, Tabla – Garry Peterson
Lead Guitar, Sitar – Randy Bachman
Piano, Organ, Rhythm Guitar, Flute, Lead Vocals – Burton Cummings

Wheatfield Soul is the fourth studio album by the Canadian rock band The Guess Who. This album is notable for being the first full-length "Guess Who" album to feature Burton Cummings on lead vocals and the first without original lead singer Chad Allan.

Wheatfield Soul, while not a major success, is still a favorite among the band's fan base. "These Eyes" was their breakthrough single and a radio favorite across the world. "Pink Wine Sparkles in the Glass" has notable lyrics and is also a radio favorite in Winnipeg. "I Found Her in a Star" is an underrated ballad written by Cummings which features fuzz guitar by Bachman. The song "Lightfoot" is a tribute to fellow Canadian Gordon Lightfoot. Wheatfield Soul is the group's first psychedelic LP[1] that also focuses on British influenced pop and rock.[2]

The most notable track on the album, is "Friends of Mine". Strange Days by The Doors had just been released a year prior to the recording of this song and Strange Days contained "When the Music's Over", which is clearly an influence to "Friends of Mine", as many of the vocal chords are similar, the song is lengthy and the lyrics are an attempt by Cummings to sound like his then influence, Doors' lead singer Jim Morrison.

An original version of "Friends of Mine" can be found on the Guess Who's posthumous compilation This Time Long Ago. The track features Cummings singing about "doing it" with "your very own mother" and smothering six-month-old babies. RCA most likely advised the group to not release that version on Wheatfield Soul.

Side two begins with "When You Touch Me", which has an opening guitar riff that sounds identical to that of Tiny Bradshaw's "Train Kept A-Rollin'". "A Wednesday In Your Garden" is another underrated track. A sole composition by Bachman, the song features jazz chords, perhaps inspired by The Zombies' usage of the same sound on many of their hit records. "Lightfoot" is written about fellow Canadian musician Gordon Lightfoot. "Love and a Yellow Rose" showcases many of the Guess Who's musical talents, as Peterson plays the tablas and Bachman plays a sitar and a fuzz guitar on the song.

"Maple Fudge" sounds similar to a Paul McCartney ballad, specifically "When I'm Sixty-Four", and likely is lyrically influenced by "Eleanor Rigby". The Beatles were a huge influence on the Guess Who, as the Guess Who often covered their songs on CBC's TV entertainment series Let's Go, or during any live performance in the early going of their career. "We're Coming to Dinner" closes the album.

Wheatfield Soul by the Guess Who has become a collectors item of sorts over the years, fetching various prices in fan circles, and it is an important "first" step for the reconstituted group which initially hit with "Shakin' All Over" when it was led by Chad Allan. The album is Jack Richardson's excellent production of Randy Bachman and Burton Cummings' music played by this particular four-piece unit, which Peter Clayton's liner notes claim were together "for three years when they cut this album in late 1968." The naïve sound of Cummings' voice on the album tracks is charming, but the hit "These Eyes" has that authority which the band would repeat on diverse chart songs like "No Time," "American Woman," and even "Star Baby" further down the road. "Pink Wine Sparkles in the Glass" is a precursor to "New Mother Nature," but the solo Cummings composition "I Found Her in a Star" is very nice Guess Who-style pop that their fans adore. "Friends of Mine" is a strange one, though, ten minutes and three seconds of Burton Cummings imitating Jim Morrison, not just Morrison, but the copping of his vocal riffs straight from "When the Music's Over." This is a band stretching and searching for direction, and rather than hit you with hard Randy Bachman assaults which were a welcome addition to future long-players by this group, as well as Bachman-Turner Overdrive, Wheatfield Soul concentrates on Brit-pop and experimental songs. Randy Bachman's "A Wednesday in Your Garden" is British rock meets jazz, and is one of the LP's most interesting numbers. The Chick Crumpacker and Don Wardell liner notes to Ultimate Collection note that "These Eyes" "was technically the 18th release by the band." The key is that it was the first from the quartet of Cummings, Bachman, Kale, and Peterson as produced by Jack Richardson. Ultimate Collection also notes that "Lightfoot" was written for "fellow Canadian Gordon Lightfoot." The notes go on to point out that "Maple Fudge" and "We're Coming to Dinner" were real oddities, but a style that would reappear over the band's long and illustrious catalog. Maybe that's what makes Wheatfield Soul so sought after, inventive themes that eventually found their way onto later albums like Artificial Paradise and Rockin'. Perhaps the tragedy is that they didn't get to work with Frank Zappa -- the Guess Who's left-field musings would have been the perfect follow-up to Zappa's work with Grand Funk. Take two of "Lightfoot" appears on Ultimate Collection, which only utilized three songs from this important first album after the band was reborn. But for all the musical wandering, it is "These Eyes" which remains timeless, the song that stands out as the masterpiece on this creative adventure.

The Guess Who - 1968 - A Wild Pair

Guess Who
A Wild Pair

01. The Staccatos Song Of The City Sings
02. The Staccatos Where Did Holly Go?
03. The Staccatos Tell Her For Me
04. The Staccatos Runnin' Back To You Everytime
05. The Staccatos She Is Tomorrow
06. The Guess Who I Need Your Company
07. The Guess Who Mr. Nothin'
08. The Guess Who Very Far From Near
09. The Guess Who HeyGoode Hardy
10. The Guess Who Somewhere Up High

1. The Staccatos appearing courtesy of Capitol Records (Canada) Limited. 2. The Guess Who ? appearing courtesy of Quality Records Limited. 3. This record produced in Canada exclusively for Coca-Cola Ltd. by Nimbus 9 Productions Ltd. Toronto and manufactured by RCA Victor Company Ltd. 4. Recorded at Hallmark Studios Toronto.

Bass – Jim Kale
Drums – Garry Peterson
Guitar, Vocals – Randy Bachman
Keyboards, Lead Vocals – Burton Cummings

The first formal recorded output by this band, formerly known as "Guess Who? (Chad Allen & The Expressions), but now officially credited only as The Guess Who?, later to be shortened to simply Guess Who. This promo only release sold well enough to make it quite plentiful, even to this day, and is still available at comparatively reasonable prices for original copies. The Staccatos, with whom Guess Who shared the bill on this, would eventually evolve into The Five Man Electrical Band. Musically, I'm sure both bands would rather prefer to forget this, as it's almost embarrassingly commercial, highly produced pop. Its saving grace for underground fans is the fuzz guitar driven garage/pop cut found at B4 in the track list.

Nimbus 9 was a label started to get The Guess Who out of their contract with Quality in Canada to finally make it big in the states. The Guess Who were told to make 5 new songs for an album which they would share with the relative-unknown, Staccatos, also from Canada.
I believe the songs were recorded at the CBC studios in Canada, but I could be wrong.
The songs Bachman and Cummings came up with were not fly-by-night dreck. 5 full blown orchestrated (at times) psychedelia! They were stuck at CBC filming and recording the LET'S GO tv show for teens (with host and former member Chad Allen). There they did mostly covers of rock songs of the day with a few originals. They released non-lp singles at the time and were able to promote them on television. Here they got a chance to expand on ideas.

This collection of tracks is a must for hardcore Guess Who collectors. The Staccatos side is decent but falls by the wayside compared to Guess Who.

This lp was never reissued until the LET'S GO soundtrack cd  came out where the 5 songs appeared in a remastered state. The original mix can be found on the "Cummings and Goings" bootleg cd. Otherwise search record conventions and be ready to fork over big bucks like I did to get your own platter.

This split release was a promotional item commissioned by Coca-Cola Canada. It was yours to mailorder for 10 bottlecap liners plus $1.00. It sold 85K copies, at a time when a gold record in Canada was 50K copies! However because it was a promo, the music industry didn't award its sales.

Coke went to a lot of trouble in making this. They commissioned all-new songs, paid for special recording sessions in Toronto, extra session players, and even brought in New York producer Phil Ramone to do the mixing. At the time, such expenses and care were practically unheard of for rock acts in Canada. Companies all thought they could do everything on the cheap, which was one of many reasons why most of our ambitious 60s acts fled to the US to get their careers going. The Guess Who were our first band to gain international success while staying based in Canada.

The Staccatos

The Staccatos was a band from Ottawa, ON initially consisting of members: Dean Hagopian on vocals, Vern Craig on guitars, Brian Rading on bass and Rick bell on drums. Hagopian was replaced by guitarist/vocalist Les Emmerson prior to their first album, and Les became the band’s main songwriter.

They released the initial single, It Isn’t Easy, on small indie label Allied Records, and eventually got signed to Capitol Records where their first hit Small Town Girl was recorded. They followed with several other singles, usually landing on the top 40 charts and gaining them some recognition in Canada. They released their debut album Initially in 1966, mixing their hit singles with a handful of new recordings.

They eventually added a second drummer, Mike Bell, and released a new personal best single called Half Past Midnight. It was around this time that brand new label Nimbus 9 records contacted Capitol Records looking to record and release a promotional split LP for Coca-Cola with The Guess Who called A Wild Pair. Like Quality Records with The Guess Who, Capitol Records allowed this assuming that any publicity would only benefit their sales.

The Guess Who - 1966 - It's Time

The Guess Who
It's Time

01. And She's Mine
02. As
03. You Know He Did
04. Baby Feelin
05. Clock On The Wall
06. Don't Act So Bad
07. Believe Me
08. Seven Long Years
09. One Day
10. Gonna Search
11. Guess I'll Find A Place

Bass – Jim Kale
Drums – Garry Peterson
Guitar, Vocals – Randy Bachman
Keyboards, Lead Vocals – Burton Cummings

Released June 1966

It's Time is the third studio album by the Canadian rock band the Guess Who. It's also the last to feature original lead singer Chad Allan who left after the release of the album. This album introduces Burton Cummings and Bruce Decker of The Deverons. Bruce Decker, is shown on the album cover, but did not perform on the album.

Though this Canadian LP was issued under the Guess Who name, the group still hadn't quite completed its evolution from its prior incarnation as Chad Allan & the Expressions. Indeed Allan himself was still in the band during sessions for the recording, writing one of the tracks, "Guess I'll Find a Place." But a couple British Invasion covers and guitarist Jim Kale's "Don't Act So Bad" excepted, every song was written by Randy Bachman. Even more crucially, much of the material went in a decidedly harder-rocking direction than much of what the group had previously cut, with newcomer Burton Cummings injecting a new raunchiness into the material on which he sang lead vocals. "Believe Me," which is very much in the style of Paul Revere & the Raiders' fiercest sides, is the clear standout, but the moody Manfred Mann-ish "Seven Long Years" and the surly garage rocker "Clock on the Wall" are also highlights. Other tracks go into a smoother poppier mold, like "And She's Mine," which sounds like a hybrid of the milder British Invasion groups and the harmony rock of the Beach Boys. Overall it's the effort of a band still finding their style, something you could say of innumerable releases from the era. But of the many such bands making derivative records such as this, the Guess Who were by this point one of the best such acts, both as musicians and writers. If that sounds like damning with faint praise, it's not meant to. Even if this isn't as original as the best British and American groups of the time, or indeed as Guess Who themselves would later become, it's still respectable and at times quite exciting, and certainly a good listen overall.

Chad Allan & The Expressions - 1966 - Hey Ho (What You Do To Me)

Chad Allan & The Expressions 
Hey Ho (What You Do To Me) 

01. Hey Ho
02. I Should Have Realized
03. Hurting Each Other
04. Made In England
05. I'll Keep Comin' Back
06. Stop Teasing Me
07. Could This Be Love
08. Theme From A Music Box
09. Don't Be Scared
10. Inside Out
11. Goodnight Goodnight

Chad Allan - lead vocals, rhythm guitar, piano, harmonica
Randy Bachman - lead guitar, backing vocals
Bob Ashley - keyboards, backing vocals
Jim Kale - bass, backing vocals
Garry Peterson - drums

Hey Ho (What You Do to Me!) is the second studio album by the Canadian rock band The Guess Who. This album is also the last to feature Bob Ashley on keyboards. This album was originally released on Quality Records in 1965. The cover gave credit to "Chad Allan & the Expressions (Guess Who?)

Before the next 1966 album "It's Time". The Guess Who were called before as Chad Allan & The Expressions without second lead vocals Burton Cummings is another chronicling detail story of their background music in history. Compared to as the fab four from britain called "The Beatles". And a lookalike reputation right here of this old album CD disc title and the song included called "Hey Ho (What You Do To Me)".I would'nt say this is the best music ever but when Burton Cummings voice is connected to my feelings of opinions then I'll know it's good for myself!

Chad Allan & The Expressions - 1965 - Shakin' All Over

Chad Allan & The Expressions 
Shakin' All Over

01 Shakin' All Over 2:38
02 Hey-Ho, What You Do To Me 2:10
03 Tossin' And Turnin' 2:35
04 I Should Have Realized 2:03
05 Hurting Each Other 2:17
06 I'll Keep Coming Back 1:55
07 Could This Be Love 2:10
08 Stop Teasing Me 2:25
09 Till We Kissed 2:38
10 Theme From A Music Box 2:10
11 Don't Be Scared 2:10
12 Goodnight, Goodnight 2:25

Chad Allan (vocals, guitar)
Randy Bachman (guitar)
Jim Kale (bass)
Bob Ashley (keyboards)
Garry Peterson (drums)

Shakin' All Over is the debut studio album by the Canadian rock band The Guess Who, although at the time they were known as "Chad Allan & the Expressions". It is regarded as a garage rock[2] album and features their hit version of Johnny Kidd & the Pirates hit song "Shakin' All Over."

Some followers of 60's pop music remember a group called Chad Allan and the Expressions, the song that they put in the top forty in 1965, and the foundation they laid for music in the 70's. For those who don't, maybe a refresher course is in order.

This is a group which started in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada in 1963 as Allan and the Silvertones, and later called themselves the Reflections, then the Expressions, then Chad Allan and the Expressions. Eventually they would change their name again, and become a very well known band in the 70's. Some of the people who performed with the group would become well known names in the music world in the 70's. Not many people remember Chad Allan and the Expressions making any kind of contribution to pop music in the 60's, although many will remember their song.

The original group consisted of Allan Kobel on guitar and vocals, Randy Bachman on lead guitar, Jim Kale on bass, Bob Ashley on piano and Gary Peterson on drums. Allan Kobel used the pseudonym Chad Allan, and Bob Ashley served as lead singer. They also had a singer named Carol West who performed with them in stage appearances at times, but not on any of their recordings. Among others who would be members of the group over the years were musicians Kurt Winter, Greg Leskiw, Bill Wallace, Don McDougall, and Domenic Troiano.

They were a very good band and recorded on several record labels in Canada, without gathering much notice. In the mid-60's, anything British seemed to work well in pop music, and Chad Allan had long been an admirer of British pop music. Chad Allan and the Expressions took a song that had been written and recorded by British rocker Johnny Kidd in 1960 called Shakin' All Over and made their own recording of it. Quivers down my backbone, I got the shakes in my thigh bone, I got the shivers in my knee bone, shakin' all over ... It was released with the words "Guess Who ???" on the label on Quality in Canada (in order to give the appearance of being done by a British Invasion band) where it was an immediate hit, and later on Scepter (also as "Guess Who?") in the United States.

This one clicked. Shakin' All Over took off nationally in Canada and in the United States, and went as high as number 22 on the charts in the summer of 1965. Chad Allan and the Expressions toured with Dick Clark that year. They also appeared on a television program called Let's Go with Chad Allan as the host, and for a time were regulars on another Canadian television show titled Where It's At.

Some big changes were in order for the band. In early 1966, Allan "Chad Allan" Kobel left to concentrate on his studies. He was replaced by local Winnipeg resident Burton Cummings, who served as lead singer. The band had been signed to the Quality Records label at a time when the British Invasion was in full force. Some groups began to pick up names that sounded British, in order to help record sales -- acts such as the Beau Brummels from San Francisco, and the Sir Douglas Quintet from San Antonio. At the suggestion of Quality, Chad Allan and the Expressions from Winnipeg changed their name -- to the Guess Who.

Recording in New York City in 1968 for the RCA label under the direction of talented record producer Jack Richardson, the Guess Who and their excellent lead singer, Burton Cummings, were poised for phenomenal success. Their first hit was These Eyes, a number 6 record in early 1969. The Guess Who proceeded to have many more hits, including some that made the top ten such as Laughing, No Time, American Woman/No Sugar Tonight, Share The Land, and one that they recorded with legendary DJ Wolfman Jack titled Clap For The Wolfman.

In 1970 American Woman became a number one record for the Guess Who, and a short time later Randy Bachman left the group. Bachman is a terrific guitar player. Together with Chad Allan he formed a new band called Brave Belt. That group later became Bachman-Turner Overdrive, which had several hits in the 70's including Takin' Care Of Business and You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet. Burton Cummings is regarded by some as one of the best lead singers in any rock band ever. Cummings went on to meet with success as a solo act, including a big hit with his Stand Tall.

The Guess Who disbanded in 1975 but has had several reunions over the years. Some recall that the group first gained notice as Chad Allan and the Expressions with the 60's standard Shakin' All Over.

The label credits producer Bob Burns with crafting these sides with Chad Allan & the Expressions, and the one title here co-written by the original front man, "I Should Have Realized," is listed under his birth name, Kowbel. The song would make Billy J. Kramer proud in its indulgence, Randy Bachman's guitar lines sounding like he's auditioning to play "Wonderful World" in Herman's Hermits. That being said, it's humorous to note that "Wonderful World" was Top Five the exact same week "Shakin' All Over" was Top 25. These cats were really listening to the British Invasion. The cover of Nick Ashford and Valerie Simpson's "Hey-Ho, What You Do to Me" does come off like early Beatles emulating American R&B. It's all the luck of the draw as to what the listener will get on these early discs, as they've been repackaged time and again, Chad Allan & the Expressions having released many singles. They beat the Carpenters to the song "Hurting Each Other" by seven years, and it is the inclusion of so many covers that makes this Shakin' All Over: Guess Who's Chad Allan & the Expressions package more listenable than Born in Canada and Wild One. "I'll Keep Coming Back" would make for a good blindfold test, which is no doubt how they got to pull off the ? & the Mysterians-type name substitution which led to this act being called the Guess Who. B. Johnston's "Don't Be Scared" is labor intensive, while two R. Bachmans (probably Rob and Randy) collaborating on "Goodnight, Goodnight" can only be considered a precursor to Bachman-Turner Overdrive, it's too bad that band didn't do a parody of this in their latter days -- it would have brought some much-needed levity to BTO's work. Of the two infamous Scepter/Wand packages containing 20 songs (both "Shakin' All Over" and "Tossin' & Turnin'" are duplicated on each release), the version with the hit as the title pulls away as the winner. Though it sports a tacky cover photo of a guy and a gal in leather dancing in a room wallpapered in aluminum foil, the music here is more fun than most of which appears on Born in Canada. Obligatory silly liner notes by radio station KRLA's Dick Moreland are down there with those found on Wild One and Born In Canada. Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil's "Till We Kissed" has merit, and there are three Randy Bachman originals, but it is still their very first hit record that is the shining star on this and other compilations of the early work on which it appears. For production values and performance, "Shakin' All Over" outclasses everything on these mid-'60s long-players.

Mark Farner and Don Brewer - 1974 - Monumental Funk

Mark Farner & Don Brewer 
Monumental Funk

01. We Gotta Have Love 5:11
02. Hey Everybody 3:37
03. I've Got News For You 4:47
04. Come See About Me 4:16
05. Harlem Shuffle 5:22
06. Love Light 7:06

Music licensed from Lucky Eleven Records Inc - Process Patented - US Pats 3 050 433 and 3 508 985

Mark Farner (vocals, guitar, keyboards, harmonica)
Don Brewer (vocals, drums)

Grand Funk Railroad was one of the biggest bands of the 1970s, and the Michiganders had a past built on the regional success of a group called Terry Knight and the Pack. To make a long, convoluted story short, in the mid-'60s Knight was a DJ looking to break into singing when he discovered a group called the Jazz Masters, which he promptly appropriated, renamed The Pack, and molded into a popular regional act. Eventually, the group included future Grand Funk members Mark Farner and Don Brewer.
By 1967, the group and Knight parted ways, he for a short-lived solo career and the band becoming The Fabulous Pack. Fast forward to the early '70s and that past came back to, if not haunt, at least irritate the Railroad aggregation a few times -- perhaps not coincidentally after the firing of their manager/producer/former frontman Terry Knight.
First up in 1972 was the relatively legitimate if somewhat misleadingly titled Mark, Don & Terry, a double LP collection from the notorious Allen Klein/ABKCO Records. In classic exploito fashion, the cover art and design apes a compilation of tracks which Grand Funk's label, Capitol, had recently released. At least in the case of the ABKCO collection, the back cover clearly states where the tracks came from.
This compilation was soon reissued by ABKCO with front cover art clarifying the situation and different title that seemed to have a point to make (Funk-Off), before shortly disappearing completely. Exploitation or not, this was a well done affair, with great sound quality and printed inner sleeves reproducing old newspaper articles, a short writeup on the music and '60s style band bios.
Appearing in 1974 was a much sketchier affair: Monumental Funk was issued as both a gatefold LP and a picture disc from "Quadisco Records Inc." The album is credited to guitarist Farner and drummer Brewer, and conspicuously very careful not to actually say "Grand Funk" anywhere on it -- though the duo is pictured sitting under a sign reading "Grand Junction" inside the gatefold. Clever, folks. This album has usually been described as a bootleg over the years and often has an accompanying price tag to match that sort of designation, so I'd never picked one up until it recently appeared for a buck and curiosity took over.
So, what exactly do we have here? Immediately recognizable are the titles of the first post-Knight Fabulous Pack single, but the other titles don't match up to anything previously released by the band. Looking a bit deeper, the labels read "Licensed from Lucky Eleven Records Inc.," which in itself is somewhat interesting since the tracks from the single at least theoretically would have been owned by Allan Klein after his purchase of Lucky Eleven distributor Cameo-Parkway; that's how ABKCO ended up releasing the compilation of old Knight/Pack tracks.
Being post-Knight, those two singles tracks, "Harlem Shuffle" and "I've Got News for You," were not on the ABKCO disc. Here they are a bit slowed down from the original single and re-edited to repeat sections and make them longer. Both feature lead guitar overdubs, and "Harlem Shuffle" also features tambourine and organ additions along with a long new intro section appended. The overdubs sound pretty sonically different, so I would guess they may not involve Farner and Brewer. Undergoing a similar editing treatment is the disc's final track, "Love Lights," a medley of "Turn on Your Love Light" and "Mickey's Monkey" that essentially plays twice to extend the length!
Editing chicanery aside, the uptempo leadoff track "We Gotta Have Love" does sound like proto-GFR, as does a solid slide-guitar aided take on "Come See About Me." Whatever the provenance of these recordings (probably indeed Lucky Eleven funded, before their signing to Capitol for one final Fabulous Pack single), they're an interesting sidetrack in the Railroad's story. (Quadisco QLP-7401, 1974)

Mark Farner - 1978 - No Frills

Mark Farner
No Frills

01. He Sent Me You 3:10
02. If It Took All Day 3:12
03. When A Man Loves A Woman 3:44
04. Faith Keeps It Away 4:42
05. Crystal Eyes 3:54
06. Just One Look 2:45
07. All The Love You Give Me 4:45
08. Cool Water 3:14
09. Without You 2:08

Backing Vocals – Karen Lawrence (tracks: B2)
Bass, Backing Vocals – Dennis Bellinger
Drums – Andy Newmark
Guitar, Piano, Clavinet, Lead Vocals, Backing Vocals – Mark Farner

Grand Funk Railroad's most potent and primal recordings (such as Closer to Home and their 1970 live album) were cut as a power trio, and even their more polished later work on We're an American Band and Shinin' On only added a keyboard player to the mix, so when GFR guitarist and singer Mark Farner went into the studio to cut his second solo album in 1978, the LP's title summed up the approach: No Frills. Producer Jimmy Iovine set Farner up with a good rhythm section (bassist Dennis Bellinger and drummer Andy Newmark), took them into the studio and rolled tape. What could go wrong? Well, Farner's songwriting chops weren't what they once were, and while he could pen a worthy mass of power chords earlier in his career, the mixture of pop, soul, and hard rock that informs most of these tunes lack the clarity and force of his best work. The lyrics aren't especially inspired, either, though "If It Took All Day" is at least funny and "He Sent Me You" anticipates the tone of his later Christian recordings. The lack of musical focus also impacts Farner's guitar work, which doesn't approach the full-bodied grit of Grand Funk's glory days (and who told the guy to go crazy with the flanger, anyway?). Bellinger and Newmark play just fine, but it's clear they don't have quite the same empathy for this music as Mel Schacher and Don Brewer, and the engineering is too slick and doesn't have the muscle to give this the loud and proud punch it needs. No Frills may have been a good philosophy for Mark Farner, but he needed a bit more than that to make an album worthy of his hard rock legacy.

Mark Farner - 1977 - Mark Farner

Mark Farner 
Mark Farner

01. Dear Miss Lucy 3:37
02. Street Fight 3:55
03. Easy Breezes 3:45
04. Social Disaster 3:35
05. He Let Me Love 3:34
06. You And Me Baby 2:51
07. Second Chance To Dance 3:15
08. Lorraine 3:55
09. Lady Luck 3:45
10. Ban The Man 3:05

Acoustic Guitar – Dick Wagner (tracks: B3)
Backing Vocals – Dennis Bellinger, Dick Wagner, Mark Farner, Ricky Farner
Bass – Bob Rabbit
Drums – Al Wotton
Guitar – Bob Kulick
Lead Guitar – Mark Farner
Lead Vocals – Mark Farner
Percussion – Jimmy Maelan
Piano, Organ, Synthesizer, Clavinet, Synthesizer – Phil Aaberg

Producer – Dick Wagner

Mark Farner's early solo work after the breakup of Grand Funk Railroad exists in a curious musical no man's land -- Farner had clearly grown tired of the no-frills meat-and-potatoes hard rock that first made his name with Grand Funk, but his ambitions seemed grander than the more pop-oriented music that took We're an American Band and Shinin' On to the upper reaches of the charts. Mark Farner, his 1977 solo debut, was produced by Dick Wagner, which should have been an inspired combination; Farner and Wagner had been bandmates in the Bossmen years before, and Wagner's hard rock credentials were solid after years on the road with the Frost, Lou Reed, and Alice Cooper. However, the results are not much to write home about; Wagner's slick production and the overcooked arrangements put a glossy sheen on the material that does the tunes few favors, and these ten songs don't represent the strongest material of Farner's days in music. The anti-groupie anthem "Dear Miss Lucy" and the inner-city tale "Street Fight" both try to work up some hard rock swagger, but the overly busy percussion and banks of keyboards take the focus away from Farner's guitar, which doesn't cut as deep as it could. And when Farner tries his hand at dance-friendly R&B material with an undertow of rock guitar (hey, this was the era of disco) on "You and Me Baby" and "Second Chance to Dance," he sounds entirely out of his depth. Farner also dips his toes into the themes that would dominate his later Christian rock sets on "He Let Me Love" and "Social Disaster," but without the same strength and assurance he'd show a few years down the line. And while the album rallies with the seriously silly closer "Ban the Man," Mark Farner is a lost cause by that point; it lacks the force and cohesion of even Grand Funk's weakest work, without bringing much new to his music that was worth hearing.

Flint - 1979 - Layin' It On The Line

Layin' It On The Line

01. Cant Afford Your Love 3:37
02. Crazy
03. Little Girl 3:38
04. Carry You 4:21
05. Keep You Moving On 3:59
06. Say You Are 5:40
07. Shop Rat Blues 2:41
08. Anytime 3:22
09. Find Someone Else 3:08
10. Heard It Again 4:31

Don Brewer — lead vocals, drums, percussion
Mel Schacher — bass, guitar, percussion
Craig Frost — piano, backing vocals, clavinet,keyboards, percussion, organ, mellotron

Columbia JCT 36113 NOT RELEASED
Produced by Jeffrey Lasser, a Viasound Production.
Engineered by Mark Stebbeds
Assistant engineer: Rick Sanchez
Recorded and mixed at THE RECORD PLANT, Sausalito, CA
Matrix number:AL 36113/BL 36113

This is ok album, not bad at all, as anyone may expect from rejected albums.
Yes, its a fact that this didn contain any hit single and at moments this sounds somehow dated, but otherwise its a collection of old good 70-rock ala mid 70-ties"Grand Funk".

Why was not "Layin´it on the line" released?  Well, in 1979 CBS had big problems, sales went down with 30%. Many groups were sorted out and their records were not released. Since "Flint" didn´t sell good, CBS decided NOT to release "Layin´it on the line". CBS  made  heavy promotions for Bruce Springsteen and Miles Davies instead. One of my friends layed his hands on the one and only "promo tape" that was distributed to CBS Scandinavia. The tape is a copy of the entire album. I´ve also read the complete "matrix formula" of  the actual recording. The song list is official and confirmed.

Flint - 1978 - Flint


01. Back In My Arms Again 3:55
02. You Got It All Wrong 4:34
03. Too Soon To Tell 3:46
04. Love Me Like You Used To 3:15
05. For Your Love 4:46
06. Keep Me Warm 2:50
07. One Of Me 3:35
08. Better You Than Me 4:15
09. Rainbow 3:00
10. You'll Never Be The Same 5:39

Don Brewer — lead vocals (01-10), drums (01-10), percussion (07, 10), producer
Mel Schacher — bass (01-10), guitar (02, 07, 09), percussion (10), producer
Craig Frost — piano (01, 02, 04, 06, 08, 10), backing vocals (01, 03, 05, 08, 10), clavinet (02, 04), all keyboards (03, 05, 07, 09), percussion (07, 10), organ (08), mellotron (10), producer
Ron Trombly — drums (01), backing vocals (01)
Chuck Rowe — clavinet (01)
Mark Chatfield — guitar (01)
Curt Johnson — guitar (01)
The Swamp Horn Section — horns (01)
Jimmy Hall — saxophone (02, 06, 09), harmonica (06)
White Lightnin’ — backing vocals (02, 04, 06, 09, 10)
Todd Rundgren — guitar (03, 05, 06)
Frank Zappa — guitar (08, 10)

"For nine months after the band broke up," commented Don Brewer on the aftermath of Grand Funk Railroad and the birth of Flint, "we did absolutely nothing, Then one day we picked up our instruments, went back in the studio, and jammed," with that simple beginning, Brewer described the origins of Flint, a blend of seasoned musicians who've been at the top, coupled with three new young talents who've honed their skills in the local bands of the Midwest.
Don Brewer, Mel Schacher and Craig Frost do not belabor the past when they speak of Grand Funk Railroad, the band made its mark with more than a dozen albums which grossed upward of $60 million. With FLINT, the group and their debut album from Columbia of the same title, everyone is ready, willing and able to start over again. But everything must follow  an inevitable course

The sessions thatwe recorded with Craig on clavinet, Mel on bass, and myself on drums produced a rough mix of our own material. At that point we decided to form a band and try it all again, We had no firm ideas, no directions - but we had a lot of experience and much talent to draw from. The spring and summer months of 1977 were spent at The Swamp, the rehearsal/recording facility that Brewer had built from scratch three years ago, when GFR disbanded. They continued to record and round out their sound, adding Todd Rundgren (guitar) and Wet Willie's Jimmy Hall (saxophone) for some sessions, Frank Zappa and the Godz, Mark Chatfield on other sessions, "We even experimented with female singers," says Brewer, "but dropped the idea.

When the initial demo tapes were sent out, Columbia Records responded with the best offer in late August, within a month, second drummer Ron Trombly and second keyboarder Chuck Rowe had been added to the newly formed band, "In October," Brewer continues, "we started to search for a guitar player. And we tried everything, the national musicians refferal service, advertisements in the trade magazines auditions. We must have gone through 35 to 40 guitarists," The search wrapped-up in mid-summer of 1978, when Flint found guitarist John Escosa II.

Bassist Mel Schacher, one of the original members of Grand Funk Railroad, says that the years with GFR taught him valuable lessons: "We had gone through all the traumatic things, like being in the public eye. Even the idea of  lawsuits doesn't bother me anymore. So this time out, I don't expect many surprises, We'll be able to concentrate on the music and do the work we have to do"

For Schacher, the road to the top started in Flint, the Industrial Michigan town where he and Brewer grew up, Schacher, a shy person who likes his privacy, developed his skills on bass in the many regionally-based bands of the late '60's, "I guess I got tired of being hassled, putting up with people who showed no concern for us as individuals, There were times when I just wouldn't say anything to pecple who came around the band," he says of the GFR years. "I just saw that as the best way to handle myself."

He believes strongly in Flint and its long-range goals,though, "I expect a lot of people to compare us to Grand Funk, but that's alright. The way we play hasn't changed - we still offer a solid show. As for the name Flint, Schacher is sure that once they're established it won't matter what they're called. "We are tested musicians," says Craig Frost, another Flint-area native, who is quick to express his confidence in the fortunes of the new band, "We'll be able to learn trom the mistakes we once made, we're prepared and ready to go," Frost's musical roots are also in the mid-Michigan rock scene of the late '60's. As a long time friend of the members of GFR, he was asked to join the group during its final year and a half together.

'We know we have to do a lot of work in Flint," he says. "We're set to do the touring, and we're aware that everyone in the music business will be watching our progress. In many ways we're better oft than the groups who either have to start from scratch or who have to go through a major comeback". We've got the experience, but we also have the new blood that makes Flint such a good combination" And although the emphasis will be on new material Frost adds, there's no doubt that the shows will also include some late model GFR songs.

Ron Trombly, also a native of  Flint, grew up with Brewer, Schacher and Frost, followed their careers through GFR, but pursued his musical interests in jazz. After working 6- 7 years with local jazz groups such as Eddington 5 and Stephanie, he was nearly ready to give it up, Things have changed with Flint: "Working with this band is the biggest challenge I've ever undertaken. There's the stimulation of being more than just 'the other drummer', in fact, it's the first time I've ever been onstage with another drummer, especially in a 6-piece band. There's a chance to exercise chops that are out of the ordinary,

And when it comes to the business end of things and the touring experience, Trombly figures he couldn't be in a better position, "I feel that much more confidence with Flint because of  Don, Mel and Craig," Chuck Rowe hails from the Toledo area, where he developed his keyboard talents in three bands over a dozen years, the last four years being spent with a group called Rockestra. "But we never were quite able to get all the things together to break into the big-time. When I got the chance to join Flint, I knew it would be the best choice I could make.

Rowe has a deep respect for his mates, too: "There's nothing better for Flint, than to have the advantage of the years of work that Don, Mel and Craig accumulated in Grand Funk.  I'm glad I've been able to fit right in and be as readily accepted as I've been,"

John Escosa II's guitar work blends perfectly with Flint's sound,  having spent the last six years with a Ft. Wayne band known as Endgame . After my first visit to the studio," he recalls, "I was skeptical, since it's always so difficult to walk into a new situation. But I was welcomed by the others, and it was real easy to become part of the organization.

Emerging from The Swamp, Flint's debut album is selfproduced, with Don, Mel and Craig penning most of the ten songs on the LP. Exceptions are a pair of scorchers, opening and closing side one, the Supremes ' Back In My Arms'Again and the Yardbirds' For Your Love, respectively.'

Michigan's reputation as a breeding ground for hard, rock is well-proved, and few musicians have left more of a lasting impression than the three gents at the core of Flint. This is loud, brash, workingman's rock'n roll, the kind you hope for. Turn it up!

Grand Funk - 2002 - Live The 1971 Tour

Grand Funk 
Live The 1971 Tour

01. Intro 1:39
02. Are You Ready 3:12
03. Footstompin' Music 5:25
04. Paranoid 6:04
05. I'm Your Captain/Closer To Home 5:49
06. Hooked On Love 2:46
07. Get It Together 2:46
08. T.N.U.C. 17:12
09. Inside Looking Out 15:30
10. Gimme Shelter 8:45
11. Into The Sun 9:50

Track 2 recorded at " The Syndrome " May 1, 1971, Chicago.
Tracks 3, 4, 8, & 9 recorded at " Cobo Hall " April 29, 1971, Detroit.
Track 11 recorded at " Cobo Hall " April 30, 1971, Detroit.
Tracks 5, 6, 7 & 10 recorded at " Shea Stadium " July 7, 1971, New York City.

Bass, Percussion – Mel Schacher
Drums, Vocals – Don Brewer
Guitar, Organ, Harmonica, Percussion, Vocals – Mark Farner

During 1970 and 1971 the Power Trio "Grand Funk Railroad" (Mark Farner, Don Brewer, and Mel Schacher) under the management of Terry Knight set out to become the biggest Rock 'n' Roll Band in America. Not only did they succeed, but they even surpassed their own expectations. In the two years they released five albums. ‘On Time' (an amazingly impressive, but raw debut album), ‘Grand Funk’ (the consolidating second album), 'Closer to Home' (the first really Classic Album with the epic 'I'm Your Captain/Closer to Home’), and the Landmark ‘Live Album', which was released as a Wart's and All exercise with no over dubs but just the music the way it was played on the night. A very brave thing to do at the time. It would of been so much easier and safer to have taken the Tapes away and polished them up in the Studio as most Bands did, replacing bum notes, and off key singing. But in true Yankee Style it was 'Damn the Torpedoes, full speed ahead'. In my opinion the idea worked. What you lost in perfection on that album you certainly made up for in excitement. The fourth Studio album and fifth album all told 'Survival' was released just before the main part of this concert was recorded at Shea Stadium, New York, on the 7th September 1971.

By this time Grand Funk Railroad had reached their aim and was the biggest band in the land. They probably peaked at Shea Stadium that year, but there was still plenty of life left in the tracks. Soon they were to have two #1 singles in America - with a cover of Carole King's ‘Locomotion’ (first a hit for ‘one-hit-wonder’ "Little Eva", who at the time of her brief moment of fame was actually Carole King's Babysitter!) and Drummer Don Brewer's first attempt at writing a song, which turned into the rock classic ‘We're an American Band’, which was a hit all over the world and has since been covered by almost every American Band you can think of. Although Grand Funk Railroad have lost Mark Farner through wear and tear over the years, Don Brewer and Mel Schacher have kept the band going to this day, and are still one of the hottest acts on the American concert circuit.

Although Shea Stadium was a peak for 'Grand Funk Railroad', a year later they fell out with Manager Terry Knight and spent more time in Court than on the Stage or the recording Studio for the next couple of years. So a certain amount of momentum was lost. But at the time of these recordings they were bigger than 'Led Zeppelin', 'Black Sabbath', or even 'Cream' and had sold out Shea Stadium faster than 'The Beatles'.

The Shea Stadium Concert was to be recorded for a full length feature movie, but before this could happen, band and management went their separate ways, and the whole thing was put up on the shelf.

Fortunately the tapes were dug out in 2002 and Capital Records realized what a little gold mine they were sitting on. Even better news were discovered when complete tapes of the concerts in Chicago and Detroit from two months before the Shea Stadium gig were found in perfect condition.

All these tapes were handed over to David. K. Tedds, who has done a marvelous job of seamlessly putting together an entire show from that hot summer of '71 and leaving it in it's original running order with all the stage announcements, crowd cheering, and atmosphere of a good old Seventies Rock 'n' Roll Concert.

The Music starts out with the intro music taken from '2001' - a marvelous way of getting the audience on their feet, followed by Grand Funk Railroad's traditional opener "Are You Ready", which keeps the audience on their feet and rockin’. Grand Funk Railroad obviously had a lot of Dog in them as they grab their followers by the scruff of the neck and just keep on shaking until they beg for forgiveness. The band storms through a set of all the highlights from their first five albums, and even includes one new song, the soon to be classic 'Footstompin' Music', which wasn't officially to be released for a few more months on their next album 'E Pluribus Funk'.

The medley of 'I'm Your Captain/Closer to Home/Hooked on Love/Get it Together’ in the center of the set is the true work of artists playing at their peak of their powers as they showed at Shea Stadium. The version of T.N.U.C. is seventeen minutes long and allows every member of the band space to stretch out and show their skills. Mark Farner was the obvious focal point of the band playing lead guitar, most of the lead vocals, keyboards, and at the time wrote all the songs. So he was the obvious person to get all the attention. But during T.N.U.C. Mel Schacher got to show off his dexterous bass playing, and Don Brewer takes a 10-minute drum solo that even listening to on audio he manages to keep interesting (you can hear on the record that he certainly had the Detroit audience on his side).

After this strenuous workout you would forgive the band for taking a quick breather, but instead we get two cover versions to bring the set proper (before encore time) to a rousing conclusion. First we have a 15-minute version of 'The Animals' song, 'Inside Looking Out' written by Eric Burden and future Jimi Hendrix Manager Chas Chandler. Grand Funk Railroad take it apart and then smack it back together again in their own style with some wonderfully sprawling guitar solos and plenty of pathos in Mark Farner's endeavors to sing Eric Burdon’s words. You even get another short Brewer Drum solo just in case you had not had enough in T.N.U.C.

Then with the introduction from Mark Farner of ‘This Song is our Generation’s National Anthem’ the band scream into a powerful version of the Stones’ ‘Gimmie Shelter’, which may not have the light and shade of the Stones’ original, but what it lacks in grace it more than makes up for in power and enthusiasm. Also proving how much effect the Brit-Invasion of the mid-sixties was still having on American Rock 'n' Roll.
After this there is only one song Grand Funk Railroad could possibly finish with – ‘Into The Sun’. (In those days seeing Grand Funk Railroad without them playing ‘Into The Sun’ would be a bit like seeing Lynard Skynard without them doing ‘Freebird’, or Deep Purple without ‘Smoke on the Water’.) ‘Into the Sun’ starts off with the main lick played over softly until the first sung verse, where from this point onwards it builds and builds from guitar breaks to heavier drumming to Mel Schacher ringing every note out of the bass guitar until it reaches a thunderous climax. This version form Detroit (Motor City) is by far the most exciting ever officially released and worth the price of the album on it own.

To get yourself a little slice of the American Rock 'n' Roll dream, go out and get yourself a copy of Grand Funk Railroad's 'Live. The 1971 Tour', put it in your C.D. player, turn it up to 11, and enjoy.

Grand Funk Railroad, featuring guitarist/vocalist Mark Farner, drummer Don Brewer and bassist Mel Schacher, were the all-American power packed garage band that made it big. Grand Funk Railroad defined the stateside hard rock scene in the early '70's. The group's rapid rise to prominence was a result of their no-frills stance and a common bond with the primitive, post-psychedelic era long hair rockers.

The energrized power trio from blue collar Flint, Michigan, pushed out three chords of mayhem and a thundering back beat, as they conquered America. Critics looked on in disbelief, as each GFR LP moved major numbers and the group attracted standing room only crowds in each city they toured. By 1971, Grand Funk RR was more than an American band.  GFR was a phenomon and a huge box office attraction, as exhibited by the instantaneous sale of 55,000 tickets for the group's July 9th date at Shea Stadium, in New York City.  

Coming off the group's hot Closer To Home album and the subsequent tour in support of the mega-selling album, Grand Funk RR was steaming down the rails. The hard working band of down-to-earth rock dogs were hardly content to rest on their hard earned glory. Mark, Mel and Don quickly returned to the studio to mint songs for their next album, E Pluribus Funk, while a series of concert dates were booked.

In late April of 1971, the group began touring with a pair of dates on their home turf, as GFR performed at Detroit's cavernous Cobo Hall. The group's maniacal manager, Terry Knight, hired Ken Hamann to record a number of GFR's 1971 concerts for a future live album. Besides the dates in Detroit, on April 29th and 30th, of '71, Grand Funk Railroad was also recorded in Chicago on May 1st, as well as the legendary Shea Stadium gig.

At the end of 1971, Grand Funk Railroad and Terry Knight had an ugly falling out. The concert tapes from the selected '71 tour dates were subsequently never used, rermaining in storage at Ken Hamann's studio in Ohio until many years later when executives from Capitol Records in Los Angeles, requested the lot of GFR live recordings. After 30-years of storage, studio engineer Jimmy Hoyson used Pro Tools computer software to bring out the best in the songs selected for use on a planned live LP.  Finally released in 2002, Live - The 1971 Tour captures the primal GFR rock 'n' roll machine chugging through their early day concert favorites before the wasted youth of the baby boom era.  

Following the ninety-eight second intro from 2001:A Space Odyssey, Grand Funk Railroad roll-in proudly with their spirited concert opener "Are You Ready", which careens into the galloping, positve-vibe party rocker, "Footstompin' Music". The metallic "Parnoid" is pushed out next, before the boys draw back on the full-on wall of sound with the melodic "I'm Your Captain (Closer To Home)".  "Hooked On Love" and "Get It Together" keep the engine stoked before the heavy jams are laid down with extended versions of "T.N.U.C." and anti-establishment inspired "Inside Looking Out".  A cover of the Stone's "Gimme Shelter", which Farner introduces as the generation's national anthem is dealt out at a break-neck pace.  GFR subsequently pull into the station with "Into The Sun" as their encore presentation.

_Live - The 1971 Tour_ is a kick ass flashback to the days when Flint's favorite sons banged out their sturdy brand of assembly line hard rock 'n' heavy blues with the best 'em.


Grand Funk - 1999 - Thirty Years of Funk- 1969-1999

Grand Funk 
Thirty Years of Funk- 1969-1999

101. Getting Into The Sun ( Previously Unreleased )
102. Can't Be Too Long ( Previously Unreleased )
103. Got This Thing On The Move ( Previously Unreleased )
104. Time Machine
105. High On A Horse
106. Mr. Limousine Driver
107. Sin's A Good Man's Brother
108. Aimless Lady
109. Mean Mistreater
110. I'm Your Captain/Closer To Home
111. Are You Ready (Live)
112. Paranoid (Live)
113. Inside Looking Out (Live) ( Previously Unreleased )

201. Feelin' Alright
202. Gimme Shelter
203. I Can Feel Hom In The Morning
204. I Can't Get Along With Society ( Previously Unreleased )
205. Upsetter
206. Loneliness
207. Trying To Get Away
208. Walk Like A Man
209. Creepin'
210. We're An American Band
211. Hooray ( Previously Unreleased )
212. The End ( Previously Unreleased )
213. To Get Back In
214. Destitute And Losin' ( Previously Unreleased On CD )

301. Shinin' On
302. The Loco-Motion
303. Some Kind Of Wonderful
304. Bad Time
305. Footstompin' Music (Live)
306. Rock 'N' Roll Soul (Live)
307. Heartbreaker (Live)
308. Take Me
309. Sally
310. Love Is Dyin'
311. Can You Do It
312. Pass It Around
313. Crossfire
314. Queen Bee
315. We Gotta Get Out Of This Place (Live) ( Previously Unreleased )
316. Pay Attention To Me ( Previously Unreleased )
317. All I Do ( Previously Unreleased )
318. In The Long Run ( Previously Unreleased )

Tracks 1-1 to 1-3 recorded at Tera-Shirma Sound Studio, Detroit, MI, August 1968.
Tracks 1-4 to 1-10 and 2-1 to 2-6 recorded at Cleveland Recording, Cleveland, OH.
Tracks 1-11 & 1-12 recorded live in Jacksonville, FL, summer 1970.
Track 1-13 recorded at Harah Arena, Dayton, OH, April 27, 1971.
Track 2-7 recorded at The Sound Shop, Nashville, TN.
Tracks 2-8 to 2-12 recorded at Criteria Recording Studios, Miami, FL.
Tracks 2-13 to 3-4 recorded at The Swamp, Parshallville, MI.
Tracks 3-5 & 3-6 recorded in Terre Haute, IN, July 2, 1975.
Track 3-7 recorded in Toledo, OH, August 2, 1975.
Tracks 3-11 to 3-13 recorded at The Swamp, Parshallville, MI, and Record Plant, Los Angeles, CA.
Track 3-14 recorded at Bill Schnee Studios, North Hollywood, CA.
Track 3-15 recorded in Tokyo, Japan, June 9, 1982.
Tracks 3-16 to 3-18 recorded at PR Studios, Detroit, MI, August 1996.

Tracks taken :
1-1 to 1-3 originally recorded as The Pack ( 1968 )
1-4 & 1-5 from the album " On Time " ( 1969 )
1-6 from the album " Grand Funk " ( 1969 )
1-7 to 1-10 from the album " Closer To Home " ( 1970 )
1-11 & 1-12 from the double album " Live Album " ( 1970 )
1-13 is previously unreleased
2-1 to 2-3 from the album " Survival " ( 1971 )
2-4 is an outtake from the " Survival " sessions
2-5 & 2-6 from the album " E Pluribus Funk " ( 1971 )
2-7 from the album " Phoenix " ( 1972 )
2-8 to 2-10 from the album " We're An American Band " ( 1973 )
2-11 & 2-12 are outtakes from the " We're An American Band " sessions
2-13 from the album " Shinin' On " ( 1974 )
2-14 is the B-side of " The Loco-Motion " single ( 1974 )
3-1 & 3-2 from the album " Shinin' On " ( 1974 )
3-3 & 3-4 from the album " All The Girls In The World Beware !!! " ( 1974 )
3-5 to 3-7 from the double album " Caught In The Act " ( 1975 )
3-8 to 3-10 from the album " Born To Die " ( 1975 )
3-11 to 3-13 from the album " Good Singin' Good Playin' " ( 1976 )
3-14 from the album " Grand Funk Lives " ( 1981 )
3-15 to 3-18 are previously unreleased

" Phoenix ", " We're An American Band ", " Shinin' On " and " All The Girls In The World Beware !!! " were recorded under the name Grand Funk.All other albums were recorded under the name Grand Funk Railroad.

Thirty Years of Funk is a three-CD boxed set anthology of the music of one of America's premier heavy rock bands, Grand Funk Railroad. This set covers the music of the band from 1969, when the band first burst onto the music scene and ushered in a post-British Invasion alternative to the progressive movement, until they broke up in 1976 to subsequently reform in the mid-'90s.
Although Grand Funk Railroad was officially formed in 1969, some band members played together as Terry Knight & the Pack in the mid-'60s and this set opens with three songs from the Pack from 1968. The set concentrates on being a complete anthology of Grand Funk material with only two to three songs from each one of the band's 16 studio albums. All of the band's albums are represented in this collection except for one album that was released on the Warner Bros. label in 1983. The set also contains a number of previously unreleased alternate recordings, outtakes, and live material to add appeal to fans. In 1997, Grand Funk performed a concert for Bosnia and in 1998 got together in the studio and for a tour and recorded a number of new tracks, three of which are contained on this set. Although a number of the band's early songs and some fans' best-of tracks are not contained on this set, thus making it flawed according to fans, it is the best retrospective package of Grand Funk Railroad's music available to date on the market. The set's booklet contains detailed information on the history of the band, a discography, album jacket photos, and detailed song information.

Grand Funk - 1997 - Bosnia

Grand Funk 

01. 2001: A Space Odyssey (Intro) 1:25
02. Are You Ready 3:26
03. Rock'N Roll Soul 3:50
04. Footstopmin' Music 4:19
05. Time Machine 3:17
06. Medley: Paranoid - Sin's A Good Mans Brother - Mr. Limosine Driver 7:17
07. Heartbreaker 7:38
08. Aimless Lady 3:53
09. T.N.U.C. 7:25
10. Inside Looking Out 10:22
11. Shinin' On 3:37
12. The Loco-Motion 3:41
13. We're An American Band 3:58
14. Overture 2:59
15. Mean Mistreater 4:26
16. Some Kind Of Wonderful 3:58
17. To Get Back In 4:02
18. Bad Time 2:57
19. I'm Your Captain/Closer To Home 9:04
20. Loneliness 8:59

Grand Funk Railroad:
Mark Farner – acoustic and electric guitars, vocals, percussion
Howard Eddy Jr. – keyboards
Mel Schacher – bass guitar
Don Brewer – drums, percussion, vocals

Peter Frampton – guitar
Alto Reed – saxophone
Michigan Symphony Orchestra conducted by Paul Shaffer
Recorded by David Hewitt on Remote Recording Services Silver Truck

Recorded live March 1997 at the Palace of Auburn Hills in Auburn Hills, Michigan.

This album is dedicated to all the people of Bosnia and those who suffer around the world. We care.
Mel, Don & Mark

The triumphant return of the boys from Flint, Michigan. A fabulous live recording complete with guest stars up the wazoo. Mark, Don, and Mel are joined onstage by their own sideman Howard Eddy Jr. as well as Peter Frampton, Paul Schafer (David Letterman's band leader), and Alto Reed (Bob Segar's saxman for many years). The recording features a full orchestra and lots and lots of hits! The guys and the sound may have matured, but don't take that as meaning old, these guys got out there and rocked there tails off! This was a happy time indeed for the Grand Funk boys who in the 70's conquered the world straight out of the Musician's Union Hall in Flint. This CD is a must have for GFR fans and non-fans alike. It is out of print but can be still found in many CD shops across the US. Bosnia is a true testiment that Rock and Roll isn't just for the kids!

The Bosnia Live 2CD set is a great work, which was born out of the GFR Re-union tours of 1996 and 1997. GFR was back and filling the concert venue as always. I love the Orchchestra set and GFR never sounded better. Below is a Review of a 1996 GFR Re-union show I attended in my home town.

York Pavilion, York PA 6/19/96- Grand Funk Railroad Re-union Tour

Don't ask me where, but I think it was on a classic rock radio station, that I heard Grand Funk Railroad was touring again and was going to play a concert in my home town of York, PA. I heard that it was a "test" tour to see if there was enough interest for a full blown re-union tour.

As GFR was my favorite Rock group since about 1970, I was determined to get tickets and arrived before 8AM on the Saturday at the York Fair , to my surprise I was about 50th or so in line. Everyone in that line was really psyched about the concert and I struck up a conversation with the guy in front of me. Both of us reminiscing about the concerts we had seen in "the day". I guess it took about an hour to get though the line but with all the Funk banter time went quickly and I was on my way.

On Concert day my then 18 year old son accompanied me, he had heard  plenty about GFR from me but he really only came because I asked him to, but in any case there we were. I am not sure exactly how many the York Pavilion will hold, but I think it is in the 10 - 12,000 range and the crowd was probably around 8-9,000 that day. The tickets were $20 and I bought tickets right in the middle about 6 or 8 rows into the first seats of the grand stand, there were plenty of the ground level seats available for about $10 more but I took the grandstand.

Rick Derringer was the opening act, and did a outstand job. Rick was in the McCoys of "Hang On Sloopy" fame and also the Edgar Winter's White Trash Band. So he did lots of Edgar Winter stuff, like "Still Alive and Well", "Rock & Roll Hoochie Koo", and selections from "They Only Come Out At Night". Derringer burned up the guitar just like he did back in the "Roadwork" Days and ended his set with "Hang On Sloopy".

After about a 45 minute break to set up GFR's equipment, the crowd was chanting and clapping their hands just like in the old days, ...Grand Funk..Grand Funk...Grand Funk... the theme from 2001: A Space Odyssey intro and Mark Don & Mel trot onto the  stage. Boy! they still looked great, maybe a little less hair, lol, but still looking fit and trim. Drummer supreme, Don Brewer. wore a mostly white outfit, and still had the 'fro, I can't remember what Mel wore, but he did have dark sun glasses on and looked sharp. What I do remember is Mark Farner's entrance, dancing and prancing while playing the beginning chords of "Are You Ready" the traditional GFR opening number. After all these years Mark was still the same as always, moving to the music from one side of the stage to the other.

It was a fantastic show, and if it was not for the "odd Looks" I was getting from my son, I would have been dancing and shouting along with the music more than I did. They did all of the great songs and I remember that Mark introduced his brother Ricky, who was playing second guitar from off to the side, most notably filling in the beginning of Closer To Home and other needed guitar parts. I don't remember the exact set list, but I can tell you it was a classic set much like is listed in Mark Farners Bio in the Appendix II, which list all of Mark's public appearances from his first local band through the 2001 Mark Farner Band shows.

Here is the typical Set List which is printed in Marks Bio for the 1996 GFR Tour:
Are You Ready / Rock & Roll Soul / Footstompin' Music / Winter In My Soul / Time Machine / Aimless Lady / Mean Mistreater / TNUC / Inside Looking Out / The Railroad / Sin's A Good Man's Brother / Heartbreaker / Bad Time / Some Kind Of Wonderful / I'm Your Captain / The Loco-motion / Nothing Is The Same / Shinin' On / We're An American Band (Encore).

It really was almost unbelievable how good they sounded that day, and I was on cloud nine for about a week following that show. I would keep track of the Re-union and would see GFR listed as doing shows around the PA, MD, NJ, NY areas for quite a while and in 2000 when I first got on-line one of the first things I did was type in into the search box and it was then I found that Mark Farner had again gone solo and as Paul Harvey always says you know "The Rest Of The Story". In any case, for a few short hours I had the good fortune to re-live a favorite time in my life with my favorite music performed flawlessly by Mark, Don & Mel and again confirm what I always knew- "WHAT'S FUNK? GRAND FUNK"

Grand Funk - 1983 - What's Funk

Grand Funk
What's Funk

01. Rock & Roll American Style 4:27
02. Nowhere To Run 2:44
03. Innocent 3:07
04. Still Waitin' 4:17
05. Borderline 2:58
06. El Salvador 4:05
07. It's A Man's World 4:59
08. I'm So True 4:09
09. Don't Lie To Me 4:30
10. Life In Outer Space 4:18

Mark Farner - vocals, guitars, keyboards
Don Brewer - vocals, drums, percussion
Dennis Bellinger - backing vocals, bass

After making a comeback in 1981, the revamped 1980s version of Grand Funk Railroad took one last stab at the '80s rock market with What's Funk? This time, the band enlisted Gary Lyons (producer for Foreigner and the Outlaws) to create an updated version of the kind of slickly produced album that made the group into a pop hitmaker during the mid-'70s. The end result is an improvement over 1981's underproduced Grand Funk Lives, but it still suffers from some uneven moments. Lyons adds plenty of early-'80s frills to the group sound, the most notable examples being the synthesizers and drum machines that dress up tunes like "Innocent" and "I'm So True." This approach doesn't always work (the Gary Numan-like programmed synthesizers that underpin "Borderline" clutter up what could have been an effective slice of guitar-driven hard rock), but the group turns in the kind of songs and energetic performances that help make What's Funk? an engaging album. Good examples include "Still Waitin'," a straight-ahead rocker that seamlessly blends heavy guitar riffs with a catchy chorus, and "Borderline," a soulful power ballad that balances the group's instrumental power with plenty of smooth harmonies. Another highlight is the group's cover of the James Brown classic "It's a Man's World," which cleverly rearranges the tune to fit the band's power trio format. In the end, What's Funk? lacks the kind of exceptional songs and breakout hits that would have made the album cross over to the mainstream, but it remains a solid batch of tunes that will please the group's fans.

Grand Funk - 1981 - Grand Funk Lives

Grand Funk 
Grand Funk Lives

01. Good Times
02. Queen Bee
03. Testify
04. Can't Be With You Tonight
05. No Reason Why
06. We Gotta Get Out Of This Place
07. Y.O.U.
08. Stuck In The Middle
09. Greed Of Man
10. Wait For Me

Mark Farner – guitar, piano, vocals
Lance Duncan Ong – keyboards, synthesizer
Dennis Bellinger – bass, vocals
Don Brewer – drums, vocals

Rising like a Phoenix, which was the title of one of their previous albums, perhaps Mark Farner is sending a subliminal message with opening track "Good Times" that his "Bad Time" is over? The song "Testify," track three, sums up this very good album from Mark Farner, Don Brewer, and bassist Dennis Bellinger replacing the MIA Mel Schacher. It's a hooky rock tune with Farner's religious overtones. All these tracks are strong, from "Can't Be With You Tonight" to the glorious ending of "Wait for Me." The no-nonsense production of manager Andrew Cavaliere -- shades of Terry Knight! --- and Bob Destocki, lets Farner and Brewer shine. This album is like a subdued version of the Grand Funk classic Survival. In fact, both Survival and Grand Funk Lives are underrated, not just among Grand Funk fans. Where the first Mark Farner solo album, produced by Dick Wagner, had more of a bluesy feel in 1977, and 1978's Flint by Brewer and company sounded like a stab in the dark, this collection rocks. "Queen Bee" has riffs taken from Black Sabbath and Uriah Heep, specifically the ending of the song; "Black Sabbath meets Heep's "Easy Livin'," with Farner's pop influences glossing it up. "We Gotta Get out of This Place" has more in common with a hard-rocking Young Rascals than the Animals or David Johansen. "Y.O.U." is almost there, halfway to a hit, missing the strength of producers Jimmy Ienner, Todd Rundgren, heck, even Frank Zappa might've lifted this track into the Top 40. The restrained production on the rest of the album is a plus except for "Y.O.U.," which needed just a bit more. "Stuck in the Middle" is fun Mark Farner, and is perhaps the best track on this excellent outing. Heavy keyboards, a great hook, and thick chorus -- a nice sequel to Funk's 1975 hit "Bad Time." "Greed of Man" goes back to the harder preaching of original GFR. All tunes except the cover of "We Gotta Get out of This Place" were written by Farner, who closes out the album with the introspective "Wait for Me." In a world mutated by Guns N' Roses, Nirvana, and Aerosmith gone pop, Grand Funk Railroad kept the flame of hard rock lit with this solid disc. It's too bad it didn't reach a larger audience.