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Grand Funk Railroad

One of the 1970s' most successful hard rock bands in spite of critical pans and somewhat reluctant radio airplay (at first), Grand Funk Railroad built a devoted fan base with constant touring, a loud, simple take on the blues-rock power trio sound, and strong working-class appeal. The band was formed by Flint, MI, guitarist/songwriter Mark Farner and drummer Don Brewer, both former members of a local band called Terry Knight & the Pack. They recruited former ? & the Mysterians bassist Mel Schacher in 1968, and Knight retired from performing to become their manager, naming the group after Michigan's well-known Grand Trunk Railroad.

They performed for free at the 1969 Atlanta Pop Festival, and their energetic, if not technically proficient, show led Capitol Records to sign them at once. While radio shied away from Grand Funk Railroad, the group's strong work ethic and commitment to touring produced a series of big-selling albums over the next few years; five of their eight releases from 1969 to 1972 went platinum, and the others all went gold. Meanwhile, Knight promoted the band aggressively, going so far as to rent a Times Square billboard to advertise Closer to Home, which turned out to be the band's first multi-platinum album in spite of a backlash from the rock press. However, Grand Funk Railroad fired Knight in March of 1972, who promptly sued; the band spent most of the year in a court battle that ended when they bought Knight out.

Keyboardist Craig Frost joined the group for the Phoenix LP at the end of 1972. Following that album, the band's name was officially shortened to Grand Funk, and the group finally scored a big hit single (number one, in fact) with the title track of the Todd Rundgren-produced We're an American Band. The follow-up, Shinin' On, contained another number one hit in a remake of Little Eva's "The Loco-Motion." However, following Grand Funk's next album, All the Girls in the World Beware!!, interest in the group began to wane. Reverting back to Grand Funk Railroad, they remained together in 1976 solely to work with producer Frank Zappa on Good Singin', Good Playin'. Farner left for a solo career, and the remainder of the band released an album as Flint with guitarist Billy Elworthy.

Grand Funk Railroad re-formed in 1981 with Dennis Bellinger on bass and released two albums; only Grand Funk Lives even managed to scrape the bottom of the charts. The group disbanded again, with Brewer and Frost joining Bob Seger's Silver Bullet Band and Farner embarking on a new career as a CCM artist; his "Isn't It Amazing" was a number two gospel hit in 1988. In 1997, Grand Funk Railroad reunited once again to record a benefit album titled Bosnia; two years later, Capitol issued a three-disc box set retrospective, Thirty Years of Funk: 1969-1999. ~ Steve Huey, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

Comments

Yes the band. Might of suffers but the fans lost one of the greatest rock bands in the world. Go grand funk
Aimless lady, GFR for life. Morning pandora listeners
James gang ZZ Top Grand Funk Railroad the three best 70s trio bands hands down GFR HOF
Yes, ur right boss914570!! ! ! My uncle turned me on to them. After Vietnam. Late 60's. Got chills all over. Funk head for life.
One of the must underrated rock bands of the 70's.
far-out!
Yes I've aready Googled all. Caught in the act. Black licorice
A listening comf Dmitry fir all
They were so funktastik. Ahhh the memories in back of my 63 nova
milosdad
For all you fans, Google their June 1, 1974 concert in L.A. for a full live set. Definitely some foot stompin' music.
Yes, & I have it! I'm a funk head. They're my first band. That I can say, I love rock& roll.
hempelpamela
Sorry never entered the group name. This would be for Grand Funk Railroad.
hempelpamela
Does anyone remember the round silver album ?
kwaddell19
just saw bob seger in Pgh on 01/22 & don brewer IS the drummer for the silver bullet band, awesome show, j. geils band was opening act. Also saw gfr in 1974 at civic arena in pgh, had a really cool train video that was great when seen from the floor seats, looked like it was coming right at you.
The Rodney Dangerfield of Rock'n'Roll - will never get near the respect they deserve. milosdad below... I saw the same tour 1974 at Capital Center in Washington DC. One the best shows I have seen to this day.... also one of the loudest. The couple my wife and I went with almost had to walk out it was so loud. I was having too much fun to notice.
Loved to watch Mark Farber dance around the stage.
milosdad
First concert I ever attended. GFR with Wet Willie opening up. May 24, 1974 in San Antonio. Later, around 1988, I got to drive Mark Farner around before a solo gig. Really nice person.
Grand Trunk Railroad!
Grand Funk and Bachman Turner Overdrive... t h e way rock was supposed to be!
Still jamming
a good collection isn't complete without them!
1st rock band I ever heard Beatles don't count 1969 brother turned me on to them
U r right on that. They were right there. & I was listening. James28483
I mention GFR to people today and they look at me like Im crazy. They simply dont get it. Im proud to be old enough to get it.
Last day of 2014!!! Now this was the way I remembered waking up to. G F R got my fix. Ty pandora
Still fun listening!
gdawg1993hd
Grand Funk is still number 1 with me.
purpgirl.ta
What a waste of air time, NOT having a great band like Grand Funk to listen to, except for An American Band! So many great songs
Still listening after all the yrs. have gone. Music is still here for my ears.
denver209
Another place & another time
ttuzon
Don't read this because it actually works. You will be kissed on the nearest Friday by the love of your life. Tomorow will be the best day of your life. However if you don't post this you will die in two days now you've started reading so don't it's so scary put this on 5 songs in 143 minutes when done press f6 and your lovers name will come on the screen in big letters.
drealone0
4 fingers and gas masks
dodea48
critics are jerks
Bad a** Baby
Yes, I'm a funkhead, forever!
Boy, was I young when my dad& uncles played GFR. 45 yrs. ago still love listen to live
Don't read this because it actually works. You will be kissed on the nearest Friday by the love of your life. Tomorow will be the best day of your life. However if you don't post this you will die in two days now you've started reading so don't it's so scary put this on 5 songs in 143 minutes when done press f6 and your lovers name will come on the screen in big letters.
Grand Funk Live......Lo v e this!
Brings back such great memories while living in Venice Beach in the late 60's. Poppin' reds and drinkin' Red Mountain Wine by the gallons. Guess it's time to burn one! PEACE Everyone!!
❤️
JUST GOES TO SHOW YOU HOW STUPID THE RRHOF IS FOR NOT INDUCTING GFR!!!!
bohab
The media hated GFR for some odd reason but they persevered .
I was a kid in Clinton,Ma. Lucky for me I had 2 big brothers or I would have missed out on so much.Remembe r when WAAF was only casting from Worcester? I do .
HOW THE ROCK & ROLL HALL OF FAME DOES NOT INCLUDE GRAND FUNK IS A SHAME.
Still one of my favorite bands of all time. When one of their songs comes on the radio I have to stop whatever I'm doing and experience it once again.
I played this 45 so much in the 70's that I wore the needle down to nothing..... . great memories.
Number 2). The Beatles once played a place called Shea Stadium in NYC. It took the Beatles 6 weeks to sell out Shea. Grand Funk played there once also. It took them three days to sell it out. During the concert there was serious consideratio n given to stopping the whole show because they were afraid that parts of the stands might collapse. That's how popular Grand Funk was in their time. They showed up the best band in history and the best hard rock band in history - nuff said..
When you talk about Grand Funk Railroad there are two things that you need to remember. 1) They were the opening act for a Led Zeppelin Tour in the late 60's during one of the first shows Peter Grant (then the manager of Led Zeppelin pulled the plug on Grand Funk's set because the crowd reaction was so loud and energetic he was worried about he best hard rock band in history following them. Next post see number 2 (didn't have enough room).
Number 2). The Beatles once played a place called Shea Stadium in NYC. It took the Beatles 6 weeks o sell out Shea. Grand Funk played there once also. It took them three days to sell out the stadium. During the concert there was serious consideratio n given to stopping the whole show because they were afraid the parts of the stands might collapse. That's how popular Grand Funk was in their time. They showed up the best band in history and the best hard rock band in history.
Number 2). The Beatles once played a place called Shea Stadium in NYC. It took the Beatles 6 weeks for the Beatles to sell out. Grand Funk played there once also. It took the three days to sell out the stadium During the shows there was serious consideratio n give to stopping the whole show because they were afraid the parts of the stand might collapse. Now let's see... That's how popular Grand Funk was in their time. They showed up the best band in history and the best hard rock band.
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