Grand Funk Railroad - Live Album

Year of Release: 2002
Label: Capitol Records
Catalog Number: 41422
Format: CD
Total Time: 78:12:00

Keith reviewed the first four GFR releases in one review ? as they are part of a box set The Trunk Of Funk; however, as the box set goes beyond these four, each title is listed separately in the database ?ed.

Three guys from Flint, Michigan got together 34 years ago to form one of the most potent rock trios of all time. They called themselves Grand Funk Railroad, after Grand Trunk Railroad. Mark Farner (guitar, harmonica, piano, keyboards, vocals), Mel Schacher (bass, vocals) and Don Brewer (drums, vocals) were the American band. To be historically correct, Terry Knight, who was their manager, was a member of the group originally, then Mel came onboard to relieve Knight of those duties and he went into full time management of the group.

Capitol Records is in the midst of an extensive reissue program covering 12 of the band's releases. "The Trunk Of Funk" will look like an old leather trunk and will include the first 4 reissues already inside and space to hold another 8 classic GFR reissues that are to be released over the next year. Each box will be individually numbered and there will only be 10,000 copies manufactured worldwide. Each box will also include stickers, so you can decorate the trunk anyway you like.

These four releases are the prototypical GFR. The sound recorded on these four albums was the basic blues rock foundation sound that propelled them to a long and successful career and garnered them a huge fan base due to tireless touring. All of this was managed without any support from the media. This was before they added keyboard player Craig Frost and took on a decidedly pop sound. And although that would give them some success, it would also contribute to their eventual demise.

Live Album provided an up close and personal look into their live performances and it also gave a nice overview of the three previous studio albums. I remember when I first heard this album back in the early 70's. I listened intently to Mark talk to the crowd about not taking things that were handed them, namely drugs (too bad I didn't take his advice), and also asking all the brothers and sisters in the front rows to keep people off of other peoples shoulders so people in the back could see them perform. It's interesting how I remember those details after all these years. This however is no match for what was to be released in the future. Caught In The Act blows this one away. Thanks to the careful remastering it sounds a lot less muddy on the bottom end. It's extremely good for a live recording that was taped on inferior equipment by today's standards. This is a wonderful memento to GFR and their early raw and raunchy years. It's a snapshot of the hot and sweaty pot filled arenas of the 70's.

The bonus tracks are always welcome, as it adds to the substance and longevity of each recording. There are no throwaways here, its all top shelf GFR. I am absolutely thrilled that all of this music will reach a new generation. It all sounds better than ever now that it's been given a new lease on life thanks to the remastering processes. GFR was one of the very first rock bands I ever got into, so all of this music took me back to when my love for rock and roll really caught fire. I am sure there are many of you out there that will experience the same thing.

Introduction (2:26) / Are You Ready (3:38) / Paranoid (7:19) / In Need (10:57) / Heartbreaker (7:10) / Words Of Wisdom (0:52) / Mean Mistreater (4:53) / Mark Say's Alright (5:13) / T.N.U.C. (10:54) / Inside Looking Out (13:42) / Into The Sun (11:26)

Mark Farner - guitar, harmonica, piano, keyboards, vocals
Don Brewer - drums, vocals
Mel Schacher - bass, vocals

Grand Funk (The Red Album) (1969/1981/1996/1999/2002)
On Time (1969/1981/1996/2002)
Closer to Home (1970/1981/1994/19999/2002)
Live Album (1970/1997/2002)
E Pluribus Funk (1971/1995/2002)
Survival (1971/1996/1999/2002)
Mark, Don And Mel 1969-1971 (1972/1990)
Phoenix (1972/1998)
We're An American Band (1973/1996/1999/2002)
All The Girls In The World Beware!!! (1974/1997)
Shinin' On (1974/1992/1997)
Caught In The Act (1975/1995)
Born To Die (1976)
Good Singin' Good Playin' (1976/1999)
Grand Funk Hits (1976)
Grand Funk Lives (1981)
What's Funk? (1983)
Capitol Collectors Series (1991)
More Of The Best (1991)
The Collection (1992)
Bosnia (1997)
Thirty Years Of Funk 1969-1999 (Anthology 3 CD Box Set) (1999)
Live - The 1971 Tour (2002)

Genre: Rock

Origin US

Added: June 26th 2002
Reviewer: Keith "Muzikman" Hannaleck
Artist website:
Hits: 1138
Language: english


[ Back to Reviews Index | Post Comment ]