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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

Seen this band several times in Cleveland in the 70s rock on my lighters lit
GDR , FEELIN ALRIGHT better than any other group to do this song . Farner keep jammin my bro. Got this thing on a groove
mma1983d
Classic. Still love at 54.
chriskapeghi a n
Saw their first show at the Fillmore East opening for Fat Mattress and Jethro Tull
1969 my first rock band loved the red album
My first concert also GF R I love it, still love it today theyre still rocking Mark Farner he is great and I love you Pandora also, mean misstreater and inside looking out are my favorites
GFR was my first concert in 1968. Still love their music.
kwkerns52
Great stuff!
Still some Hard Rock Great Sounds... from this Group.
Never saw them as a young teen but, they have always been in my heart...
I thought Grand Funk was already in 'Rockin'Roll Hall of Fame'...that ' s really a shame if they are not---Total Kick-A** Rockers with 8 Platinum & 5 Gold Albums....so m e o n e needs ' a reminder' !!!! --SR
lazedaze789
One of the best songs. I can listen to We're An American Band all of the time
I went to Black Sabbath's 1st southern California concert at the Forum in Inglewood, in 1971, which is #1 of 43 times I have seen OzzY. But , the special treat that nite, the warmup band was Grand Funk Railroad. Can't count on my fingers, since then how many times I saw GFR, they are awesome, and any version without Mark singing is not GFR....
cool eastside! I like west side also! I strum for world peace 4I am the man who walk Both sides!!!! Friends before enemies Peace before war!!!!
packedfunk
GFRxR was way ahead of their time in 1970. Still misunderstoo d they wait to get inducted into R&R Hall of Fame.
FIRST AMERCAN BAND TO EARN 10 CONSECUTIVE PLATINUM ALBUMS!!
Why are they not inducted????
Grand funk rail road first live concert I ever attended too it was great 1976 mobile alabama I was 19 now 59 still listen to them and david allan coe
fraga.simons
I would like to know why the Red Album is not listed in the selected discography? That was a killer LP with songs like Inside Lookin Out and Mr Limousine Diver....Pur e classic GFR!!
Grand Funk was prime entertainmen t during,draft i n g class 71-72!
cunn500
one of the best live bands of their day. saw them twice. I wore out two copies of grand funk live!
good music to funk the girl to wouldn't y'all agree
First time I went to New Orleans they were hot with Closer To Home!
First time I went to New Orleans this awesome group was hot with I am Your Captain!
I saw them at the Fillmore East in 1970. They are a fantastic band to watch live. Pandora doesn't have my favorite song by them, Please Don't Worry (Bout no Jury) on GRAND FUNK RAILROAD
I saw Grand Funk in concert at Hershey Pa back in the day-best concert I ever attended. Does anybody remember their song Black Licorish? Talk about a kick-a** tune!!!!!!!! ! !
That's not nice asaltysail! GFR has proove you wrong! Millions & Millions of loyal fans still today! Get a life dude...sorry we don't have any John Denver music...mayb e to sleep on...
Pitifully crappy group.Pandor a is forcing me to wait throught.The y sucked then and still do
you will be kissed by the love of your life on the nearest friday. tomorrow will be the best day of your life. however, if you don't post this, you will die in the next 2 days. now you started reading so don't stop. this is so scary. put this on 5 songs in the next 143 min. when done pressF6 and your lovers name will appear on the screen in big letters.
Hard-Rockin' Machine of the 70's and beyond...liv e forever GFR !
fastdaddy3
Raw live jam!!! One of the most best live bands . First ahead of them in 76 bought albums for a buck I was 9 . Never saw live . Truly the pantara of their day!!!
robertg2007
I was in recording studio with gfr way back when
Saw GFR in my73 and living here in little rock .ar. yes I know sweet sweet Connie
mcoren80
Todd Rudgren ruined them .. took a incredible powerful raw force .. made them palatable to the masses and ..poof we're An American Band ...GAG!! saw them at 2nd Atlanta POP Festival befor Todd had a chance to polish them up,,, they were INCREDIBLE !!
kwgthacher
GFR 10/71 in Seattle - 2 1/2 hrs of straight up rock. So great. No Mark Farner, no genuine GFR.
sittin here broken, like a lonely man, doin my time
Tell every body you know !
Saw Grand Funk play at DTE music theater in Clarkston Mi.about four or 5 years ago.They just kicked a**. You would have thought they never broke up. Damn they could still rock the joint.
Grand Funk Railroad gave way to Jefferson Airplane, followed by Jefferson Starship and finally the Alan Parsons Project which I believe was some kind of hovercraft.
GFR was the head liner at the Fabulous Forum 71 the opening act.. wait for it.. Black Sabbath it took me 3days to come down
♪♪♪♪ ♥♥♥ : ) ♥♥♥ ♪♪♪♪
They're missing my favorite album! Grand Funk Railroad, Grand Funk. Love Paranoid, Got This Thing On The Move, Mr. Limousine Driver. This band kicks major a**. Saw Mark Farner 2 years ago and he's still got the energy of a young man, running and dancing all over the stage.
liberalh8er
I was in 2nd or 3rd grade when Closer to Home played over the AM Airwaves - still an awesome song 40+ years later !
i'm your captain/clos e r to home is one of the top 25 best songs ever!
daniel.fridl e y
Listening to iCloser to Home is a spiritual experience
barry.gash
i turn 60 this past June, I saw them live in Canton,Ohio high school < Perry high> graduation week 1971, one of my best concerts, I caught the drummers sticks after he threw them. far out!
navolli1
Can't remember listening to a badsong from this band. I grew up listening to one if the best. The 70's was all about rock... Just like Bob S. Led Zepp and Peter F.
From Detroit and we know how to rock.
Detroit rocks forever...Ea s t s i d e
randyalong
GFR Rules! One of the greats!

Chain it on down the line....
You will be kissed on the nearest possible Friday by the love of your life. Tomorrow will be the best day of your life. However if you don't post this you will be sad in 2 days. Now you've started reading so don't stop. This is so scary. Put this on at least 5 songs in 143 minutes. When done press f6 and your lovers name will come on the screen in big letters( it better be my husband). This is scary, so they say, because it really works... so they say....
Out on the ro' fo' fo'ty days. Last naht in Little Rock, putt me 'n a haze.
A great live band who in my opinion never got their due. Their early stuff kicks a**. They belong in the Rock n Roll Hall Of Fame!!!
T.N.U.C. Great drum solo, but the title, backwards, spells???
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