|Grand Funk Railroad|
|We’re An American Band (July 15, 1973)|
Grand Funk Railroad — Locomotion ‘82
•ς• Live September 6, 1982 — Tracks 1~1 to 2~3
•ς• Live in University of Hawaii, 1970 — Tracks 2~4 to 2~8
•ς• Track 2~3 misspeled “We God Get Out Of This Place” © ≈≠↓ Don Brewer in 1968. Don Brewer, Grand Funk Railroad 1970
Album release: 1982
Record Label: Reel Music
Album release: 1982
Record Label: bootleg
Duration: 62:00 + 53:03 => 115:03
01 Footstmpin’ Music 4:16
02 Paranoid 7:03
03 No Reason Why 4:52
04 Queen Bee 3:23
05 Closer To Home 5:23
06 Heartbreaker 7:55
07 Mean Mistreater 5:48
08 We’re An American Band 3:25
09 T.N.U.C. 7:46
10 Inside Looking Out 12:09
01 Locomotion 3:17
02 Gimme Shelter 6:03
03 We God Get Out 5:07
04 Are You Ready 3:23
05 Paranoid 6:45
06 In Need 12:23
07 Mean Mistreater 4:51
08 Closer To Home 11:14Features
Grand Funk Railroad’s
Story by Bob Girouard
≈≠↓ Listen to Don Brewer’s powerful drumming on FM staples like “I’m Your Captain/Closer to Home” and “Footstompin’ Music.” Now zero in on his he~man vocals on the number~one Grand Funk Railroad hits “We’re an American Band” and “The Loco~Motion.” You’d be forgiven for assuming that Brewer is the type of fella you might not want to meet in a dark alley. But truth be told, he’s one of the most congenial personalities in rock.
≈≠↓ Perhaps it’s his roots in working~class Swartz Creek, Michigan, or simply the fact that he still retains a youthful passion for his instrument. Either way, Brewer’s work ethic perfectly represents Grand Funk Railroad’s reputation as “the people’s band,” earned largely due to singer/guitarist Mark Farner, bassist Mel Schacher, keyboardist Craig Frost, and Brewer’s remarkably energetic live performances. And the people sure paid back the band in kind, rewarding it with thirteen gold and ten platinum albums and worldwide sales in excess of 25 million copies.
≈≠↓ And though it hit a wall in 1976, Grand Funk has never been far from fans’ hearts. Since re~forming in 1996, the group has been in a fairly constant state of activity, despite Farner’s 1998 exit. Brewer has even found time between Funky commitments to tour with Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band, which he’s done for the better part of the past thirty years, and in 2000 he confirmed his legendary status among our tribe by performing at the Modern Drummer Festival. Nearly twenty years later, the interest in Grand Funk remains strong, as evidenced by its full concert calendar, as well as by Audio Fidelity’s hybrid SACD reissues of the popular Shinin’ On and All the Girls in the World Beware!!! albums, both of which originally landed in 1974.
≈≠↓ When you learn how Brewer got into the drums in the first place, the latter title begins to take on new meaning. “In junior high I played the clarinet, and I hated that,” Don recalls. “I actually worked myself up to first chair, then quickly down to last chair! One day the music instructor asked for volunteers to carry the bass drum in the [marching] drum section, which was all girls. Of course I immediately put my hand up. Are you kidding — it was a no~brainer!”
≈≠↓ Brewer quickly developed his chops, as famously presented in the intro to the title track of Grand Funk’s 1973 blockbuster, We’re an American Band, which was produced by ‘70s superstar Todd Rundgren. “That was done on a single pedal,” Brewer tells MD, “a Rogers Swiv~o~Matic. I broke several of those, and they were always being fixed by Mark Farner’s dad, who worked at General Motors. He would temper the metal rods, and then I’d switch the leather strap by blowtorching a car seatbelt to fit. So the ‘secret’ to the intro of ‘American Band’ is all about retooling the pedal!”
≈≠↓ Despite his classic vocal performance on “American Band,” Brewer is quick to insist, “I was a drummer who sang, but a drummer first, not a bona fide vocalist. Playing and singing just came naturally to me. Plus Farner and I had a nice mix: I had the gruff thing, and he had this smooth R&B thing. That’s what Grand Funk really is, an R&B band pumped up on steroids.”
≈≠↓ When the band members went back in the studio to record Shinin’ On, they once again enlisted Rundgren, but this time they went for a more commercial R&B flavor, which is reflected in the album’s title cut, the horn~section~adorned “To Get Back In,” the blistering “Little Johnny Hooker,” and a somewhat surprising remake of the Goffin~King classic “The Loco~Motion.” “We needed another hit,” Brewer recalls. “We’d come off of We’re an American Band, plus we’d gone through all this litigious crap with our manager, Terry Knight.”
≈≠↓ “We recorded the album at the Swamp, across the street from Mark’s farm,” Brewer continues. “[One day] we broke for dinner and went to McDonald’s, and when Mark walked back in he started belting out, ‘Everybody’s doin’ a brand~new dance now,’ and all of us cracked up. I mean, how silly is that: Grand Funk doing ‘The Loco~Motion’? ‘Hey, it just might work!’ Todd then did his magic, making it seem like a party was going on in the background. By the time we finished it, I think we all knew it was going to be a huge hit.” ••→ https://www.moderndrummer.com/
Grand Funk Railroad — We’re An American Band (July 15, 1973)
Δ Vyprodali jsme Shea Stadium rychleji než Beatles v roce 1971 a bylo to neuvěřitelné. (Don Brewer)
Δ If it takes me three months to decide that this is a listenable hard rock record, just how listenable can it be? Well, Todd Rundgren has done remarkable things, that’s for sure — the drumming has real punch, the organ fills attractively, and Don Brewer’s singing is a relief. Great single, too. B– (Robert Christgau)Location: U.S.A.
Album release: July 15, 1973
Recorded: June 12~15, 1973 at Criteria Studios in Miami, Florida
Record Label: Capitol / Audio Fidelity 24K + Gold HDCD
01. We’re An American Band 3:27
02. Stop Lookin’ Back 4:52
03. Creepin’ 7:02
04. Black Licorice 4:45
05. The Railroad 6:12
06. Ain’t Got Nobody 4:26
07. Walk Like A Man 4:05
08. Loneliest Rider 5:17
2002 bonus tracks:
09. Hooray 4:07
10. The End 4:13
11. Stop Lookin’ Back (Acoustic Mix) 3:12
12. We’re an American Band (2002 Remix) 3:33
≈≠↓ Originally Album Produced and Engineered by Todd Rundgren.
≈≠↓ Mastered for this reissue by Steve Hoffman!
≈≠↓ Brewer 1, 2, 4, 7, 10, 11, 12
≈≠↓ Farner 3, 5, 6, 8
≈≠↓ Brewer & Farner 9
•ς• Mark Farner — vocals, guitar, acostic guitar, electric piano, conga
•ς• Don Brewer — vocals, drums, percussion
•ς• Craig Frost — organ, clavinet, electric piano, moog
•ς• Mel Schacher — bass
•ς• Don Brewer Composer, Drums, Percussion, Vocals
•ς• Andrew Cavaliere Concept, Design
•ς• Mark Farner Composer, Congas, Guitar (Ac.+El.), Harmonica, Keyboards, Piano (Electric), Vocals
•ς• Craig Frost Clavinet, Moog Synthesizer, Organ, Piano (Electric)
•ς• Evren Göknar Remastering
•ς• Lynn Goldsmith Concept, Design, Photography
•ς• John Hoernle Art Direction
•ς• Todd Rundgren Engineer, Producer
•ς• Mel Schacher Bass, Vocals
•ς• Seth Snyder Assistant Engineer © ≈≠↓ What a great year for GFR and what a terrific way to celebrate the end of 2016...with a party in one of Grand Funk's favorite strongholds, Louisiana! Author Max
Recording, production, artwork, and packaging:
•ς• We’re an American Band was the group’s first collaboration with producer/engineer Todd Rundgren. Rundgren and the band recorded the album at Criteria Studios in Miami, Florida on June 13~15, 1973. Rundgren would go on to produce the band’s next album, Shinin’ On, before the band switched to Jimmy Ienner.
•ς• The album’s original issue, as well as of the “We’re an American Band” single, was on translucent yellow vinyl, symbolic of a “Gold record.” The album labels, above the side numbers, instructed listeners to play “at full volume.” It included four stickers (two blue, and two red) with the Grand Funk “Pointing Finger” logo. Emphasizing the shortening of the group’s name, the word “Railroad” does not appear anywhere on the album sleeve, liner, or vinyl record, except as the title of the first song on side two of the album.
Chart (1973) Peak position:
• Canadian Top Albums: #4
• German Albums: #46
• Norwegian Top 40 Albums: #12
• US Billboard 200: #2 © Bruce. Playing a just the hits high energy Grand Funk Railroad Rock and Roll show, GFR captured the night and had the crowd on their feet the entire show. Photo credit Dan Atilano ≈≠↓
•ς• “We’re an American Band” (from the album of the same name) became Grand Funk Railroad’s first #1 single on 29 September 1973, Mark Farner’s 25th birthday. Written by Don Brewer and produced by Todd Rundgren, its huge chart success broadened Grand Funk's appeal. It was sung by Brewer rather than Farner, who usually took lead vocals.
•ς• It is the 99th song on VH1’s 100 Greatest Hard Rock Songs.
•ς• B~side: “The Railroad”
Review by William Ruhlmann; Score: ****½
•ς• You cannot talk about rock in the 1970s without talking about Grand Funk Railroad — One of the true classics of Rock & Roll... Play it at full volume! On the 1973 release of their seventh studio album, it took producer Todd Rundgren to polish the pop. This is the album where they turned commercial and radio stations found comfort. The funk is still there, the hard rock is still there, but sonically, the record was sharp and detailed and the band’s playing was tighter and more accomplished. The album’s title song became Grand Funk’s first gold~selling number one hit, it became there signature song and went on to be one of the biggest rock songs of all time. We’re An American Band climbed to #2 on the album charts, the highest position of all their albums and a second single, “Walk Like a Man” also reached the Top 20.
•ς• Having made several changes in their business and musical efforts in 1972, Grand Funk Railroad made even more extensive ones in 1973, beginning with their name, which was officially truncated to “Grand Funk”. And keyboardist Craig Frost, credited as a sideman on Phoenix, the previous album, was now a full~fledged bandmember, filling out the musical arrangements. The most notable change, however, came with the hiring of Todd Rundgren to produce the band’s album. Rundgren, a pop/rock artist in his own right, was also known for his producing abilities, and he gave Grand Funk exactly what they were looking for: We’re an American Band sounded nothing like its muddy, plodding predecessors. Sonically, the record was sharp and detailed and the band’s playing was far tighter and more accomplished. Most important, someone, whether the band or Rundgren, decided that gruff~voiced drummer Don Brewer should be employed as a lead singer as often as guitarist Mark Farner. Brewer also contributed more as a songwriter, and the results were immediate. The album’s title song, an autobiographical account of life on the road written and sung by Brewer, was released in advance of the album and became a gold~selling number one hit, Grand Funk’s first really successful single. Despite the band’s previous popularity, for many, it must have been the first Grand Funk record they either heard or bought. Elsewhere on the album, Farner contributed his usual wailing vocals and guitar, singing of his heartfelt, if simpleminded, political concerns. But We’re an American Band really belonged to Brewer and Rundgren, and its success constituted a redefinition of Grand Funk that came just in time.
AxVault interviews Don Brewer founding member of Grand Funk Railroad:
•ς• http://axvault.com/2012/06/27/axvault-interviews-don-brewer-founding-member-of-grand-funk-railroad/ © ≈≠↓ Don Brewer Live Lake Tahoe 2016, Don Live 2 13 16
|Grand Funk Railroad|
|We’re An American Band (July 15, 1973)|