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Encyclopedia > Grand Funk

Grand Funk Railroad was an American Rock and Roll band in the 1970s, originally from Flint, Michigan. They are sometimes considered as the first great American Hard Rock outfit and the original "American Band" - hence their song "We're an American Band". In spite of near-constant critical denigration (Rolling Stone once called them the world's worst rock band), Grand Funk Railroad managed to keep a career going for several years based on constant touring, a loud, simple take on the blues-rock power trio, and strong working class appeal and managed to reach the top of the charts on several occasions.


Mark Farner (vocals, guitar) and Don Brewer (drums), former members of a local band together, Terry Knight & the Pack, recruited Mel Schacher (bass) from ? & the Mysterians. Terry Knight soon became their manager and named the band after the Grand Trunk Western Railroad, a famous rail line in Michigan. After a free performance at the 1969 Atlanta Pop Festival, the band was signed by Capitol Records. In 1970 they had sold more albums than any other American band. In that same year they had a hit single "Closer To Home," a song that was closer in style to the old Terry Knight & The Pack than it was to GFR. A year later, they went on to break The Beatles' record at Shea Stadium, selling out in just 71 hours. That record still stands today.


Even with critical pans and lack of radio airplay (at first), the group's first eight albums, released in three years, were successful. Knight launched an intense advertising campaign to promote Closer to Home, a multi-platinum, smash hit album that was slammed by virtually all music critics. In 1972, Grand Funk Railroad fired Knight, who sued for breach of contract, resulting in a protracted legal battle.


After recruiting Craig Frost (keyboards), Grand Funk Railroad released Phoenix in 1972, then shorted their name to Grand Funk. This was followed by two huge hit singles, "We're an American Band" (off We're an American Band) and "The Locomotion" (written by Carole King and Gerry Goffin for Little Eva). After a pop-style album, All the Girls in the World Beware!!!, and a revert to "Grand Funk Railroad", the band's fortunes were at an end. After finishing Good Singin', Good Playin' (1976) with producer Frank Zappa, Grand Funk Railroad disbanded. Farner began a solo career, while the rest of the band became Flint after adding Billy Ellworthy.


The band reunited in 1981 with the addition of Dennis Bellinger and released two failed albums. After disbanding a second time, Farner launched a solo career as a Christian recording artist, while Brewer and Frost joined Bob Seger's Silver Bullet Band. Grand Funk Railroad reunited again in 1997 to record a benefit album called Bosnia.


Terry Knight (Richard Terrance Knapp) was murdered in Killeen, Texas on November 1, 2004. He was 61.

Contents

Discography

Studio Albums

  1. On Time - (August 1969)
  2. Grand Funk (The Red Album) - (December 1969)
  3. Closer To Home - (July 1970)
  4. Survival - (April 1971)
  5. E Pluribus Funk - (November 1971)
  6. Phoenix - (September 1972)
  7. We're An American Band - (July 1973)
  8. Shinin' On - (March 1974)
  9. All the Girls in the World Beware!!! - (December 1974)
  10. Born To Die - (January 1976)
  11. Good Singin', Good Playin' - (August 1976)
  12. Grand Funk Lives - (July 1981)
  13. What's Funk? - (January 1983)

Live Albums

  1. Live Album - (November 1970)
  2. Caught in the Act - (August 1975)
  3. Bosnia - (October 1997)
  4. Thirty Years of Funk : 1969 - 1999 - (1999)

Compilations

  1. Grand Funk / Live Album - (1970)
  2. Mark , Don and Mel : 1969 - 71 - (1972)
  3. Grand Funk Hits - (1976)
  4. Hits - (1977)
  5. The Best of Grand Funk - (1990)
  6. Capitol Collectors Series - (1991)
  7. Heavy Hitters - (1992)
  8. Collectors - (1993)
  9. Thirty Years of Funk : 1969 - 1999 - (1999)
  10. Super Best - (1999)
  11. Rock Champions - (2001)
  12. Very Best Grand Funk Railroad Album Ever - (2001)
  13. Classic Masters - (2002)
  14. Trunk of Funk - (2001)

External Links

  • Official Site (http://www.grandfunkrailroad.com/)

  Results from FactBites:
 
Music-Atlas: Grand Funk Railroad biography, pictures and facts (479 words)
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.
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.
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.
Grand Funk Railroad - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (657 words)
Grand Funk Railroad is an American rock and roll band formed in Flint, Michigan.
In spite of near-constant critical denigration, the original Grand Funk Railroad lineup managed to keep a career going for several years based on constant touring, a loud simple take on the blues-rock power trio, and strong working class appeal and managed to reach the top of the charts on several occasions.
In 1972, Grand Funk Railroad fired Knight, who sued for breach of contract, resulting in a protracted legal battle.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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