Top 10 Grass Roots Songs

The Grass Roots Songs

Photo: ABC / Dunhill Records [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Our 10 Essential Songs from The Grass Roots takes a look at a band that had great success on the pop music charts in the late 1960s and early 1970s. If you were alive during that time period, no matter what age you were, you were probably humming a Grass Roots song like “Sooner Or Later,” or “Midnight Confession,” at one point in your life. The Grass Roots developed out of the songwriting team of P.F. Sloan and Steve Barri. The two recruited a San Francisco band to join them in recording the first Grass Roots Album entitled Where Were You When I Needed You.The lineup on the album consisted of P.F. Sloan, Steve Barri, Willie Fulton and Joel Larson.

The Grass Roots returned in 1967 with the release of the album Let’s Live For Today. However, it was an entirely different band consisting of members Creed Bratton, Rick Coonce, Warren Entner and Rob Grill. Original members P.F. Sloan, Steve Barri were still a major part of the group as they composed most of the songs and co produced the album.  One year later in 1968, The Grass Roots released their third studio album entitled Feelings. 

After only their third studio album release, The Grass Roots’ record company Dunhill Records, released a greatest hits album. The album featured the hit “Midnight Confession,” which had previously been released as a non-album single. The song went on to become their highest charting song.

The band’s fourth album was released in 1969 entitled Lovin’ Things. Later that same year the group released the album Leaving It All Behind. Only a year later The Grass Roots released their second greatest hits album titled More Golden Grass. Dunhill Records followed up More Golden Grass with yet another Greatest hits package entitled The Grass Roots Their 16 Greatest Hits. The success of the album Their 16 Greatest Hits was fueled by the inclusion of the single only release “Sooner or Later.” For the average music fan growing up in the 1970s, if you had one Grass Roots album it was probably Their 16 Greatest Hits.

After the incredible success of the single “Sooner Or Later,” and the greatest hits package, The Grass Roots released their sixth studio album in 1972 entitled Move Along.  The Grass Roots would only release two more studio albums, one in 1975 entitled The Grass Roots which was followed seven years later by Powers of the Night in 1982. Neither of those albums charted with any success.

While The Grass Roots had been born out of the songwriting team of P.F. Sloan and  Steve Barri, the face of the group had always been their lead singer Rob Grill.  For years, Rob Grill would put together a band of musicians and tour under the name The Grass Roots. Sadly, Rob Grill passed away in 2011. However, former musicians who have spent time in The Grass Roots over the years continue to tour and appear in oldies shows around the world.

Our Top 10 Grass Roots Songs list is a subjective songs list that presents some of their biggest hits with some lesser known songs. If you don’t know this band, our 10 Essential Songs from The Grass Roots will most definitely make you a fan.

# 10 – The Runaway

The Grass Roots song “The Runaway,” was released on the band’s 1972 album Move Along. “The Runaway,” was the last top 40 hit the band ever had. This is a great one. The songs opening minor chord progression is augmented by a killer horn section that opens its arms for the incredible vocals of Rob Grill.

# 9 – I’m Livin’ For You Girl

The song “I’m Livin For You Girl,” was released on the album Leaving It All Behind . The album was released in 1969. The song “I’m Livin For You Girl,”  was the album’s opening track. It was written by Harvey Price and Dan Walsh. The song was never released as a single.

# 8 – Love Is What You Make It

“Love Is What You Make It” was released on the album Alotta’ Mileage. The album was released in 1973. It was perhaps one of the greatest years in classic rock history. From Three Dog Night to Led Zeppelin to Pink Floyd to Neil Diamond. So many different types of musical artists all releasing incredible music.

# 7 – Where Were You When I Needed You

If you were breathing in the 1960’s or 1970s, chances are no matter what your age , you heard these next seven songs. “Where Were You When I Needed You,” was the song that started it all for the Grass Roots. The song was released in 1966 on the album of the same name.

# 6 – Two Divided By Love

The great Grass Roots song “Two Divided By Love,” was released on the Move Along album in 1971. The song reached the Billboard Top 20 peaking at number 16. One of those great songs that opens with the song’s chorus as it grabs your attention right away.

# 5 – Temptation Eyes

As we reach the top 5 section of our Essential Grass Roots Songs list we turn to a huge fan favorite. The great track Temptation Eyes was issued on the band’s second greatest hits album entitled More Golden Grass. In 1970, “Temptation Eyes,” reached number 15 on the Billboard Top 100. 

# 4 – Wait A Million Years

Wait A Million Years and it’s driving passionate chorus was another huge hit for the band. The song was released on the Leaving It All Behind album in 1973. Just like Temptation Eyes the song “Wait A Million Years,” reached number 15 on the Billboard Top 100. The success that the Grass Roots had on the charts in 1969 was pretty impressive because of the competition they faced from bands like The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, The Doors and so many other great bands releasing incredible music that year.

# 3 – Let’s Live For Today

Who could ever forget the legendary chorus of “Let’s Live For Today.?” The song was issued on the Let’s Live For Today album in 1967. The song broke the Billboard top 10 peaking at number eight.

# 2 – Midnight Confessions

It was really tough to chooses between the next two songs for the top spot on our Essential Songs from The Grass Roots list. If we were choosing by chart success, “Midnight Confession,” would get the nod as it was their highest charting song reaching the number 5 spot in 1968 on the Billboard Hot 100.

# 1 – Sooner or Later

While the song “Midnight Confession,” charted higher than “Sooner Or Later,” it’s the latter that we remember most about this great band. “Sooner Or Later,” did have success as it was a top 10 hit peaking at number 9. Nonetheless, the song has one of the most memorable choruses to come out of 1970s pop culture.

The Grass Roots Album Discography

These original albums have been long out of print and very expensive.

Where Were You When I Needed You (1966)

Let’s Live For Today (1967)

Feelings (1968)

The Grass Roots Greatest Hits (1969)

Loving Things (1969)

Leaving It All Behind.  (1969)

More Golden Grass (1970)

Remember these?

Their 16 Greatest Hits (1970)

Move Along (1972)

Powers Of The Night (1982)

Top 10 Grass Roots songs article published on Classic RockHistory.com© 2020

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Updated Nov 17 2020

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