Grand Funk Railroad’s Best Song On Each Of Their Studio Albums

Grand Funk Railroad's Best Song

Feature Photo: G00labek, CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

There are not many bands that we love more than Grand Funk at classicrockhistory.com. I’m sure many of you agree with us. Along with Bachman-Turner Overdrive, Grand Funk was one of those bands that we grew up with from a very young age. This is a band that started out with a pretty rocking progressive sound that eventually evolved into more of a hit singles band. However, they never lost their edge and always rocked hard. It was fun going through all the records again, especially the early ones, trying to pick out our favorite song from each album. What are yours?

On Time  – “Heartbreaker”

Grand Funk’s first album was released in 1969. It was the first time fans were greeted by the fantastic trio of Don Brewer on drums, Mel Schacher on bass, and the phenomenal Mark Farner on guitar. As we mentioned in the introduction, their first couple of albums were a little more progressive than their mid-1970s records. Even though “Time Machine” was the first single released from the album, our favorite is “Heartbreaker.”

Read More: Looking Back At Grand Funk Railroad’s Debut Album ‘On Time’

Grand Funk (1969) – “Mr. Limousine Driver”

Although titled simply Grand Funk, most fans always call this the red album. The band’s second album in 1969 continued to showcase their progressive roots. However, the band’s ability to produce hit singles with a hard rock edge is first seen on this record with the release of “Mr. Limousine Driver,” which is also our favorite tune from the album.

Closer to Home (1970) – “I’m Your Captain (Closer to Home)”

Now, this is where it starts to get really, really good. Grand Funk delivered maybe the album of their career with Closer To Home. And there’s no doubt at all that the pick will be the classic mix of “I’m Your Captain (Closer to Home).”

Survival (1971) “I Want Freedom”

There are a lot of Grand Funk fans who pick Survival as their favorite Grand Funk album. There were no big hits on this one, but every song was fabulous. It was hard to choose one from this record because we love them all. However, in the end, we went with the opening track, “I Want Freedom.”

E Pluribus Funk (1971) – “Footstompin’ Music”

If you have never heard the Grand Funk album called Caught In The Act you have to check out the live version of “Footstompin’ Music.” It is so killer. Nonetheless, as Don Brewer once said, you have to start with a great song to make a killer track, and this one is definitely a great one.

Phoenix (1972) – Rock ‘N Roll Soul

Grand Funk had a knack for producing phenomenal rock and roll tunes that fit well on the radio on both AM and FM. This is evident on this album with the track “Rock and Roll Soul.” There were still a lot of progressive elements happening, but the tilt towards hits was starting to ramp up.

We’re an American Band (1973) – “We’re an American Band”

The hits finally arrived on Grand Funk’s fifth album, We’re an American Band. This song was more than just a hit; it became one of classic rock’s most iconic songs of all time. Don Brewer got the credit for writing this one, and I talked to him about it, during which he described the writing process and how it all came together. It’s an interview you don’t want to miss.

Read More: Don Brewer: The ClassicRockHistory.com Interview

Shinin’ On (1974) -“Shinin’ On”

The big hit on this album was, of course, “The Locomotion.” The band recorded a very successful remake of the 1962 Little Eva number one single. Carol King’s classic tune would also hit number one for Grand Funk. Nonetheless, our favorite song from this album will always be the very heavy title track, “Shinin’On.”

All the Girls in the World Beware!!! (1974)

Listen to the bass, drums, and organ at the beginning of this song. If that groove doesn’t blow your mind, you’re done. This was a very successful album for the band. It features the smash hits “Bad Time” and “Some Kind of Wonderful.” Yet, the title track has always been just so killer.

Born to Die (1976) – “Dues”

After the incredible success of the band’s previous album All the Girls in the World Beware!!!, the album Born to Die was not able to live up to that same commercial success. Nonetheless, there were a lot of great rock and roll tracks on the record. Our favorite was the very intense track “Dues.”

Good Singin’, Good Playin’ (1976) – “Pass It Around”

It’s hard to call this a comeback album since the band had incredible commercial success only two years earlier. Yet, in many ways, it was. Frank Zappa reinvigorated the band big time on this album. It’s one of their best. Don Brewer told me that he thought “Pass It Around” was the best song on the album. I happen to agree.

Read More: When Zappa Met Grand Funk: The Good Singin’ Good Playin’ Album

Grand Funk Lives (1981) – “Queen Bee”

I always loved the title of this album. I remember seeing it in the record stores and becoming very excited that Grand Funk was back. However, a few members were missing, as keyboardist Craig Frost and bassist Mel Schacher did not appear on the album. The song “Queen Bee” is the pick here. Mark Farner’s guitar playing on this track is on fire.

What’s Funk? (1983) – “Life in Outer Space”

Listen up, every rock band has to, at least one time in their career, compose a song about space. It’s required for all classic rock bands. Here is Grand Funk’s contribution to the great unknown. This is the final Grand Funk Railroad studio song ever released, beucse its the closing track on the last Grand Fink album. Wouldn’t it be great if  Mel, Don, and Mark reunited and recorded a new album?

Read More: Complete List Of Grand Funk Railroad Albums And Discography

Grand Funk Railroad’s Best Song On Each Of Their Studio Albums article published on Classic RockHistory.com© 2024

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