Thursday, May 17, 2012

Grand Funk circa 1970

Here's a photo of Times Square from June 1970. Grand Funk Railroad, from Flint, Michigan, were a true "rock for rock's sake" vehicle for the early '70s generation, too irritatingly apolitical for the tastes of the fading sixties counterculture. Here's an illustrative companion clip for this billboard image, capturing the band playing "Closer to Home (I'm Your Captain)" at Shea Stadium, a show they sold out faster than the Beatles had done a half-decade previous.

Grand Funk Railroad - "Heartbreaker" (Billboard #72, entered 2/14/70). Written by Mark Farner. Produced by Terry Knight. 45: "Heartbreaker"/"Please Don't Worry" (Capitol 1970). LP: On Time (1969).

The single and album versions both play for the full 6:30.

Grand Funk Railroad - "Closer to Home" (Billboard #22, entered 8/15/70). Written by Mark Farner. Produced by Terry Knight. 45: "Closer to Home"/"Aimless Lady" (Capitol 1970). LP: Closer to Home (Capitol 1970).

The 45 version of "Closer to Home" (linked to above) clocked in at 5:30, while the Closer to Home album version (confusingly titled "I'm Your Captain") stretched out to 9:47 on the album.

Grand Funk Railroad - "Mean Mistreater (live)" (Billboard #47, entered 10/12/70). Written by Mark Farner. Produced by Terry Knight. 45: "Mean Mistreater"/"Mark Say's Alright" [sic] (Capitol 1970). LP: Live Album (Capitol 1970).

Side B, spelled "say's" on both the album and single, is an instructive, polarizing document.

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