1973, Music

We’re An American Band (1973) by Grand Funk Railroad

I don’t know much about Grand Funk Railroad. I’ve heard the title track and a few other hits, but most of what I know of them consists of jokes about them from The Simpsons and other places, so I have kind of always dismissed them without giving it a second thought. And, since it’s been a long time since I have listened to classic rock radio, they had moved in my memory closer and closer to dreaded Boston territory.

But I will say that Grand Funk Railroad are much more Blue Oyster Cult than Boston. I don’t mean that they actually sound like BOC exactly, but more they are closer to the hard rock end of the arena rock spectrum than I had remembered them. That’s a good thing.

This is a talented group of musicians playing a version of blues rock that manages to at least branch out a bit into other contemporary genres, like funk rock, with little arty touches here and there.

But the material is incredibly inane and the melodies are not particularly catchy, outside of the title track. This is “Big Dumb Rock” as far as the songs go, and there’s a not a lot of craft outside of the impeccable musicianship. It’s certainly hard to get excited about it 45 years later, when the world has moved on from loud blues rock. Even as a fan of that genre, I find it hard to get excited about.

But it’s certainly competent.

6/10 I guess

  1. “We’re an American Band” (Don Brewer) 3:27
  2. “Stop Lookin Back” (Brewer, Mark Farner) 4:52
  3. “Creepin'” (Mark Farner) 7:02
  4. “Black Licorice” (Brewer, Farner) 4:45
  5. “The Railroad” (Farner) 6:12
  6. “Ain’t Got Nobody” (Brewer, Farner) 4:26
  7. “Walk Like a Man” (Brewer, Farner) 4:05
  8. “Loneliest Rider” (Farner) 5:17
  • Mark Farner – vocals, guitar, acoustic guitar, conga; electric piano on “Creepin'”
  • Craig Frost – organ, clavinet, electric piano, Moog
  • Mel Schacher – bass
  • Don Brewer – vocals, drums, percussion

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