"This is one of my favourite GFRR albums, because it is one of their more diverse and well-rounded albums. It is so rootsy, yet so progressive. GFR lays all its influences out for people to see, going from blues to ballads, hard rock to psychedelic, and yet its all-original material--an unusual thing for a group's debut album. If you like Cream's first album, "Fresh Cream" from 1966, it is almost entirely patterned after that album, from the three guys on the cover with the dark backdrop, to the very similar drum solo songs ( Cream's "Toad" vs. GFR's "T.N.U.C"), To Mark Farner trying to play his best "woman tone" on his guitar and trying to work it into a feedback frenzy at the same time (a la Eric Clapton), to the way both albums veer wildly from style to style. Mark Farner was at his best on this record. He played his most beautifully delicate guitar on "Heartbreaker" and could still rip away with the best of them, with a chainsaw-sounding fuzz-guitar slicing through tracks like "Can't be too long" and "Anybody's Answer." And the songs! Their most expressive songwriting was on this album, and their feelings about life. If "Anybody's Answer" was released today, it would be a hit for Alice In Chains and Creed--that's how mind-blowing and forward thinking that song was for 1969! "Into the Sun" IS RHYTHM, period. Sly Stone or James Brown couldn't have done it any better without a horn section! Okay, the sound quality wasn't so "hot"--you can barely hear the bass, and that was an intregal part of the GFR sound, what made them "tick" on later albums. But the engineering end of it tried to make up for it, with really cool studio effects that you don't hear on albums anymore, like the speaker-to-speaker effects on "Anybody's Answer" and "Can't Be Too Long" and the way make Mark's fuzz rhythm guitar zoom from speaker-to-speaker--far out!! This is by far their most overlooked and underrated albums. People just look at it and pick out the "hits" like "Time Machine" and "Are You Ready?" They ignore the so-called "filler", but the "filler" is the best parts of this album. It deserves a first-or second listen by everybody."
They're An American Band
Steve Vrana | Aurora, NE | 01/23/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Grand Funk Railroad's ham-fisted approach to rock 'n' roll left music critics appalled, but they sold millions of records and even broke the Beatles' record for selling out Shea Stadium. During the band's tenure at Capitol Records (1969-1976), they hit the Hot 100 singles chart more than a dozen times. Mark Farner--the band's underrated guitar player and usual lead singer--wrote much of the group's material. However their two No. 1 singles, "We're an American Band" and "The Loco-Motion," were written by drummer Don Brewer and Goffin & King respectively.Nothing succeeds like success, and Grand Funk was undeniably one of the biggest bands of the era. They were a no-nonsense party band, and if you're looking for a single CD to provide you with all of their best moments--this is it. For maximum effect, play this LOUD! HIGHLY RECOMMENDED"
Catch The Train
Thomas Magnum | NJ, USA | 10/23/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"During the time of the Grand Funk Railroad's greatest success, they were breaking concert attendance records set by bands like the Beatles and all their records were selling millions. Despite this success, the band were whipping boys for the rock press. Their music was panned for it's lack of artistic value, but that's not what the band was all about. As the title of the song "Footstompin' Music" says, they were all about make good time, have fun music. Admittingly, their albums do contain some forgettable songs, but songs like "We're An American Band", "Bad Time", "Some Kind Of Wonderful" and "Shinin' On" are catchy and just plain fun. Throw in the band's best song, the majestic "I'm Your Captain" and you have yourself a great collection."
Grand Fun Music!!
chris meesey Food Czar | The Colony, TX United States | 04/11/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Okay, let's get one thing straight. Grand Funk Railroad, that bunch of garage band bashers from the idyllic berg of Flint, Michigan, should never be confused with Cream, the Jimi Hendrix Experience, Traffic, etc, etc, etc. In other words, they were not Prog Rock, Punk Rock, Message Rock or any other kind of rock designed to appeal to the critics. In fact, let's say it loud and proud: GRAND FUNK RAILROAD WAS A PARTY BAND!!!!That's party, party! spelled P-A-R-T-E-E-E-E-E-EOWWWWW!!! In other words, music the critics didn't like because they don't always know how to have a good time. Really, the band should be known as GRAND FUN, because they were all about getting loose and having a good time. Which did not stop them, by the way, from performing excellent covers of message songs, like, say the Rolling Stones "Gimme Shelter" or the Animals/Ledbelly classic, "Inside Looking Out". (Both are which are represented on this excellent collection; the extended version of "Inside" is particularly fine, with first rate vocals by guitarist Mark Farner.) Most of the collection holds up very well to this day, with "Heartbreaker," "I'm Your Captain/Closer to Home" (a particular favorite of drummer Don Brewer and represented here in glorious fullness without radio edits.) and Dave Mason's much-covered "Feelin' Alright" emerging as the best cuts from the early albums, and "Loco-Motion," "Rock and Roll Soul," and "Bad Time" proving to be the best tracks from their later, more commercial albums. (Some fans may not like these commercial, obviously R-and-B-influenced tracks; these people should read a recent interview by Brewer on the Grand Funk website in which he admits that R-and-B and Motown, not blues, was the band's primary influence.) Note: If you are trying to decide whether to buy this collection or the one entitled Classic Masters, please note that each compilation has just one track that the other doesn't have, and therefore, the question comes down to this: Do you prefer "Take Me" (Classic Masters) or "Inside Looking Out" (Capitol Collectors Series)? (You will have to answer this question yourself, of course, but just let me remind you of one thing: That glorious cover of "Inside" is awfully fine!!) Farner, of course, sings most of the lead vocals, but fine drummer Brewer is also well represented here, with "Shinin' On," "Gimme Shelter," and that most wonderful party anthem "We're An American Band." Meanwhile, bassist Mel Schacher was creating the fabulous, droning bass lines on "Shelter," and late addition (but former Pack mate) Craig Frost was adding the fun and funky organ work that added extra soul to "Footstompin' Music". OUTASITE!!! So, if you want some hard-rockin tunes to liven up your next party, Grab Capitol Collectors Series today! Trust me: It puts the Fun in Grand Funk bigtime!!!"
Very Good one if you only get one
Richard D. Cappetto | Moodus, CT United States | 01/15/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Grand Funk Railroad Capitol Collectors Series; Is a Hits CD and it has a good selection of song's from GFRs great rock n roll career; Most of the Hits are hear We're An American Band, Shinin' On, Walk Like a Man and their cover of Gimme Shelter all sang by GFRs great Drummer and Vocalists Don Brewer all rock. Rock N Roll Soul, Bad Time, and GFRs cover of Locomotion Sang by GFRs great lead vocalists And Guitar player Mark Farner and fine pop songs. And there cover of Some Kind Of Wonderful in which Mark and Don trade off vocals is very cool. The CD also includes concert mainstays such as Footstompin Music, Time Machine, Heartbreaker, There cover of Inside Looking Out, Their cover of Locomotion, and there magus opus I'm Your Captain / Closer to Home (all Sang by Mark) one of Rock N Roll's most beautiful songs. GFR was the most popular hard rock band in the early 70s and every hard rock fan owes it to themselves to check them out."