Grand Funk Railroad Grand Funk Lives Genres:Pop, Rock, Classic Rock, Metal Fronted by Mark Farner & Don Brewer, Grand Funk Railroad was one of the most successful rock groups of the 1970's. After nearly a decade with Capitol Records, they switched over to the Warner offshoot, Full Moon Records fo... more »r two albums. Grand Funk Lives & What's Funk? Released on CD for only a short time by the band themselves, these fine albums finally are available everywhere through Wounded Bird.« less
Fronted by Mark Farner & Don Brewer, Grand Funk Railroad was one of the most successful rock groups of the 1970's. After nearly a decade with Capitol Records, they switched over to the Warner offshoot, Full Moon Records for two albums. Grand Funk Lives & What's Funk? Released on CD for only a short time by the band themselves, these fine albums finally are available everywhere through Wounded Bird.
bigchet | Madison, Ohio United States | 05/16/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)
"A little mellow at times. I like this one a little better than What's funk. Has some rockers on it, but again don't pay an arm and a leg for it."
"WHAT THE FUNK"
Daniel Sneddon | ONTARIO,CANADA | 04/08/2008
(1 out of 5 stars)
"I AM A HUGE GRAND FUNK FAN SO I PICKED UP THIS RE-RELEASE AT MY LOCAL "TUNE SHOP"......THIS IS FAR FROM THE GREAT RELEASES OF THE PAST AS ONLY FARNER AND BREWER ARE ON THIS OFFERING.THE TUNES ARE WEAK WITH THE EXCEPTION OF "WE GOTTA GET OUT OF THIS PLACE" AND "TESTIFY"....A LET DOWN TO SAY THE LEAST-SAVE YOUR $$$$$$$"
Only half of this CD actually "lives"!
F. Todd Jennings | dugspur, VA United States | 07/12/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)
"" Grand Funk Lives" didn't exactly break any barriers when it was first released, in fact it seemed to hit the cut-out bins fairly quick, but it did a fine job of announcing their comeback.
"Good Times" is a bright opening tune and a delicious return to the typical Grand Funk "let's party" rave-up. It is loose and gloriously dumb lyric-wise but it sounds like they really had fun recording it.
"Y.O.U." is a memorable, upbeat, pop song which should have been a minor radio hit had anyone thought to properly promote it.
"Queen Bee", a minor hit at the time, is the best produced song on the album and has held up well over the past quarter century.
"We Gotta Get Outta This Place" is the most fun song on here. It sounds like they just took off playing, latched onto a riff and had a great time winging it. Mark's guitar tone is at its most brutal on this song. For those of you who would agree that Grand Funk beat the Stones at their own game with their fuzzed-out version of "Gimme Shelter" then this boisterous cover of the Animals will be most enjoyable indeed.
"Wait For Me" is a poignant but heavy-hitting nod to Farner's Christian beliefs and is probably the most heartfelt song on the record. Great vocal harmonies and wondrously metallic guitar.
Unfortunately, the rest of the songs tend to bog down the remainder of the album. The painfully dull, keyboard-driven "Stuck In The Middle" lopes along hoping to move forward but never really does. Songs like "Greed Of Man" try to push heavy social commentary with a terribly pedestrian riff and fail miserably. "Testify" seeks to back up a decade or two by adding some soulful aspects but sadly remains in neutral.
In summation: Half of this CD is a worthy listen and deserving of at least 4 stars but the weaker offerings constituting the other half lowered my overall rating to 3 stars."
Not Quite Grand, But Good Just The Same
Hal C. Robertson | 03/26/2010
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Walked into my local Record Bar around 1981 and there it was on a big kiosk in the front of the store...Having no idea that the band had any inkling of a reunion, it was quite a surprise that GRAND FUNK LIVES! was in the bins... There were more surprises to come when I gazed at the back cover....Boy did Mel Schacher gain alot of weight! Well, it turned out not to be Mel, but a fellow Flint musician that played on Mark Farner's NO FRILLS album just a year or so before was now in the slot....If there is any problem with the overall production it's right here...There's not alot of bass undertow to give you that rock n roll wallop that you're used to from the trio days of Grand Funk Railroad....I doubt that this was Dennis Bellinger's fault, but it was disappointing not to hear that heaviness.
With that said, the songs and material are strong....At the time in the 80's, Mark Farner was writing alot of Top 40 compositions which you hear in Y.O.U. and STUCK IN THE MIDDLE....But the rest are in your face rockers, the best being a little diddy called TESTIFY, a 3 chord get-down song that's hard not dance to...NO REASON WHY, a thematic tune written about the death of John Lennon is the one epic...The boy's made The Animal's INSIDE LOOKING OUT their own back in their heyday, so why not go to the well again with WE GOTTA GET OUT OF THIS PLACE, but there was that missing bass again....GOOD TIMES, QUEEN BEE, and GREED OF MAN (a song probably about former manager Terry Knight) has great Farner ax work and Don Brewer drumming...Harmony vocals are near perfect with Bellinger's voice in the mix.
Lastly, WAIT FOR ME was a great epilogue to the album, which showed Farner's pending spiritual awakening that carried him thru the rest of the 80's and mid-90's...
A very good effort from the band that was not equaled in the engineering and production parts...With that said, the remastering did put a little more slap to the overall sound....Don't be fooled by some of the negative reviews here...It is a good inclusion to the GFR catalog.
A tour followed, and another trip to the studio with a follow up, WHAT'S FUNK?, in 1983 that was released after the band broke up again...Mark Farner became a charismatic Christian artist, Don Brewer joined Bob Seger's touring band, and Dennis Bellinger played in local Flint MI bands and drove a truck....There were 3 songs that probably should have been included on LIVES from the WHAT'S FUNK? recording, ROCK & ROLL AMERICAN STYLE, STILL WAITIN' and EL SALVADOR and the rest being scrapped....There was alot of angst between the band, their manager at the time, Andy Cavaliere and Warner Bros Records that just put a pall over the comeback...It would be another 14 years before the guys would give it another try to much bigger results than this small time slot of 1981-82....And it included Mel...And what a ride it was!!!