kireviewer | Sunnyvale, Ca United States | 04/08/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)
"GREAT TO HEAR EARLY 1970'S POWER TRIO MUSIC But, there are some problems with this CD and the group's performance. The older, rawer The Live Album is a much better experience.
As the name states, this CD contains songs taken from various concerts during the 1971 tour to support the album Closer to Home. It was an enormous commercial success, selling out big arenas. The CD is about 78 minutes long.
The sound quality is pretty good and the crowd noise is appropriate. The sound quality is better than many live CD's from recent concerts, like anything by Dave Matthews. I do think that the bass and drums are mixed too far up front, even for Grand Funk.
By 1971, the group is getting too slick (if you can believe it), and this performance does not have the raw power that the group had at the very beginning of its career. There are some great driving moments, but there are some plodding ones.
When I was a yound teeny-bopper, The Live Album came out about the same time as Closer to Home. At the time, I was so disappointed that some of the group's latest hits, especially I'm Your Captain/Closer to Home was ot on it. Now that I hear these live versions of those songs, I am disappointed. They are actually better and have more power on the studio album.
This CD starts out with a recording of Also Sprach Zarathustra (also known as the theme to 2001). This is the was the intro to each concert as the band came out on stage and some idiot announcer introduced the band. This kind of stunt was more appropriate for an artsy, pretentious, progressive rock band like Yes.
The group does get right into with some booming bass guitar in Are You Ready (the perfect first song for a concert) and the groups moves into a nice Foot Stompin' Music. From there, it all goes downhill.
Grand Funk was one of many groups that relied on heavy drums and bass. Later I discovered why...groups like Grand Funk, Black Sabbath and even The Who did not have a guitar player strong enough to carry the band (Pete Townsend has even admitted that). Farner even plays keyboards half of the time, and that is probably where he is most effective. He does get in some nice guitar lines now and then, but much is cliched.
Included is a 15 minute drum solo contained within the 17 minute TNUC. If you were the type who went to concerts stoned, loved to sit in the cheap seats, stand up during the drum solo and play air drums, before puking on the people in front of you, this is a perfect track. This drum solo contains nearly every drum solo cliche you could imagine (short of the drummer blowing up at the end).
The second to last song is a really bad version of Gimme Shelter. There are 2 things wrong with this track:
1. The performance is not very good and does not highlight the bands strengths.
2. At the end of the song is a long interlude where the announcer talks to the audience about the band coming back for an encore, and trying to get the guitar peddle back that someone stole. It is a lot of crap that I didn't even care to hear once. What makes its inclusion so bad is this CD is not even a full concert recording. It comes from many concerts. The song that follows on this CD is not even the encore from that concert, but a song from another concert.
There is just too much junk on this CD. It you want to hear raw, tasteless, heart pounding, bass driven, power trio music, get The Live Album instead."
LIVE: THE HIGH ART OF HARD ROCK `N' FUNK
Wayne Wallin | Left Coast, USA | 04/02/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Glad I finally bought this thanks to the positive customer reviews here. In considering this album, it behooves one to take critics' negative reviews with the proverbial grain of salt. The critics always disliked Grand Funk, in the extreme.
Before they went Top 40 after E Pluribus Funk, Grand Funk was a mainstay of underground radio, and this album presents them then, at the peak of their form. It's a document of the art of American hard rock and funky boogie freedom in all its brutal glory circa 1971 when they sold out Shea Stadium in only three days.
Crank it up, press play and experience a great sounding concert from a time now long gone when a fresh rock breeze was mixing the sound of Motown with aggressive guitar trio music. "
Rock and Roll Lives On!!!!
TheWaldo | 11/08/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I was one who was priviledged to see GFR live when they performed in Chicago. It would have been in 1970 or so. I can still remember the concert, the standing in line, etc. It was well worth it and the show was fantastic. This album brings back to mind all those memories. I was an avid fan of the early GFR all the way through their first albums up to Phoenix. It was in their later albums that I drifted away. It seemed that they begin a shift from the hard rock that was their forte into the lighter "kid rock" sound. This was not my kind of music and I just drifted away. I never did understand the complete rift between GFR and Terry Knight, but think their first 6 albums their best. I was glad to find this and have no hesitation recommending it to anyone who loves the classic GFR."
1971 ALL OVER AGAIN!
Mitchell Cassman | BUFFALO GROVE, IL United States | 04/09/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This concert is what every new artist should listen to before going out on tour. This is rock concert 101! GFR outsold Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, and Led Zeppelin in 1971 making them the #1 concert draw of 71-72. This recording is history in the making."