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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Grand Funk Railroad

Live Album

Review by Gary Hill

Once upon a time if you wanted to buy a Grand Funk live disc, this was the one to get, because it was the only one. Now, however, there are others to choose from. Still, it is nice that they have remastered this one, although the recording quality of the original masters must have been lacking because this suffers from several problems including feedback and distortion at points. I think this one will mostly be for the completists.

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Track by Track Review
Introduction
Crowd sounds, announcements and the like make up this track, and I can't for the life of me figure out why someone chose to include it on the album. My advice is to skip this one.
Are You Ready
Always the sure opener for GFR, this rocker has a lot of R & B infused into the mix. This is a screaming performance with impassioned vocal work and tasty soloing, but the recording quality is weak with unintended distortion and feedback.
Paranoid
This stomper is very powerful here, and although the feedback witnessed on "Are You Ready" is hear in at least one spot, the recording quality, although certainly not up to modern standards, is better here. It is another definite Grand Funk classic.
In Need
This solid rock and roller is not bad, but not a standout as presented here. It again suffers in the production department.
Heartbreaker
The recording quality here is better, which is a relief because this is one of the more dramatic and powerful tracks the band has ever done, and this is quite a strong take on it.
Words Of Wisdom
This spoken word segment comes across ass totally dated now, and is another questionable inclusion.
Mean Mistreater
This comes across very strong in this performance. The vocals are especially potent, and the tune does not suffer from the poor quality of the first part of the disc. "Mean Mistreater" has always been one of the best GFR songs, so that adds to the value of this recording.
Mark Say's Alright
This starts with a fast paced drums solo that feels rather tribal. Bass joins in and the audience claps along. This is a fun groove with the whole band eventually coming in and creating a solid jam. The guitar solo is tasty, if a bit directionless at times. This scorches in its frantic instrumental interplay. As it carries on all members find a chance to show off a bit.
T. N. U. C.
This jam is fast and frantic, but the vocals are a bit distorted by the recording. It includes a drum solo.
Inside Looking Out
Feedback again rears its ugly heard here, but this is a stellar performance of the cut. This song espousing the reform of marijuana laws is a powerful one, and always a favorite.
Into The Sun
This recording doesn't really stand out all that much, but then again, the quality is of a good enough level to make that the case. All in all it is a solid rocker that works fairly well, but just not exceptional.
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