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We're An American Band Original recording remastered

4.4 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (Sept. 1 2008)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording remastered
  • Label: Universal Music Canada
  • ASIN: B000071WY2
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Audio Cassette  |  LP Record
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #30,506 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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1. We're An American Band
2. Stop Lookin' Back
3. Creepin'
4. Black Licorice
5. The Railroad
6. Ain't Got Nobody
7. Walk Like A Man
8. Loneliest Rider
9. Hooray
10. The End
11. Stop Lookin' Back (Acoustic Mix)
12. We're An American Band (2002 Remix)

Product Description

Product Description

They lost the "Railroad" in their name but they gained a producer (Todd Rundgren) and a #1 hit single! With four bonus tracks.


Having garnered a confounding mix of loyal fan base and universally bad reviews for the plodding, predictable blues-rock that powered their seemingly endless tours at the dawn of the '70s, Grand Funk Railroad spent the next couple years retooling both their line-up and sound. Keyboardist Craig Frost expanded the trio's musical range, while guitarist/vocalist Mark Farner honed his pop hooks and songwriting skills. But it was the savvy addition of producer Todd Rundgren on this 1973 album that pushed the band (whose name was now shortened to simply Grand Funk) to the top of the charts via the infectious, Don Brewer-written-and-sung title track/anthem/single. Brewer also comes into his own on the hard-charging, pop-rock standouts "Black Licorice" and "Walk Like a Man." This expanded edition features a contemporary remix of the title track, a couple of strong outtakes, and a previously unreleased acoustic mix of "Stop Looking Back." --Jerry McCulley

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
I once had an argument with a music store manager about Grand Funk Railroad. I accused the band of selling out after Craig Frost joined and took over keyboarding from frontman Mark Farner. The manager I spoke to claimed that the band never sold out. My main rebuttal to this was the album "We're An American Band."
First of all, there's the title track. Drummer Don Brewer's first real attempts at writing music are present on this album, and we can see that they clash with the ideals of Mark Farner. Brewer wanted to write fun pop songs, while Farner wanted to write about society and the natural world. "We're An American Band" is the only song on the album written completely by Don Brewer, and although it has a really kicking beat, lyrically, it's nothing more than an advertisement for the band.
Contrast this to the three songs written by Mark Farner: "Creepin'," "The Railroad," and "Loneliest Rider." We see Farner being himself: analyzing life, society, brotherhood and human spirituality behind a veil of outstanding rock music. He gets a bit more experimental with some songs. "Loneliest Rider" contains a solo on the moog synthesizer, which fits well with the song's context about Western colonization of the New World and the downfall of Native American cultures. During the lengthy bridge solo on "The Railroad," there comes a point where Don Brewer starts beating a kettle drum, slowly at first, and then faster and faster, to mimic a departing train. This is emphasized by some scratchy guitar riffs from Farner, not unlike what Jethro Tull guitarist Martin Barre did in the song "Locomotive Breath.
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Format: Audio CD
...but what happens when you've got it right? I got interested in the Grand Funk of "On Time", "Grand Funk" and "Closer To Home" as a blues metal outfit in the tradition of the Cream and Mountain material I played as a bass player at the time. Neil Young's Crazy Horse albums were later to fit into that niche very nicely. That was the Grand Funk that Pearl Jam fans would be interested in as an antecedent. "Survival" was interesting in terms of a country-blues Creedence Clearwater approach. That was followed by "E Pluribus Funk", which extended Mark Farner's fairly adequate keyboard skills. Then came "Phoenix", when Craig Frost rejoined the group on keys and pretty much reinstated the sound they had when they were The Pack and backed their eventual producer Terry Knight on vocals (see the Elvis-like "I Who Have Nothing" from the mid-1960s). Which meant they were now more like Journey than the Grand Funk that got them noticed by metalheads like me. This album has some points of interest to be sure. "Black Licorice" is a lot more spicy than the Stone's "Brown Sugar" could ever be. Farner actually screams the refrain, becoming Axl Rose's stylistic papa in the process. "Loneliest Rider" is a nod to the Native American dilemma, but the solid relevant lyrics don't carry the sluggishness of the beat, nor does what sounds like Farner's first use of bottleneck guitar. Much is said about the appearance of production by Todd Rundgren to revive a sagging popularity, but (I hate to be a purist here) Rundgren has made them a pop band rather than a rock'n'roll band. Which they remained for the remainder of their studio output. And the existence of bands like G'n'R and AC/DC is proof that the hard rock trio sound they drew my attention with is not and never could be "dated". That wasn't why their popularity was fading, and they didn't have to bail on it. Especially when younger outfits (like Pearl Jam) even today cite them as influences.
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Format: Audio CD
"We're An American Band" was released in 1973 and was produced by Todd Rundgren. This cd represents a change in sound for Grand Funk, notably with the addition of keyboard player Craig Frost to the group. His addition to the band changed the sound of Grand Funk tremendously. Where Grand Funk once had a "raw" powerhouse sound, you now have a somewhat commercialized Grand Funk. The album also has that unmistakable Todd Rungren sound behind it as well. The title song "We're An American Band" was a big hit back in the early seventy's and continues to be played on classic rock stations throughout the United States today. But this album also had a number of other great songs as well such as "Walk Like A Man", "Black Licorice", "Ain't Got Nobody" and "Stop Lookin' Back". This newly remastered cd has four bonus cuts as well. Both "Hooray" and "The End" are outakes from the original album sessions. "Stop Lookin' Back" is an acoustic mix and there's also a 2002 remix of "We're An American Band". This version was extensively remixed to give it a very "guitar heavy" sound, thus the keyboards are placed very low in the mix. The cd booklet also has some nice pictures of the band and interesting liner notes on the making of "We're An American Band". This is a must have for any Grand Funk fan or classic rock collector. Highly recommended!
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Format: Audio CD
This was 1973 GFR just barley survived a huge brake up with there manager Terry Knight. Mark, Don and Mel got the name Grand Funk Railroad, Terry Knight got everything else. GFR in 72 Added a forth member in Craig Frost (now with Bob Segar's Silver Bullet band) to round out the sound and put out a self produced album called Phoenix, which had the hit Rock N Roll soul on it, but it was not as commercially successful as there pervious 7 albums. Even with that Hit song many GFR fans felt GFR was gong soft and they needed a much better album, yet they also needed radio friendly songs. Don Brewer, Grand Funk's GREAT Drummer, stepped forward with his song writing and singing and wrote and sung the great number one HIT Were An American Band; It was GFRs first number one hit and became there signature song; it went on to be a smash hit for GFR and one of the biggest rock songs of all time. The Album We're An American Band rock's from start to finish. Of course We're An American Band became a rock anthem (ask Garth Brooks, Kid Rock, Jackal, Bon Jovi, Joe Lynn Turner, Halloween and On and On-so many artists and bands have covered it over the years), Stop Looking Back a Brewer and Farner composition has a wonderful chorus which went "Shoot for the starts when my eyes can't see the star light. Reach for the sun in the night, Stop lookin back at the times I was defeated, I pick myself up and move straight ahead; stop lookin back" an excellent song. Brewer wrote the lyrics and Farner the music.Read more ›
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