March 9, 2015

101 Reel-to-Reel Tapes 98: Grand Funk Railroad ~ Survival

Grand Funk Railroad ~ Survival
reel-to-reel tape box cover
cover concept by Terry Knight
photo of cover by Styrous®

In addition to my 20,000 Vinyl LP collection I'm selling, I have reel-to-reel, pre-recorded tapes for sale. If interested, contact me by email please, not by a comment. 

The Grand Funk Railroad, Survival, reel-to-reel tape, was for sale on eBay. I have others for sale on eBay now (see links below).    

~ ~ ~

Grand Funk Railroad (also known as Grand Funk) is an American blues rock band that was popular during the 1970s, touring extensively and playing to packed arenas worldwide. David Fricke of Rolling Stone magazine once said, "You cannot talk about rock in the 1970s without talking about Grand Funk Railroad!". Known for their crowd-pleasing arena rock style, the band was well-regarded by audiences despite a relative lack of critical acclaim.   - from Wikipedia

Grand Funk Railroad ~ Survival
reel-to-reel tape box cover
cover concept by Terry Knight
photo of cover by Styrous®

Of course, there is one song on an album that is my favorite; Country Road holds that distinction for this one. It is classic rock at its best with the vocal by Mark Farner soaring over the instruments. At 7.5 minutes it has time to sonically roam around.  

Comfort Me is next on my list. It is a moderately slow, rock song that nicely showcases the vocal beauty of Farner's voice. The lyrics are not earth-shaking but the music is. Link to both songs on YouTube at the bottom of the page.  

Grand Funk Railroad ~ Survival
reel-to-reel tape box cover back
photo by Styrous®

Originally a trio, the band was formed in 1969 by Mark Farner (guitar, vocals) and Don Brewer (drums, vocals) from Terry Knight and the Pack, and Mel Schacher (bass) from Question Mark & the Mysterians; Knight soon became the band's manager, as well as naming the band with a play on words for the Grand Trunk Western Railroad, a well-known rail line in Flint, Michigan.   

Grand Funk Railroad ~ Survival
reel-to-reel tape box cover back detail
detail photo by Styrous®

Survival and E Pluribus Funk were both released in 1971 but by late 1971, the band was concerned with Knight's managerial style and fiscal responsibility. This growing dissatisfaction led Grand Funk Railroad to fire Knight in early 1972. Knight sued for breach of contract, which resulted in a protracted legal battle. At one point, Knight repossessed the band's gear before a gig at Madison Square Garden. In VH1's Behind the Music Grand Funk Railroad episode, Knight stated that the original contract would have run out in about three months, and that the smart decision for the band would have been to just wait out the time. However, the band felt they had no choice but to continue and fight for the rights to their career and name.  

Grand Funk Railroad ~ Survival
reel-to-reel tape box spine
photo by Styrous®

Through the years, the group has worked with top artists in music: Craig Frost, keyboards; Todd Rundgren and Jimmy Ienner as producers.   

Grand Funk Railroad ~ Survival
reel-to-reel tape box spine details
detail photos by Styrous®

Don Brewer penned We're an American Band (from We're an American Band) and The Loco-Motion (from Shinin' On, written by Carole King and Gerry Goffin and originally recorded by Little Eva in 1974. The Loco-Motion was Grand Funk's second chart topping single, followed by Brewer's #11 hit Shinin' On.

The album We're an American Band topped out at No. 2 on the charts. "We're an American Band" was Grand Funk's first No. 1 hit, followed by Brewer's #19 hit "Walk Like a Man".   

Grand Funk Railroad ~ Survival
reel-to-reel tape
photo by Styrous®

Track listing:

All songs by Mark Farner unless otherwise noted.

Side 1: 
  1. "Country Road" - 4:22 
  2. "All You've Got Is Money" - 5:16 
  3. "Comfort Me" - 6:48  
  4. "Feelin' Alright" (Dave Mason) - 4:27 
Side 2:  
  1. "I Want Freedom" - 6:19
  2. "I Can Feel Him In The Morning" (Don Brewer, Farner) - 7:15
  3. "Gimme Shelter" (Mick Jagger, Keith Richards) - 6:29


  • Mark Farner - vocals, guitar, harmonica, keyboards
  • Mel Schacher - bass
  • Don Brewer - vocals, drums

The Grand Funk Railroad songs on YouTube:
Country Road   
Comfort Me    
All You've Got Is Money    

Interview of Mark Farner by Mark Voger | NJ Advance Media for   

The Grand Funk Railroad ~ Survival, reel-to-reel tape, was for sale on eBay 

Other reel-to-reel tapes now for sale on eBay     

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