Live: The 1971 Tourby Grand Funk Railroad
This Grand Funk Railroad concert recording from Detroit, Chicago, and Shea Stadium on the band's enormously successful 1971 tour captures them in all their mega-stadium excess. Extended beyond the breaking point versions of "T.N.U.C." (nearly 18 minutes), "Inside Looking Out" (over 15 minutes, including a pro-pot intro), ten minutes of "Into the Sun," and nine minutes of what has to be the most plodding version of the Stones' "Gimme Shelter" ever recorded for better or worse portray this trio in all their over-the-top glory. In concert, the least funky band ever to have the word "funk" in their name pounded out tough, workingman rock with as little subtlety as possible, aiming to please the fan sitting in the last row of the stadium. While that may have made for an invigorating concert experience, having to endure this music without the live stage show as distraction is a headache-inducing chore. The sound, while acceptable for 1971 standards, is still brittle and harsh, and Mark Farner's wah-wah-heavy guitar is exactly what Spinal Tap had envisioned with their amps that went to 11. Since this was recorded in the band's earliest period, none of the more pop elements that gave them the hits that softened their sound are in the set. That leaves this as the definitive live document of these years. It's not nearly as listenable or eclectic as 1975's Caught in the Act, which they recorded as a quartet, but does depict the group in all its uncut power, glory, and volume. Brash, noisy, and abrasive, Grand Funk Railroad earned their money by giving the people what they wanted in a show full of raw energy and blistering hard rock. In retrospect, its appeal is limited, but if you were there, you'll appreciate this souvenir. If not, after hearing this warts-and-all recording, you may wonder what all the excitement was about.
- Release Date:
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
See all customer reviews
THIS SOUNDS LIKE BOOTLEG QUALITY. IF YOU HAVE ALL THE OTHER LIVE CD'S YOU DON'T NEED THIS ONE.
Back in the 70's Grand Funk Railroad was a favorite. They were a favorite of the fans who universally loved them, they were a favorite target of the critics who consistently berated them. Some facts stand for themselves, though. Facts such as their record-breaking sold out performance at Shea Stadium and their string of gold and platinum selling recordings. But how could a band be simultaneously loved by fans and hated by critics? The answer lies in their live performances. Grand Funk was (and is) first and foremost a live band. Critics who reviewed them based on their studio recordings and who never attended a live show have no clue what this band is about. They are about raw, gut wrenching power and spine tingling emotion. Like no other band in history, Grand Funk connects with an audience and draws them into the music. The band feeds off the energy from the crowd, takes it in, amplifies it ten-fold, and gives it back through the music only to begin the cycle again. This isn't the sort of thing that can be evaluated and appreciated over headphones from the recliner in your den, it has to be experienced live. There simply is no other way. Undoubtedly, the critics who never 'got it' back in the early days will not 'get it' now any more than they did then. For those of us who have loved Grand Funk since the very beginning in 1969, 'Live: The 1971 Tour' is a tribute to the live experience. For those of us who don't now and who never have needed anyone else to explain to us what we should and should not enjoy in our music, this recording comes closer to capturing the power and emotion of Grand Funk Railroad live than has any previous recording. David Tedds and his partners have done a tremendous job in applying current technology to the circa 1971 master tapes. This is not a CD to be played softly while sipping a glass of iced tea. This CD is meant to be played LOUD - lease-breaking shake-the-pictures-on-the-wall set-off-your-neighbors-car-alarm LOUD. You'll have tears in your eyes if you ever were a Grand Funk Railroad fan. If you don't, then you may never understand. Rob Garrett
GRAND FUNK KICKED SOME MAJOR REAR IN THIS CLASSIC RELEASE. IF YOU DON'T GET IT, OBVIOUSLY DISCO IS MORE FOR YOU. MARK FARNERS VOCALS ARE EXCELLENT AND THE BACKING VOCALS JUST AS IMPRESSIVE. THE RHYTHM MACHINE JUST KEEPS ON CRANKING. AGAIN IF YOU DON'T GET IT, YOU EITHER CAN'T PLAY OR HEAR OR BOTH
Having missed all of the hysteria back during GFR's heyday, I must say that this CD definitely brings to light what all the hysteria was about. Live Album is good, but due to the restraints in technology at the time, it doesn't truly capture the raw power of this band! Grand Funk Railroad Live, the 1971 Tour is a must have if you want to experience the power of Grand Funk and learn what all the hysterai was all about back in 1971. You Just Gotta Get It! lisah1upsetter