Sunday, June 15, 2008

Rock Revival's Classic Albums: Grand Funk Railroad 'Closer to Home' (1970)

Image:Closer to Home.jpg

Some people see Closer to Home as the demise of Grand Funk's raw sound.

Their first two 'On Time' and 'Grand Funk' certainly had a more primal sound. Some have called them the US Black Sabbath for these two records, but that's definitely pushing things to far.

The great thing about 'Closer to Home' is that each song is memorable without sinking to the depths of 'Locomotion' or the "Good Singin Good Playin ' album (really bad !).

This album has the perfect balance between the' two' Grand Funks; funky proto-metal Grand Funk and radio fodder Grand Funk, a balance which to my mind makes it a perfect record.

Take the first track 'Sins A God Man's Brother'; this has one of the best riffs of all time. There's also Aimless Lady, Mean Mistreater and the epic Closer to Home, the great interplay vocals on Hokked on Love.....

Some of the lyrics are abit suspect: most laughably the mysoginistic 'I Dont Have to Sing the Blues':

I've got this good lookin' woman back home, let me tell ya'
She cooks good and she looks good, and she just can't do no wrong.
She cooks me cornbread in the morning, she's my dinner and my midnight snack.
She sits up and she begs, and she even rolls over on her back.

Definitely not a goer in 2008 !

Incredibly this was Grand Funk's third gold record in the US in 1970 !

Grand Funk still had a handful of great albums in them, all with this great sense of balance; in the early 70's: 'Survival' (1971), 'E Pluribus Funk' (1971), Phoenix (1972) and We're An American Band (1973) are all gems in my opinion (the latter has 'Black Licourice' and the 'Railroad' which are magic.

After that they made seven more up to 1983, none of which really hit the mark.

Image: Capitol

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