Saturday, February 27, 2010

Grand Funk Railroad: Closer to Home

If there is anything that recreates the sound of my teenage years it’s the sitting in my bedroom listening to my first two Grand Funk Railroad albums: “Closer to Home” and “Live Album.” Both albums contained one of my favorite songs by the band: “Mean Mistreater.” The song featured guitarist Mark Farner on keyboards. I had a tough time deciding between “Mean Mistreater” or “I’m Your Captain (Closer to Home)” as the feature tune; however, I have decided to go with my gut and choose the road most traveled – “I’m Your Captain.”

The production on this song is great with the acoustic guitar, strings from the Cleveland Symphony Orchestra, the seascape sound effects, the echo-chambered flute, the memorable bass of Mel Schacher, and the constant drum rolls of Don Brewer. The single version of the song on Capitol was released under the title of “Closer to Home.”

Produced by Terry Knight, who had worked with Farner and Brewer in the band Terry Knight and the Pack, “Closer to Home” was Grand Funk’s first top ten LP. Knight’s biggest record before producing Grand Funk was his cover of Ben E. King’s “I (Who Have Nothing).” This 1966 release on the Lucky 11 label got extensive airplay in the rust belt, but failed to become a national hit. Brewer and Farner both appeared on this record. Four years later in 1970, Tom Jones would have the biggest hit of this song in the US.

The album “Closer to Home” was Grand Funk’s third album and was certified gold during 1970, the year of its release. It currently has double platinum status for sales in excess of 2 million copies in the US. I have included a YouTube playlist that provides all of the songs on this release in order. Enjoy.

No comments:

Post a Comment