Thursday, May 13, 2010

Grand Funk Railroad - On Time (1969)


Continuation of history

Grand Funk Railroad's 1969 debut is a wildly uneven affair. Although the exuberant energy and power-trio theatrics that would fuel their 1970s hits are in place, the group's songwriting and arranging abilities are very much in their infancy.
Jancy topic 

The biggest problems in terms of songwriting are the often-amateurish lyrics: "Anybody's Answer" is a sincere but muddled attempt at a message song that expends a lot of energy without ever focusing on a particular target and "Heartbreaker" is a love lament that is content to trot out a series of well-worn heartbreak clichés. In terms of arrangements, the band often places an aimless jam where a tight instrumental break should be. The standout example of this problem is "TNUC," a loose-limbed tune that wears out its welcome with an overlong and unstructured drum solo. Despite these problems, there are some strong tunes in the mix: "Are You Ready" is an exuberant rocker built on one of Mel Schacher's trademark walking basslines and "Into the Sun" is a clever tune that starts as a mellow mid-tempo jam before blossoming into a stomping rocker with a funky guitar riff. Both of these sturdy tunes appropriately became mainstays of Grand Funk Railroad's live show for many years to come. "Time Machine" is another highlight, a bluesy shuffle built on Mark Farner's wailing vocals and a catchy, stuttered guitar riff. All in all, On Time is way too patchy of an album to please the casual listener but provides a few hints of and contains enough worthwhile moments to please the group's fans.

1. Grand Funk Railroad - Are You Ready (3:28)

2. Grand Funk Railroad - Anybody's Answer (5:15)

3. Grand Funk Railroad - Time Machine (3:43)

4. Grand Funk Railroad - High On A Horse (2:54)

5. Grand Funk Railroad - T.N.U.C. (8:41)

6. Grand Funk Railroad - Into The Sun (6:28)

7. Grand Funk Railroad - Heaнrtbreaker (6:32)

8. Grand Funk Railroad - Call Yourself A Man (3:04)

9. Grand Funk Railroad - Can't Be Too Long (6:33)

10. Grand Funk Railroad - Ups And Downs (5:00)

11. Grand Funk Railroad - High On A Horse (Original Version) (4:24)

12. Grand Funk Railroad - Heartbreaker (Original Version) (6:51)

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