Song:I'm Your Captain (Closer To Home)
Though they were never a critic's darling, Grand Funk Railroad was one of the most popular rock groups of the 70s. I'm Your Captain (Closer To Home) was their most popular early song. They softened their sound in the mid-70s and were very successful with hits like We're An American Band. Grand Funk Railroad were from Flint, MI. The group name was a goof on the Grand Trunk Railroad that goes through Flint. Guitarist Mark Farner and drummer Don Brewer were members of the modestly successful band Terry Knight and the Pack. When they split up, Farner and Brewer formed Grand Funk Railroad with Question Mark & The Mysterians bassist Mel Schacher and Knight became their manager and producer. Cream was the prototype for a power trio like Grand Funk Railroad and they signed with Capitol Records in 1969 after a performance at the Atlanta Pop Festival. Though they didn't have any hit singles, their albums were an immediate success. Their 1969 debut album On Time was certified Gold and their 1970 album Grand Funk was certified Platinum. But when I'm Your Captain (Closer To Home) reached #22 on the Billboard Hot 100, the 1972 album Closer to Home was certified 2XPlatinum. Farner wrote most songs including I'm Your Captain. But they fired Knight in late 1971 and Schacher was replaced by Craig Frost. Grand Funk self produced the 1972 album Phoenix. Then they decided to head in a more mainstream pop direction and they hired Todd Rundgren to produce the 1973 album We're An American Band. The singles We're An American Band and The Loco-Motion both topped the charts. So the stylistic change made them even bigger. After two albums with Rundgren, Grand Funk switched to producer Jimmy Ienner for the 1976 album All The Girls In The World Beware!!!. Some Kind Of Wonderful and Bad Time were top ten hits. But the band was burned out and wanted out of Capitol. They moved to MCA and after one Frank Zappa produced album, they split up in 1976. You can get all their hits on this budget comp. Farner recorded two solo albums for Atlantic. The other members recorded for Columbia as Flint. Grand Funk reformed briefly in the early 80s. Then Farner went solo again and Frost and Brewer joined Bob Seger's band. The original members reformed to play some gigs in 1996. After Farner returned to recording Christian music, Brewer and Schacher recruited 38 Special lead singer Max Carl and Grand Funk Railroad still play occasional gigs. I used to think Grand Funk Railroad were terrible but now I don't think they were as bad as I thought at the time. Here's Grand Funk Railroad performing I'm Your Captain (Closer To Home) at Shea Stadium in New York City 1970.