ARTIST: Grand Funk Railroad
TITLE: On Time
YEAR RELEASED: 1969
CHART ACTION: #27
SINGLES: Time Machine (#48), Heartbreaker (#72)
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Are You Ready, High on a Horse, Into the Sun
LINEUP: Mark Farner, Mel Schachter, Don Brewer
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: The trio bursts out of the gate with a simple boogie sound that pleases the 16-25 year old male masses.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: Though not everything Grand Funk Railroad did was straight forward stoopid rock-and-roll (“Anybody’s Answer” has a slow part and hippie type lyrics, for example), but there was enough of it to please the typical non-counterculture-but-still-hip male of that generation. It was a band for weed and wine, not LSD.
Mark Farner, the leader and guitarist, wrote and sang everything here, and while riffs are his specialty, lyrics really aren’t. But you’re not listening to Grand Funk to be informed like it was a Dylan album, were you?
The mix is odd – it’s kind of pushed back and no instrument is really out front. I’d have expected the guitar to be pushed forward like Clapton in cream, but it seems pretty democratic. Farner’s riffs and leads are the thing, so why they’d be somewhat muted is anyone’s guess. I’m blaming the weed. I also tuned out a bit during the drum solos and long intros. They needed to edit stuff down, but alas, it was the 60’s.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: Farner and Brewer were from the group The Pack, which was led by their now-manager Terry Knight. Schachter had played with ? and the Mysterians.
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: A couple of live cuts
GRADE: B-: When it’s good, it riffs like a mo-fo. But some songs just go on too long, aimlessly meander, and they have a G_D pointless drum solo.