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Closer To Home
Grand Funk Railroad

Capitol 471
Released: June 1970
Chart Peak: #6
Weeks Charted: 63
Certified Gold: 8/12/70

Well, Grand Funk Railroad have another album out, and tonight I was in the mood for it, so I listened to it a few times and grew to a steady enjoyment of what they were doing. Then I started to enjoy what I was writing, and then enjoying their lyrics which are dirty and simple and tenor heavy, which is not easy, but is helped by some Southern slurring. Fast guitar and fast bass and driving percussion and some steady backup to tight harmony vocals and some fuzz and it's a solid heavy record. I hated their first album but maybe I had a headache. So much of everything depends on how you feel; criteria are all so slippery. Grand Funk is a trite, superfluous, derivative band as well as all of these things, and it all depends and who can argue with that? I dig heavy bass, though, and when it comes moving up and Schacher's stuff moves around well and is still pointed and punctual. Whatever that means.

I went downtown to take a look at the billboard they had erected for themselves on Times Square. First of all it was bigger by far than the one John and Yoko rented this winter and it didn't say all that much about peace either, which was ok, since why confuse commercialism with peace anyway? It gets people uptight and they're not happy and glad like you expected, but they get offended and they don't necessarily buy your records. Grand Funk, well they're going to succeed and none of this business about moods is going to do anything one way or another. They have found a pattern for success, and they are going about it with the flash and filigree that makes the industry blush with pleasure.

- Jonathan Eisen, Circus, 9/70.

Bonus Reviews!

The "together" group again proves highly innovative within contemporary rock boundaries. In driving, pulsing songs such as "Sin's a Good Man's Brother" or "Get It Together" and "I Don't Have to Sing the Blues," the group has few peers. The music is expressive, exciting, often funky, always good. A bow to producer Terry Knight.

- Billboard, 1970.

What's happening to me? Maybe it's that damned billboard. Or maybe I'm beginning to appreciate -- I said appreciate -- their straight-ahead celebration of beat, amplification, and youthful camraderie. After all, rock and roll has always been loud, and its rhythms have always been described as "heavy." And at least Mark Farner doesn't pretend to bluesmanship. C+

- Robert Christgau, Christgau's Record Guide, 1981.

The band's third effort, Closer to Home, showed them utilizing strings and sound effects to widen their sound. * * * *

- Rick Clark, The All-Music Guide to Rock, 1995.

Closer to Home is a solid studio effort notable for its inspirational centerpiece, "Closer to Home"/"I'm Your Captain." * * *

- Doug Pullen, Musichound Rock: The Essential Album Guide, 1996.

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