1974 Grand Funk – Walk Like A Man
Mark Farner on guitar and vocals, Don Brewer from Terry Knight and the Pack on drums and vocals, and Mel Schacher from ? and the Mysterians on bass formed a hard-rock group in 1969. Terry became the group’s manager and came up with the name for the band: Grand Funk Railroad.
The group quickly began playing in arenas and their first two albums each went gold. Their first top forty single came in 1970 with the release of Closer To Home (I’m Your Captain). The single was cut down from a ten-minute album version and peaked at #22.
The group added Craig Frost on keyboards for their sixth album and began working with producer Todd Rundgren for their seventh album. Don wrote the title song from that album, We’re An American Band, and it became the band’s first #1 single.
The second single from the album, Walk Like A Man, only reached #19 on the Hot 100 in January 1974. It was not a remake of the Four Seasons hit with that name, but a new song written by Mark and Don. Perhaps that slowed down the success of the record.
Ironically, the lead single from their next album was a remake of a song that Gerry Goffin and Carole King wrote for their babysitter, Little Eva. The Loco-Motion gave the group their second #1 hit. In the next year, the group covered two more singles and had hits that reached #3 and #4 while another single that Mark and Don wrote (Shinin’ On) only reached #11.
Their next album came out in 1976 and featured songs the group wrote themselves. They never reached the top forty again.
The original group disbanded in 1976 when Mark left to focus on a solo career. Mark and Don reformed the group without Mel from 1981 to 1983, after which the group disbanded again.
The original trio (plus a keyboard player) reformed in 1996, but after three years, Mark left again. The band went on hiatus until 2000, when Max Carl replaced Mark and the group returned to touring as a five-man band.
Mark formed a group he named Mark Farner’s American Band that performs songs from both Grand Funk’s catalog and other albums Mark has recorded.
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