Capitol Records started work on this Anthology Project back in early 97. And It was on again off again, do too layoffs at EMI, etc., Due to the very successful 2 1/2 year GFR tour (96-98) Capitol decided they had better get this set out. They Hired David Tedds (A Huge GFR Fan) to head the project and he did a wonderful job. The remastering is wonderful the (Bong Rattling) bass of Mel Shcacher is right in your face the whole set, Mark Farner's Guitar is crisp and clean Don Brewer's (competent) drums are clear as a bell and the (wild shirtless) Vocals of Mark and Don are all clear and fantastic. (Parentheses from Homer Simpson) This anthology set, Called "Thirty Years Of Funk 1969-1999" is a Grand Funk Railroad fan's dream come true.
It comes in a Digi Pack which folds out into two and then four sections. It has a nice booklet (50 Pages) with many old and rear photo's and GFR's story. As it folds out into two it has the famous photo of GFR simi-nude in the hay with the American flags, from The We're An American Band album (these was the streaking days my friend in 73). The Didi pack then folds out again into four separate sections. The first section holds the booklet. And the next three sections each holds a CD. Each CD has a picture of band member's Mark Farner (Guitar, vocals, Keys and Harmonica), Don Brewer (Drums and Vocals) and Mel Schacher (bass) from the inside of the self titled GFR album called Grand Funk (known as the Red Album to GFR Fan's). And under each CD is a picture of each member on the 97-98 reunion tour. A very Nice packaging job I must say.
The set starts off with three songs from the pre GFR Pack days (1968) and all there of them rock. "Getting Into The Sun," "Can't Be Too Long," and "Got This Thing On The Move" all have a 60s feel along with a very heavy sound. These three songs just blow me away. Hear you see the foundations of the GFR Sound. The First disk also has the GFR favorites "Time Machine," "High On A Horse," "Mr. Limousine Driver," "Aimless Lady," "Mean Mistreater," "Paranoid" (live), and The Classic Mark Farner written and GFR signature song (along with We're An American Band) "I'm Your Captain/Closer to Home." The first disk caps off with a 16:30 minute version of "Inside Looking Out" (cover) Live, This version is real funky and innovative and will be a treat for all GFR Fan's. Also check out the introduction to the song, I'll just say it was a sign of the times.
The Second disk covers GFR from 71-73 and has the GFR covers of "Feelin' Alright," and "Gimme Shelter" Two real sledge Hammer versions of those classic songs. Then it moves into a beautiful songs from the Survival album called "I can feel him in the morning," which is a Simi religious and anti Vietnam war songs. Next is a previously unreleased songs called "I Can't Get Along With Society" it is another song with a political message (antiestablishment) in it, and it has a darn good guitar lick in it. The second disk moves on to GFR staples; "Upsetter," "Loneliness," "Trying To Get Away," Walk Like A Man," "Creepin," "To Get Back In," and The Classic Don Brewer written song and number one hit "We're An American Band." It also includes two unreleased songs from the We're An American Band secessions called "Hooray" and "The End" and both Rock hard. Don Brewer Carries the Vocal on both of these Songs. Last on the second CD is "Destitute and Losin," The B-side from the Locomotion Single. This is another Hard Rocker from GFR, I was always surprised that it was left off of the Shinin' On Album.
Disc three features songs from the Shinin' On Period (73) to the present. This disk has the GFR Hit's; "Shinin' On," "The Locomotion," (cover) "Some Kind Of Wonderful" (Cover) "Bad Time," "Footstompin Music," (Live) Rock N Roll Soul," (Live) "Heartbreaker," (Live) "Take me" and "Sally." Disk three also features some of the more obscure GFR songs such as "Love Is dyin" a very good rocker from the Born to Die Album; Can You Do It (Cover) Pass It Around, Cross Fire all from the Good Singin Good Playin Album. Queen Bee from the Heavy Metal Soundtrack & Grand Funk Lives Album and We Got To Get Out of This Place recorded live in Japan in 1982 (not from a great sounding recording). Disk 3 conclude with three brand new GFR songs recorded in 96. "Pay Attention to Me" is a solid rocker, It has a very 90's sound combined with the softer GFR Sound. The Next one is called "All I Do, and is a good pop song, its not real heavy and sounds a bit different then anything GFR has done before. And the last song (and definitely not least) is called "In The Long Run." "In The Long Run" is a Beautiful song; Maybe too pretty to be a GFR song. I would say this song is from a kinder and gentler GFR. It is a mellow ballad with piano and orchestra (the Strings sound great). All three of these new songs are really not great in comparison to the rest of the Anthology; But there not bad.
In conclusion Thirty Years Of Funk is a must have for every GFR fan, and even for the casual fan. If your gonna get only one GFR CD; get this one. You won't be sorry...