There's nothing I like better than to see a classic album get proper attention especially after several decades have passed it by. In 1972, after the release of the unique coin-shaped E Pluribus Funk (1971) by Grand Funk Railroad, Capitol Records thought a two-LP collection of the best tracks from the Michigan trio was in order.
The twelve-tracks found over four sides made up the set known simply as Mark, Don & Mel 1969-71. The power and grace heard on those LPs were timeless, as the compilation went Gold with sales of over 500,000 units. Not too bad for these boys who had rapid-released five studio albums (On Time - 1969, Grand Funk - 1969, Closer To Home - 1970, Survival - 1971, E Pluribus Funk - 1971), and a high-powered Live Album (1970) over a period of two years.
Mark, Don & Mel 1969-71 is a solid set of album picks that are well representative of the band. FM favorites like "I'm Your Captain (Closer To Home)" from the double Platinum selling Closer to Home LP, and "Inside looking Out" from the band's second album, Grand Funk. There is a full side of live material including the rousing, drum-dominated "T.N.U.C." culled from the before mentioned Live Album, which charted high, selling well over 2,000,000 units.
The band began to cross into Top 40 radio with the release of "Footstompin' Music," from their E Pluribus Funk release. The song is included on this collection as well as the epic "Loneliness" from the same album.
On July 26, Iconoclassic Records, a classic album reissue label, will remaster Mark, Don & Mel 1969-71 and reissue it as a CD reminding Grand Funk fans of a stunning period of rock 'n' roll. While we do know the album will be remastered, we do not know if there will be additional "bonus" tracks. Not that there are any needed as the collected set has enough spectacular music to satisfy your Grand Funk appetite.
Many fans caught on to Grand Funk during their meteoric climb up the Top 40 charts from "We're An
American Band" to "Bad Time," but that period really
represents a different band than the earlier period. Mark, Don &
Mel 1969-71, an unusual but loved "best of" that showcased the band's early
period of FM favorites with superlative grace. I'm more than happy
to see it made available yet again. I'm equally excited to hear the
new remastering that should revitalize this forgotten gem.