Live Album (Grand Funk Railroad album)

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Live Album
Live album cover.jpg
Live album by Grand Funk Railroad
Released November 16, 1970 (1970-11-16)[1]
Recorded June 23–25, 1970 in Florida
Genre Hard rock, psychedelic rock
Length 76:42
Label Capitol
Producer Terry Knight
Grand Funk Railroad chronology
Closer to Home
Live Album
Singles from Live Album
  1. "Mean Mistreater"/"Mark Say's Alright"
    Released: November 23, 1970
  2. "Inside Looking Out"/"Paranoid"
    Released: January 1971
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3/5 stars[2]
Robert Christgau C−[3]
Rolling Stone 3/5 stars [1]

Live Album is the first live album by American hard rock band Grand Funk Railroad, originally released by Capitol Records on November 16, 1970.[1] The first single released from the album, "Mean Mistreater", was released on November 23 and the second, "Inside Looking Out", was released in January 1971.

The album was originally released as a double album on the LP format. Subsequent reissues of the album on the Compact Disc format have been both double and single disc sets.

Recording, production, and artwork[edit]

The raw energy of these live performances was captured without the use of any re-mixing, over-dubs or enhanced audio engineering. This "direct recording" method leaves a bit to be desired from a technical standpoint, but showcases the band in a live environment and never lets up in its effort to convey GFR's raw power as well as a sense of "being there" at a Grand Funk event.

The album's gatefold cover depicts a photograph of the band at the Atlanta International Pop Festival during the weekend of the 4th of July 1970, but none of the music was actually recorded there. The album was recorded at several Florida venues during June 1970.


Upon the album's release, Live Album was panned by the critics, while becoming commercially successful.


The reception of Live Album by music critics upon the album's release were unfavorable. Popular music critic Robert Christgau said of the album "I know they have a great--even grand--audience. But an audience and a live album aren't the same thing--not the same thing at all". He then gave the album a C- rating.[3] A modern review of the album by James Chrispell for Allmusic stated the opinion that people either loved or hated the album. Chrispell also gave the opinion that Grand Funk Railroad were the most popular live act of their time and said that the concerts were powerful.[2]


Despite the massive dislike of the album by music critics, Live Album became very successful in the United States, peaking at #5 on the Billboard 200 and crossed-over to the R&B Albums chart at #17—the band's only album to do so.[4] The album was so successful that it was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America a week after its release and was eventually certified 2x multi-platinum in 1991.[1] Live Album also became the group's first and only release to make the top 40 on the UK Albums Chart, peaking at #29.[5] Side 2, in particular, featured their two strongest airplay cuts "Heartbreaker" and "Inside Looking Out". The barely hidden drug references on "Inside Looking Out" may have not won them favor at Top 40, but, it proved perfect for the new burgeoning FM band where the group also probably benefited from, oddly enough, R&B play taking the album to a prideful #17 on that chart.

Track listing[edit]

"Introduction" and "Words of Wisdom" are spoken-word tracks featuring Mark Farner's stage banter with the audience; consequently, original pressings of Live Album did not list author credits for these tracks. All other tracks are by Mark Farner, except where noted.

Side one
  1. "Introduction" – 2:30
  2. "Are You Ready" – 3:34
  3. "Paranoid" – 6:20
  4. "In Need" – 9:50
Side two
  1. "Heartbreaker" – 6:58
  2. "Inside Looking Out" (John Lomax, Alan Lomax, Eric Burdon, Bryan "Chas" Chandler) – 12:22
Side three
  1. "Words of Wisdom" – 0:55
  2. "Mean Mistreater" – 4:40
  3. "Mark Says Alright" (Farner, Don Brewer, Mel Schacher) – 5:10
  4. "T.N.U.C." – 11:45
Side four
  1. "Into the Sun" – 12:10

CD reissue[edit]

On the CD reissue, the order of the songs has been re-sequenced to reflect the order of performance used in the band's 1970 concerts:[6]

  1. "Introduction" – 2:27
  2. "Are You Ready" – 3:39
  3. "Paranoid" – 7:20
  4. "In Need" – 10:58
  5. "Heartbreaker" – 7:10
  6. "Words of Wisdom" – 0:52
  7. "Mean Mistreater" – 4:53
  8. "Mark Say's Alright" – 5:14
  9. "T.N.U.C." – 10:54
  10. "Inside Looking Out" – 13:43
  11. "Into the Sun" – 11:24


Chart (1970) Peak
Canadian Top Albums[7] 5
US Billboard 200[4] 5
Chart (1971) Peak
Australian Top 20 Albums[8] 15
UK Albums Chart[5] 29
US R&B Albums[4] 17


  1. ^ a b c "Gold & Platinum Searchable Database" (PHP). Recording Industry Association of America. 
  2. ^ a b Chrispell, James. "Review: Live Album by Grand Funk Railroad". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved July 7, 2011. 
  3. ^ a b Christgau, Robert. "Grand Funk Railroad: Consumer Guide Reviews" (PHP). Robert Christgau. Retrieved July 7, 2011. 
  4. ^ a b c "Grand Funk Railroad: Charts & Awards – Billboard Albums". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved July 7, 2011. 
  5. ^ a b "Artist Chart History: Grand Funk". The Official Charts Company. Retrieved July 7, 2011. 
  6. ^ Roeser, Steve (2002). Live Album (liner notes) (CD booklet). Grand Funk Railroad. Capitol Records, Inc. p. 9. 
  7. ^ "100 Albums" (PHP). RPM. 14 (19). December 26, 1970. ISSN 0315-5994. Retrieved July 7, 2011. 
  8. ^ Nimmervoll, Ed (October 2, 1971). "Top 20 Albums". Go-Set. 6 (39). Retrieved July 7, 2011. 

External links[edit]