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Grand Funk

Phoenix

 

Nosič: 33" LP
Rok vydání: 1972
původ: Německo
Lbl.: 1 C 062-81 269
kat. číslo: PN 3310843

 

rock


OBAL A DESKA VYBORNY STAV

A1   Flight Of The Phoenix  3:34
A2   Trying To Get Away  4:10
A3   Someone  4:02
A4   She Got To Move Me  4:47
A5   Rain Keeps Fallin'  3:21
B1   I Just Gotta Know  2:49
B2   So You Won't Have To Die  3:17
B3   Freedom Is For Children  6:02
B4   Gotta Find Me A Better Day  4:06
B5   Rock 'N Roll Soul  3:27

The reference to phoenix the mythological bird can only mean the band was now trying to survive and stay relevant after having left the production umbrella of Terry Knight. Thus, they swapped chilling Cleveland ,where they’d formerly recorded , for  the much more sunny climate of Nashville, probably hoping they’d get a vitamin-D caused  inspirational boost; however , although the results were not negligible, as they were able to work out a decent production and Mark did write a diversified batch of songs,  there’s not many reasons to celebrate.

With keyboard’s man Craig Frost as a full-time member- not credited as such yet featured all over the album -, who besides the organ, which Farner had often used in the past to embellish many songs, also doubles on clavinet, harpsichord or piano , the group now clearly has a broader tonal palette to work with which necessarily implies a richer sound; the downside to it is that one often feels they are struggling to find ways to accommodate his keyboards and seamlessly integrate his sound; another consequence is that not only are the guitar parts more timid as its sound becomes thinner ;on the other hand some Farner songs  seem to be complex just for the sake of it, with changes in dynamics, stop times and too much info, which eventually works against what’s pretended, making the tunes loose momentum, or worse, feel unfocused as if they feared stepping on each other toes,  while simultaneously allowing  a greater importance to vocal parts that more than once anticipate those poor sing-along AOR refrains.

In spite of my criticism, although I miss that explosive energy the trio was able to generate and consider the band’s sound has become much more trivial, I still consider it a strong album, which  starts off promisingly with an unusual and steaming instrumental, driven by Farner’s Funky Vincent Crane-like organ (did he really need an extra keyboards player in the studio?) –even though the tentative electric fiddle soloing by Doug Kershaw borders the risible- , and includes several other powerful cuts mixing bouncy Funky grooves with appeasing passages of shimmering piano and guitar arpeggios on “Trying to Get Away” or when  going into mean Boogie mode as on “I just Gotta Know”, can’t ignore the anthemic potential of the slowly building “Freedom is for children” even if I can’t grasp the sense of the  “why Can’t it be for me” verse that follows the title, and have to concede guitar and organ interaction do sometimes work out fine as on the Funky Blues of “Gotta Find a Better Way” even though I know that Farner could have shown a little more talent on the one-off occasion his harmonica is featured.

All in all, if many fans might have felt betrayed  while the mighty power  of Northern steel ,was often replaced by a Countrified mellowness , that’s probably because  neither did Mark, Don & Mel felt very comfortable with it; but there’s always two sides to a coin, and in this process they eventually  earned some new fans.
==================================================================
Out from under the thumb of manager/producer Terry Knight, with a new lease-on-life, Grand Funk Railroad returned in 1972 with the release of Phoenix. Rising from the financial depths that resulted from the fallout with the manipulative Knight, Phoenix was self-produced, with recording taking place at the Sound Shop in Nashville. Previous Funk albums were cut at Cleveland Recording Company, with Knight behind the board. Change was all around, as the revitalized GFR expanded with the addition of longtime friend Craig Frost joining the ranks.

Needless to say, the Phoenix album served as the transitional recording from Grand Funk Railroad's hard rockin' ride down the cold steel rails. The Flint based group did it their way on Phoenix. Unlike the '71 release of Survival, each song from Phoenix was a Mark Farner penned arrangement, which carried the publishing title of Cram Renraff Company. You can figure out the "Cram Renraff" reference.

The songs for Phoenix were tracked during the hot summer of '72, and the album was issued on September 15th. Phoenix opens with an instrumental, "Flight of the Phoenix", which features Doug Kershaw's electric fiddle work, and Farner adding organ fills. The remainder of the keyboard work on Phoenix was laid down by Frost. "Flight of the Phoenix" served as the B-side for the lone single from the album, the upbeat "Rock 'N Roll Soul". The all-things-party "Rock 'N Roll Soul", the final song on Phoenix, was GFR's call-and-response to the group's "Footstompin' Music". The single was issued one month in advance of Phoenix, peaking on the Billboard chart at number twenty-nine.

Sandwiched between "Flight of the Phoenix" and "Rock 'N Roll Soul", the remaining eight songs from the top ten album showcase Farner's maturity as a writer, as evident by "Trying to Get Away", the melodic "Someone", the young man blues of "Rain Keeps Fallin'", the take-a-stand ""I Just Gotta Know", "Freedom is for Children", and "Gotta Find Me a Better Day".

KNOCK IT BACK!
==================================================================
This one is first not only without Terry Knight as producer, but first one with new direction of Grand Funk music, much better songwriting then on previous two albums. Very good album - recommend you not to pass it by. 3+/4
====================================================================

 
Cena: 1 000 CZK   (39.4 €)
nedostupné
 

Ostatní náhledy

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