Friday, March 13, 2009

Rock of Ages: Grand Funk Railroad - "Sin's a Good Man's Brother" (1970)

I found an unlikely rock and roll hero in Grand Funk Railroad. I never liked "We're An American Band" and their endless string of awful covers of great soul songs showed no possible depth of field. It wasn't until my Father, TGO, unleashed the epic "I'm Your Captain" on me and it seemed like a totally different band. I always enjoyed that track, but never delved deeper until I saw the album Closer to Home in a vinyl bin for a dollar. Figured "what the hell" and gave it a whirl. Plopped the needle down and to my surprise, I heard one of the best riffs rock music of the 70's had to offer. "Sin's a Good Man's Brother" is an angry rocker filled with conflicting emotions, very loud drums, an incredible bass line and a searing lead guitar track that rivals anything Jimmy Page was writing at the time. It's unabashed hard rock at it's best.

Most classic rock stations get these terrible blanket licenses, hence only hearing the abominations that Grand Funk has churned out. This epic rocker never gets the light of day. It's not a long song, but it's a track as furious as any other from the era. Local Philly stations like WMMR or WYSP should be playing this song a lot. It would fit in well with songs from Pearl Jam, The Who, Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple and Black Sabbath very easily. It may not be the most recognizable song, but "Sin's A Good Man's Brother" is a song so rocking that even a former naysayer of the band has been swayed. I went on to check out other early Grand Funk records and they are much better than originally perceived. Grand Funk have this great bluesy feel on the record this song appears on that is drenched in awesome guitar work outs that are never pretentious. And talk about power trios! This band has a kick to them for being just three dudes with wicked hairdos. This song is probably the first on this list that will come out of left field for the common reader, but I implore you to check it out. It's fantastic.

Up Next: CCR jam away


Cruizinsuezin said...

Welcome to the Funk-E-Lation that IS Grand Funk !!!

race baker said...

One of the most under-appreciated bands of all time. It's a shame people only know them for their hits. They were the heavy. Critics hated them at the time because they weren't pretentious. They were considered the Working Man's Band. Won't ever be another band like them.