Assuredly, the band known in the late ’60s as Grand Funk Railroad (Grand Funk after manager shenanigans screwed with the band until lawyers ironed out the wrinkled mess) produced a satisfying catalogue of classic albums and enduring songs. Eventually, they added a fourth member (Craig Frost) before jumping into the challenging singles market with much success. Eventually, directions of music and other elements would work against the band. Mark Farner would leave and be unable to return for an end game playout. For whatever reason. Nevertheless, it is Mark Farner‘s distinctive guitar and vocals that is the strength of the band – say what you will.

In November of 2023, Liberation Hall released a once considered lost live set called Rock ‘N Roll Soul – Live 1989. Filled with 15 remastered tracks that include early classics like “Are You Ready”, “Footstompin’ Music”, “Paranoid”, “Heartbreaker”, “Mistreater”, and the genius of “I’m Your Captain/Closer To Home”, and later Top40 songs like “Some Kind Of Wonderful”, “The Loco-Motion”, “Bad Time”, and the bridging “Rock ‘N’ Roll Soul”. And there are songs from his solo career that include “Come To Jesus”, “Must Have Been Love”, and “Isn’t It Amazing”, a Dove-nominated finalist in the Dove Award ceremonies.

The show presented on the newly available CD is top-notch providing the same level of raucous delivery that we would expect from Farner and Grand Funk Railroad. The guitar-playing is as good as it’s ever been by Farner, who has the same level of crowd camaraderie that he’s always been in possession of. Farner surrounds himself with four able musicians that give a strength to the songs that might have you thinking you’re actually listening to Grand Funk as it is. Certainly, it is the soul of the original band on display here. 

Remember, this show was back in 1989 (August 20). Over 30 years have passed since. This makes this set an excellent one to acquire to enjoy the still youthful vigor of the man who at one time, helped to bring Grand Funk Railroad to the forefront of Rock from the ’60s through the ’70s. The also available DVD of this show underscores this reality in an appreciative way. There is also a truncated LP set that features 9 of the songs (indicated with asterisk at track-list below) found on the CD, DD, and DVD. The LP is colored with black and red splatter vinyl.

It’s definitely familiar Rock ‘n Roll Soul on this set. Grand Funk Railroad with original members Don Brewer, and Mel Schacher are still active and quite fun to watch. But they do miss the distinctive strength of once original member, Mark Farner.

You can hear the delightful “Footstompin’ Music” from this set below. Order link here.

Rock ‘N Roll Soul – Live 1989Mark Farner
01 Are You Ready *
02 Rock N Roll Soul *
03 Footstompin’ Music *
04 Airborne Ranger
05 Judgement Day Blues
06 Some Kind of Wonderful *
07 Paranoid
08 Come to Jesus
09 Mean Mistreater *
10 Must Have Been Love
11 Bad Time *
12 I’m your Captain/Closer to Home *
13 Heartbreaker *
14 Isn’t it Amazing
15 The Loco-Motion *

* On LP

By MARowe