Title: Paranoid (No, it’s not a cover!)

Artist: Grand Funk Railroad

Album: Grand Funk (also on Live Album) (note GFR’s clever album titles!)

Year Released: 1970

What It Is: Prototypical Grand Funk. Featuring “The wild, shirtless lyrics of Mark Farner, the bong-rattling bass of Mel Schacher and the competent drum work of Don Brewer”. Oh, and Farner’s wah-wah. And the fact there may be one overdub (Farner’s wah-wah) except for the sound affects, and Brewer seems to have forgotten that he has another drum besides his snare drum most of the time, and Schacher’s bass sounds like a out-of-tune rubber band at times, and the song may have been recorded in about 8 minutes, flat.

Riffage / Hookage: Farner’s wah-wah and guitar is fierce, and Schacher’s bass is bong-rattling for sure!

Cowbell?: As I said, Brewer hardly hits his toms, so why mess with cowbell here?

Words Of Wisdom: “Did you ever think it could be you, that’s just outside the door?
There’s just one way to find out if it’s true. so, what you waiting for?
Oh, get yourself together now, my friend, and step outside the pad.
If there’s no one waiting for you there, my friend, I think you should be glad.

Shirtless lyrics, indeed! The pot can make you paranoid…or sleepy…

Mixology Report: I prefer the live version. More wah-wah, less pointless sound effects! And you know, it’s all about the wah-wah for me!

Top Five Genius Results: The Pack – Got This Thing On The Move (early Grand Funk…)
Mountain – Never In My Life
James Gang – Stop
Uriah Heep – Circle Of Hands
Johnny Winter – Good Morning Little Schoolgirl

For The Good Of The Order: GFR was my brother’s fave band in high school. The critics hated them, but they hit my brother’s demo right on the money. Though I don’t think Rick was shirtless much of the 70’s. He, like me, wasn’t blessed with the best physique in the world.

Here’s some live audio from 1971!