Grand Funk Railroad’s legions of fans helped make them one of America’s biggest-selling rock bands of the first half of the 1970s, and midway through the decade, they had another chance to experience the band’s on-stage energy on disc. Caught In The Act, GFR’s second live album, made its US chart debut on 13 September 1975.
The band had released their first in-concert disc as early as 1970, when the Capitol set simply called Live Album appeared after the success of the studio titles On Time and Grand Funk. The new album, a double, was recorded on tour in the early part of 1975 and featured some 80 minutes’ worth of Grand Funk’s live extravaganza, which included their backing singers the Funkettes.
The set list included both of GFR’s No. 1 hit singles of 1973, ‘We’re An American Band’ and their remake of ‘The Loco-motion,’ along with the ’72 hit ‘Footstompin’ Music’ and earlier favourites such as ‘Heartbreaker’ and ‘Closer To Home.’
The disc concluded with Grand Funk’s live versions of the Animals’ ‘Inside Looking Out’ and the Rolling Stones’ ‘Gimme Shelter.’ The latter song was a longtime feature of their concerts, which they had previously recorded in the studio, for 1971’s Survival album.
As ever, the release was greeted with a distinct lack of enthusiasm by many US rock critics, but Billboard’s review of the live album was a more rounded overview. “Production is good throughout, with the instruments, particularly Mark Farner’s guitar and Craig Frost’s keyboards, standing out. Voices come over well, and the addition of the Funkettes backup adds some fun to the project. Excellent duplication here of a Grand Funk concert which displays a professionalism not found on earlier live efforts.”
The album reached No. 21 on the US chart in a ten-week run, and as Billboard’s review concluded: “The critics may rant, but, for what they set out to do, Grand Funk are close to the best.” Their fans wholeheartedly agreed.
Caught In The Act can be bought here.