‘Phoenix’: Grand Funk Consolidate Their Place In Rock’s Hierarchy

Previewed by ‘Rock ‘n’ Roll Soul,’ the album made the US Top 10 and went gold.

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Grand Funk artwork: UMG
Grand Funk artwork: UMG

Grand Funk Railroad’s sales in America in their first five years of success make for awe-inspiring reading. During that period, from their 1969 debut with On Time to the All The Girls In The World Beware!!! release of late 1974, they released 11 albums, every one of which went at least gold in the US, six of them platinum, and two of those double platinum. It’s one of the great certification sequences in rock history, and on October 14, 1972, they were adding to it, as their sixth album, Phoenix, debuted on the Billboard 200.

Phoenix was the first GFR album not to be produced by Terry Knight, as the band took over studio duties themselves. It was also their last with the full band name before they abbreviated it to Grand Funk. The calling card was the single “Rock ‘n’ Roll Soul,” which entered the Hot 100 three weeks earlier and climbed to No.29. The album reached No.7 and went gold.

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The new LP featured a guest appearance by Louisiana-born fiddle player Doug Kershaw, who would later play with the Rolling Stones on their Some Girls tour of 1978. The album also marked the debut as a Grand Funk member of keyboard player Craig Frost, who went on to join Bob Seger’s Silver Bullet Band.

‘Legions of devoted, ready followers’

Billboard, reviewing Phoenix in the week before it charted, alongside Humble Pie’s Lost and Found and the Yes album Close To The Edge, observed: “Grand Funk have by now attained an almost permanent place in rock’s hierarchy. They have legions of devoted, ready followers at every performance and lining up to buy their every album.

Listen to uDiscover Music’s official Grand Funk Railroad Best Of playlist.

“Disappointing no one and perhaps surprising a few is the musical intelligence is the actual musical intelligence that is apparent on most of this album. Utilization of the wizardry of Doug Kershaw is an unexpected delight. Single ‘Rock ‘n’ Roll Soul’ included.”

Buy or stream Phoenix.



  1. LK Harris

    October 14, 2014 at 10:03 pm

    I use to have the Survival album. I always wondered about the conversation the children had just before the song “I can feel him in the morning”. I don’t recall it being listed on the song titles on the album. Did it have a name? And for a what it’s worth(FYI/tmi) I conceived my 1st to I’m your captain/closer to home. ! Still my favorite of all time. Thanks. LK !

  2. Armando

    October 15, 2014 at 4:46 am

    GFR de lo mejor del 69 al 72, créo yo..

  3. Sita Lewi

    November 21, 2015 at 8:40 am

    For I am SITA the GODDESS of LOVE INCARNATE. With one touch I can heal all and one for I am SITA

  4. karen

    April 12, 2016 at 5:52 pm

    u did not mention the album was yellow

  5. Darrell young

    June 2, 2016 at 8:03 pm

    I bought the album when it came out (and still have it).

  6. Dave

    February 18, 2019 at 10:17 pm

    This album was terrible they should have never got rid of Terry Knight

    • Donna lingenfekter

      October 17, 2019 at 12:00 pm

      No choice was given

  7. Patric Chenaux

    February 19, 2019 at 9:19 pm

    Hi, I’m swiss but I live in France. I know Grand Funk in 1975. I have in this time 13 years old.
    For me Grand Funk id the better band. The proove? Frank Zappa is coming for help you. But disco music, no good for good music.
    Grand Funk Rairoad just the best band for the eternity. Thank you. Patric. Sorry for my bad english .

  8. Steve Vincent

    February 10, 2020 at 7:45 pm

    Just the best, in every way music, lyrics live show I saw them several times live and shows don’t get better of all their songs I really loved Loneliness, oh yes I like or loved all their music,Shame their manager stole millions from them,

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