‘We’re An American Band’: Grand Funk Rock US With A Rollicking Anthem

The song was written by drummer Don Brewer and produced, as was the eponymous album, by Todd Rundgren.

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Grand Funk ‘We’re An American Band’ artwork - Courtesy: UMG
Grand Funk ‘We’re An American Band’ artwork - Courtesy: UMG

They’d been defying the sniffy US rock media for years, with their million-selling albums and frequent visits to the singles chart. But as of September 29, 1973, no one could deny that Grand Funk really were the people’s group. It was all there in the title of the song that became the best-selling single in the land on that date, “We’re An American Band.”

We're An American Band (Remastered 2002)

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The typically rollicking 45 by the newly-restyled outfit, who lost the “Railroad” from their title as of this single and album of the same name, hit the top four years to the week after their Hot 100 debut. That had been with “Time Machine,” which climbed as high as No.48, one of ten singles to peak below the Top 20 for Grand Funk over the next three years.

“We’re An American Band” was written by drummer Don Brewer and produced, like all of the eponymous album, by Todd Rundgren. The LP itself had made its debut six weeks earlier, and was now sitting at No.2, second only to the Allman Brothers Band’s Brothers and Sisters.

Triumph with Todd

Rundgren, the Pennsylvanian artist-producer, was himself stepping beyond his album rock comfort zone. He was moving into the world of Top 40 radio, with the previous year’s hit single “I Saw The Light” and another on the way soon after Grand Funk’s triumph, with “Hello It’s Me.” Now he watched with pride as “We’re An American Band” made its steady ascent of the Billboard chart.

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

In its tenth week, the single climbed 2-1 to replace Marvin Gaye’s “Let’s Get It On” at the summit for a week, before Cher’s “Half-Breed” took over. Even more impressively, Grand Funk would be back in that position little more than seven months later, with their remake of Little Eva’s “The Loco-Motion.”

Buy or stream “We’re An American Band” on the album of the same name.



  1. Lisa Gagnon

    September 29, 2017 at 9:49 pm

    I have the original gold album from 73 I was nine years old played the hell out of it and still love it have been lucky enough to see them twice ! I am from Flint Mi. And am a graduate from Kearsley high school my step dad Jim Burns went to school with Mark Farner ! Great memories!

  2. Peter Egley Jr

    August 1, 2021 at 6:28 pm

    Who Really Wrote Grand Funk’s “We’re An American Band” We Asked Don & Mark

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