They had defied the American rock media for years, with their albums sold at a million dollars and their frequent hits on the singles charts. But as of September 29, 1973, no one could deny that Big Funk were really the group of the people. It was all there in the title of the song that became the country’s best-selling single to that date, “We’re An American Band”.
The typically merry 45 of the newly redesigned outfit, which lost its title track “Railroad” from that single and album of the same name, reached the top four years a week after their Hot 100 debut. It had been with “Time Machine,” which climbed to No.48, one of ten singles to peak under 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 the eponymous album, by Todd Rundgren. The LP itself had debuted six weeks earlier and now sits at No.2, just behind the group of the Allman brothers‘s Brothers and sisters.
Triumph with Todd
Rundgren, the artist-producer from Pennsylvania, was stepping out of the comfort zone of his rock album himself. He entered the Radio Top 40 world, 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 proudly watched “We’re An American Band” make its steady rise in the world. Billboard graphic.
In its tenth week, the single climbed 2-1 to replace Marvin Gaye‘s “Let’s go” at the top for a week, before Cher’s “Half-Breed” takes over. More impressive still, Grand Funk would be back in that position just over seven months later, with their remake of “The Loco-Motion” by Little Eva.
“We’re An American Band” is on the album of the same name, which can be purchased here.
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