We're an American Band (song)

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"We're an American Band"
GFO - American Band single.jpg
Single by Grand Funk Railroad
from the album We're an American Band
B-side "Creepin'"
Released July 2, 1973
RecordedJune 1973
Genre Hard rock [1]
Length3:26
3:31 (2002 remix)
Label Capitol
Songwriter(s) Don Brewer
Producer(s) Todd Rundgren
Grand Funk Railroad singles chronology
"Rock & Roll Soul"
(1972)
"We're an American Band"
(1973)
"Walk Like a Man"
(1973)
Gold vinyl issue
We're an American Band - Grand Funk Railroad.jpg
Limited edition release

"We're an American Band" is a song by Grand Funk Railroad from the album of the same name, which became the band's first No. 1 single, [2] released July 2, 1973. Written by Don Brewer and produced by Todd Rundgren, its huge chart success broadened Grand Funk's appeal. It was sung by drummer Don Brewer who began doing more lead vocals for the band and helped with their transition to making top 40 hits.

Contents

It is the 99th song on VH1's 100 Greatest Hard Rock Songs. [3]

Lyrics

Brewer's lyrics are somewhat autobiographical, detailing the band's recent tour and their energetic live performances. In the song, Brewer mentions playing poker with blues great Freddie King, traveling through Little Rock, Arkansas, as well as stopping to party with four groupies who snuck into their hotel in Omaha, Nebraska. The lyrics also mention "sweet sweet Connie", in reference to the legendary Arkansas groupie Connie Hamzy.

According to rock critic/writer Dave Marsh in his book, The Heart of Rock and Soul, Grand Funk was touring with the British group Humble Pie in early 1973. [4] After one performance, the two groups were drinking in a bar when they began arguing over the merits of British versus American rock. Grand Funk drummer Don Brewer stood up and after bragging about American rock heroes such as Jerry Lee Lewis, Fats Domino, Little Richard, and Elvis Presley, proudly announced, "We're an American band!" Thus inspired, he wrote the song the next morning; by late 1973, it was the top-selling song in the world. Brewer says "it never happened". "We were good friends with the guys in Humble Pie and even asked guitarist Peter Frampton to join our band". Don says the song was written during the terrible period when their former manager Terry Knight was suing them and trying to keep them from touring as Grand Funk. The band desperately needed a hit record and Brewer came up with the song. A video was also made, showing the band playing the song as well as engaging in activities such as basketball, dirtbike riding, and watersports.

The original single was released on gold transparent vinyl.

Charts

Subsequent versions

"We're An American Band"
Single by Poison
from the album The Best of Poison: 20 Years of Rock
Released 2006
Recorded2006
Genre Rock
Songwriter(s) Don Brewer
Poison singles chronology
"Shooting Star"
(2003)
"We're An American Band"
(2006)
"What I Like About You"
(2007)

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References

  1. Tucker, Dan (February 28, 2014). "13 Classic Hard Rock Songs That Will Make You Scream "More Cowbell!"". VH1 . Viacom . Retrieved August 1, 2016.
  2. "We're an American Band (song by Grand Funk Railroad) ••• Music VF, US & UK hits charts". Musicvf.com. 1973-07-28. Retrieved 2016-10-08.
  3. "VH1 Top 100 Hard Rock Songs". Music.spreadit.org. Retrieved 2009-02-04.
  4. Dave Marsh (1999). The Heart of Rock and Soul (7th ed.). Da Capo Press. ISBN   978-0306809019.
  5. "RPM100 Singles". Library and Archives Canada. 20 October 1973. Retrieved 29 November 2018.
  6. Joel Whitburn's Top Pop Singles 1955-1990 - ISBN   0-89820-089-X
  7. "Image : RPM Weekly". Library and Archives Canada. December 26, 2017.
  8. "Top 100 Hits of 1973/Top 100 Songs of 1973". musicoutfitters.com. Retrieved 1 December 2017.
  9. "Poison - Chart history". Billboard. Retrieved 2016-10-08.