(the following is from the back cover of the double album ‘Mark, Don & Mel 1969-71’)
From the dawn of recorded history, stemming through the lifetimes of every man, woman and child who ever walked upon the face of the earth, there have been a handful whose fate it was to become known as Phenomenon. From their birth came their deeds, and from their deeds, recognition. And few indeed were born to be known in their time by first name alone.
There were, of course, literally thousands-from Einstein to Oswald, from Mozart to Manson, from Hitler to Hemingway-who burned their family names forever into the pages of history.
Discounting those whose last names were either completely unknown or nonexistent-Adam, Moses, Noah, Cleopatra-the true leaders of each cult, each Phenomenon, have been known by their first names alone. From Peace and War an Innocence and Politics there came Jesus and Napoleon and Twiggy and Mao.
And it was this yet unknown energy-something phenomenal-which caused an entire world to wake up one day and realize that everyone knew a boy named Elvis! The lost sheep had again found a shepherd.
When you hear Ella, the mind says Fitzgerald. But when you hear Elvis, one thinks only of The King. His time came to pass in the Fifties.
When you hear John, Paul, George and Ringo together, the last names slip silently by as the mind becomes fixed on The Beatles whose era was known as the sixties.
It has often been said that Art becomes great not when it is “good” or “bad”, but only when it absolutely cannot be ignored.
For Mark, Don & Mel, that time came in the years 1969-71.
March 15, 1972
Pretty pretentious hype in my opinion. However if you were there and can recall, they were either really loved(by fans) or absolutely loathed(by most critics) at the time. I suspect there are still many people today, like myself, who enjoy the not-so-guilty pleasure of hearing Grand Funk Railroad played at high volume. So after overdosing myself earlier with ELO I decided to do something different by playing GFR’s first album ‘On Time’ and a few cherry-picked songs (I’m Your Captain, Paranoid) from later albums. Sometimes there is simple pleasure in rediscovering something you once enjoyed and this was one of those moments.