Following 1970’s heavy-hitting Live Album, Grand Funk Railroad returned to the studio and toned down their attack for Survival. The grooves here are a little easier, and the guitar sound is a little less inflammatory. “Comfort Me” and “I Want Freedom” are more hippie than hard rock, while the bizarre “I Can Feel Him In the Morning” presages Mark Farner’s future as a Christian rock singer. The two covers provide some of the album’s best moments. With its easy-rolling funk groove, Traffic’s “Feelin’ Alright” is right in Grand Funk’s comfort zone, and they give it a wonderfully thumping, climactic arrangement. The band’s take on the Rolling Stones’ “Gimme Shelter” is more outlandish. The song’s droning, downward-spiraling riff recalls fellow Detroiters Iggy & The Stooges; even though the song was two years old, Grand Funk emphasized its doom-laden tone for a year in which the Vietnam War was still dragging. Three bonus tracks show some songs in extended takes that easily best the album versions. Grand Funk was at its greatest when they were off the leash, as proven by the elastic heaving rhythms of “All You’ve Got Is Money” and “Country Road.”

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