Grand Funk Railroad

Footstompin' Music

Composed by Mark Farner

Song Review by

Each of the members of Grand Funk Railroad had spent time playing in show bands that did a lot of R&B material, so it's no surprise that their music frequently exhibited a soulful sense of swing. For example, they often did numbers during their days as a trio where Mark Farner would put down his guitar to play the keyboards in a funky style. One of the best examples of this sort of Grand Funk Railroad song is "Footstompin' Music," a blazing organ-driven jam that became a hit single in 1971. The lyrics are a simple call to music-based partying that are tailored to the needs of a live performance: "I wanna hear some hand-clappin'/I want you to get in the groove/We're gonna play this footstompin' music/Everybody get in the mood, yeah." The melody matches the excited feel of the lyrics with a rousing melody that builds its verses on bright, ascending phrases that create a compellingly upbeat feel. Grand Funk Railroad's recording of "Footstompin' Music" captures its potential for excitement with an exhilarating performance: it kicks off at a feverish pace with a thumping bass line and cymbal-crashing drum work that are quickly sweetened by Farner's one-two punch of wailing vocals and gospel-styled organ riffs. These elements make "Footstompin' Music" a performance that is as joyful as it is viscerally exciting, and it became a Top 30 hit on the pop charts as a result. The song's loose-limbed energy made it a natural for live performances and a particularly fiery live rendition of "Footstompin' Music" can be heard on the live album Caught in the Act.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
E Pluribus Funk 1971 Capitol 3:48
No Image 1972 Capitol
Caught in the Act 1975 Capitol/EMI Records / Capitol 4:07
Reelin' in the Years, Vol. 5 1977
Various Artists
Sandstone 3:45
No Image 1990 Pair
Capitol Collectors Series 1991 Capitol/EMI Records / Capitol 3:45
No Image 1992
Various Artists
Capitol/EMI Records 3:45
Sounds of the Seventies: Seventies Top Forty 1992
Various Artists
Time/Life Music 3:47
Bosnia 1997 Capitol / EMI Digital 4:18
Thirty Years of Funk: 1969-1999 1999 Capitol 4:08
Super Best 1999 Capitol 3:44
Very Best Grand Funk Railroad Album Ever 2001 EMI Music Distribution 3:45
Live: The 1971 Tour 2002 Capitol 3:46
Classic Masters 2002 Capitol/EMI Records / Capitol 3:46
Greatest Hits 2006 Capitol
10 Great Songs 2011 Capitol 3:46
Icon 2013 Capitol 3:47
The Millennium Collection: 20th Century Masters 2014 Capitol 3:46
blue highlight denotes editor's pick