Shinin’ On was the 1974 follow up to Grand Funk’s breakout We’re An American Band album, released the previous year.
Though it also contained a chart-topping hit single in “The Loco-Motion,” Grand Funk’s Shinin’ On was less successful than its predecessor. Perhaps music fans were put off by the gimmicky 3-D cover art. Its busy, abstract style was certainly a distraction, and one could even make the case it unintentionally reflected producer Todd Rundgren’s approach to the overall audio mix.
The vast amounts of delay, flanging and compression gave the original vinyl pressings a muddy, midrange sort of sound. That was great for radio, but not necessarily for pleasurable listening on a home stereo. Audio Fidelity’s new SACD remaster of Shinin’ On, set for release on Jan. 27, 2017, goes a long way toward remediating that issue.
On this updated version, the effects can still be heard, but Grand Funk’s actual instruments and vocals are much more present than before. In particular, this gives added clarity to the rhythm section of bassist Mel Schacher and drummer Don Brewer. As well, Grand Funk guitarist Mark Farner and keyboardist Craig Frost don’t get lost in the sonic wash, and each gets plenty of opportunities to show their talent on their respective instruments.
Despite the absence of “The Loco-Motion’s” non-album B-side, “Destitute and Losin’,” this latest version of Grand Funk’s Shinin’ On ought to appeal to classic rock fans who are always happy to hear their old favorites upgraded for a modern listening experience.
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