Compressed sensing has been of great interest to speed up the acquisition of MR images. The k-t group sparse (k-t GS) method has recently been introduced for dynamic MR images to exploit not just the sparsity, as in compressed sensing, but also the spatial group structure in the sparse representation. k-t GS achieves higher acceleration factors compared to the conventional compressed sensing method. However, it assumes a spatial structure in the sparse representation and it requires a time consuming hard-thresholding reconstruction scheme. In this work, we propose to modify k-t GS by incorporating prior information about the sorted intensity of the signal in the sparse representation, for a more general and robust group assignment. This approach is referred to as group sparse reconstruction using intensity-based clustering. The feasibility of the proposed method is demonstrated for static 3D hyperpolarized lung images and applications with both dynamic and intensity changes, such as 2D cine and perfusion cardiac MRI, with retrospective undersampling. For all reported acceleration factors the proposed method outperforms the original compressed sensing method. Improved reconstruction over k-t GS method is demonstrated when k-t GS assumptions are not satisfied. The proposed method was also applied to cardiac cine images with a prospective sevenfold acceleration, outperforming the standard compressed sensing reconstruction. Magn Reson Med 69:1169–1179, 2013. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.