Featuring a new Bob Seger song EVERY Thursday!

He was born in Detroit, stayed up late listening to a faraway radio station on a transistor radio and an earplug.  He heard James Brown, Garnett Mimms, Little Richard, Wilson Pickett, Otis Redding and others.  He was a good student in high school, at least until he discovered rock and roll. He began staying out all night with his friends, cars circled in a farmer's field, listening to music on the car radios.  In eleventh grade he had a band and was playing bars three nights a week.  He has sold nearly 50 million albums and has played for over a million fans across the country.  He is Bob Seger.
 

Welcome to Bob Seger Thursdays, celebrating the gifts bestowed upon us by one of my all time favorite musicians, Bob Seger.  No matter the point of which I am in my life, the music of Bob Seger is always something I can relate to and understand.  It comforts me, allows me time to reflect and remember, and carry on.  There isn't a time I can remember outside of my early youth when that wasn't the case.  His music speaks to me, as it does to many others, perhaps that is why it is so easy to find myself in the melodies and stories he creates.  That and it's just flat out great rock and roll.

Check back here every Thursday for a new featured Bob Seger song along with some insights from me, a simple fan.  Each week will also feature a link to the selected song, provided by the YouTube community.  None of the YouTube videos I link to here are mine nor am I affiliated with any of the uploaders and these are offsite links.  As such I can only guarantee that each video will be active during its posted week.  If the current week's song is no longer working, please let me know and I will find an alternate video.  If you like what you hear, go buy some albums.  Of course a lot of the early stuff is long out of print but that seems to be slowly changing within reason.  Remember, I'm just a fan and as such my comments are nothing more than my personal opinions and thoughts.  Enjoy the music.  Comments, questions or the like?  Then please e-mail me!   Updates have become sporadic recently but this project has not been discontinued!
 


Current Week:
 

April 28th, 2016




A Very Important "Bob Seger Thursdays" Update

Hello everyone!  Or I should say, hello few dozen people!  You may be wondering why there's no update for today or for the past couple weeks, especially since I was gearing up to resume weekly updates on this page.  Well the answer is pretty simple.  Remember back on April 7th, 2016 when I mentioned that UMG (Universal Music Group) was getting more and more aggressive about Bob Seger's music on YouTube?  Well they went from "getting more aggressive" to being "flat out completely aggressive."  Nearly all the Seger tunes on YouTube have been removed and many accounts that hosted the videos have been shut down by YouTube.  None of these were hosted by me nor have they ever been.  Remember, I write my thoughts about a song and then include a link to a (now formerly) publicly available YouTube video of the song so you, the reader, could take a listen and come to your own thoughts.  The videos I linked to were never mine nor have I ever been affiliated with any of the uploaders and all song links have been offsite links, only to YouTube.

I can understand why UMG and Mr. Seger would take down said videos.  They both have to protect their assets and should absolutely be paid for creation, production and distribution of Bob Seger's music.  I just really liked turning complete strangers on to his music, or a wider variety of his music.

Perhaps I'll continue this project in the future with just my thoughts without accompanying music links.  I'm not too sure about that.  Music shouldn't be personally analyzed so much, especially by someone such as myself.  That's why I always wanted anyone reading to be able to experience the music themselves.  Will this project continue?  "It's A Mystery."
 


Previous Weeks (most recent first):
 

April 7th, 2016


The Famous Final Scene - click here for video (opens in a new page / tab)
Album: Night Moves (1978)

I'm a bit conflicted about this one.  While I enjoy the song, I also feel like it wears out its welcome a bit as it rolls on.  Of course taste is relevant and I'm just some big Sicilian lunk who doesn't know anything about music but that's my opinion.  I suppose part of that is because I've never been able to attach any meaning to the lyrics, again, me being a moron I'm sure.  While one doesn't have to understand a song to like it, I find that since so much of Seger's music makes some kind of personal connection with me, it becomes an important aspect.  The best I've ever been able to decode is that the song is about someone leaving a bad relationship, collecting their dignity and holding their head up high as they move on.  While I can relate to a certain degree, the song just doesn't make a connection with me.  I also have always felt there's a little too much "looking for a rhyme" toward the end of the song - but I'll say it again, I'm just some idiot typing stuff on a webpage.

A special note, the video linked for this week is a live recording of the song from a show in Chicago.  UMG is getting more and more aggressive about Bob Seger's music on YouTube so this is the best I can offer but you probably own a copy of Night Moves anyway.
 

March 3rd, 2016


Sunburst - click here for video (opens in a new page / tab)
Album: Night Moves (1976)

You didn't think this site was dead, did you?  Well, you would have been right - it was.  Wow, almost ten full months since the last update.  No excuses other than being really busy compounded with being really lazy about things such as this.  Now I could talk about finite amounts of time, and wanting to use every moment to its fullest, and that this online stuff really doesn't matter in the grand scheme of things, but that would be total BS - and that doesn't stand for Bob Seger.  Wait... what?  My pun isn't funny because I've said "bullshit" here once before?  Ah, oh well.  The point is, I was just away, and projects such as this languished because of that.  Never my intention but these things do happen.  Let's put that behind us though and get on to this week's song, one of my favorites, Sunburst.

Sunburst is the Bob Seger song that eluded me for years in my younger days and one of those songs, that even among people who have a passing enjoyment of Seger's music, never comes to mind.  I believe this is because the most recognizable part of the song doesn't reference the title, doesn't kick in until halfway through its over five-minute length, and sounds nothing like the verses that lead into it.  However go up to someone who knows some Bob Seger tunes and say, "...and everything he touches... turns to gold," and they'll probably say it sounds really familiar.  When I was first exposed to the music of Bob Seger as a kid, that's the verse that would always stick in my head but I had no idea what the song was titled.  Man, I was a stupid kid because the entire song is awesome.  Sunburst is a little like Turn The Page, released three years prior on Back In '72.  Interestingly enough, Turn The Page also had a live recording release as part of Live Bullet, the same year that Sunburst was released on Night Moves.  While Turn The Page is about life on the road, Sunburst is more about life on the stage.  Sunburst cleverly compares performing live at a musical venue to gladiatorial combat.  Truth be told there are a lot of parallels in Seger's words and the musicianship is top notch.  The whole song builds and builds, much in the way a great concert does, until it bursts in the middle with an explosion of hard guitar riffs and an undeniably funky rock beat.  Things then calm down and smoothly taper off as the accompaniment matches words the perfectly.  Bob Seger departs the stage, the show is over, the attendees go home, and another day ends.  Although I try not to call out specific lyrics here, the lines, "He's got girls by the score, he's got them screaming for more, but when they get too close, he bars the door," is an amazing piece of songwriting in its simplicity about protecting oneself in the midst of stardom and separating personal life from all its outside distractions.
 

May 7th, 2015


Comin' Home - click here for video (opens in a new page / tab)
Album: The Distance (1982)

With so much time elapsed since our last update here at BST Central, I figured this would be a great song to resume things with.  An amazing, somber and smooth nugget of emotion tucked away near the end of The Distance, Comin' Home is a song I have always identified with.  I grew up in Northern California's South Bay Area but spent my teenage years living in California's Central Valley.  The South Bay was what I always considered my "home" and I would head back out every chance I could get, right up through the beginnings of adulthood.  When I would visit the South Bay, it would feel like I was coming home - noticing how while things had changed so radically they had also remained comfortably the same.  Eventually I moved back to the neighborhood in the South Bay where I once lived and then the opposite began to happen as when I would visit family in the Central Valley I would get many of the same feelings.  The South Bay will truly always be were I feel most at home but I do have nostalgic memories when I roll into town in the Valley for a visit.

As for the song, it tells the story of a person returning to their hometown after attempting to strike out elsewhere.  Rather than admit that things didn't go as they planned, they simply go along with the story that people would want to hear - that they were successful and accomplished everything they wanted to.  When asked the reason why they returned to the place where they began, the response is a simple "I'm just coming home."

UMG is extremely aggressive about this track / album so I don't have a working video link to post.  For this one you'll have to put on your personal copy of The Distance.

Now for the exceedingly long span between the previous song and this week's, all I can say is that a number of factors conspired against me working on Bob Seger Thursdays and to a greater extent, ClassicPlastic.net.  Most if it boils down to physical illness and a lack of desire to write.  I learned many years ago that when the drive to write leaves my being, it is best to just let it go until it returns.
 

September 18th, 2014


You'll Accomp'ny Me - click here for video (opens in a new page / tab)
Album: Against The Wind (1980) / Greatest Hits (1994) / Ultimate Hits: Rock and Roll Never Forgets (2011)

Some people, event those who love Bob Seger, hate this song and I've never understood why.  Sure it's a safe, sugary love song but what's wrong with that?  It's not like it was phoned in or the musicianship or songwriting is bad.  In fact it's a great song.  Who cares if it feels like it was written specifically to generate a hit single?  I think if any musician is deserving of that it would be someone who had been in the music business as long as Bob Seger in 1980.  Now yes, it is a sweet little love song about a man pleading that a woman he has affection for will one day become his wife.  Not all rock, even bluesy rock, has to be hard.  That's why this song is freaking awesome, no matter what anyone else may say.  Also doesn't hurt that I've been in the singer's shoes on this one.
 

September 11th, 2014

"..."
 
 

September 4th, 2014


20 Years From Now - click here for video (opens in a new page / tab)
Album: Seven (1974)

BST is back after some unexpected time away.  One of Seger's most soulful compositions of his entire career, 20 Years From Now is another one of those long forgotten songs that deserves to be at the front of a greatest hits compilation right along side airplay standards.  Lyrically this is easily one of my favorite Bob Seger songs, especially that first verse.  It's not just Seger's wordsmithing; the simple melody that dances in time with his voice is both beautiful and haunting.
 

August 28st, 2014

No song for this week.
 

August 21st, 2014

No song for this week.
 

August 14th, 2014

No song for this week.
 

August 7th, 2014

No song for this week.
 

July 31st, 2014


Hollywood Nights - click here for video (opens in a new page / tab)
Album: Stranger In Town (1978) / Greatest Hits (1994) / Ultimate Hits: Rock and Roll Never Forgets (2011)

On Bay Area classic rock radio these days, Hollywood Nights tends to be the most played Bob Seger song, at least in my experience.  Considered a rock staple since its release, the song has been noted by Seger and simply coming to him while driving around the Hollywood Hills.  Later inspired by Cheryl Tiegs on a magazine cover, he wrote the song about a boy from the midwest who came to California and got caught up in the high lifestyle of the Hollywood area.  On the short list of instantly recognizable Bob Seger songs, even to those not general Seger fans, I would put this near the top.  A timeless rock classic indeed.
 

July 24th, 2014


Shame On The Moon - click here for video (opens in a new page / tab)
Album: The Distance (1982) / Greatest Hits 2 (2003) / Ultimate Hits: Rock and Roll Never Forgets (2011)

I've often seen Shame On The Moon attributed to be Bob Seger's "signature song" but I've always found this strange as never does the song immediately come to mind when thinking about the man from Ann Arbor.  Yes, it is Bob Seger's only entry on the Hot Country Songs hits chart, peaking at number 15.  Yes, it is a cover of a Rodney Crowell song.  Yes, it was the lead single off The Distance.  Still, it never pops in my head as a "must listen" for Bob Seger, at least at first.  That all said, Shame On The Moon is a wonderful, slow, melodic tune that sucks you right in from its start.  I dare anyone to listen to this song without gently rocking back and forth in time with the beat - it's just so damn smooth.  Bob Seger, for whatever reason, can cover a song and make it sound so sincere and true; as if he's writing it from experience as he plays.  It's easy to see why this was a country hit and easy to see why this was a mainstream hit  - number 2 on the Billboard Hot 100.
 

July 17th, 2014


Jody Girl - click here for video (opens in a new page / tab)
Album: Beautiful Loser (1975)

Bob Seger Thursdays puts Beautiful Loser to bed with Jody Girl, the last remaining track on the album we have left to cover.  There is a reason for this, as it is the only song on the album I truly don't care for.  That's not to say it is bad, it just doesn't resonate with me in any way.  I also find that it simply doesn't hold up to the other incredible songs the album is comprised of.  If anything it feels like a dry run for The Ring, off 1986's Like A Rock, a song I love.  I don't know, there just doesn't seem to be enough here.  Then again maybe there isn't supposed to be.
 

July 10th, 2014


Ramblin' Gamblin' Man - click here for video (opens in a new page / tab)
Album: Ramblin' Gamblin' Man (1969) / Ultimate Hits: Rock and Roll Never Forgets (2011)

Today is actually the Ten Year Anniversary of the site that hosts Bob Seger Thursdays, ClassicPlastic.net.  I felt it appropriate to dust off an old Seger classic, possibly the oldest song to be given that designation.  While Bob Seger would push aside his earlier albums as he finally found the national success he so rightly deserved, Ramblin' Gamblin' Man, the title track on the first album he released as "The Bob Seger System" would never be brushed aside.  It makes perfect sense as this was Bob Seger's first national hit, peaking at #17.  Seger would actually perform the song while touring into the early 1980's, meaning you had a better chance of hearing the song live than you did on the radio or in a record store over the years.  It's a little crazy when you think about that, since the song is so instantly recognizable by so many people.  In 2011 the original mono studio version was released on the Ultimate Hits compilation album, a shining jewel in what was an otherwise underwhelming rework of Greatest Hits and Greatest Hits 2 - at least in my opinion.  You would think that the live version off 1976's Live Bullet would be better known due to the more widespread success of that album but in my experience, the studio version of the song is the one that people recognize and remember.  Easily one of the most quintessential Bob Seger songs ever recorded.
 

July 3rd, 2014


Real At The Time - click here for video (opens in a new page / tab)
Album: The Fire Inside (1991)

With a little more of a standardized and harder rock beat, Real At The Time tends to either slide under the radar of most Seger fans or be dismissed all together.  However I've always really liked the song and felt that it sounded relatively contemporary to the end of the 1980's and those first few years of 1990's classic American rock before it all was split down the middle and the 1980's pop and rock genres were all but destroyed by the Seattle invasion.  Real At The Time almost opens with a Born in the USA riff but quickly becomes its own melody.  While not the massively recognizable sound that the majority of Seger's hits are part of, still a great tune with some hard hitting rhythms.
 

June 26th, 2014


House Behind a House - click here for video (opens in a new page / tab)
Album: The Distance (1982)

It has been awhile but here's a Bob Seger song I really don't care for.  Problem is I can't really explain why.  While I don't mind listening to House Behind a House, and love The Distance as a whole, something about the sound just doesn't click with me.  On the other hand, I know a lot of people who consider this one of Seger's unsung greatest hits due to its grungy sound and modern vocals.  I don't know, it just doesn't work in my mind - but what the hell do I know?  Check it out for yourself.  If anything this goes to show that Bob Seger Thursdays will be covering ALL of Bob Seger's music from Ramblin' Gamblin' Man on.
 

June 19th, 2014


Like A Rock - click here for video (opens in a new page / tab)
Album: Like A Rock (1986) / Greatest Hits (1994) / Ultimate Hits: Rock and Roll Never Forgets (2011)

Okay, a lot of fun is poked at the title track off 1986's Like A Rock due to its long time advertising usage by General Motors, namely as the marquee commercial backing for Chevrolet trucks for years upon years.  While the phrase "like a rock" works great when advertising an automotive manufacturer, the song itself is a horrible pairing for something as commercial as vehicle sales.  I often state that Bob Seger's music has me recall points in my life, it's a huge part of why his songs simply "click" with me.  Like A Rock is no exception.  Simply put, this song is about the hustle and drive a young man had at the twilight of his teenage years.  Attacking the challenges of the world with reckless abandon, enjoying all that it provided to him without a care.  Then there is a moment of reflection as he feels time has caught up with him, twenty years later.  Yet recalling the young man he once was, he realizes that person has never really left him, and with the optimism of his younger self he departs to rise to the challenge once again.  I think most of us have been or will be at one point in the place this song portrays.  It's kind of a cop out but this really is one of my favorite Seger songs.
 

June 12th, 2014


Seen A Lot of Floors - click here for video (opens in a new page / tab)
Album: Seven (1974)

An ode to a groupie, more or less, Seen A Lot of Floors is a bluesy take on the evening goings on in the life of a traveling musician.  The piano chords have a distinct sound that makes this song feel a little like a set up for Come to Poppa which would be released on Night Moves two years later.  In fact the two songs are a lot alike but Seen A Lot of Floors is more of a straight shooting confession of one-off desire while Come To Poppa is a more soulful rumbling about extended and reoccurring sexual interludes.  What both songs have most in common however is that they both perfectly complement the albums they were released on.  It's incredible that a musician's sound can both change and remain the same so much in the scope of two years but that's exactly what we have on tap here.  Great song off a great, horribly underrated, album.
 

June 5th, 2014

Canceled this week due to a family emergency.
 

May 29th, 2014


Beautiful Loser - click here for video (opens in a new page / tab)
Album: Beautiful Loser (1975) / Greatest Hits 2 (2003)

People throw around the phrase "signature song" when it comes to Bob Seger quite a bit.  I usually see it tied to Shame On The Moon but if you ask me and most of the people I've known over the years, Beautiful Loser is the quintessential Bob Seger song.  If I was ever to introduce someone to the Bob Seger sound this is the track I would serve up first.  Yes his career spans a lot of styles and a lot of topics but there is just something about Beautiful Loser that makes me say, "Yeah, that's what Bob Seger is all about."  The arrangement is superb, the backing musicians are outstanding, and Seger's vocals are excellent.  It's a little bluesy and a little funky but still undeniably American rock and roll.  In addition to being the 1975 title track, the studio version was included on 2003's Greatest Hits 2 while the live version off Live Bullet was re-released on the 2011 compilation album Ultimate Hits.  While I really love the live version, this studio recording is just so well assembled and tightly performed that it undeniably stands as not one one of the greatest Bob Seger songs ever recorded but also one of the greatest pieces of American rock music ever composed.
 

May 22nd, 2014

No song for this week due to planned hiatus.  See you on the 29th!
 

May 15th, 2014


Love's The Last To Know - click here for video (opens in a new page / tab)
Album: The Distance (1982)

Other than being lost in the shuffle of huge hits, I can't think of a reason that this song didn't become a hit single.  I like it way more than Even Now and that song got plenty of radio play.  Love's The Last To Know is a slow, smooth reflection of moving through life and growing in remembrance.  As the album title is mentioned in the opening like of this one, I always considered this the "title track" of the album.  Listening to Love's The Last To Know puts me in quite the nostalgic mood.  That feeling is so overpowering that I find it hard to do anything other than listen when this song is playing.  Even as I write this week's entry while listening to the song I have to keep myself from stopping and just listening.
 

May 8th, 2014


Someday - click here for video (opens in a new page / tab)
Album: Smokin' O.P.'s (1972)

One of the original compositions off Smokin' O.P.'s, Someday is an amazing classical ballad that stands as one of the most intriguing songs of the 1970's.  Considering how simple and sincere the sound here is, I don't think this song would have worked on any other album.  Someday sounds like a classic before its time and while it's easy to look back upon it today as a "classic" sounding song on an album of rock "classics" the fact of the matter is that a good deal of Smokin' O.P.'s was relatively contemporary at the time of its release.  Sure, the album was mainly covers of songs that had been previously released by other artists but all within twenty years or so of the album's release.  Smooth and soulful, Someday is a great track and a solid original "bonus" if you would on this wonderful album.
 

May 1st, 2014


The Real Love - click here for video (opens in a new page / tab)
Album: The Fire Inside (1991)

Occasionally we all need a happy little tune and in my opinion that's what we have here.  While I doubt anyone will claim this to be Seger's greatest work or anything, The Real Love is the perfect song to have in an early position on an album, especially Seger vintage from the 1990's.  It's not harsh, thought provoking, overly impactful or any of that - just a happy little tune.  Country influences are noticeable which only help to lay the foundation for a melody of gentle strumming and relaxed lyrics.  Not much to say here other than if this was recorded by any other artist it would probably have a ton more impact.  Now that's not a negative comment about Bob Seger, quite the opposite.  The issue at hand is he has performed so many more impactful songs in the same vein that this one really does blend back into the deck when pulled out on its own.
 

April 24th, 2014


Still The Same - click here for video (opens in a new page / tab)
Album: Stranger in Town (1978) / Greatest Hits (1994) / Ultimate Hits: Rock and Roll Never Forgets (2011)

One of the absolute greats of the entire Bob Seger catalog, Still The Same is the Bob Seger track I've probably heard more on the radio, more on hardware store muzak systems, and more in music stores than any other.  Not too bad for a song that peaked at number four on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100.  For whatever reason, classic rock has lovingly embraced this tune and for good reason, it's simply so enjoyable and - soothing - I suppose would be the best word.  Seger would use gambling metaphors in his music from time to time and there is some debate whether or not this song is about an old male friend, a female friend, a former lover, or a thousand other things a song can be to each individual who listens to it.  Seger has once said that the song is about many people he has known throughout his lifetime.  I've always though the song was about a woman that the narrator had a relationship with in the past.  I don't see it as an entirely romantic relationship but rather old friends that had interludes over the years.  She plays everyone, not a bad person at her core but very much a gold digger, moving from lover to lover to get whatever she desires.  The narrator is initially excited to catch up with his old kindred spirit until he realizes she's exactly as she always was and he doesn't have time for that in his life anymore.  Of course I relate the song to experiences in my life and if one thing is still the same, it is that the music of Bob Seger has always been a part of all those experiences.
 

April 17th, 2014


Blind Love - click here for video (opens in a new page / tab)
Album: The Fire Inside (1991)

In the past I've spoken somewhat lowly about a number of songs on The Fire Inside, including Blind Love.  Let me make one thing clear, I really enjoy this song.  The problem I have with it is that one third of this album is full of songs that could easily take the place of one another on the album in my opinion.  Take A Chance, The Real Love, Always In My Heart and this track - as part of the whole - kind of gel into one another.  It doesn't mean I dislike them on their own or that the album is full of bad songs, it just doesn't assemble well as a complete set of recordings.  There's just too much of the same on the album, including two Tom Waits covers for instance - this being the first and the previously covered New Coat of Paint being the other.  Yet if you listen to this song on its own you are left with a sincere and relaxing tune that at the end of the day sounds great.
 

April 10th, 2014

No song for this week due to a number of factors at BST Central.  Our apologies - see you on the 17th!
 

April 3rd, 2014

No song for this week due to a number of factors at BST Central.  Our apologies - see you on the 17th!
 

March 27th, 2014


Somewhere Tonight - click here for video (opens in a new page / tab)
Album: Like A Rock (1986)

Somewhere tonight originally closed out Like A Rock until the CD release when Seger's live cover of Fortunate Son was added as a bonus track.  While having Fortunate Son on CD is great, the album really ends with this somber tale of realizations and remembrance.  A lot of Bob Seger's music is about stuff that goes down in every day life, the nuances that make life what it is.  His music crafts those regular things into moving prose.  Somewhere Tonight is one such song and what I've always got out of it is a feeling that there's so much going on in the world at any moment in time because that's what's eternal - time.  This is a hard one for me to explain but trying to pick apart music in any great detail kind of ends up missing the point of why music is impactful.  As an additional note, there ended up being a problem with this week's upload so the page was reverted back to an older version.  Due to this, the selection for this week was missing for a few days.  My apologies.
 

March 20th, 2014


Sunspot Baby - click here for video (opens in a new page / tab)
Album: Night Moves (1976) / Greatest Hits 2 (2003)

This week I've decided to feature an all time favorite.  Sunspot Baby is easily in my top ten Bob Seger songs and should eternally stand as one of the greatest examples of blues rock to ever be recorded.  The subject matter is nothing crazy or deep: a woman suddenly runs off to spend the funds of her lover while he attempts to track her down, always arriving a step behind with his pockets ever more empty.  However those piano keys that open the song - they're almost as impactful to me as the opening guitar riff in Mainstreet, my all time favorite Bob Seger song.  Yet instead of painting an image of a calm, breezy street corner the way Mainstreet does in my mind, Sunspot Baby kicks right into hard rock and explodes with Seger leaving it all on the microphone.  This may be the blues but make no mistake about it, this is rock, true American rock with an infectious rhythm and the signature hard charging Bob Seger beat.  Give this one a listen, it's one of his all time greats.
 

March 13th, 2014


Heavy Music - click here for video (opens in a new page / tab)
Album: Smokin' O.P.'s (1972)

Before we get going today, some explanations are in order.  Bob Seger Thursdays hasn't updated in three weeks now and while there's no excuse since the content has been ready, a couple of crazy events delayed that content from going live.  I often compile the weekly song selections well in advance and then present them on each Thursday.  Other times I may pick a song on Thursday morning and write my thoughts at that time.  The previous two weeks have had their selection and commentary ready to go for well over a month, both were just delayed by, again, a couple crazy events.  Things are however back to some state of normality and to make up for it the previously two missed weeks have been added today, along with this week's regular Thursday offering.  So today, and hopefully only this once, it's 3X Bob Seger Thursday - look below for the other two entries.  With that, let's get onto today's song because it's a great one.

One of two original tracks on Smokin' O.P.'s and the last song on the album, Heavy Music is a rare treat in that it's an early Seger song that is actually a rework of an even earlier Seger song.  Bob Seger originally released Heavy Music in 1967 when he was recording music as Bob Seger & The Last Heard.  Interestingly Heavy Music had potential to take Bob Seger & The Last Heard to national fame as it proved to be a very successful single, however the wave subsided when their record label went out of business.  The original release included two versions of the song with different vocal tracks over the same instrumentation.  For Smokin' O.P.'s both versions were edited together and reworked into the final track on the album.  The track here is nothing short of awesome and it's easy to see why it could have been Bob Seger's breakout hit in the late 1960's.  The whole song explodes with that last push of soul and rhythm that made up American rock's last breath before being crushed by the British invasion for half a decade.  While the version here is great and a very nice complement to the original two versions, my favorite recording of this song is by far the live version on 1976's Live Bullet.  As I've said before, tracks off the two live Bob Seger albums probably won't ever be featured here on their own as the albums really should be taken as whole performances, but do check out Heavy Music on Live Bullet.
 

March 6th, 2014


Shinin' Brightly - click here for video (opens in a new page / tab)
Album: Against The Wind (1980)

Horns.  The horns section is what makes this song.  Lyrically I've always felt this one was nothing amazing but the instrumentation and the music itself keeps Shinin' Brightly from being cast off as emotionless filler for an album built from the ground up to give Bob Seger the number one album he was after and so rightly deserved for many albums that came before this.  I wish I could be more into this song but honestly I enjoy the parts more than I do their sum.  I don't know, it just makes me think of a coffee commercial or something.
 

February 27th, 2014


The Fire Inside - click here for video (opens in a new page / tab)
Album: The Fire Inside (1991) / Greatest Hits (1994)

Let's follow a week with a title track with yet another title track.  Arguably of all the songs on this album, The Fire Inside has the most potential for radio play but honestly I can't remember hearing it much bad in the early 1990's.  Of course Greatest Hits would be released a few years later and although The Fire Inside was included on that amazing compilation, it quickly fell behind Seger's more widespread radio classics that were introduced to a new generation.  Sightseeing is my favorite track on The Fire Inside, I've went over that before, but this title track still sounds great.  It is very much in the style of Bob Seger's signature sound from the 1980's and is very poppy with that expected strong rock backing.  I've always really loved the piano work here and as always, Seger is a master lyricist with lines that instantly invoke imagery in my mind.
 

February 20th, 2014


Back in '72 - click here for video (opens in a new page / tab)
Album: Back in '72 (1973)

The title track off an Seger fan favorite album, if I could choose one song to exemplify good old hard rock, this would be it.  It sounds swanky, dirty, and grungy but with such a true and honest beat.  Pair that with lyrics about the year and era in which it was written and you have a mash up of the rock sound of the 60's and early 70's in a single track.  In line with more modern Seger yet to come, the song ends not with some grand message but more the all too well known message that the more things change the more they stay the same.  A great reflective piece from the man who has created so many pieces of music that cause me to reflect on things myself.
 

February 13th, 2014


Downtown Train - click here for video (opens in a new page / tab)
Album: Ultimate Hits: Rock and Roll Never Forgets (2011)

With Valentine's Day tomorrow I thought this was an appropriate choice.  A Tom Waits cover has appeared here before but I'd rather not attempt to divulge into the unique talents of Mr. Waits here as it goes outside the scope of this site.  What does require mention is Rod Stewart's version from 1989.  Regardless of contrasts and comparisons to the original, Stewart made Downtown Train into one of the sweetest love songs of all time, in my opinion anyway.  Bob Seger's version was actually recorded in 1989 but went unreleased due to Rod Stewart's cover being released around the same time and becoming a hit in its own right.  When Ultimate Hits was released in 2011, Seger's cover was finally made available, giving some much needed new material to a compilation double album that was essentially cut from the the previous two greatest hits albums.  Seger's version goes down the middle between the Waits original and Stewart favorite but leans more toward the street corner serenade sound of the original.  As usual, Bob Seger makes the song his own and comes up with a sound unique to both the original and the most well known.  Slow, relaxed and sincere - it's a shame that this version went unheard for so many years.
 

February 6th, 2014


Cross of Gold - click here for video (opens in a new page / tab)
Album: Seven (1974)

High energy - that's what comes to mind when Cross of Gold begins and it never lets up for the just over two minutes the song lasts.  The twangy guitar riff that echoes Seger during the chorus and title are simply rocking.  When I play this song for someone they almost always peg it as something from the mid 1980's and I'll admit, the sound here is ahead of its time.  It's infectious, it gets you moving, it's one of the most energetic songs that Seger has ever produced in my opinion.  Again, I especially love the Southern rock influences in the guitar work.  Like the album itself, a song short but so fulfilling and enjoyable it simply begs to be spun up again upon conclusion.
 

January 30th, 2014


Fine Memory - click here for video (opens in a new page / tab)
Album: Beautiful Loser (1975)

Closing out the awesome Beautiful Loser album is Fine Memory, a rather relaxed and melancholy tribute to the little insignificant things that stick with us from past encounters.  On its own I've never cared much for this song, however as the ending track on the album I find it a bittersweet farewell to the music that played before it.  Not just the music but the memories that the songs on Beautiful Loser bring to mind, so to me in that way Fine Memory recalls the fine memories that I experienced while listening to the album it closes out.  With that in mind I can't help but really respect this song for its place on an incredible album.  You can almost see Seger sitting with his guitar and writing this song in a moonlit room.
 

January 23rd, 2014


I've Been Working - click here for video (opens in a new page / tab)
Album: Back In '72 (1973)

It's back to rock roots with this cover of Van Morrison's I've Been Working from 1970.  Most who have heard Seger perform this song probably came across it on 1976's Live Bullet, which also contained the often radio played live version of Turn The Page, which also was originally released on Back In '72.  See, everything comes back around.  Honestly I love the hard-driving and almost tribal sound of this song on Live Bullet over the studio release here.  As the two live Seger albums should be taken as just that, full albums, they won't be covered at Bob Seger Thursdays but the studio version isn't without its merits.  There's a real barebones funk sound to this cover, making it different from the more frantic live version, so it is very much its own beast.
 

January 16th, 2014


Little Victories - click here for video (opens in a new page / tab)
Album: The Distance (1982)

It took awhile for this song to grow on me but as I get older it makes more and more sense and there by I enjoy it more and more as well.  This song is about being a man; being an adult.  I think people grow up once they stop letting petty bickering and drama dictate their lives.  Admittedly I have some anger issues and I love a good argument as much as the next person, I'm Sicilian after all.  Over the past couple years however, I've tried to take things from the stance of the bigger picture, allowing me to have an easier run at life day in, day out.  That's what I get from Little Victories.  I especially like the lines, "Every time you keep control when you're cut off at the knees, every time you take a punch and still stand at ease" as they perfectly exemplify the struggles and stresses of adult life and what it means to grow to have self-pride and self-control.  That in it of itself rings just as true as the soaring guitar riffs in this great song.
 

January 9th, 2014


Betty Lou's Gettin' Out Tonight - click here for video (opens in a new page / tab)
Album: Against The Wind (1980)

Huey Lewis may have kept the heart of rock 'n' roll beating in the 1980's but Bob Seger kept it swinging with this hard charging throwback to the roots of American rock.  For the longest time I thought this was a cover but as far as I am able to ascertain, this is a Seger original and a wonderful one at that.  Betty Lou comes across as a combination of the best of rock from the past three decades.  In addition to Seger's clean, straight to the point vocals, the piano work and horns on this track do a lot to represent good old rock at its purest and most unrestrained.  This could have easily been a hit during the golden era of rock and roll.
 

January 2nd, 2014


James, Jesse - click here for video (opens in a new page / tab)
Album: Smokin' O.P.'s (1972)

A cover of the folk standard "Jesse James" from the 1920's, that has been covered many times since, sits in the center of the backside of Smokin' O.P.'s.  As with nearly all the covers on the album, Seger deviates from the original to the point where it almost works out to be a completely different song with threads of the original running through it.  This is actually my favorite version of this song as it sounds more impromptu than other covers I have heard.  I also love the charging guitar rhythm and the electric organ backing.  Give it a listen and ride into the New Year.
 

December 26th, 2013


Her Strut - click here for video (opens in a new page / tab)
Album: Against The Wind (1980) / Greatest Hits 2 (2003) / Ultimate Hits: Rock and Roll Never Forgets (2011)

New Year's Eve will occur between this Thursday and next Thursday so I thought this song appropriate.  A dirty, grungy take on my favorite Bob Seger song, Mainstreet, if you would.  Now I've heard a lot of different explanations of the meaning of this song over the years.  Some say it's about the ladies of the night and prostitution.  Others say it's about a high end exotic dancer.  I've always thought it was a little more fundamental than that and that the song is simply about women.  No matter how high you may regard a woman in your life, or women in general, that animal instinct and attraction is always there.  For me, the most sensual thing about a woman is her walk.  Then again, I have a shoe fetish so take with that what you will.  Men can play it off all they want but a woman is still a woman, and to me this song is about taking notice and not denying raw attraction.
 

December 19th, 2013


Katmandu - click here for video (opens in a new page / tab)
Album: Beautiful Loser (1975) / Greatest Hits 2 (2003) / Ultimate Hits: Rock and Roll Never Forgets (2011)

Special occasion for this song as today is the last day of work for me until packing up for a couple weeks over the holidays.  Katmandu is also one of my all time favorite Bob Seger songs, and one that still gets semi-regular airplay on quite a few classic rock stations.  Although the song did very well in its day, Katmandu is what I would consider a "secondary classic" in Seger's catalog, as while it is much loved and easily recognized as a spectacular good time track by Segerfiles, for everyone else it probably isn't a song that comes to mind when you think of Bob Seger.  We all want to get away from everything from time to time, just drop everything and get out of town - and that's what this song is about.  Seger mentions different areas of the United States, remembering times and hospitalities experienced in each, but at the end of the day sometimes you just gotta take off for awhile - in this case to Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal.  Katmandu was popular enough to warrant inclusion on 2003's Greatest Hits 2 but the version on 2011's Ultimate Hits is a cut down version that omits the second verse - I guess he has a quarrel with the Midwest these days.  As I'm finally gettin' "outta here" for a few days, there couldn't be a better song to present this week.  Until next week then.
 

December 12th, 2013


Brave Strangers - click here for video (opens in a new page / tab)
Album: Stranger In Town (1978)

An interesting tune buried on the backside of Stranger In Town, Brave Strangers has a pretty heavy gospel sound.  That is, until about half way through the track when things mellow out and break into a deep, soulful ballad about young love and lust.  You can almost see the smoky club being played in as Seger laments over early romance and first encounters.  The backing builds as the gospel influence grows once more, then things pick up and slide back into the sound of the opening verse.  This is a great song that somehow has fallen off the radar of many Seger fans.  How this song never became a jukebox staple is beyond my understanding.  It's Seger's trademark hard rock sound with the blues rhythm he can pull off better than most, without straight up sounding like "Bob Seger."  Give this one a listen and be surprised.
 

December  5th, 2013


The Little Drummer Boy - click here for video (opens in a new page / tab)
Album: Ultimate Hits: Rock and Roll Never Forgets (2011)

Originally released on the first "A Very Special Christmas" album in 1987, Bob Seger's cover of the Katherine Kennicott Davis composed Christmas classic had never been released on a Seger album until 2011.  While many saw the track as a throwaway addition to bulk up a greatest hits compilation that mainly compiled the previous two greatest hits compilations, it's stuff like this I enjoy as it helps to round out an artist's back catalog for new listeners.  Seger's cover sticks to convention but it provides a somber yet grand rendition of the song, with an expected striking drum track, overlaid with some beautiful electric guitar chords.  Seger's vocals are clean and true, making this a very worthy addition to anyone's Christmas music collection.
 

November 28th, 2013


Long Twin Silver Line - click here for video (opens in a new page / tab)
Album: Against The Wind (1980)

I love railroad music, which was made apparent when Bob Seger's cover of the Chuck Berry standard Let It Rock was featured.  However this time we have an original track by Seger that would be right at home among classic railroad songs.  Of course a double meaning can be had here, as with a lot of old railroad songs.  Is Seger singing about a train, a woman, or both?  Either way, Long Twin Silver Line has such an infectious beat with outstanding vocals that perfectly match the classic hard rocking sound.  It wouldn't surprise me, if their time periods were reversed, that Chuck Berry would cover this song of Seger's.  The sound is that clean and solid.  Easily one of my favorite Seger songs.
 

November 21st, 2013


Love The One You're With - click here for video (opens in a new page / tab)
Album: Smokin' O.P.'s (1972)

I find it difficult to pinpoint why I enjoy this cover of the Stephen Stills folk rock classic but I think it has a lot to do with the raw, live, stage show performance that Bob Seger's recording has the sound of.  While Love The One You're With on Smokin' O.P.'s is a studio version there's just something frenetic and, although I don't like to use the term, grassroots about it.  Seger's version also has a whole lot of funk and soul, making this yet another excellent complement to the greater whole of this amazing album.  The drumming here is of particular note as it perfectly exemplifies the feeling of joy and rhythmic release being crafted around it from start to finish.  A great cover on a great album of great covers.
 

November 14th, 2013


Sailing Nights - click here for video (opens in a new page / tab)
Album: Beautiful Loser (1975)

It's hard to call a song off Beautiful Loser a lost classic but that's exactly what Sailing Nights is.  The melody that opens the song is so peaceful and melancholy that it nearly pulls me right into the lyrics as they begin.  As with Mainstreet off 1976's Night Moves, this is a song that instantly transports me to another place right at the start.  Doesn't matter where I am or what I am doing, I instantly see a dark, moonlit horizon with a calm, cool see breeze blowing through it.  Maybe Sailing Nights works itself out to be too literal in my mind but it strikes something within me instantaneously.  It makes me think about getting out in the world, searching for experiences and people to come into contact with and pass by along the journey of living.  Another amazing song that makes Beautiful Loser an incredible album.
 

November 7th, 2013


Rock And Roll Never Forgets - click here for video (opens in a new page / tab)
Album: Night Moves (1976) / Greatest Hits 2 (2003) / Ultimate Hits: Rock and Roll Never Forgets (2011)

After missing a week due to very unexpected technical difficulties at Bob Seger Thursdays Central, we're back with what is in my opinion one of Seger's greatest songs.  Thinking back, Rock And Roll Never Forgets is the first ever Bob Seger song I can distinctly remember hearing.  My mom was a huge Bob Seger fan and in the early 1980's the Night Moves cassette was still in regular rotation on the car stereo.  Although my ears of four or so years old at the time couldn't pick out some of the lyrics, the chorus, vocal energy and upbeat horns became imbedded in my mind.  Great rock music never truly grows old, nor does the enjoyment and pleasure of listening to it and the thoughts and feelings it conjures in those who are listening.  That's what I've always gotten out of this song, no matter all the crap and bullshit in every day life, getting worn down by the stresses of living; a great time with great music is always there to be had.  Put on some albums, crank the volume, and remember a time when things were a little simpler - because they still can be, if only you allow them to be such.
 

October 24th, 2013


Sightseeing - click here for video (opens in a new page / tab)
Album: The Fire Inside (1991)

I feel a little guilty for talking ill about the album The Fire Inside back in September so let's spin up another track to make amends.  Let us clear the air, Sightseeing is an incredible song.  Fast paced and jumpy, with a zydeco riff that reminds me just enough of my all time favorite song, Walk of Life by Dire Straits.  Sightseeing also perfectly encapsulates how I felt in the first couple years after graduating from high school.  There has yet to be another time in my life where I have felt so in control of my destiny, with the power and focus to press forward and do and achieve whatever I wanted at any given time.  The second verse also describes, in almost exacting detail, how I met a girl around that time who I would have a rather tumultuous but interesting relationship with for a few years.  That's pretty crazy in hindsight but there it is.  Sightseeing is one of my favorite Bob Seger tracks, without any doubt if I ever had to do a top ten Seger list this song would absolutely be included.  Most would consider the title track off The Fire Inside the best this album had to offer but I'd put Sightseeing over it every time.
 

October 17th, 2013


Ship of Fools - click here for video (opens in a new page / tab)
Album: Night Moves (1976)

Every time I hear the first few notes of this song I think of Creedence Clearwater Revival.  As the song progresses it distinctly becomes Bob Seger but Ship of Fools is a very folky, grass roots type song with a soothing and relaxed melody.  There has to be some deep meaning to this song but I've never been able to decipher it.  When I start to look too deep into a song I often remind myself that it's music, it's to be enjoyed, not over analyzed.  In fact, I think I'll stop my usual round about over analyzation today and just listen to Ship of Fools again.
 

October 10th, 2013


Real Mean Bottle - click here for video (opens in a new page / tab)
Album: Face The Promise (2006)

Face The Promise was an album eagerly awaited by Seger fans and while some didn't think much of it, to me it did not disappoint.  Bob Seger's sound is ever-changing, that's how it always has been from the start.  Sure he has a distinct sound but that sound in it of itself is always in flux.  Real Mean Bottle is easily one of my favorite tracks off the album.  This duet with Kid Rock is a rousing, old school rock song with country and rockabilly tones that would sound right at home on Southern rock radio.  Say what you will about Kid Rock, but I've always thought he was a solid vocalist and pairing these two Detroit favorites seemed long overdue.
 

October 3rd, 2013


Ain't Got No Money - click here for video (opens in a new page / tab)
Album: Stranger In Town (1978)

A sequel of sorts, both in musical sound and lyrical narration, to The Fire Down Below from 1976.  Ain't Got No Money tells the story of a man, looking for a woman, looking for a good time and not much else.  So yeah, it's The Fire Down Below told from the perspective of a man whom doesn't have the necessary cash to follow in suit with those in the other song.  There's a little more innocence here than before, a lot less desperation, and more of a sense of just wanting to get down with a woman who may be interested.  My favorite part of this song is by far the delay with about a minute or so to go on the track.  It gives the whole thing the feel of a live performance at the end of a show.  While Ain't Got No Money isn't a spectacular song, when looking at every other song that makes up the Stranger In Town album, all of which are incredible Seger standards, it isn't surprising that it gets lost in the shuffle.  Even though this Frankie Miller penned song should be amazing considering how big an influence Seger has stated he was to him, it just falls flat against the rest of the album.
 

September 26th, 2013


Bo Diddley - click here for video (opens in a new page / tab)
Album: Smokin' O.P.'s (1972)

Bo Diddley, originally released in 1955, is one of the most important songs in the history of rock and roll and also one of the greatest.  Bob Seger opens Smokin' O.P.'s with his rendition of not only Bo Diddley but another of Bo Diddley's most well-known songs, Who Do You Love?  The scope of this site isn't centered on rock history (which, and I'll be completely honest, I know far too little about) or the The Originator himself, Bo Diddley but I ask that you listen to the original versions of both these songs either before or after giving Seger's medley a listen.  By far the covers on Smokin' O.P.'s are my favorite renditions of these songs outside of the Diddley's originals.  No more to say, just listen.
 

September 19th, 2013


Hands In The Air - click here for video (opens in a new page / tab)
Album: It's A Mystery (1995)

For whatever reason, 1995's It's A Mystery didn't sell very well compared to The Fire Inside, a disappointing fact considering it is a much more concise effort than the previous new album.  Even stranger is the fact that this album was released one year after Greatest Hits, one of the best selling albums of all time, so Seger's popularity should have been at an all time high as well.  Hands In The Air drummed up some genuine fan interest with a solid hard rock beat and powerful vocals, easily becoming one of the jewels of the album.  After the hard rocking beat starts things off, Seger cuts in with observations of people intentionally ignoring the responsibility of their actions, slowly degrading society as a whole as their behaviors become the rule more than the exception.  When the people with power and influence lead poorly, common decent people begin to emulate them, further advancing the downward spiral into chaos and disenchantment.  In the closing verse, Seger calls out those who use others to advance their corruption, calling to action the repressed to turn the tables on those who corrupt.

Although far from perfect, It's A Mystery really is the last breath of new Seger that still has that spark of old Seger sound.  Hands In The Air is proof of that as while it's current yet reflective, it is also generally more tired and bitter sounding than most of Seger's lyrical commentary from the years before.  This album attempted to get the train back on the track in my mind, but it was still a little derailed after The Fire Inside.  Yet if you were to take the better songs from both The Fire Inside and It's A Mystery and listen to them in one session, you'd have one amazing listening experience.
 

September 12th, 2013


Take A Chance - click here for video (opens in a new page / tab)
Album: The Fire Inside (1991)

No, it's not Bob Seger does ABBA, it's the lead track from 1991's The Fire Inside.  I've always had mixed feelings concerning this album and the main reasons are songs like Take A Chance.  The song itself is a very solid and powerful anthem of a man declaring his worth to a woman he's interested in, comparing himself to all the random chances and risks we all take in everyday life.  The problem with Take A Chance is that it tends to blend a little too well with many other tracks on the album in my opinion.  Take A Chance, The Real Love, Always In My Heart, and maybe even Blind Love could all take the place of one another on the album.  However rather than having one of those tracks, all four of them are on The Fire Inside and comprise one-third of the album itself.  Of course, what do I know, I'm just a guy that listens to music and posts a song every week.  Honestly the entire album sounds rather stitched together.  While this is not surprising considering how many other musicians had their hand in it, it could really have benefited from some attention to cohesion.  Although it features some great songs, some we've covered and others we'll get to eventually, I've always thought this was a rough follow up to Like A Rock from 1986.  Take A Chance doesn't stand out enough to be memorable among the other non-stand out tracks.
 

September 5th, 2013


Roll Me Away - click here for video (opens in a new page / tab)
Album: The Distance (1982) / Greatest Hits (1994) / Ultimate Hits: Rock and Roll Never Forgets (2011)

Roll Me Away is quite an interesting song, even more so to me personally.  For many, many, many years this was my favorite Bob Seger track.  However unlike most all other Bob Seger songs I've heard and continue to listen to, this is the one song that I seem to be less and less into as time goes on.  Please don't misunderstand this as a critique or that I dislike the song because that is in no way true.  This song tells a great story and takes us, the listeners, along for the ride.  It's almost as if you're in the mentioned bar and then out on the road, riding along side Seger as he crosses the great divide.  Roll Me Away is an excellent song with a beautiful beat, very calming and powerful.  It just, isn't one of my favorite Bob Seger songs anymore.  I almost feel bad saying that but I still love the song and with a catalog as impressive and diverse as Seger's, it shouldn't be taken as a negative comment in any way.  I know we've been rolling into songs that are on greatest hits compilations lately but we'll be swinging back around into less mass "classic rock" mainstream Seger in the upcoming weeks.
 

August 29th, 2013


C'est la Vie - click here for video (opens in a new page / tab)
Album: Greatest Hits (1994)

Previously unreleased until Greatest Hits in 1994, C'est la Vie is a cover of the frequently covered Chuck Berry standard, You Never Can Tell.  Seger doesn't change much of the feel of the song, which is great because it gives the song the sound of being performed and recorded in the late 1950's - early 1960's.  This rendition is a little jazzier with a few lines reworked ever so slightly but it is still very much Chuck Berry's original song.  In fact, of all the covers of You Never Can Tell that I've heard over the years, this is the one that celebrates and respects the original the best.  Along with In Your Time, this special track on Greatest Hits is worth the price of admission, even if you already have the rest of the included material.  No wonder Greatest Hits was the best selling catalog album in the United States for the first decade of the 21st Century.
 

July 25th, 2013


Fire Lake - click here for video (opens in a new page / tab)
Album: Against The Wind (1980) / Greatest Hits 2 (2003) / Ultimate Hits: Rock and Roll Never Forgets (2011)

Fire Lake is one of those Bob Seger tracks that I often use to introduce his music to others.  I absolutely cannot praise this song enough and I'm not alone.  Although it rarely gets radio play on classic rock stations these days, Fire Lake could well be Bob Seger's signature song.  Granted it was never really a hit on its own but it's almost as if the song is too good to be a simple chart topper.  The song itself is a relaxed, bluesy, slightly twangy combination of blues and country that lends itself to a very unique yet familiar sound.  While a lot of Seger's lyrics are open to interpretation, there's no denying that Fire Lake is about an old biker, "Uncle Joe," throwing caution to the wind and living a life of freedom.  We hear about his old lady, Sarah, whom he never married but was still sentimental enough to remain with for years.  Uncle Joe rides up to Fire Lake to see the bronze beauties, reminding him of the women he had pleasurable although brief encounters with in his younger days.  Uncle Joe is the genuine article, living his life how he sees fit to do so.  The line that mentions playing "those eights and aces" describes this perfectly, as it was the poker hand lawman and folk hero Wild Bill Hickock was holding when he was shot to death in 1876.  Taking "that long shot gamble" and riding out to Fire Lake could be compared with getting out into the world and making your own path in life, exerting your freedom to live on your own terms.  For whatever reason this song makes me think about my family, long summers years ago doing nothing but relaxing together and enjoying the company of one another.  I never get tired of listening to Fire Lake.  Bob Seger Thursdays will actually be taking a four week hiatus after today to recharge but will return on August 29th.
 

July 18th, 2013


Midnight Rider - click here for video (opens in a new page / tab)
Album: Back In '72 (1973) / Early Seger Vol. 1 (2009)

Seger's cover of The Allman Brothers Band's classic hit takes a great song and gives it a second life, teeming with a sound like something out of an energetic sermon.  Perhaps I'm out of my mind thinking that this version of Midnight Rider has more of a blues / gospel mash up than rock but the energy, the pacing, the backing vocals, it just all comes together in my mind as Seger preaching the song to his followers.  Yeah, that sounds pretty strange now that I think about it more.  Midnight Rider was the first track on 1973's Back in '72 as well as the Early Seger Vol. 1 album from 2009.  While this marked the first time Seger's cover of Midnight Rider was officially released to compact disc and made easily available, there were some fairly jarring changes to someone familiar with the original recording.  In addition to being remixed a little the track was shortened by about twenty seconds, fading out rather than ending with Seger briefly scat singing as on Back in '72.  It doesn't ruin the song or anything but man I miss the original ending when listening to the rerelease.
 

July 11th, 2013


Black Night - click here for video (opens in a new page / tab)
Album: Beautiful Loser (1975)

When I get the urge to here some good old solid rock and roll, I put Black Night on.  Whenever I hear this song on classic rock radio I get the feeling the DJ had that same urge.  From the first drum hit, Black Night rolls into a heavy and hard funk as if waiting for Seger to grab it and punch it up even more.  I've always thought this song was about a nymphomaniac as it reminds me one I knew a few years ago.  A woman who seemed to have everything wrong in her life until the stars were out and the shades were drawn, either with someone else or herself.  Someone that only has stability in the throngs of passion, no matter how empty or passing they may have been.  Even though this should have been a complete advantage among the people she ran with, she always tended to be a victim of her desire.  You know what though, I still really enjoyed her company because it was just such a trip to know someone like that, hearing about her years of failed relationships or not.  Great song with a great delayed reprisal at the end; that bluesy funk just won't allow itself to be contained.
 

July 4th, 2013


Fortunate Son - click here for video (opens in a new page / tab)
Album: Like A Rock (1986)

I debated whether or not to spin this one up for today but ultimately decided, hey it's my website and I'll pick the song I want each week.  Bob Seger's cover of the Creedence Clearwater Revival hit was recorded live in 1983 in Detroit's Cobo Hall and included as a bonus track on the CD version of 1986's Like A Rock.  Not much has to be said about the recording other than it's Seger live, you really can't do much better than that for a live performance and there's tons of energy for the pleasure of the listener.  Very simply put, it's a rocking cover of a well-known song.  Now as for the song itself, this is a song that has shown up almost everywhere, with almost any band you can think of and everyone seems to have a different idea of what or who this song is about.  To me, and yes this is going to be my flat out opinion here, the "fortunate sons" sung about are those who don't contribute to their fellow man yet reap all the rewards created in society by those around them.  I've never seen it as an anti-war song or an anti-government song.  Fortunate sons are those whom sit on their asses, don't go to work, don't do things for anyone other than themselves and their constant accruement of wealth and power.  Those that don't practice what they preach, those who don't contribute to the greater whole because they feel such acts are below themselves.  Those that acquire everything in life off the backs of others.  Those that our founding fathers would slap upside the head; the absolute corruption of wealth and power.  With that, happy Independence Day, my favorite of all holidays.
 

June 27th, 2013


The Horizontal Bop - click here for video (opens in a new page / tab)
Album: Against The Wind (1980)

Now before reading this week's entry, get the song running for a little while first.  Damn that sounds like it has to be a cover of some golden oldie or something, doesn't it?  Nope, this is an original song, released in 1980 if you can believe that!  The meaning of this song shouldn't be a hard one to figure out but if you're that dense, this is a good time song about having, well, a good time - on the floor, with minimal clothing.  The horns and guitar are noticeably restrained on this one which I think is what gives it such a clean, classic, old school rock and roll sound.  I would absolutely love Stray Cats to cover this at one point since I think the pacing, lyrics, and set up would work superbly for their ensemble.  Against The Wind is a great album and while some may see it as Bob Seger bowing down to mainstream to get that elusive number one album, songs like this prove the contrary; Seger's classic rock and roll was alive and well.
 

June 20th, 2013


Rosalie - click here for video (opens in a new page / tab)
Album: Back in '72 (1973)

Before we even get going today I want to say that this is one of my favorite Bob Seger songs.  Bob, please, re-release Back in '72 as a limited treat for your old time fans!  Rosalie is a tribute to Rosalie Trombley, who was a music director at the AM radio Top 40 station CKLW, which was one of the most listened to radio stations in North America in the 1970's.  She would mix different genres into the Top 40, becoming influential in spreading new music throughout the midwestern United States as well as Canada and beyond.  Bob Seger wrote the song to immortalize her as a fixture of Detroit radio and also to attempt to get a single that would have wide airplay.  Trombley was said to refuse airplay of the song and threatened to leave the station if it was ever added to the playlist, which it never was.  Even when Thin Lizzy covered the song two years later, which became a minor hit for them, Trombley still refused to play either version.  This song makes me happy, it always has, and it's reason number 4,610 that Back in '72 is long overdue for a re-release.
 

June 13th, 2013


American Storm - click here for video (opens in a new page / tab)
Album: Like A Rock (1986)

American Storm is a nearly forgotten track off the hugely successful Like A Rock from 1986.  Perhaps the album's title track was just too much of a hit since honestly everything else on the album seems to be forgotten by the mainstream.  I'll be honest in that this isn't one of my favorite Seger songs but that doesn't mean it isn't worth listening too.  I've always felt the meaning of the lyrics and the tempo and pacing of the music don't really match.  As far as I've ever known the song is about drug addiction, the monkey on one's back.  Seger himself has said he wrote the song after reading John Belushi's biography and seeing first hand how cocaine abuse was strangling America's heartland throughout the early 1980's.  Perhaps that's why it's a little poppy, to gain a wider audience as a bit of an awareness song?  I really don't know but have always felt that the excellent lyrical composition was knocked around by the music it is paired with.  By all means give American Storm a listen and come to your own conclusions.
 

June 6th, 2013


If I Were A Carpenter - click here for video (opens in a new page / tab)
Album: Smokin' O.P.'s (1972) / Early Seger Vol. 1 (2009)

A dirty and deep cover of the frequently covered Tim Hardin song from 1967, which found best success when recorded by Bobby Darin a year before appearing on a Tim Hardin album.  I can only think of a very few songs open to wider interpretation but the most general consensus is the song is about heroin addiction, which would later claim Hardin's life, creating a void between a man and his wife.  Seger's version reminds me of the sounds of Joe Cocker, coming across as both desperate and depressed yet somehow relaxed.  It's a very strange cover of a song that is hard to explain to begin with, especially with so many versions in the mix.  Seger lays it all out on the line, with such sorrow and sweetness in a constant bittersweet battle that just builds and builds until it explodes but neither rises as the victor in the end.  With reworked lyrics, soulful and intense vocals, and so much raw emotion, Seger delivers one of the greatest covers this song has ever been given.
 

May 30th, 2013


The Fire Down Below - click here for video (opens in a new page / tab)
Album: Night Moves (1976) / Greatest Hits 2 (2003) / Ultimate Hits: Rock and Roll Never Forgets (2011)

Without a doubt one of Bob Seger's most well-known and popular songs, The Fire Down Below has one of the most recognizable opening chords in rock music.  It starts out so grungy and dirty and never lets up, keeping a hard blues rock edge right up until the end.  There has been some debate as to the subject of the song but I've always been in the camp that hears it as a song about prostitution, escorts, and the characters of the night.  I do not think the "fire down below" is a reference to an STD but rather the desire for sexual encounters.  As with many Seger songs, he isn't condoning or trying to glorify the subject matter, just telling a story of how things are and how he sees them.  In addition to the opening, the outro is also one of the most recognizable and sweetest sounding in all of music.  It's just a few simple notes and a reprise but it caps off the song perfectly.
 

May 23rd, 2013


Feel Like A Number - click here for video (opens in a new page / tab)
Album: Stranger In Town (1978)

I've often said that I find myself in the words and music of Bob Seger and that it's always been that way.  The older I get and the more I experience, the more I continue to find myself in his music.  Feel Like A Number is probably the song that reflects myself more than any other at this point and time.  Get beyond the bluesy hard rocking sound of the song and really listen to the lyrics.  Without a doubt they are some of the cleanest and most creative of the 1970's.  Bob Seger winds unexpected rhymes together perfectly, perfect in his execution, and builds a song about the everyday frustrations in an ever expanding world - back in 1978!  Of course connections can be made to the 1967 television series The Prisoner, one of my favorite television shows of all time.  Yet again, this is another Seger track that remains relatively obscure in relation to his other music from the era although it is performed on the 1981 live album Nine Tonight.
 

May 16th, 2013


In Your Time - click here for video (opens in a new page / tab)
Album: Greatest Hits (1994)

One of two previously unreleased tracks included on 1994's Greatest Hits album, In Your Time is not only an incredible way to cap off Seger's original Greatest Hits album, but one of the most memorable songs of the 1990's.  I often find those who say they don't necessarily go out of their way to listen to Bob Seger tell me they don't know of this song when I mention the title.  Then after about fifteen seconds of the song they somehow recall hearing it somewhere; it's almost instantly memorable to them.  Now if they indeed had heard the song before or the rhythm is simply nostalgic enough to invoke such feelings, I can't be certain.  Maybe it's a little of both.  There's no denying that In Your Time has almost universal appeal.  Amazingly it seems many people associate this song with funerals and while I guess it could be considered appropriate, and everyone is impacted by music differently, it's just not what comes to mind when I hear it.  To me it's about the great unknown and journey of life, the vast greatness and occasional sorrow but always with the promise that it's all part of the same.  Taking life for all that it includes.  Seger himself has said he wrote the song for his son which makes perfect sense to me.
 

May 9th, 2013


Momma - click here for video (opens in a new page / tab)
Album: Beautiful Loser (1975)

For whatever reason, and a reason I've never been able to understand, the sound on Momma reminds me of Jimi Hendrix.  Maybe it's the rhythm and pacing, the way the lyrics play against the melody, I have no idea, but that's how it has always worked in my head.  Honestly this is a beautiful song that tends to be forgotten, lost among an album of other incredible music.  This is also another one that gives a classic rock station some street cred when they play it around Mother's Day, which almost never happens sadly.  Well, that's not a problem here at Bob Seger Thursdays.
 

May 2nd, 2013


Neon Sky - click here for video (opens in a new page / tab)
Album: Back in '72 (1973)

If there's one song on this grand lost Bob Seger album that is an open and shut reason why Back in '72 should be re-released, Neon Sky is it.  From the very first note Neon Sky sounds unlike anything else.  It's cool, it's mysterious, it's soothing, it's unsettling - it's amazing.  A tale of choices and desires, sins and successes, and living life with the calls you've made.  The first time I heard Neon Sky I had assumed it was recorded in the mid 1980's, it just sounds way too modern for an early 70's track, even from someone like Seger who was heavily experimenting with his sound at the time.  I listen to a lot of Bob Seger and most of the time I can go along with whatever I happen to be doing as I listen but not with Neon Sky.  When Neon Sky begins I stop what I'm doing, almost into a trance, the song commands my attention and reflection.  It hits me, right down the middle, it makes me feel raw and human.  More than that, Neon Sky exposes the decisions we all make and have to learn to live with, "'cause the Devil's red, but his money's green."
 

April 25th, 2013


Big River - click here for video (opens in a new page / tab)
Album: Mongrel (1970)

Earlier Seger is an acquired taste if you're a fan of his more mainstream work.  This is understandable to me and relates to the fact that his earlier albums are difficult to find, having very few re-releases, and in the case of others no re-release at all.  Big River, off Mongrel, his third and final album as The Bob Seger System, is the the earlier Seger song that I feel has the most in common with his more contemporary hits.  It's not very experimental, devoid of a hard driving rhythm, and not even particularly folky.  Big River is more of a calming, relaxed, melancholy ballad of lost love and advice not to follow in the same mistakes as the singer.  I suppose I should take back my comment about this song not being experimental as I gather this could be considered the first glimpse of Seger trying out the style that would come to define his later, more mainstream sound that we all love.
 

April 18th, 2013


Makin' Thunderbirds - click here for video (opens in a new page / tab)
Album: The Distance (1982)

The Michigan native pens a great 1950's / 1980's rock mashup about the golden era of American automotive production in this often forgotten track.  There's nothing all that deep, it's just straight up, fast paced, swinging rock of a bygone era.  What does surprise me most about this song however is how "under the radar" it has become over the years.  I love rockabilly music, especially Stray Cats, another of my all time favorite musical acts.  I've never heard any rockabilly band, independent or otherwise, cover Makin' Thunderbirds.  Granted, Seger tends to have pretty good protection and control over the release of his music, but never once have I seen it slipped in a set or a rockabilly cover band sneak it in.  That's really a shame as this is just solid and truly classic rock song.  Of course there's some irony here as a decade or so later the title track off Seger's next studio album, 1986's Like A Rock, would be used in advertisements for Chevrolet trucks for over ten years.
 

April 11th, 2013


New Coat of Paint - click here for video (opens in a new page / tab)
Album: The Fire Inside (1991) / Greatest Hits 2 (2003)

Often when an artist covers a song they can take it to a different place or sing it from a different perspective, leading to a completely different song without really changing anything.  Honestly if you're covering a song and not doing this then what's the point?  With New Coat of Paint, a cover of an amazing 1974 Tom Waits song, Bob Seger does just that.  The original had a seedy, dark sound about it and while Seger's version still maintains that smoky atmosphere, the whole song takes on a completely different feeling.  I've always felt that Seger's version was more a regular couples type song, a knowing remembrance if you would.  The sound here is much more in the style of an old, grand, classic formal performance.  That alone does a lot to change the feel of the original.  So simple yet so over pouring with images and emotions, really the only way to explain New Coat of Paint is to listen to it.
 

April 4th, 2013


Come To Poppa - click here for video (opens in a new page / tab)
Album: Night Moves (1976)

Dirty, powerful, blues rock is what comes to mind when I think of this song.  It really has a beat unlike anything else before or after.  It's just not the hard swanky beat, there's a funk sound there too that is just barely kept in check.  As if the funk is trying to squeeze out from behind the hard driving beat but is allowed to do so for just a moment before the beat takes it back over.  I'm consistently blown away over the years that Come To Poppa isn't included on subsequent greatest hits or compilation releases.  I suppose that's due to this entire album being comprised of awesome music and Night Moves being one of the greatest albums of all time - possibly the greatest album of the 1970's.  Who would think a song about a sugar daddy would hold up so well after over thirty-five years?
 

March 28th, 2013


Nutbush City Limits - click here for video (opens in a new page / tab)
Album: Beautiful Loser (1975)

I love Tina Turner, always have.  I cannot think of any other singer with as much raw talent or who has worked as hard to obtain her success.  Nutbush City Limits, a song about the town she was born and grew up in, has been regarded as one of her signature songs since it was released in 1973.  It has been covered a few times but first to do so was Bob Seger in 1975 on Beautiful Loser.  A live recording would also be released a year later on Live Bullet, however the studio recording shouldn't be overlooked as it's spectacular.  Seger really does the original justice and as usual walks the sweet spot between familiarity of the original and a new sound of his own.  Seger takes one of the all time great funk and soul songs and gives it even more life as one of the great classic rock songs.  A true and timeless classic either way.
 

March 21st, 2013


Shakedown - click here for video (opens in a new page / tab)
Album: Greatest Hits 2 (2003) / Ultimate Hits: Rock and Roll Never Forgets (2011)

An interesting one here as although Shakedown was originally released in 1987, it didn't appear on a formal Bob Seger album until 2003's Greatest Hits 2.  Shakedown was written for the film Beverly Hills Cop II and in my opinion is as much a theme for that film as Harold Faltermeyer's "Axel F" was for the original.  Granted, Harold Faltermeyer did write the music for Shakedown along with Keith Forsey while Seger penned the lyrics.  When it was released as a single in 1987 it became Seger's only number-one single on the Billboard Hot 100.  Outside of release as a single and the Beverly Hills Cop II soundtrack, it would be over fifteen years until it was included on a Bob Seger album.  This song is great; big horns, tons of energy, solid vocals, and an infectious rhythm.  Also, just for the record, Beverly Hills Cop II is my favorite of the series.
 

March 14th, 2013


Till It Shines - click here for video (opens in a new page / tab)
Album: Stranger In Town (1978)

I was actually torn between this song and last week's selection for last week's song.  Till It Shines is an awesome song that has a unique sound when compared to the rest of Stranger In Town or any Bob Seger track that had come before it.  It's almost an amalgamation between slightly twangy country and something you might hear from Jimmy Buffett of the era.  However at the same time, it's nothing like either of those examples, and is pure Seger all the way.  The riffs here are both low key and powerful, the vocals are both relaxed and impactful, the lyrics paint a picture of both reality and promise.  Always one of my favorite Bob Seger songs, I really wish this would get more airplay on classic rock stations.  I've actually requested this song to classic rock stations in the past and on two occasions, on two different stations, the disc jockey didn't know what I was talking about.  That's completely insane!  Not only is this one of my favorite Seger songs, not only do I consider it one of my favorite songs outright, it's also one of the greatest love songs ever written in my opinion.  Introducing people to songs like this is one of the reasons I began Bob Seger Thursdays.
 

March 7th, 2013


The Ring - click here for video (opens in a new page / tab)
Album: Like A Rock (1986)

Something a little different here as this song throws a curve ball compared to most Seger relationship story songs.  A classic, smooth rock rhythm sets the scene as Seger tells a tale of teenage marriage.  The young couple marry, the boy saying that all he wants from life is to be with his girl.  He's good to his word and provides for her, content in that they are together.  Now this is where most of these songs will reside for the entire length of the track; the story has been presented, we're told of a working class guy who made good on his promise.  However The Ring doesn't stop there, it continues to explain the girl's life and background: working hard to make something more of herself before she was married.  However she is good on her promise to her husband, and in turn she becomes the true focus of the song, how she let her dreams go so that her boyfriend could realize his dream - to be with her.  This is a really bittersweet song, it retains the usual Bob Seger formula of singing about regular life stuff that occurs, but The Ring takes such a sidestep that it ends up being completely unexpected the first time you hear it.  A great song off a great 1980's Seger album.
 

February 28th, 2013


2 + 2 = ? - click here for video (opens in a new page / tab)
Album: Ramblin' Gamblin' Man (1969)

Another lost classic from the first Bob Seger album anyone outside of Detroit is probably familiar with.  What blows me away about this song, every single time that I listen to it, is how modern it sounds.  Not just modern for in the era in which it was recorded but as far as present day music goes.  The guitar work and mixing sounds like something you would have heard from rock bands just a few years ago.  The subject matter is an obvious protest against the Vietnam War but as with most of Seger's music, a larger scope is concentrated down to the immediate world around a regular person.  Rather than hearing about politics, or protesting the military, or those that went to fight, the song is more about what one youth sees: a friend drafted and killed in action, his friend's girlfriend left to mourn him, asking why he has to fight and die to live, simply wanting answers and reason before committing to be killed abroad.  I do love one particular line though, "It's the rules not the soldier, that I find the real enemy."
 

February 21st, 2013


Turn The Page - click here for video (opens in a new page / tab)
Album: Back in '72 (1973)

If you familiarity with Bob Seger begins and ends with a classic rock radio station, then Turn The Page is more than likely the song that comes to mind when you hear the name.  However the frequently played version of Turn The Page that most know by heart is actually a live version from 1976's Live Bullet, which was subsequently rereleased on Greatest Hits and more recently on Ultimate Hits: Rock and Roll Never Forgets.  However the original studio version, off the long lost Back in '72, has a much different sound.  Technically the songs are the same but the studio version sounds much darker, more akin to a blues musician in a smoky club playing in a dimly lit corner.  The vibe here is much more downtrodden and rough, a song to really drown in drink with.  Sadly this album will probably never see a reissue as Bob Seger has stated that he was unhappy with the vocals.  Even though the album is a fan favorite, as it is from before Seger's breakout success, it is extremely difficult to find.  I like both versions of this song and the studio version is definitely worth a listen for anyone that listens to classic rock.
 

February 14th, 2013


U.M.C. (Upper Middle Class) - click here for video (opens in a new page / tab)
Album: Seven (1974) / Early Seger Vol. 1 (2009)

A true lost gem of a song from a lost gem of an album.  U.M.C. (Upper Middle Class) is more than just a great song, it's a soulful throwback to 1960's rhythm & blues while retaining the familiar Seger sound.  What is amazing about the song is that the lyrics are still relevant today.  A blue collar worker sings his frustrations out how life would be easier if he was a member of the Upper Middle Class and in doing so reveals, in almost a parody, the corruption in power and comfort.  I always thought this song was for all those who work hard, remain dedicated to a craft, yet never are able to achieve what they deserve.  The only unfortunate thing about U.M.C. is that it's on a pre Beautiful Loser album, so it has been out of print for some time although it did have a CD release in the early 1990's.  A live version was featured on 1976's Live Bullet but for listening to the song on it's own, I prefer the studio version.  Incredibly it was chosen to be included on Early Seger Vol. 1, giving many access to this song for the first time.  My feelings on Early Seger Vol. 1 are mixed but honestly it's worth it just to be able to easily find this song.  Although quite a few tracks on the Early Seger Vol. 1 album were reworked in some respect, U.M.C. was pretty much left alone, a testament to what an amazing song it is.
 

February 7th, 2013


Let It Rock - click here for video (opens in a new page / tab)
Album: Smokin' O.P.'s (1972)

Bob Seger covers my favorite Chuck Berry song, what's not to like?  Let It Rock would later show up on 1976's Live Bullet paired as a medley with another Chuck Berry song, Little Queenie, and later still on 1981's Nine Tonight.  However the studio version on Smokin' O.P.'s is far and away my favorite recording of the song by Seger, although many consider the live versions to have more energy.  Don't get me wrong, the studio recording still features plenty of energy but it has more of an early rock and roll sound, which is why I love it so much.  It definitely sounds updated over the Chuck Berry original but retains the soul of the original song, that hard driving rhythm and infectious beat.  The song itself is about railroad workers working on a stretch of railroad track while an oncoming train approaches.  Railroad songs are another of my favorite subgenres of recorded music so this song covers a lot of bases with me.  From the moment the song begins, with a classic Chuck Berry riff, it's impossible to sit still until the track is finished.  At present Smokin' O.P.'s is the earliest Bob Seger album to have a wide reissue and rerelease so if you're interested in early Seger, this would be the easiest place to start.
 

January 31st, 2013


Mainstreet - click here for video (opens in a new page / tab)
Album: Night Moves (1976) / Greatest Hits (1994) / Ultimate Hits: Rock and Roll Never Forgets (2011)

Make no bones about it, this is my all time favorite Bob Seger song.  Fifteen seconds into this song you know the exact tone and feel, the mood it was meant to convey, the emotion being spread out before you.  When I hear that guitar solo I am instantly transported to another place, a calm place.  A cool breeze in the night air, trees swaying in the wind.  Dust and leaves blowing across a quiet street corner, lit by street lights and the windows of closing shops and bars, winding down the last hours of the day.  I am there, instantly, fifteen seconds in.  That opening and repeating riff may be my favorite in recorded music, period.  Then it just gets even better, Bob begins to sing.  The imagery is so simple yet so descriptive.  It tells you exactly what you need to hear to tell a story but still leaves enough open for your mind to fill in the rest.  We hear of a dancer in a little club that the singer is enamored with.  He waits downtown every night just to catch a glimpse of her walking by, even though he knows that she is unapproachable and thereby unobtainable.  To him the other women in the same profession don't compare, she's different than them, she keeps herself separate from them.  Then that guitar riff, it just keeps coming back, gently dancing in time with Seger's vocals and lyrics.  Finally they join together and seem to reminisce in tandem about days gone by, content in soothing memories of the past.  This song has such a mellow and bittersweet feel, it is simply amazing.  Every time I listen to Mainstreet I think about another time, youthful innocence if you would.  The things that shape who we are, acting or not acting on occurrences and feelings, and simply having the time to waste on either one.
 

January 24th, 2013


Good For Me - click here for video (opens in a new page / tab)
Album: Against The Wind (1980)

There is just so much unrestrained soul in this song.  However instead of just going all out with emotion and losing the audience as a lot of really deep soulful songs end up doing, everything here is presented from the perspective of an average guy.  It doesn't sound fake or over the top but instead deeply honest and very sincere.  This is a Bob Seger song that I didn't really understand and relate to until just a couple years ago.  It's a regular guy's love ballad, pure and true.  The backing is incredible with a slight gospel feel and the arranging is strong and powerful while remaining calm and tender. I especially love after the second verse when the song pauses, almost to catch its breath before continuing.  Simply a beautiful song that I wish more people knew of and remembered.
 

January 17th, 2013


Travelin' Man - click here for video (opens in a new page / tab)
Album: Beautiful Loser (1975)

Let's kick things off with some reasonably early Seger, at least as far as the major cities outside of Detroit were concerned.  Travelin' Man originally appeared on Beautiful Loser in 1975 as a studio version although many are more familiar with the live recording off Live Bullet a year later.  While I love Live Bullet, after all it's one of the greatest live albums ever made, I prefer the studio version as it sounds more intimate.  Here we have a song about a man making his own way in the world, living by his own standards, and getting in and out of trouble with the women he meets along the way.  Although they may seem like simple conquests to some, maybe even himself, occasionally when he has a moment to alone he sometimes reflects about the women that have been in his life.  Realizing that each has helped to shape the man he is, he finds comfort in their memories, declaring himself wealthy in that he has had such privileges.
 



 
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