Early Seger Vol. 1

Bob Seger

Hideout Records, 2009


REVIEW BY: David Bowling


Bob Seger has sold tens of millions of records and CDs and is safely enshrined in the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame. Between 1976 and 1986, he released a series of commercially successful and critically acclaimed albums. Titles such as Night Moves, Stranger In Town, Against The Wind, Like A Rock, The Distance, and Live Bullet continue to sell well decades after their initial release, and they contain some of the most memorable tracks in rock ‘n’ roll history. “Old Time Rock and Roll,” “Hollywood Nights,” “Against The Wind,” “Fire Lake,” “Shame On The Moon,” “Shakedown,” and many others are instantly recognizable by several generations of American music fans. my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

This release finds Bob Seger raiding the vaults. Early Seger Vol. 1 consists of six remastered pre-1976 tracks and four previously unreleased songs.

He reaches back to 1972’s Smokin’ O.P.’s for “If I Were A Carpenter” and “Someday.” The first is an organ-based folk rock tune, and the second is a simple, moody, slow cut that looked ahead to his better ballad work.

Back In 72 finds Seger revisiting the old Greg Allman tune “Midnight Rider.” This track has been out of print for years. He gives it a straightforward rock treatment with a loud drum mix providing the foundation.

Three cuts here are taken from Seven. “U.M.C. (Upper Middle Class)” features a smooth vocal and picks up steam as is progresses. The always-entertaining “Get Out Of Denver” has been refitted with a new guitar solo but retains its frenetic up-tempo style and energy. “Long Song Comin’” has basically been completely rerecorded, with horns and a stinging guitar sound added to give it a more polished sound.

The four unreleased tracks consist of two interesting songs and two unearthed gems that are seeing the light of day for the first time. “Star Tonight” was covered by Don Johnson in 1986, but here Seger provides a gritty vocal to his own composition. “Gets Ya Pumpin’” builds on the 1973 tune “Pumpin’” and is basically a power ballad.

“Wildfire” was recorded in the mid-1980’s and is a wonderful surprise. It is polished up-tempo rock and was originally slated to be the title song of the Like A Rock album. “Days When The Rains Would Come” is from the same period and is an upbeat ballad with lyrics that paint a picture of love remembered; it is equal to any of the material he released during that creative period of his career.

Bob Seger has returned with an interesting release that plugs a lot of holes in his career. Early Seger Vol. 1 is a must for any Seger fan; it presents some well-crafted music from an old master.

Rating: B+

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I live in Detroit, I was a kid when Bob Seger first came out. He had two monster hits back then. "Heavy Music" and "Ramblin Gamblin Man". If some one else reviews this album could you note if those songs were featured on this album. Or tell us what album they are on.
"Ramblin' Gamblin' Man" was the title track of the first album Seger released (as the Bob Seger System)... and was also one of the first albums we reviewed here on "DV". "Heavy Music" is on the CD "Smokin' OP's". Both were re-released by Capitol in the '90s, though I honestly don't know if either are still in print today. Hope this all helps!

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