Back in 72

Bob Seger

Palladium Records , 1973

REVIEW BY: David Bowling


Despite the title, Bob Seger returned in 1973 with a solid album of American rock ‘n’ roll. Gone were the psychedelic leanings of some of his early releases, and in its place were the beginnings of the musical style that would become commercially popular in future decades.

Back In ‘72 found Seger relying more on his own writing skills, as six of the nine tracks were original compositions. my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

The album marks the debut of “Turn The Page,” which became immortalized in a live version on his 1976 Live Bullet album. This weary song of a musician’s endless life without success has an autobiographical feel to it. Seger continued to be a star in the Detroit area but could not break out nationally. This studio version has a bluesy feel with a piano sound that is more prominent than on the live track. While the live version was a radio staple for years, this original performance has a lot to recommend it and remains one of his signature songs.

Several others of his compositions on this release were first rate. “Neon Sky” was a ballad that dealt with the difficulties of family vs. career. “Rosalie,” which was noted for its performance by Thin Lizzy, has all the ingredients that served Seger so well in the future. The title track is guitar and sax-based rock at its best. The cover songs were also well chosen and performed. The old Allman Brothers song “Midnight Rider” is transferred from a Southern rock groove to gritty and raw Detroit rock ‘n’ roll. It almost becomes a different song. “Stealer,” co-written by Paul Rodgers, may not be smooth, but it is energetic. Van Morrison’s “I’ve Been Working” fits Seger’s vocal style well and also made an appearance on Live Bullet.

Back In ‘72 finds Bob Seger poised between his raw early sound and the commercial pop/rock that proved so popular in the future. Taken on its own, it is a nice slice of early ‘70s rock. It is also a hard album to locate as Seger was not happy with the sound and production and for years has resisted it being reissued. It may be difficult to find, but when you finally put the ear phones on and give it a listen, it will be worth the effort.

Rating: B+

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