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This Weekend I’ll Mostly Be Listening to… The Bob Seger System November 28, 2020

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
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Here’s an album that I have a real fondness for. Bob Seger is of course one of the great proponents of roots rock, and while not a huge fan of that particular genre, I have to admit I like his 1970s albums a lot.

Curiously, or not the entry point was – like I’ll bet quite a few people, Thin Lizzy’s majestic live cover of “Rosalie”. But one can fairly neatly map out discrete sections to his career. For example “Rosalie” – a much more intriguing song than Lizzy’s joyous interpretation, at least lyrically – comes from the excellent Back in 1972 album. But that album marked almost an end point of one period for Seger and the albums that follow seem to belong to a distinct phase, increasing success (I seem to recall that he played next to nothing from those earlier albums live subsequently).

But go back to 1968 and his first album under the Bob Seger System name – Ramblin’ Gamblin’ Man and one can hear a Seger who was not to reappear in quite this way again. There’s a lot in the mix, and perhaps that’s part of why the eclecticism would be pared back in future. Garage rock? Check. Pychedelia? Check. West Coast? Check. Folk? Check. Motown? Check. It’s all in here and more. Seger had been building up local success in the Detroit area and this points to how.

Listen to the title track, which forges along powered by a John Bonham style drum beat (and a certain G. Frey on backing vocals). Or “Ivory” with its great chorus. “2 + 2 = ?” is a fine garage rock anti-war song. “Down Home” has a real bite to the music and vocals. “Tales of Lucy Blue’s” none more psychedelic opening guitar line propels the song a long. And there’s many more.

Seger would never sound quite like this again. But perhaps this album is a just perfect reflection of the point he was at and the times it was created in.

Comments»

1. sonofstan - November 28, 2020

Snap!
Great record.

Liked by 1 person

WorldbyStorm - November 28, 2020

I’m genuinely chuffed you like that too! It’s such a great lost classic. His later stuff is so much more commercial and it took me a good while to get through that though I’m not immune to its charms but this and I think quite a lot up to Back in 72 is more powerful emotionally and musically.

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sonofstan - November 28, 2020

I remember really liking Mongrel as well, though I haven’t played it in while. I believe though there’s this internet thing …must check it out.

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WorldbyStorm - November 28, 2020

Me neither, I’m off to relisten to it on YouTube!

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2. roddy - November 28, 2020

Anybody wanting to see a humdinger of a music programme, go to RTE plus 1 approx 9.40.Pat Short plays clips from Christy Moore,Damian Dempsey,Ewan McColl, Mary Black, Tommy Makem,the Clancys ,Dubliners and more.Great politics on display with Republican and Leftist dittys galore!Just finished watching it on RTE 1 and theres still time to see it on RTE plus 1.

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