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 Post subject: Hey Eric - Bob Seger????
PostPosted: Mon Apr 11, 2016 1:27 pm 
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So, I just got back from a trip to Michigan that was less vacation than family drama that I won't get into. However, while I was there I came across an article on Bob Seger. I knew that he was huge in Michigan long before he ever got popular nationally, however the article mentioned an album by his old band The Bob Seger System and compared it favorably to The Stooges first album.

Basically the author was saying that other than The Stooges, the only artist of that era to put out a collection of tight, full-throttle rock and roll was Bob Seger on the album Mongrel.

I know your musical tastes may not extended to Bob Seger but being from Michigan and Seger being so huge there in his day, have you ever heard this album or any of his pre-Silver Bullet stuff?

I'm only familiar with the stuff that used to play on the radio when I was growing up and none of that could even be remotely classified as "full-throttle".

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 11, 2016 5:44 pm 
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1. Being from Michigan more or less obligates you to like Seger.

2. Live Bullet is, whether you're from Michigan or not, very possibly the best live album of all time, and a number of the up-tempo tracks should qualify as "full-throttle."

3. Some of Seger's pre-Silver Bullet Band stuff is rawer and more garage. This was one of the 45-rpm singles I grew up with:


4. Despite being from Michigan, Seger is not from Detroit, and you could hear that clearly on record long before you could easily look it up on the Internet. Nobody from Dih-troit pronounces it Dee-troit.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 11, 2016 5:45 pm 
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That said, I haven't heard Mongrel in its entirety. And it's worth mentioning, in light of the title of the song in that video, that Detroit is a city with an East and a West Side. That's another little detail that eludes non-Detroiters (like Journey, who sing about "South Detroit" despite there being really no such thing). And the East Side is the best side.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 11, 2016 7:26 pm 
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That's the best thing I've ever heard from Bob Segar. I did rebel against everything popular at that time, so that reaction is to be expected. Like most of the popular music from that time in my life, it's stuff I overheard so greatly then, that I never need hear it again. I have Led Zeppelin IV on my iPod, but not Stairway, cause I never need to hear that song ever again.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 12, 2016 11:33 am 
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So I listened to Mongrel and I have to say, it's pretty great. It's definitely got me interested in hearing more of his catalog.

I have Live Bullet, but it's an album I pull out once in a blue moon. I'm going to have to listen to that again now. Like Kimfair said, I stayed away from Seger for years because I'd heard "Fire Lake", "Old Time Rock and Roll", etc. on the radio way too many times. That said, I've always liked his lyrics in "Turn the Page". That may be the best song about life on the road ever written.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 12, 2016 12:18 pm 
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I remember liking my dad's Rambling Gambling Man on vinyl, but that was a while ago. May be a good next step after Mongrel. If memory serves, that's another early one. I like the later stuff, Night Moves and such, but as I said, that's sort of required if you're from Michigan.

Absolutely trivial fact: Seger won the big three-day yacht race I do in the summers twice in a row, about ten years before I started doing it.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 12, 2016 1:11 pm 
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I understand completely about the Seger/Michigan-born requirement. The same is true in Florida with Tom Petty which is why I buy every album no matter how much I disliked the previous one. Granted there are more hits than misses there but The Last DJ and Into The Great Wide Open can both go suck it.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 12, 2016 2:43 pm 
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I like a couple cuts off The Last DJ, but only a couple. Into the Great Wide Open is a faded copy of Full Moon Fever, but with worse songs. Singles are okay, but that's about it.

Looking over Seger's discography online, the Mongrel album cover looks VERY familiar. Only things I have on CD are Live Bullet, Night Moves, Stranger in Town, and Against the Wind (though I think I've got a Nine Tonight 8-track somewhere, gathering dust), but I suspect that one was something I heard more often when I was pretty young. I'm going to listen to it and get back to you.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 12, 2016 2:47 pm 
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The one-two punch of Travelin' Man and Beautiful Loser on Live Bullet is one of the most soulful and beautifully-written compositions of straight-up rock 'n roll you're ever going to hear. His backing band -- The Silver Bullet Band -- was tight as hell, too.

Live Bullet on vinyl was played daily in my house when I was a kid. One of the best live albums of all time even if most of it was re-jiggered in the studio. And in the St. Louis area where I grew up, Seger was held in higher regard than even Springsteen was for most of the seventies and eighties.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 12, 2016 3:13 pm 
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I was reading online that he used session musicians for most of the albums prior to forming the Silver Bullet Band. If so, he got one hell of a performance out of them on Mongrel. That album is smoking hot. It's more soulful than a Stooges record but the amount of energy on display is definitely comparable. In fact, the more I think about it, it reminds me of something the MC5 would have done.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 12, 2016 4:52 pm 
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Pretty sure he had a regular band on the early singles through Mongrel. Originally called The Last Heard, and later the Bob Seger System (reminiscent of the Jimi Hendrix Experience). I think the session musicians were in between that and Live Bullet (and there was a strummy singer-songwriter album in there somewhere), and then afterward, really. He had cuts or whole albums with the Muscle Shoals house band backing him.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 19, 2016 3:02 pm 
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Cary, did you dig any deeper into Seger's stuff after liking Mongrel? The fact that you asked caused me to revisit it, and Ramblin' Gamblin' Man, Smokin' O.P.'s, and Back in '72 are all pretty great. The post-Live Bullet stuff is the stuff I heard more often growing up, but it's also more ballad-heavy, and the earlier stuff rocks more (though it's sometimes inconsistent; Ramblin' Gamblin' Man in particular chases psychedelia a bit, though the title track is awesome).


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 20, 2016 4:43 pm 
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Eric wrote:
Cary, did you dig any deeper into Seger's stuff after liking Mongrel? The fact that you asked caused me to revisit it, and Ramblin' Gamblin' Man, Smokin' O.P.'s, and Back in '72 are all pretty great. The post-Live Bullet stuff is the stuff I heard more often growing up, but it's also more ballad-heavy, and the earlier stuff rocks more (though it's sometimes inconsistent; Ramblin' Gamblin' Man in particular chases psychedelia a bit, though the title track is awesome).


I actually have them all loaded on my iPod to listen to but haven't gotten a chance to yet. I have Ramblin' Gamblin' Man, Smokin' O.P.'s and Back in '72 loaded as well as Beautiful Loser. Hopefully I'll be able to get to them tomorrow and Friday. I'm really looking forward to hearing them. I'm not the biggest Seger fan but I do feel like I wrote him off before and perhaps I shouldn't have.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 21, 2016 6:30 am 
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After that, promise me you will watch American Pop.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 21, 2016 8:29 am 
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Ericubus wrote:
After that, promise me you will watch American Pop.


Saw it years ago. I knew Seger was part of it but never really knew to what extent.

Eric wrote:
Ramblin' Gamblin' Man in particular chases psychedelia a bit, though the title track is awesome).


I forgot that I had an appointment after work up in L.A. so I ended up listening to Ramblin' Gamblin' Man and Smokin' O.P.'s on the drive up and back. You're right about the first. The title track is fantastic and there are a handful of other tracks on there that were great too. I really loved "2+2=". The song "Train Man" was a different story though. I kept thinking that this is the song that Jack Black would write as a parody of 60's songs. Overall though, I like most of the album quite a bit.

I loved Smokin' O.P.'s. I know it's all covers but damn does that band make those songs their own. Great stuff. I listened to the first batch of songs from Back in '72. Got through "Turn the Page" before I got home. I liked what I heard so far but the live version of "Turn the Page" is so much better than the studio version.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 21, 2016 3:27 pm 
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caryc wrote:
...the live version of "Turn the Page" is so much better than the studio version.


The slight tweak to the sax hook, plus mixing it louder, makes a huge difference. But I know the live one note for note, and it's interesting to hear the less familiar (and agreed--inferior) studio version.

Listened to Night Moves after enjoying the early stuff, and it's much weaker than I remembered. Then Prince died, so that's what I'm listening to now. But my next time back to Seger will be to the early stuff.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 21, 2016 5:02 pm 
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I had a coworker who completely burned me out on Prince about 15 years ago. Since then, I haven't been able to get back into him. I heard the Controversy, Purple Rain and 1999 albums every workday (literally... not even remotely exaggerating) for approximately two years until this guy finally left the company. At the time the area I worked had a shared CD player and everyone got it for a certain period of time each day. That's what he played every. fucking. day.

About a year ago, I pulled out my Purple Rain album thinking maybe enough time had gone by. Nope. I immediately got impatient and just stopped the CD about halfway through song three. I respect the hell out of Prince as an artist but some of his best music was ruined for me.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 21, 2016 5:57 pm 
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That's sad. We had the 1993 Hits discs on a jukebox in a bar I frequented for the few years before I turned 21 (it's in Detroit), and I absolutely love the singles, but haven't listened to the album tracks much. They're cued up, though.


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