- Face the
- Bob Seger's 16th
- Released September 12,
The Seger File
Many Seger File readers
have shared their reviews of Face the Promise. Here's the
first batch. I'll add more as I have time.
Seger Back: We Sure Do Need Him." -- by Fontaine Brown
(formerly Doug Brown, of Doug Brown and the
After 10 years off the
scene, an artist needs to drop something that shows he can
still do it. This one completely reestablishes Bob as
the Big Chief of the Nothern Lands. It's a feast for
old Seger fans (like me) and a peek at some possible new
roads in the old territory...read
A freight train coming,
and Seger's driving! -- by Bill Wolski
"I bought my first copy
over iTunes, because I couldn't wait the 15 minutes it would
have taken me to get to the store. Then, once I
finished listening to it, I stopped by the store to get a
real copy. God, how I've missed that
- "Enjoy This to the
Marrow..." -- by Sean from Iowa
I was born the week "Back
in '72" was released. First week of 1973. I guess I first
"discovered" Seger when we had "Stranger in Town" on 8-track
upon its release in '78, and we played it pretty regularly
- The Crown Jewel
-- by Chip Stewart
Just one word....
WOW. No wait...a few
other thoughts too. Maybe
I'm over reacting but this just hits me as a defining
album...one that is the crown jewel of a great artist's
- Not Quite a
Bullet -- by Randy Cepuch
Here's my attempt at a
balanced review of Face the Promise. I'd give
the album a "B" overall. It's better than most Seger
albums but not up to, say, Live Bullet or
- Lives Up to the
Seger Promise --
by Gord Hunter
Bob Seger on a
Harley. Threatening skies and wheat fields rolling off
to the horizon. It's an iconic image that encompasses
everything we think we know about the man. He's the
heartland's storyteller. He's the blue collar, Midwest
rebel. 25 years later he's still charging against the
- Wisdom and
Introspection -- by Marty Carlisle
An album of wisdom and
introspection...Only one complaint: There are no fluid
moments on this record where Seger holds his listeners
Sounding Better than
Ever -- by Ron Olson
Wait For Me while I try to
catch up...I'm now listening to Face The Promise for
the third time. Can't get enough...read
Worth the Wait --
by Scott Cohen
Eleven years. I have
waited eleven years for Bob Seger to release new material. I
still remember buying his last CD, "It's a Mystery" on
An Amazing Album --
by Allen Dodge
It is such an amazing
album... I think what most of the songs say to me is that
Seger is getting back to his roots...read
Listening All Night
-- by Mark Morris
So I sat here all night,
listening to the album over and over again, posting my brief
reviews of each song over on the Segernet
Speakers -- by Scott Sparling
The Phase-Techs in the
living room are history. Damn it, Bob. I really loved those
speakers. I guess I love your new CD more.
Face the Promise is
loud, passionate, smart, rocking, and intimate. It does what
a Seger album should do -- it shows his amazing breadth as a
songwriter, musician and performer. And it does was a great
album must do -- it goes straight into your chest and your
feet and your heart, and stays there...read
The music you are about
- to enjoy is
Seger took the Detroit
Free Press on a track by track tour of Face the Promise.
Here's what he said:
- Seger, Track by
- by Brian
- Detroit Free
- September 12,
Writing and rewriting,
tweaking and tinkering down to the wire, Bob Seger spent
a decade on his latest album.
Today marks the release
of "Face the Promise," a 12-song effort recorded in
Nashville and near Clarkston with longtime engineer David
Cole of Los Angeles.
"It's real easy to get
snowblind working on a group of songs for that long,"
says Cole. "My hat's off to Bob for staying the course,
and pushing himself as an artist."
Seger and Cole sat down
with the Free Press to break down the tracks.
1. "Wreck This
Seger: "It's about the
balance of family and work. I was banging along on an
electric guitar and started singing 'Wreck this Heart' to
the chords and said, 'Oh, wow, is that cool.' And that's
how it happens: I'll sing 200 times and not get anything.
Then on 201 I'll sing something cool and, boom, I've got
Cole: "I'm excited
there's so much rock on this album. Fans will gravitate
toward those songs."
2. "Wait for
Cole: "I know they made
a video that showcases a younger Bob kind of guy on a
motorcycle with the beautiful girl. It's the director's
interpretation of that song, and invokes the heartland,
and hopefully captures some broader audience for him. But
when Bob explained the song to me, it's really a message
to his kids."
Seger: "I don't think
anybody got it. In my mind, you've got to have the
discipline to allow your kids to make their own mistakes.
... Sometimes I've got to get away, but I'll always come
3. "Face the
Seger: "It's about kids
from small towns looking at the big American dream: 'I'm
gonna go out and face the promise of the promised land. I
want to get to the big city and get off this farm.' ... A
pretty swampy, rock-blues song. I really like
Cole: "One of the songs
that's been around for the duration of this process.
4. "No Matter Who You
Seger: "There was a
song by Joni Mitchell called 'Dog Eat Dog' that inspired
'No Matter Who You Are.' She's singing about an artist
who comes out and has this special, unique thing, as all
artists do. And then after maybe one or two hits, the
record company says, 'Now keep writing 'em like that.'
That's it in a nutshell: You have to guard your special,
pure thing and cherish it."
5. "Are You"
Seger: " 'Are You' is
about rampant commercialism, and how we're inundated with
Cole: "This has some of
the best drum work. I love what Steve Brewster brought to
it. It was a tough song for him to wrap his head around.
Bob had this idea for a particular beat. He had demo'd it
at home with a drum machine. You can do anything you want
with a drum machine, but when it comes time for a real
person to do it, it can be really difficult. But he
"Obviously you see a
lot of Nashville musicians on this record. Bob likes
working in Nashville. You call these cats, and they're
just thrilled to come in and play on a Bob Seger
Seger: "Keep things
simple. Again, it's advice to my kids: The fundamentals
will get you through. Be a good listener if you wanna be
a good friend. Little things like that."
Cole: "Normally people
record a few instruments at a time, but Bob said, 'No, I
want to do this as a full band like the old Phil Spector
records.' A full horn section, keyboards, guitars,
percussion, drums, and Bob singing live -- we had the
whole thing going at once."
7. "No More"
Seger: " 'No More' is
about the Iraq war. I don't know if we stay there any
longer that it's going to get any better. The troops have
done a fantastic job. ... But what's going to change in
the next five years if we come home right
8. "Real Mean Bottle"
(with Kid Rock)
Cole: "He's got the
mutual admiration society with Kid Rock -- they're
buddies, they share a manager, their kids play together.
When he said to Kid, 'Hey, do you want to do this Vince
Gill song?' Kid dropped everything and said,
"He came in and said,
'Man, we've got to rock this thing.' He started singing
it at double speed with all this attitude. Bob's eyes lit
up. It really came together on the spot."
Seger: " 'Won't Stop'
is about addiction. And I think it goes nice with 'Real
Mean Bottle,' actually. We were kind of making fun of
drinking, and all that, but then I wanted a serious song
about addiction -- like, 'I don't condone this.'
Cole: "He said, 'You
know, I think this should be really sparse, just guitar
and voice.' ... I said, 'We should bring in this guy Eric
Darken to do percussion -- he might have an idea for a
tambourine or shaker part, something simple.' He's down
in Nashville, we're in Detroit. I sent him a file over
the Internet and had him play on it and send it back to
Seger: "I think my
favorite song on the record is 'Between.' I just love the
groove. I love the way I sang it, I love the way they
played it, I love the way the girls sang it. And it says
exactly what I wanted to say."
11. "The Answer's in
the Question" (with Patty Loveless)
Seger: "I thought, what
a cool idea for a song: The answer is in the question.
'Will you be home late again?' OK, if you ask somebody
that, there's something wrong."
Cole: "When he wrote
that song, he said, 'You know, I can hear this as a duet.
It would be cool to have the male and female perspective
on the lyric.' He said his first choice would be to sing
with Patty Loveless, because he's such a fan of hers. He
wasn't sure she'd want to do it."
Seger: "I called her up
and said, 'Now, trust me -- it's not a hit.' "
Cole: "She just gushed
and responded, 'I'm you're biggest fan -- what are you
talking about?!' "
12. "The Long
Cole: "When I heard it,
I really was attracted to the melody and the simplicity
of the arrangement, and I didn't really understand what
the lyric was all about. I had a sense of it, but didn't
really get it. And Bob explained it to me."
Seger: "It's about
Alzheimer's disease. I dealt with that with my aunt,
after my mother died. And now, my wife is dealing with it
with her father. So it became fresh again.
"I was just
folk-picking one day on a guitar, doing all these strange
chords. That song has more chords in it than any other
song on the record. There's like four chords for three
words at times. So it's a very complicated chord
structure, and I just really loved it. So I thought,
'What am I going to sing to this?' And I came up with
'The Long Goodbye.' "
listening to Face the
From the Vault to the
CD -- Comparing Tracks
I was lucky enough to hear
six of the CD tracks (counting "Red Eye to Memphis') in the
Vault over the years. Here are the original write-ups,
reprinted from those trips. How close did I come to
describing them right?
This track sounds exactly
the same as the version E2 and I heard in the Vault. Here's
how I described it back then:
Judging only by
the lyrics, you might think "Wreck This Heart" was a
sorrowful kind of song. There are dark clouds, a cold
wind and maybe a little self-doubt. But the music and the
vocals are as boisterous and upbeat as anything Seger's
done in recent memory. Dark clouds or not, "Wreck This
Heart" is an arena shaker. Or as E2 put it, "Mr. Jagger,
call your office: We've found the long-lost Sticky
Indeed, the song breaks
out of the gate with a big guitar fanfare worthy of the
Stones (though I got more of a "Money for Nothing," vibe
from it, which in turn came from the Stones, I suppose).
Anyway, you get the picture. Big, chopping git-box chords
and a bass-drum/snare-drum beat that orders everyone to
their feet. I feel pretty sure "Wreck This Heart" will be
on Seger's next CD. When I look at the credits, I'll be
checking to see if Joe Walsh is listed -- or someone
carrying on the Walsh sound.
As the big intro
builds, Seger lets out an energetic "Hut! Hut!" and then
the vocals come in -- fast, loud and confident. On paper
(or on your monitor) the lyrics don't really convey the
energy. Think "Lock and Load" but uptempo, with a lot
more voltage and a lot more fun.
- I feel a cold wind
blowing all over me
- I see the dark
clouds starting to form
- The trees are bare,
the grass is brown
- Another early
winter Michigan storm
- Everything I do is
just a little wrong
- Every day for me is
- Everyone I know is
getting in my face
- And I've only got
myself to blame
- I think I'm gonna
- Wreck this
- Wreck this
- Wreck this
- After a while
The second verse veers
toward country music territory. Seger sings of problems
with his boss, his wife, of having bills to pay, of
missing his dog. Hey, just throw in a truck that doesn't
start and you've got a song that Tim McGraw would kill
The bridge gives us the
first "wishing well" reference of this vault visit, as
the guitar takes off, screaming:
- There's time to
work, time to live
- There's only so
much time around
- And if you lean too
far over the wishing well
- You might fall in
There's also a classic
Seger lyric in the last verse: "Order me a case of your
southern soul and let me out tonight. I need a good long
ride on your rodeo and everything will be
Turn it up. "Wreck This
Heart" will rock your world.
One of the few pictures
ever taken in The Vault
July 27, 2005
The released version is
essentially the same as the Vault version. I don't remember
the synthesized strings, but they might have been
"Wait For Me" is
in a familiar genre: it's a mid-tempo Seger medium ala
"Still The Same," "Understanding," "The Real Love," "By
The River," etc., etc.
I can imagine someone
thinking that we've got enough Seger mediums as it is.
But "Wait For Me" is so dead-center perfect that Ears 2
and I instantly fell under its sway. This has got to be
the next single. FM radio has ignored Seger's last two
albums. I don't see how they can ignore "Wait For Me."
It's infectious, earnest, upbeat, real, full of
all those things that make a great Seger
Musically, it's most
closely related to "Against the Wind." There are chord
changes, particularly as the song enters the bridge, that
bring to mind ATW. But you have to listen for the
similarity -- these are clearly two distinct songs.
The lyrics give us a
travelin' man who has to answer the call of the wild, but
who also believes in love.
- I will answer the
- I will leave with
- I'll be out on the
- Every chance I can
- No matter how
- No matter how
- I'll be along, if
you'll wait for me.
The bridge describes a
free-spirited rebellion against routine. In "Travelin'
Man," women came and women went, "every one trying to
cage me." Here, Seger's heart is pledged to one
but he's not staying home, even if she doesn't
understand why, no matter who tries to talk him out of
- And I'll fight for
the right to go over that hill
- If it only means
something to me.
- I will not be
persuaded, I won't be still
- I'll find a way to
The line "I'll fight
for the right" might remind you of "moving eight miles a
minute." And you can hear the Eagles sound that informed
much of ATW. But neither influence detracts or distracts.
The last verse cements
the pledge: "Straight to your side, I guarantee
you'll wait for me," followed by repeated choruses of
"Wait for me."
This isn't new ground,
but it's rock solid with a great melody and great vocals.
What more could you want? "Wait For Me" is pure Seger. I
can't wait to hear it again.
The sound of the released
version is basically the same as what I heard in the Vault
-- though the Vault track had an extra verse, just before
- I've seen too many
- Too many
- I'm tired of these
- I'm down on my
- So long,
- So long,
- I need to face the
- Of the promised
- Here's the original
listened to "Face the Promise" last because I
suspected it might be special: In interviews last
year, Seger said the new CD might be titled Face the
Promise. Album titles can change, but at least at one
point Seger thought of "Face the Promise" as important
enough to be the title track. What would it be
answer is: Masterful. Driving. Modern.
song establishes itself instantly. "I've been down in
the delta," Seger sings, and a snaky, powerful lead
guitar immediately answers the line, replicating the
rhythm of the words. Seger and the guitar trade lines
like this throughout the song.
every new or unreleased track I heard, I tried to
think of an existing Seger song that was similar.
"Face the Promise" is the only one that seems to have
no obvious antecedent. The back-up singers sound just
as they do on "Rite of Passage," except they are used
more sparingly and to better effect, and Seger's voice
is prominent in the mix. What brought me to my feet,
though, is how new this sounds. This is not Seger
doing another version of something we've already
heard. This is Seger taking us someplace new, and with
hear it in the music and you hear it in the vocals. If
you could measure commitment on a scale of one to ten
-- where one is Phoning It In and ten is Straight from
the Gut -- this track would be up in the high teens.
In film, you hear people talk about an actor
completely inhabiting a character. Seger completely
inhabits this song. The guitar-driven music cooks and
Seger bites into every line, but it's not a shouter --
Seger mixes restraint and urgency beautifully. The
vocal quality is similar to Seger's voice in 16 Shells
from a 30-6. The bottom line is that he feels it, and
he makes you feel it.
that's because the song seems built around an urgent
seeking. He sings about needing a world of
been down in the delta
need a better deal.
need to face the promise
the promised land...
need a world of changes
need a brand new space
need an El Dorado
gotta be some place.
a line inside
think I've crossed
better watch out now
gonna be my own boss.
long North Dakota
need to face the promise
the promised land.
- In the
bridge, when Seger sings that he needs an El Dorado, the
reference is not to the car, but to the legendary city
sought by Spanish explorers. Each of the five verses ends
with Seger proclaiming good-bye to some real world place
(from North Dakota to Olean, a city in southwest New
York) and proclaiming the need to "face the promise of
the promised land."
it's a great song. Over the past few months, various
people who I know as practically lifelong Seger fans have
written me asking, essentially, what's the point? Why
continue hoping for a new Seger CD that never seems to
come? In short, why should we keep caring?
song is the answer. It's that good.
Before I could write up my
take on "Are You," Seger's management called and asked me to
stop writing so much about the new songs. "It spoils the
surprise for Bob" to have the songs so fully described, is
how they put it. So I posted only the following summary.
(Though as an inside joke for Seger's management, I slipped
the line "most of what we're told is misdirection" into one
of my posts about the album being delayed.)
big drums and a sharp-edged beat in another song from
2004. Seger delivers strong, confident vocals in a song
about materialism and values.
The released track is
different -- and improved -- from the Vault version. The
tasty back-up vocals weren't there, or at least I don't
remember them. The lyrics and the basic structure haven't
changed. I do remember EarsTwo commenting that "Are You" was
in the same sort of sonic world as "These Shoes" by the
The complexities of Vault
entry meant I didn't hear any tracks this year. EarsTwo --
upgraded to Ears One -- heard this one. He called it a slow
strummer and had some issues with the guitar. I haven't
checked in with him yet to find out if the CD version is
what he heard.
in the Question
The Vault version is just
Seger -- no Patty Loveless -- and the sound is stripped down
to guitar and drums -- so it sounds lonelier and, to me,
more peronsal. The four lines beginning with "Whan all the
trees are bending" are not on the released version. And the
line "Faith is in decline" was changed to "Faith is hard to
find," for the CD.
- "Answer's in the
Question" is a fine song to bring this series to a close,
since it's the kind of song -- like "Somewhere Tonight"
-- that could be used to close an album. It's a song
about endings -- about the feelings and questions that
circle over us, late at night, when things are ending.
It's not purely a sad song -- but there's kind of a muted
sorrow to it, mixed with an understanding that this is
how life is. Will you hide, the lyrics ask, or face your
- The answer's in the
- Will you be home
- Will you find the
- When the truth
comes closing in?
- When all the trees
- and the storm is
- Will you just stay
- Will you face your
- When trust is
- Faith is in
- The answer's in the
- Will you leave this
- The heart's a
- It never quite
- The devil's in the
- The thrill is in
- You rise and fall
- You try to stay the
- The only thing
- Is that everything
- How will I be
- Will my critics be
- The answer's in the
- Will you leave this
The lyrics don't
tell us what it is that's ending, or why. In that sense,
the song is mostly interior monologue. It's sung quietly
and resolutely over a simple guitar arrangement, with
brushes on drums. The tempo and the three-quarter-time
beat is similar to "West of the Moon," but "Answer" is
simpler and more serious.
My sense is that the
song is about that moment when you start asking yourself
questions that you haven't wanted to ask. And the simple
fact that you're finally asking them tells you that the
relationship is ending.
The song closes with a
couplet that could be taken two ways. "How will I be
remembered," Seger sings, "Will my critics be unkind?"
For the first several listenings, I took that literally,
as if Seger were asking how music critics would view his
career. Then it struck me that when you leave a
relationship, you leave a whole set of people -- friends,
relatives -- and I remembered Seger's comment about the
Tom Wait's line, "I don't care if they miss me / I never
remember their names," in "Blind Love." (Seger said: "I
think he's talking about, maybe her relatives...he's
broken up with her and maybe he didn't like her relatives
so much....") So I decided the "critics" are the
ex-lover's friends and relatives, offering their opinions
on why things went wrong.
There's an honest
simplicity to "Answer's in the Question." The track I
heard was short, about three minutes, with no back-up
singers, no big swell of music -- just Seger, his voice
slightly haunted and very powerful. It's the kind of
song, I think, that would have to be on the next
Though, as Seger sings,
"the only thing that's certain / is that everything will
The Patty Loveless duet is
a different kind of pleasure, I suppose -- but for me the
Nashville polish subdues the emotion. The Vault track
sounded a lot more like "Won't Stop" in terms of sonics. I
felt like you could reach right out and touch Seger, sitting
there alone in the night. For me, that intimacy made the
song more powerful.
Red Eye to
I won't be able to hear
the "bonus tack" version until midnight tonight, so I can't
compare the two yet. Here's the original Vault
This new track
begins with a great, slippery bass line. Listen to the
bass at the front end of "Tryin' to Live My Life Without
You," speed it up and add more funk -- that's basically
how this uptempo Memphis song begins. This track is all
about groove, and Seger hits it well. "Baby's on the red
eye to Memphis," he sings, "Bringing me something tonight
/ Bringing it home to daddy / Tonight we won't fuss or
This is a short track,
less than three minutes, but it's definitely tastier than
anything on It's A Mystery. I could imagine Bonnie Raitt
or Curtis Salgado or any number of people attempting a
song like this and doing a good job. But Seger's voice is
really what makes this track cook. It's the kind of
groove tailor-made to show off his great phrasing.
Sometimes Seger will grab a word in the middle of a line
and turn it into something close to a howl (cf., "When
you WERE a young girl," from "River Deep, Mountain High")
and he does the same here:
- "This ain't no
hat, no new pair of shoes
- She's packing
something we SHORE can use."
In addition to being
musically different from anything on Mystery, the subject
matter is also different: "Memphis" percolates with a
kind of Fire-Down-Below sensuality, or even lust, that
was missing from Mystery. "We're gonna howl at the moon /
create some history soon."
The track I heard had
one back-up singer and someone on tambourine. The last
verse is preceded by a great Seger howl. "I'll be down at
the terminal in Memphis," the song concludes, "Watching
every single gate..." (The lyrics were obviously written
before 9/11 -- they don't allow you past the checkpoint
these days.) All in all, it's a great, upbeat, sexy song,
with all-out Seger vocals. A must for the next
Detroit Free Press
- New Seger album
worth the wait
- BY Brian
- September 10,
It's the album Bob
Seger fans hoped he'd give them.
It's certainly the
album Bob Seger wanted to make: Eleven years in the
works, "Face the Promise" is assuredly no throwaway
effort, its dozen tracks the result of scrupulous pruning
from a body of songs three times as big.
It is the sound of
Seger aiming to sink his teeth again into rock 'n' roll,
and successfully tearing off a healthy piece. The guitars
are turned up. There's swing in the grooves. Seger lets
loose and lets his voice get dirty.
The new album isn't
"Beautiful Loser," "Night Moves," "Stranger in Town" or
even "Against the Wind," the 1980 record that began
Seger's move into smoother adult rock. Those are the peak
moments of an artist on a roll, empowered by his creative
highs and validated by his popular success. If nothing
else, "Face the Promise" performs a vital service by
ensuring that his discography doesn't end with 1995's
"It's a Mystery," a tepid effort and the weakest overall
collection of his career.
Album opener "Wreck
This Heart" promptly sets the tone: Built atop a winding,
growling guitar line, it's as assertive musically as it
is lyrically ("Am I talkin' too fast / Am I hard to
hear?"), and signals Seger's eagerness to keep the
wattage high. But it's also something of an anomaly.
Where "Face the Promise" is largely built on studied
contemplations of life today and tomorrow, "Wreck This
Heart" finds Seger revisiting youthful rock
That casual looseness
makes just one other notable appearance, on his
much-discussed duet with Kid Rock on Vince Gill's "Real
Mean Bottle," a chugging roadhouse stomper and drinking
ode that pairs the two Oakland County neighbors on record
for the first time.
Although the lyrics
become more earnest elsewhere, the record largely
maintains that tough, gnarled musical edge. Three of the
album's best songs -- "Between," "Simplicity" and "Won't
Stop" -- are its most raw and organic. The texture
lightens up only for a lovely pair of closing songs: "The
Answer's in the Question," featuring lead and harmony
vocals from country crooner Patty Loveless, and "The Long
Goodbye," a touching and stirring portrait of Alzheimer's
A group of seasoned
Nashville players provides the sonic bedrock, and
although the performances occasionally come close to
taking on too much polish for their own good, Seger keeps
enough raggedness intact to let the stuff qualify, by any
measure, as rock 'n' roll.
Sometimes it's worth
- Seger's latest
is full of 'Promise'
- Susan Whitall / The
- September 9,
It's clear from the
opening kick of the drums and the first "hyut!" out of
Bob Seger on the song "Wreck this Heart" that "Face the
Promise" isn't just a little side project he's been
working on in between Pistons games.
This is the real thing,
the soulful, hard-rocking stuff that made Seger's name
shorthand for "Detroit rock," and sold out all those '70s
gigs at Cobo Hall.
But it's country, too;
several songs, including his duet with Patty Loveless,
"The Answer's in the Question," will warm the hearts of
country radio programmers.
The first song, "Wreck
This Heart," is a throwback in the best sense; a raucous
rocker expressing frustration and yearning for
Similarly, on "Face the
Promise" Seger is "all small-towned out," howling for
freedom, straining at the bit for new horizons and
longing for a blacktop road and a wheel in his hands. In
his best music, Seger has always channeled the Rustbelt
pain and dashed hopes of his fans, giving their feelings
words and music.
He was doing this
infused with a very Michigan blend of country, soul and
rock years before a poverty of imagination caused writers
to lump him in with John Mellencamp and Bruce
On the album, Seger is
using fewer metaphors in his lyrics, which gives his
music the old punch, and a more subtle poetry.
From the song
"Simplicity" comes this ultimate Detroit couplet:
"Complex theories have their place/I like throwdowns in
your face." He wrote the song for the Pistons, but it's
also about the former autoworker's own lunchbucket work
style, about how performing "the fundamentals" wins the
In "No Matter Who You
Are," after making the point that someone is always going
to want something else from you, he adds the concise,
beautiful line: "This is an ancient test; it's a shiny
"Are You" expresses
dismay at consumerism, with Seger's impassioned vocal
answered, Southern-soul style, by the heartfelt wails of
More recent fans might
think the anti-Iraq song "No More" is out of character
for the amiable Seger, but this is the guy who wrote and
recorded the blistering antiwar song "2 + 2," a hot
little piece of wax on the Hideout label.
In that earlier song,
on top of a fuzz-guitar riff, Seger sings: "Yes it's true
I am a young man, but I'm old enough to kill/I don't
wanna kill nobody but I must if you so will "
In "No More," Seger
looks back with a more seasoned regret and pain at
Vietnam, "forty years ago, when I was young," and
complains that he "doesn't want this" anymore.
Most memorably, he
swaps verses on "Real Mean Bottle" with Kid Rock, his
husky baritone contrasting pleasingly with Rock's wailing
Get ready to hear this
one on the radio for the next eon or two.
- Seger keeps the
faith with 'Promise'
- By Sarah Rodman,
- September 12,
Bob Seger may drive a
snazzy foreign sports car these days, but the music he
makes still possesses the durability of those
American-made trucks he helped sell. At 61, he's still
like a rock.
On ``Face the Promise,"
his first album in 11 years, the plainspoken Detroit
legend with the pleasantly road-abused voice continues to
earn his post-Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction
stripes with a set of songs that sound familiar in the
best sense of the word.
Seger headed to
Nashville and took an ``if it ain't broke" approach to
his project, self-producing a compact, muscular, and
richly melodic set of bar-band rave-ups, stately ballads
with soaring female choruses, and sturdy midtempo rock
songs. Each track comes from the same family as
classic-rock staples ``Night Moves" or ``Against the Wind
," but Seger wisely avoids slavishly cloning the
The revitalized tone is
set immediately by the barn-burning opener ``Wreck This
Heart," which is all Saturday night attitude and ``more
The 11 tracks that
follow are equally sound and range from the
whiskey-soaked duet of Vince Gill's Merle Haggard tribute
``Real Mean Bottle," with acolyte Kid Rock, to the
ruminative acoustic closer ``The Long
``Goodbye" -- which
explores the fog that can arise between lovers, friends,
even citizens and their government -- is among several
songs that shed light on what's been on Seger's mind
during his hiatus. The ``American Storm" he saw brewing
in the distance 20 years ago has made landfall, and the
father of two young children is wondering if it's too
late to take cover.
Over a bodacious
backbeat, ``Between" worries about global warming, taking
to task those aforementioned trucks with lyrics about big
engines, shirked responsibilities, and melting glaciers .
The soulful ``Are You" -- which sounds like Don Henley at
his most indignant fronting the Stones -- targets
consumerism. ``No More" is an almost Orbison-ian,
string-adorned lament about wars past and present that
features a creamy, tear-stained vocal.
Of course, as Seger
sings on ``Simplicity," the blue-collar rocker has long
focused on ``the basic stuff." So ``Promise" also
includes a beautiful waltz-time duet with Patty Loveless
that deals with faith, fidelity, and legacy, and the
title track -- which oddly name-checks Massachusetts and
Framingham -- takes to the open road.
While in some ways
Seger has turned these pages before, it's a pleasant
surprise that he's found new meanings upon
It's been 30 years
since "Live Bullet" put the Michigan Rock and Roll Hall
of Famer on the map, 20 years since his heyday, 11 years
since his last release of all-new material. So "Face the
Promise," out this week, had better be good, right? Rest
assured, Seger fans, "Face the Promise" lives up to the
With nary a Silver
Bullet member in sight, Seger fulfills "Promise" with his
classic blue-collar rock 'n' roll, splashes of country,
some well-placed string arrangements, a couple of choice
duets (one with Kid Rock) and the kind of certainty in
the lyrics that only comes with age, wisdom and a
high-level of comfort with his place in life. It's a good
place to be, but not without its perils.
"Promise" completes a
trilogy that began with 1991's "The Fire Inside," which
chronicled Seger's life with new wife Nita and a desire
to put his old life behind him, and 1995's "It's a
Mystery," which cast a father's weary eye on the world.
The 12 songs on "Promise" tackle everything from the war
in Iraq (the string-laden "No More") and the environment
("Between") to the kind of love that withstands life's
tests (the lovely ballad and first single, "Wait for
Opener "Wreck This
Heart" is classic Seger, with snarling guitars, chick
singers and that familiar smoky wail, using the onset of
"another early Michigan winter storm" to spin a tale of
reinvention, a theme echoed in the hard-driving title
song, a blue-collar anthem about finding "a brand new
on monotonous grooves bogs down the proceedings at times
but at 61, Bob Seger has found a sense of urgency that
suits him well.
- September 15,
With the release of
'Face the Promise,' rock icon Bob Seger is back after an
11 year wait between studio albums, and the rocker is
better than ever. The album is a must have for Seger fans
or anyone who enjoys real rock.
Seger, who recorded
most of the album in Nashville, kicks off 'Face the
Promise' with the guitar-driven track "Wreck This Heart"
that features his signature sound and lyric style. The
song also shows that the singer/songwriter can still rock
with the best of them.
On the album's title
track, "Are You," and "Between," Seger fills the album
with hard guitar power chords and hammering drums that
gives us some of his hardest rock since the early '70s.
His duet with Kid Rock on the cover of Vince Gill's "Real
Mean Bottle" demonstrates that Seger can still hang with
the young rockers, and leave them in his dust.
The album also features
plenty of the singer's signature sound and lyrics that
have made him a huge influence in rock, and one of
music's greatest artists. "Wait For Me" (the album's lead
single), "No Matter Who You Are" and "No More" are
classic Seger, and are enough to hook you on the entire
Seger also slows things
down from time to time with the tracks "Won't Stop," "The
Answers in the Question" (which features a duet with
Patty Loveless) and "The Long Goodbye." This change gives
the entire album a nice overall pacing.
As a longtime fan of
Bob Seger, I have been looking forward to this album
since I heard it was going to be released. By the end of
the first song, I was hooked, and Seger makes sure every
track on the album is a winner.
This is simply a great
CD for fans of Seger or guitar rock. 'Face the Promise'
has something to offer everyone. Fans of Seger's harder
rock songs will love tracks like "Wreck This Heart" and
"Are You," but the singer also makes sure to include
enough of his softer side to please those fans that
prefer his ballads. The album is simply classic Bob
Seger, and it won't disappoint.
- 'Promise' of
Seger CD worth the wait
- By Rick
- September 16,
"I don't want to put
some dog meat out there if I'm in the Hall of Fame --
know what I mean?" Bob Seger, quoted by UPI. Mission,
most definitely, accomplished.
Bob Seger's first CD of
new music in 11 years is called "Face the Promise," and
it hit record stores on Tuesday. A delay that long for
someone of his age is certainly dangerous, but it turned
out to be a calculated decision that should simply
improve his already remarkable image.
Seger, who grew up on
the streets of Ann Arbor, Mich. (the town he so
eloquently toasted some 30 years ago in his classic
Mainstreet), first gained national attention in 1969 when
his debut album "Ramblin' Gamblin' Man" reached as high
as No. 68 on the Billboard charts while the single of the
same name peaked at No. 17.
For years, he was known
largely for his live shows in the Midwest, which he
traveled through in a station wagon (kids, ask your
parents about this precursor to the minivan). That all
changed in early 1976 when Seger, unable to finish the
title track for his next studio album, grudgingly agreed
to the release of a live album recorded in Detroit's Cobo
Hall in late 1975.
collection, "Live Bullet," turned out to be the best move
of his career. And when he finally finished the song in
question, the follow-up album, "Night Moves," became the
album of his life and a rock n' roll staple.
Now, some 30 years
later, Seger is back with a CD that easily holds up with
the trilogy that began with "Night Moves," "Stranger in
Town" and "Against the Wind," that should put him back on
the national map.
And, unlike much of
Seger's more recent efforts, this one delivers on his
promise to rock. Opening track "Wreck this Heart"
blisters. Seger's signature "Hey Hey" only seconds into
the CD speaks volumes. Listen up, people, he seems to
say. Because I'm back, as good as ever.
The first single, "Wait
for Me," an appropriately-titled song for those of us who
have, is an acoustic mid-tempo piece that easily stands
up to his most famous ones, songs like "Against the
Wind," "Fire Lake" and "Shame on the Moon." Written as an
ode to his young children, Seger's voice carries that
high, lonesome sound often associated with Bluegrass
singers but that has served him well on the road to the
Hall of Fame.
The title track
follows, and once again, is pure rock n roll.
But the highlight of
this CD easily comes at track eight, where Seger and
fellow Detroit native Kid Rock absolutely explode on
Vince Gill's "Real Mean Bottle." The song, a tribute to
Merle Haggard, may be hardly recognizable to Gill fans,
but is all sizzle. Rock, born Bob Ritchie, is given a
production credit after Seger said he took over the
"Bob turned the thing
up 70 beats a minute," Seger told the "Detroit News." "He
did the handclaps, the breakdowns, he changed the melody
on the bridge and the choruses. He did all of that right
in front of my eyes. That's why I gave him a production
In your haste to find
"Bottle," don't miss the songs it's sandwiched between.
"No More" and "Won't Stop" are solid efforts that could
have easily found a home on any of Seger's classic
albums. The former weighs in on the war in Iraq, the
latter is a slow-burner that has that legendary Seger
vocal right at the forefront, and both would be welcome
additions to the much-rumored tour.
The CD is fleshed out
by such tunes as "Between," which is reminiscent of
"Tomorrow" from his "Greatest Hits 2" collection; "The
Answer's in the Question," a duet with Pike County native
Patty Loveless; and "No Matter Who You Are," another
mid-tempo that falls very comfortably from these
Read these words
carefully: I rarely buy CDs in stores these days, and
even less frequently pay full price. But "Face the
Promise" is worth the trip to your local CD
This CD rocks. It has
the classic sound of Seger in his late-70's heyday,
exactly the kind of music you and I say we can't find
Buy "Face the Promise."
It'll have you jamming all the way home.
Rick Bentley is sports
information director at Pikeville College.
- I Never Give
- by Dave
We have a five-star
rating system here at About.com. As a matter of
principle, 4.5 is the highest rating I ever give an
album. Until now.
You know how it is. One
of your favorite classic rock bands or artists releases
an album of new music and you rush to give it a listen,
hoping it evokes the same reactions you experienced 30 or
so years ago when you first heard them. As often as not,
you're disappointed to find that the "something" that
originally made you a devoted fan just doesn't seem to be
there anymore, at least not consistently.
A handful of artists
can, for me, still deliver with new material today what
they did back in the day: Bob Dylan, Eric Clapton, Neil
Young. And with his new release, Bob Seger maintains a
favored spot on that list.
With 2006's Face the
Promise, Seger is still delivering the same addictive
brand of roots rock he began cranking out with 1969's
Ramblin' Gamblin' Man. The themes are timeless; the voice
is still clear and powerful; the appeal is visceral, gut
The 11 Year
As always, it is
music with a simple but effective message, set to a
medium-hard rock beat. Later practitioners like Bruce
Springsteen, Tom Petty and John Mellencamp owe much to
Seger's everyman style and work ethic. Waiting 11 years
between albums might be risky for some artists, but Seger
has had no problem picking up where he left off with
1995's It's a Mystery.
"The Answer's In the
Question" with Patty Loveless is one of the most
well-chosen duet pairings I've heard in a very long time.
As players of both instruments will tell you, there's a
big difference between a violin and a fiddle, just as
there is a big difference between the musical styles of
Seger and Loveless. The two instruments and the two
voices are blended here with surprising results. The
track stands out on an album full of
There's plenty of
classic Seger rock throughout, especially the lead track,
"Wreck This Heart," "Are You" and the title song, "Face
the Promise." And there's plenty of the lyrics that are
Seger's trademark: simple, direct, easily related to by
common everyday folks like us.
Face the Promise is a
stomp-your-feet, make-you-think, give-you-some-goosebumps
album that has what may be some of the best work Seger
has ever done. If you're already a Bob Seger fan, you'll
listen to it often. If you aren't already a Bob Seger
fan, this album will make you one.
Valley Tribune (Arizona)
- Aural Fixations
- Country outlets speed return of rocker Bob
- By Chris Hansen
- September 17,
If it's proved anything
in its nearly 60 years as a genre, it's that rock 'n'
roll is a young man's game. The court of popular opinion
in rock is swift and often unjust, casting aside classic
rockers in favor of quick fads and cool haircuts worn by
blueprint: Elvis' popularity was usurped by the mop-top
Beatles, who were, at least when they landed on these
shores in '64, a fad -- and the vicious circle has
repeated itself in the decades since.
Detroit rocker Bob
Seger, for instance, was huge in the '70s and '80s, but
by the '90s, after hair metal had killed off most of the
arena rockers of Seger's era and after grunge had killed
off the hair metal bands, Seger's last disc, 1995's "It's
a Mystery," debuted at No. 27 on the album charts and
It might not have been
fair, as the album was generally solid, but in the MTV
era, a graying dude in his mid-50s wasn't going to
exactly send a post-Gen X crowd raised on hip-hop and
Kurt Cobain running to the record store.
And mainstream rock
radio was no help either, as Seger's two singles from
"It's a Mystery," "Lock and Load" and "Hands in the Air,"
didn't even crack the Top 20, and the singer, perhaps
seeing the writing on the wall, retired to raise his kids
In the meantime,
though, Seger was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of
Fame by fellow Detroiter Kid Rock, who has consistently
sung Seger's praises as an influence on his non-hip-hop
rock and country material, and older fans of Seger,
perhaps remembering the singer's classic work and
good-time concerts, began clamoring for his
With his first disc of
new material in more than a decade, "Face the Promise,"
released Sept. 12, Seger has heeded the call.
And he's getting help
from an unlikely source: Country Music
Perhaps Seger realized
that his classic acoustic and pianobased ballads such as
"Against the Wind," "Fire Lake" and "Night Moves," if
recorded today, would be a perfect fit on country radio
and CMT's video programming since both lean more toward
'80s rock than ever, and figured it would be a good
market for new material. CMT is already playing the first
single from the disc, the breezy, melodic "Wait for Me,"
and Seger looks like a distinguished old roots musician
in the vein of a late-career Waylon Jennings.
Seger even recorded the
new album in Nashville, Tenn., the country music
Of course, Seger is a
born rock 'n' roller and "Face the Promise" contains
plenty of tunes for old fans of his upbeat songs such as
"Rock & Roll Never Forgets," "Strut" and "Betty Lou's
Gettin' Out Tonight." He leads off the disc with the
power-chord fiesta, "Wreck My Heart," and revs things up
with the gritty title cut and the bluesy "Are
Still, it's the
acoustic tunes here -- "Wait for Me," "No Matter Who You
Are" and "No More" -- that recall Seger's best work. All
of them could be country singles.
The disc's best cut,
"Won't Stop," contains Seger's take on the shifting tides
of rock 'n' roll popularity and his place in it with the
words "You can study the ancients, you can learn every
fact/you can follow the cycles that'll even come back/how
everything changes, it's been ever thus/one day you're a
comet, the next day you're dust/but you won't stop
Seger didn't stop
there, back in 1995, and it's good to hear his classic
bellow of a voice again, even if it's now singing
contemporary country music, er, yeah, rock
Arena rock is alive and
With Bob Seger making a
comeback in contemporary music, here is a look at some
other '70s and '80s arena rockers that are primed for a
comeback with nostalgic baby boomers. Poison, Def Leppard
and Journey recently played to capacity crowds at Cricket
Pavilion, so why not these guys? Come on, dude, it's time
to get the band back together!
- Seger keeps it
- By Darryl
The stranger is back in
town. Face the Promise is Michigan rocker Bob Seger's
first CD since 1995's underwhelming It's a Mystery. But
considering how rested, rejuvenated and ready to rock he
sounds on this 18th release, the real mystery is why the
61-year-old waited so long.
Striking a pose between
the Ramblin' Gamblin' Man soul-power of his early days
and the Beautiful Loser ballads of his peak, Seger leads
a crew of hired guns through a consistently strong set of
tracks penned over the past five years.
Barnburners like the
title cut and Wreck This Heart have the chugging
heartland-rock guitar riffs. Slowburners like Wait for
You and Won't Stop fulfil the soulful balladeer quotient.
Funkers like Simplicity and Between bring the grooves and
horns. A honky-tonking blues-rocking duet with Kid Rock
on Real Mean Bottle and a country-tinged ballad with
Patty Loveless build bridges to younger fans.
And everything is
graced with Seger's gruff, chesty vocals and peopled with
the disillusioned but resolute blue-collar everymen of a
million Springsteen and Mellencamp songs. In other words,
it's pretty much what you want in a Seger disc. And what
he wants too.
"Simplicity," he says
at one point, "works for me." Works for us
Don't be a stranger,
Bob Seger, Face the
Promise Capitol Records:
Worth Star & Telegram
To be sure, the first
CD in 11 years by America's great heartland rocker has a
few miscues: There's no Silver Bullet Band (????), and
Kid Rock's "vocals" ruin an otherwise sparkling cover of
Vince Gill's Real Mean Bottle. But on the whole this is
an excellent comeback: Seger's vocals and
man-of-the-people perspective retain their grit and soul,
the guitars are once again to the fore, and the songs are
usually quick and punchy. Individual songs address the
war in Iraq, sundering relationships, alcoholism and
Alzheimer's disease, but the overriding sense is of a man
trying valiantly to make sense of these unsettled,
Ocala Star-Banner (Florida)
- Seger fulfills
- by Anthony
Time for truth from a
I had mixed feelings
about Bob Seger making a new album. I worried he would be
another graying, classic rocker trying to reclaim lost
I care about Seger. He
has been a seminal music influence for me. First time I
saw him was during the '60s up in Buffalo. I was in high
school. Seger was performing in a small club and two
songs he played that night ripped me up: the raucous
"Ramblin', Gamblin' Man" and an anti-war rocker "2 + 2
That song included
these lyrics: "Yes it's true I am a young man, but I'm
old enough to kill/I don't wanna kill nobody but I must
if you so will."
Time passed. Seger sold
millions of albums, putting blue collar in rock'n'roll
and making car commercials.
Seger aged just like
the rest of us, but a decade has passed since he released
an original album or played on stage. This week Seger
returned with a new CD, "Face the Promise," and it's
filled with hard-driving rock and a tough-edged look at
everything from love to the war in Iraq.
My worries were
This is one of the best
albums of this year.
Bob Seger not only
still rocks, he still matters.
Consider "No More,"
another anti-war song. This time, instead of Vietnam, the
topic is Iraq: "It was 40 years ago and I was young/And
the jungle not the desert heard the guns/Someone said
they had a secret plan/And the rest of us were told to
understand/ Well I don't want this/no I don't want this/I
have enough, no more."
But in case you think
the guy is too serious, kick off your rocking shoes and
listen to Seger romp with Kid Rock on "Real Mean Bottle,"
a song destined for the Top 10. Seger opens the CD with
"Wreck This Heart," which sounds like John Mellencamp
meets the Rolling Stones. "Face the Promise," the title
track, is vintage Seger - blue-eyed Detroit soul with a
The pace slows with
"Wait For Me," a gorgeous pop ballad reminiscent of
"Against the Wind." But Seger doesn't have to compete
with his old hits on this CD. It's filled with insight,
perspective and energy.
Seger teams with Patty
Loveless on another brooding, soft number, "The Answer's
In the Question." It's one of those aching songs about
searching for answers and finding more
"Seger has made so many
contributions to rock'n'roll, but people wondered if he
could still do it," said Bill Barr of Big Oldies 92.9.
"This is a big album for him. It's a way for him to
satisfy his old fans and reach newer, younger
Barr is a long-time
"I've always liked him,
there's just something in his voice," Barr said. "He's
one of those artists, the minute you hear that voice you
know it's him. That's what makes him a star. So many
singers and so much music today sounds the
The question for Seger,
Barr believes, is "if he still has the voice."
"Face the Promise"
proves Seger still can pull it off behind the mic. But
rock demands more than vocal skill. It's about attitude,
feelings and emotion. On his new album, Seger takes stock
of his music and his life. It's about looking back and
moving forward as an artist and singer.
Seger sums it up with
the last line from the last song, "The Long Goodbye,"
with these words: "I'm still here."
Long may he
- Bob Seger back
with harder rock.
- Sunday, Septemeber
Recorded mostly in
Nashville with walloping drums and lively, if gratuitous,
soul-singer backup, Seger's first studio set in 11 years
contains his hardest rock since the '70s.
But it often feels
sluggish despite itself, and his lyrics show him riding
against the same old Michigan wind with a voice that's
grown haggard with time. Yet the rockabilly-tinged Kid
Rock collaboration and the Vince Gill cover "Real Mean
Bottle" sounds like the most fun Seger's had in ages;
wanderlusting opener "Wreck This Heart" and vague
environmental protest "Between" borrow respective chunky
hooks from '80s ZZ Top and '80s Joan Jett. "The Answer's
in the Question" is dark funeral folk, and thoughts about
aging ride the Drifters-like Latin lilt of "No More" with
real ease. Rock radio may not care about Seger anymore,
but maybe country radio should.
- Richard Cromelin
- September 10,
heartland rocker's first album since 1995 opens with an
encouraging blast of the bedrock basics -- kick drum and
cowbell pushing the beat, chunky guitar chords,
background chick wailing, and Seger himself, raspy and
vehement, railing against the pressures of
It's a short-lived
rush, though. Seger's world of fundamental, R&B-based
rock 'n' roll and lighters-in-the-air ballads was a vital
center of pop music when Seger had hit after hit in the
1970s and '80s, but now it's a shrinking niche, and an
artist who can't adapt risks relegation to a classic-rock
That doesn't mean Seger
should gimmick things up with samples or trendy
trappings. But a sense that his musical vision hasn't
stalled in 1978 might add some urgency. Some kind of
retooling might also help with his larger problem: trying
to do the same job with old equipment.
When he reaches the
bridge of that first song, "Wreck This Heart," Seger
suddenly sounds labored, as if he can't get enough air to
sustain him through this more demanding stretch. That
sense of strain recurs throughout the album, robbing
Seger of the forcefulness that let him face down all
those demons and adversaries in the past.
Having Kid Rock guest
on one song makes him sound better, though it doesn't
raise the quality. The best selections echo his earlier
successes, with the Patti Loveless duet "The Answer's in
the Question" striking a refreshingly natural note. The
title track is the best, a lean, road-hugging flight for
freedom. It's one of the few times he sounds more
determined than disillusioned.
Bob Seger's first
album in more than a decade excels at stout, lucidly sung
rock-soul-blues-gospel that can, in uninspired hands,
sound like reheated takeout food. The killer moment comes
during the title track, a barreling piece of songwriting
with spidery Duane Eddy-style guitar. Seger casts himself
as a "small towned-out" Delta worker. "I'm tired of this
river," he carps, complaining of "nothing nights,"
anticipating the magnificent demand "I need an El
Dorado/There's got to be someplace." Elsewhere Seger
offers more dead-on renderings of his Michigan-sired rock
as though it's the hottest new style in town, burning
significant rubber on "Wreck This Heart" and ascending to
heights of dashboard eloquence on "Wait for Me." Seger
Nashvilles it up on duets with Kid Rock and Patty
Loveless. The strength of the album, though, involves
how, with tons of melody and tone and a little cheese,
Seger fearlessly remains Seger.
Bob Seger began writing
these songs shortly after the end of his 1996 tour. It
just took him a while to finish the album. With the set's
initial offering, "Wait for Me," finding a home on radio,
Seger may actually get some attention with this fine new
album, a record that easily stands shoulder to shoulder
with his albums "The Distance" and "Against the Wind."
Classic rock artists like Seger (left, being inducted
into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2004) must compete
with their own best work, and Bruce Springsteen's recent
albums should be this good. Gray-haired and bearded,
Seger, 61, sounds a bit more philosophical and a little
more outraged than the last time he showed up. But the
songs are so rich -- rising choruses crashing against
majestic chords, bumper-sticker lyrics leaping out of the
pounding rock -- that "Face the Promise" sounds like
another Seger classic from the first moment. Where past
Seger albums have tended to carry the big freight on his
midtempo ballads, "Face the Promise" leads with the
steely rock of "Wreck This Heart" and the challenging "No
Matter Who You Are." He offers the voice of everyman on
"No More" and brings Seger superfan Kid Rock into the
fray for a duet on Vince Gill's "Real Mean Bottle." Patty
Loveless joins Seger on "The Answer's in the Question."
When it comes to real-life American rock heroes, the
voice of the heartland and all that, Bob Seger is the
York Daily News
- Still makin'
old-time rock 'n' roll
[sic] brings authority to the subjects he
tackles on his latest album.
Bob Seger was never
When he broke through
with his 1976 masterpiece, "Night Moves," the singer was
already 31 - hardly Methuselah by normal standards. But
Seger acted on the album like all the good stuff in life
had happened already. The silver lining came in Seger's
particular mix of nostalgia and experience, from his
early awareness that knowing life has everything to do
with accepting what has been lost from it.
It's a sensibility
built to age well. So maybe it should come as no surprise
that the now 61-year-old Seger sounds so at home on "Face
the Promise," his first album in 11 years.
Its themes couldn't be
more familiar to Seger fans - the burden of dreams, the
weight of daily responsibility, the need to believe and
the difficulty in figuring out in what.
Mindful of what decade
he's in, Seger also addresses a few topical subjects:
Iraq, global warming, and the increasing distractions of
To all these subjects
Seger brings an authority that's unquestioned. But he
hasn't always brought an equal measure of inspiration.
Musically, "Promise" ranks as a nicely done record, honed
by a veteran's hand. And while that's a far happier
outcome than on Seger's last two CDs, which found him
increasingly bitter and removed, nothing on "Promise"
rivals the artist's work on his peak trilogy, from "Night
Moves" through 1978's "Stranger in Town" and 1980's
"Against the Wind."
Instead, we get solid
rockers like "Wreck This Heart," a chugging pleasantry
complete with cow bell, and the title track, which ranks
as the disk's most urgent number. Only one rocker offers
pure fun: "Real Mean Bottle." Tellingly, it was written
by someone else (Vince Gill).
There are some pretty
ballads included here, like the single "Wait for Me,"
where Seger begs for time to catch up with the life
changes he knows he needs to make.
But his attempts at
funk-rock, like "Simplicity" or "Between," seem
flat-footed, making their bold-faced lyrical messages
Seger had to tread a
fine line on "Promise." He's playing the role of sage
here, a part that could easily descend into a scold. But
through the poetry of his lyrics and the gravity of his
delivery, Seger holds that at bay. On some songs he even
takes on a paternal tone, offering crushing truths only
to assure the listener that it's perfectly normal to
suffer and rage this way.
It's clear from
"Promise" that Seger isn't about to eclipse his own
storied past. But there's still a depth of feeling to his
work that time can't erase.
of Redundancy Dept.:
below here was originally posted on one of the
"Wait" at 28
According to the latest
blast from Billboard Radio Monitor, Seger first entered the
Adult Contemporary chart in June 1978, with "Still The
Now it's 28 years later
and "Wait For Me" is at No. 28 on the AC chart. It's his
14th track to make the list. (I'm guessing the list didn't
exist for "Night Moves," two years earlier. Or maybe "Night
Moves" was on some other chart. How many charts are there,
Meanwhile, "Wait" moved
from No. 54 to No. 57 on the country chart.
Back on the Adult
Contemporary charts, "Wait" also ranked third for Most
Airplay Adds, with new airplay at two Detroit stations: WMGC
(19 plays) and WNIC (8). And it continues to rank very high
on my iPod.
Revised, July 22,
Greatest Gainer, Most Airplay
Adds, Airpower Honors
That's what "Wait For Me"
has done -- so far. Here's the scoop, from Billboard Radio
"Bob Seger makes
his first chart appearance as a lead artist since 1996 as
"Wait For Me" lands a No. 19 debut on the Heritage Rock
chart and earns Greatest Gainer, Most Airplay Adds and
Airpower honors. Most of Seger's chart history came prior
to the June 1997 inception of the Heritage chart but he
logged one visit to the list, peaking at No. 13, this
February on 3 Doors Down's "Landing In London (All I
Think About Is You)."
shop is working a track from Bob Seger's forthcoming
"Face the Promise" album, and "Wait For Me" takes Hot
Shot Debut applause at No. 54.
Monitor, July 10, 2006)
Radio Monitor tracks charts in various formats. In Heritage
Rock (their term for Classic Rock) Seger debuted at #19. On
their Country chart, he debuted at #54. I don't know exactly
what "working a track from "Face the Promise" means. Either
they're working (promoting) "Wait For Me,"...or are they
getting ready to promote "Real Mean Bottle"?
July 15, 2006
Seger and the New York
The Newspaper of Record is
taking notice of Seger's upcoming record. Today's New York
Times features a long piece on Seger. The story, which
includes two photos, uses his new release to illustrate what
it claims is an emerging trend: rock artists being played on
To my thinking, the
so-called trend isn't all that new. Indeed, Punch puts the
whole 'emerging trend' premise into perspective with the
"We've relied on
country audiences from the first record we put out," said
Punch Andrews, Mr. Seger's longtime manager. These fans,
he added, "don't see all the fuzzy lines that everybody
wants to draw. Rock 'n' roll and country have always been
basically the same. It's just a few instruments that
Leeds, July 15, The New York Times. "Bob
Seger's Latest Road Heads Straight on Through to
(Of course, since that
quote doesn't support the "new trend" premise, the author
saves it for the 20th and final paragraph of the
Even the headline seems
misleading, when you consider that Seger has repeatedly said
that this new album is a rocker. ("It's a pretty high-energy
rock record," Seger says. "I would say it's more rock 'n'
roll than usual." USA
Today, June 8, 2006)
And that his version of "Real Mean Bottle" with Kid Rock is
far from country. (As Kid Rock says, "We rocked it like a
So is this really rock
music drifting over to the country side of the dial? Or,
more likely, is the country side of the dial deciding to
play some rock music? Sounds like the latter to me.
But never mind all that.
The article does contain some exciting news. It warms up
with the fact, reported in the Segerfile a couple days ago,
that "there are also plans to pair Mr. Seger with an
established country artist on "Crossroads," the odd-couple
performance series on Country Music Television, and in other
nationally televised performances."
(If you read the posts
below, you know that the "established country artist" is
Then we get this: "And an
album of Seger covers performed by country artists may be in
the offing, too."
Kerrang! That's the
headline right there -- finally, a Seger tribute album. And
about time. Country artists doing Seger songs would be
All the Seger news
that's fit to print.
The article also doesn't
mention Seger's duet with Martina McBride in 1998. Or the
fact that his video of "The Real Love" was played on CMT but
not MTV. Or the fact that Garth Brooks covered "Night Moves"
in concert for years, and said, in 2001, "Where Bob Seger
was in the '70s is where I want to be..." adding, "I ripped
him off a million times."
But hey -- it's great to
see Seger headlined in the New York Times. Some other
interesting bits from the article:
"As part of the
promotion for "Face the Promise," Mr. Seger's first album
of new material in 11 years, his longtime label, Capitol
Records, is shipping his first new single, "Wait for Me,"
to country radio, in addition to stations that play
classic rock and adult-contemporary formats.
"The Seger efforts are
part of a broader push to bring his new album to the
widest possible audience, including making it available
on iTunes -- a departure for Mr. Seger, who along with
Radiohead and the Beatles is among the few remaining
holdouts vetoing digital sales of their music
"In Mr. Seger's heyday
and for years afterward, his songs could occasionally be
heard on an array of radio formats, including country.
But longtime country programmers in the genre do not
recall Mr. Seger's music being presented to them
specifically as carrying country appeal.
"The official date when
Capitol hopes country stations start playing his single
is not for two weeks, but it has already received airplay
on about a dozen such
Leeds, July 15, The New York Times. "Bob Seger's Latest
Road Heads Straight on Through to Country"
Time out for a second. "In
Mr. Seger's heyday?" Did I read that right? What day
are they talking about? Maybe they mean last Tuesday when
his single was the 22nd most popular download on iTunes.
Hey, back in the New York Time's heyday -- before
their stock price dropped 25%, before Jayson Blair and
Judith Miller destroyed the paper's credibility...okay, I
have no way to end this sentence, so let's just leave it
In truth, the article does
make some good points about the changes in audience
listening habits. For example, it points out that classic
rock and album-oriented rock stations have lost
approximately 15 percent of their audience in the past five
years. "Now, even a hit on older-skewing rock stations is
not nearly as meaningful as a performance on country
One of the best pieces of
info in the Time's article is hidden under the photo of
Seger on his Harley. It's the photo credit: Cybelle
Codish -- a
Detroit photographer who has shot artists such as Ricki Lee
Jones, Nickleback and others. Check out her site
for a closer look at the Seger shot, (or hey, Google her and
see some more of her non-Seger work on MySpace).
July 14, 2006
More On Drive Time
Or do I mean, Moron Drive
Time Radio? Oh, to be a morning disc jockey. All you have to
do is talk fast and laugh at anything.
Anyway, the radio blitz
continued with Seger hitting the Bo and Jim show on KPZS in
Dallas last Wednesday. Here's an example of the witty
last time I was on tour [my kids were] one and
four and they actually went, but they don't remember
Bo/Jim: One and
four! Kind of sounds like the Cowboy's opening season
Bo/Jim: Well, that's
okay, you've got the Detroit Lions, so I wouldn't laugh
Seger: Oh, boy. Let
me tell ya...
If you interviewed Seger
once a month, or even once a year, that mindless chit-chat
would be fine. But, guys, this is your one shot in twelve
years. Ask him something important.
Actually, two nuggets of
interest did come out. Talking about his kids, Seger says,
"Actually, they're the ones that really want me to tour.
They've heard so much about it..."
Then they ask: "What's the
one secret about you that nobody knows?" I cringed at the
stupidity of the question, but they actually got a pretty
intriguing answer: "One secret is that I'm probably the
least likely rock star that you'd ever meet."
Do they follow up and say,
why is that? Of course not! This is morning radio.
Fortunately, Seger continues on his own. "I was always kind
of a worker bee. It was the work that I really enjoyed. I
always felt like I had a great respect for my audience, and
so I stayed pretty darn straight."
Beyond that, Seger tells
an interesting story about playing with Lynyrd Skynyrd
before they were signed. And they talk about the reissue of
Smokin' O.P.s a little (Seger mentions that he particularly
loves "If I Were A Carpenter" off that CD.) Seger says if
they tour, they'll do "about 30" shoes.
And everyone has fun, so I
guess that's what counts. You can listen for yourself
July 15, 2006
If Seger does tour (and
that's still an if, but seeming more and more likely)
audiences might get a chance to hear "Ramblin' Gamblin' Man"
again -- but not by Seger. Check out the stranger in town,
who covers RGM and is said to have dibs on the opening act
- Looks like a new shirt
to me. Probably got it from his manager, Arthur
Penhallow, Jr. The shirt-wearer is Huck Johns, and the
link will take you to his Hideout/Capitol Records web
page. You can get his version of RGM on iTunes -- I just
did; it rocks.
- And, for the first
time in history, you can also buy a new Seger single on
iTunes. "Wait For Me" was added today. Let's everybody
buy it and run it up the charts.
Note: Or, if you like
dealing with the world's biggest retailer, you could save
11 cents and download it from Wal-Mart -- which is also
offering "East Side Story" and "Heavy Music." But it
doesn't work with Mac, and there's no refund. Wal-Mart
now owes me 88 cents.
Seger debuted his new
single, "Wait for Me" on Detroit radio station WCSX this
morning -- too early for me, given the three-hour time
difference. So until I can catch up, my previous take on it
is reposted below.
For Me" is in a familiar genre: it's a mid-tempo Seger
medium ala "Still The Same," "Understanding," "The
Real Love," "By The River," etc., etc.
I can imagine
someone thinking that we've got enough Seger mediums
as it is. But "Wait For Me" is so dead-center perfect
that Ears 2 and I instantly fell under its sway. This
has got to be the next single. FM radio has ignored
Seger's last two albums. I don't see how they can
ignore "Wait For Me." It's infectious, earnest,
upbeat, real, full of yearning
all those things
that make a great Seger song.
Musically, it's most
closely related to "Against the Wind." There are chord
changes, particularly as the song enters the bridge,
that bring to mind ATW. But you have to listen for the
similarity -- these are clearly two distinct songs.
The lyrics give us a
travelin' man who has to answer the call of the wild,
but who also believes in love.
- I will answer
- I will leave
with the tide
- I'll be out on
- Every chance I
- No matter how
- No matter how
- I'll be along,
if you'll wait for me.
The bridge describes
a free-spirited rebellion against routine. In
"Travelin' Man," women came and women went, "every one
trying to cage me." Here, Seger's heart is pledged to
but he's not staying home, even if she
doesn't understand why, no matter who tries to talk
him out of it.
- And I'll fight
for the right to go over that hill
- If it only means
something to me.
- I will not be
persuaded, I won't be still
- I'll find a way
to be free-eee.
The line "I'll fight
for the right" might remind you of "moving eight miles
a minute." And you can hear the Eagles sound that
informed much of ATW. But neither influence detracts
The last verse
cements the pledge: "Straight to your side, I
if you'll wait for me," followed by
repeated choruses of "Wait for me."
This isn't new
ground, but it's rock solid with a great melody and
great vocals. What more could you want? "Wait For Me"
is pure Seger. I can't wait to hear it again.
-- Reposted from
June 27, 2005.
In recent interviews,
Seger has said the song was written about his kids --
although we'll all bring to it what we will. Any way you
think of it, it's a great song. And it's even greater to
have Seger back.
July 5, 2006
Single Debuts July 5, On Air
Everywhere July 6
The wait is over --
practically. Seger's new single "Wait for Me" will get its
debut on WCSX in Detroit on Wednesday morning. Seger will be
in the studio for the premier. Listen live here.
Or wait a day, when the single is released nationally. Or
listen to a one-minute snippet, here.
Art for the single
features Seger on a motorcyle. I think that's him, above.
Okay, I know it is. It's also him in the photo, below, from
the Rolling Stone piece. (I knew it all along, of course.
Especially after I talked to some Rolling Stone folks to
confirm. They must have very high self-esteem, because they
didn't seem mad at all about the way I dissed their
publication. Either that or they just don't read the Seger
In any case, they confirm
that it's Seger on the motorcycle, it's a new photo and
probably part of the album art.
Picture this: the open
road, somewhere out west. The hot flat land stretches back
to mountains, the sky all sunset-y and beautiful. There on
the side of the road, Seger on his motorcyle, looking
straight into the lens. Wrap it in cellophane and you're
looking at Face the Promise.
Speaking of photos
where Seger looks great...
These were taken at the
Cheetah Club at Broadway and 53rd in NYC on January 8, 1969
by William "PoPsie" Randolph. A new book about PoPsie is
which is where I found the photos. Click on the link to see
the photos full size and the story behind them.
Track List Clues:
Wreck This Heart
Maybe I gave up on Rolling
Stone magazine too soon. For years, they seemed to have a
Seger blind spot. Now I guess I've developed a Rolling Stone
blind spot. The magazine did a piece on Seger two weeks that
I'm just now noticing.
In it, we find that "Wreck
This Heart" is definitely on the new CD. (I'd assumed it
would be, but you never know.) The article also confirms
what we already knew -- that the duet with Kid Rock, "Real
Mean Bottle," is on the track list.
So that's four tracks we
know for sure:
- Wait for
- Wreck This
- Face the
- Real Mean
The first three titles
have all turned up in the Vault, and they're all terrific,
killer cuts. I haven't heard Seger's version of "Real Mean
Bottle," but you can buy the Vince Gill version on iTunes
for 99 cents and judge for yourself -- I think it's gonna
make a great cover song for Seger and Kid Rock. The Rolling
Stone piece says, "It's easy to imagine it in heavy rotation
on country radio."
(I'm not so sure about
that. Radio playlists are so narrowly structured these days
-- will country stations really play a song by artists they
perceive -- rightly or wrongly -- as being in the classic
rock & rap-turned-rock category? I guess we'll find
(Besides which, Susan
Whitall in the Detroit News wrote recently: "On that high
energy tune, Seger and KR rock it up more than Gill's
original, more countryish version.")
So you don't have to
click, here's the rest of the short Rolling Stone
"None other than
Bob Seger's reps came up to the RS offices yesterday to
preview three tracks from the giant of heartland rock's
upcoming disc Face the Promise -- the first new studio
album from Seger in eleven years. The Detroit rocker
produced the album himself and cut portions of it at
Ocean Way Studios in Nashville. The first track, "Wait
for Me," is a ballad much in the same vein as his 1980
classic "Against the Wind." It's currently slated to be
the album's first single, due to radio July 11. The
second track, "Wreck This Heart," is a country rocker in
which Seger seems to explain his decision to put his
career on hold for the sake of his family. "There's time
to work/Time to live," Seger sings. "There's only so much
time around/If you lean to far over the wishing well you
might fall in and drown." The final track previewed was a
cover of Vince Gill's ode to Merle Haggard "Real Mean
Bottle," -- featuring label mate and fellow Detroit
native Kid Rock. It's easy to imagine it in heavy
rotation on country radio. The full album is due in
stores September 12. The sixty-four dollar question:
Seger has yet to decide if he's going to fire up the
Silver Bullet Band for a supporting tour."
Rolling Stone, June 13, 2006. "Turn the Page! Kid Rock
Guests on New Bob Seger Album"
And now my thirteen snarky
1. Produced the album
himself? Susan Whitall (The Detroit News) wrote recently
that "Seger has been working on the album for years with
longtime co-producer David Cole, splitting his time between
Nashville, Tenn., and Detroit for the recording."
Yet the recent Gary Graff
article in Billboard said Seger produced the album -- while
the official news release from the Kremlin, er Capitol
Records, is silent on the matter.
2. Apparently Rolling
Stone writers have not heard of, or no longer use, that
basic building block of narrative and exposition known (in
technical circles) as the "paragraph."
3. Unless "Wreck the
Heart" has changed dramatically since I heard it in the
Vault, it is anything but a "country rocker" (which sounds
like something you'd find on a dilapidated porch.) In fact,
Ears Two and I both thought it would be right at home on
Sticky Fingers, or any great Stones album.
(Admittedly, I did write
that "The second verse veers toward country music territory.
Seger sings of problems with his boss, his wife, of having
bills to pay, of missing his dog. Hey, just throw in a truck
that doesn't start and you've got a song that Tim McGraw
would kill for." But I also wrote that the song has "big,
chopping git-box chords and a bass-drum/snare-drum beat that
orders everyone to their feet...When I look at the credits,
I'll be checking to see if Joe Walsh is listed -- or someone
carrying on the Walsh sound...'Wreck this Heart' will rock
4. Hey, Rolling Stone is
quoting lyrics from the song! Didn't the Seger File used to
quote lyrics from the song? Why, yes, we did. Until someone
called and asked us not to give away the surprise. In fact,
we quoted the very lyrics Rolling Stone now quotes, minus
their grade-school error -- "lean to (sic) far." (True, we
quoted a bunch of other lyrics too and maybe went a tad
Suffice it to say, the
lyrics are fabulous. If you read the Vault back then, you
saw them. And whether you did or you didn't, you'll hear
5. Although the article is
about Seger, the headline acts like it's about Kid Rock. As
if being about Seger wouldn't be interesting
6. "Label mate"? Kid Rock
is on Atlantic.
7. The "sixty-four dollar
question"? (Followed by a declarative statement, no
8. In other words, Rolling
Stone is a poorly written, poorly edited, error-prone
magazine that has ignored Seger for eleven years, and is
afraid to write about him now without a headline that hides
behind Kid Rock. The Seger File, on the other hand, is a
brilliantly written, witty and comprehensive website that
has covered Seger obsessively for 8 years. Yet "none other
than Bob Seger's reps" visit Rolling Stone to play advance
tracks, while Seger's management calls me and asks me not to
write so much about his new songs.
And it's all about money.
A slapdash blurb in RS might sell some disks to people who
have kind of forgotten about Bob Seger. Whereas anybody who
reads this site is already gonna buy the album. But what
about loyalty? (And while we're at it, what about laughter?
Does anybody remember laughter?? Okay, I'll stop
9. The part about Rolling
Stone ignoring Seger will change after the new album
explodes onto the charts. Seger will be on the cover with at
least a headline and maybe a photo. I hereby predict.
10. His return will be
wrongly characterized as a "comeback." This will annoy the
heck out of me, because his greatest hits CD has ridden the
Billboard Pop Catalog chart for 600 straight weeks. I've
never stopped playing him and neither have millions of
11. Then Rolling Stone
will ignore him for another ten years.
12. The article is
accompanied by the following photo of...[Note: please
hold while the remainder of this sentence is being
edited]...Seger on his motorcycle. I found the
picture of Susan Whitall on the DetNews blog. I bet you
always wondered what she looked like. And that's Emmylou
Harris and Elvis Costello at Ocean Way studio in Nashville.
Just imagine that it's Seger and Laura Creamer.
13. All the articles
referred to in this post are available at Planet
motto: "Reprinting Seger articles, so the Seger File doesn't
June 28, 2006
Buzz-building for Seger's
new single has begun, with a promo disk called Essential
Seger. Track 13 is the one we're all most interested in.
It's sixty seconds or so of "Wait For Me," the single due to
be released on July 10. (To be more precise, it's the first
thirty seconds and the last thirty seconds, or thereabouts,
sweetly edited together. ) The other tracks are previously
(Of course, one way to
build buzz would be to have a little snippet posted on a fan
site...but I'm just not that crazy.)
reports that Face the Promise will be released as a standard
CD and a CD/DVD Special Edition. And, yes, I filched this
last bit directly from the Segernet
forums. Check it out for everybody's guess as to what the
DVD portion might be.
As for album art and the
track list -- there are times when it's best to say nothing
Seger on WCSX: Tour Is
A Definite Maybe.
Seger participated in the
Ken Calvert Casual Golf Classic yesterday (Calvert is a disc
jockey on Detroit's WCSX) and joined Calvert and Karen
Savelly in the studio afterward. Calvert cut right to the
chase and asked Seger if he would tour.
Seger: Well, I don't know
about the tour...because I am 61 years old. We're
going to rehearse in a couple of weeks and I'm gonna see if
I can do, like, two straight hours. I did the one song with
Bob...Bob...Kid Rock, on his thing two nights, but --
Calvert: (laughs) You can
call him Bob.
Seger: (laughs) Yeah,
usually, that's...I'm sorry -- but, yeah, it's different
when you're out there two hours.
Seger also said he's
worked really hard on Face the Promise for the last four
years, and that it's closer to Night Moves (the album) than
Against the Wind, because "it's more uptempo."
That's about where the web
stream died on me. Maybe the entire 8-minute interview will
play for you. Try it at WCSX.
Seger also talked about
the single, "Wait for Me," according to a story about the
interview in the Detroit
Free Press. (I
guess that makes this a post about a story about an
interview. I'd say more, but I have to go answer the wind.)
Anyway, writer John
Smyntek said that Seger said the song "Wait for Me" was
written about his relationship with his children and quoted
the line, "No matter how far. No matter how free, I'll be
along if you wait for me."
June 20, 2006. Thanks to
Charlie Keegan for the tip.
Seger's Next Huge
Single: "Wait For Me."
The next full-fledged
triumph in Seger's career is coming soon -- maybe as soon as
July, when his new single, "Wait For Me," is shipped. And
not long after that -- on September 12 -- comes the new
album, Face the Promise.
I guarantee you, this will
be big. "Wait For Me" is the Seger song stations have been
waiting for. I predict it will get major airplay. More than
"The Real Love," more than "The Fire Inside," more than
"Chances Are," more than "Satisfied" -- all songs that
deserved airplay but didn't get much.
But this is different. A
year ago, Ears Two and I had a chance to listen to
For Me" in the
Vault. I was blown away. "Dead-center perfect," is how I
described it in the write up. "This has got to be the next
single....It's infectious, earnest, upbeat, real, full of
all those things that make a great Seger
In short, it's going to be
a major hit. And the album promises to be just as good.
Although we don't know the track list yet, I think it will
easily outpace his last two studio albums in sales.
For one thing, we know it
will include "Wait For Me," plus the title track and "Real
Mean Bottle" (the duet with Kid Rock). "Face the Promise" is
another song we previewed in the Vault. It's raw, loud and
made for radio. Everyone says "Real Mean Bottle" is killer.
So that's three out of three.
And Seger hints to rock
writer Gary Graff that a track called "Red Eye to Memphis"
may make the cut. In the 2002 installment of the Vault, I
wrote that "'Memphis' percolates with a kind of 'Fire Down
Below' sensuality," and described the track as "a great,
upbeat, sexy song, with all-out Seger vocals. A must for the
Here's the Graff quote,
from his recent piece in Billboard:
"Seger is still
making final decisions on songs and sequence, but the
album is likely to include the title track, which he
calls a 'big, storming rocker,' and a duet with fellow
Detroiter Kid Rock on Vince Gill's Merle Haggard tribute,
'Real Mean Bottle.'
"Last year, Seger said
he was spending a lot of time to find the right songs for
the new album. 'You've got to get a standard bearer,
something you want the album to stand up to,' he
explained. He found those in the title track and in
another song called 'Red Eye to Memphis,' which he
describes as 'an almost Tony Joe White thing, a very
Memphis-y, fuzzy, R&B country-rock thing.' It's not
known yet whether that track will make the final
Gary Graff, June 9,
2006, Billboard. "Seger
Prepping First New Album In 11
The official Capitol
release, meanwhile, says "Face The Promise opens a masterful
new chapter" in Seger's career and "marks Seger's return in
classic form: urgent, honest, rousing, timeless." Normally
you might dismiss that as press release exaggeration. Not
(For the record, the
release also notes that Seger has sold nearly 50 million
albums, including eleven platinum and seven multi-platinum
awards. "The 1994 Greatest Hits collection has sold over 7
million copies, in an unbroken 600-week run" on the
Billboard Pop Catalog chart.)
The official Bob Seger
website, on the other hand, is still promoting the 2005
release of Smokin' O.P.s. Jeez. And I felt bad about being a
day late posting this update
As always, the news brings
plenty of new questions. Chiefly, will he tour? Susan
Whitall in the Detroit News quotes manager Punch Andrews as
saying, "Practices are scheduled."
Shoot, I'd be willing to
bet that arenas have been booked, or at least reserved. But
no info on that yet.
And will there be a video
for the single? And will it be sold on iTunes? (My guess is
no and yes, respectively.)
And while I'm in a
guessing mood, I'll even guess the rest of the track list
for you, based on nothing but hunches. Here goes.
- Wait For
- Face the
- Real Mean
- The Hard
- Red Eye to
- Are You
- It All Goes
- Wreck This
- All Brand
- Answer's In The
- Let The Rivers
If I'm even half right,
it's going to be a great album. Stay tuned.
June 11, 2006 -- updated June 13, 2006
21 and Over?
Rumors of a tour -- which
have circulated ever since Seger took the stage with Kid
Rock last February -- apparently are true.
Nothing's locked in. But
according to an article in today's Flint Journal, Punch
Andrews (Seger's manager) is working on a plan for a 21-city
tour -- and no more than 21 cities. "That would be it,
period. No ifs, ands or buts," Andrews said.
(So which 21 cities would
that be, I wonder? Let the speculation begin. But surely
Portland, Oregon, home of the Segerfile, would be on the
list. Wouldn't it???)
The article, by Doug
Pullen, says Seger wants to begin touring soon after
September 12, when his new CD, Face the Promise, is
Pullen also quotes Kid
Rock about last February's shows at the Joe Lewis Arena.
" 'Being on that
stage at Joe Louis lit a little fire under his a--,' Rock
said...It was so nice for his kids to see him play and
for the kids to see the crowds scream for him for five
minutes.' " Doug
Pullen, May 12, 2006, The Flint Journal.
official, but expect a Bob Seger
The article confirms
earlier reports that Seger and Kid Rock have recorded a
version of Vince Gill's "Real Mean Bottle" for Seger's
upcoming CD. Seger mentioned wanting to record the song with
Kid Rock in his February 2004 live Internet chat. Someone in
the chat room asked if he'd ever do a song with Kid Rock.
Seger said, "Absolutely
probably a country drinking
song. 'Real Mean Bottle' is one I've pointed
In today's article, Pullen
quotes Kid Rock as saying, "We rocked it like a freight
In a recent interview in
the Rocky Mountain News, Rock says working with Seger "has
been one of my dreams."
" 'We have the
same management. Our kids are the same age. We're around
each other all the time. We have houses next to each
other,' Rock says. 'But I never tried to cross that line'
to work with Seger.
" 'One day, however,
Seger called and said: 'I was wondering if you'd come to
Nashville and cut this song with me, blah, blah, blah,'
Rock says. 'He started explaining the song. I'm like,
'Seger, dude, I'd fly to Nashville and sing Happy
Birthday if you wanted me to.' "
Mark Brown, April
18, 2006, Rocky Mountain News. "Work
with '70s heroes, new CD make 'the Kid' feel like a
Speaking of birthdays,
Seger turned 61 last Saturday. No word on whether Kid Rock
came over and sang.
May 12, 2006
Remember that new
new-release date posted here (and by EMI) six days ago? That
6-6-06 date? That was sooo last week. This week EMI
has moved the release date to September 12, 2006 -- a scant
seven months from now.
What's surprising to me is
not that the date changes -- it always changes.
What's surprising to me is how readily I fall for it each
time. I just wanna believe. Optimism or naivete? You make
the call. Anyway, mark it down: the date to wait for is now
September 12, until it changes again.
Look at it this way: if
you hadn't known a new CD was coming, you'd be thrilled to
learn it was only seven months off, right?
Can't get there? Still
think the glass is half empty?? Need to wallow in your own
bitter frustration?? Check out this blast
from the past
(i.e., 1997). And have a look at the Cynical Segerfile
while you're there.
Seriously, all this
business about the CD not being ready has got me thinking. I
mean, the CD is not ready, but many of the tracks are. So
why does the shiny little disk still matter so? Why does it
have so much power to delay our Seger fix? I only buy a
couple of real CDs a year, usually as gifts. The rest of the
music I want I buy as individual tracks from iTunes. And a
lot of other people do the same.
My son's 13. By the time
he graduates from high school, five years from now, I'll bet
the CD will be on its way out. The hot new artists will
release tracks in small bites, two or three at a time,
whatever pleases them, whenever the market is ready for
more. Others will follow suit.
Artists might still think
in terms of albums -- a collection of songs that belong
together, or that mark a certain period -- but there will be
no magic number of tracks that an album has to include. The
all-digital album could have two songs or 102. (Hopefully,
Face the Promise will be out by then.)
February 7, 2006
That's the date
Capitol/EMI is now projecting for Seger's 16th studio album
(not counting the two live albums and two greatest hits
collections). The release, still listed as "Face the
Promise," even has a UPC code now. So just head on down to
the disk shop on June 6 and ask for a copy of good old 0946
3 54506 2 0.
Meanwhile, EMI is
mobilizing "The Official Bob Seger Street Team!" -- a group
of fans who will be raising awareness of Seger by
distributing posters and postcards at "lifestyle outlets."
You know, like record stores, sports bars, Christian Science
Reading Rooms...wherever the cool kids hang. We'll be out
there generating corporate-orchestrated buzz for a label
that can't even update its own website. I'm already doing my
part by adding the exclamation point to "Street Team!"
Buzz or no buzz, there
definitely seems to be a CD on the way. Dates can change
(and, based on past experience, probably will) so you might
not want to camp out at the record store just yet. But the
"06" part of 06/06/06 is starting to look real
February 1, 2006
May or May Not?
It wouldn't be a new year
without new rumors of a forthcoming Seger album. The current
speculation actually began last November, when both
and EMIdigital.com projected May '06 as the anticipated
release date of "Face the Promise." The EMI
mainly toward retailers, went so far as to give an exact
date: May 2. (Also projected for 5/2 -- The Very Best of
Helen Reddy. Oh yeah. In case you're tired of her best, and
want to move up a notch.)
The Detroit News, being a
little more cautious, says the release is "tentatively
scheduled for late spring." To add some oomph to their New
Year's coverage, they also published a fake
picture of Seger
in a party hat. Now that's news.
Detroit News, December
29, 2005 and January 1, 2006.
Musictap has been right
before, and so has the EMI site. On the other hand, May is
still five months out. Who knows...maybe they've just
dropped Seger into the end of their chart as a placeholder.
PauseandPlay.com, the other site that often has good info,
so far is staying out of it.
My string of correctly
predicting Seger release dates is unbroken (I'm 0-23).
Nevertheless, I'm risking it all by going with May. It feels
January 3, 2006
The Freep Says CD This Year
A Brian McCollum article
in the Detroit Free Press says Seger's new CD (formerly
titled "Face the Promise" and now titled "Break the
Promise"...er, I mean, now untitled) will hit stores by
Christmas. The exact date depends "on delivery of final
cover art and liner notes, sources said."
September 20, 2005, Detroit Free Press. "New
Seger album due by end of
To me, the most
interesting part of that quote is "sources
What -- has Punch
Enterprises finally become so secretive that they won't even
talk on the record to the Free Press?
The more obvious question,
of course, is whether to believe it. Stay tuned.
September 20, 2005. Thanks to Charlie Keegan for tip. Revised 11/24/05.
New CD in November ?? Or not??
pauseandplace.com, Seger's new CD -- Face the Promise -- is
scheduled to be released by Capitol on November 8, 2005.
That's a bold prediction, and usually bold predictions are
wrong. Especially this far in advance.
June 7, 2005
Waiting On A Promise
Seger's new CD, "Face the
Promise," didn't appear in '04, in case you didn't notice.
Here's what Seger said in early February.
working right along. We just cut two new ones (songs)
last week. What we're gonna do is start actually
finishing in March. I'm gonna pound down lyrics for a
week, just finalize every little nook and cranny that
bothers me -- and I'm doing it now, too -- and then say
'OK, the lyrics are done.' Then we start mixing. But,
literally, all our tracks are cut."
February 8, 2005.
New Rock & Roll."
The "we" is Seger and
producer David Cole, who are working at Ocean Way Studios in
Nashville. There's no target date for the upcoming album.
And, uh, if there were a target date, would you believe
February 22, 2005
- Of his new CD, Seger
said "We'll try to get that one done by fall or
something." As reported earlier, it will be called "Face
- He said he's recorded
"about 30 songs" for his next CD since the last tour
ended in 1996. (In November, Uncle Joe got a more precise
answer -- "29 songs" -- to the same question. In that
earlier interview with Uncle Joe, Seger said he thought
22 of those songs were really good and that 11 would
definitely be on the next album -- minus the two he stole
- Seger said he's
written seven songs since December ("that's how manic I
am") and that he's "on a writing roll right now."
- He's picked eight
songs out of the 30 that he's really high on.
- He'll record for a
week at the end of March in Nashville, and then the album
will be done.
Same question, same
"I would love to...it's
just a huge commitment...and I just want to make sure that I
don't show up and not do my best...Like I said, we're going
to start rehearsing for the Hall of Fame, maybe that will
spike us to do it, but we'll leave that open."
from the main Update page, in case you missed it
Carved "In Stone" -- Seger
Says New CD in O4
He's talking -- in the
longest and most interesting Seger article/interview in over
a decade -- to Brian McCollum, music writer for the Detroit
Free Press. You'll want to read the whole
article and the
even more fascinating interview
yourself, but some excerpts are included below.
In addition, one of the
most definitive statements yet appears on the website of
Louisville's Classic Rock station, 107.7SFR. They quote
Seger as saying this about the due date for his CD of new
spring, but it'll probably be more like summer or fall.
But definitely, I'd say in stone by next fall it'll be
out, 'cause, I mean, it's virtually done. I got a lot
of really good stuff on it already, and I'd just like to
add some more."
That tidbit alone is
great to hear. But McCollum really puts the meat on the
bones. Check out the full post here.
I Never Meta Rumor I Didn't Like, or Why Bottled Seltzer
Will Never Top Gin
I'll explain the headline
in a minute. But first, another blast of Seger File e-mail.
from Fort Worth, Texas!
Before I leave this
world (whenever that might be), I MUST take my kids
(age19 & 23) to a Bob Seger concert. Because of my
lifelong love for his music...I guess since I first
attended his concert with Blue Oyster Cult in Wichita,
Kansas in 1976-77 (can you believe he was the opening
act?). They both have been raised on his music and
have grown to, not only love it, but rely on it. My
"Live Bullet" CD is currently "out on loan" to my
daughter...it was enroute to my son, via her, and she
I have been
searching for his current status for quite some time,
and would love to hear anything about what he is
doing. Any concerts in the works? Any public/private
gigs? How can I hear about any future or upcoming
Any help in this
search would be soooooooo greatly
Thanks, Jamie, for
providing the intro to my update. That was certainly a long
concert if it lasted from 1976-77.
Regardless, the question
you pose is similar to ones I get every single freakin' day
from Seger fans, all wanting to know: When is Seger going to
And the answer is: no one
knows. But there are rumors. I've heard four rumors, in
fact, which is why I call this a Meta Rumor -- "meta"
meaning something about, oh, I don't know, some kind of
post-modern something or other. But the important point is
that I've heard four rumors. (Yes, that's my imitation of
the Cowdog. The
parents among you will understand. )
Each of these rumors comes
third-hand from someone who knows someone who claims to know
something. For example, one comes from someone who knows a
studio musician (not a Silver Bullet member). Another comes
from someone who knows someone in the Detroit music
In other words, if this
were the party game of Operator, the person in the Detroit
music biz would say "If I stab fish last, bottled seltzer
will never top gin." And by the time I hear it and repeat it
to you, it's become: "It's an established fact that Bob
Seger will never tour again!"
With that humongo caveat,
here are the four answers these "insiders" give regarding
when Bob Seger will tour again:
Never. And, Soon.
Choose your pick. I'm in a
dark and gloomy mood here, and I think it's never. Boy,
would I love to be wrong.
December 6, 2002
Is it news or not? You be
the judge. I just got back from Laura Creamer's web site --
-- where she says, "I just got back from singing on Bob
Seger's new CD in Nashville." Shaun Murphy was there and
Bekka Bramlett was there, working on the new CD, while the
rest of us were, well, elsewhere. What were we
Anyway, the web page says
"Updated February 9, 2002," so if she just got back last
week, that means Bob is still recording. On the other hand,
if it's an old quote that's been there a year, it means
nothing. Is there any way to know for sure? Um, no. But you
should check out Laura's page. She's been the voice behind
the voice for years, and she has a CD of her own out called
"West of Detroit." Sounds cool.
Update: Nashville News from the
Seger DEW Line
Faithful readers of this
site will remember Jesse
B., cofounder of
the Seger DEW line and original train man, who now makes his
joyful rounds in White Salmon, Washington. We make a dynamic
pair, he and I. My role is always to pose the thoughtful
questions, the insightful queries that perfectly frame the
issue at hand, as I do in the dispatch above: i.e., Is this
Nashville news new or not? Jesse, a man of action, has no
patience with paltry questions. He barrels ahead and comes
back with the answers, as he does in the following
"Hey, Mo Fo," he writes.
(For those who don't know, Mo Fo is Michigan slang for the
Ford Motor Company. Jesse often addresses me this way, which
is a bit odd -- he knows I'm a Chrysler man.) Anyway, he
continues, "Here's some more 'inside dish' for
Indeed, the inside dish
turns out to be an e-mail from Laura Creamer, (who's quite a
dish herself, I could add, but won't, because it's
"I appear on at
least five of the tracks," she writes Jesse, "but I'm not
sure which songs are going to be his [Seger's]
final picks -- we recorded more songs than will actually
go on the CD. The release date I'm not positive of, but
he sounded like he was ready to mix and release ASAP. I'm
looking forward to Seger's CD, too. It's gonna be a good
So there you have it. For
those of you not up on the technical terms, ASAP is record
industry jargon for 'Ala Seger And Punch.' It refers to an
indeterminate period of time, usually between two and five
years, as in the following example. My Wife: "When are you
planning to pick up your tools?" Me: "I'll get to it
Of course, for a guy like
me, this kind of info just engenders more questions. I
wonder what the names of those five tracks might be? I
wonder how long it took to record five tracks? Was the whole
band there? Did Seger tell her to block out any time for a
tour? How do you "appear" on an audio track? She didn't
exactly spill her guts. But then, spilling your guts is
probably a great way to not get invited to the next
Based on the above, Jesse
-- who is marvelous at predicting when trains will arrive --
foresees an April release. To make it interesting, I predict
June, figuring that Seger will finetune into spring, when
it's time to take Lightning out and start training for the
next Port Huron-Mackinac race.
Is It Tomorrow
In 1998 it was called
Forward Into the Past. This summer, after Seger won the Port
Huron to Mackinac sailboat race, it was referred to as Face
the Promise. And for now, Seger's forthcoming CD might be
called Tomorrow. But things change.
Speaking to Detroit News
reporter Susan Whitall, Punch "wouldn't confirm the title."
Susan Whitall, October
12, 2001, The Detroit News. "Classic Bob Seger tunes
remastered into CD form." In
a previous radio interview, Seger called "Tomorrow," one of
the cuts on the CD, "a real rocker."
What Punch did tell the
News is, "He's got a good thing starting, he's got some good
No word on whether a
Christmas release is still in the works or not.
One of those good songs,
presumably, is "It's All Good." According to this month's
Sail Magazine, Seger sang a bit of "It's All Good" to his
crew mates aboard his boat, Lightning.
The three-paragraph piece
also includes a postage stamp photo of Seger on his boat,
which I was planning to steal and post here (the photo, not
the boat). But it didn't quite seem worth the $3.99 cover
price. (I'm saving my money for the box set.) If you really
need to see it, do what I did and thumb through the October
issue of Sail at Borders.
October 14, 2001
CD for Xmas, Tour
Seger's victory in the
Port Huron to Mackinac yacht race gave Detroit reporters a
second chance to ask about upcoming album and tour plans.
Susan Whitall, who has written often about Seger for The
Detroit News, did a piece confirming the news which first
surfaced on the WCSX pre-race interview: that is, one more
late August recording date, and an album released by
Christmas -- hopefully.
"I had a session in March,
and I'll have a final session in August, then I go right
back to work. I'm writing the last song on the album, we'll
record Aug. 23-26, and then it's mixing time. So we're
hoping it'll be out by Christmas."
Susan Whitall, Detroit
News, July 26, 2001. "Seger savors sail race win, plans to
finish album soon."
But on the subject of
tours, Seger was more equivocal.
"'We'll see,' Seger says.
'You know how radio is,' referring to the tightly-formatted
playlists that give short shrift to the music of veteran
performers...But come next May, he'll have to start training
for next year's "Mac" race anyway."
Susan Whitall, Detroit
News, July 26, 2001. "Seger savors sail race win, plans to
finish album soon."
The Seger File "Like A
Rock" award goes to Diane Burkey for once again filling me
in on a live WCSX-FM interview with Seger. According to her
report, Seger told listeners that the writing is done and
his last studio session is scheduled for August 22 - 26.
After that, David Cole comes in and works his magic at Kid
Rock's studio in Ortonville. (Founded by who?...c'mon. Amos
Orton. Jeez, keep up, will you?). Hopefully, it will be done
by Christmas. "Where have we heard that before," Diane
There are many potential
working titles, Seger said. (One previously reported working
title was "Forward Into the Past." See entries below.) This
morning, Seger mentioned a working title taken from a song
("a real rocker," he said) called "Tomorrow."
(Hmm. Anybody remember
that old riddle: "What's always coming but never arrives?"
Okay, moving on.)
Anyway, if the schedule
holds, Seger spoke of a potential tour beginning in January
Part of the conversation
concerned the vast number of songs Seger has written and
recorded but never released. He estimates the number at 200
-- an amazing 20 albums worth. Plus another 400 songs in the
written but not recorded category.
For a quick trip back to
the News and Update page, click
July 19, 2001
Seger in the
Midday radio personality
Patti Genko from WKLH in Milwaukee passes on this blurb from
ClassicRockDaily, a radio news service:
Seger is in the studio working on his followup to
1995's Mystery to Me [sic]. He started
recording in Nashville yesterday (Thursday, 3/22).
When it came time to find musicians, he followed the
lead of country recording artist Montgomery Gentry.
Seger liked the sound of their debut album so much
that he called in local session musicians who had
worked on their album to help him out. No word yet
when the album will be released."
Obviously, the normal high
standards of radio news service journalism are at work here,
as evidenced by the misnamed album. Assuming the rest of the
piece is accurate, it's encouraging. In fact, it's a clear
sign that the new CD will be released at an undefined point
in the indeterminate future. I'm guessing October, because
that's when my birthday is. I'm just not sure which
March 29, 2001
The Seger File School of
Deductive Reasoning and Reckless Speculation
Is there any real news
about Seger's new CD? No. But that doesn't stop me from
making some up.
It all relates to an email
from regular Seger File correspondent Paul Dunn -- which in
turn relates to Punch's recent interview on Jim Johnson's
morning show on WCSX.
Much of the interview had
to do with the remastered Live Bullet and Night Moves CDs.
The interview itself is described on the main update page,
Old is New.
Since I don't live in or
anywhere near Detroit, I don't hear these things firsthand
-- so I appreciate the info that comes from readers like
Paul Dunn and Diane Burkey, who sent me the summary that
appears further below. Today's email confirmed that J.J.
pressed Punch to remaster Back In '72 and Smokin' O.P.'s.
And in Paul's summary, Punch halfheartedly agreed to this.
(Although that's probably as changeable as the weather in
But this is the part of
Paul's email that really caught the eye of my coworkers down
in the Deductive Reasoning/Reckless Speculation Department.
(It's a small department; they share a desk.)
"J.J. never asked
Punch how the new CD was coming...I waited faithfully in
my van for him to ask (this made me late for an
appointment), but he never mentioned it."
Okay, Deductive Reasoning
If an interviewer doesn't
ask a blatantly obvious question, it's usually because the
interviewee has said something like, 'don't ask me about
such-and-such' before the show starts.
Deductive Reasoning, Part
If Punch said, "Don't ask
me about the new album," that must mean the new album is not
moving along as well as hoped. (Duh.)
In the past, what have Bob
and Punch done when the new album wasn't moving along as
well as hoped? (Hint: Think back to 1976, when Seger
couldn't quite get "Night Moves" to come together.) Answer,
they turned their attention to a live album. (I.e., Live
Evidence, Or Else Total Red Herring
In early 1997, Punch said
he and Seger were working on a live album from Seger's
Palace of Auburn Hills shows. But in October 1997, Seger
said plans for a live album were on hold, as he was
concentrating on a new studio album.
Tearing down the dams will
not save the salmon, and Oregon should reject overtures to
privatize highway rest stops, no matter how much Starbucks
offers. (And forget about McDonalds.)
Hey, what do you want from
me?? Those are perfectly valid conclusions. They just don't
happen to flow from the line of logic I was exploring. True,
they leave many questions unanswered. Such as, why was Paul
listening to the interview in his van? Was it really a van,
and not an SUV? Was the person he had the appointment with
teed off over his being late? If not, why not?
Okay, seriously...all I'm
saying is that at this point it wouldn't surprise me if we
got the live album first to hold us over. (No rush, though,
guys. The Henley album will hold me for at least two or
three months.) Call it a hunch. And remember, past
performance is no indication of future accuracy, which is
good news, since most of my past hunches have been dead
wrong. But enough about me.
As for future remasters, I
can only pose the following brain twister:
If the purpose of
remastering an album is to improve the sound (and thus
increase the listener's pleasure), would it be cricket to
completely remove certain sounds (like, for instance,
"Sunburst," the obvious chink in the otherwise aural
perfection of Night Moves) and replace it with something
else, (like, for instance, "Hard to Make It Home," or
"Hustled in Nashville," or "Long, Long, Gone.")?
Hearing one of those
unreleased tracks from the Night Moves era would certainly
increase my listening pleasure. I can see the sticker on the
front now. "Includes Unreleased Bonus Track." Who wants to
bet it wouldn't be the most successful "remaster/reissue" of
all. Why, for something like that, I'd almost be willing to
accept government subsidized latte-stands lining I-5,
enriching the already flush corporate coffee lords. But I
draw the line at making Ronald McDonald our state
May 12, 2000
Tour and Album News
In a phrase, there ain't
none. Zero, zip. Why do you ask, anyway? When it's
convenient for Marketing to let you know, you'll be notified
by a Major Corporation.
Oh, alright, so I'm
getting a little testy here. It's just that...well, jeez,
rock and roll used to be so spontaneous and loose...now it's
all so...I don't know...organized. Maybe it has to be. It
might even be our fault (our fault as in us fans, because
there's so many of us). After all, nine hundred thousand of
us bought tickets to Seger's last tour, and roughly that
many bought his last album (I'm guessing here)...and when
you've got a market that big, you know, you want to control
the information and release it at just the right time. That
just makes good sense. Either that, or it's a condescending
rationale for command control. Whatever...perhaps the answer
lies in the immortal words of Jimmy Buffett, (or was that
Warren Buffett?): some people claim that there are lawyers
to blame...ahhh, I've probably just had too many mints,
those really strong ones: Let's move on.
July 16, 1999
Album/Tour Update from August
On Saturday, August 2,
Seger appeared for a rare TV interview on Channel 4 in
Detroit (WDIV). The interview was part of a special show on
the 10th anniversary of the Palace of Auburn Hills. During
the interview, Jim Johnson, who does an excellent morning
radio show on WCSX in Detroit, talked to Bob about his new
Johnson also did a second,
75-minute radio interview with Seger the next morning on
WCSX. Johnson later e-mailed me that he used the Seger File
to help prepare for the interview and that he "printed out
some 40 or 50 pages of the most complete biographical info I
have ever seen..." (It's always great when people find the
Seger File useful.)
I didn't hear either of
the interviews, but various people who did have given me
summaries, including one person named Diane (sorry, I don't
know your last name, Diane), who e-mailed me the
The working title of the
new album is Forward Into the Past.
Reportedly, Bob now has 8
songs ready to go, and he's planning to record the album
with Don Was producing this fall. Capitol will get the tapes
by the first of the year, he said, with release slated for
March. Bob also reportedly said that the band will rehearse
between January and March, so they'll be ready to tour when
the album is released
According to Diane's
e-mail, the special also contained a new 'Roll Me Away'
video recorded at the Palace during the 6 shows Seger did
there in '96.
(Thanks for this update to
Diane, Jim Johnson, WCSX and WDIV.)
Album Update from May
Last May, Seger talked to
the Detroit Free Press about the album and the new songs,
telling reporter Brian McCollum that "if the writing gods
aren't with me," the album could be delayed until next
summer. "I can try to force it, but they're going to come
when they come, and there's nothing you can do."
Brian McCollum , May
19, 1998, Detroit Free Press. "Bob Seger duet for 'Hope
Floats' gathered dust for years."
(For those of you keeping
track, Seger was earlier shooting for a potential March '98
release date, and then a late 1998 date.)
He has described his new
songs as "acoustic with a big beat. I'm using a lot of
acoustic guitar and then saving the electric stuff for these
real razor solos, kind of like sneak attack songs. And I'm
really going for melody this time...trying to get back to
good melody." May 14,
1998, The Oakland Press
"I'm always trying to be
as heavy as I can be, but I'm really hoping it's going to be
more melodic, too. We've got some stuff that's kind of
acoustic with a big backbeat.
"You know the Tom Petty
song 'Walls'? It's got huge drums, but it's acoustic. Some
of this stuff is like that. I love the sound of acoustic
instruments -- some piano, some guitar -- then you go into a
break with really ferocious electric guitar."
Brian McCollum , May
19, 1998, Detroit Free Press. "Bob Seger duet for 'Hope
Floats' gathered dust for years."
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