Tuesday, May 27, 2014


I’m going to finish off my Seger series with a virtually unknown album.

That statement is probably not 100% accurate.

Most people know of the album I’ve been listening to, they just don’t know they know it.

On the live version of “I’ve Been Workin,” Seger introduces the song with “This is from back in ’72.” And on the radio staple “Turn The Page,” he says “This is also from ’72.”

I always thought these were songs he wrote in 1972 and never released. As I am sure most radio listeners though-but Bob was telling all of us to check out another album, and we didn't know it!

Unbeknownst to me and most of America, in 1974,  Seger released an album called Back In ’72 that featured the studio version of these songs.

Featuring appearances by JJ Cale and the Muscle Shoals Band, Seger has reportedly refused to release it on CD due to dismay over the mix and his own vocal performance.

His voice sounds great to me, and the album features some stellar songs, not the just fan favorite, "Turn The Page."

The album version, while quite good, does not stand up to the live rendition, primarily because of the saxophone in the live version. 

On the studio track, it is there, on the live track, Alto Reed reaches out and grabs you (I believe it is Alto Reed on the studio cut as well, but on the live cut, the sax manages to be epic despite its short bursts).

The rest of the album has some standout tracks, the ballad “I Wrote You A Song,” the title cut, covers of "Midnight Rider," "I've Been Workin" and "Stealin," and this song, "Rosalie." 

The album did penetrate the nether regions of the album chart (#188), but has since faded into obscurity. 

Someone posted the album in its entirety should you have a half hour to spare, and the interest...

Vinyl copies of other early albums (Ramblin’ Gamblin’ Man, Mongrel) were readily available in the late 70’s, but I never knew of this album’s existence until I picked up the compact disc, which as an import, could be of questionable copyright legality. 

As noted above, Seger is reportedly unwilling to allow three of his early efforts (Noah and Brand New Morning in addition to this album) to be reissued. 

Which probably means I purchased a bootleg copy, although I purchased it from a reputable online retailer.

So here ends my trip through the early years of Seger's career. Hope it brought back as many memories for you as it did for me!


  1. This is only marginally related to this post, but it is what I thought of after reading it... Mom and I have been singing karaoke on Friday nights. There is one guy there that always sings the same four songs. One of those songs is Turn The Page. I really liked this song before this dude got hold of it. hahahaha. Well, it is and isn't funny.

    One thing that I have noticed with karaoke is that every person does it differently. The guy I mentioned above always does the Rock Star when he sings. And that might not be so bad if he could sing. He can sing... marginally. It isn't really a sound aesthetically pleasing to the ear, but he is on the note most of the time. But, it is his Rock Star performance that drives me mom crazy. She always says, "There he goes again, bending over and singing to the floor." I think he is digging deep and has this image of performers closing their eyes and crooning to the floor. Personally, I have always found it more enjoyable when they just sing it and look at the audience. But, that is just me.

    I know that was completely Off Topic... sorry. I am glad that you discovered this rare Seger album (bootleg or not). I know that the collector in you had to be a bit giddy. :)

    1. I always find it amusing when people sing a karaoke song they obviously do not know.

      If I do not know the lyrics, I won't sing it-if I can't read the monitor and sing well (can't walk and chew gum either, I guess).

      Sometimes when there's a real high note or a "belt it out" note called for, I may lose eye contact with the crowd, but that is a rarity-otherwise I'd suspect the song is out of my range.

      Karaoke used to be a weekly (sometimes twice weekly) event for me, especially when I lived in Philly and it was more of a happy hour thing.

      Most of the bars in AZ seem to start it at 9pm on Wed nights...when I am usually not thinking about going to a bar.

      So what songs do you sing?


    2. I am not saying this guy doesn't know the song. He does. I am saying that he isn't that good of a singer and it is woefully worse by his antics of gyrating around like he imagines a Rock Star would do and crooning to the floor. If I had a Jewish grandmother I can hear her saying, "Oy." Repeatedly.

      I sing a lot of songs. I am fairly fearless about trying songs I have never karaoked. (I think I might have made that word up. Spell check didn't like it. Ha!) I feel most comfortable in the 80s. I also sing some 70s, 60s, and country. In other words, you never know what you'll get when I step up to the mic!

      I've only apologized to a crowd once. That was after trying I Heard It Through The Grapevine. I love that song and it sounds great in the car. Just goes to show that the songs you love aren't necessarily the ones you can sing!

    3. I guess I'm a chicken-if I haven't sung it in the shower, I don't sing it in front of an audience!

  2. LC ~
    Yes, I was aware of this album although I never owned it. I believe I’d seen it in record bins back “in the day”.

    Not sure if I’d heard Seger’s studio track ‘ROSALIE’, but I was very, very familiar with the song because it had been covered by THIN LIZZY, a band that I was a massive fan of back then. In fact, they were my very favorite band for several years after I grew tired of Styx, and I owned most of T.L.’s albums and played some of them to death.

    My #1 Thin Lizzy album was always ‘Bad Reputation’, but I also nearly wore about the album ‘Fighting’, which included T.L.’s studio cover of ‘ROSALIE’.

    ‘ROSALIE’ – Thin Lizzy (album: ‘Fighting’ – 1975)

    The song also appeared on their 1978 album ‘Live And Dangerous’, which I played frequently:

    ‘ROSALIE’ (recorded Live) – Thin Lizzy

    In case those links don’t work properly, below are the unlinked URLs:



    Hate to say it but... in my opinion, Thin Lizzy beat Bob Seger with his own song.

    And, by the way, although I never owned this Seger album, I had heard the studio version of ‘Turn The Page’ played on radio, and we are still in agreement that the live take is far, far superior to it.

    Oh, one last thing... a bit of music trivia: ‘ROSALIE’ was written by Bob Seger about Rosalie Trombley, who was a longtime Music Director of CKLW, a radio station in Windsor, Ontario. Apparently she broke a lot of important hits and stars in that capacity. In 1978, she listed her 10 personal favorite albums as:

    ‘Songs In The Key Of Life’ (Stevie Wonder), ‘Live Bullet’ (Bob Seger), ‘Frampton Comes Alive’ (P.F.), ‘Goodbye Yellow Brick Road’ (Elton), ‘Their Greatest Hits, 1971-1975’ (The Eagles), ‘Endless Summer’ (The Beach Boys), ‘Chicago IX’ (Kansas), ‘The Beatles 1962-1966’ and ‘The Beatles 1967-1970’ (by The Rolling Stones), ‘Led Zeppelin IV’ (by Black Sabbath), and ‘Meaty Beaty Big And Bouncy’ (by... guess Who!)

    All that comes from my book ‘ROCK CRITICS’ CHOICE: THE TOP 200 ALBUMS’ compiled by Paul Gambaccini.

    ~ D-FensDogg
    ‘Loyal American Underground’

    1. I agree that the Thin Lizzy cover is better-the Back In '72 album has a lot of good material, but unlike later efforts, is underproduced!

      I did not find this disc until 2004 or so, and had never herad the studio version of "Turn The Page," so while I was glad to finally get my mitts on it, I doubt even Seger himself would argue that the live version is the definitive version. SInce he refuses to let this album be released on CD, he may even agree that Thin Lizzy does a better job with "Rosalie."

      You already know my problem with Ms. Trombley's top ten list...three greatest hits albums....although I have to start looking for that Chicago album by Kansas...I hear it was recorded in London with a producer from Japan...


    2. Just looked up this book on Amazon-a little too pricey for me, but the one review has a couple of sentences regarding the inclusion of greatest hits collections...

  3. >>... but I also nearly wore about the album ‘Fighting’,...

    Bad typo on my part. Obviously I meant "...nearly wore OUT the album 'Fighting',..."

    Yeah, I almost said something myself about the number of 'Greatest Hits' on Rosalie's list but figured I'd leave that for you.
    Ha! [:-)

    While I was at YouTube collecting those T.L. URLs, I read a few of the comments and someone there also suggested that the reason Seger didn't play 'Rosalie' much was because he'd heard the T.L. version and figured he couldn't match it. Hmmm... maybe.

    I owned that book in 1978 and it turned me onto a lot of albums I wasn't knowledgeable about back then. I spent many hours going over that book, but it's way out-of-date now.

    I did buy a used copy from Amazon years ago to replace my original which I'd tossed or given away. When the book arrived, I recall showing it to you in the parking lot at 'The Grove'. I'm surprised it's now pricey, as I got it for maybe 3 or 4 dollars.

    >>... I have to start looking for that Chicago album by Kansas...I hear it was recorded in London with a producer from Japan...

    That's not what I heard! I heard it was produced by a German girl in England who was goin' to school in France and that it was recorded in Mississippi at an Alpha Kappa dance.

    ~ D-FensDogg
    'Loyal American Underground'

    1. Right...the Alpha Kappa album....must have mixed them up! Destroyed by the Delaware influence...

      "Fighting" was a Thin Lizzy album I did not own until my CD days (early 90's?), but I didn't hear Seger's version until at least a decade later...I'm not sure when I made the connection on the song...you may have even been the one to tell me (would have been 2004 or so).