Early Seger: Misleading Title, Wasted Opportunity

My eyes widened and my jaw actually dropped a little when I saw the headline: Bob Seger Raids Vaults For ‘Early Seger’ Set. Finally, I thought, the Seger System stuff is going to be released on CD. Maybe even the Last Heard singles?


It’s a ten song set with five songs remastered from the original tapes of his 1972-73 albums Smokin’ O.P.’s, Back in ’72, and Seven. This is good stuff, for sure (listen), but it’s not really “early Seger” by anybody’s definition. At least not anybody from Michigan. To make matters worse, the rest of the stuff was written during the ’80s and then “enhanced…with fresh vocals, horns and/or other new instrumentation recorded during September at Kid Rock’s studio in suburban Detroit.”

Something calling itself “Early Seger” should contain at least some stuff from the sixties, and absolutely nothing from the 80s. And you can’t call it “Early Seger” if Kid Rock worked on it! Come on now. Well, at least we’ve got YouTube…

The Bob Seger System

©1970 & 2009 Pat Appleson Studios, Inc. – www.appleson.com All Rights Reserved, Used by Permission

Just like Rod Stewart, it may be difficult for people to grasp the fact that Bob Seger was once really cool. And good. See for yourself…

Video: Bob Seger and the Last Heard – “East Side Story” (1966)

Audio: Bob Seger and The Last Heard – “Heavy Music” (1967)

Video: The Bob Seger System – “2+2=?” (single mix) (1967)

Video: Bob Seger System – “Ramblin’ Gamblin’ Man” (1968)

Video: Bob Seger System – “Noah” (1969)

Video: Bob Seger System – “Lucifer” (1970)

For more information about this awesome period in Detroit rock history, be sure to read the Free Press‘s definitive oral history of Seger’s early years.

Bob Seger: iTunes, Amazon, Insound, wiki

14 thoughts on “Early Seger: Misleading Title, Wasted Opportunity”

  1. Seger is an idiot. If he had half a brain, he’d be on the phone with Jack White, asking him to produce a new album, recorded in Detroit, using only vintage instruments, no synth, maybe a few covers of classic Detroit garage rock songs, young Detroit kids playing behind him. Seger could then package this with a second disc of old System stuff and it would be the release of the year.

  2. Classic rock station in Detroit tracked through most of it the other morning. Pretty lame. I too was excited when I heard the title. Bob has to be at the top of the list of clueless rock stars. He and Punch really don’t have a fucking clue regarding his catalog. They are missing whole generations of people who would dig that early stuff or at least not think Bob is a total joke based on what they do know about him.

  3. Is ‘Get Out Of Denver’ considered Early Seger? That tune is just amazing…….for real. Chuck Berry riffs all over Hunter Thompson lyrics- awesome.

  4. Jack White + Seger = awesome idea.

    Like many, I mainly know Seger from the radio hits, and just heard Smokin’ OPs for the first time. Is it okay to like it? Or is that not ‘early’ enough?..

  5. Oh yeah, anything before “Live Bullet” is early Seger. We’re just giving him shit for never releasing any of the sixties/System stuff on CD.

    All five of the songs from Smokin’ O.P.’s, Back in ’72, and Seven included on this CD are great songs. But Back in ’72 and Seven still haven’t ever been released on CD. This release is just an enormous pricktease. Boo.

  6. Punch and Bob may be clueless but I’m willing to bet they can assuage their feelings of insecurity by looking over their bank statements while sailing on Bob’s big boat.

    As for Kid Rock, that greasy little poseur must save a bunch on shoe leather riding on everyone else’s coattails.

    Jack White + Bob Seger? Pure genius.

  7. Jake, it’s not that bad with CD’s.

    I do have Seven on CD.

    But Back in 72 I have never seen in any format since starting to get into Seger in late seventies.

  8. The time has come (many years ago) for Bob to release a box set of all early stuff. I should be able to pop on a remastered version of Back in 72 by now for fuck sakes. I love Bob’s music and agree that calling this release “Early Seger” was misleading by adding 80’s stuff. I love them – don’t get me wrong – but the unreleased stuff could’ve been more like ‘Still Water’ and ‘Sail On’. Just do a boxed set and start waaay back with Vagrant Winter and work forward. ++Great idea to work with Jack White. Now that would be way cool.

  9. So I picked this up at Meijer while I was back in Michigan for Thanksgiving. Verdict after one listen: the first five songs sound awesome, and the next five sound like 80s Seger.

    Two of those awesome first five (“If I Were a Carpenter” and “Someday”) are currently in print on the 2007 remastered Smokin’ O.P.’s though. Seems weird to include them here when there’s so much out of print stuff in the vaults…

    Nevertheless, it’s kinda cool to see they’re still using the Hideout Records name (if not the orginal logo).

  10. I did some drywallin’ for Bobby Segers in 90-91. Nice enough fella. Kinda quiet. This Jack White fella–he the same Jack White ran over the mobster’s dog with his snowmobile a couple winters back in Ann Arbor? Had to beat it outta town right quick. Helluva plumber Jack White. Big beer drinker.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *