In the mid-1970’s there was really only one guy who could truly rival Bruce Sprinsteen as the burgeoning champion of American blue-collar rock - and that man was Bob Seger. Both of these artists were renowned for hard-driving, yet soulful live performances featuring powerhouse backing groups, the E-Street Band and Silver Bullet Band respectively.
Bruce Springsteen broke into the big time first with his August 1975-released third album, Born To Run which reached no.3 on the Billboard charts. Seger had to wait just a little longer for his break-out into the mainstream, when his ninth album, Night Moves, released in October 1976, which finally hit no.8 on the Billboard charts in 1977.
The performance on this CD is from a little earlier - July 1974 - when Bob Seger was busy rampaging across the USA steadily solidifying his reputation as an all-out rocker of the very highest calibre. By this stage he already had a supremely strong body of work to draw on for his live sets, having already released seven well-received studio albums since 1969. He had already built up a fearsome reputation in his native state, Michigan.
Probably the best-known of Seger’s own early compositions included on this CD is the title track ‘Get Out Of Denver’ (from the 1974 album Seven), which was later covered by Eddie & the Hot Rods and Status Quo amongst others. ‘Rosalie’ is another of Seger’s better-known songs, taken from Back in ‘72 (1973) and most memorably covered by Thin Lizzy. The oldest Seger original here is ‘Ramblin’ Gamblin’ Man’ the title track of his 1969 debut album.
‘Song To Rufus’ is a rarely performed cut, drawn from 1970’s Mongrel LP. ‘Someday’ and ‘Heavy Music’ are the only two original compositions on 1972’s Smokin’ O.P.s album, the sleeve of which parodies the Lucky Strike cigarette logo. Apart from these two songs, the album otherwise consists solely of cover-versions. ‘All Your Love’ and ‘UMC’ (Upper Middle Class) are both from Seven, released, just a few months before this performance, in March 1974. The remaining Seger composition is the otherwise-unreleased ‘Sail On’.
And - like Springsteen - Seger’s live sets are liberally sprinkled with dynamic cover versions - included herein are the relatively-obscure ‘Gang Bang’, originally by The Sensational Alex Harvey Band, ‘Nutbush City Limits’ written by the irrepressible Tina Turner, Van Morrison’s bluesy ‘I’ve Been Working’, a marathon 12-minute version of Chuck Berry’s classic ‘Let It Rock’ and, the set-opener, Blues legend Albert King’s ‘Don’t Burn Down The Bridge’.
1. Don’t Burn Down the Bridge
2. I’ve Been Working
4. Sail On
6. Nutbush City Limits
7. Heavy Music
8. Ramblin’ Gamblin’ Man
9. Gang Bang
10. All Your Love
11. Let It Rock
12. Get Out of Denver
14. Song to Rufus
Live KBPI-FM broadcast from Ebbet’s Field,
Denver, Colorado 8th July 1974