No way. It’s a rock ‘n’ roll kick to the skull. Just the way I like it. Fact is, the first track – Ramblin’ Gamblin’ Man – kicks you in the head and then stomps your solar plexus after you fall to the ground shaking like your grandma’s bundt cake shaped lime jello.
I wanted to hate this slab of wax from 1968 – The Bob Seger System’s first LP – based on my experience with 1980s truck commercials drenched in MOR rock music from Bob Seger. Thing of it is, when you hear that much MOR rock music over and over all day long you begin to loathe it.
But there’s nothing to loathe in the grooves of Bob’s first outing as a rocker. The worst that can be said about this record is that some of the cuts are a bit hippy dippy (“Gone” comes to mind).
But when the Bob Seger System nails it – “Tales Of Lucy Blue”, “Down Home”, “Ivory”, “White Wall” and the title track – they really hammer it in. If Vice President Biden were to ask me to describe this album in terms he’d understand, I’d probably say it was musculoskeletal psychedelic rhythm ‘n’ blues with a dollop of country folk thrown in to scare the crap out of you.
And, that’s what this record did for me. It scared the crap out of me. Because there’s a lot to love about it. And I wasn’t ready to love Seger. There’s thudding, pounding, hammering, screeching and a few moments where you stick your head out the window to escape the smoke and breathe in some of that sweet, cool Motor City air. I love those things in a rock record. A rock record that sounds like Detroit in 1968.
I can actually imagine UAW workers listening to this record as they pounded together a car with some serious curb weight. Sensational. And that my friend, is factual.
For weirdos only: Allow me to get on a teensy weensy soap box for a second. A close look at this record would lead the uninitiated to think I dropped $5.69 for this LP at Laury’s Records. A great deal by me. A real close look will reveal a “Clearance $.50” sticker top right. That’s right, weirdos. Yours truly scored this slab of wax a mere two weeks ago at a used book store for half a buck. Shrink wrap intact. Sure, it’s an early 80s reissue. But 50 cents? Mint condition. It boggles the mind. Talk about an inflation beater! That’s twelve full inches of artwork (Kinda naughty in this case if you look close. Shame on you Capitol Records!) with eleven songs carved neatly into two sides of a vinyl story created by someone desperately trying to tell you something they think is important. Try finding a music file at a used bookstore that can duplicate this action. Go ahead, try it. Take that, digital!