I Knew You When – Bob Seger (Deluxe Edition)
This is 72-year old Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member Bob Seger’s eighteenth studio album. It was self-produced and recorded in Detroit and Nashville and dedicated to longtime friend Glenn Frey, who died in 2016. The album cover features a mid-60’s photo of Seger. Some of the songs were written and originally recorded several years ago.
I saw Seger in concert with the Silver Bullet Band back at the now defunct Poplar Creek Music Theatre near Chicago in the summer of 1980 and have enjoyed his music ever since. Here are a few brief comments about each of the songs:
Gracile – The album opens strong with this rocker, featuring excellent guitar, including a nice solo, bass, drums and backing vocals. This song is a about a woman. She’s a winner, her body is gracile (slender, thin, graceful), and she’s in control.
Busload Of Faith – This song was written by Lou Reed and appeared on his 1989 album New York. It was the first single released from the new album. Seger changed some of the lyrics, substituting “You can’t depend on the President” for Reed’s “You can’t depend on the churches”. It’s an upbeat song with horns, a guitar solo and gospel-like backing vocals.
The Highway – This rocker is driven by guitar and a drum beat. It features a strong vocal by Seger, backing vocals, some of which sounds like an uncredited Bruce Springsteen, and a guitar solo. In a world of phony prophets, he’s packing up his gear, getting out of here and heading for the highway.
I Knew You When – This song has the feel of some of Seger’s biggest hits. It is a mid-tempo song featuring piano and backing vocals. The song dates back to 1997 and was considered for his Face the Promise album. It has Seger looking back to memories of a “glorious long ago”. He’s singing to someone who was always a friend.
I’ll Remember You – This is a powerful guitar driven ballad, that also features piano. Seger delivers a passionate vocal, and is backed by strong backing vocals. He has some regrets and wishes he had the words to take it all away. The song was originally considered for his 2014 album Ride Out.
The Sea Inside – Seger has described this song as being “very Led Zeppelin”. It features heavy guitars, including a few solos and strong drums. The song is about moving away from earthly things, being free at last, leaving the past behind, charting a new course and sailing the sea inside you. I’m not sure what that means exactly, perhaps some type of meditation technique. The song was originally considered for his 2014 album Ride Out.
Marie – This ballad features piano, drums, acoustic guitar and backing vocals. I had a hard time figuring out this song, directed to a Marie, who he encourages to stay free. He is going to follow her down for a while. He sings that not much has changed in 5,000 years.
Runaway Train – This is an up-tempo rocker, first recorded in 1993 for his album It’s a Mystery. It has a driving beat, strong vocal, excellent guitar and sax solos and good backing vocals. He doesn’t know what he’s doing, or where he’s going. He’s like a runaway train. Is there a reason he’s on this road or is it random?
Something More – This song dates back to 2001. It’s a power ballad with guitar, strong drum beat, sax and guitar solos and backing vocals. He asks the important question “Is that all you want or is there something more?”
Democracy – This song was written by Leonard Cohen and included on his 1992 album The Future. It features military style drumming, guitar, synth and backing vocals. Democracy is coming to the USA. Key lyric: I love the country but I can’t stand the scene. And I’m neither left or right, I’m just staying home tonight, getting lost in that hopeless little screen.
Forward Into The Past – This rocker dates back to 1999. The song is driven by guitar, including a solo, and heavy drum beat, with piano and backing vocals. Rural towns are drying up as everyone is heading to the city, taking jobs with big corporations, too tired to make a stand. There are references to bailouts and Wall Street. Hometowns are nearly empty, as are schools and churches, as everyone has left to go to the city. That whole way of life is fading fast.
Blue Ridge – This up-tempo rocker is an ode to the history and beauty of the Appalachian Mountains. This song dates back to 1997 and was a candidate for his Face the Promise album. The song is drum-driven and features keys, a guitar solo and backing vocals.
Glenn Song – This beautiful acoustic ballad is about Seger’s 50-year friendship with the Eagles’ Glenn Frey. Seger originally posted the song on his website on January 16, the one-year anniversary of Frey’s death.
You were strong
You were sharp
But you had the deepest heart
You showed the whole world what we knew
There was no one quite like you
- Build My Life. Watch this new music video from Michael W. Smith for “Build My Life” from his excellent new live worship album Surrounded.
- I Won’t Let You Go. Watch this duet between Jon Foreman of Switchfoot and Lauren Daigle on an acoustic rendition of Switchfoot’s song “I Won’t Let You Go”.
- New Van Morrison Album. Van Morrison will be releasing his third album in seven months. You’re Driving Me Crazywill come out on April 27 and follows Versatile and Roll With the Punches, which were released last December and September, respectively. The new LP is billed as a collaboration with jazz organist Joey DeFrancesco.
- All My Hope. Check out this video of Crowder and Tauren Wells performing All My Hope at Passion 2018.
- Music in worship shouldn’t familiarize God to me, but rather music should stimulate the soul to a posture of adoration. R.C. Sproul
- But crooked sticks draw straight lines, look at me. Lecrae
- What we do with our lives every day, whether at school, a desk job, or keeping the home in order, is our most basic opportunity to glorify God. That’s what your role in His story looks like day in and day out. Instead of waiting to be offered a new role, play the current one well. Trip Lee
- Love is not a feeling in your chest. It is bending down to wash another’s feet. Andrew Peterson
- The family of God is the choir and God is their audience. Keith Getty
Last Words (Tenebrae) by Andrew Peterson
This week’s song of the week comes from the amazing Andrew Peterson, and it comes from his Resurrection Letters: Prologue EP. About the song, Andrew writes:
“The Seven Last Words of the Cross,” as they’re traditionally known, are the seven phrases Jesus uttered on the cross as recorded in the Gospels. Countless sermons, musical pieces, and books have been written about them over the centuries. We wanted Resurrection Letters: Prologue to open with a meditative song that not only included each phrase but also mirrored a liturgical Holy Week service called “Tenebrae.” Tenebrae is Latin for “a darkening.”
In the service, a series of candles are blown out one at a time after readings that reflect the brokenness of the world and the desolation of Christ’s abandonment on the cross. Needless to say, it’s a heavy service—ending with the final candle being extinguished, plunging the room into darkness. The congregants leave in silence, having been reminded of Jesus’s final breath in a quietly devastating way. It has become, for me, a crucial preparation for the joy of Easter Sunday. The Seven Last Words are sung in a round, and then they fade away, like candles being blown out, until Christ commits his spirit into the Father’s hands.”
Watch the lyric video for this beautiful song.
Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do
Forgive them, they know not what they do
Today you will be with me in Paradise
You will be with me today
Behold your son, behold your mother, behold your son
My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
Why have you forsaken me?
I thirst, I thirst
It is finished, it is finished
Father, into your hands, into your hands
I commit my spirit
Peterson’s Resurrection Letters Volume 1 will be released March 30.
October 16, 2018 at 10:47 am
The album is another reminder that music has always been a labour of love for Bob. He has no reason to keep doing it otherwise. Inevitably his new work will be compared to his previous litany of hit songs and some one somewhere will say that its not as good as night move, old time rock & Roll, or whatever….. but the fact is, this guy is a fantastic song writer/performer and will likely go to the grave with ideas still to be recorded.
October 18, 2018 at 5:29 pm
Well said Benoit. I’m looking forward to catching a show on his “Farewell Tour” in a few months. Thanks, Bill