- Album name: Stranger in Town
- Group name: Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band
- Year: 1978
- Number of discs: one
- Label: Capitol Records
- Collection: Essex
- Distinguishing characteristics: hole drilled through top right corner
- Buy it on Amazon: $19.99
Level of familiarity before listening
I am vaguely familiar with Bob Seger – who is definitely not the same person as Pete Seeger, who last appeared here when I reviewed The Greatest Songs of Woody Guthrie (1972) in the spring, and when I reviewed The Bitter End Years (1974) last autumn – but I can’t exactly recall how, or for what.
The only song that I recognize by name is Old Time Rock and Roll, a classic.
What I expected
Country and country rock, I guess?
What it was actually like
Much of this record was hopelessly boring soft rock, and I did not enjoy a lot of it.
A couple of songs, however, stood out for being much faster and more electric than the others: Hollywood Nights and Feel Like a Number. I liked that part, but they still weren’t really good songs at all, and in both cases the vocals reminded me of Springsteen (not in a good way), and the lyrics kind of did, too. In the former, a bit of the guitar riff sounded a bit like Born to be Wild, though, and that was pretty good.
The Famous Final Scene stood out from the others as uncommonly boring; Brave Strangers was, like the rest, not offensively bad – until the very slow part with the saxophone.
On the subject of excessive and unnecessary saxophone in rock music, I didn’t remember it in Old Time Rock and Roll, but there it was, weirdly tarnishing what was otherwise undoubtedly a great song, the best on this record by far. This was definitely a song of my childhood, too, in the way that childhood songs are just kind of around and in the atmosphere, often seemingly detached from belonging to a time or place, which is why I never associated it with Seger.
2/5: weak, but I was able to listen to the whole thing