Customer Review

22 of 32 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Replaces the 2 disc "Greatest Hits," but not quite "Ultimate.", November 30, 2011
This review is from: Ultimate Hits: Rock And Roll Never Forgets (Audio CD)
It replaces the 2-disc "Greatest Hits" from ten or so years ago, but other songs are missing that would make this a complete collection. First off, the best "Fire" song that Seger wrote, "The Fire Inside," is not here, nor are "C'est la Vie" or "Rosalie." The collection seems to aim towards radio listeners only, or people who only want one CD of Seger's music (even though he just re-released "Live Bullet.") However, I remember hearing "The Fire Inside" every single day in the afternoon in the car when it was new, and can actually recite several of the lyrics and the hook after not having heard it for a few years now.

That said, why is "Ramblin' Gamblin' Man" even here at all? Recorded in 1968, it sounds very out of place given the gloss of the late-70s/early 80s material. If you've ever heard the album "Smokin' OP's," you know what I mean, as that album, cut in 1972, includes a grainy sounding track, 'Heavy Music," recorded in 1966. There, "Heavy Music" sounds out of place. Here, "Ramblin'" sounds out of place, as it sounds like a) another artist, and b) nothing else on the collection, as far as sound quality and production are concerned (perhaps they should take the tracks and alter the production to sound "current," like ZZ Top did with their entire discography?)

Really, what is needed is a "1968-1974" collection (even if it only sells 50,000 copies), as this collection covers the rest in an incomplete but nearly acceptable way. Right now, Seger's actual best material cannot be easily acquired by interested listeners. Unfortunately, "Early Seger Vol. 1" attempted to cover that concept, but half of the tracks were recorded in the 80s - which means, if it is ever released, "Early Seger Vol. 2" will also be incomplete and will need to be coupled with Vol. 1, and it will also likely have more "unreleased 80s tracks." I wouldn't personally consider recordings Seger cut after age 40 as "Early," as that was the age that marked his successful period.

Who is in control of Seger's catalog? Whomever it is, it's in disarray, and that doesn't appear as if it will be rectified. Capitol refusing to re-release some of its artists' best recordings from the artist's "developmental" phase (Seger, Steve Miller, etc.) is a travesty.

Also, will we ever get the studio version of "Lookin Back," which was always considered one of Seger's most crucial lyrics? Fans, by now, realize that Seger, Capitol, and Punch are not fans of his first seven or eight albums, or any singles that preceded "Hollywood Nights." Sure, this music has made millions and can be heard every day. Apparently, all we'll get from Seger from here on out, barring a "new" studio album or a "live" collection from the 2011 tour (likely) are more hits re-releases containing the same material, or patchworks of eras. I'm surprised people are still spending money on the retreads. Such is life, though (e.g. remaster the same 20 cuts every five years, release the same album as "remastered," and sit back and cash the checks as the public flocks to the same recordings and concepts of old.)

Idea: why not release the albums with 10 extra tracks each, recorded from the actual era the album was cut, like the Rolling Stones? You have to admit that the Stones' expanded versions of "Exile" and "Some Girls," while not the equals of the original albums, are worth the purchase for true fans and casuals alike (true fans get extras, casual fans get what they wanted, remastered.)

No such brightness on the Seger horizon, though, and I'd personally prefer expanded versions of the first eight or so albums than an expanded "Night Moves," which is what we'd likely get if Capitol went down this road.
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Showing 1-7 of 7 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Dec 2, 2011 12:04:50 PM PST
MEW says:
I'm a little confused - why are you buying this CD if you obviously just want a few albums from a short period of time? I think that Ramblin' Gamblin' Man was the best song he ever put out - if you don't like it don't buy it!

Posted on Dec 5, 2011 12:07:38 PM PST
Misha says:
I'm also confused. You complain that "Ramblin' Gamblin' Man" doesn't belong and sounds dated. Then you complain that the old CD's are out of print. So which is it ? Is his early music good or not ? I'm delighted that "RGM" is here; I don't have a copy of the studio version and the album it came from is not available. It was his first hit, and definitely qualifies as "Ultimate" Seger. "The Fire Inside" is a great song, but you can easily get that on the CD of the same name. Your complaints here make no sense, friend.

Posted on Dec 7, 2011 4:42:14 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 7, 2011 4:44:17 PM PST
FromABuick6 says:
I believe you're clearly being misunderstood by these other reviewers. Even I understood and I agree with you 100%. Read it again. He spelled it out in plain english at the beginning of the second paragraph. He means that the lone song from the 1960's feels out of place next to all of the late 1970's & 1980's songs. He also says in the third paragraph that the earlier material belongs in it's own collection without the later radio hits. We need those earlier albums on remastered CDs for sure. Also, exactly the point I argued in my own review...where is "The Fire Inside"? One of his best songs.

Posted on Mar 21, 2012 3:48:17 PM PDT
G. Lewis says:
I agree with the comment about the inferior version of Heavy Music found on "Smokin' O.P.s".
The best studio version of HM is found on the German release of "Back In '72", which also contains the studio version of Turn The Page as well as many other gems.

Posted on Dec 5, 2012 1:42:03 PM PST
If anyone ever deserved a 4 or 5 disc box set it's Bob Seger.
Too many of his releases are out of print; the two disc best ofs are inadequate.
Ramblin' Gamblin' Man may sound out of place but it needs to be
included. Bob & the band just lifts it off the ground.

In reply to an earlier post on May 24, 2013 12:44:26 AM PDT
Agreed. I've been waiting for a proper anthology/box set of Seger's work given the sheer breadth of his catalog, and the fact that a good portion of it is out of print. Granted, that's not the intention with this collection, but the lack of a proper career retrospective just makes every greatest hits package seem incomplete.

Posted on Sep 22, 2013 8:50:10 PM PDT
F. Hearley says:
Sorry my friend,his best"fire" song is definitely Fire Down Below :)
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