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Smokin' O.P.'s Original recording remastered

4.6 out of 5 stars 57 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Original recording remastered, June 7, 2005
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Capitol Records is responding to requests from the Detroit rocker's online fan community for reissues of Seger's more obscure works by releasing a newly remastered version of his 1972 release, Smokin' O.P.'s. 2005.

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A much requested official CD reissue for an album that was difficult to locate even when it was out on vinyl in 1972, Smokin' O.P.'s finds Bob Seger covering "other people's" favorites, including a few of his own. Accompanied by a tough three piece band with Skip Van Winkle's churning organ often more prominent than guitar, Seger sizzles through a short but intense 35 minute set of nine tunes. Even when reinterpreting warhorses such as "Bo Diddley," "Turn on Your Lovelight" and "Let it Rock," the band charges through with such a crisp, no-nonsense attack. These versions sound fresh, if not quite new, upon this album's remastered reissue in 2005, 33 years after it was recorded. The feeling is that these tunes were already crowd favorites, so the recording has a live electricity to it, only enhanced by subsequent years of slicker music from Seger. The slow burn rearrangement of the once folksy "If I Were a Carpenter" captures the singer at his most vibrant, mixing sensitivity with leathery, roiling rock that explodes into a throbbing crescendo, all in about 3 ½ minutes. The mood only eases up for Leon Russell's "Hummin' Bird" and Seger's one new composition "Someday," a "Turn the Page" styled piano ballad with strings. It is "Heavy Music" in the best sense. The album remains a potent example of Bob Seger at his most raw, when he was young and hungry and sounded it. --Hal Horowitz

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Bo Diddley
  2. Love The One You're With
  3. If I Were A Carpenter
  4. Hummin' Bird
  5. Let It Rock
  6. Turn On Your Light
  7. Jesse James
  8. Someday
  9. Heavy Music


Product Details

  • Audio CD (June 7, 2005)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording remastered
  • Label: Capitol
  • ASIN: B0009IW98O
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (57 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #7,083 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Detroit music in the 1960's and early 1970's was more than just Motown. The area also produced cult favorites and proto-heavy rockers like The Stooges and the MC5. Unless you're from Detroit, however, you may be unaware that Detroiter Bob Seger released a series of albums before he arrived on the national stage in the mid-1970's with break-out hits such as 'Night Moves" and 'Beautiful Loser'. In fact, for quite a few years, both Seger and his fans bemoaned the lack of national attention his work received. Looking back on some of his work reveals why his local fans were perplexed at his delayed ascent, and also why a national audience eluded Seger.

'Smokin' O.P.'s' (meaning smoking other people's... in this case other people's hits rather than cigarettes, although the front insert is a wonderfully simplistic play on a pack of Lucky Strike cigarettes) is a great collection of cover songs. In his early incarnations Seger sounded much more like the sharp-edged J. Geils Band (who first gained acclaim with their 'Full House' LP, recorded at the Grande Ballroom in Detroit) than the more middle-of-the-road rocker he became in the mid-'70's. 'Smokin' O.P.'s' was Bob's fifth album, released in 1972, and for the most part was a collection of excellent cover songs. Most are standard hard-rock offerings (the sound that went down best in local Detroit venues) including an impressive opening trio of Ellis McDaniel's 'Bo Diddley/Who Do You Love', Stephen Stills' 'Love the One You're With', and Tim Hardin's 'If I Were a Carpenter'.
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Format: Audio CD
I used to see Bob Seger at several venues back in Michigan around 1969 and later. I truely enjoyed him then as well as now.
The version of Bo-Diddley on here is the best I have heard. Bob Seger never sang a song without pure unadulterated passion and this CD is no exception. This CD is full of old hits, I bought my copy at a used CD store in Oak Ridge Tn and drove home with the windows down and thinking I was young again.
Bo Diddley, If I was a Carpenter, Heavy Music and Turn on your love light will turn on some old memories for sure.
Bob Seger. The raw edge of old time rock and roll.
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Format: Audio CD
The Good

Seger and company pump up "Bo Diddley" with funky guitar tones and licks, stirring tambourine, and pulsing Hammond organ tones. More funk-style guitar dominates "Love the One Your With". This is one of the most soulful and emotionally charged versions I've heard of this song. The tuneful female vocals blend well with Seger's deep, throaty delivery. The bluesy solo work is simply stunning.

"Humming Bird" is all about the vocals during the first few moment of the song. The emotion builds with the addition of faint guitar and piano. The track takes a spiritual turn when the choir kicks in. "Let It Rock" is all about blues-rock with its blues chord progression and 50's style licks. They forgo the standard guitar solo for an impressive organ solo. Bob's touching and earnest vocals compliment the harmonica, strings, and piano on "Someday".

The Bad

Nothing notable

The Verdict

Light one up, sit back, and enjoy. Smokin' O.P.'s is a lost classic.
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Format: Audio CD
A few years before Bob's truly "breakout" albums (BEAUTIFUL LOSER, LIVE BULLET, AND NIGHT MOVES), he toured heavily and turned out several obscure records. In spite of being ignored by the masses, these "lost" albums formed the solid rock on which Seger's concert shows were built on. SMOKIN' O.P.S is a great album that shows everyone these days what all the excitement was all about.

Here Seger took mostly hits for others and put them to the Silver Bullet. The hot whiskey buzz swings right off the bat with "Bo Diddley". "Bo Diddley" had been a minor entry in the Rock Catalogue; but Seger's treatment breathes high octane life into the old standard. Segar sings his butt off with energy and gusto and the solo guitarist pours fire from his steel strings. "Love the One You've With" intertwines the spirit of James Brown into Stills' Latin flavored/California hymn to "free love" (which legend has it Stills practiced with impunity.).

"If I Were a Carpenter" is Tim Hardin's claim to immortality and has been covered by everyone from Bobby Darin to Johnny Cash. It is such a great song that nearly all performances and recordings are a least "good" to "very good" (Cash's version has a special place in my heart). The temptation for someone like Seger is to turn down the energy and get all soft and sensitive. Instead, Seger flat out rocks this old chestnut and breathes dynamic power into each verse. Excellent. Deserves far more exposure than it has received.

Unfortunately, Seger did not pour his locomotive force in Leon Russel's "Hummin' Bird". In the spirit of full disclosure, I have to admit I have always been under whelmed by the song.
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