If you've been listening to rock n' roll for 50 years like a certain old fart, there can be little dispute as to who has the best rock voice. (Although I'd be tickled if you'd beg to differ.) The guy who can best whisper, growl, croon and howl is another gift from the great state of Michigan: Mr. Bob Seger. (Eddie Vedder is 2nd. I'll get around to him one of these days)
But Seger is not just a pretty set of pipes. He's a terrific storyteller and has written, recorded, and charted more classic tunes than most artists could dream of. There are so many songs to choose from to illustrate my not-so humble opinion but I'm going to limit myself to (and beg your indulgence for) three. Sadly, I couldn't find any clips of live performances that satisfied my ears' quality criteria.
First up is a tune that didn't get the airplay that many of his did and still rarely appears on the playlists of oldies stations. But it's a gem.
As always, please turn up your speakers and enjoy Fire Inside.
If Nat "King" Cole's voice was buttery caramel, Seger's is whiskey and a fine cigar. The richness and maturity of tone is evident in Like A Rock. (And there's a sweet slide guitar for some aural dessert.)
You folks know me. I don't toss around terms like "perfect" lightly. For about 20 years, my all-time favourite (and also perfect) song was Good Vibrations by The Beach Boys. Somewhere around 1990, this next tune came on the radio. It was probably the 200th time I'd heard it -- but for some reason it felt like the first. I cranked up the car radio during the guitar intro and knew Good Vibrations had just slipped to 2nd place - where it remains.
Seger wrote and recorded a tune that touched my soul and probably that of millions of people who were teens in the 60s. It's about youth and dreams and immortality - sung from the standpoint of weary, yet defiant resignation.
And it's perfect.
Thanks to metalboombox, jonny1214 and shutterbugger24 for posting the videos.