Brand New Morning

Bob Seger

Capitol, 1971

REVIEW BY: Shane M. Liebler


Before he was waxing poetic about Main Street, showing off his Night Moves and Turning the Page, Bob Seger was playing joints like the Hideaway on Harper Ave. and making crude rock records.

And somewhere between the Seger Sound System’s raw Ramblin’ Gamblin’ 1968 debut and the rock & soul of 1972’s Smokin’ OP’s (another early career highlight), Seger the songwriter squeezed out this acoustic gem to get the record execs off his back, or so the legend goes.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

This rare fourth record is a revealing musical portrait of the original Seger that would certainly shock his casual fans today and probably surprised some of the dedicated fans who picked up a copy at the time of its release. While Seger claimed to be ashamed of this collection later on in his career and cast it as a hastily assembled collection of outtakes to honor his Capitol contract, the well-executed musicianship and soulful vocals tell a different story.

The heartfelt tunes are better than what most traveling musicians write in their dressing rooms. The title track that opens the album and “Something Like” are striking bookends that prop up a hell of a collection of heartache and redemption.

When Seger peaks with “It’s a brand new morning / It’s a brand new day / It’s a brand new chance to make it all work out some way,” on the first track it should be enough to draw you in for the 30-minute journey. As he breezes through beauties like “Sometimes,” “You Know Who You Are” and “Railroad Days,” with a hearty strum the $100-plus price tag placed on mint condition Morning vinyl becomes reasonable.

The honky tonk “Louise” adds some much needed life to the album’s slow tempo. “Song for Him” is an outstanding demonstration of Seger’s vocal abilities; his patented road-weary hum and gentle shout as you have and have never heard it before.

The only place Seger really stumbles is on the awkward “Maybe Today,” a piano-infused song that doesn’t fit well with the rest of the record.

Brand New Morning is no Seger introduction. It might not even be appropriate for fans of his later material. Accidental or not, Morning’s scarcity and rare glimpse of Seger acting more like Detroit’s Springsteen and less like a Live Bullet has helped transform it into a treasure. Enjoy it if you can find it.

Rating: B+

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



© 2007 Shane M. Liebler and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Capitol, and is used for informational purposes only.