Mar 012011

2011 may prove to be Bob Seger’s most active year since the mid-‘80s. He’s announced a rare tour with dozens of dates and, accompanying it, a new album. He just dropped the first single and, whaddya know, it’s a Tom Waits cover!

The song is “Downtown Train,” best known via Rod Stewart’s loved/loathed interpretation. Frankly, Seger doesn’t stray far from the Stewart template, but the lack of theatrical over-emoting does improve things. This is hardly Seger’s first foray into the Tom Waits catalog. He also covered “Blind Love” and “New Coat of Paint” on 1991’s The Fire Inside, making us wonder what he could do with a different Rain Dogs ballad. “Anywhere I Lay My Head”? “Diamonds and Gold”?

Maybe next time. ‘Til then, check out “Downtown Train” with a stream posted on his website.

Check out more Bob Seger at his website.

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  4 Responses to “Listen: Bob Seger Returns with “Downtown Train””

Comments (4)
  1. Nice. My favorite version of this song continues to be Patty Smyth’s from “Never Enough”

  2. if I remember correctly, Seger had this done and ready to release, but got hung up with some record company BS at the time (shortly after Waits’ Rain Dog had died down a bit) and Rod the Mod beat him to it, much to his dismay. Loved Tom’s version, loved Rod’s, can’t imagine Bob’s being TOO different from Rod’s, which is probably why Seger was reportedly pissed when he heard Rod’s version and probably even more miffed when it soared to the top of the charts. Why else would he wait so long to release this, except for the obvious comparisons we will make. I’m willing to give him a break after all this time. For god’s sake, he was going to record a Tom Waits song when about 25 people even knew who he was. Glad to be able to hear it after all these years, Bob. Oh, also loved your version of ‘Stoned Blind Love’ by Waits.

  3. Seger’s voice sounds a great as it ever did on “DTT”. It makes me wonder if this is a new recording, or the original recording never released in 1990.

  4. Bob Seger is rock and roll . I like Rod Stewart, of course, but Seger is Seger, songwriter, great band, Silver Bulet and an incredible voice. Excellent.

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