Sep 272017
bob seger busload of faith

Bob Seger has written any number of classic rock standards, but in recent years he’s turned increasingly towards covers. He promoted his last album, 2014’s Ride Out, with a cover of Wilco and Billy Bragg’s “California Stars”. The previous one launched with a version of Tom Waits’ “Downtown Train.” Now he’s just announced a follow-up, I Knew You When, with a cover of a relative Lou Reed deep cut, 1989’s “Busload of Faith.”

Where Reed’s original was a gritty punk-poetry diatribe, Seger blows it up into a white-man soul anthem. A horn section, backing chorus, and furious guitar solo brings a huge Seger sound that evokes one of his 1970s records. Well, with one difference: He changes Reed’s lyric “you can’t depend on the churches” into a timely “you can’t depend on the president.”

Ever old-school, Seger has not released the track to streaming services or YouTube (god forbid). It’s only been shared with radio stations. But one of them posted a stream, which you can hear below.

While you listen, read NPR Music’s fascinating recent piece on how Seger’s famous reluctance to embrace the internet may be hurting his legacy.

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  2 Responses to “Bob Seger Covers Lou Reed on New Album (But Doesn’t Make It Easy to Find)”

Comments (2)
  1. I totally agree. Seger has reached mega star status. Majority of mega stars promote themselves on the internet. Although he really does not need to additional visibility would certainly be beneficial.

  2. The line is not only changed to “you can’t depend on the president” but follows with “–unless there real-estate that you wanna buy”–making it more explicitly about real-estate mogul Trump. Lou Reed’s ‘New York’ album, on which the original version appears, was the first album I ever bought in that high-tech new format called “CD.” Still have it, and still like this song. Nice cover.

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