Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band
Ultimate Hits: Rock And Roll Never Forgets
One important note off the bat: This double-disc Bob Seger bonanza focuses almost exclusively on Silver Bullet Band material, the real hits of the mid-’70s through the early-’80s. We only get one Seger System song here, “Ramblin’ Gamblin’ Man.” An excellent tune for sure, but unfortunately for fans of Seger’s deeper catalog, there’s no “Rosalie,” no “Get Out of Denver,” no “Lucifer,” and certainly no “2+2=?.”
With that caveat out of the way, if you’re of a certain age and, even more, if you grew up in the so called flyover states, having a collection like this is almost unnecessary. These songs are so ingrained in your psyche that just reading the tracks on the back cover brings each to mind in vivid, full stereo. Still, it’s good to have a refresher course on what no-bullshit rock and roll is all about. The roar of Seger’s gravely voice as he comes into “Rock and Roll Never Forgets” still has the power to send little chills down your spine. And for the discerning listener, the mastering quality on this collection is absolutely top notch. Everything is clear and loud, like it should be.
Inclusion of the earlier material—songs Seger tends to distance himself from—would have truly made this an ultimate hits collection. The inclusion of “Little Drummer Boy” (first time on a Seger album, according to the press release) and some later songs being plugged along with his current tour might have you reaching for the fast-forward button in favor of the well-worn favorites (another round of “Hollywood Nights!”). Still, Mr. Seger and his Silver Bullets serve up a healthy helping of blistering, red-blooded, rock and roll classics.
Click here for more music features from Mother Jones.