Roxy Music’s Country Life was one of those albums that was purposely left lying around in dorm rooms back in its day, both for the titillation its cover provided and for its worth as a badge that its listener belonged to something sophisticated and refined, however peripherally. Whether you call it art rock or glam, Roxy Music’s early releases were enough like Bowie to attract a serious audience, and that audience found something crucial to that era in Country Life.
“You are here because you want the real thing!” begins Seger’s 1976 release, Live Bullet. Then he and the Silver Bullet Band thunder into Tina Turner’s “Nutbush City Limits.” What follows is over seventy minutes of hard working roots rock recorded live in 1975 at Cobo Hall in Detroit, Michigan. As a Detroit native and one who had almost fifteen years of local success behind him, Live Bullet—the real thing!—was just what Seger needed to break out of the local scene to the national and international audiences he still enjoys today.
There is a euphemistic sports cliché mostly employed by hack boxing commentators or tiresome retired tennis players doing colour commentary when an older competitor is being bested by someone younger; it says, “age serves youth.”They usually add something about legs, stamina, and the beating the body takes over time. Basically, it's a bastardization of the universal observation Herman Hesse so eloquently made in one of his poems, “Like every blossom fades and every youth gives way to old age....” For the most part it's a lie; until you hit the extremes of the curve, power and money are associated with age and maturity. In team sports, maturity, and your team mates tell you when to quit. Individual sports, just like rock and roll, are a little bit different and some people are just stubborn.
I won’t rehearse the sorry history that any Pink Floyd fan knows, but it’s sort of neat that one album survives that features both outgoing guitarist Syd Barrettt and incoming guitarist David Gilmour.