Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Bob Seger "Downtown Train"

On Monday, I was writing about artists putting songs "On Hold," and was saying that it was an term I was not familiar with it.

Turns out, neither was Bob Seger.

In 1989, Seger supposedly had just completed the recording sessions for his new album, at the end of a decade that saw him achieve higher commercial success that ever before.

The story goes that he ran into acquaintance Rod Stewart. He told Stewart about this great Tom Waits cover he had just recorded.

Flash forward a couple of months later, Stewart has gone into the studio, recorded his own version of Waits' "Downtown Train," and gets it released before Seger's version.

It remains is one of the biggest commercial hits of Stewart's career, and even earned him a Grammy Nomination.

Seger, on the other hand, was reportedly PISSED. He pulled the planned album release and went into the studio, motivated to record something that would REALLY knock Rod's socks off. It took him until 1991 to get his next album out, and by that time, Nirvana had hit, and suddenly there was no room for Classic Rockers on Grunge radio.

His version of "Downtown Train" remains unreleased.

But lots of people have recorded it. Here are clips of Waits' original, Rod's remake, and covers from Mary Chapin Carpenter, Everything But The Girl and Patty Smyth.

The Rod Stewart, Pop-Up Video Version, with Seger story

Rarely seen Tom Waits video

1 comment:

  1. justice has come.