Heavy Music

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"Heavy Music Part 1"
Single by Bob Seger & The Last Heard
B-side "Heavy Music Part 2"
Released Summer 1967
Format 7-inch
Genre Rock
Length 2:33
Label Cameo-Parkway
Writer(s) Bob Seger
Producer(s) Doug Brown
Bob Seger & The Last Heard singles chronology
"Vagrant Winter"
(1967)
"Heavy Music"
(1967)
"2 + 2 = ?"
(1968)
"Heavy Music"
Song by Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band from the album Live Bullet
Released 1976
Recorded September, 1975
Cobo Hall, Detroit, Michigan
Genre Rock
Length 8:14
Label Capitol
Writer Bob Seger
Live Bullet track listing
"Ramblin' Gamblin' Man"
(9)
"Heavy Music"
(10)
"Katmandu"
(11)

"Heavy Music" is a song first released as a single by Bob Seger & The Last Heard. Two different vocal takes of the song (using the same instrumental track) were released together on either side of the single, with the names "Heavy Music Part 1" and "Heavy Music Part 2." Both versions were later edited together and released on Seger's album Smokin' O.P.'s, long after his tenure with The Last Heard. An eight minute fourteen second-long live version of the song is featured on the album Live Bullet with the Silver Bullet Band.

Writing and Production[edit]

The song, on its most literal level, is about the specific act of listening to music and the emotions it evokes. Seger poses the questions: "Don't you ever listen to the radio when the big bad beat comes on?" and "Don't you ever feel like going insane when the drums begin to pound?" in the first and second verses, respectively. The lyric features a lot of vocal ad-libbing throughout, giving rise to a possible sexual connotation. The first words of the song are "Come on with me baby // we're gonna have a good time." Later, he says "I'm goin' in, I'm goin' in now," and other phrases to that effect. He also utters the word "deeper" about fifteen different times in the Smokin' O.P.'s version of the song. Seger himself, however, denies the sexual reading of the lyric: "A lot of people really misconstrued it. That was a song about the music, but a lot of people thought it was a song about music and sex, the two together. There was nothing sexual in it, it was simply read in by a lot of program directors. The part about 'goin' deeper.'"[1]

At the end of "Heavy Music, Part 2," Seger sings the curious line: "NSU (as in the British psych-rock band), SRC, (another Detroit area band)], Stevie Winwood got nothing on me."

Perhaps the most distinctive and crucial aspect of the song is the bass line, played by both a bass guitar and a piano, which producer Doug Brown created for the song after Seger had written the lyric.

Success[edit]

The single proved to be Seger's most successful work to date, climbing to the number one position on the Detroit charts[2] and gaining him some exposure outside of the Detroit area. For a time it looked like it would be Seger's ticket to a national breakthrough, until the label Cameo-Parkway went out of business just as the song was gaining popularity.[3] The track ended up peaking at #103 nationally in the US on Billboard; it was actually a bigger hit in Canada, peaking at #82 on the RPM charts. Still, the success of "Heavy Music" aided in landing Seger his first contract with Capitol Records, and arguably gave him enough momentum to continue through the sloughs of his career.

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (1967) Peak
position
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 103
U.S. Cashbox 70

References[edit]

  1. ^ Marsh, Dave. Creem. "Doncha Ever Listen to the Radio...How to Remain Obscure through Better Rock 'n' Roll: Bob Seger, Best in the Midwest." May 1972.
  2. ^ A definitive oral history of Seger's early years
  3. ^ Rolling Stone Editors. The Rolling Stone Encyclopedia of Rock & Roll: Revised and Updated for the 21st Century. New York: Fireside, 2001