No. 22: Bob Seger, ‘Turn The Page’ – Top 100 Classic Rock Songs
By the time that Bob Seger had written the song that lands in the No. 22 position in our Top 100 Classic Rock Songs list, he was all too familiar with the trials and tribulations of being a musician on tour.
To Seger’s credit, few other “life on the road” songs can rival the intensity and passion heard in his 1973 single ‘Turn The Page’, featured on 1973’s ‘Back in ’72’ full-length.
The song starts with a saxophone which set a somewhat ominous tone for the remainder of the proceedings. Seger’s vocals come across as rather hushed — you can almost picture the rock and roll legend quietly singing to himself as to not disturb the other members of his band as they try to get some sleep on the bus.
Despite how glamorous “life on the road” might appear to some, ‘Turn The Page’ does a remarkable job summing up the grueling and lonely realities of the day-to-day life of a musician on the road in the early ’70s. In perhaps the most striking line of the lyrics, summing up an era when long hair on guys might not have been seen as acceptable in the truck stops of America, Seger sings:
“Most times you can’t hear ’em talk, other times you can. All the same old cliches, is that a woman or a man. And you always seem outnumbered, you don’t dare make a stand.”
Compared to the 1998 cover performed by Metallica, Seger’s version is considerably more minimalist yet somehow carries at least as much power. A number of other artists have attempted their own versions of this classic: Country outlaw Waylon Jennings, Staind and Kid Rock have been known to perform ‘Turn the Page’ live. It has also been reported that the track was inspirational to both Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora when they were writing Bon Jovi‘s 1986 hit ‘Wanted Dead or Alive.’
It should be little surprise that Seger’s words would resonate so well with his peers, those who were most able to identify with where the singer was coming from when he wrote this classic song.
Watch Bob Seger Perform ‘Turn The Page’