The best hit single Bob Seger never had

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By Steve Newton

In case you weren’t aware, American rock legend Bob Seger is playing Vancouver tomorrow night. He turns 70 in two months, so who knows how long he’s gonna keep touring.

If you haven’t seen him yet, now might be the time.

The first time I saw him was at the PNE Gardens around ’76 or so, when he was on an unlikely bill with Blue Oyster Cult. Oh man was he smokin’ back then. And so were the Cult, of course. (That’s what we used to call B.O.C. before another band with a Doors-y type dude came along and intercepted that name).

Anyway, the point is that the seventies were prime Seger time, with albums like Seven (1974), Beautiful Loser (’75), Night Moves (’76), and Stranger in Town (’78) logging a lotta miles on the old Yamaha YP-701 turntable.

When I think back, there was one tune on the latter disc that definitely didn’t get the attention it deserved. Stranger in Town spawned four hits–“Still the Same”, “Hollywood Nights”, “We’ve Got Tonite”, and “Old Time Rock and Roll”–but “Till It Shines” wasn’t one of them.

I never could figure out why “Till It Shines” wasn’t single #5. I just love that tune. Beautiful melody, awesome lyrics.

“Like an echo down a canyon,” Seger sings in one verse, “never comin’ back as clear. Lately I just judge the distance, not the words I hear.”

That just struck a chord in me for some reason.

You too, perhaps?

UPDATE: it has come to my attention that this might not be Bob Seger singing. Geez, and I thought I knew my Seger! Sorry if I’m pushing an imposter here. Either way, I still think it’s an amazing song.

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