- An outstanding copy of Bob Seger’s superb live album from 1976 with solid Double Plus (A++) sound on all FOUR sides – fairly quiet vinyl too
- The sound is surprisingly energetic, full-bodied and even Tubey Magical, in contrast to many of the early Bob Seger titles we’ve auditioned over the years
- If you’re an audiophile who wants to catch up on all the Classic Rock Seger was making before Night Moves, this is surely the best way to start
- 5 stars: “Live Bullet introduced Bob Seger to a wide audience, revealing a rocker of unbridled passion and a songwriter of considerable talent… It’s a rare occasion when a double live album captures an artist at an absolute peak, while summarizing his talents, and that’s exactly what Live Bullet does.”
This vintage Capitol pressing has the kind of Tubey Magical Midrange that modern records can barely BEGIN to reproduce. Folks, that sound is gone and it sure isn’t showing signs of coming back. If you love hearing INTO a recording, actually being able to “see” the performers, and feeling as if you are sitting in the studio with the band, this is the record for you. It’s what vintage all analog recordings are known for — this sound.
If you exclusively play modern repressings of vintage recordings, I can say without fear of contradiction that you have never heard this kind of sound on vinyl. Old records have it — not often, and certainly not always — but maybe one out of a hundred new records do, and those are some pretty long odds.
What the Best Sides of Live Bullet Have to Offer Is Not Hard to Hear
- The biggest, most immediate staging in the largest acoustic space
- The most Tubey Magic, without which you have almost nothing. CDs give you clean and clear. Only the best vintage vinyl pressings offer the kind of Tubey Magic that was on the tapes in 1976
- Tight, note-like, rich, full-bodied bass, with the correct amount of weight down low
- Natural tonality in the midrange — with all the instruments having the correct timbre
- Transparency and resolution, critical to hearing into the three-dimensional studio space
No doubt there’s more but we hope that should do for now. Playing the record is the only way to hear all of the qualities we discuss above, and playing the best pressings against a pile of other copies under rigorously controlled conditions is the only way to find a pressing that sounds as good as this one does.
One of the qualities that we don’t talk about on the site nearly enough is the SIZE of the record’s presentation. Some copies of the album just sound small — they don’t extend all the way to the outside edges of the speakers, and they don’t seem to take up all the space from the floor to the ceiling. In addition, the sound can often be recessed, with a lack of presence and immediacy in the center.
Other copies — my notes for these copies often read “BIG and BOLD” — create a huge soundfield, with the music positively jumping out of the speakers. They’re not brighter, they’re not more aggressive, they’re not hyped-up in any way, they’re just bigger and clearer.
And most of the time those very special pressings just plain rock harder. When you hear a copy that does all that, it’s an entirely different listening experience.
What We’re Listening For on Live Bullet
- Energy for starters. What could be more important than the life of the music?
- Then: presence and immediacy. The vocals aren’t “back there” somewhere, lost in the mix. They’re front and center where any recording engineer worth his salt would put them.
- The Big Sound comes next — wall to wall, lots of depth, huge space, three-dimensionality, all that sort of thing.
- Then transient information — fast, clear, sharp attacks, not the smear and thickness so common to these LPs.
- Tight punchy bass — which ties in with good transient information, also the issue of frequency extension further down.
- Next: transparency — the quality that allows you to hear deep into the soundfield, showing you the space and air around all the instruments.
- Extend the top and bottom and voila, you have The Real Thing — an honest to goodness Hot Stamper.
Nutbush City Limits
I’ve Been Working
Turn the Page
U.M.C. (Upper Middle Class)
Ramblin’ Gamblin’ Man
Get Out of Denver
Let It Rock
AMG 5 Star Review
Live Bullet introduced Bob Seger to a wide audience, revealing a rocker of unbridled passion and a songwriter of considerable talent. Prior to its release, Seger had been toiling away, releasing seven albums and touring constantly ever since his debut scraped the national consciousness in 1968.
The psychedelicized days of Ramblin’ Gamblin’ Man are long gone on Live Bullet, leaving behind a rocker who loved the Stones for their toughness, Dylan for his honesty, and Chuck Berry for his narrative — and one who found his own sound when the Silver Bullet Band came into its own through countless tours. Live Bullet was recorded live at Detroit’s Cobo Hall, in front of a passionate, loving hometown audience spurring him into a great performance.
The song selection relies heavily on Beautiful Loser, yet it dips into the previous albums enough to prove that Seger had been delivering consistently as a songwriter for years. But what really sold Live Bullet is how these terrific songs are delivered with a ferocious, committed intensity. This might not be much more than a simple rock & roll album, but it’s one of the best of its kind, establishing Seger, in the eyes of skeptics, as a first-rate performer and writer. Here, “Heavy Music,” “Get Out of Denver,” “Turn the Page,” and “Ramblin’ Gamblin’ Man” all become hard rock classics, as does the band itself. It’s a rare occasion when a double live album captures an artist at an absolute peak, while summarizing his talents, and that’s exactly what Live Bullet does.