A.Song.A.Day – Turn The Page

album-bob-seger-greatest-hitsA rose is a rose is a rose is a rose”, said Gertrude Stein. What she meant was how the word rose used by various poets in different context evokes similar emotions in the reader.  The song “Turn the Page” proves how it is so in music. The song was originally written by Bob Seger for his 1973 album Back ’72 and its lyrics make it pretty much clear what the song is about. Bob Seger originally intended to show the ups and downs of an artist while he is on the road. However, the song has been covered by many artists after that and many of them have given the song a different interpretation. Nevertheless, almost all versions evoke similar emotions in the heart of the listener despite the music. So while Metallica’s video shows the song to be about the life of a stripper and Waylon Jennings version covered this song after he came over his drug problem, the song always educes sorrow.

Bob Seger released the song in 1973 but it never made it to the charts. However, the song also featured on his 1976 Live Bullet album and then it started receiving significant airtime on radio stations. I have also heard this song a lot of times in pubs in India that play rock music. The song begins with a Saxophone piece played by Alto Reed followed by shimmering cymbals. The entire song is quite minimal yet expressive on the instruments for a rock song. What make this song popular even today are its powerful lyrics and their structure. The song follows a very odd rhyme scheme and the patterns repeat quite oddly in its chorus paragraph. In totality however, the lyrics and the music make you empathise with the trials of an artist.

In their 1988 cover album Garage Inc., Metallica released a cover of this song which is probably more popular than the original song. As against Seger’s version, Metallica’s rendition is very strong on the instruments. In this version, the saxophone of Alto Reed is replaced by a slide guitar played by Kirk Hammett. The amplitude of the song never reduces except for the verse “Later in the evening..” which creates a brilliant effect because “the echoes of the amplifier are ringing in your head”. This is then followed by a guitar solo by Hammett. The video of the song is about the life of the stripper (played by Ginger Lynn Allen) who also works as a prostitute at the same time raising a child. The video has been brilliantly directed by Jonas Akerlund.

Both versions of the song are great in their own ways. A number of other artists such as Kid Rock and Staind have also covered the song. Notably Waylon Jennings has covered the song in an album by the same name when he was recovered from his drug problem.

With the year getting to an end, we hope that the New Year will bring a new and exciting page in your life. Wishing you a very happy and musical new year we leave you with a few videos of the song. Enjoy!