Lookin' Back

Album: Live Bullet (1971)
Play Video

Songfacts®:

  • In a 1975 radio interview, Seger said: "'Lookin' Back' is a strange record. At that time there was a lot of political upheaval happening in the area. I felt that in '2+2,' and I felt it in 'Lookin Back.' And 'Looking Back' was basically written about all the people who wanted to retain the conservative ideas, as opposed to trying anything liberal or new. Plus it had a double meaning about the band, too, and the music that had gone down."
  • This is a classic Seger cut that has never been included on a studio album, although it does appear on his Live Bullet album.
  • This did very well in the Detroit area, but it would be a while before Seger gained fame on a national level. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Ted - Loveland, CO, for all above

Comments: 4

  • Ron from Los Angels, CaI listened to a studio version of this song . It sucks because it's badly recorded. Many of the early Seger tunes were not very well produced. Re-recording these tunes will definitely open him up to a new audience.
  • Bob from Southfield, MiThe backing musicians on this song were Dave Teegarden and Skip Van Winkle, the duo who also recorded the hit, "God, Love and Rock 'N Roll".
  • Alan from Chesterfield, MiHe did release all those albums, but the studio version of Lookin' Back never appeared on an album. A live version is on Live Bullet. A lot of real early Seger stuff never appeared on Seger albums. Persecution Smith is on a compilation called Michigan Memories. East Side Story, Ballad of the Yellow Berets (not directly credited to Seger), Sock it to Me Santa, Vagrant Winter are all early singles released in the Detroit area that have never appeared on an album or CD. Most of these early non-album sides are credited to Bob Seger and the Last Heard. Many of his early singles hit the local Detroit charts, including "Lookin' Back," the studio version, in the Winter of 1971-2. Bob should release a "Greatest Early Hits" album of all his great Detroit local hits like Rosalie (covered by Thin Lizzy), Lucifer, Back in '72, 2 + 2, Ivory, Persecution Smith, UMC, Noah (great song!), East Side Story, Beautiful Loser, Lookin' Back, and probably a few others like Vagrant Winter that I can't remember. I liked all these early ones more than the later stuff.
  • Steve from Torrance, CaAll right Ashley Jade, if you insist..... Firstly, this song did make the Billboard charts (peaking at #96) and may have appeared on an early studio album. Bob released 7 albums before "Beautiful Loser", none of which have appeared on CD and are all extremely hard to find as vinyl LPs. The albums are "Ramblin' Gamblin' Man", "Mongrel", "Noah", "Brand New Morning", "Smokin'OPs", "Back in '72", and "Seven". The lyrics to "Lookin' back" can take an almost humorous bent if one considers just how openly and honestly Bob continuously paid tribute to his musical influences in his own songwriting and covered the old songs of other songwriters. Also, if rock'n'roll is about "new and liberal" ideas, why are there so many "classic rock" stations that are rigidly determined to play the same 300 old songs (including many of Seger's) over and over and over again? Why are all of rock's newest bands so tediously derivative of everything that has come before? What is the Rock'n'Roll Hall of Fame but "too many people lookin' back"? I write all this as a long time listener who wonders what Bob (who just turned 61) thinks about rock today, or if he himself is still "lookin' back".
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Jay, Peaches, Spinderella and other Darrining Victims

Jay, Peaches, Spinderella and other Darrining VictimsSong Writing

Just like Darrin was replaced on Bewitched, groups have swapped out original members, hoping we wouldn't notice.

Intentionally Atrocious

Intentionally AtrociousSong Writing

A selection of songs made to be terrible - some clearly achieved that goal.

Top American Idol Moments: Songs And Scandals

Top American Idol Moments: Songs And ScandalsSong Writing

Surprise exits, a catfight and some very memorable performances make our list of the most memorable Idol moments.

Wolfgang Van Halen

Wolfgang Van HalenSongwriter Interviews

Wolfgang Van Halen breaks down the songs on his debut album, Mammoth WVH, and names the definitive Van Halen songs from the Sammy and Dave eras.

Who's Johnny, And Why Does He Show Up In So Many Songs

Who's Johnny, And Why Does He Show Up In So Many SongsSong Writing

For songwriters, Johnny represents the American man. He has been angry, cool, magic, a rebel and, of course, marching home.

P.F. Sloan

P.F. SloanSongwriter Interviews

P.F. was a teenager writing hits and playing on tracks for Jan & Dean when he wrote a #1 hit that got him blackballed.