1.Bo Diddley - 6:17 2.Love the One You're With - 4:17 3.If I Were a Carpenter - 3:47 4.Hummin' Bird - 3:46 5.Let It Rock - 3:25 6.Turn on Your Love Light - 4:44 7.Jesse James - 3:26 8.Someday - 2:31 9.Heavy Music - 2:28
Bob Seger closed out his Capitol contract with Brand New Morning, a singer/songwriter album quite unlike anything he had yet released. Following its release he moved to the Detroit-based label Palladium and returned to hard-driving rock & roll with Smokin' O.P.'s, the polar opposite of Brand New Morning. According to legend, the title stands for 'smoking other people's songs,' which makes sense since this is a cover album that even covers Bob Seger & the Last Heard. In other words, it's nothing like the intimate, reflective, risky Brand New Morning, but that doesn't matter since it rocks so well and since it reveals that Seger isn't just a first-class bandleader and rock songwriter, but that he's a terrific interpreter of other writers' songs. Even well-worn tunes like 'Bo Diddley' and 'If I Were a Carpenter' get made fresh by internalizing the hooks, turning them into something fresh and original. That's also true of songs by such contemporaries as Stephen Stills ('Love the One You're With') and Leon Russell ('Humming Bird'), and he also breathes fire into blues and rock stalwarts like 'Let It Rock,''Turn on Your Love Light,' and 'Jesse James.'Smokin' O.P.'s closes out with two originals, one new (the fine, but not especially noteworthy 'Someday') and one old (the perennial 'Heavy Music'). Neither change the essential character of the album, which is just a really fun, hard-rocking record that bought Seger some time while reasserting the fact that he could really rock. He could -- and he could rock really well -- which is why Smokin' O.P.'s remains a lot of fun, even if it's a relatively minor work in Seger's canon.