Wednesday, August 20, 2008


This song is one of the enduring greats. If you didn’t know the Bob Seger 1978 original, you probably know it from the 1983 movie Risky Business, with Tom Cruise dancing around in his tighty-whiteys. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for appreciating the male physique, but (pun unavoidable) I’m just not much of a Tom Cruise fan, in any state of dress or undress. Maybe if they'd made that movie starring -- oh never mind, and I do apologize if all this is TMI (too much information). Let’s get back on track.

Apparently our feature song has also been recycled into the old TV show ALF, and also as a cat food commercial, but I can’t personally vouch for either of these. I haven’t seen Risky Business either, but you can’t live on this planet and not have seen the Cruise scene several dozen times without even trying. Anyway, I love Seger, and I love this song. It really speaks for all time about the sad deterioration of great music (whatever it was you grew up with and dig) into really bad music (whatever is the current rage, and is what you hate). But back in 1977, when it was written, writers George Jackson and Thomas Earl Jones III were most likely talking about the really good stuff from the late 50s and possibly early 60s. Beyond that it’s kind of hard to say, because I haven’t been able to find a copy of the original lyrics. According to some sources, Seger changed just a few of the words. According to Seger, he did a real overhaul on all the verses. (He also neglected to add his name to the writing credits, and therefore has no control over how the song is used, hence the cat food ad. I’m not going to argue for or against either claim; I’m just here to agree with the general sentiment. But it’s obvious to me that Seger is lamenting what I would call The Good Stuff.

So let’s hear it again, Bob Seger doing “That Old Time Rock and Roll”

Oh all right ladies (elaborate sigh)…if you’re really going to pout about it, here’s the Tom Cruise version, too. I really thought we were a teensy bit more evolved than that…(smiley)

Videos from YT members OldRockSongs (first) and tettwick (second)

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