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Bob Seger Debuts New Single “Downtown Train,” How Does It Compare to Tom Waits’ Original?

bob seger frank micelotta Bob Seger Debuts New Single Downtown Train, How Does It Compare to Tom Waits Original?

Photo: Frank Micelotta/Getty Images

Southern rock ‘n roller [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Bob Seger[/lastfm] is coming back with a vengeance with a new U.S. tour kicking off in March paired with a brand new album featuring all new material.

Seger debuted the first taste of his upcoming release today around the country with his brand new single “Downtown Train,” a cover of [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Tom Waits[/lastfm]’ 1985 original, and equally famous cover version from [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Rod Stewart[/lastfm]. Get the first listen to Seger’s new single and tell us how it compares to the original!

Eager Seger fans have waited over six years to hear new material from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame legend, but the wait is over! Seger debuted his newest single “Downtown Train” today, and it’s good ole Seger at his finest.

The single is a cover of Tom Waits’ original released on his 1985 album Rain Dogs. The song was later famously recorded by Rod Stewart who helped shoot the single to #3 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1989.

Seger has waited over two decades to release his cover of “Downtown Train.” He first recorded a version also in 1989, but Stewart beat him to the punch. He opted not to release his take on the classic, but noted that he mentioned recording the song to Stewart during his visit to London in 1989. He said, “The next thing I knew, a month later he recorded “Downtown Train” in London and two months later he recorded it in the same studio I recorded it in Los Angeles.”

But any bad blood or misunderstandings between the two have passed over the years. And now Seger is ready to return to the stage with an hugely anticipated cross-country tour that’s quickly selling out. Sadly though, Seger and his Silver Bullet Band haven’t confirmed dates on the west coast.

LISTEN HERE to Bob Seger’s new single “Downtown Train.”

And tell us…how does it compare to Tom Wait’s original version and Rod Stewart’s famous cover?

Tom Waits’ original “Downtown Train”

Rod Stewart’s cover of “Downtown Train”

[Source: Billboard]



  • RainbowRay

    THere all pretty good and despite loving Bob Seger’s music, I still have to say that Rod Stewart’s version is the best, but then again, I’m a stickler for his Great American Songbook series as well.


  • Bec

    I <3 me some Bob Seger!

  • Geo

    The original is by far the best. Seger makes a pretty good cover and while it takes some time to get the right tone (most of the piano/keyboard is weak), the ending is strong . Rod Stewart’s version unfortunately sounds like Karaoke and he misinterprets the song very badly. I going to look for the Patti Smith version!

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