“She’s Got The Power” – From Bob Seger to Thin Lizzy to Motörhead: The Lineage of “Rosalie”

“She’s Got The Power” – From Bob Seger to Thin Lizzy to Motörhead: The Lineage of “Rosalie”

thin lizzy, bob seger, motorhead
(L) Thin Lizzy's Phil Lynott. Photo by Brian Rasic/Getty Images. (C) Bob Seger. Photo by Ebet Roberts/Redferns. (R) Motörhead's Lemmy. Photo by Staff/Mirrorpix/Getty Images.

Motörhead loved Thin Lizzy. Lemmy even briefly enlisted Lizzy guitarist Brian Robertson, after Robbo had been given the boot from Lizzy and Fast Eddie Clarke had quit Motörhead. Both bands had a soulfulness that ran deeper than was typical of hard rock; both considered themselves rock'n'roll bands first and foremost, not metal. Both loved great songs and were known to do the odd cover; indeed Motörhead's first hit was a cover of the old chestnut "Louie Louie", and Thin Lizzy's first hit was a cover of an old folk number "Whiskey In The Jar".

Thin Lizzy loved Motörhead too, but before Motörhead even existed, they loved Bob Seger. After sharing a bill with him on one of their early US tours, they brought home with them a copy of his Back In '72 album (which, with obvious irony, was released in 1972) so could they work up a version of their favourite Seger song, "Rosalie". Never a hit for Bob – this was before he broke nationally in the US, back when he just the hardest working singer in the mid-West – the song was dedicated to hugely influential music director Rosalie Trombley. It sounded like a sure-fire hit, but apparently, Rosalie was either worried about playing something written to flatter her or found it condescending, so it never happened. Bob had to wait another four years until he made a real dent on the singles chart with "Nightmoves".

Tellingly, Seger first came to prominence on the local Detroit scene in the late '60s, the same scene that spawned the legendary MC5, the band that Lemmy has claimed were his template for Motörhead. Bob Seger even guested on the MC5's final album High Time. Which shows that everything in the world of great rock'n'roll is connected.

Thin Lizzy first recorded "Rosalie" for their 1975 album Fighting, but it wasn't until its inclusion on the 1978 double live album Live and Dangerous that it became a significant part of Thin Lizzy’s legacy. By which time Seger's version had disappeared; Back In '72 is one of a handful of his albums that Seger has steadfastly refused to reissue. It's still unavailable to this day. Motörhead never actually released their version, which was a regular in their live set for the last few years before Lemmy passed, meaning Lizzy's version is the only one readily available anywhere other than YouTube.

Still, we reckon "Rosalie" is one of the all-time great songs, and we can't get enough of it. And we love Motörhead, Thin Lizzy and early Bob Seger in equal measure too. So, here they all are, playing this great, great song, and sounding great. Turn it up.

Bob Seger 

Thin Lizzy | Fighting version 

Thin Lizzy | Live and Dangerous version 


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