Capitol RecordsBob Seger‘s latest album, I Knew You When, is dedicated to his lifelong friend Glenn Frey of The Eagles.

Seger tells ABC Radio that Frey’s death in January 2016 hit him “pretty hard,” perhaps because of his own age and “the whole mortality thing.”

The 72-year-old Rock & Roll Hall of Famer adds, “I got the OK from his wife, Cindy…and from The Eagles themselves to [dedicate the album to Glenn], so I went ahead and did it.”

I Knew You When features a mix of new original songs and some select covers, with many of the tracks inspired by Frey or boasting themes reflecting Bob’s relationship with Glen.

“It’s a pretty rocking album, and I wanted it to rock, ’cause Glenn loved rock ‘n’ roll,” Seger explains.

I Knew You When also pays tribute to some other late musicians he admired, including Leonard Cohen and Lou Reed, whose respective songs “Democracy” and “Busload of Faith” he covered on the album.

“[‘Democracy’ is] a song I just always loved,” Seger says, noting that he chose to record the tune as an homage after Cohen’s November 2016 death.

Seger says he’d been a fan of “Busload of Faith” since he heard it in the 1989 film True Believer. “[W]hen Lou passed away, I said, ‘Well, if I’m gonna do a tribute to Lou, that’s the one I’m gonna do,'” Bob recalls.

Seger also pays homage to Little Feat drummer Richie Hayward, who, although he died in 2010, is featured on four tracks on I Knew You When. “He was such a great rock drummer,” says Bob.

Seger currently is recuperating from a neck operation that cut short his recent U.S. tour. He hopes to return to the road to support I Knew You When by spring 2018.

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