Music Monday: Some Old Time Rock and Roll, Thanks to Bob Seger

I’ve mentioned Bob Seger quite often over the past five years. In fact, I just did a search of my blog, and I found nine posts where his name and music is mentioned, the most recent being a few weeks ago in a post about the movie Urban Cowboy.

Despite all of these mentions, I have yet, until today, to have a Music Monday devoted just to Bob and his music.

Here’s a brief bio from Wikipedia:

Seger (born May 6, 1945) is an American singer, songwriter and musician. As a locally successful Detroit-area artist, he performed and recorded as Bob Seger and the Last Heard and Bob Seger System throughout the 1960s, breaking through with his first album, Ramblin’ Gamblin’ Man (which contained his first national hit of the same name) in 1968. By the early 1970s, he had dropped the ‘System’ from his recordings and continued to strive for broader success with various other bands. In 1973, he put together the Silver Bullet Band, with a group of Detroit-area musicians, with whom he became most successful on the national level with the album Live Bullet (1976), recorded live with the Silver Bullet Band in 1975 at Cobo Hall in Detroit, Michigan. In 1976, he achieved a national breakout with the studio album Night Moves. On his studio albums, he also worked extensively with the Alabama-based Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section, which appeared on several of Seger’s best-selling singles and albums.

A roots rocker with a classic raspy, powerful voice, Seger wrote and recorded songs that deal with love, women, and blue-collar themes and is an example of a heartland rock artist. Seger has recorded many hits, including “Night Moves”, “Turn the Page”, “Still the Same”, “We’ve Got Tonite”, “Against the Wind”, “You’ll Accomp’ny Me”, “Hollywood Nights”, “Shame on the Moon”, “Like a Rock”, and “Shakedown”, the last of which was written for the 1987 film Beverly Hills Cop II and topped the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Seger also co-wrote the Eagles’ number-one hit “Heartache Tonight”, and his recording of “Old Time Rock and Roll” was named one of the Songs of the Century in 2001.

With a career spanning six decades, Seger has sold more than 75 million records worldwide, making him one of the world’s best-selling artists of all time. Seger was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2004 and the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2012. Seger was named Billboard’s 2015 Legend of Live honoree at the 12th annual Billboard Touring Conference & Awards, held November 18โ€“19 at the Roosevelt Hotel in New York. He announced his farewell tour in September 2018.

Quite an impressive bio. In fact, too impressive for my needs, since I just want to include three of my favorite songs, but he makes that quite a difficult task.

But here we go:

Perhaps one of his most famous songs is Old Time Rock and Roll, in no small part because of it being so prominently featured in the film Risky Business. And as noted above, it was named one of the Songs of the Century in 2001.

By the way, that doesn’t count as one of my three, since it was not the whole song…

Perhaps my favorite Seger song is Against the Wind. The song contains one of the best lines I’ve ever heard in a song, a line that I have found myself saying many, many times over the years:

“I wish I didn’t know now what I didn’t know then.”

Next up is Night Moves. While I can’t say my teen years in any way, shape, or form relate to the general them of the song, it does evoke memories of those carefree summer days. It also has a verse that is etched in my memory:

I awoke last night to the sound of thunder
How far off I sat and wondered
Started humming a song from 1962
Ain’t it funny how the night moves
When you just don’t seem to have as much to lose
Strange how the night moves
With autumn closing in

Many times when I start to sing a song from way back when, those lines pop into my head.

By the way, if you watch the video closely, you’ll see an appearance by one of the members of the hit TV show Friends, prior to the TV show…

So what to pick for the third song? My son just introduced me this afternoon to a Bob Seger song I had never heard before, Long Twin Silver Line. It’s a wonderful song, but since I just heard it, it hasn’t had enough time to make its way to the top tier of my favorite Bob Seger songs.

Seger has had many of his songs featured in movies, besides Old Time Rock and Roll. Roll Me Away was used in Mask and Reckless, Shakedownย was used in Beverly Hills Cop II, Blue Monday was used in Road House (one of my son’s and my favorite movies), and Against the WInd was used in Forrest Gump. And perhaps one of his most iconic songs is closely associated with Chevy pickups, Like a Rock.

Other possible choices are You’ll Accomp’ny Me and Turn the Page, but I think I’ll go with Hollywood Nights. Here’s what Seger had to say about the song:

The chorus just came into my head; I was driving around in the Hollywood Hills, and I started singing ‘Hollywood nights/Hollywood hills/Above all the lights/Hollywood nights.’ I went back to my rented house, and there was a Time with Cheryl Tiegs on the cover…I said ‘Let’s write a song about a guy from the Midwest who runs into someone like this and gets caught up in the whole bizarro thing.

How nice to be so creative…

*image from Rolling Stone

56 thoughts on “Music Monday: Some Old Time Rock and Roll, Thanks to Bob Seger

  1. I like Seger, also. A lot of his songs were about growing older and looking back on the good ol’ days. So I can relate more and more to his music, the older I get. I think “Like a Rock” would be my favorite, if Chevy hadn’t coopted it. After that, probably “Against the Wind.”

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      1. Yes there was, Jim but it also raised a lot questions in my mind so I will have some research to do as well was very interesting though and thought provoking ๐Ÿ™‚

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  2. My favorite Bob Seger song is We’ve Got Tonight. I think Risky Business was the first Tom Cruise movie I’ve ever seen. Maybe not a great film, but some hilarious scenes.

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  3. Another excellent post, Jim! Great music from the hay day of singer/songwriters. Although I do love all the ones you featured. One of my most favorite is “Turn the Page”. But as you said, with a vast collection of hits, it is hard to pick just one favorite. Glad he finally earned his solo post!

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  4. Great post, Jim. I love Bob Seger: his greatest hits album accompanied my journey to and from work many times in the days when I had a drive of an hour or more. I also agree on the choice of your favourite, both the song and that lyric. Interesting to see a video of that vintage where the Friends star wasnโ€™t Courtney Cox, too ๐Ÿ˜‰

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    1. His greatest hits albu.m is one of my all-time favorites as well. At first glance I thought that was Courtney Cox; it was Daphne Zuniga, who starred in the TV show Melrose Place (I’ve personally never heard of her)

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      1. I thought that too but realised on second look that it wasnโ€™t CC – you can find her in videos by Bruce Springsteen and Counting Crows, maybe others too, for all I know! The Daphne name rings the vaguest of bells but Iโ€™ve never seen Melrose Place – not even sure if any channel shows it here tbh.

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      2. An iconic moment. Check out her role in the Counting Crows video for Long December, if you donโ€™t know it. Iโ€™ve featured it here, and described it (tongue in cheek, and maybe a little harshly) as one of her best ever acting performances ๐Ÿ˜‰


  5. a hometown boy made good! he played at my ex-sister in law’s prom when just starting out. there are so many stories of his early local days, just makes him more endearing. everyone here loves him, never one to get caught up in anything negative, always nice to everyone, including the people who worked with him, and all the fans and locals. a great writer with a unique voice that stood the test of time. great post, jim

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    1. I thought you would like this one, Beth. He did seem to stay true to his Detroit and Ann Arbor roots, and put a lot of time in working on his act before he made it big. I’m happy to hear he’s a good guy.

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      1. whenever he’s in town and another detroit area artist or band is in concert, he’ll often attend their shows and sit in with them for a song or two

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  6. As a fellow southeastern Michigander, Bob Segerโ€™s music was the soundtrack to my youth. So much so, that I can barely stand to listen to โ€œthe hitsโ€ anymore. But that doesnโ€™t diminish his impact or the fact that heโ€™s such a brilliant songwriter. He had a helluva legacy for my generation.

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    1. I’m sure most people from that area are fans of Bob Seger, and his music resonates with all ages, but particularly the post-adolescent years. He did have a way with words…

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  7. No one hit wonder, he. The man’s got talent! On Music Mondays I try to pick a favorite song and always find it difficult, actually impossible. I don’t listen to music much now compared to when I was young. Even in the good old days, I would have been hard pressed to name a favorite song from the artists I enjoyed listening to. Songs are tied so much to the experiences and emotions I had when listening to them. I posted about travel souvenirs yesterday, and songs are sort of like souvenirs of the times when I used to listen to them. My feelings about songs from the good old days aren’t as much about the quality of the song as about the personal feelings and experiences I associate with it. So if I pick a song, I’m not really picking a song.

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