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 18–19 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, Shakedown 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