The Bob Seger Album By Album Thread

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by JamieC, Jul 13, 2011.

  1. tonyc

    tonyc Well-Known Member

    I wonder how much Seger has made from Chevrolet over the years for "Like A Rock"? That might be the best song and corporate partnership ever.
  2. JamieC

    JamieC Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Detroit Mi USA
    The Fire Inside

    From Wiki:

    The Fire Inside is the fourteenth studio album by American singer-songwriter Bob Seger, released in 1991 Track listingAll songs written and composed by Bob Seger, except where noted.

    No. Title Writer(s) Length
    1. "Take a Chance" 3:41
    2. "The Real Love" 4:40
    3. "Sightseeing" 3:39
    4. "Real at the Time" 3:53
    5. "Always in My Heart" 4:14
    6. "The Fire Inside" 5:56
    7. "New Coat of Paint" Tom Waits 3:26
    8. "Which Way" 3:57
    9. "The Mountain" 6:45
    10. "The Long Way Home" 4:24
    11. "Blind Love" Waits 4:23
    12. "She Can't Do Anything Wrong" Bill Davis, Walt Richmond 3:38

    Bob Seger - electric guitar, rhythm guitar, vocals, choir, chorus, harmony vocals
    Kenny Aronoff - drums
    Sweet Pea Atkinson - background vocals
    Eddie Bayers - drums
    Barry Beckett- synthesizer
    Roy Bittan - piano
    Sir Harry Bowens - background vocals
    Bobby Bruce - violin
    Rosemary Butler - background vocals
    Chris Campbell - bass
    Mike Campbell - acoustic guitar, bass, electric guitar, twelve-string guitar
    Mimi Cooper - background vocals
    Laura Creamer - background vocals
    Thornetta Davis - background vocals
    Craig Frost - organ, synthesizer, piano
    Lisa Germano - violin
    Donny Gerrard - background vocals, choir, chorus
    Bob Glaub - bass
    Richard Greene - violin
    Richie Hayward - drums
    Bruce Hornsby - piano, accordion
    Dann Huff - electric guitar, rhythm guitar
    James "Hutch" Hutchinson - bass guitar|bass
    John Jorgenson - slide guitar
    Russ Kunkel - drums
    Steve Lukather - acoustic guitar, electric guitar
    Donald Ray Mitchell - background vocals
    Jamie Muhoberac - synthesizer
    Shaun Murphy - background vocals, harmony vocals
    Buell Neidlinger - acoustic bass
    James Newton Howard - synclavier
    Dean Parks - acoustic guitar, electric guitar
    Bill Payne - piano
    Don Potter - acoustic guitar
    Alto Reed - baritone saxophone
    Michael Rhodes - bass
    Walt Richmond - piano
    Patty Smyth - background vocals, choir, chorus, harmony vocals
    J. D. Souther - background vocals, choir, chorus
    Fred Tackett - acoustic guitar
    David Teegarden - drums
    Rick Vito - guitar, slide guitar
    Waddy Wachtel - acoustic guitar, rhythm guitar
    Don Was - bass
    Joe Walsh - guitar, 12 string guitar
    Oren Waters - harmony vocals
    Jai Winding - organ

    Producers: Punch Andrews, Barry Beckett, Bob Seger, Don Was
    Engineers: Allen Abrahamson, Bryant Arnett, Craig Brock, Ed Cherney, Denis Forbes, Ed Goodreau, John Kunz, Michael Mason, Justin Niebank, Thom Panunzio, Gerard Smerek, Randy Wine
    Assistant engineers: Tom Banghart, Dan Bosworth, Buzz Burrowes, Jim DeMain, John Hurley, Marnie Riley, Don Smith, Brett Swain, Don Was
    Mixing: Punch Andrews, Ed Cherney, David N. Cole, Bob Seger
    Photography: John Abeyla

    Album - Billboard (North America)

    Year Chart Position
    1991 The Billboard 200 7

    Singles - Billboard (North America)

    Year Single Chart Position
    1991 "Take a Chance" Mainstream Rock Tracks 10
    1991 "The Fire Inside" Adult Contemporary 45
    1991 "The Fire Inside" Mainstream Rock Tracks 6
    1991 "The Real Love" Adult Contemporary 4
    1991 "The Real Love" Mainstream Rock Tracks 4
    1991 "The Real Love" The Billboard Hot 100 24
    From the Seger Files(

    Seger wrote 38 songs and recorded 24 for the album. "I wanted to do it all with Was [producer Don Was] but we only had a window of time of about two and a half months." Susan Whitall, August 24, 1991, The Detroit News. "Long Way Home"

    Seger: "I think it's a hopeful album." Susan Whitall, August 24, 1991, The Detroit News. "Long Way Home"

    Other potential album titles included Sightseeing (Seger: "I didn't like it as a title for the album because it sounded like I'd been on a holiday") Long Way Home and Real at the Time.


    The Cover
    "It's not meant to be political or make any reference to the war in Iraq, though I supported that war. It's meant to be fire on fire. I looked through a lot of photos. When I saw this one, I said, 'That's cool. It's really fiery.'" Gary Graff, August 4, 1991, Detroit Free Press. "The Creative Fire Returns" [Cool and fiery.]

    The cover photo is from a book by Jake Rajs and was a last minute decision. Earlier, Seger had planned to call the album 'Sightseeing.' An Yves Tanguy painting was slated for cover. Gary Graff, August 4, 1991, Detroit Free Press. "The Creative Fire Returns"

    Capitol Records president Hale Milgrim had this comment on the final cover art: "It just didn't knock my socks off, but I know Bob feels it fits perfectly with the music." Gary Graff, August 4, 1991, Detroit Free Press. "The Creative Fire Returns"


    Collaborators on the album include Waylan Jennings, Patti Smith, Joe Walsh and Bruce Hornsby.

    Seger worked with producer Don Was: "I've been with so many producers that I will not let take the wheel. I'll let them take it for a while, then I'll say, 'Give it back over here.' But with Was, I could just sit back and enjoy him taking the wheel. He knew. He's very musical." Susan Whitall, August 24, 1991, The Detroit News. "Long Way Home"

    Seger thought Was captured Bonnie Raitt better than anybody had before.

    Don Was: "Bob isn't like some sheltered star; he's been out there living. He's had some trauma mixed in with the success. He's a frayed soul, and he's a real honest artist. It come out in his work." Susan Whitall, August 24, 1991, The Detroit News. "Long Way Home"

    Was: "A few of the ballads were "so naked and so emotional that when he was done singing, no one could speak afterward. A few of those songs didn't make the final cut. But I won't let them die." Susan Whitall, August 24, 1991, The Detroit News. "Long Way Home"

    One of those songs was "Chances Are," which was ultimately re-recorded for the soundtrack of the movie "Hope Floats" in 1998.


    On How Long It Took
    In 1988, Seger's mother became ill. That began a period when Seger went to see his mother in the hospital in Ann Arbor virtually every day for 13 months.

    Was: "I made my last contribution to this record a year ago, and he continued to play with it for another year. I thought it was madness, that he was beating the stuff to death -- until I heard the album. Then I said, 'I got it.' That's the way he works. And he did improve the album." Gary Graff, August 4, 1991, Detroit Free Press. "The Creative Fire Returns"

    Hornsby: "He does know what he wants. And I'm not saying that in a bad way. He's strong and he was a strong opinion, which is good." Gary Graff, August 4, 1991, Detroit Free Press. "The Creative Fire Returns"


    Long Way Home

    Seger: "'Long Way Home' seems to be getting a lot of mail. People are really touched by it. And that's why I do this, that's why we all do make that emotional connection, that's worth everything." Interview on Later with Bob Costas.


    Take A Chance
    Seger: "In that song, the narrator is trying to convince someone to take a chance on him, and the person he's trying to convince is doing a lot of dodging for various reasons, they don't want to commit." Radio Interview, World Premier of The Fire Inside, with Redbeard

    "Take A Chance" was inspired by Lou Reed's song, "Busload of Faith."

    Seger: "Any going to be work, and that's part of the song too. You take a chance when you finally say 'okay, I'm gonna try to make this work." Timothy White Sessions radio interview.


    Real At The Time
    Originally written at a slightly slower tempo and song in an ironic, Tom Petty mode. Things are either real or they aren't, Seger commented. They can't be "real at the time." The irony of the lyrics, however, is lost in the bigger production of the album track, which turned it into more of a rocker. Speaking of which, there's a very strange tame-lag in the vocal harmony tracks when you listen to this track with earphones.


    The Real Love
    The song charted at #24

    Album-oriented rock radio stations did not like the choice of "The Real Love" as the first single off the album. They wanted a rocker. Punch: "They bitched for three weeks when I gave them 'Fire Lake.' But they always find the rocker on the album for us. If we release a rocker from the album, they wouldn't want it. It's better if AOR runs out and finds us a great rocker." Susan Whitall, August 24, 1991, The Detroit News. "Long Way Home"

    This, the first single off the album, just "rolled over and died in three weeks," Andrews said later. "It's the first album since 'Live Bullet' to go platinum for us without a hit single." John Smyntek, July 30, 1995, Detroit Free Press. "New Seger album due out this fall."


    The Fire Inside

    The Fire Inside, the single, was nominated for a Grammy.

    This track was written before all the others -- the song is from a different point in Seger's life than the other tracks, and so for him it has a different feel to it

    "'The Fire Inside' came very late in the album. Punch kept saying "You gotta finish that song."

    Seger started writing The Fire Inside in September 1989 and finished in May 1991.

    "I had three verses. It was a very long song, it was a very difficult track to get because it's 6 minutes long and the band had to cook, kinda in a Muscle Shoals way, but I wanted it more rock and roll, I wanted more snap to it. But it's difficult to keep up that energy for six minutes. I mean to keep it steady and humming, because you're telling this very, very intricate story. That was a pistol, getting that track. I think we recorded it four different times, over a period of a year in four different cities..every time we'd do a session we'd record it." Radio Interview, World Premier of The Fire Inside, with Redbeard.


    Recently, a collector I know shared with me a legal pad with some handwritten lyrics to "The Fire Inside." To his knowledge, the pad came from an acquaintance of Seger's, after it was left behind at a recording session. The handwritten pages were subsequently sold on eBay for a stunning amount. What's most interesting to me is the first verse, which is totally different from the recorded version:

    He's a hard guy standin' on a one-way street
    One hand on his buckle, one hand on his cigarette
    He looks right at you and you feel the heat
    He's the kind that you meet when your heart's not ready yet.
    All dressed in denim and cowboy boots
    With eyes so blue they shoot right through your heart of glass
    Wild on the edges and lean and tough
    You wanna say somethin' but you can't speak up
    You wanna start playin' but the game looks rough
    So you tell yourself that enough is enough
    And you turn on your heel, you try to walk away
    But you stop in the middle of your stride
    You're all mixed up and you're all out of breath
    And there's no way you can hide
    The Fire Inside.

    If I remember right, "Sightseeing," the single, reached about #33. At one point it was considered for the first single off the album -- but Capitol got conservative.

    "Sightseeing" is Seger's favorite cut off the album. "If you turn off all the instruments and turn up the drums, you can actually sing the song Led Zeppelin's "Rock 'n' Roll" to it -- honest, it's the same tempo.

    "I wanted to try a squeeze box thing, so we called in (Bruce) Hornsby. Then we added Lisa Germano over the top, a violin player who was more like fiddle on this -- it just got that strange feeling....and I loved it." Susan Whitall, August 24, 1991, The Detroit News. "Long Way Home"

    Seger commented once that "Sightseeing" is unusual in that it is one of the few songs that draws its name from the bridge of the song, rather than from a verse or chorus.


    Which Way

    Seger: "It's kind of a Lighting Hopkins. I was just trying to do something real authentic, blues-wise. It's hard getting a good blues shuffle down, so this time I was determined to do one strong blues shuffle." The music was inspired by seeing Clapton with Stevie Ray Vaughan, the month before Vaughan died. Susan Whitall, August 24, 1991, The Detroit News. "Long Way Home"


    Blind Love
    Seger described this track as "obviously somewhat tongue-in-cheek." Susan Whitall, August 24, 1991, The Detroit News. "Long Way Home"

    "I feel a kinship with Tom Waits; I love the way he writes, which makes it easy to do the songs." Gary Graff, August 4, 1991, Detroit Free Press. "The Creative Fire Returns"

    In a review headlined "Fire Inside shows Bob Seger has passed his days of glory," critic Tom Moon writes:

    "...One of the titans of three-chord classic rock, Seger is an unimaginative nose-to-the-grindstone artist. His flashes of insight are beery, not brilliant, and his grip on tried-and-true forms has grown iron-fisted...the straight-over-the-plate rock of the ballad single "The Real Love," and likely follow-ups "The Fire Inside" and "Real at the Time," is all he knows...the strained sound of Seger's glory-days stories, down-and-out drinking songs and anthems test his already herniated vocal delivery." Tom Moon, October 4, 1991, Miami Herald. "Fire Inside shows Bob Seger has passed his days of glory."

    Elsewhere on the page with Moon's story, Conway Twitty got a good review for his 1991 album, Even Now.

    A silly, insulting year-end music wrap-up in USA Today panned both Seger and the album, including him and a few other older rockers under the heading "Geezers We Could Do Without." His picture was included with the caption: "The Fire's Out."

    Attached Files:

  3. JamieC

    JamieC Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Detroit Mi USA
    I recently spotted this shot 0n the Seger file web site, and I am somewhere in front of the police officers to the right of the shot(just inside the PA columns). Can't spot myself in the picture but I know thats where I was. I was shocked to find this picture. What a MEMORY!

    Attached Files:

  4. tonyc

    tonyc Well-Known Member

    Interesting story above about the long journey that eventually became the song "The Fire Inside". That would be my favorite on this album.

    I just read an article saying the 2012 album would be completed between January-March and that the tour will continue into next year to support it. :)
  5. JamieC

    JamieC Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Detroit Mi USA
    My last Bob on vinyl. Why didn't this album set me on fire? I just dont know. Bob seemed to be treading water. The next album seemed to confirm it.
  6. JamieC

    JamieC Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Detroit Mi USA
    Greatest Hits

    From Wiki

    Greatest Hits is a compilation album by Bob Seger & the Silver Bullet Band, released in 1994 (see 1994 in music). Certified 8 times platinum, it is Seger's most successful album to date. In December 2009, Billboard and Nielsen SoundScan confirmed that with nearly nine million copies sold, Bob Seger's Greatest Hits was the decade's best-selling catalog album in the United States, even out-selling The Beatles' 1 and Michael Jackson's Number Ones. By September 2011, the album had sold a total of 9,062,000 copies in the United States.

    Track listing
    All songs written and composed by Bob Seger except where noted.

    No. Title Writer(s) Original Album Length
    1. "Roll Me Away" The Distance 4:36
    2. "Night Moves" Night Moves 5:25
    3. "Turn the Page" Live Bullet 5:01
    4. "You'll Accomp'ny Me" Against the Wind 3:59
    5. "Hollywood Nights" Stranger in Town 4:59
    6. "Still the Same" Stranger in Town 3:19
    7. "Old Time Rock and Roll" George Jackson, Thomas Earl Jones III Stranger in Town 3:12
    8. "We've Got Tonight" Stranger in Town 4:38
    9. "Against the Wind" Against the Wind 5:32
    10. "Mainstreet" Night Moves 3:42
    11. "The Fire Inside" The Fire Inside 5:53
    12. "Like a Rock" Like a Rock 5:35
    13. "C'est la Vie"" Chuck Berry previously unreleased 2:58
    14. "In Your Time" previously unreleased 3:05

    Album Art
    Californian photographer, Karen Miller, took photos of the band as part of two photoshoots for the album. The most popular pictures out of the first photoshoot were the railroad track scenes taken on the Southern Pacific Railroad Tracks north of Mojave, California. The single picture of Seger holding his guitar became the cover photo as well as the most recognized photograph of Seger to date. Another photograph of the entire band on the same tracks was used for the centerfold of the booklet that came with the It's A Mystery CD, released the following year in 1995.

    Other photos on the album include pictures of Seger's newborn son, Cole Seger. The back cover of Seger's son at a water pump was taken at Seger's home at the time in Miami, Florida. Cole was 17 months old at the time. The inside of the booklet includes photos of Silver Bullet Band members Craig Frost, Chris Campbell, and Alto Reed with their kids as well. Seger's manager, Punch Andrews, was skeptical about the idea of using the band's children as album art at first. However, Seger had seen it done before with other artists and insisted on the photographs being used on the final copy of the CD's insert.

    From The Seger Files

    Debuted and peaked at #8 on the Billboard Top 200 album chart.

    The tenth consecutive multi-platinum and platinum album from Seger. As of late 1995, the Greatest Hits album had sold more than 2 million copies.

    The album sold 80,000 copies its first week out.

    According to Punch, Capitol shipped 500,000 units when the album was released and "they were gone in a hurry." In the first three weeks, Greatest Hits generated "phenomenal reorders" of 653,000. "It was more than the record company could handle for a week or so and stores ran out of Seger albums. But that's all been corrected now, thank goodness." Bob Talbert, December 4, 1994, Detroit Free Press. "Sweet sounds: Seger, 'Christmas in Detroit.'"


    Inside Baseball
    In January 1997, Billboard Magazine changed the way they charted albums, moving many long-charting albums off the main "Top 200" chart and onto a different chart called the Catalog Chart. Since many record stores buy stock based on the "Top 200" chart, some in the industry worried about the move. When "Bob Seger's Greatest Hits" was removed from the Billboard Top 200 and placed on the Catalog Chart, Punch protested, saying it would hurt sales. "The premature removal of 'Bob Seger's Greatest Hits' and other artists' best-selling albums from the biggest scoreboard of all is like disqualifying them all from the game and sending them home," Andrews wrote to Billboard. "We were proud we had increased our Billboard 200 chart position seven weeks in a row since Thanksgiving before being removed." Bob Talbert, March 16, 1997, Detroit Free Press."Some good news, some bad news, for Bob Seger"

    Interestingly, the editor of Billboard is Timothy White. No writer has been more supportive of Seger.


    Punch Andrews: "Originally we had 39 greatest hits on a list. It took us two to three years to get it down to one CD. A lot of people said we should've released a double-CD, but I always worry about the guy on the street paying $25 for a double-album. Hey, some of my favorites weren't on it. Some of Bob's favorites weren't on it." Bob Talbert, December 4, 1994, Detroit Free Press. "Sweet sounds: Seger, 'Christmas in Detroit.'"

    Seger: "We've worked really, really long and hard on this. You've got to really do your homework with the sequencing and picking the songs and all of that. It's more than just slapping a bunch of songs on an album.

    "We thought about putting 16 on there, but it just felt too long. I realize that Tom Petty had 18 on his greatest hits album, but with 14 songs, ours runs 12 minutes longer than Tom's 18." Gary Graff, July 8, 1994, Detroit Free Press. "Seger gives fans not quite all his best."

    In Graff's article, Seger promises there will be other anthologies. "This is not the final analysis by any means," he says. Gary Graff, July 8, 1994, Detroit Free Press. "Seger gives fans not quite all his best."

    As to the photos inside of Seger's children and the band's children, Seger said: "I've never seen it done before. Punch hated the idea, but when everybody saw it, it looks pretty cool." Gary Graff, July 8, 1994, Detroit Free Press. "Seger gives fans not quite all his best."

    According to Detroit Free Press writer Bob Talbert, Seger did a five-city promo tour for the album.

    "Revisionism Street" was considered as one of the bonus tracks for the Greatest Hits album. It was saved for It's A Mystery instead.

    The picture of Cole, at 17 months, on the back of Greatest Hits was taken by Nita Seger in Naples, Fla.

    Some History
    The possibility of a greatest hit album was first discussed shortly after Seger returned to Capital in late 1974.

    Seger: "We had two or three songs that I liked, but they wanted to put out 7 or 8. I don't want to do that just yet, I would like to stay in the present for the time...It would be asking a lot for people to read in nostalgia in something they've never heard before." Early 1975 radio interview.

    The issue came up again in the early 1980s:

    "The band's been bugging me about doing a double 'Greatest Hits,' but I think maybe, somewhere down the line, maybe a year or two from now, we'll put out a double. I've already got a title for it, we call it Collector's Item.

    "And we'll put it out, it'll have no costs but the cover on it. We'll put it out for $7.98 or whatever we can get away with, and we'll put all those old things on it: 'This is for real fans. Unless you're a real fan, don't buy this record.' And we'll put on all the 'Persecutions,' and the 'Heavy Musics,' and the '2+2s' and the original 'Lookin' Back' and all this stuff that people can't get anymore. And the cool thing is that they're all two-and-a-half minute records, so we can put 15 of 'em on there." Dave DiMartino, September 1980, Creem. "Safe At Home Or Against The Wind: Bob Seger Bops Horizontally"


    C'est La Vie
    "We did a two-week warm-up session for The Fire Inside in 1988. We cut 'Lucille' by Little Richard, 'Blue Monday' by Fats Domino... about 10 things, including 'C'est La Vie.' It makes sense to have it on here. It's a lot like what we used to play in the early days, loose and unpolished and rough, and it translates to 'That's life,' which I think fits a greatest hits album." Gary Graff, October 1994, Detroit Free Press. "Bob Seger Tells The Stories Behind The Hits."


    In Your Time
    "It's a song about my son. It was intended for the next album...but it made sense to me to have one song, 'C'est La Vie,' that says 'Here's where we started,' and this one to say 'Here's where we are today.' We've all got kids. We're all grown up. We've all hopefully learned a little wisdom we can pass along. A modicum (laughs)." Gary Graff, October 1994, Detroit Free Press. "Bob Seger Tells The Stories Behind The Hits."

    "...the '70s were the decade in which Springsteen got the plaudits and the column inches, but the sales and the radio belonged to Bob Seger..." NAPRA Trade Journal, Spring, 1996

    Marty Hughley, writing in The Oregonian in October 1995, explained to his presumably young readers that Seger has had "a long career, first as a meat and potatoes rocker, then as a supposed Everyman -- Springsteen without the intelligence or subtlety. But great hits are one thing and great songs are another.

    Hughly continues: "Despite his occasional massive popularity and critical respect..." [Wow -- watch how quickly Hughley dismisses massive popularity and critical respect -- that's quite a trick for a tame newspaper writer. And how exactly do ten straight platinum albums translate into occasional massive popularity? Ah, what the hell, it's only a newspaper, why worry about facts? Back to the diatribe:]

    ..."what few great songs Seger's written usually are marred by his junkyard dog growl"...[Hughley must be the only writer on the planet to complain about Seger's voice]..."and his overwrought emoting." [Speaking of overwrought, Marty -- take a chill pill, okay?]

    "Only the blatant Springsteen impersonation 'Hollywood Nights' really makes the grade here." [Where do reviewers get the idea that Springsteen is the fountain from which everything springs and the standard by which everything must be judged? They must teach that in Journalism 101 these days.]

    Attached Files:

  7. JamieC

    JamieC Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Detroit Mi USA
    So Bob knew over thirty years ago exactly what we wanted, and even teased us with it. Its not too late Bob. Make Early Seger Vol. 2-Collectors Items.
  8. duggan

    duggan Forum Resident

    Whilst this is a very enjoyable album, I'm still perplexed by "Even Now" being omitted from this, Vol2 and the most recent compilation. Does Bob simply not like the track?
  9. JamieC

    JamieC Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Detroit Mi USA
    It's A Mystery

    From Wiki:

    It's a Mystery is the fifteenth studio album by American singer-songwriter Bob Seger, released in 1995.

    Despite hit singles and fan favorites such as "Lock and Load," "Manhattan," and "Hands in the Air," the album charted at #27 on The Billboard charts. This was Seger's lowest chart position since 1976's Live Bullet which charted at #135 on the Billboard 200 and #34 on Billboard Pop Albums.

    Track listing
    All songs written and composed by Bob Seger, except where noted.

    No. Title Writer(s) Length
    1. "Rite of Passage" 3:51
    2. "Lock and Load" Craig Frost, Tim Mitchell, Seger 4:55
    3. "By the River" 3:26
    4. "Manhattan" 5:22
    5. "I Wonder" 4:06
    6. "It's a Mystery" 4:18
    7. "Revisionism Street" Frost, Mitchell, Seger 3:48
    8. "Golden Boy" 2:25
    9. "I Can't Save You Angeline" 3:56
    10. "16 Shells from a Thirty-Ought Six" Tom Waits 4:20
    11. "West of the Moon" 4:37
    12. "Hands in the Air" Frost, Mitchell, Seger 4:45

    Bob Seger - synthesizer, acoustic guitar, guitar, piano, bass, vocals, drum machine
    Kenny Aronoff - drums
    Eddie Bayers - drums
    Roy Bittan - piano
    George Bohannon - trombone
    Rosemary Butler - background vocals
    Chris Campbell - bass
    Sam Clayton - maracas
    Scott Crago - drums
    Laura Creamer - background vocals
    Craig Frost - synthesizer, keyboard, electric piano, drum machine
    Donny Gerrard - background vocals
    Bob Glaub - bass
    Richard Hayward - drums
    Russ Kunkel - drums
    Gary Mallaber - drums, brushes
    Tim Mitchell - guitar, rhythm guitar
    Shaun Murphy - background vocals
    Buell Neidlinger - bass
    Bill Payne - synthesizer
    Alto Reed - baritone saxophone
    Rudy Richman - percussion
    Tom Roady - maracas
    Harry Stinson - drums
    Fred Tackett - guitar
    Michael Thompson - guitar
    Jeffrey C.J. Vanston - synthesizer, keyboard
    Rick Vito - slide guitar
    Julia Waters - background vocals
    Luther Waters - background vocals
    Oren Waters - background vocals
    [edit] ProductionProducer: Bob Seger
    Engineer: David N. Cole
    Mixing: David N. Cole
    Drum programming: Bob Seger

    ChartsAlbum - Billboard (North America)

    Year Chart Position
    1995 The Billboard 200 27

    Singles - Billboard (North America)

    Year Single Chart Position
    1995 "Lock and Load" Mainstream Rock Tracks 22
    1996 "Hands in the Air" Mainstream Rock Tracks 29

    From the Seger Files

    Seger on the slower rate of sales for It's A Mystery: "I think it [the album] might crawl its way to [platinum] in the next six months, but I knew it was going to be hard to get airplay. There's age discrimination on radio today. I knew the only way to sell it would be to go on tour." Brian McCollum, March 8, 1996, Detroit Free Press. "Detroit Never Forgets."

    "With alternative dominating radio, there's really no place for us to get airplay. All radio plays is our old stuff on classic rock radio. So we've got to sell that album by word of mouth. We're crawling to platinum, but it's just not the way it was in the old days, when we had 700 stations playing us and going four and five (songs) deep on every album." J. Freedom Du Lac, April 14, 1996, Sacramento Bee. "'It's a Mystery' no more: Seger's rockin' again."


    Seger finished 33 songs and recorded 26 of them for this album. As early as October 1994 -- a year prior to the album's release -- Seger had recorded all or part of the 26 songs considered for the album.

    A lot of the unused songs were ballads. Seger: "I just love recording ballads." Reuters, 1996.

    At one point, the album was tentatively titled "Lock and Load."

    The album was unveiled at a party and press conference at Detroit's Royal Oak Music Theatre to a crowd of about 1,000.

    "During a December performance for the media at a Detroit rehearsal studio, the 50-year-old Seger appeared to feel the effects of his hiatus, struggling on "Hollywood Nights" for command of his upper register." Brian McCollum, January 20, 1996, Detroit Free Press. "Seger returns to the stage: Don't put the old rocker on the shelf."

    "Mystery" fulfills Seger's contract with Capitol Records. One reporter wrote that Seger "has had a couple of feelers from other labels for his future work -- an attractive bargaining chip for any senior division rock 'n' roller." John Smyntek, July 30, 1995,Detroit Free Press. "New Seger album due out this fall."
    Garage Rock
    In 1998, Seger looked back on It's A Mystery and referred to it as "my garage rock album." May 19, 1998, Detroit Free Press. "Bob Seger duet for 'Hope Floats' gathered dust for years."

    Seger Out On the Edge
    Seger: "I didn't want to worry about sheen; I wanted to orry about feel and spontaneity. It's just that magical thing that happens, and you say, 'Stop. That's fine.' I think having the reinsoff, not having the pressure on me to do another Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band down the middle of the road -- that was exactly what I was trying to do with this record.

    "The way I see it, if something is going to take me away from my family, it better be something I enjoy doing. So consequently, my own personality has been, I guess, strengthened, empowered by my family. I don't have time to compromise anymore. In that sense, I think I'll be a more daring artist, and I'm happy about that." Gary Graff, Spring 1996, Detroit Free Press.

    Seger told Graff that The Greatest Hits album is "an honest representation" of the 'down the middle of the road,' era. He described the process of making an album in that era as follows: "There was some pressure on you to make it somewhat quickly [there was? then how come...aahh, never mind] and to have it be as commercial or whatever as the last one.

    "Those pressure are off now. I've done the down-the-middle stuff. Now I want to go out on the edges. I'm more that way than I am mainstream. I always have been, really, but now I'm really expressing it. [This is something like the sixth or seventh time in my research that I've noticed Seger saying the pressure is off and now he can finally do things his way, do what he wants. What's that mean? It's interesting, that he keeps announcing his arrival at that point, again and again. It also sounds pretty human -- hey, I guess that means the Capitol copywriter who did the Noah liner notes was right -- Seger is human!]

    "I knew I'd lose some people on this album because it's a very different album for me. I used to write about relationships, and now, with the kids, I'm writing about national problems." Roger Catlin, Spring, 1996, Hartford Courant.

    "We went for edge, straight ahead, rip and tear, the way we used to make records when we didn't have the time. In the past, I've had my rock 'n' roll savagery tempered. [By who?] I always thought I couldn't go that far. [Why?] But this album is rougher -- an honest effort at going balls to the wall." Capital "Leaning Tower" Internet Pages

    "I wanted to do a big, tough, heavy, rock record. I wanted it to sound live and spontaneous, instead of going for the gloss. So I used the Silver Bullet Band as much as I could. Although, as usual, we had trouble with the ballads. These guys are real rockers -- they're not what you'd call 'sensitive' players. So I used studio cats for a couple of the ballads." Kevin Ransom, March 7, 1996, The Detroit News. "With a family in tow, Seger turns the page on his ramblin days."

    "I wanted to show how we could really play and really sing without doing it a million times. There's a directness. We used to spend an enormous amount of time in the studio trying to get the right sound. But on this there are a lot of 'take ones.' If fans are used to a more refined sound, they might not like it. But it's what I've wanted to do for a long time and where I'm headed." Capital "Leaning Tower" Internet Pages

    "I produced it without Punch this time, because all those years when he was co-producing, I'd be sitting around half the time when he took the wheel. I didn't have time for that. I wanted to get home to the kids and Punch, well, he didn't mind staying home himself." Reuters, 1996.

    "I approached this as a live album. I wanted it to sound like a band in a room. Even tracks with studio guys like [E Street Band keyboardist] Roy Bittan were first takes. I said, 'Let's just go in and play.' It doesn't have the studio sheen of my other albums." Reuters, 1996.
    There are numerous references to guns on It's A Mystery -- "Lock and Load," "Hands in the Air," "Manhattan," "Sixteen Shells from a 30-06."

    Seger: "It wasn't a conscious thing. I did a lot of reading when I had the kids. You hear things like 135,000 kids go to school every day with a handgun in this country, you know what I mean? So I guess this stuff was on my mind because my kids are going to be going to school, and their future in general was on my mind." Roger Catlin, Spring, 1996, Hartford Courant.
    The Cover

    At one point, participants in the AOL Seger board were weighing in with their thoughts on the album art. Several didn't like the photos of kids. I thought the art made sense. If the album had nothing to do with kids -- if it was another theme album about the distance between people in a relationship -- then it would be silly and out of place to put kids on the cover. But It's A Mystery is rooted in Seger's kids. In every interview he talks about how his world view has changed from seeing through his children's eyes. So, it makes artistic sense to have a child's eye on the cover.

    Seger: "I came to having kids so late in life...suddenly all these things that used to bother me really began to bother me a lot more. I don't care about my future anymore: now it's all about my kid's future. That's where this album is coming from." J. Freedom Du Lac, April 14, 1996, Sacramento Bee. "'It's a Mystery' no more: Seger's rockin' again."

    Reviewers for the Detroit media have difficulty criticizing Seger. On the one hand, they want to support the hometown hero. On the other hand, no one is perfect, and sometimes there are critical things to be said. Here reviewer Brian McCollum tries to have it both ways. He give the album 2 out of 4 stars and writes that It's A Mystery "is an often plastic affair, crammed with drum machines, synthesizers, tepid lyrics and vocal melodrama...[but] the rest of the album is just about wonderful....

    Other excerpts from the review:

    "By the River" is the album's top cut, a sparse and spare stroke that rolls out of the speakers like warm honey....
    "With its histrionic Petty-esque guitar lick, Euro-metal synthesizer riff, and monotone falsetto chorus, 'It's a Mystery' fits the ear like an oversized Q-Tip. It's one of several like-minded sins, including 'Rite of Passage' and 'Hands in the Air'....
    "Seger's saving grace may always be his voice..."
    McCollum closes the review by quoting "Lock and Load": "'Mediocrity's easy, the good things take time / The great need commitment, right down the line.' Think about it, Bob." Brian McCollum, October 24, 1995, Detroit Free Press. "Seger's 'Mystery' hits a few low notes."

    The March 1996 issue of Stereo Review says that Seger "turns a jaundiced eye to life" on the album:

    "...throughout, Seger veers from rough rock-and-roll to a less interesting (if more polished) production that seems a bit out of date -- Eighties synth-drums and all. The one time he's really out on the edge is in a hard-driving cover of Tom Waits '16 Shells from a 30-6,' where Seger suggest that his old muscle hasn't really gone to flab. But alas, it's only a flashback. March 1996, Stereo Review.

    Detroit News reviewer Kevin Ransom called It's A Mystery "probably the most mature and reflective release to date from this former ramblin', gamblin' man....On It's A Mystery, Seger sometimes paints with broad, not-so-subtle strokes, both melodically and lyrically...Seger neither defuses nor inflates Waits' darkly surreal missive from the netherworld. Instead -- with the help of former Fleetwood Mac axeman Rick Vito's gnarly slide guitar -- he nails it, leaving the song's emotional urgency, ominous metaphors and clanking, skeletal rhythms intact. Artistically, that's a good sign -- affirming that you needn't fear the darkness just because you've seen the light." Kevin Ransom, October 21, 1995, The Detroit News. "Seger's seen a new light, but hasn't quit the darkness."

    Reviewer Nicole Arthur, writing in the Washington Post pulls out all the stops. Clearly, it is not fashionable for young hip music reviewers to be caught appreciating anything as unmodern as Seger. As soon as she begins -- by noting that "Seger's late-'70s heyday is long past" and that "many took last year's greatest hits collection for a coup de grace" -- you know Seger's in for a rough time with young, sophisticated Nicole.


    Arthur says the new album is "hardly worth the [four-year] wait." It is "filled with soggy ballads and almost-ballads, and even those songs with fervent lyrics are defused by Seger's dispassionate delivery."

    She calls "Lock and Load," "a standard aging rocker's lament." [Standard? Since when is this a genre? It's the only song I've heard dealing with the subject matter this way.] Golden Boy is "a smarmy love song to his young song in the manner of John Lennon's "Beautiful Boy." [Does she think Lennon's song is smarmy too?]

    "Fans of old-style Seger will find no raunchy vignettes or spirited rave-ups here." [Of course, fans of old-style Seger won't find many raunchy vignettes or spirited rave-ups on his previous albums either. Raunchy vignettes? Spirited rave-ups? I think she's got him confused with Rod Stewart.]

    "Rare is a recording so moribund that it can't be animated by a Tom Waits song, but even Seger's cover of Wait's surreal rant, '16 Shells From a 30-6' fails to enliven this sluggish collection." [God, I bet she's proud of that sentence. What fancy footwork, what word power! What bias!] Nicole Arthur, October? 1995, Washington Post. "Bob Seger's Slight Moves"

    Attached Files:

  10. JamieC

    JamieC Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Detroit Mi USA
    I have been waiting for SOMEONE to say something. Its a Mystery to me who Bob was selling this to. Me? I'm presold. But NO ONE is going to call much of this "classic Seger". Even the best tracks here pale when compared to earlier tracks. Was Bob just tapped out or uninspired? I mean it's better than Noah. This album was a letdown to be sure, but where does this stuff get played? In the 90s Seger was not a priority on rock radio, and not much jumped in AC either.
    This is what followed the Greatest Hits album.
  11. Hey Vinyl Man

    Hey Vinyl Man Forum Resident

    "Lock and Load" is a favorite of mine, I must admit. That angst-ridden first verse is something I can identify with in my darker hours (one of which was in full swing when this CD came out - I was just out of college and stuck in a job I hated and was about to get fired from!) "I Can't Save You Angeline" has also held up pretty well in my opinion. The rest? Yeah, not so much.
  12. JamieC

    JamieC Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Detroit Mi USA
    Greatest Hits 2

    From Wiki
    Bob Seger released his compilation album Greatest Hits, Vol. 2 [ENHANCED] in 2003.

    Track listingAll songs written and composed by Bob Seger except where noted.

    No. Title Writer(s) Length
    1. "Understanding" (from the film Teachers) 1:23
    2. "The Fire Down Below" 4:27
    3. "Her Strut" 3:51
    4. "Beautiful Loser" 3:27
    5. "Sunspot Baby" 4:37
    6. "Katmandu" 6:09
    7. "Shame on the Moon" Rodney Crowell 4:52
    8. "Fire Lake" 3:31
    9. "Tryin' To Live My Life Without You" (live) Eugene Williams 4:10
    10. "Shakedown" (from the film Beverly Hills Cop II) Harold Faltermeyer, Keith Forsey, Seger 4:03
    11. "Manhattan" 5:23
    12. "New Coat of Paint" Tom Waits 3:28
    13. "Chances Are (with Martina McBride)" (from the film Hope Floats) 4:18
    14. "Rock and Roll Never Forgets" 3:51
    15. "Satisfied" (previously unreleased) 3:30
    16. "Tomorrow" (previously unreleased) 3:39
    17. "Turn the Page" (bonus video)

    Some later issues of the CD did not feature the two previously unreleased bonus tracks, nor the "Turn the Page" bonus music video.

    Attached Files:

  13. tonyc

    tonyc Well-Known Member

    I have been out of town. But, "It's A Mystery" is special for me as I saw him live for the first time in Nashville and then Knoxville promoting this album. Of course, he did not do my favorite tracks. I love "Rite Of Passage" and think "West Of The Moon" is very underrated. The title track is good, too. I get those who may find it a letdown from previous efforts but since it got him back on stage for the first time in nine years I appreciate it for that.

    I asked this a few pages back. I love this song and don't know why it has not been on a greatest hits album either.
  14. mrmaloof

    mrmaloof Active Member

    I too have been traveling a lot the past month so I haven't been able to keep up with this thread.

    The Fire Inside and It's A Mystery are quite inconsistent in quality. I like Bob doing new things in tunes like Sightseeing and the Tom Waits covers on both albums. I also really enjoy the title track on The Fire Inside and love the songs Rite of Passage, Lock and Load, and I Can't Save You Angeline on It's A Mystery.

    Things would get better with Face the Promise, and Greatest Hits II is a precursor of that, especially with the new song "Tomorrow" - though "Satisfied" is a good one too.

    GH 2 is a very nice compilation. It's really nice to have Understanding, Shakedown, and Chances Are collected together. Both GH compilations are nicely sequenced to make an excellent listening experience.

    - Joe
  15. DrAftershave

    DrAftershave A Wizard, A True Star

    Los Angeles, CA
    This is obviously wrong because Seger had a #1 hit with "Shakedown" in '87. Strangely, this song hasn't been reviewed at all on this thread. Neither has "Understanding" been reviewed. Personally, I think it's Bob's best song, hands down. I remember it being added as a bonus track to the cassette version of The Distance at some point but I had to wait until Greatest Hits 2 to get it on CD.
  16. JamieC

    JamieC Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Detroit Mi USA
    Not wrong, just contemporary. Shakedown was five years later, and was Segers only number one single. Odd that the studio Nine Tonight was also not included.
    As to not bringing up the soundtrack singles, other than Looking Back they were going to show up here on GH 2.
  17. DrAftershave

    DrAftershave A Wizard, A True Star

    Los Angeles, CA
    Well, I was going for the fact that whoever did the Wikipedia entry saying that "Shame On The Moon" was Seger's biggest hit was wrong.
  18. JamieC

    JamieC Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Detroit Mi USA
    Maybe he means because Seger wrote it and issued it. He was hired to do Shakedown.
  19. JamieC

    JamieC Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Detroit Mi USA
    Face The Promise

    From Wiki:

    Face the Promise is the sixteenth studio album by Bob Seger. This album was originally planned to be released in 2004 and then delayed to 2005. It was finally officially released on September 12, 2006. According to many webpages it took Bob Seger 6 years of work to finish on "Face The Promise." The first single, "Wait For Me", premiered in July 2006. This is also his first studio album since It's a Mystery in 1995.

    The album is certified platinum in the United States.

    Track listing
    All songs written and composed by Bob Seger except
    "Real Mean Bottle", written by Vince Gill.

    No. Title Length
    1. "Wreck This Heart" 3:53
    2. "Wait for Me" 3:42
    3. "Face the Promise" 3:18
    4. "No Matter Who You Are" 3:40
    5. "Are You" 3:35
    6. "Simplicity" 3:59
    7. "No More" 2:58
    8. "Real Mean Bottle" (with Kid Rock) 3:05
    9. "Won't Stop" 3:19
    10. "Between" 4:48
    11. "The Answer's in the Question" (with Patty Loveless) 3:41
    12. "The Long Goodbye" 3:07
    13. "Red Eye to Memphis" (iTunes Bonus Track) 2:57

    Produced by Bob Seger, except "Real Mean Bottle" produced by Bob Seger and Kid Rock

    Recorded by David N. Cole

    Mixed by David N. Cole and Bob Seger

    Recorded at Ocean Way Studios in Nashville except "Won't Stop" and "The Long Goodbye" recorded at Home Studios, Michigan

    Canada Gold 50,000
    United States Platinum 1,000,000

    Chart performance
    Album Chart (2006) Peak position
    Canadian Albums Chart 6
    U.S. Billboard 200 4
    U.S. Billboard Top Rock Albums 2

    Year Single Peak positions
    US Country US AC
    2006 "Wait for Me" 52 16
    "Wreck This Heart" — —

    Attached Files:

  20. mrmaloof

    mrmaloof Active Member

    I love this album! It's definitely in my top 5 of favorite Seger studio albums. The opening trio of songs is his strongest such set since The Distance. The No More - Real Mean Bottle - Won't Stop stretch is another favorite, and then the two closing songs make such a poignant conclusion. It's a nice, tight, mature set of rock songs that moves me from beginning to end. After the disappointments of the previous two studio albums it was such a delightful surprise to hear the strength and purpose in this album. Highly recommended to anyone who is following this thread and hasn't yet heard it!

    - Joe
  21. DrAftershave

    DrAftershave A Wizard, A True Star

    Los Angeles, CA
    But Seger didn't write "Shame On The Moon" either - Rodney Crowell did. And Seger did cowrite "Shakedown", so he was more than a hired hand.
  22. tonyc

    tonyc Well-Known Member

    The song "Face The Promise" sounds to me like a sequel to "Rite Of Passage" from the previous album. The one I play the most off this album is "No More". I suppose the string arrangement was the reason it was not attempted live.

    As we approach present day with this thread, thank you to JamieC for all the work you did here. :righton:
  23. Derek Gee

    Derek Gee Forum Resident

    I like the songwriting on the album, but it's sad for me to hear how worn out Bob's voice has gotten. I wish he'd stop smoking...

  24. mrmaloof

    mrmaloof Active Member

    Since I chimed in on The Fire Inside and It's A Mystery I've gone back to listen to them again. I like It's A Mystery more than I remembered. There's a lot of vulnerability and uncertainty here compared to his big hit albums. Seger is transitioning from his rock star days to being a parent, and there's a lot of questioning, anger, and soul-searching in the songs. From a distance, "Lock and Load" sounds like a farewell to the rock star life - for a long while anyway - to devote himself to fatherhood. "I Can't Save You Angeline" is another settling-down, change of life's priorities song. "Revisionism Street" is another song worrying about his legacy.

    It's A Mystery is still inconsistent in quality both musically and lyrically. But there's a really different point of view and perspective in this album that I appreciate a lot more than The Fire Inside. That album sounds like a last gasp at reviving the old formulas, rather than the change in songwriting topics we've seen from It's A Mystery onwards.

    - Joe
  25. JamieC

    JamieC Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Detroit Mi USA
    Quite a come back in my eyes(although it falls into the middle of the line up for me). Bob and I have gotten older together, so its all good.

    So I hope I can still draw breath and hear when Bob gets around to his next album.

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