Bob Seger - The Albums and the career, song by song thread

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by mark winstanley, Mar 20, 2021.

  1. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    Born Robert Clark Seger, May 6 1945, Bob Seger became somewhat of an American rock and roll institution in the seventies, releasing album after album of solid material with a nice eye for observation and a reflective kind of lyrical nature that spoke to music lovers all over the world.


    Essentially his music life began in 1961 with a three piece called the Decibels, and they recorded Bob's first song, which was played once on Ann Arbor radio station.
    I can't find the whole song, but here is Bob playing an excerpt of it on the radio and quickly discussing it.

    Bob went on to be in the Town Criers, and around this time Bob was heavily influenced by James Brown Live At The Apollo, and of course the Beatles also influenced Bob fairly early on.

    After that Bob joined Doug Brown and The Omens ...

    In 1966 Seger recorded a song as Bob Seger and the Last Heard, he had actually written the song for the Underdogs, but when it had failed to really do anything, he decided to do it himself, and to some degree this is where Seger started to get some traction with his career in music.

    This is where we'll take up the journey ....

    I discovered Bob a lot later... In the early eighties, my dad brought home this album he wanted me to listen to with him. It was Nine Tonight.
    When my dad said the guys name, I instantly thought of Pete Seger and made a face, because I was at that age where I had just discovered albums and I was very much all about some rock music.
    So after stating I wasn't really into that kind of thing, my dad just kind of smiled and put the record on, and I was drawn into this great live album, and I probably played it as much, if not more than him.

    So this was my introduction to Bob Seger, and it developed slowly, as all music in the form of albums was a new thing in my life, and my love of playing Australian Rules Football was augmented by saving up pennies to buy, at the time, secondhand records, and occasionally I was able to spoil myself with a new one.

    After years and years of wanting to see Bob live, I finally got the opportunity on his farewell tour, and I got the chance to see him in Memphis near the end of 2019 ... and it was a great show. Sure his voice wasn't in its prime, but he sang well and put on a great show.

    @JamieC did do an album thread about ten years ago HERE, for anyone wanting to have a look at it, but a couple of folks asked me if I would do one, because I had mentioned that I would like to, so here we are.

    @Geee! @drift61603 @OptimisticGoat @tenor1 @Crawdad @The MEZ

    I hope I didn't miss anybody ...

    Anyway I am looking forward to getting deeper into Bob's catalogue, a lot of it is very new to me, and I am mainly familiar with Beautiful Loser through to The Distance.
    So I hope some folks will join us on the journey.

    The way we run these is once we get to the Bob Seger System album, I will post the album to discuss in general, and then we will go through one or two song per day, depending on what folks want to do, and how things are flowing.
    Every Saturday, barring interruption, I will post a reference guide that will have links to the songs and albums, so folks can find things easily if they wish to.
    Sunday will be a day off, for folks to catch up, and so I can do my surround thread.

    Please stay with the album we are on, so that folks dropping in know where we are at .... that doesn't mean you can't mention anything, but lets try and not get too sidetracked, we will cover everything eventually.
    If you notice me missing something, please let me know, I am certainly not infallible :)

    With Bob retiring, and leaving this great legacy of music, I wanted to somewhat try and honour his music with a look through his career.
    I hope some folks will join me.


    Last edited: Mar 20, 2021
  2. OptimisticGoat

    OptimisticGoat Everybody's escapegoat....

    Great idea for a thread @mark winstanley. Happy to be here and I have a lot to learn - particularly the early years.
  3. stewedandkeefed

    stewedandkeefed Came Ashore In The Dead Of The Night

    I have always enjoyed Bob Seger's music. Of the approximately 450 shows I have been to, one of the best was seeing Bob Seger in 1977 at the Hammersmith Odeon in London, England when he was promoting Night Moves.
  4. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    Here are Doug Brown And The Omens from 1965 with


    Just as something to check out until we start on Monday, here is one of the earliest appearances of Bob in recorded form.

  5. DrAftershave

    DrAftershave A Wizard, A True Star

    Los Angeles, CA
    I grew up on Seger. He's considered a God in Minnesota. Saw him live on the "It's A Mystery" tour in 1996.
  6. Hi Lizard

    Hi Lizard Cause Mr. Buttons Told Me So

    Frankfort Kentucky
    Bob is one of the great American rock n' roll songwriters of our time. Class act, all about the music. Steered clear of controversy and always seemed widely respected. One of a kind. Throw anything on by him and I'm listening.
  7. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    Although many folks, particularly Detroit residents would say 69-73 was the best time to see one of his shows, personally 77-82 is the period I would really loved to have been able to see him live.
    Something about those songs from the mid-seventies through to The Distance just really connected with me.
    drift61603, caravan70, Wimbo and 13 others like this.
  8. JamieC

    JamieC Senior Member

    Detroit Mi USA
    Thanks Mark. Its a hell of a ride and a story of overcoming ridiculous roadblocks. I grew up in Detroit and Bob was the first local band to go top ten on Keener 13. I remember the records on the green Hideout label first. I saw the System live in 70 and was in the house for the first night in Sept 75 of Live Bullet.
    As I said in my opening post in the album by album thread, "Michigan's favorite son".
  9. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    If you feel like riding again, that would be very cool... obviously given the time to do so.
    I can only imagine how cool it would have been to see him live in 1970, and also see him develop into one of America's great songwriters.
  10. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    One more track recorded prior to Bob stepping out on his own and into his career as a solo artist and band leader.

    Ballad Of The Yellow Beret
    - Doug Brown and The Omens (Beach Bums) ? - all of you folks in the know, please let us know the story behind the name this was released under.

    Released in early 1966, and by Doug Brown and The Omens, even though the single states that it is by the Beach Bums, we have the Ballad of the Yellow Beret.
    This song was written as a parody of Barry Sadler's Ballad Of The Green Beret, and very soon after its release it was withdrawn from the market when Barry and his record label threatened legal action.
    It seems the song was a slightly tongue in cheek swipe at draft dodgers, and again if you look at the face of the single in the video, you will see that the writing credit is to D Dodgers.

    It opens with the classic line "This is a protest against protesters".
    We move forward with a military drum beat, and a series of sarcastic observations that probably wouldn't be taken too kindly these days.

    Barry Sadler's Ballad Of The Green Berets was a huge hit and stayed at number one in the US for about 5 weeks and sold 9 million copies.

  11. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    So after five years of what seems like a wandering mission to find his place Bob formed Bob Seger and the Last Heard , essentially to record his own version of East Side Story, and over the course of 66 and 67 the band released 5 singles.
    The singles didn't really make much of a dent nationally, but they make a bit of a splash in Detroit.
    The Last Heard never got around to making an album, but on Monday we'll start looking at the singles, and then we will look at the album they finally made it onto, before we move into phase two(?) of Seger's career with The Bob Seger System.

    rock4ev, Hi Lizard, Zeki and 5 others like this.
  12. Geee!

    Geee! Senior Member

    Pretty much my intro as well, Mark. I can't remember if I bought Nine Tonight or Against the Wind first. I was 13 then. I have not moved much beyond those two with the exception of Live Bullet. I do know a lot of the singles though & have Stranger in Town but have never listened to it. I will this afternoon.
  13. Yankeefan01

    Yankeefan01 Forum Resident

    Tonawanda, NY, USA
    Been listening to Bob Seger since Live Bullet. One of my goals when I moved to Michigan was to catch a show at Joe Louis Arena, basically seeing Seger in his natural habitat. Did that during the Like a Rock Tour in '87 at JLA and then in '96 at Pine Knob in Clarkston, Michigan. Both magical shows.
    Cool idea for a thread. Long overdue, surprised nobody did this before.
  14. tenor1

    tenor1 Forum Resident

    I was born in Detroit so I have to be a Bob Seger fan, it's the law :). My first exposure was listening to Beautiful Loser at the home of a friend of a friend in Ann Arbor, soon after it came out. That got me hooked and I have since gotten just about all his recordings. I've heard him several times over the years, starting with the Night Moves tour up through the Farewell tour. Always a great show!

    Thanks for putting this together Mark! I am looking forward to the discussion.
  15. tenor1

    tenor1 Forum Resident

    If there's anything in an upcoming album that's not on YouTube, let me know and I can see if I can upload something so that everybody can share. I suspect @JamieC could do the same, it sure seems like he has everything too. Since everything before Beautiful Loser has been largely suppressed for over 40 years they can be hard to come by.
  16. Fischman

    Fischman RockMonster, ClassicalMaster, and JazzMeister

    New Mexico
    I was never a big enough Seger fan to buy albums and seek out deep cuts. I might listen to the links to refresh myself with what I missed. I may or may not comment depending on whether or not a song moves me.

    But there are a few of the hits I think are absolutely glorious, and I'll try to keep track so I can share the love when those come 'round.
  17. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    I will let you know mate. It's always a fingers crossed affair.
    When I can afford a new computer she'll be apple's.... I can't do much with this one lol
  18. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    That would be cool.
    Although Bob got super high rotation on the radio, I was quite surprised how good some of the deep cuts are.

    For folks only familiar with the Beautiful loser albums onward, there will certainly be a few surprises early on.
  19. robcar

    robcar Forum Resident

    Denver, CO
    I'm a Seger fan. I do wish he wasn't so damn possessive over his work though, keeping several albums out of print on purpose and refusing to release a career spanning outtakes box set (he is reportedly sitting on a couple hundred unreleased songs that have never leaked out of his vault). Of course, it's his music and his right to keep it from public consumption, but I really wish he would have changed his mind by now. I think it would only have improved and strengthened his legacy, if reports regarding the high quality of the unreleased outtakes are at all accurate.

    I think it's unfortunate that Seger never developed much of a fan base outside of the U.S. and Canada. I think much of this was due to his fear of flying, which meant he rarely if ever toured overseas. I also think that the moment when he first gained wider notice outside of his Michigan stronghold coincided with the punk "revolution", which meant that more traditional rockers like Seger weren't being given the attention they might have received just a year or two earlier. It became too easy for the UK music press to categorize him as a Springsteen imitator, when he wasn't that at all.

    Seger sustained a remarkably high level of quality in his released work up until the early 1990s, when he first showed signs to me of having run out of inspiration. His voice was a force of nature and, at his peak, was one of the greatest rock n' roll voices of all time. He was always critically acclaimed and, somewhat bizarrely, seemingly became even more popular in later years than he was during his commercial heyday in the late 1970s and early 1980s, despite releasing far fewer albums and touring less frequently.

    This will be an excellent thread.
  20. ArpMoog

    ArpMoog Forum Resident

    When people talk about live albums Live Bullet should be up there with the best of them. I stop with Bob at Loser but I like Against the Wind. Great guitar sound on that one. Strut and Fire lake used to play on the radio all the time here.
    Cool thread and there will be at least a dozen pages complaining about that missing back catalog which is a silly decision by the Seger camp imo.
  21. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    I'm not really sure about anywhere else, but he was very popular in Australia. If he had managed to tour Australia, he would have gone gangbusters.

    I always find it bizarre that he never released a concert movie too. I hope one day he gets comfortable with these things ... preferably while we, and he, are all still alive.
  22. a customer

    a customer Forum Resident

    I use think he was a rocker after rambling
    Grambling man. He wrote many soulful
    Songs. Similar to Springsteen
    Gramps Tom and Crimson Witch like this.
  23. ArpMoog

    ArpMoog Forum Resident

    The live Nutbush is a stomper.
  24. Crimson Witch

    Crimson Witch Forum Resident

    North America
    I never heard this song before !
    I've seen that comp hundreds of times but for some reason it never occurred to me to check it out.

    that sounds nothing like Bob's voice (is it even?) as I recognise it anyplace else on record - sort of a vague lounge singer quality in the tremolo on the sustain!

    Last edited: Mar 20, 2021
    mark winstanley likes this.
  25. dirkster

    dirkster Forum Resident

    McKinney, TX, USA
    I’m game. I’ve never heard the bulk of his pre-Live Bullet material but I have all his albums from that point forward. Been a while since I listened to some of them, partly because I feel like I know them in my head so well. Looks like it’s time for a major revisit of Bob Seger in my house.

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