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

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

  1. fspringer

    fspringer Forum Resident

    New York City
    Greatest Hits: Where I got back in the fold after blowing him off since just after Like a Rock. Being a 70s kid, I recognized the mid-90s as a sweet spot for nostalgia. Whether it was Dazed in the Confused in the theatres or a full spate of retrospective hits packages, 2-CD anthologies and box sets. I would guess this is his largest selling album? As Mark notes, I gather a ton of people think of Seger in terms of moments like "Night Moves" and "Old time Rock and Roll." As we've seen there's plenty to gather from his albums, too. But I recall getting Elton John's Greatest Hits for Christmas in the 70s, and that had a similar effect, blowing away his regular albums in terms of the unbelievable amount and quality of his hit singles. (And in that case, in a roughly five-year span!) In any event, I can't argue with song selection, save that it underlines his decision to eradicate his pre-Beautiful Loser existence. I would have prefered a healthy two-disc anthology, first disc of pre-Beautiful Loser high points, and the second this disc. But as we would see, that was never part of his agenda. In an age where every artist on his level has numerous anthologies, box sets, legendary live shows and more, we'll had to do with a few greatest hits packages and an oddly titled "early years" collection (that I thought might have been an Italian bootleg knock-off when I first saw it, as the song selection seemed so weird).

    Ce'st La Vie: standard issue Chuck Berry cover. Not bad, but Bob could do this in his sleep. The other track was a much better sweetener to encourage older fans to buy this package. They would anyway, and this is obviously a great introduction to people who know nothing about Bob Seger.
  2. Rfreeman

    Rfreeman Forum Resident

    Lawrenceville, NJ
    I wonder if there is any other instance of an artist whose first "Greatest Hits" album does not include their only #1 hit to date.

    And it was even a non album single
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2021 at 9:56 AM
  3. fspringer

    fspringer Forum Resident

    New York City
    Any album that doesn't include "Shakedown" works for me! But you raise a valid point.

    Edit: in my previous post: "Dazed and Confused" - not "Dazed in the Confused"!
  4. Rfreeman

    Rfreeman Forum Resident

    Lawrenceville, NJ
    Also pretty odd it doesn't include Ramblin Gamblin Man. It makes perfect sense leaving off the early non hit stuff that was on other labels - but that was a hit on Capitol.
  5. Davido

    Davido Forum Resident

    First, thanks to RC1 for clearing up the Bill Davis confusion... that makes more sense than the Dash Rip Rock BD. And I'd wondered why I wouldn't remember something as strange as Seger covering a DRR song.

    Never picked up the Greatest Hits album since I bought most of this material at time of release, and didn't need a rudimentary Chuck Berry cover or one unreleased song (which I'm not sure I've heard yet, so maybe something to look forward to). However, as plain as the rendition of "You Never Can Tell" is, it would've made for a better closer on "The Fire Inside" than the other cover especially since Seger gave a lyrical shout out to Chuck Berry on "Night Moves"...
  6. Orino

    Orino Forum Resident

    Yes this album came along at the right time.. the portcullis was soon to fall, and shut out a lot of 70s rock types, if it hadn't already - Britpop was looming, trip hop, Jungle.. your alt-rock or post-grunge seemed in rude heath but I maintain that all things 'rock' were about to calcify somewhat. Suddenly the pre-punk 70s seemed very out of fashion and in the UK everyone with a guitar was soon trying to emulate The Jam, Wire or The (60s!) Kinks.

    But just prior to that sea change, this came out and it seemed like Bob finally became a bit more visible in the UK. "Against the Wind" even made a Q magazine free CD (which had a massive readership at the time). I think even a year later would have been too late for this album. Anyway in 95 was thinking, typical, I've moved on from Seger and now he's got racks of CDs all over the UK record shops..

    Never owned it, as I had all bar 1 or 2 songs already, but was nice to see him have such a late career boost after 25 ish years. In fact it looks like it revitalised him for the NEXT 25.. good old Bob. :)
  7. JamieC

    JamieC Senior Member

    Detroit Mi USA
    There may have been exclusivity contracts still in place with MCA as it was from a big selling MCA album. Of course the single was also on MCA.

    Lets see what is legitimately missing within the timeline parameters.
    Jody Girl
    Fire Down Below
    Brave Strangers
    Fire Lake
    Nine Tonight(studio)
    Tryin To Live My Life Without You
    Even Now
    Shame On The Moon
    That's not including Travelin Man/Beautiful Loser or the individual studio tracks

    Easily a second disc. It was a choice to make it one disc and IMO two tracks to suck in older fans and collectors. I really have to assume that they figured on a volume 2 eventually, but Bob's output slowed to a crawl.
  8. fspringer

    fspringer Forum Resident

    New York City
    I can't fault the Seger/Andrews logic in going for a one-disc greatest hits collection. I mean, look at the sales! I suspect a more well-rounded two-disc anthology (that long-term fans would have preferred) wouldn't have sold nearly as well. The contents are debatable - why "Roll Me Away" (and the lead-off song, no less) when Rfreeman and JamieC list a few songs that were just as or more worthy? The second greatest hits compilation would cover some (not all) of that ground. Then the "Ultimate Hits" two-disc compilation years later that rehashed much of the same material. Compare and contrast to Springsteen's single-disc compilation released in 1995. I remember buying that only to get the bonus tracks!
  9. superstar19

    superstar19 Man Of Constant Disappointment

    Canton, MI, USA
    I agree with most of the criticism of the set, but for me, Seger's is ultimately a more satisfying GH experience than Bruce's release. I was glad to see Roll Me Away on the track list. Wasn't a big single, but became an FM favorite around here over the years.
  10. tenor1

    tenor1 Forum Resident

    This is a wonderful Greatest Hits set and its success speaks for itself. It is sequenced very well, and I think Roll Me Away is the perfect opener. Personally I listen to Vol. 2 more often since it has such a great collection of non-album songs, but I'm not the primary intended market for this kind of set anyway. The Chuck Berry cover is OK, pleasant but nothing special.
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  11. Hey Vinyl Man

    Hey Vinyl Man Another bloody Yank down under...

    The fact that we're currently discussing a Chuck Berry song made me check the track listing of The Great Twenty Eight, and sure enough, no "My Ding-A-Ling". (A wise choice if you ask me.)
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  12. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    In Your Time
    Label: Capitol Records – 7243 8 82144 2 1, EMI – CDCL 741
    Format: CD, Single
    Country: Europe
    Released: 1995
    Genre: Rock
    Style: Classic Rock


    1 In Your Time 3:05
    2 C'est La Vie 2:58
    3 Roll Me Away 4:36

    I have certainly listened to the Greatest Album, but I haven't heard this song much. I very rarely listen to compiles, so most of those extra songs on compiles have very rarely been heard.

    In your time
    The innocence will fall away
    In your time
    The mission bells will toll
    All along
    The corridors and river beds
    There'll be signs
    In your time

    Towering waves
    Will crash across your southern capes
    Massive storms
    Will reach your eastern shores
    Fields of green
    Will tumble through your summer days
    By design
    In your time

    Feel the wind
    And set yourself the bolder course
    Keep your heart
    As open as a shrine
    You'll sail the perfect line

    And after all
    The dead ends and the lessons learned
    After all
    The stars have turned to stone
    There'll be peace
    Across the great unbroken void
    All benign
    In your time
    You'll be fine
    In your time

    Songwriters: Bob Seger
    In Your Time lyrics © Warner Chappell Music, Inc, Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

    This is a very nice moderate ballad type song, and probably an apt closer for this album with the thoughts of the lyrics.
    We have an album that gathers together the songs that Bob and Punch obviously decided were the best representations of Bob's career, with a strong mind towards a certain section of hits.
    The song has a reflective lyric that looks at the passing of time and the need to move forward, in spite of where we are currently.

    We have a steady beat and a melancholy melody in a lower reflective vocal. The backing is predominantly the drums and a soft synth sound, that creates a bed for the vocal to float on.
    We get an instrumental break that has the sax accentuating on the main melody, and the guitar modifying that, and then the sax taking us back into the vocal, and it works for this.

    This isn't in my favourite Seger songs, but I think it is a very good song, and it seems like it is a perfect coda for the Greatest Hits package.

  13. Hey Vinyl Man

    Hey Vinyl Man Another bloody Yank down under...

    In Your Time - The title itself reminds me of Hemingway's first book, In Our Time, and in that light the lyrics are somewhat reminiscent of him as well: you'll hit some hard times, but you can take it. That's a bit out of character for Seger - when his songs are dark, they're dark, end of story. So it's a nice change of pace. On the other hand, I had the Greatest Hits back when it was first out (on vinyl - the only Capitol album in my collection with white labels) and I don't remember this song at all. I remember there were two previously-unreleased tracks and I remember the other one was "You Never Can Tell" and he changed the title, but that's it. It would have fit well on several of his other albums, but I don't really see it as a standout on any of them.
  14. Rfreeman

    Rfreeman Forum Resident

    Lawrenceville, NJ
    Interesting but I am guessing it was not his first greatest hits album if it came out after My Ding A Ling
    mark winstanley likes this.
  15. JamieC

    JamieC Senior Member

    Detroit Mi USA
    Great 28 was framed by his classic first run on Chess through 64. All his classics included.
    Incidentally, Ding A Ling(the single) is awful. The uncut performance is iconic.
  16. fspringer

    fspringer Forum Resident

    New York City
    In Your Time: Another good mid-tempo song that I often lump in with "Understanding," both songs being similar in good ways. When I first heard it, I thought that sounds like the song he did for the Teachers soundtrack that was long gone by 1994. So, it was good to get a copy of that with the next set.

    When it comes to playlists in iTunes, I tend to simply focus on the quality of a song more so than where it originated. Thus, this seems like solid Seger to me. Those few songs I would eventually pull from that odd Early Seger are still to new to me to feel weaved into how I think about his legacy. It's strange that two songs that could have easily been album closers ended up as soundtrack material or a greatest hits bonus track. As we've learned with Seger, if you're able to legally purchase the song, be grateful for that!
  17. Davido

    Davido Forum Resident

    "In Your Time" is a nice little song and better some of the material that made the studio albums. Does the album reveal when the song was recorded or if it was an outtake from a previous album? Maybe it was recorded specifically for the GH album since the production excesses of the mid-80s/early 90s are not too evident.
  18. Davido

    Davido Forum Resident

    When I first played "In Your Time" it brought to mind "Understanding" but I'm not sure why, but there's something there...
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  19. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    I honestly don't know, but it would be interesting to.
    I get the impression that Punch asked him to write a song that reflects on his career specifically for the album.
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  20. tenor1

    tenor1 Forum Resident

    The credits describe In Your Time as "A new song written for my son Cole." The personnel include guitarist Tim Mitchell who plays throughout the next album, It's a Mystery. So as with Greatest Hits 2, this seems like a song taken from the candidates for the next album. For me it's a pleasant song but not very memorable. I agree it works well as a closer to this collection though.
  21. Rfreeman

    Rfreeman Forum Resident

    Lawrenceville, NJ
    In Your Time
    A nice well produced thoughtful mid tempo song. No real criticism of it but nothing hugely memorable.
    Rating 6/10
    mark winstanley likes this.
  22. ArpMoog

    ArpMoog Forum Resident

    It's crazy to me were at 95 and greatest hits and it's been 25+ years and not a move of any significance on the old stuff.
    Sometimes I forget I'm old now.
    I remember this cd being everywhere and it had a effect of some stations playing old stuff over the hits in celebration of the success of the cd. It's 2021 someone stage a intervention with Bob. The kids think he's a sap and have no idea he rocked at one time.
  23. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    It's a Mystery


    Studio album by
    Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band
    Released October 24, 1995
    Genre Rock
    Length 49:49
    Label Capitol
    Producer Bob Seger

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

    Despite hit singles and fan favorites such as "Lock and Load," "Manhattan," and "Hands in the Air," the album charted at No. 27 on The Billboard charts. This was Seger's lowest chart position since 1976's Live Bullet which charted at No. 34 on the Billboard 200.

    It's a Mystery was Seger's last album before taking a hiatus from the music industry to be with his family. He would return in 2006 with the album Face the Promise.
    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


    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."

    [So why didn't he play more of it live...instead of just two or three songs per concert?]

    "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."

    Seger: "I didn't want to worry about sheen; I wanted to worry about feel and spontaneity. It's just that magical thing that happens, and you say, 'Stop. That's fine.' I think having the reins off, 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.
    -----------------------------------------Seger File-------------------------------------------------------

    I actually prefer this album to Fire Inside. I had never previously hear of it to be honest, until I decided to hunt down all the Seger albums I didn't have a few years ago, and after Fire Inside, I was a little anxious that I had made a bad decision, but this is a pretty solid album and it has a lot more edge to it.
    I think that Seger just decided to rock, and I think that is where he functions best. I love his ballads, but I get the feeling that after the success there was pressure, or a drive to keep those ballads coming no matter what, and that led to the smoothing out of the sound, and then we get to an album like Fire Inside that is just too polished on the production, and so it feels, or sounds a bit lifeless.
    I am yet to decide if the songs here are great songs, because it is still pretty new to me, but the feel of the album and the sound of the album is much better. We have guitars with some fire, rather than a bland fuzz in the background, and it seems like the dynamics are back in play, after taking a vacation.

    On the whole I am really looking forward to digging in to this album and seeing what it is really made of, because on passing listens I like it quite a bit.
    Anyhow, please let us know your thoughts on this one.
    Was this an album everybody was aware of?
    Did it slip under the mid nineties radar of Alt rock and leftover grunge?
    Did anything get played on the radio?
    What did any of you that had the album back then think about it?
    And did your opinion change in some way over the years since?
    This is the kind of album that seems it would often sit in the back of the collection, watching the other albums getting pulled out for some play, yet it has a fair bit to offer itself.
    Anyway, we’ll hit the first song tomorrow and see what it has in store for us.

  24. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

  25. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

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