|Robert Clark "Bob" Seger was born on 6th may 1945 in Dearborn, Michigan, USA.
Bob Seger-Gap Rating 4/10
One of the cornerstones of the Detroit rock 'n' roll sound, Bob Seger has in the course of his 30-year career proven to be one of America's most consistent songwriting talents. Like Bruce Springsteen, Seger has amassed an extremely loyal audience that has come to see him as representing the voice of everyman--of sharing the same beliefs, values and working-class background, yet still rising above it all for the glory of rock 'n' roll and the personal redemption it promises. In the blue-collar town long nicknamed the Motor City, Seger has struck a powerful alliance with rock fans who can relate all too well to songs like "Makin' Thunderbirds"; he is no elitist, he has no pretensions, and--perhaps most significantly--after the glories and temptations of superstardom, he continues to make Detroit his permanent home.
Raised in the university town of Ann Arbor, Seger started performing in early '60s Detroit-area bands such as the Decibels and the Town Criers. By 1965, he'd struck up a business relationship with manager Eddie "Punch" Andrews that continues even today; with Andrews at the helm, Seger scored a regional hit single with "East Side Story" that was soon picked up by the Cameo-Parkway label. Following a series of Cameo-Parkway singles such as "Persecution Smith" and "Heavy Music," both significant Michigan-area hits, Seger signed to Capitol Records, and by 1969, with his band the Bob Seger System, had a top 20 hit with "Ramblin' Gamblin' Man."
Though Seger's workaholic nature made him a Midwestern fixture throughout much of the late '60s, all that roadwork did little to help the sales of his first few albums. While his first Capitol album Ramblin' Gamblin' Man enjoyed some success, reaching No. 62 on the charts, its little-known follow-up Noah failed to chart at all; similarly, 1970's Mongrel peaked at No. 171 and was off the charts in four weeks, and 1971's Brand New Morning--a completely solo recording, an adventurous concept at the time--failed to chart as well. Disheartened, Seger took some time off to attend college, but by 1972 had resurfaced with Detroiters Teegarden & Van Winkle on Smokin' O.P.'s, issued by the independent Detroit label Palladium Records. Filled with covers of songs by Bo Diddley ("Bo Diddley"), Stephen Stills ("Love The One You're With") and Tim Hardin ("If I Were A Carpenter") and only two originals--his Cameo sides "Heavy Music" and "Someday"--the album attracted enough interest to be picked up by Reprise Records.
Seger's stint at Reprise was essentially a rerun of his Capitol days; Smokin' O.P.'s only reached No. 180 on the charts, Back in '72 did worse, peaking at No. 188, and 1974's Seven didn't make the chart at all. Still, there was a difference. Seger was maturing as a writer, penning believable ballads about his wearying road life such as Back In '72's "Turn The Page," and classic rock rave-ups like Seven's "Need Ya" and "Get Out Of Denver." Other artists were listening as well: Welsh rocker Dave Edmunds (and U.K. punk group Eddie & the Hot Rods) later covered "Denver," and, unfortunately for Seger, no less a talent than Eric Clapton snared his excellent backing band, which included Dick Sims, Jamie Oldaker and Marci Levy.
By now one of the most experienced performers on the Midwest circuit, Seger put together a new group, the Silver Bullet Band, and carried on. By 1975, he had re-signed to Capitol and issued an album that marked a significant turning point in his career. Beautiful Loser--which peaked at No. 133 but has since gone platinum--was the album on which Seger transformed himself from goodhearted Midwestern rocker to respected singer-songwriter of considerable depth. And by 1976, with the growing presence of saxophonist Tom "Alto Reed" Cartmell in the Silver Bullet Band, more than a few critics were starting to draw parallels between Seger and one of the hottest new artists of the decade: Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band.
Just as Peter Frampton kick-started his career into high gear that year with the double-live Frampton Comes Alive, it took Seger's own double-live set, Live Bullet, to finally take him over the top. While the album's chart peak of No. 34 might seem unextraordinary, its duration on the Billboard album chart--a full 167 weeks--indicated how powerful a statement it became for the singer. Boasting the best songs of his long career, from "Heavy Music" and "Ramblin' Gamblin Man" to "Katmandu" and "Get Out Of Denver," the album told the world what the Midwest had long known--that Bob Seger was one of most exciting performers in rock 'n' roll.
Seger has credited his viewing George Lucas's film American Graffiti as a personal turning point; the coming-of-age epic on the screen soon found parallels in the singer's newest songs, which often seemed a mixture of
nostalgia ("Rock 'N' Roll Never Forgets") and hometown provincialism ("Main Street"). Beginning with 1976's Night Moves, the title track of which became a top 5 smash, Seger began a lengthy hit streak that brought him enormous success. Between 1976-81, the singer released eight top 20 singles, including "Still The Same," "Hollywood Nights," "We've Got Tonight," "Fire Lake," and "Against The Wind." Even more impressive was his streak of top-selling albums, including Live Bullet (quadruple platinum), Night Moves and Stranger In Town (both quintuple platinum), his first No. 1 album Against The Wind (quadruple platinum), and 1981's Nine Tonight (triple platinum).
At that level of success, Seger began taking longer and longer to make albums; platinum-seller The Distance emerged in 1983, Like A Rock in 1986, and--after nearly five-and-a-half years, The Fire Inside saw release in 1991. Still, for most of the '80s, Seger was becoming something of an institutional figure in American pop: Tom Cruise captivated many with his underwear-only air-guitar performance of Seger's "Old Time Rock 'N' Roll" in 1983's Risky Business, while the singer's "Like A Rock" was later adopted for use--with his full blessing--in, appropriately, car commercials. Additionally, Seger closed out the decade with the first No. 1 single of his career, 1987's "Shakedown" from
the soundtrack to Beverly Hills Cop II.
Though 1991's platinum The Fire Inside was one of Seger's most substantial albums ever, its failure to generate any charting single was a troubling sign. Five years away from the marketplace, particularly in the MTV-driven music industry of '90s, may have been too long for Seger, who turned 50 in 1995. "The chance to play rock 'n' roll as an adult feels like a privilege to me," Seger said by way of acknowledgment in 1991. "I look at guys from Jagger and Springsteen to James Brown and Chuck Berry, and I figure they're damn nice company to be in."