Sunday, September 02, 2007

Number 570 - Bob Seger

Number 570

Bob Seger

"Old Time Rock & Roll"

art byExxphoto
As soon as i wrote the words "Quicker than Michael Vick given a 3 day pass at Crufts" in the last song, my youngest son was mauled by a Bull Mastiff while walking to the park with his older brothers. By the time i got him he had lost a fair amount of blood. The wounds them self were gruesome beyond words. I have spent the last day and night in emergency dept at hospital waiting for him to have surgery. My son is recovering well and all i want to state is this: All vicious breeds of dogs like the Mastiff, Pit bull, Doberman, Rottweiler etc should be eradicated, period. If you disagree..... rack off. To me its the same mentality as "Guns don't kill people, people kill with guns" if there were no guns then no idiot could shoot one, could they? Back to the music.

Originally a hard-driving rocker in the vein of fellow Michigan garage rockers the Rationals and Mitch Ryder, Bob Seger developed into one of the most popular heartland rockers over the course of the '70s. Combining the driving charge of Ryder's Detroit Wheels with Stonesy garage rock and devotion to hard-edged soul and R&B, he crafted a distinctively American sound. While he never attained the critical respect of his contemporary Bruce Springsteen, Seger did develop a dedicated following through constant touring with his Silver Bullet Band. Following several years of missed chances and lost opportunities, Seger finally achieved a national audience in 1976 with the back-to-back release of Live Bullet and Night Moves. After the platinum success of those albums, Seger retained his popularity for the next two decades, releasing seven Top Ten, platinum-selling albums in a row.
The touring paid off in 1976, when Live Bullet, a double album recorded in Detroit, became a hit, spending over three years on the U.S. charts and going gold; the album would eventually go quadruple platinum. The groundswell behind Live Bullet sent Seger's next studio album, Night Moves (1976), into the Top Ten early in 1977. Night Moves became a blockbuster, generating the hit singles "Night Moves," "Mainstreet," and "Rock & Roll Never Forgets." Stranger in Town, released in the summer 1978, was just as successful, featuring the hits "Still the Same," "Hollywood Nights," "We've Got Tonite," and "Old Time Rock & Roll." Stranger in Town confirming his status as one America's most popular rockers. Seger's next album, 1980's Against the Wind, became his first number one album and all of its big hits -- "Fire Lake," "Against the Wind," "You'll Accomp'ny Me" -- were ballads. The live album Nine Tonight continued his multi-platinum success in 1981, selling three million copies and peaking at number three.

About The Album
Night Moves was in the pipeline when Live Bullet hit, and wound up eclipsing the double live set anyway, so Stranger in Town is really the record where Bob Seger started grasping the changes that happened when he became a star. It happened when he was old enough to have already formed his character. Even as celebrity creeps in, as on "Hollywood Nights," Seger remains a middle-class, Midwestern rocker, celebrating "Old Time Rock & Roll," realizing old flames are still the same, and still feeling like a number. Musically, it's as lively as Night Moves, rocking even harder in some places and being equally as introspective in the acoustic numbers. If it doesn't feel as revelatory as that record, in many ways it does feel like a stronger set of songs. Yes, musically, it doesn't offer any revelations, but it still feels impassioned, both in its performances and songs, and it's still one of the great rock records of its era.

Just Recently.... ?
Over the course of the next decade, the membership of the Silver Bullet Band shifted constantly. While The Distance featured "Shame on the Moon," his biggest hit single to date, its sales plateaued at a million copies, suggesting that his popularity was beginning to level off. Seger also began to drastically reduce his recording and touring schedules -- he only released one other album, 1986's Like a Rock, during the '80s. Like a Rock and its supporting tour were both successes, paving the way for "Shakedown," a song taken from the soundtrack to Beverly Hills Cop II, to become Seger's lone number one hit in 1987. Four years after its release, he returned with The Fire Inside. Although the album went platinum and reached the Top Ten, it only appealed to Seger's devoted following, as did 1995's It's a Mystery, which became his first album since Live Bullet to fail to go platinum, leveling off at gold status. In 2006, after an 11-year hiatus, Seger released Face the Promise. ~ [Stephen Thomas Erlewine, All Music Guide]
For Bruce Springsteen see Number 817
What does Rolling Drone think about Bob Seger?
Bob Seger's No longer a stranger in town. Since Night Moves, he's been expected eagerly, and he's almost six months overdue. Live Bullet put Seger on the national map after nine or ten years of riding the secondary roads, and Night Moves, coming hard on its heels, proved that the Midwest's great journeyman rock & roller could cut it in studios and on singles charts as well as onstage. Seger's success was an affirmation of rock & roll's essential durability, because his homegrown, audience-honed music was derivative in the best sense. He was, after all, practically a rock & roll archetype: an authentic hardworking, hard-traveling man, a gambler whose best-selling album was the one on which he reviewed his life, adding up the score and deciding whether or not he was too old to play anymore.
In spite of the lapses, Stranger in Town is Bob Seger's most consistent record. Without heeling to a concept, most of the songs touch on one form of isolation or another, but Seger's loners aren't exactly heroes. The loser in "Hollywood Nights" finds himself dazzled and betrayed–and taken for a rube. The gambler of "Still the Same" is a system player who takes no risks. The suitor in "We've Got Tonite" piles on every cliché in the book, then repeats them all, while the departing lover in "The Famous Final Scene" mocks himself with his own theatricality. Night Moves threatened defeat and countered with endurance, Stranger in Town, a more polished and modest LP, is likelier to scuffle and retreat. Without heroes, without tragedy, it avoids the melodrama that sometimes made Night Moves pretentious, but neither does it achieve–or only rarely–the earlier album's awkward, naked individualism.
Last time out, Seger risked failure by acknowledging it. On Stranger in Town, he risks anonymity in much the same manner, then hides behind his music. Bob Seger keeps hanging by a thread, but that's part of his charm. He records rather than romanticizes experience, and so leaves himself at its mercy–and at ours. (RS 270)
Rolling Stone Top 500 Songs ranked this song at Number (I knew we forgot some!) and the Album ranked at Number (Surely no-one cares?)
This song has a crowbarred rating of 73.1 out of 108 pts
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