(born 1945) is an American rock singer and musician who began his career in the 1960s playing in the Detroit area. Though he has achieved noticeable success nationally, he is far more famous and well known in his home state of Michigan and surrounding states, where he enjoys a near-Springsteenian
He remained strictly a local favorite until 1976, with the release of Live Bullet
, a concert album recorded over two nights at Detroit's Cobo Arena. Live Bullet
went on to be a perennial favorite of rock and oldies radio stations throughout Michigan and is often regarded to be one of the greatest live albums of all time. Night Moves
, a studio album released later the same year, was an even bigger hit and gave Seger his first national Top 10 single with its title track. Subsequent albums including Stranger in Town
(1978) and Against the Wind
(1980) spawned more hits, and Seger has continued to enjoy considerable success over the subsequent 30+ years.
Seger's Signature Song
is "Old Time Rock and Roll", which is perhaps best known as the song that played during the famous scene of Tom Cruise dancing in his underwear
in the movie Risky Business
. Another of his songs, "Like a Rock", was employed for several years as a jingle for Chevrolet's truck commercials.
- Auto Erotica: "Night Moves"
Out past the cornfields where the woods got heavy
Out in the back seat of my '60 Chevy
Workin' on mysteries without any clues
Workin' on our night moves...
- The Band Minus the Face: On much of the 1969 album Noah, Seger himself is nowhere to be found. Instead we get several songs written and sung by a Replacement Scrappy named Tom Neme.
- Canon Discontinuity: His early albums have been out of print for years due to Creator Backlash (see the Triva page).
- Christmas Songs: One of his '60s singles was "Sock It to Me, Santa", and he did a cover of "The Little Drummer Boy" for one of the Very Special Christmas charity compilations which still gets a lot of radio play.
- Cover Album: Smokin' O.P.'s
- Cover Version: Quite a few over the years. Besides Smokin' O.P.'s, he's done covers of such songs as "Midnight Rider" (The Allman Brothers Band), "Nutbush City Limits" (Ike & Tina Turner), "Shame on the Moon" (Rodney Crowell), "Fortunate Son" (Creedence Clearwater Revival), and "New Coat of Paint" (Tom Waits).
- Dead Man's Hand: "Fire Lake"
Who's gonna play those eights and aces?
- Dude Looks Like a Lady: Mentioned in "Turn the Page" as one of the things that bum rockers out:
Most times you can't hear 'em talk
Other times you can
All the same old clichés:
"Is it a woman or a man?"
And you always seem outnumbered
You don't dare make a stand
- Epic Rocking: Nine Tonight includes a live cover of Chuck Berry's "Let It Rock" that runs 10+ minutes (although it's edited down considerably for the CD version).
- Fun with Acronyms: "U.M.C. (Upper Middle Class)"
- Garage Rock: His late '60s/early '70s output mainly falls into this category.
- Greatest Hits Album: It took him a long time to release one, but when he finally did (1994), it became the biggest seller of his career. He's put out a couple more since then.
- Heavy Meta: "Old Time Rock and Roll", "Rock and Roll Never Forgets"
- In the Style of...: His rarely-heard 1967 single "Persecution Smith" is a Protest Song that owes more than a little to another Bob.
- "Lucifer" sounds a bit like a Creedence Clearwater Revival tune.
- "Get Out of Denver" sounds for all the world like a Chuck Berry song, but Seger composed it himself.
- "Roll Me Away" and "The Fire Inside" are anthemic rockers reminiscent of Bruce Springsteen, and fittingly enough both feature piano work from the E Street Band's own Roy Bittan.
- Listing Cities: "Katmandu"
- Live Album: Live Bullet, Nine Tonight
- Looking for Love in All the Wrong Places: "The Fire Inside"
- Mondegreen: His earliest singles were released under the name "Bob Seger and the Last Heard". He decided to drop the band name due to its sounding uncomfortably similar to "the Last Turd".
- Nostalgic Narrator: "Railroad Days", "Night Moves", "Mainstreet", "Against the Wind", "Like a Rock"...
- Out, Damned Spot!: "Hands in the Air"
If you're selling these lies, these impossible dreams
You can keep on washing, but you'll never get clean
- Protest Song: He had several early in his career: "Persecution Smith", "2+2=?", "Lookin' Back", "Highway Child", "Leanin' on My Dream"...
- Repurposed Pop Song: "Like a Rock".
- Rockstar Song: "Turn the Page", in a bittersweet way.
- Sexy Walk: "Her Strut"
- Shout-Out: "Rosalie", a song included on the Back in '72 album and later Covered Up by Thin Lizzy, is a tribute to Rosalie Trombley, a music programmer for CKLW-AM in Windsor, Ontario. (The station was a Top 40 powerhouse for metro Detroit in the '60s and '70s, and played a big role in establishing Seger's Michigan following prior to his national breakout).
- Small Town Boredom: "Face the Promise"
- Vocal Evolution: By the 1990s, his voice got gradually deeper than it had been. He's way deeper on Face the Promise in particular.
- This change is likely a combination of old age, smoking and shouting onstage for 40 years.