Bob Seger Biography
Born on May 6, 1945, in Ann Arbor, Michigan USA, Bob Seger is the son of a musically-active father, who led a big band and sang in a barbershop quartet before taking a job at a Ford plant. He grew up in Detroit with a passion for Rhythm & Blues and formed his first group at the age of sixteen.
The next few years were spent in a series of local bands before he released his first solo single, 1966's "East Side Story" which was followed by "Heavy Music", this single became a regional radio hit selling 60,000 copies and drew the attention of Capitol Records a label he has stayed with for over 30 years.
In 1969, The Bob Seger System recorded "Ramblin' Gamblin' Man", which reached #62 on the U.S. National Pop Albums chart while the title-track peaked at #17 on the Pop Singles chart; the album also included the minor hit "Ivory" and the anti-war song "2+2=?", a memorably powerful Vietnam protest.
Numerous excellent Hard-Rock releases followed, including 1969's "Noah", the impressive "Mongrel" which scraped the lower reaches of the Pop Albums chart and the non-album single "Lookin' Back", but the artist was unable to repeat his early success and disbanded the group in 1971.
Having spent a period studying for a college degree, Bob Seger returned to music with his transitional album "Brand New Morning", issued on his own label in late 1971.
One year later he released "Smokin' O.P.'s" and "Back In '72" in 1973, both these albums were marginal chart entry in U.S. and failed to produce any hit singles.
With his seventh album, appropriately titled "Seven", Bob Seger delivered one of his strongest, hardest-hitting Rock records, the toughest since the days of The Bob Seger System; it included "Get Out Of Denver" which debuted at 80 on the Pop Singles chart.
Seger only achieved deserved commercial success upon returning to Capitol when his next LP, "Beautiful Loser" reached the #131 position on the Pop Albums chart upon its April 1975 release; however the roaring single "Katmandu" hit #43 on the U.S. Pop chart.
The Detroit rocker then formed The Silver Bullet Band with guitarist Drew Abbott, keyboardist Robyn Robbins, saxophonist Alto Reed, bass player Chris Campbell and drummer Charlie Allen Martin; the well-honed results of the band's non-stop touring were chronicled on "Live Bullet", which has gone on to sell more than 5 million copies.
Then, in October of 1976, Seger released his first studio album with the complete Silver Bullet Band, the landmark "Night Moves", anchored by the unforgettable title-track, which established him as a leading figure in '70s Rock. The record peaked at #8 in U.S. while the title-track rose to #4 on the Pop Singles chart; the album eventually went platinum producing two more top 40 hits with "Mainstreet" and "Rock And Roll Never Forgets".
May 1978 saw the release of the majestic "Stranger In Town", which soared to #4 on Top 200 LPs & Tapes chart, it spun off numerous hit singles: "Still The Same" peaked at #4 on the U.S. Pop chart, "Hollywood Nights" reached #12, "We've Got Tonight" #13 and "Old Time Rock And Roll" also grabbed a #28 spot on the same chart; in addition "We've Got Tonight" hit the U.K. Top 40.
Two years later, "Against The Wind", became his first-ever U.S. #1 album; the record included introspective ballads such as the title-song and "Fire Lake", both of those tracks climbed into the top 10 of the Pop Singles chart rocketing to #5 and #6, respectively; "You'll Accomp'ny Me" was also a top 20 hit and the fourth single, "The Horizontal Bop" reached the #42 slot. This album won a Grammy for Best Rock Performance By A Group; "Against The Wind", like "Stranger In Town", was later certified multi-platinum.
Another live album, "Nine Tonight", followed in 1981, it peaked at #3 on the American Top 200 LPs & Tapes chart and featured the title-track contribution to the "Urban Cowboy" movie soundtrack plus an effective cover of "Trying To Live My Life Without You" which hit #2 on The Mainstream Rock and #5 on the Pop Singles charts.
Seger released his next studio record, "The Distance", in December 1982; it reached #5 in U.S. highlighted by Rodney Crowell's song "Shame On The Moon", one of many Bob Seger songs to cross over to Country radio and his biggest hit on the Country Singles chart, this single also debuted at #1 on the Adult Contemporary list and became one of the biggest hit on the Pop Sales chart, falling just one position short of #1. "Even Now" was another huge Mainstream Rock smash, #2 and reached the #12 position on the Pop Singles chart; "The Distance" yielded two more Mainstream Rock top 20 hits with "Boomtown Blues" and "Roll Me Away".
In 1983 the singer + songwriter returned to the road with an altered Silver Bullet Band including ex-Grand Funk Railroad drummer Don Brewer and a year later the band contributed a new song to the soundtrack of the film "Teachers"; relased as a single, "Understanding", shot to #5 on The Mainstream Rock chart and crested at #17 on The Billboard Hot 100.
Bob Seger with his Silver Bullet Band had a monster smash in April 1986 with "Like A Rock", an album that immediately crashed into the top 3 of The Billboard 200 and produced an endless slew of hit singles: its mammoth title-track topped The Mainstream Rock airplay chart and peaked at #12 on The Billboard Hot 100, "American Storm" hit #2 on The Mainstream Rock Tracks and debuted at #13 on Billboard's Hot 100; "It's You", "The Aftermath" and their rendition of Creedence Clearwater Revival's "Fortunate Son" were all Mainstream Rock top 10 hits.
In 1987 Seger recorded "Shakedown" for the soundtrack to the movie "Beverly Hills Cop II", with its infectious backbeat thanks to rapid-fire keyboards and some soulful backing vocals in the chorus, the single peaked at #1 on both Billboard's Hot 100 and Rock charts.
1989's "Blue Monday" was yet another soundtrack song for Bob Seger, featured on "Road House", this single inched into the top 40 of The Mainstream Rock chart.
The blue-collar rocker released his first studio record in five years in August 1991, "The Fire Inside", continued Seger's streak of nine consecutive platinum albums, it peaked at #7 on The Billboard 200 generating three Mainstream Rock top 10 hits with the title-track, "Take A Chance" and "Real Love", the latter of which also grabbed a #24 slot on The Billboard Hot 100, clearly showing his massive following had remained in place.
A highly successful greatest hits collection issued in 1994 also demonstrated just what a huge following he still had and the 14-track set shot to #8 on Billboard Magazine's Top 200 Albums chart.
The release of "It's A Mystery" in October of the next year, marked Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band's last studio album, it reached #27 in U.S. and yielded two Active Rock top 30 hits: "Lock And Load" and "Hands In The Air".
The single, "Chances Are", a 1998 duet with country star Martina McBride from the soundtrack to "Hope Floats", reached #23 on the U.S. Adult Contemporary chart.
September, 2006 brought the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer's first album in more than ten years, "Face The Promise"; it debuted at #4 on The Billboard 200 chart highlighted by such Adult Contemporary radio singles as "Wait For Me", "Wreck This Heart " and the title-track.
In March 2011 Bob Seger released a new single, the cover of Tom Waits' "Downtown Train"; it is a song Seger has waited more than two decades to release, he recorded the song in early 1989 but was beaten to the punch by Rod Stewart, who included a his version of "Downtown Train" in his late '90s anthology box-set. This version of "Downtown Train" was freshly recorded for the double-CD compilation "Ultimate Hits: Rock And Roll Never Forgets".